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Education / Training Terminology is important!

Terminology is important!

by B.B.Pelletier

Yesterday’s blog really struck a sensitive spot with many readers. I was concerned that it would be too far off the topic of airguns, but it clearly wasn’t! So, today I’ll continue in the same vein with a discussion of proper airgun terminology. You might look at this post as Tom’s pet peeves.

Let’s begin with the term “bullet.” Many people, including writers and shooters, refer to firearm ammunition as bullets. The proper term is “cartridge.” If you’ve seen the movie National Treasure 2, you’ll see an FBI agent, presumably a forensics person, pick up a bunch of spent firearm cases and tell another FBI agent that they have the bullets of the shooter.

If the entire cartridge is a bullet, then you have to come up with a name for the thing at the end of the cartridge that gets shot out of the gun. I’ve heard these referred to as bullet heads, bullet tips and bullet noses. None of these are precise or proper. It doesn’t necessarily promote confusion unless you’re trying to do something like order things for reloading. Then, you have to ask for a box of bullet tips. And that gets confusing when the supplier knows them only as bullets.

Another pet peeve is referring to airsoft ammunition as BBs. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. When an unknowing person tries to purchase an airsoft gun as a gift, they know that it requires ammunition; but if they ask a clerk who also doesn’t understand the difference between airsoft and true BB guns that shoot steel BBs, they could easily sell them a box of Daisy steel BBs. That would ruin the gift, plus it might damage the airsoft gun if the recipient tried to use them.

An apparently confusing term is single-shot versus repeater. I’ve seen young sales people call a repeater a single-shot because it fired only one time when you pulled the trigger. They thought that if it wasn’t full-auto, it was a single-shot. Others understood that it fired only once per trigger-pull; but if it wasn’t loading the next round automatically, they thought it was a single-shot. To them, any work the shooter might have to do such as cocking the hammer or working a loading bolt made the gun a single-shot.

Calling a breakbarrel spring-piston gun a one-pump gun. That’s confusing because there’s no pumping of a spring-piston airgun. A one-pump gun is properly called a single-stroke pneumatic. The act of compressing a mainspring and holding it in a compressed state is properly referred to as “cocking.”

Many shooters refer to the tank that stores compressed air as a reserve or a reserver. That just slows down everyone else as they try to decode what the person intended to say.

Airsoft vs. soft air is a big pet peeve of mine. Soft air is a trademarked term used by the Daisy company for the 6mm guns they began importing in the early 1980s. Airsoft is a generic term that refers to that class of guns made by all makers. If you doubt what I’m saying, do a Google search on airsoft and “soft air” (use the quotes) and see how many hits you get on each term. We got 16 million hits for airsoft and only 837,000 for “soft air.” Your Google results may vary as Google has more than one search engine and not all agree. But the results should be approximately the same proportionally.

How about a cocking knob? That’s what some people call a the bolt on a bolt-action gun. I guess the round knob on the end of the bolt handle might be the reason that term came into use. Nevertheless, it’s incorrect.

Single-action/double-action. These two terms confuse a lot of people, including gun writers. If we say that a single-action is a gun that requires its hammer to be cocked before it can be fired, and a double-action is a gun that can be fired with each pull of the trigger, then what does that make a Colt M1911A1, where you have to cock the hammer for the first shot but after that you can fire with each pull of the trigger? It makes it both single- and double-action. The first shot is always single-action, and each succeeding shot is double-action. But what about the gun whose slide was in the rear position before the shooter loaded the next magazine? Is that a single-action shot or a double-action shot? It’s a single-action shot because the hammer was cocked (by the slide) before the first shot, just not by the shooter. As you can see, I was confused when I wrote the forgoing that has now been crossed out. The 1911 is a single-action pistol that remains single-action regardless of what cocks the hammer.

What’s a dovetail? Besides its use in furniture making, it’s a mounting platform for optics. But what size is it? It can be a Weaver, 3/8″, 11mm or any other size you like. But they’re all dovetails. I recall a blog comment made several years ago by a reader who asked about the right height rings for his dovetail. He assumed that all dovetails were the same size. They’re not. Airgun dovetails that are not Weaver vary from just under 9.5mm to over 13.5mm. The variation in size means that there are specific mounts for some guns and not a lot of options are available for them.

So, here’s a scenario. A new shooter walks into a large outdoor sporting goods store and asks to buy a one-pump BB gun. He doesn’t want a single-shot, so he rejects a number of bolt-actions out of hand. Can you see the confusion with the improper use of terminology?

Airgunning is a relatively small sport when compared to golf, football and softball. We need less confusion, not more.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

173 thoughts on “Terminology is important!”

  1. Well written! I’ve seen this happen at local sports stores too with new buyers.
    Also, terminology is common mistake when talking about ammunition too.
    When one refers to a bullet caliber. It only means the width of the bullet but not the length. 9mm refers to a common 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge.

    Thanks for the write-up. I passed this on to a few buddies who are getting into the sport themselves. : )

    • Austin,

      And that is still not enough 🙂 bullet diameter and case length marking can be the same, but 9×21 IMI and 9×21 Gyurza are NOT interchangeable as well as 9×18 Police and 9×18 Makarov 😉

    • Hi.

      I am replying to the very top post, but I have read ALL on here.

      I do not understand why all the friggin’ dialog, and why anything is mentioned regarding MOST of what I have read here, because the ONLY, I repeat ONLY thing that ‘single vs double action’ refers to is ONLY ONE THING, and that is the TRIGGER PULL. S vs D has NOTHING to do with the SLIDE or the SEAR (sp?) or any other parts_ only the TRIGGER PULL. The trigger either COCKS the hammer and then it RELEASES the trigger to fire… DOUBLE ACTION… or YOU cock the hammer, then the gun auto-cocks the hammer… SINGLE ACTION. Simple.

      Discussion about a topic is great, but we tend to OVER analyze at times, bringing into the ‘equation’ matters that only serve to SHOW OFF our so-called knowledge. And we can end-up getting WAY OFF topic.

      Keep on shootin’ and know what you’re shootin’ at… and PLEASE not me or mah little fur-butt buddy, the cat.

  2. Terminology is important i agree! I still dont know how to say “piston seal” or “spring retainer” ON MY OWN LANGUAGE ,sad but true 🙁 i dont even know do we have this words 🙂 .

    • Many oquard moments when i need to buy something in croatian store for airgun i say “trebam,ma znate PISTON SEAL “and they ask WHAT? i dont know do they ,if so whay they call piston seal “leather”there is no leather -not even in a trace 🙂

      • Gotta reply my self (typefeller) it is not “whay” it is “why” sorry .To make myselfe useful here is several tip how to make balistic jelly 1.don t listen that guy on Youtube if you do good luck with only two jello it is not strong enough 2.More is better 3.if you think that it should be more thick -than melt it again and add more jello 4… and add preservatives not to grow fungus

  3. I knew most of this, but I was glad to see singe and double action clarified.

    As far as referring to airsoft ammunition as ‘BBs’; I’ve heard some nieghborhood kids confuse each other, as some refer to ‘airsoft’ guns and some refer to ‘bb’ guns, and neither side knows what the other is talking of. I’ve also found little yellow spheres of plastic littering my driveway.

  4. B.B.,

    Glad you got that off of your chest. Terminology is important if we’re to communicate clearly with each other. Unfortunately, too many sporting goods store employee’s these days are clueless when it comes to proper terminology.

    In this same vein I have a suggestion. It would be helpful if someday you would post a diagram of an spring airgun and identify the common external parts (i.e., breech, breech seal, barrel, compression tube, scope rail, scope mount, scope ring, pivot bolt, forestock, buttstock, cocking arm, cocking slot, partial view of spring, crown, etc.) and a diagram of the common internal parts.

    It’s amazing the number of times I communicate back and forth with someone just to determine what part on the gun they’re referring to. Having the ability to provide a link to your diagram will not only educate them on terminology but speed up the process of communication by quickly being able to identify their problem and suggesting a solution.


  5. B.B. –

    It’s been good to read that your condition is improving. Isn’t it amazing how mush difference there is in the quality of care from one practitioner to another?

    This morning’s post topic has always been a sore point with me. If people are going to discuss guns, they should be speaking the same language. Apparently, you and I speak different dialects in regard to the single action/double action debate. Here is the way that I understand it: These terms describe the FUNCTION OF THE TRIGGER. Does the trigger have one job to do… releasing the hammer or striker? That would be a single action. Or does the trigger have two jobs to do… cocking the hammer or sticker, them releasing it? That would be a double action. By this definition, a 1911 pistol is a single action. Although follow-up shots don’t require cocking the hammer manually, the trigger doesn’t do it either. It is cocked by the recoil action of the preceding shot. That’s why some semi-auto pistols are described as double action/single action. For the first shot, the trigger cocks the hammer or sticker, and then trips the sear to fire the shot. For succeeding shots, the trigger only trips the sear, while the recoil action cocks the hammer or sticker… not the shooter.

    I’ve been shooting these guns and reading about them for over 40 years now, and have never been tripped up on this definition. It would be interesting to hear some response.

    Kind regards,
    Jim in KS

    • Jim in KS,
      I was sure that BB’s definition of single vs double was the same as yours until this article. Now I’m back to being confused.

      And I need some more clarification on single shot vs repeater. I don’t think BB defined the difference but only pointed out two different misconceptions.

      And the same for cocking knob. I didn’t see a proper definition for it just what “some” people call it.

      • CJr –

        Sorry you’re confused. It’s easy to find yourself in that situation. Guns have been around for a long time, as have many shooters. As new gun technology emerges, so do new terms. The existing terminology also has a tendency to change as the years go by. Case in point: semi-auto guns used to called “self-loading”. When is the last time you heard that term used?

        Here’s my explanation of the difference between a single shot and a repeater: A single shot only holds one round in the gun at a time. No cylinder. No magazine. In order to fire a second shot, the shooter must reload the gun. Simple. I have a trapdoor Springfield and a WInchester highwall that are classic single shots. A modern example of a single shot would be the Thompson-Center Contender.

        A repeater, on the other hand, will hold multiple shots in the gun at the same time, through the use of a cylinder, a magazine, a clip, etc. This would include revolvers, bolt actions, semi and full autos, etc. It’s worth noting that multiple barrel guns are not considered as repeaters. They are a class of their own. This would include side by side doubles, over & unders and drillings. Even the “C.O.P.” four barrel handgun is not considered a repeater because every time a barrel is fired, it must be reloaded by the shooter in order to be fired again.

        In regard to the cocking knob… I’m going to leave that in B.B.’s court. To me, the knob on the end of a bolt handle has always been the bolt handle knob. I guess that would make the cocking knob whatever you hold on to cock the gun.

        Hope this helps.

        Jim in KS

    • Ok you are close on your single/double action terminology. However it is NOT the function of the trigger alone which determines SA or DA. It is how many different ways the action can be made to function.

      Originally the term was used for revolvers, as there were few if any DA semi automatics back then. If the gun could only be fired by cocking the hammer first then it was said to be SA. As in only ONE way to function the action! If it could be fired by either cocking the hammer or just pulling the trigger it is DOUBLE action. Double as in two distinct ways to function the action.

      Over time the terminology has become befuddled to where now some think any gun which can be fired by pulling the trigger to cock the hammer/striker is double action.

      But what about the DAO guns? These correctly would be SA guns as they have only ONE way to operate the action. Ditto for striker fired guns which technically don’t have a hammer.

      Hope you see the difference now.

      • pcp4me,

        Wow, all the time I was reading BB’s post I kept thinking that the spark of many a post was going to be over bullets vs. pellets! Good point on the DAO and striker fired guns.


      • pcp4me –

        You are correct about revolvers. When they can be fired by pulling the trigger to cock the hammer and release it in one motion, they are called double action. Even though they can also be fired by manually cocking the hammer, this is the case. The difference between this and a double action/single action pistol is that, in the case of the DA/SA pistol, the gun makes the change for you. If the first shot is fired double action, the pistol will cock the hammer of striker for you for the next shot. The shooter doesn’t have a choice, and at that point, the trigger has only one function… to trip the sear.

        In regard to DAO pistols, The D.A.O. stand for Double Action Only. As in the case of the DA/SA pistol on the second shot, the choice has been taken away from the shooter as to how to cock the gun. The trigger is going to cock the hammer or striker every time, and then it will release it to fire the shot. All in one motion. Just think of a DAO pistol kind of like a concealed hammer revolver with a magazine.

        As for striker fired guns, they can be either double or single action, but I tend to think of them as single action. When the slide is cycled on a Glock, for instance, either by the shooter or by firing the gun, the striker is partially cocked. OK, the trigger does have to put the last bit of load on the striker before it releases the sear, but most of the work has already been done. How else are you going to get the striker fully retracted and still have a decent trigger pull? Since these new guns defy classification as either a single action or a double action, they actually have their own unique classification, which you yourself used. They are “striker fired”.

        Jim in KS

        • Lol Jim you missed the whole point of my post.

          But that is understandable as even the modern gun manufacturers don’t know the difference between single ACTION which simply means there was only ONE way to function the action of the gun! The hammer had to be cocked by some one or some thing! Then you could pull the trigger. So by your description those striker fired guns are single action! The slide cocks the striker when retracted.

          A double ACTION gun has TWO ways to operate the action. You could cock the hammer and then pull the trigger OR simply pull the trigger which also cocked the hammer. Hence two different actions you can employ to fire the gun!

          Perhaps if they went to a less confusing description such as “trigger operated hammer” for what most of you refer to as double action it would be less confusing.

          DAO is a misnomer foisted on us by modern manufacturers. If there is ONLY one way to operate the gun it is single action. More correctly called a slide operated hammer single action gun. Or if the trigger actually does operate the whole striker/hammer function then a trigger operated hammer single action gun. But with those guns there usually is no external hammer to cock.

          Problem is manufactures, gun writers and ordinary citizens tried to adapt revolver terms like SA or DA to semi automatics which have completely different technologies and ways to be operated.

          So now we have semi autos where we can pull the trigger first shot then the slide cocks the hammer the rest of em. They call this a DA/SA gun and it sure is not! With a DA gun it does NOT matter how you operate the gun. You can fire the first shot by pulling the trigger and all the rest by cocking the hammer and it is STILL a DA gun! It only matters that you have two different means to operate the gun!

          We also have semi autos which have strikers which are “pre cocked” partially or fully by the slide and the trigger fires the gun. These are called DAO. They sure are NOT!! They are single action. Does not matter who or what cocks the hammer/striker, if that is the ONLY way the gun can be fired it is single action!

          Ditto for the semi’s which have a hidden hammer/striker which is totally operated by the trigger and the slide does nothing to operate them. These too are called DAO and they sure are NOT! There is only ONE way to operate the gun and that is by pulling the trigger! Hence single action.

          So let’s simplify this. The last two examples should simply be called “striker fired”. DAO is simply wrong and confusing.

          Guns like the Colt 1911 and the peacemakers are SA. The hammer MUST be cocked by some one or something. Only ONE method to operate the action!

          Guns like the S&W 19 and 29 are DA. Cock the external hammer and fire or simply pull the trigger to fire! Two distinct methods to operate the action.

          Guns like the Bersa Thunder and others with external hammers which operate like the S&W 19 and 29 are DA!

          Is it any wonder there is so much confusion here?

          • pcp4me –

            I’m so glad to see that you have this whole thing figured out, and to know that the confusion is the fault of the companies that actually manufacture these guns. Obviously I have no earthly idea what I am talking about. 😉

            Terminology issues aside, it’s good to know that the two of us are so enthusiastic and opinionated about our hobby. Keep on shooting.

            Kind regards,
            Jim in KS

      • CJr,

        Single shot vs repeater is really easy. If a gun holds one and only one pellet, bullet , cartridge or projectile and must have another inserted each time before use it is a single shot. Good example of that is a break barrel pellet gun!

        If it has a magazine or bb reservoir or any other means of holding more than one pellet, bullet, cartridge or projectile in the gun then it is a repeater! Good example of that is a Marauder pellet gun. It does not matter what type of action the gun has. It can be double barrel, bolt, lever, pump or whatever. Basically if all you need to do is operate the action repetitively with out reloading it is a repeater! If each time you need to place something in the gun before firing, it is a single shot!

        I have one pellet gun which can be either a single shot or repeater. It is the Daisy Powerline 953 TargetPro. It has a 5 shot magazine. I load and insert it, operate the bolt which advances the carriage and loads a pellet, then operate the pump lever to pressurize the gun and finally remove the safety and shoot. Then REPEAT the process. Hence it is a repeater!

        Then I can remove the magazine and place a single shot adapter in it. Now I must place a single pellet on the loading tray and close the bolt. Then pump the lever to pressurize it and finally remove safety and shoot. Then I must again place a SINGLE pellet on the loading tray. Hence a single action! The only difference is the magazine which makes it a repeater!

        Perhaps you confuse a repeater and a semi automatic? With a repeater you must manually function the action each time. Cock the bolt or work the lever or pump. THEN pull the trigger. With a semi automatic you simply pull the trigger each shot till you need a reload! Good example of this is a Colt 1911 pistol. The gun has some kind of mechanism build in to function the action. Btw, a semi auto is also a repeater as it holds and repetitively fires multiple times before reloading, but not all repeaters are semi auto!

        Hope this helps!

    • Jim,

      Down below you will see I have retracted the 1911 statement. I explained why it happened in the comments section. If you refresh your page you will see the incorrect part has been lined out and a correction has been added.

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention.


  6. Jim in KS,

    You hit the nail on the head! Single action / double action refers to trigger function, only in my ‘dialect’ as well.


    Great post. It seems lately that you can’t be anywhere near a gun counter with out having to correct the salesman behind it. It’s like standing in the plumbing dept. of Home Depot or Lowe’s.

    Now mind you this is mid first cup here, but I can’t recall shooting my 1911 in double action. My S&W 9mm will, but oddly enough I am blank on ever being able to shoot a Milspec 1911 in double action. Maybe I have rooted my familiarity so that it doesn’t include firing with the hammer forward. Hmmm, sounds like Dan needs some range time w/ 1911! Great idea! Thanks.


    • Jim,

      “…refers to trigger function, only in my ‘dialect’ as well.” Should read “…refers to trigger function only in my ‘dialect’, as well.”

      Where’s that grammar checker?

      Sorry for the late correction, I’m sure it will have a major effect on World Peace. 😉


  7. The un-trained gun store clerk is quite common. True story: I was near a large Dick’s Sporting Goods store a couple years ago and went in to buy some 2 1/2″ .410 shells. I’m looking over their selection minding my own business, when a young male clerk with a number of earrings in his eye brows asks me if I needed help, and then asks what size “bullets” I needed. Even though I didn’t need help, I humor him, and politely say .410 shells, and that I wanted loads that contained #6 shot. He then asked what kind of”rifle” I needed those for . I replied that it was a .410 shotgun and was chambered for up to 3″ shells. He snipped back that I would blow up my gun with the 2 1/2″ “bullets”, and that he would get the manager to help me buy the right “bullets” for my gun, and asked if I would wait while he located the manager. At that point I didn’t know what to say, and as my idiot tolerence had been exceeded for that day, indeed, after this encounter, for the entire week. I simply told him it was best if he would just go away, then I left. Robert

  8. I have my 953 completely tore down, now. Very interesting and very easy to do. I am very much in danger of using incorrect terminology but here I go anyway.

    There are two o-rings in the piston tube assy. One is at the very back as part of the hammer assy that is stationery and must be what seals off the rear of the piston tube, the other is on the movable pump handle piston assy that actually compresses the air.

    If you remember, I said that after my initial, partital take down, the rifle lost 120fps and I could hear a hissing noise as I pumped it. After checking both these o-rings I can find no damage that would cause that, nor did I do anything anyway that could have damaged them, plus it was working fine before I tore it down. I submit that I am innocent of any physical damage. Therefore, I suspect the moly I used to lube the trigger assy got onto one o-ring or the other or both and is the reason for the leakage. The moly is just too darned slippery to contain air pressure. I cleaned everything up, wiped off all factory and idiot lube and am now ready to start over with the proper stuff.

    I did have one near disaster during take down. I had read in previous posts that the little ball bearing in the safety switch is spring loaded and care must be taken while removing it. I took care, yet that little sucker shot out so fast and hit me in the neck, where it stuck, that I didn’t even have time to blink. Was I wearing safety glasses? NO! I was wearing “lucky glasses” so it only nailed my neck. Fortunately, it stuck to my neck because of its lube or I would surely have lost it. It is so tiny, small as .005 pencil lead. I have a feeling putting it back together is going to be a patience testing experience.

    Now I need to research lube stuff to find what’s proper. I know I’ve read it but my memory…and I do get confused between proper spring vs pneumatic lubes. The moly seemed to smooth out the trigger some but now I don’t think I should be using it or maybe just a dot here and there.


  9. Hi BB:
    I confess that when it comes to crimes against terminology I am an offender.
    “Plastic nylon type rubber thingummybob on the end of the slidey bit” was more or less the description I gave you on a very early question I asked,plus a few other ‘Howlers’ besides.
    Reading your blogg and the comments from the other learned contributors has taught me a lot.
    Thanks gents.

  10. So what do you call airsoft ammo? 🙂 The most memorable terminology issue I came across was when a gun store clerk flared his nostrils and glared at me when I called the magazine for a 1911 a clip. So what is the difference between a clip and a magazine? (I asked you first. :-)) To test the concept would you say that a revolver cylinder is closer to a clip or a magazine?

    Slinging Lead, I’ve read that the fellow who designed the AA12 ultimate automatic shotgun has been working on ways to mount guns on remote controlled helicopters. It’s part of the army’s whole push towards remote-controlled vehicles. So, your answer may be around the corner.

    Kevin, thanks for your comment of yesterday. Yes, it has been quite a journey. My ammo for the .22 LR has been an interesting question. I’ve used a box of Remington 40 gr., a brick of Wolf target/match ammo, and I’m working on a brick of Federal. For the .22 magnum, I’ve used CCI (thanks BG_Farmer). I haven’t noticed any difference in performance for the .22LR except for price (the Wolf is very cheap) with the exception of the Federal. The stuff jams in my Single Six. Each cartridge requires an extremely strong push to click it into the chamber without which it will protrude and jam the cylinder. Incidentally, I haven’t had great luck with the fabled reliability of revolvers. One of my Wolf cartridges stuck so badly in the Single Six that I had to pry it out with a knife. Some of the Federal cartridges were so hard to seat that I had to remove the cylinder to load it properly. Anyway, I have only one more brand of ammo left to try. It is called SKS Standard Plus and appears to be made by the makers of Wolf rimfire. The people who sold me my Anschutz who work exclusively with competitive shooters say that the SKS is the best deal. It is as cheap as the Wolf and their customers use it in preference to Eley. Sounds good to me.

    I believe that I saw a Ruger Mk III with a fluted barrel at the range. Nice gun. The whole Mk I series and its descendants are another of those iconic guns I haven’t gotten around to trying. Incidentally, I saw a $3000 1911 Grandmaster at the range as well. I’ve noticed, in this connection, that Filipino shooters of which there are quite a few at the range in Hawaii have a definite affinity for the 1911. That’s a little ironic to me in view of the history of that particular model, but I’m all for turning the swords into plowshares.

    Speaking of the Garand, I had a conversation with a family friend who is a Marine veteran of the Korean War who writes poetry about the experience. He was a machine gunner for a year of continuous combat fighting off human wave attacks after which he was wounded so badly that he spent another 9 months in the hospital. (He tells me that, when he got back home, some guys he knew asked him where he had been. It was truly the Forgotten War.) Anyway, on the front lines, with his pick of whatever he wanted, he said that he always carried a Garand broken down in his pack which he assembled at night for protection. He said that he wouldn’t be without one. Humping a Garand like this in addition to all of the machine gun equipment tells me volumes about that rifle. Our friend said that it was a wonderful weapon. Another friend, a veteran of Marine Force Recon in Vietnam said the same thing about the Garand.

    On another note, a long-lost cousin of mine who is a retired professor of physics who helps me with problems turns out to be a close relation of Eugene Stoner. History is all around us.

    I give you hunters credit for functioning in the conditions you described. I asked a colleague why he was so enthusiastic about hunting and he said that it was hard to explain but that it was “elemental” and “like sex.” Hm…. 🙂


    • Matt61 –

      Years ago, I bought a brand new S&W model 617 that had a problem similar to what you describe. After firing a cylinder full of just about any brand of 22LR, the empties would stick so badly that I had to pound on the extractor rod to get them out. SInce it was under warranty, I sent the gun back to S&W. When it returned, the warranty shop had very lightly chamfered the chambers. From then on, the empties extracted just like they were supposed to. You could even flick them out with your fingernail. With this in mind, you may want to check the chambers on your Single Six to see if they are too sharp, or if there are burrs at the mouth. Just a thought.

      Jim in KS

      • Thanks Jim. I’ll keep that in mind although I’m hoping for now that this is a teething problem or ammunition dependent. Some ammo cycles very well. I’ll just stay away from the Federal and see how we do.


  11. Here’s another one, just for fun.
    What do you guys call the 8 pellet holders used in most of the Umarex pistols.
    Even on Umarex USA’s website there is no consensus. In one place they call them ‘circular pellet magazines’…yet further down on the same page they call them ‘clips’.
    I to think this kind of standardization, especially in to days computer world is important.
    It’s one thing to stand in front of your sales person and say “I need that circular thingy that holds 8 pellets for my CP99″….and then show him in the showcase what you;re looking for…but ordering on line requires descriptions/terminology that means the same to everyone, everywhere.
    I really have a burr up my behind concerning the increasing use of ‘text speak’ in blogs and forums. To those who don’t use texting as a major form of communication a lot of text speak is just nonsense-speak. Every day where I work we get job resumes wherein textspeak is used…or the person doesn’t use spell check…those resumes are always filed ‘you-know-where’.
    I frequent a journalism forum and someone there put it very well. To paraphrase:
    “if you don’t take have the time to use basic writing skills, use your spell check, etc…why would I think you’ve taken the time to properly research the point you are trying to get across?”
    You bet your ass I’ll use the spell check before I hit the post button on this one 😉

  12. CJr,
    Use some Crosman pellgun oil on the seals or some Buzzy’s slick honey if you have any. Dunno why moly would be a problem on the o-rings, though it wouldn’t make my top ten list.

  13. It’s good to see the group struggling with terminology. (It’s also good to get back on the blog after months away – and hear that B.B. is recovering).

    Let me try to help, with the small piece I know: SA, SAO, SA/DA, DAO
    First, Jim in KS, you are right. PCP4me, you are wrong. (Please note, I do not allow for any uncertainty here).

    These terms describe one thing, and one thing only, and that is THE FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITY OF THE TRIGGER.

    If the trigger can do nothing else but RELEASE the hammer, it is Single Action. A 1911 pistol is SA. The use of SAO, (Single action only), is redundant, but means the same. How the hammer gets cocked, by thumb, by recoiling slide, etc., is not relevant. Every shot of a 1911 is a SA shot, because the trigger only did one thing. Same for Buckmark pistols or Ruger 22LR pistols. In these pistols, we need to use the slide to cock the action, but the trigger still only performs ONE function.

    Double Action implies, quite correctly, that the trigger does 2 things. In this case, it not only releases the hammer, it also cocks the hammer. Revolvers come in SA and DA. On the SA revolvers, like the first shot of a 1911, something else needs to cock the hammer. If it isn’t the trigger, the gun is Single Action.

    DA/SA is quite as we’d expect. SIG-P226, MK23, HK-USP and similar guns are DA/SA. On the first shot, the trigger will cock and release the hammer, and this is a DA shot. The successive shots THE SLIDE cocks the hammer and the trigger releases it, and these are SA shots. If the slide does not cock the hammer, the trigger IS connected, and WILL cock the hammer.

    DAO and SAO are redundant terms but used to clarify the difference between similar guns, with a subtle difference: DAO is reserved for pistols where the trigger ALWAYS cocks the action and ALWAYS releases the action. In most cases of DAO, the “action” is not a hammer, but a striker. The Taurus 24/7, (and I believe the S&W M&P), are DAO pistols. Unlike DA pistols, there is no way to cock the striker outside of using the trigger. (a DA revolver, for example, we could thumb the hammer and fire the gun in SA).

    There are distinct advantages for these actions

    Clear enough?

    • Jane Hansen,

      NO I am not wrong. When you have doubts about definitions it is always BEST to go to Webster’s unabridged dictionary to resolve them.

      So here is the MASTER’S definition of “single action” in regards to a revolver:
      Single action:

      “of a revolver : that can be cocked only by manually retracting the hammer”

      Note his definition does NOT in any way refer to the function of the trigger as erroneously thought by many on this blog!

      It simply means that the hammer has ONLY one single way it can be cocked! Manually! One SINGLE action! It simply refers to how many actions you can employ to cock the hammer!

      Now note also that he does NOT define “double action” for what ever reason. Perhaps he too was confused.

      But let’s LOGICALLY extend his definition to a double action revolver:
      Double action:

      “of a revolver : that the hammer can be cocked by EITHER manually retracting the hammer OR by simply pulling the trigger”

      Exactly what I said. And THAT definition is the ONLY one that eliminates the confusion that BB himself and many of our blog readers get involved in.

      Because once you understand that the acid test is if the hammer can only be retracted manually (SA) OR manually and by pulling the trigger (DA) you can quickly determine what you need to do to fire the gun.

      And once you can understand that you can also see why the term DAO is an oxymoron and can get you killed in a gun fight.

      For more information on that refer to this link:


      But note that this guy him self only gets it half right. He correctly identifies that a Glock is NOT DA or DAO,

      But he too confuses a “double action pull” with DA!

      When the hammer on a DA gun is cocked manually and then pulled it is referred to as a “single action PULL”. When the trigger of a DA gun is pulled and it cocks the hammer then fires the gun it is referred to as a “double action PULL”

      Double action simply means you have both options (ACTIONS) available. I know of NO “DAO” gun where you have both actions available.

      Not knowing the difference CAN get you killed.

      Back in the day when there were only SA guns then DA revolvers came out people knew and understood the terminology. But as time went on and citizens and gun writers and even gun companies got lazy and started referring to a “double action pull” as double action the confusion ensued. Then when new technologies were invented for semi automatic pistol triggers which were totally different they tried to apply their misunderstandings to these guns!

      Hope this clears up your confusion. And if you still disagree with me you are still confused!!! Go back and read my posts, look it up in Webster, and do some research of the earliest writings about DA revolvers!

  14. B.B, any chance of a series on the new Webley Alecto? It reminds me of the Beeman P3, with a few twists. It looks like a great gun with good specs. Hopefully, it delivers on everything. I’ve always liked the P3, and purchased the P17 to see how much I’d like it. That was easy, yup. I never quite pulled the trigger on purchasing the P3 for a couple of reasons; A: my P17 is shooting great and feels great, and B: the P3 didn’t seem to have the features for me to justify the high price. The Webley Alecto seems to push things up a bit. I’d love to hear how it delivers.

    • Bristolview,

      I don’t know if the new Webley pistol will be available in the U.S. or not. Webley seems to be willing to sell them to anyone calling themselves a dealer, and that will keep a lot of the larger dealers away. They don’t want to get into price wars with guys who buy five guns and are happy making $20 on each one.

      I have held the new pistol; and can tell you it’s the size of the Desert Eagle pistol! But the trigger is set closer for average-sized hands. It would be an interesting airgun to test.


  15. For those of you waiting on the edge of your seats to see how my 953 ends up, the wait is over. Come on now you were anxious to hear weren’t you? Well, it’s back together except for that one piece of plastic at the left in the following picture:


    I lubed everything with Pellgunoil except I did put a dab of moly on the back of the pellet feeder slide assy to make it feed a little smoother. The trigger is less gritty now but is still too heavy to my liking. It’s not audibly leaking now but I’m only getting 430fps with JSB Exacts 8.4gr, but that may not be too out of line. I found an old chrony tape that showed 460fps with the same pellet at one time.

    Regardless, I shot an eMatch session tonight and shot a 269/300 with it, which is normal for that rifle. I got one 10.

    All in all, I’m glad it leaked because it took away my fear of ruining it by disassembling it. I felt like I couldn’t hurt it any worse. I learned a lot and oh yeah, I finally managed to put that little safety switch ball bearing into orbit somewhere during reinstall. I hope it doesn’t strike the space station. It sure made the install of the action back into the stock without it a lot easier since the safety button now stays where I set it. It still works as a safety but just doesn’t have that audible click when pressed.

    I may tackle that 1077 next. Then, I’ll have earned both a single pump pneumatic and a CO2 merit badge.

  16. I have an S&W .38 Special +P Airweight revolver that has an external hammer. It can be fired either double action by just pulling the trigger or single action by cocking the hammer first then pulling the trigger. S&W makes a similar revolver that doesn’t have an external hammer. It’s better suited for concealed carry since there is no hammer to snag on anything. It can only be fired by pulling the trigger. It’s a double action only.

  17. Sure am glad it is the weekend. I have a lot of post to catch up reading. My replacement modem from a few weeks back crapped out this morning. Finally got it working with tech supports help. They are sending another one, wondering how long that one will last. At least I have this one chugging along for now.


  18. B.B.,
    Dang, I thought I was good at stirring things up. “Terminology” that is a really good one. With all the people that post on here World-wide you had to know you’d start something, kinda fun isn’t it 😉

    I’ve read the intro to blog and all the post. I think I may be more confused than ever 🙂 🙂

    You need to remember that spell checker only checks the spelling of the word, not that it is the proper word. 😉


        • rikib i am talking about this blog (about terminology )I can barily speak ANY english and you guys talking about terminology in USA ,but i will try to pretend to understand what is “airsoft” (something with soft air maybe 🙂 ),airgun dovetails weawer,one -pump BB gun ….. 🙂 I am still learning 😉 🙂 in the other hand this is my oportunity to learn 😉

          • C-S,
            Even though you may not speak much fluent English, you know much more than I do about air gunning. I only have a 2240. I’m still trying to grasp a basic understanding of CO2, break barrels, springers, PCP’s what the differences are and why choose one over another. I have a red dot, but with my eye sight I’m thinking more about a scope or a laser sight. There is so much terminology I don’t understand but, I don’t wanted to look totally ignorant on this blog so I try and find basic answers elsewhere before I come to the guys (and gals) here. It is not right I know but I don’t want to feel humiliated on this blog as there is so much good info. You are decades ahead of me in air gun knowledge my friend. 🙂 🙂


              • I trust too much to this spell checker -it is very not wery -i dont even know what wery means? -little update -my slavia 631 goes 13 cm through ballistic gel …with gamo pro magnum pellets

              • C-S,
                Nice quote!
                As far as the spell checker I’m not sure about what you are saying the problem is. English unfortunately has words that may sound the same ,be spelled differently, and have no relation to each other. I use two spell checkers and a grammar checker. Still they don’t pick up everything But all this is really just my opinion.

                Well, guess I need some sleep 5:15 am here.


  19. BB

    do you know if the rws 35o feurkraft should shoot different than the normal 350. i like the looks of the the feurkraft better than the other 350. Also what would be a good scope for hunting and long range plinking. Would rws super domes be good pellets for this rifle in .22 .


    • jason-i don t have 350 but i have a will to help 🙂 Diana/RWS Feuerkraft stock is same like in my 34 classic so i can say this -slipery when wet 🙂 kidding (kinda),but really Diana /RWS 350 MAGNUM in my opinion is the way to go -and go for 22 cal .As for scope i cant help you much couse i have a problem with buying scope myselfe — Only my opinion

  20. I am setting here looking at an old ammo box that I use for small tools on the side it says
    250 cal 30
    belted 4 ball-1 tr
    repacked lot slb 93444
    So does the military still call a cartridge a ball round even though balls have not been used since
    before the civil war.
    I think in some cases technology has out run terminology.

    • I believe that the military still uses “ball round” for a standard copper clad bullet, to differentiate it from armor piercing (“AP”) or, in your case, tracer.

        • Or both, known as buck and ball. I should have checked with Mr. Webster first, it seems that a ball is not necessarily round,
          as in american football .
          I guess that what I was trying to get at was that terms that predate an item are sometimes carried over to describe it
          even though they no longer exactly apply.

        • B.B. –

          After the fuss that kicked up over the single action vs. double action issue, I am reluctant to even ask… but here i go anyway. The military uses a standard nomenclature when it come to naming anything. Why would they refer to the powder type for one kind of ammo, and the bullet type for another type of ammo of the same caliber? That’s just not the military way. Besides, what difference does it make to the soldier what type of powder is used? The projectile is the part that is mission specific. I really think that you should double check your facts before making a definitive stand on this one.

          Jim in KS

          • Jim in KS, that is what I thought also and I should have done more checking. BB is right, however it depends I think on your time frame. If you read this you will understand better
            It is kind of like “all chickens were eggs, but not all eggs are chickens” many ball rounds did not contain ball powder it seems, prior to the late fifties. The ones I had pulled the bullets on did not, which is what me think ball meant the projectile.
            Kind of like APC, M59, M113, Bradley, or a little white pill, depending on when and where you were.

            • B.B. and shaky –

              I read the article about the change from IMR rod powders to Olin ball powders in 5.56mm ammo. Good stuff. True historical fact, but still inconclusive in regard to the topic at hand… the meaning of the term “ball” when used to describe ammo. The article doesn’t mention changing the naming convention to reflect the change in powder. In my opinion, this change to ball powder is just an interesting coincidence. Wasn’t the ammo manufactured prior to this change also labeled “ball”, even though it was loaded using IMR rod powder? I would really be interested in reading the American Rifleman “Dope Bag” article to which you refer.

              Not being one to speak out of school, I also did some poking around to see what light could be shed on this question from other available sources. As it turns out, the National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action has an online firearms glossary that includes a definition for “ball”. Here’s the link:
              MidwayUSA also has a gun tech dictionary online. Their definition of the term “ball ammunition” is available here:
              Although it isn’t generally recognized as a “firearms” data source, Wikipedia even answers this question the same way by linking the term “ball bullet” to a page heading of “Full metal jacket bullet” at this link:

              Admittedly, I’m not the expert here… just a longtime firearms enthusiast. I may have a misguided understanding of the meaning of this term, but at least it looks like I’m not alone.

              Jim in KS

              • Jim,

                I did a Google search on .45 Ball ammo and you are right. Almost everyone today “thinks” that ball means a style of bullet. But it simply isn’t so.

                I don’t have the papers I had to gather 40+ years ago to find out the true meaning of the designation ball, but as I now recall, the old red fabric-covered “Guidebook for Marines” was possibly one source. Also, check out old Army technical manuals for the 1911A1, as they define the different types of ammunition their firearms use.

                The old corrosive WWII .45 ACP ammo was clearly marked a Cartridge, Caliber .45 Ball on the lid of the pasteboard box.

                I just found conclusive proof of what I’m saying. In the book “War Baby II” on page 678, the author describes the transition from 4227 IMR powder that was eroding the barrels and producing substandard velocities to Winchester BALL powder. The new loading was standardized in 1941 as the Cartridge, Ball, Carbine, Caliber .30 M1. But the standardization board dropped Ball from the name, though it appears on the source drawing, which is the birth certificate of the cartridge.

                The technical drawing of the cartridge, B200954, found on page 679, describes two different types of bullets for the ball cartridge, neither of which is called a ball.

                I don’t have any more time to research this, but if you check into it deeply enough in period references, you will discover the truth.


                • B.B. –

                  “War Baby II” sounds like an extremely detailed book! Source drawings and technical drawings aren’t usually included in a more casual read. I hope you won’t be offended if I’m still not convinced. The fact that the source drawing to which you refer listed the cartridge as “ball” is hardy compelling evidence for me to change my position. The fact that the standardization board dropped “ball” from the name after the change to ball powder doesn’t exactly clear things up either.

                  I do happen to have a well-used copy of “Cartridges of the World” by Frank Barnes, so I checked to see if there was anything in it that addressed the use of this term. The section on the 30-06 cartridge, which begins on page 38, lists several military loadings, all with “ball” designation. The is also a glossary in the back, on page 372. In it, “ball” is defined as “Earlier term for “bullet”, and still used in some military terminology.” Just makes you go, “hmmmm”.

                  I was able to locate an online copy of an old Basic Field Manual for the AUTOMATIC PISTOL CALIBER .45 M1911 AND M1911A1. Cool. Gotta love the internet when it comes to research. After examining pages 6, 21 and 23, describing the cartridges that were authorized to use, I’m afraid I’m going to have to stick to my original understanding of this term.

                  BTW, here’s a link to the old field manual:

                  If there’s another truth out there, I’m afraid it’s going to be hard to find.

                  Jim in KS

  21. Everyone,

    I misspoke!

    It happens, from time to time.

    When I dictated this report I had just been injected with morphine and was falling asleep as I dictated the article.

    The 1911 is single action and remains so all the time. The slide cocks the hammer after the first shot, so the shooter doesn’t have to, but it is still a single action. That’s why the trigger is so nice.

    I have at least one double action only pistol and it does not set the trigger for the next shot upon firing. Each pull of the trigger also retracts the hammer. That is the definition of double action.

    My apologies to everyone for this mistake. It just demonstrates how confusing these terms really are.


    • As in minnie ball. We had four rounds full metal jacket, tracer,armor piercing ,and frangible all used the same powder but only one was called ball,thats what had me confused.

    • Jane,

      As I have understood the AR6 is Recommended by Evanix to NOT fired in DA mode, as the pull is so hard that there is risk for breakage. Evanix recommends cocking manually and firing in SA with the AR6. The improved versions, ie, the Renegade and Blizzard can be used in SA or DA but make more power in DA with SA as an option for a lower power shot. With that said… I think Paul made a mistake. I

    • Jane,

      As I have understood the AR6 is Recommended by Evanix NOT be fired in DA mode, as the pull is so hard that there is risk for breakage. Evanix recommends cocking manually and firing in SA with the AR6. The improved versions, the Renegade and Blizzard can be used in SA or DA but make more power in DA with SA as an option for a lower power shot. With that said… I think Paul made a mistake. I haven’t reviewed the video you mentioned, but intend to after I spill my guts here. 🙂 I recall BB mentioning this in some posts last year or longer as well wher the trigger pull is “off the scale” and estimated at around 10 or 11 lbs.


      • OK, this is weird! Sorry for the double post, I hit the tab button and didn’t realize it posted. Not to mention I replied in the wrong place. You’re all smart enough to figure this out anyway, right?

        10pm and getting near my bed time, nighty, night!


    • BB,

      Sigh! You already retracted part of your illustrations of single vs double action and still don’t have it right!

      “Each pull of the trigger also retracts the hammer. That is the definition of double action.”


      DOUBLE ACTION means two actions and if your definition were correct how do you explain that there is ANOTHER way to fire the gun? You are saying that double action means the trigger cocks the hammer then fires the gun! So you say that double action implies the trigger does two actions when pulled! Does that then mean that it is a triple ACTION gun because double action means that the trigger cocks the hammer and then fires the gun, but oh WAIT! There is still another way to operate the gun by retracting the hammer manually and then pulling the trigger! So now you made the double action into a triple action?

      Sorry to be so bullish on this, but I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW I am correct! AND if people accepted and used the correct definition there would NOT be any confusion!

      The definition you use is currently accepted by many, but leads to much confusion as evidenced by even your own confusion as well as the confusion of many others here.

      I, on the other hand never am confused. A 1911 is ALWAYS a single action and my Bresa Thunder is ALWAYS a double action and I NEVER am confused about what type of gun I have or how to fire it! And there are no TRUE DAO guns! Least not to my knowledge. As all DAO guns I know of have internal hammers/strikers and so none I know of has the ability to retract the hammer manually AND also pull the trigger to retract the hammer.

      Does it really matter? It does if you believe your gun functions in DA pull mode and the striker/hammer falls on a desensitized primer and you continue to pull the trigger repeatedly to fire the gun but the gun don’t fire because you needed to rack the slide instead! And the bad guy gets off 5 shots in that time and kills you!

      On the other hand, my Bersa Thunder is a TRUE DA gun and if the hammer falls on a desensitized primer I simply pull the trigger again and most times the gun goes BANG!! If not then I rack the slide as the primer wasn’t the problem!

      And no matter what pistol I pick up, I know whether to pull the trigger again (DA) or rack the slide (SA) if I have a misfire!

      So this is my last comment on this topic! Matters not to me who agrees and who disagrees! Like I said I am not now nor ever was confused!

      Pretty much every one used to think the world was flat. Then a guy came along and told them it was round and they cussed him and laughed at him and wanted to execute him and told him he was wrong and ostrasized him and what ever else they could think to do to him.

      But in the end he was right and they were wrong!

      • pcp4me,

        Seriously, it’s time you had your meds checked. Then and only then you can re read the gibberish you just wrote. Even you won’t believe it.


  22. BB

    Yeah, I hear that excuse all the time,”It wasn’t me! It was the morphine!”

    Termiteology is indeed very important. They cause millions in home damage every year.

  23. Terminology, Dialect, so much confusion! I’ve lived from the very Northern US (Canadian Border, including Alaska’s Aleutian Islands) to Southern parts of Florida. Also, from Japan and Guam to Europe. It seems that almost every word you speak (write) has various meanings. We must be open-minded and ask for further explanation before jumping to conclusions as to what was meant.


  24. Edith,
    Let me know if this is not acceptable to post.


    Old Fart Pride

    I’m passing this on as I did not want to be the only old fart receiving it.
    Actually, it’s not a bad thing to be called, as you will see. Old Farts are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. Old Farts remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.
    Old Farts remember World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal , Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War , the Jet Age and the Moon Landing. They remember the 50 plus Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2005, not to mention Vietnam .
    If you bump into an Old Fart on the sidewalk he will apologize. If you pass an Old Fart on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Farts trust strangers and are courtly to women.
    Old Farts hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.
    Old Farts get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’t like any filth or dirty language on TV or in movies.
    Old Farts have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it’s about their children or grandchildren.
    It’s the Old Farts who know our great country is protected, not by politician’s, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.
    This country needs Old Farts with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values.
    We need them now more than ever.
    Thank God for Old Farts!

    By the way, I’m an “Old Fart!”

  25. Ok which would be the better choice the rws 350 is more powerefull it looks like but the 48 is easier to shoot and should still be plenty powerfull enough for those ranges. whi h is the better choice.

  26. I’m really getting pissed at computers! I had written about ten lines about modem problems, must have touched a key and “!@#$ she was gone”, those that remember “Hee-Haw” should understand that. I guess I should do a cut-n-paste if I plan on typing much. To put it basically they have been sending me modems that are not intended for sale in southeastern USA. That is according to their website. When I called them they knew nothing about it, of course.


  27. When buying airgun three things you gotta keep in mind 1.accuracy 2.quality and third and the last thing is power -and 850 or 900 fps is more than enough for anything basically

  28. For all of you who wants to buy high-powered air gun/air rifle (what is the difference between those two?) my humble advice is- STAY SUBSONIC high powered airguns in my opinion should all be in 5,5 (22)cal or 6,35 so i don t see the point ! exp. diana 350 177 cal -1250 fps this is 381 m/s (breaking of sound barrier is above 340 m/s)don t expect any accuracy there ps. guys please do correct me if i am wrong 🙂

    • I am from Croatia so excuse me but i gotta ask this-well it is maybe stupid question but is it correct to say AIRGUN or AIR RIFLE ??? Guys -there are no stupid questions (i hope so 🙂 )

      • C-S,
        No stupid questions as far as I’m concerned. I have often wondered how to address questions about air pistols. Most of the time when there is a conversation about airguns it pertains to rifles and I feel left out. I only own a pistol and don’t understand a lot about the rifles. Airguns is a very generic term.


      • C-S,

        Airgun is the correct term for the entire class of air-and gas-powered pellet-shooters. Air rifle refers to a long gun with a rifled barrel. A long gun with a smooth bore is correctly called a gun, so the term airgun would work for it, as well.

        So airgun can be the entire range of air-powered pellet-launchers, or it can mean a long gun with a smooth bore.


  29. I’m always looking for a new hi-powered air rifle, (I’m not so sure they need to be subsonic, all the best hunting rifles are super-sonic), but I think there’s a terminology confusion that I need help with.

    I think Paul Capella makes fantastic, objective, and fact-filled video review’s, but his review of the AR6/Renegade’s suggests that in “Double-Action” the trigger pull is around 3-4lbs, but in Single Action, it’s much higher. How can the trigger perform 2 functions for less pull?

    Usually, single-action is the lighter, preferred, trigger mode for higher accuracy.

    Can this be right?


      • Nuthin’ inherently wrong with hunting, there may be wrong is in the abuse and/or waste of the animals. But killing and eating is indeed one proper use of them, and is our legitimate prerogative.

      • rikib i aggre but dont exept everybody to aggre.You guys have a snake problem in USA and i dont like killing snakes -but who am i to judge! Our most poisonus snake in this part of Croatia is Ridjovka (Vipera berus) relatevely mild-poisonus and in mountains of Velebit we have two species of Poskok(Vipera ammodytes)-shorter and more venomous and longer specie.Now they feed on rats and other snakes so they can t be bad just if we leave them alone 😉 respect 🙂

        • C-S,
          I guess I am a hypocritical person, I will kill any snake poison or not. I don’t wait to ask him if is or not 🙂 nor am I going to look close enough to identify it. Most times our dogs or cats kill them first.


    • Jane,

      Concerning using (hunting with) pellets at supersonic velocities; I know that you know far more than I on the actual physics of the subject, but using pellets at those velocities can only be at ranges where the pellet can still maintain supersonic velocity at the POI without accuracy issues, right? “The best hunting rifles” that you mentioned are firearms with bullets of a boat tail shape (spitzer and the like) designed to maintain those velocities. Pellets on the other hand are mostly skirted to help with stabilizing while in flight, using friction or resistance from atmosphere thus causing a more rapid reduction in velocity. Which is after all one of the main positives of using airguns in the first place, rapid bleed off of velocity. Am I right?

      Are you referring to hunting with air guns with pellets at calculated distances, firearms with powder and bullets, or am I just in for pleasantly unexpected lesson in physics? Truth be told I’m hoping for the latter. 🙂


      • KA:

        I think we agree. Supersonic projectiles must impact the target at supersonic speeds lest they suffer the turbulence of crossing the “sound barrier” as they slow.

        Yes, firearm projectiles are designed for such speeds. However, I’m not sure the original pellet was designed to bleed off velocity, as much as it was to drag-stabilize the pellet. I suspect early pellet guns had so little power, (and were introduced at a time with less concern for safety), that the designers were more concerned with trying to make it fly straight.

        Here’s where I am today:
        1. There are boat-tail pellets out there, and, we could certainly create better ones.

        2. For some crazy reason, in many parts of this country, I can legally shoot a lethal, high-powered, large-caliber pellet gun, but not even the smallest, weakest, firearm. (for instance, the 20 acres behind my house).

        3. I prefer the flattest trajectory. Rarely is my target within 40-yards, (unless he’s in my vegetables or destroying my foundation). I don’t have time to prepare for a field-target match. I see the target, grab my rifle, open a window, check around, and shoot. If I could use my .22, I would.

        Beyond hunting, as a scientist, leaving things “good enough” just doesn’t work for me. To keep an active interest in the hobby, I need to be tinkering with something that is constantly crossing new barriers…



        • Janee,

          Ahh! Yes we agree on all points. Yes ‘bleed off’ is a bi product of design of skirted pellets. My statement “Which is after all one of the main positives of using airguns in the first place, rapid bleed off of velocity” refers to a secondary benefit of the design. Hope this came out right.

          Very nice to have you back.


          • KA- i am glad that i have create useful debate 🙂 i am still not so sure why would we go above sound barrier with 17 cal ,competition AIRguns are all 170-175 m/s and i think that 17 cal is most accurate between 177 and 220 m/s above this i would use 22 or 6,35 cal ,and 😉 “i need velocity,i need speed ” Top Gun movie 😉 🙂

            • C-S,

              I’m not an authority on the subject by any means, but with .177 cal being naturally light due to the small diameter and therefore quicker to lose energy all we can ask for is what Capt Kirk would ask his Chief Engineer Mr Scott. MORE SPEED!

              To which Scotty would reply “I’m givin it aaall Ive gought Cauptin”


        • Jane,
          I may be mistaken, but I believe that the most powerful (speed) airgun on the market today is the Airforce Condor (1450fps in .177). If you could design and produce a boat-tail pellet in .177 in the 8 grain weight class or lower, I think you would have a powerful combination.

  30. I cannot believe the problems with my modem/service. Everything is working okay right now but, checking AT&T’s website it specifically states that this modem (that they have replaced now for the third time when I receive it), “Is not to be sold in southeastern USA”. I asked the “tech support” rep about this and even after being put on hold several times they knew nothing about the issue. They did say when I receive the new replacement next week I can call back again, to get authorization for a different type of modem. I guess I will be on and off line, running in circles for a while.


    Guess I’ll keep bumping along for now 🙂

    • KA,
      Huh, meant I did not know what you where talking about. I still don’t. What do you mean when you say “save this stuff for next Friday’s comment!”. Did you already write next Friday’s blog? I really don’t understand what you are saying or trying to imply with your comment.


      • Rikib -i believe that KA meant to say “next friday s BLOG” see the smiling face -yesterday i have tune up my air pistol and scope him with red dot so maybe i become “air pistoler” instead airguner 🙂

      • Rikib,

        I was referring to posting a topic that would seemingly arouse debate, or ‘stir the pot’ for a weekend. ‘Geographically sensitive electronics’. Joke is on me however, because after all this IS the weekend, so technically you DID post on a Friday. I must have been a bit more tired when I got home last night than I thought.

        No offense meant.


  31. Talking of getting names wrong.
    The dome heads in my mixed pellet tin I called RWS and then SKS.
    No they are SMK’s.
    Apologies to RWS and SKS.
    I knew there was an ‘S’ in the title 🙂

  32. All:

    IS it just me, or do others find posting comments back into the center of the blog, (ie, as a reply to the last comment on that topic), instead of at the end, (old blog style), harder to keep up with?

    I seem to prefer just going to the end to see the latest comments rather than having to re-read the entire blog every time I check back in.

    Am I missing something?


    • Jane,

      If you’re using the comment listing under each blog, then your way is probably easier. This is how the blog worked when we were using Blogger. However, if you’re using the comments RSS feed, replying to each individual comment is the preferred way in my opinion.

      When reading the comment feed, you can click (or right click to open in a new window/tab) on the title of the comment above each comment and it will take you directly to that comment below the blog. That way, you can reply to an individual comment and you can more easily see every comment that others made in reply to the original one and other replies.


    • Jane Hansen:
      You missed all the fun when the Forum went to the new format then?
      We were like a load of grumpy old men being shown round a new retirement home 🙂
      With the patience of a saint Edith showed us where to hang our hats and coats.
      Bless her.

  33. This is my biggest question well the 15 inch barrel on rws feurkraft be as accurate is the 19 inch barrel on the rws 350. I am appealed the the more slim line feurekraft. Thanks

    • The length of the barrel alone will not make any difference in accuracy. The quality of the individual barrel is most important. Short or long, you could get a good one or a bad one. Same applies to any kind of gun.


  34. Yes, I missed the change and will probably need a while to get the hang of it.

    In the old format, I could check the bottom, (end) of the blog and all the comments posted in the last several hours were there sequentially, so I didn’t have to go up into the blog to find the all the new additions to all of the topics. Anything new was at the end.

    This new system, if I want to follow several topics, I need to start at the top and go through each one over.

    Is there a way to collapse the blog into topics so that I can open the ones I want to follow, (this still seems like more work, doesn’t it?)


    • Jane,

      Please look in the RH column near the top of any blog report. There, you’ll see a link for a the Comments RSS feed. When you’re on that page, you’ll see another column on the RH side that lets you select which period of time you get to see: TODAY, YESTERDAY, LAST SEVEN DAYS, ALL, LAST MONTH or LAST YEAR. I’ve asked the programmer to add another selection: TODAY & YESTERDAY, so I can more easily access 2 days of comments.

      That feed will get you all the comments for any posting regardless of which blog it was posted to. Additionally, you can click on the title of each of those blogs and it will take you directly to that specific comment without having to scroll up & down to find the one you to respond to.


    • Jane, welcome back. I had the same reaction to the new format. Over time it has diminished somewhat as I’ve gotten used to skipping around. I think the difficulties of covering the material are also due to the fact that the blog is significantly bigger than before.

      I agree with your definition of single and double-action. Would you hazard a definition of “clip” and “magazine”? The rotary pellet holders which Umarex uses for its pistols, as CowBoyStar Dad pointed out, capture the crux of the problem. My definition is that a clip is a static holder of ammo (like the M1 Garand clip) while a magazine has an integral feeding system. In the case of the 1911 magazine, this would consist of the spring and the follower. The distinction is clear enough with the Crosman 1077, where the round thing that holds the pellets is a rotary clip and the box that the clip fits into that you insert into the rifle is a magazine.

      So, how to classify the Umarex devices? They are clips as far as I’m concerned except for the teeth in the rear that allow them to rotate in the gun and feed pellets. This, incidentally, makes them identical to cylinders for revolvers, which I had asked about, which have chambers for cartridges and teeth at the rear for gearing them with the pistol mechanism. (At least my Single Six cylinders do.) My answer is that due to the minimal nature of the toothed mechanism, the revolver cylinders are closer to clips than magazines, but in fact sit right on the border between them and show that it really a matter of terminology in the end.

      Knife sharpeners! My recent trip confirmed the power of the Japanese water stones. My Mom was quite astonished with the edge I put on her kitchen knives and is now a complete convert. I feel like a mini-Frank B., one eighth the actual size. Frank, if you get hold of these stones, you will be transcendent, even more than you are now. Stroking the wet stones with a knife cuts out a slurry which provides that extra sharpness. I feel like I’m cutting stone with Excalibur. It’s a very enjoyable process.


      • Matt,

        I also labored with the Umarex devices that feed ammo. But according to what I know, they are just clips, because they contain no internal spring or other ammunition feeding mechanism.

        In a true revolver, the cylinder doesn’t move easily from the gun, so we call them cylinders. You can see the cylinders on an Umarex S&W revolver (even though they do remove easily) but not on a 1911 A1, so I call them all clips. Doesn’t mean that I’m right.

        The problem is that today the nomenclaturing of airguns and firearms is being done by people with no experience. So they even invent names for things, when the right term doesn’t come to mind. Hence, Weihrauch calls the trigger on their HW 50S a “Match Rekord trigger” when it is nothing of the sort. The real match Rekord trigger stopped being made when the HW 55 went off the market. I got that from Hans Weihrauch himself at a SHOT Show. The word match is now used as a marketing term, not a definitive nomenclature.


  35. Edith,

    While on the Comments RSS page I do not see the “TODAY, YESTERDAY, LAST SEVEN DAYS…” on the right (or anywhere for that matter) as you describe.


    • KA,

      I’m on a Mac & use Safari as my default browser. Looks like that’s a Safari-specific choice. I just looked at the comments feed page in Firefox, and it doesn’t offer the same options. I just assumed all browsers offered these options. My bad.


  36. What can be better than reading the blog and listening to Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein”, followed by Johnny Cash’s “Jackson”. I guess you could say I’m diversified. Iron Butterfly was on earlier. Dang, I think I’m showing my age. I do listen to new stuff.

    Who would have thought, “Terminology” would have elicited such a vast conversion throughout the weekend, good job B.B. you’ve come thru again. Much appreciation! 🙂


  37. Matt61,

    I haven’t shot winchester or peters .22 ammo for years. A lot of the federal .22 ammo is dirty and fouls as well.

    My ruger single six likes the american eagle 38 grain copper-plated HP (Federal Ammunition) and this load shot fairly well in my new ruger MKIII Hunter this weekend.

    My anschutz 1710 likes federal gold medal ultramatch and the cci green tag competition the best. Haven’t bought any of that ammo in years though so the quality may have changed.


  38. Kevin, I’ve heard of Federal as the “gold standard” at least the 168 gr. Gold Medal Match used for testing .308. I had supposed they were a top company so I didn’t expect them to fall down on the rimfire.

    My understanding is that 40 gr. is the standard .22LR load if there is a such a thing, going to alternate bullet weights is a whole new dimension.

    How was the Mk III?

    I don’t believe I knew that you had an Anschutz rifle and one built on the 54 match action, no less. Any tips on disassembling the bolt? I tried yesterday in order to substitute my dry-firing device for the regular firing pin. The directions called for uncocking the bolt, twisting off the rear cap and removing the firing pin. I managed to uncock the bolt but that’s it. With a leather glove wrapped around the bolt body and a rubber band around the knurled ring of the bolt cap, I couldn’t make it budge despite maximum eye-popping pressure. Maybe the crazy gunsmith was onto something with his padded pliers. On the other hand, I hesitate to apply more force to something this valuable. Is there some step I’m missing here? I’m also having second thoughts about a system for assembling and disassembling the bolt to change out firing pins. Clint Fowler tells me that you want to take apart guns as little as possible. Maybe I should just leave well enough alone and dry fire with empty cases. What do you think?

    By the way, that ammo I recommended the other day is SK Standard Plus. I had it misspelled.


    • Matt61,

      There’s no “gold standard” for any ammo. Airguns have a kinship with firearms for this reason among others.

      As for 40 gr. being standard for .22LR see above. Don’t buy into these “experts” opinions. Try them all. The bigger difference between rimfire/centerfire and airguns in my limited experience is that you need to shoot at least 50 rimfire/centerfire cartridges to season the barrel before you can start to judge the accuracy in that ammo.

      Leave your firing pin alone. I don’t dry fire my guns even with snap caps or empty cartridges but that’s me.

      If you must take your bolt apart make it a good reason like changing the spring after 70,000 rounds. If you must, then pull the bolt out with your right hand and with your left hand, turn the rear shroud about 1/2 turn until the thing points straight down and the red arrow points at the blank space to the right of the S. Now pull straight back on the shroud and its apart.

      Remember to cock it before you put it back in the rifle.


  39. Matt61:
    I can only guess on clip and magazine, but here’s a thought. “Fruit” is a scientific, botanical term for specific plant parts. “Vegetable” is a non-botanical, common-usage word, for certain things we eat. If you study biology, you will read about fruit, and other plant parts, but you will not study “vegetable”. One can not technically ask “fruit or vegetable” because the terms are parts of different languages. Botanically, a tomato is a fruit, but the Supreme Court ruled it a vegetable for inclusion in certain non-botanical legislation.

    In all of my firearms training, I was taught the “magazine” was the thing that held the cartridges and fed them into the action.

    Some people call removable magazines “clips”. They are using an informal vernacular. Although I will occasionally use “clip”, I believe it is a non-descript slang-type term that should be avoided.

    Best regards,


  40. Matt61:

    (I posted this earlier – I have no idea where it went)

    I can only guess at Clip and Magazine, but here’s a thought: “Fruit” is a scientific, botanical term to describe a specific part of a plant. “Vegetable” is non-scientific vernacular. Botanists do not use “vegetable” because the word has no botanical definition. (botanically, a tomato is a fruit, regardless of what the Supreme Court said).

    Firearms authorities and training manuals define “magazine” as the device that holds and feeds cartridges. Some people, in common vernacular, use the word “clip” to describe a removable magazine. Technical firearms references do not use the the word “clip”.

    Just a guess….


    • Jane,

      My understanding is that a magazine contains a spring that feeds ammunition. A clip simply holds the ammunition in place. So in the Garand, the en-block clip, which is made of spring steel to clamp the 8 cartridges together when the clip is outside the rifle, is inserted into the Garand’s magazine that has a spring-loaded follower that pushes the ammunition into place when the top round is stripped off.


  41. Just a guess – I believe ‘Magazine’ refer to an integral, non-removable space dedicated to storage of ammunition. The ‘magazine space’ on a ship is one such example. A clip, I suspect, is a removable carrier of ammo. If this is correct, the cylinder in a revolver is a ‘magazine’ and the 1911 is equipped with a ‘clip’

  42. DaveUK, Sorry about diverging from the subject at hand but I have just read of a blow to sportsmen everywhere, the article said” Britain’s Norfolk District Council has banned the ancient barroom game of ” dwile flonking” just as the inaugural world championships were to begin at the Dog Inn pub in Ludham , Great Yarmouth. This ancient game that calls on players to fling a beer soaked rag from the end of a short stick towards the face of an opponent,and in the event the tosser misses twice in a row he must quickly down a half-pint of ale sound like a sport I could really get behind. The council though called it a health and safety problem

    • shaky:
      Don’t these health and safety fools realise they will only drive the sport underground like bare knuckle boxing in the film ‘Fight Club’.
      I can hear it now.
      “The first rule of dwile flonking is don’t talk about dwile flonking” 🙂

  43. Jane,

    I’m not replying directly to your comment to make it easier for you to find 🙂

    For some reason, your first comment about fruits and vegetables ended up in the comments trash folder. That’s why your comment didn’t show up right away…it was awaiting administrative approval. I’ve put you on the whitelist to prevent this from happening again. I have no idea what triggers that response from WordPress, but it shouldn’t happen again.

    The same thing has happened to B.B. and others. They post for a while and then WordPress decides a comment is questionable and needs to be approved before publication. Crazy stuff.


    • Nicole,

      The term single-shot excludes repeaters in the same way that “up” excludes “down.” They are opposites.

      But some who are new to shooting think of repeaters as semiautomatics that load the next cartridge without intervention by the shooter. That is incorrect.

      A repeater is any gun that can fire more than one shot without reloading, though the term is usually applied to only those guns that have mechanisms to move the cartridges.

      Repeaters have some sort of internal supply of ammunition. This can be a clip that simply holds all the cartridges together, or it can be a device that has an internal spring to move the cartridges towards the chamber. That is called a magazine.

      Or there can be a supply of cartridges in something like a clip that still moves the cartridges toward the chamber — or even something that serves as the chamber, itself. I’m referring to the cylinder on a revolver.

      So the key to any repeater is that it can fire more than one shot without being reloaded.

      There is even more to this topic than that. Your question is such a thought-provoking one that I think I will write an entire blog report about it next week.

      Thank you!


  44. So the key to any repeater is that it can fire more than one shot without being reloaded.

    With emphasis that “reloaded” means moving a supply of ammo (modern cartridges, powder/ball/cap for percussion, CO2/pump/ammo/pellets/BBs for airguns) from a staging area [box, belt pouch, table top] to the gun itself, and not to some action in the gun that makes a preloaded round available for firing (hammer change over in double barreled shotguns, cylinder rotation in revolvers, etc.)

    Just to discriminate from the alternate term for semi-automatics: auto-loader

    {It’s too early in the morning — I’m speaking in rambling phrases}

    {And when did that nasty CAPTCHA thing come in — I keep missing it as it displays below the “submit comment” button — which means it is below the browser window unless I scroll — is there any chance the designers could move it up next to the [check spelling] button?}

    • Wulfraed,

      CAPTCHA was started a month or so ago. We got hit with hundreds of spams a day. Our spam filter stopped working. This is the replacement.

      If you log in, you won’t have to use CAPTCHA every time you want to post.

      I asked Pyramyd Air’s IT dept to move the CAPTCHA line, but there are so many other issues ahead of this that I wouldn’t hold my breath. Logging in will solve the issue.


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