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Ammo A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 7

A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 7

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Before I begin, I have some announcements:

On Monday, I’m going into the hospital to have my gallbladder removed. It’s supposed to be an outpatient procedure, so hopefully I’ll come home the same day. I’ll have just a couple stitches in my gut (it’s laparoscopic, but they still make a few cuts) and will not be able to do strenuous exercise or lift more than a few pounds for 2-3 weeks. That’s going to cut into my airgun testing for awhile, so I’ll be writing about other things and testing some lightweight CO2 guns for you.

Pyramyd AIR will be switching servers Sunday night. You may experience temporary issues on the blog. If you still have problems by Monday morning, please email Edith so she can help you. Monday’s blog will be posted 2 hours later than usual (at 2:00 A.M. Eastern) to avoid any conflicts.

This report series had a strange beginning. I originally meant to test this rifle with period pellets against the best modern pellets, to see what the difference would be. Of course, I started down the road to tuneups, but before I knew it I was deep into trying to tune the gun for 800+ f.p.s. It’s not unlike buying a new refrigerator and then spending $50,000 to renovate the kitchen around it.

Finally, Jim Maccari stepped in and put me out of my misery by telling me that the early 124 rifles have tapered compression chambers that will not give high velocity, no matter what you do, short of machining them. Well, I wasn’t about to do that, and, since Part 6 happened just after I came out of the hospital, I decided to put the series on the back burner.

Then, I had an occasion to shoot my wonderful new Beeman R8 and saw what a tackdriver it is. That got me thinking about the 124 again, which was the tackdriver of its era. Finally, a random comment made by a reader jogged my memory that I had really wanted to test the 124’s accuracy with vintage pellets compared to the best pellets we have today.

The R8 experience reminded me that you don’t need velocity to achieve great accuracy. With what Maccari said, my early 124 would never get into the 800s anyway. But, wait a moment. That R8 averaged 646 f.p.s. with Crosman Premier lites. My 124, in its present tune, shoots the same pellets at an average velocity of 764 f.p.s., or about 120 f.p.s. faster. I had said at the end of Part 6 that I was going to tear down the rifle again and attempt to retune it, but now I’m wondering “Why?” Why would I waste any more time trying to get some artificial number out of this air rifle, when I already have it moving very well for what it is?

Change of direction
So, I’m officially declaring the rifle tuned and am getting on with my overall plan. As you know from yesterday’s blog, this rifle was imported when Beeman’s (the correct name of the company in the early 1970s was Beeman’s Precision Airguns) was located in San Anselmo, which makes it a gun imported in 1973 or earlier. Because Beeman’s moved to San Rafael in 1974. There weren’t 124 rifles around much earlier than that, because back then they were known as the model 121. So, this 124 is a very early one. And, if Maccari says the early ones won’t do 800, I can accept that. But how accurate are they?

And, by the way, Frank B. asked me for the serial number on my 124. It’s 06825. And Robert from Arcade had found the Beeman article in the 1973 Guns Illustrated, where Beeman identified the FWB sporter as the model 12. He wrote that article in 1973, so my 124, which we’ve already established was imported in 1973, was most likely one of the very first 124 rifles ever made.

Vintage pellets
Ask anyone who knew the Beeman company — when Robert Beeman was at the helm — the best pellet for the FWB 124, and you’ll get a single answer: the Beeman Silver Jet. Back in the 1970s when I started my romance with 124 rifles, Silver Jets were so far beyond any other pellet on the market that there was no contest. In the early ’90s, the Marksman FTS domed pellet rose to challenge the Silver Jet, especially in field target, but other newer spring guns like the TX 200 had already pushed the 124 aside, so nobody paid any attention.

This is how they came — in a styrofoam box. Beeman stuck to the color-coded caliber sizes for as long as Robert Beeman owned the company and a few years beyond. The need to “dress up” packaging caused this system to collapse a few years ago.

They were never as pretty in person as the drawing on the package; but in the case of Silver Jets, they came pretty close.

Now, here we are in 2010, nine full years into the new century and millennium, and I’m going to pit the Silver Jet pellet against the best pellets on the market today. And the gun that will shoot them all is my FWB 124 from San Anselmo, which in its day was considered the most accurate sporting air rifle going, hands-down.

Make haste slowly
I’m going to proceed slowly in this test. The first thing I’ll do is try to select the best pellet from a large group of modern candidates by shooting groups at 10 meters using open sights. If I’m lucky, I will find one great pellet in the bunch. More likely, I’ll find several contenders that will have to be weeded out at 25 yards using a scope.

As nice as the Feinwerkbau 124 is, and as great a manufacturer of fine target rifles as Feinwerkbau is, they put a set of fairly rudimentary open sights on the 124. The reason they did it is because the rifle was made for “sport.” That word means something very special in the German language, and it does not cross over to other things like it does in English. So, a “sport” rifle must have “sport” sights, of course. And, “sport” sights are not precision sights because, well, you get the picture.

The plastic rear sight adjusts finely for windage, but for elevation it uses a slider, like a 98K Mauser service rifle. It’s not too precise.

The front sight is a hooded barleycorn, or, in German, a Korn sight. The element is not replaceable, but it works well with the rear sight notch.

These were the sights I had to work with. I had recently discovered that my aging eyes need to be partially closed to see the front sight as clear as it should be. I began the test using Silver Jets and tried to sight-in the gun on a 10-meter pistol target, but my groups were too open. Then I remembered the line Mel Gibson’s character said in the movie Patriot: “aim small; miss small. So, I switched to much smaller 50-foot smallbore rifle bulls, and the groups tightened immediately.

By the way, when sighting-in it’s appropriate to shoot five-shot groups and even three-shot groups, because all you’re doing is moving the point of impact around the target. That speeds up the process immensely. I soon had a good zero with the Silver Jets, and I figured the other pellets would be close enough. I wasn’t going for a score; I was looking for those pellets that tended to group closest together.

During this sight-in, I also experimented with variations of the artillery hold. Because the 124 forearm is flat, I initially thought that resting the rifle on the backs of my fingers would work best. I even shot the first group of 10 Silver Jets with that hold. Then, I switched to resting the forearm on the flat of my open palm, and that seemed to work the best. So, at the end of all the other pellets I returned and re-shot a group with Silver Jets. It was slightly smaller.

Kevin, this one’s for you. My target set up on my nightstand!

The test
The test will take another entire report to cover, so plan on reading it on Monday.

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.

119 thoughts on “A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 7”

  1. Hi B.B.

    Could you tell me what that board is behind your silent pellet trap? Just curious. Looks like it’s taken a flier already.

    Your clamplamp made me laugh…that’s how I lit MY targets in my garage range a few years back.

    Good luck on your gall bladder surgery Monday.

    • Joe B in Marin,

      That white thing is a very thick synthetic board that I bought years ago. You can find similar boards in kitchen supply stores. I’d originally bought it for kneading bread dough (no fancy bread machines in my kitchen!). It turned out to be terrible for kneading dough (the dough stuck to it like a magnet). Tom figured he could use it for something, and I guess this is it. I believe that black spot is just a piece of dirt from sitting on the garage floor, although I could be wrong. Seems awfully big for a pellet hit.

      When we lived in Maryland, Tom had a Crosman 850 pellet/BB trap on a chest of drawers in his office. While it’s a great little trap, it didn’t trap some of the BBs shot by more powerful pistols at the very short distances he was shooting. One day, I opened the curtains in his office and noticed that the window had a big crack in it. And, sitting in the window sill was a pile of steel BBs. Lesson learned!


    • Joe,

      That spot is dirt, not a pellet hit. So far I’ve shot about 5,000 shots on that particular range and one in my garage in which the same backer board is used and I’ve not missed the trap once. However, as Edith pointed out, I’m not always so lucky.


      • BB,

        Best wishes on your upcoming surgery. I will be praying for you.

        I went through that surgery about 15 years ago and it was laproscopic also and the easiest surgery I ever had. Almost no pain. Did not even need pain medicine. Went home same day and within 4 hours of the surgery.

        Again, my prayers are with you and best wishes on a speedy recovery.

        • pcp4me,

          Everyone is telling me that this will be an easy procedure, so I’m gaining confidence. I plan on not taking pain medication unless I really need it, though I learned in the hospital that it’s better to take it than to curse the darkness.

          I’m just sweating the upcoming Roanoke deadline and the fact that the surgeon wants to pull my drain the week following the operation. And right now I’m draining 600cc/day. But both he and the gastroenterologist believe that the drain is causing the drainage, now that the pseudocyst seems to be gone.

          I have about three weeks to recover before that 1200 mile drive to Virginia.


      • Hi, A.R.,

        I haven’t been shooting in Marin. Both my wife and I are pretty sick right now. I’m in kidney failure, with white matter disease and essential tremors, and she has Slow Channel Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome. My wife had to be airlifted off of Maui after she was given days to live if she didn’t get away from the volcanic fog coming from the Big Island of Hawaii. I think about shooting a lot, but so far haven’t had the energy to even unpack my guns from the move here. Still, we’re pretty chipper for a couple of sickies. And we trust God that there’s a good reason all of this is happening. If you have suggestions (anyone?) of places to shoot airguns here I’d love to hear them.

        • Joe B.,

          I think that it’s time we started praying for you and your wife. Kidney failure is no laughing matter, and though I don’t know what your wife has, the Great Physician knows, and He knows how to make it right.

          As for shooting, I think that has to come second to your health. Let’s get you both well first, then you can shoot again.

          Meanwhile, you can enjoy your sport through the writings of those here on the blog.

          May God bless both you and your wife with health!


        • Joe B. in Marin,

          Oh, my! Tom and I will add you and your wife to our prayer list. So sorry to hear of your illnesses. In the meantime, you can shoot vicariously through the blog and the experiences of our wonderful contributors.

          May God bless you and your wife.


          • Joe B in Marin,
            You and your wife will also be in my prayers. I live in Santa Clara (about 50 -60 miles south of Marin), when you are up to it we should get together and do some shooting. In the meantime, get well.

        • Wow, sorry to hear that! Will pray for you and your wife. Are you getting dialysis? One of my father-in-law’s friends had kidney failure and diabetes, but was eventually able to get a kidney transplant and is doing well now.


  2. Vintage pellets and a vintage FWB 124…..does it get any better than this? I will be secretly “playing along” with this test.Thanks to Derrick,I have some of the Silver jets and with a little luck will get similar results.Please know you will be on all our minds during your surgery.Be well!

  3. BB:
    What a great find that FWB 124 has been.
    Like a good song, what you leave out is just as important as what you put in.
    Why mess with a rifle that is performing well?
    A lesson learned by me thanks to this blog 🙂
    Very best wishes for Monday BB.

    ‘Mike’ from previous thread:
    Yes the BSA Meteor is still being made and they are on the MK 7 version now.
    Also in the springer range is the ‘Lightning’ and ‘Supersport’ .
    Now if they are still made in Britain, I don’t know, having just learned myself yesterday that Gamo took over the firm.
    More than 2 million ‘Meteors’ sold worldwide apparently.
    A smashing little rifle close to my heart 🙂

    • DaveUK, thanks for the information. I have not owned one but they look like great rifles for everyday use. They did sell them in the US in the past but I have not seen one for sale. Perhaps some day…………..



  4. Just to apologise about my comment on the other thread about Germany being within Bombing range.
    I meant to say within range of THEIR bombers.lol
    True story though.
    My mate Nigel married a lovely lass from east Germany and now lives in Dresden(Heavily bombed by the RAF).
    His wife’s family hate him not for being English but for being a 44 year old veteran Punk rocker who never grew up.
    In fact that is why I was glad to see the back of him when he left.LOL

  5. B.B.

    Good luck with the surgery. I have had 6 outpatient jobs in the last year and a half and never took so much as an aspirin afterwards….and was only prescribed a pain killer once. It was some high powered nasty addictive stuff that I was not going to take unless absolutely necessary. It was the kind of prescription drug that fetches high prices on the street.

    Extra safety backstops…
    A couple layers of 3/4″ plywood is good for all but the highest powered guns.
    Even a single layer is plenty adequate for most.

    As for ‘tuning’, there are only certain guns I will bother with. I need a particular reason to do certain things.
    In the case of my 48, it’s an expensive gun that I wanted to protect from damage caused by lack of good lubrication. Otherwise the only additional thing I want to do is change out the ratty looking breech seal. No other issues, no other parts needed.

    The Titan..
    Horrible trigger and bad firing behavior that required frequent chamber oil to keep it going ‘thok’ instead of ‘thack’. Velocity dropped and got erratic when it got to ‘thacking’.
    Clearly needed work in two areas.

    Storm XT..
    Breech seal replaced with o-ring a while back because of severe droop caused by plastic breech seal (thanks for the tip Vince). Very rough surface on front of breech face (chamber side). Tear down and moly lube was just for grins, as there were no other issues.

    Horrible trigger and accuracy. Change sear shape and lap out the snag at the transfer port area. No other issues.

    Horrible trigger. Removed an extra spring (or was that in the 397?). Reshaped sear. No other issues.

    Blue streak..
    Just moly on the trigger and plenty of Pellgun oil ( it is at least 35 yrs old). No other issues.

    A little trigger work and a new barrel. No other issues.

    Will not get into that.

    You can see that power tunes and mods are not my intention. Cleaning up certain problems and preserving certain guns is all that I am really interested in.


    • twotalon,

      I only mentioned that you should watch today’s report because of all the work I had done and still couldn’t advance the velocity of Premier Lites beyond about 770 f.p.s. You had mentioned that even after the new, tight-fitting seal was installed the velocity didn’t change much and I was agreeing with you in this way.


      • B.B.
        I think the gun was advertised for 800 fps with lead pellets. But what lead pellets? Right?
        I figured that anything over 700 would be ok, so little or no increase with a new seal could be considered as no problem.
        The original was fubar and I am surprised that it worked as well as it did….some of the time.
        Man, that gun has a lot of sharp places to get by with a piston seal. Driving them in with a big hammer like they did at the factory eats away a lot of plastic. But what do they care…the guns are being sold to us capitalistic, imperialistic, degenerate pigs.


        • twotalon (and a 48)

          Any degree of comfort or semblance of middle class life that the Chinese enjoy is due to the Capitalistic policies they have employed, Hong Kong being the example. Imagine how strong this country would become if they became completely Capitalist!

  6. B.B.

    Glad to hear that your medical travails are almost over! It will be interesting to see how the 124 shoots.

    Regarding the relative quality of the Silver Jets, you are right. I have weighed samples of all of my pellets and the Silver Jets are as consistent as the best current pellets – just .1 gr variation in .177. In the early 80s they were probably as well made as any contemporary match pellet. Oddly the .22s varied much more – .4 grs.

    I have not had a chance to shoot the Silver Jets in my R1 or 124 but in my .22 Katana they were more accurate than Silver Stings or JSB Stratons.

    Paul in Liberty County

  7. I have an off topic question for the week-end.
    I was planning on getting the crosman silhouette PCP pistol ( /product/crosman-silhouette-pcp-air-pistol?m=2047 ) on my next trip to the US, it seems to be a nice, accurate, not too noisy and very legal for import in Canada at 450fps and would seem to be a good introduction for my very first PCP’s and will be a good companion for the marauder pistol when I get it.
    Since it’s based on the 22XX series pistols the 1399 shoulder stock should fit on it so I can use it as a small carbine right, right ?
    Since I plan on using it both as a pistol and a carbine (if the stock fits) should I get two types of sights for it ? Would/should I scope it in carbine mode ? Is there anything else/better I should bet getting (not taking the fps limit into consideration)?

    Good luck on your gallbladder removal on Monday I hope it will go as smoothly as it is supposed to. My wife went thru this a few months ago it after 4 days she was like new of course she didn’t have the same problems you just had but I hope it goes just as easy.


    • J-F,

      It is my opinion that while convertible guns sound good in theory, they don’t work out that way. What happens is you find the ideal setup and then feel very reluctant to disturb it. Or at least I know I do.

      The same thing happens with pellets, bullets and reloads. When I find a great pellet/bullet/reload, I stop experimenting and start mass procurement or production. I may not have the absolute best of anything, but I know what I have and how to have as much of it as I want. I have a load for my M1 Garand that is quite expensive because of the bullet it uses, but the results downrange are stunning. I go for the results.

      Of course in your situation you don’t know whether the carbine or the pistol are going to be better. So you do have to experiment, to find out. But once you do I bet you lock it down and never change.


      • Thank you very much, you’re confirming my I had in mind.

        So I think a carbine it will be.

        I don’t know why I love them so much, I really like my bronco and the trail NP and all my other airguns but there’s just a sweet spot for the Izh-60 (I was afraid the mag would quit on me so I got the single shot) and the 2289 and soon the silhouette and marauder pistol.
        I like the lightweight, small size, take anywhere side of it I think or maybe it’s because I’m better with them, since it’s so light and small I’ve always naturally used the artillery hold on them or maybe it’s just the scene in “for a few dollars more” when Lee Van Cleef clips and screws a stock on his pistol that has been forever etched in my young impressionable mind when I first watched the movie when I was a kid… (long after it was made) it’s still one of my favorite movies.

        So what kind of sights should I get ? Would the crosman peep sigths you tested with that pistol work with a carbine set up ?


  8. J-F,

    It is my opinion that while convertible guns sound good in theory, they don’t work out that way. What happens is you find the ideal setup and then feel very reluctant to disturb it. Or at least I know I do.

    The same thing happens with pellets, bullets and reloads. When I find a great pellet/bullet/reload, I stop experimenting and start mass procurement or production. I may not have the absolute best of anything, but I know what I have and how to have as much of it as I want. I have a load for my M1 Garand that is quite expensive because of the bullet it uses, but the results downrange are stunning. I go for the results.

    Of course in your situation you don’t know whether the carbine or the pistol are going to be better. So you do have to experiment, to find out. But once you do I bet you lock it down and never change.


  9. BB: Good luck with your surgery Monday. I also agree with Two Talon on the pain meds, as having gone through three out patient deals in the past . They just make the recovery process take longer so it’s better not to use them if you can get by without. Maybe they’ll let you have a couple Corona’s instead, worked for me after one of my most recent episode,Robert.

      • BB,
        The Gall Bladder removal is a piece of cake. My daughter-in-law just had one. I wish you a speedy recovery.

        Those Silver Bullets, I mean Jets look really cool and so ornate. However, they also look like there is so much room for imperfections to occur to cause severe weight variations. If you would, please weight them for us before you shoot them and let us know if that is true.

        As far as beer and pancreases go, beer (alcohol) excites the pancreas and that’s what makes you feel hungry so much when you drink beer and why you can drink so much of it and want to stuff food in your mouth, too. Think coke then beer, same quantity of liquid. I can drink a six pack of beer and eat half a pizza in three hours on a night out with the boys (designated driver included, of course) but couldn’t drink six cans of coke and eat half a pizza in the same time frame. That’s how much of an effect alcohol has on your pancreas. DO NOT GET WHAT’S LEFT OF THAT THING EXCITED! I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but maybe you youngsters out there can be forewarned. This is why beer drinkers get the beer gut? You can’t drink just one without getting hungrier.


        • Chuck,

          Well, I just learned a lot more about the pancreas!

          I think the docs just assume that I’m a boozer and that’s what caused the pancreatic problems instead of a stuck gallstone. So they warn me off of all alcohol forever.

          In truth, as time (much time in this case) passes, I may just drink a beer from time to time. I was drinking about four bottles a month before this problem occurred, so I wasn’t exactly sloshed.

          And Kevin, I really enjoy St. Pauli Girl. And Blue Moon when it’s fresh, which seems to be a problem for them. But the best beer comes from Germany and my favorite is a good Weitzen (wheat), chilled with a lemon slice.


    • They told me that beer might not go too well with all the drugs I was taking. I laid off until treatment was finished, and was very happy that it still tasted pretty good, even though most other things did not.


  10. Hello BB –

    Very much awaiting your further reports on your 124 – I’ll bet mine was made in very close succession after yours, likely within a day or so – I’ve got serial #06833. My gun is putting out 740 with 8.4 grain JSBs, at 7000 feet (Maccari old school kit)…so I guess right in the ‘healthy’ territory for these early guns. I understand what you mean about the ‘sporting’ sights – I’ve equipped mine with a Beeman rear peep, and it’s made a discernible difference.

    Always thrilled when you revisit the old classics….

    Best wishes for a quick recovery & putting the health issues behind you!

    Matthew Noe

      • Santa Fe, NM – and although I see almost 10% reduction in MV in the springers compared with sea level (ranges a bit, depending on gun/caliber), I’ve not experienced any ill effects on any of my guns – and they’re almost all springers. Guns range in power from 10 meter match springers, up to a couple of R1s – I suppose if you pushed it further up the power curve you might experience some piston slam, but I’ve had no issues whatsoever. PCP would be the optimal powerplant for this altitude, but they just don’t do it for me like the classic springers!

        • Matthew Noe,

          What a wonderful surprise to see someone of your “caliber” contributing here!

          I know it’s wrong, but I covet your airgun collection. LOL! You have some amazing vintage guns.


  11. B.B.,

    All the best with your upcoming procedure. Let’s hope after this you never have to lop off any other nonfunctional parts! 😉

    Oh, are you Sure you want to go laparoscopic and not open surgery?

    Hope to see you back on the blog Tuesday morning.


  12. B.B.,

    Now you’re just showing off. The picture of your target on the nightstand is a classic.

    Don’t know if it’s the new blog that allows larger files for photo’s, your new camera or that you’re taking extra time with the pictures but they sure look great. Too often I take your quality photographs for granted but it sure adds a wonderful dimension to the blog. There are some guys on the vintage that spend a lot of time taking and posting great pictures but yours are consistently good daily.

    Are those vintage silver jets from Volvo? They look brand new.

    Thrilled to hear about the final step in your process on Monday. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. I predict that you will be fit and at your ideal fighting weight by the time Roanoke rolls around.

    St. Pauli N.A. (same people that brew St. Pauli Girl in Germany) is the best tasting, NON-ALCOHOLIC, German light beer in my opinion. Don’t have any idea of the mexican equivalent.


    • Kevin,

      As far as the pictures are concerned, it’s a combination of things. First, I have a Cannon G11, which, if you come to Roanoke, I will show you.

      Second, while I was in the hospital, Mac, who is the freakin’ head photographer at the National Archives for gosh sakes, took all these wonderful detail photos for me when he tested a lot of guns for the blog. And he used my camera!

      When I got out of the hospital, Edith couldn’t stop praising his photos to me. So I have redoubled my efforts in a forlorn attempt to catch up.

      And, to pile insult upon injury, Mac still gives me tips of how to improve my shots.

      Yes, those are vintage Silver Jets from Volvo. My short-term memory is shot and I’d forgotten where they came from, but Volvo it was. I will thank him in the next part. Thank you for reminding me.


  13. The FWB 124 was my favorite “magnum” springer. I like them better than even a Diana RWS 54 (recoiless) that I owned.

    If you need/want a powerful springer don’t stop your search before you’ve had a chance to shoot one of these fine classics. The cocking effort is minimal especially compared to the power. Their accuracy is worthy of the bragging that every FWB 124 owner does. Triggers can be made better by a tuner that knows what their doing or with an aftermarket trigger from macarri. Because of the power and my poor eyes I always mounted a scope on those that I owned. The FWB 124 has the cross slots on top of the tube that require special scope mounts to secure a scope on this gun. The one piece mounts are easy to find. The two piece mounts aren’t carried by anyone in the USA that I know of. There’s one place in the UK that has them. Joe on the yellow has several 2 piece mounts, new in the package, that he wants to sell and he’s in the USA.

    Ole pellets vs. new pellets in an FWB 124. This will be interesting.


    • Very Interesting. I have a 124 that was my Dad’s. I still have a supply of Silver Jet pellets for it, about 1500. It shoots them well. The rifle has more than 80 squirrels to it’s credit. It still one of the main “Go to” guns I have. The trigger has a lot of creep before it lets off. Perhaps this can be adjusted out? The gun is as it came from Beeman other than the Scope.


  14. Wow! Reading this morning’s post and the comments that followed make me wish I could turn back the clock a couple of centuries and pay more attention to the airgun side of life!!

    BB, you’ll be in me prayers for the finalling of this pancreas thing. Oh, and I will commit to making up for your lack of beer consumption, though it’ll have to be Coors light because after all one must consume lots of water too!!


  15. B.B. and Edith,

    Best wishes for your surgery on Monday. Hope you’re close to the end of these procedures.

    I love the picture of your target and pellet trap! Now I feel better about the dents on the edge of mine. My backstop consists of old telephone books, which for my needs work well. Probably means that I haven’t been shooting enough to generate sufficient fliers.


      • No way. I think you or Edith could get better results than me, even blindfolded. I’ll email you some pictures of my recent targets. 0.5″ groups at 15′ (the limit of my indoor range) is about the best I can do.

        The worst damage I did to the pellet trap was with bb’s in an inexpensive CO2 pistol. Thanks to PA for letting me return that toy for a single stroke pneumatic pistol. Which by the way, is way better than I can shoot.


  16. Its amazing how much those Silver Jets look like Beemans later product, the Silver Arrow. Something happened in the transition though. The Silver Arrows dont shoot good in any of my guns, and most folks say the same. Also known as H&N Silver Point.

        • BB & Davee1: FWIW, I have a box of the “Lion ” brand pellets that were sold by ARH from 1973 or so, with about 50 out of 500 left. They have the same design of packaging as the Silver Jets from Beeman. The box is the same size except it is is brown and orange, with a picture of the pellet inside on the lid. There is the same size styrafoam insert inside. It says “Jet Type” on the box and also says that they are the only pellets recognized by the Japanese Rifle shooting association. They are the .177 round nose version of the silver jets. It would seem Beeman and ARH had the same sources for pellets in the early days, Robert.

  17. BB,

    Hope this will the last of your medical woes. You and Edith are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Very interesting Blog. I think the Silverjet pellets will be comparable in accuraccy to the newer pellets.

    Take care,


  18. When Paul Watts tunes a gun he uses a Sunnen Hone to correct taper, and or out of round areas of the compression tube. It is very effective in many cases. I can attest to the benefits of doing this as another speciality honing lapping and grinding shop here in Kenosha WI also does do this work on some tube sizes (all HW’s, FWB’s, and the Diana 34-350 tube size) The shop owner had 4 FWB 124’s that he wanted help tuning. I helped him tune all 4 plus 2 of my own guns. He honed the tubes first and with a bore gauge that measures to 0.0001″ we can get the tubes round and parallel to the bottom of the blind hole. In many cases this procedure can bring out the lost power due to the tube problems. There are many other factors that can influence the final power output so there is no 100% guarantee of total top power output but the benefits have so far always been much greater. Its not a home DIY type process but can be done for home tuners that want to install aftermarket kits in a gun but want the tube honed to improve performance. I can get anyone interested in doing this in contact with the shop but I don’t want Jim to field lots of phone calls for QFI related to tuning. He is not a tuner he is a shop owner that does honing. I have had done over 20 tubes at his shop and all with great results so far. Also note that the main reason I do the honing is to improve the shot cycle consistency.


  19. Now this test will be interesting. If the old firearms from the 19th century were capable of accuracy that is more or less comparable to today’s guns, it will be interesting to see what vintage pellets can do in an older gun.

    On the subject of gunpowder manufacture, let us not forget that Star Trek episode where Kirk fights the Gorn and wins by manufacturing a hand cannon. He just dumps the right amounts of sulfur and what-not down a convenient wooden tube and it all works. He obviously needed a weapon like this since his unitial unarmed combat with the Gorn has been cited as one of the worst fight scenes in film. He he. I thought it was pretty entertaining myself. How do some people get all the luck of dressing up in a Gorn suit, growling and saying lines like: “Hiss hiss, wait for me captain. I will be merciful and quick. Hiss, mutter, growl.” I suspect that one of the difficulties and extreme dangers of working with gunpowder is trying to reduce the volatility of the compound. Early versions of the substance were liable to igniting with just a jolt and at least one monk involved in the early development of gunpowder blew himself up. Airguns all the way.

    I’ve been wondering about the virtues of a separate pistol grip in rifle design and have been steadily rolling back the reasons for it. I very much like the pistol grip (and overall design) on my IZH-61. But it is not any more accurate or comfortable than a traditional rifle pistol grip. Apart from personal preference, the only reasons I can think of why there would be any advantage to a pistol grip is for a target gun or if you’re firing an automatic weapon which is not relevant for most people. I’m becoming such a traditionalist.


    • Matt,

      Darn, that’s the episode I was trying to remember! It’s always helpful to have your tricorder or Spock around with his memory like Data’s to remember the formulas. Of course, no doubt there’s an i-phone app for gunpowder which will work just as well… til the battery dies. Then you can put it in your sling fling it at your game (Like Ayla in the Children of the Earth series!)


    • The show Mythbuster’s tested that episode, and they could not get the homemade gunpowder to work, as no matter what they tried the home made gunpowder just made smoke and would not explode. Of course, true to tehir form, they used real gunpowder and blew the cannon to bits . . . . showing that Kirk would have fared far worse than the Gorn.

      Alan in MI

      • Yes, you do have to wonder about barrel integrity with Kirk’s set-up. And I would think that even with the crudest gunpowder you would need some precision in measuring the ingredients instead of dumping them in there. May reloading be this easy. I liked the diamond bullets though.


  20. Hi BB,
    I have been wondering when the surgery would be. Good luck with it. I will be praying for you guys as well.

    I was really interested in the Beeman History. It would be very neat if you could interview Robert Law. I have not heard much about Robert Law except what I have heard about his catalogs. If it wasn’t for Robert Law and Mr Beeman I think we might all be shooting Daisy Powerlines.

    David Enoch

  21. BB,

    I pray that the surgery and everything works out without any complications! Take care of yourself afterward and don’t rush things. I think I stayed in the hospital one night after my gall bladder was removed (laproscopically), but that was back in 1998 or so.


  22. Re Rehab:

    The usual rules are written for the lowest common denominator patient. I went through cardiac bypass and the rule was “lift no more than 10 pounds.” What I ended up doing was lifting just about nothing — the far better approach is to get two 5-pound dumbbells and follow a set of exercises designed to maintain, if not improve, upper body strength and arm strength.

    Good luck with the procedure!



  23. Getting my handy dandy, collector’s item, The Anarchist Cookbook, I find the author gives 11 different formulas for black powder and “the safer, more functional methods of preparing gunpowder”. Formula 1 is potassium perchlorate, sulfur and charcoal in proportions of 69.2 to 15.4 to 15.4. However, the author warns that these formulas are more powerful than ordinary potassium nitrate gunpowder and for that reason smaller quantities should be used. He recommends “trial and error” to find the proper load. Hoo, boy. He also tells you how to make smokeless powder which is more stable, high powered and gives off only gaseous products upon detonation.

    I love this book.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • I figured the information was out there. Some titles like this have caught my attention, but I’ve always had this paranoia that someone out there might be keeping track of the titles I buy. Or, more practically, if I ever had a brush with the law for some unforeseen reason, a zealous attorney might find out all of this information and assassinate my character to a jury. However, their attention would probably be trained more on my arsenal and action figures….


  24. Off topic…
    I just went through the blog and archive looking for info about the stability of laser sights, or designators. I only found one comment, and the writer complained that the point shifted with every shot. That matches my experience so far, although I admit it is a very cheap laser and mount – a $20 Daisy with universal mounts. But I would not expect much shift from the recoil of a Beeman P17!

    So, anybody know where I can find info to help me select a laser that is stable?
    And how stable is “good”? I would think an optical scope that shifts 3″ during a session would be completely unacceptable, how about a laser?

    Maybe a blog subject? Or are there reviews etc. out there I haven’t found yet?

    Love the blog and the community! Hopefully I will tinker enough to contribute, instead of only asking questions…

    Thanks and godspeed in your procedure upcoming.

    • Wipeout Wm,

      Of course a laser will shift with every shot. So do sights! That’s what you need to realize. The laser is visually representing a changing sighting situation for every changing distance to the target.

      If you are saying that a laser changes when the range is the same, no, they don’t. Perhaps the laser is mounted improperly, but it should not shift as long as the range to the target remains exactly the same.

      But at different ranges, there will always be a shift. The laser is telling you that the sighting situation has changed since sight-in.


    • Wipeout,

      Part of the problem may also trace back to the sight mount attaching to the soft plastic of the P17’s top rail–or inadvertently putting pressure on the sight while cocking the over-lever mechanism.


  25. Wipeout,

    The stability problem with your laser is caused by the cheap mount allowing the laser to move when any tension is placed on the wire that connects the pressure pad to the laser. PA sells some, but size wise they tend to overwhelm a Beeman P17, IMHO.


  26. Morning B.B.,

    Our prayers are with you, Edith and your surgical team. My personal comment to friends who tell me not to worry–it’s a piece of cake. Is, easy for you to say. It is not your cake being cut. LOL

    Beeman Silver Jets out of my Diana 35 should were wonderful shooters and absolutely deadly on possums with head shots at 20 yards.


  27. Joe B in Marin,

    Put me on your list of old soldiers. Yes these sure are interesting times. I pray that we as the only Nation of citizens founded on the basis that we all have God given rights will survive these “interesting times” intact.


    • Mr B.
      I agree My family fought for our rights, my dad is a retired military man, as am I and my little brother and brother in-law and several uncles.
      I don’t know your sense of politics or comedy. I grew up listening to George Carlin (God Rest His Soul). If you get a chance listen to his stand up routine of having “No Rights” just privileges makes you think. Here is a link to the routine

      George Carlin – You Have No Rights! (WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)


      Maybe a bit of humor for troubled times.


  28. Can’t wait to see the outcome of Mondays test results. My FWB 124 Serial number is 01087. This FWB average 801 fps with Crosman Premier Lites and 833 fps with Beeman Silver Bears. Point being some of the early FWB’s did shoot in that plus 800 fps range.

  29. B.B.,

    Is a .20 caliber pellet inherently more accurate than a .22? I ask because I learned through this blog that a .20 pellet is just a .22 that’s been stretched. So I’m thinking that a projectile of the same mass and shape but longer and slimmer should inherently fly truer than its fatter shorter counterpart. Is this wrong?


    • Alan,

      There is no proof that any one caliber is more accurate than another. However, development helps. For example, the .177 caliber has been developed more than the other three, so it contains pellets that are extremely accurate. The .25 caliber has been developed the least, so expect the least overall accuracy.

      I find that .22 caliber exceeds .20 caliber for long-range accuracy, but it’s a close call. However, there hasn’t been as much development of .20 caliber, so it’s probably true.

      Stretching a pellet has no positive effect on accuracy. Only when you combine that with the proper stabilization and pellet consistency do the results start to go towards accuracy.


        • What does thinking about a Blue Streak have to do with trying some Baracudas in your 350?
          Buy some and try them.

          You also have some velocity issues. The Streak will be a lot slower than the 350. What speed does a Baracuda want in either caliber and would either rifle like it in the first place?


          • TwoTalon,

            You misunderstood me I think. I have .22 Baracuda Match pellets for my RWS 350 and love them. I’m not at all trying to compare a .20 cal. Blue Streak to a .22 cal. RWS 350.

            What I meant was, taking my premise that a given .20 caliber pellet (say a hypothetical .20 cal. Baracuda Match, which doesn’t exist on PA’s site) were the same as its .22 caliber counterpart, just longer, I wish I could try it in a .20 caliber RWS 350, in order to compare it to the .22. In other words, I wish I could compare two identical rifles using pellets of the SAME WEIGHT but of different calibers, to see which ones flies faster and/or truer. ‘Twould be fun test I think.


            • From what I have seen of Barracuda and Kodiak in standard and match, there will be little difference in weight or shape, if any. So if Baracuda match were available in .20 it probably would be no different than the standard Baracuda in .20 which is lighter than the .22 counterpart.


            • Did you get hung up on the Crosman pellet thing by any chance? .22 CP and .20 CP of the same weight?
              Look at the .20 CP….it looks like the CPH version in .177 but Crosman did not make a standard CP configuration in .20 the way they did in in .177 and .22. I would like a CPH version in .22.
              To confuse things more, Crosman labeled the tinned version of CP in .22 as Ultramags. But they are the same as the ordinary CP in a box. Not to be confused with the .177 Ultramags which are about the same as a boxed CPH.


            • The more I think about it…
              Comparing two DIFFERENT guns with DIFFERENT barrels with DIFFERENT pellets would only be whizzing in the wind. Even if the pellets were the same weight.

              The best you could prove is that one particular gun in one caliber is faster than the other particular gun of different caliber with the same weight pellet.
              I see this kind of stuff on different forums all the time. Most are comparing accuracy between different calibers. But it is two different guns.
              It don’t mean squat.


    • If you look at the pellet selection for .20 on the PA ammo page, you will find that most of them are lighter than their .22 counterpart.
      Stretching them, making the waist thicker, or making the base less hollow to increase weight should not inherently make them better for accuracy. It still depends on what a rifle likes best.


  30. To BB and Joe in Marin,

    both of you will be in my thoughts and prayers for a quick operation with NO complications, BB and you Joe and your wife, for a quick recovery and return to airgun shooting. A 1,000 yard range? I’ll settle for a 50 yard range with friendly neighbors who are also airgun fanatics.

    Good luck to both of you!!!

    Fred PRoNJ

      • twotalon,

        My dream is to own a home on 40-100 acres in the country. I will have a 25-yard long steel culvert, 8 feet in diameter butted up to a special room in the house. The culvert pipe will be half-buried and earth-bermed, and will look out to 50/100/200 yard berms where I can test whatever I want. If it’s airguns at closer ranges, I can set up the target inside the culvert pipe.

        Of course the room is heated. the sound of centerfire rifles will be indistinct and directed away from my house. Rimfires will be silent.

        That’s my dream.


        • That would be nice.
          I have seen some steel buildings that reminded me of ammo bunkers or aircraft shelters that were a half round of steel. I guess they could be made as long as you want, but they would be way wider than necessary unless you wanted to set up a competitive shooting range indoors.
          How about a blimp hangar?
          What a heating bill!

        • Here’s the most important thing I’ve ever typed on this blog.

          If you really want something here’s a foolproof way to get it.

          1-Substitute the word “goal” for the word “dream”.
          2-Write down your goal in minute detail. For example, I will own a 1967 Corvette Convertible, 427-435 hp, 4 speed in tuxedo black paint with white stinger and saddle tan interior on or before June 10, 2012. Get two pictures of the car. Paste one at the bottom of this handwritten contract with yourself. Sign and date the contract. Tape the other picture to your bathroom mirror and look at it at least once every day.
          3-Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for what you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”) Write this at the bottom of your contract, sign and date it as well.
          4-Read your contract aloud twice daily, once just before retiring at night and once after arising in the morning. As you read, see, feel and believe yourself already in possession of your goal. Periodically, make your goal real. Go sit in the corvette. Test drive it. Go to open houses if it’s new home you want. Want to build a dream home? Find the lot and determine the cost then get an estimate from a real contractor to build it. Put the building plans on the bathroom wall. Make it real.

          Here’s the most important part…………Be careful with your goal(s). If you follow these steps you will get what you want. Hopefully, it will be what you need.


  31. I’ve been curious about something for awhile, but keep forgetting to ask. We’ve all read the benefits of coconut oil lubrication of pellets. Would pellets benefit from a few drops of pellgunoil added to the tin and stirred around, or does the pellgunoil tend to thicken (congeal) with time? Is the coconut oil just the most economical way to lubricate pellets (and have a cooking use)? 🙂


  32. rikib,
    I have a container that is 15 years old that is still OK but it has not been exposed to air, in time it might oxidize in an open container. I have never tried oiling pellets as I have a hard enough time loading dry ones 🙂 . Off subject, ever since I heard your german sheperd was named Charlie I have been wondering if you ever watched Disneys ,All Dogs Go To Heaven, it was one of my daughters favorites.

      • rikib,
        I believe you said you were a knife collector, have you heard any news on the New York knife shakedown? They have declared all kind of previously legal knifes to be unlawful with their new interpretations of the law on gravity knifes.

        • shaky,
          Sorry, feel asleep for a bit there. I have a lot of knives, but don’t consider myself a collector. I use them for various things and they are in no way collector quality.
          I have not heard of this shakedown, but am concerned I normally pick up one or two when I visit my family in Northern New York just of the Reservation.
          I currently live in Southwest Georgia in a very rural area so I don’t worry about what I do with my knives or where I carry a reasonable sized one.


  33. The Airgun Academy site has been migrated to a new server. There should be no impact to customers, but if you notice anything out of the ordinary, please do not hesitate to post your questions and/or concerns here.

    Thank you
    Pyramyd AIR Team

  34. Mike,

    I don’t have the answer to your question, but I still can help you. Please post your question on the current blog at/blog// There aren’t many of us checking the older blogs for new comments. Post your queston there and you’ll reach hundreds of guys and get your it answered.


  35. Great series!

    A comment about the Silver Jets – the early Silver Jets were indeed as beautiful as on the cover. They were lathe turned with crisp edges, just lovely.

    I think the story was that the family business that made them shut down, and after that the Silver Jet pellets were simply cast, and appeared as in the picture. I remember feeling disappointed when I received ugly replacements after shooting up my box of lathe turned…

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