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Education / Training B.B.’s airguns – What I kept and why – Part 4

B.B.’s airguns – What I kept and why – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Crosman 180
We’re getting down pretty far into BB’s gun closet now, so we should start to see some strange things. The first of these may surprise you by its simplicity. It is a humble .22 caliber Crosman 180 single-shot rifle. I bought this rifle at a flea market about 15 years ago. It was one of two guns I bought, the other being a .177 caliber model 187. I paid $40 for the pair and then sold the 187 for $100 at the next airgun show I attended, because the 187 is considered to be pretty scarce.

Crosman’s model 180 was a lightweight, single-shot, bolt-action .22 caliber pellet rifle that existed as the inexpensive cousin to Crosman’s model 160 target rifle.

Both guns leaked when I bought them and both were fixed by the application of a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the next fresh CO2 cartridge. Just for fun, I applied some Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil stock finish to the wood stock on the 180, and it now glistens. The metal still needs refinishing, though.

I keep this gun because Edith likes it a lot. It’s simple and straightforward. It’s a thumpin’ .22 pellet rifle that uses a single CO2 cartridge. And it’s accurate. What’s not to like?

Slavia CZ 631 Deluxe
You readers have shamed me into keeping this one! How could I get rid of a rifle that Cowboy Star Dad, Milan and others have touted as their go-to airgun?

The Slavia 631 deluxe is a breakbarrel spring rifle that features a barrel-locking latch. Though the power isn’t great, the accuracy is exceptional, making the rifle something to be reckoned with.

No, seriously, this is a rifle that I cannot replace. The price just keeps climbing while the rifle keeps getting harder to find. Why would I get rid of a wonderful little breakbarrel like this one? I think we paid $115 for this one on sale back in the ’90s, and you can’t get them for anywhere close to that any longer. I don’t like the few bits of plastic on it, but the overall quality of the gun is impossible to deny. I really ought to blog it for you sometime.

Haenel 311
I can’t get rid of my Haenel 311 target rifle, because it’s just too quirky to let go! It’s a spring-piston rifle that shoots pellets, yet it cocks via an articulated bolt handle. It loads through a tap and has fine target sights. The trigger is no target unit, but it’s light and crisp.

Haenel’s model 311 bolt-action target rifle is an accurate, quirky .177 spring gun.

M1 Garand
I’ve owned four Garands over the years, and this one is the most accurate of them all. It hasn’t been tuned up and I won’t send it to be tuned, because I don’t need that level of performance. I just like being able to pick up the same kind of rifle a soldier might have used in WWII or Korea and feel the same reactions they might have felt.

More than 5 million Garands were made. It dominated all battle rifles in World War II and Korea.

I’ve also owned several M1903 Springfield rifles and one 1917 American Enfield. Although both of them were also used in World War II, they leave me cold. They’re wonderful to hold, but they will beat the crap out of you when you fire them. The Garand has the same level of recoil, but it’s spread out over a longer cycle and as a result feels like no recoil whatsoever to me. I can see my body move when I shoot, but there’s no corresponding sock to the kisser like the other two bolt guns have.

All Garands are a trifle fussy about the condition of certain of their parts, such as the operating rod and the individual enbloc clips being used in them, but I’ve grown tolerant of those shortcomings. It’s like owning a Model T Ford with a slipping clutch. Almost all slip, and their owners learn how to live with them. This is also the very rifle that failed to function the first time I shot it, until I oiled the action using the dipstick from my Ford pickup. You just gotta love a gun that responds to that kind of treatment!

Ruger Super Blackhawk — Old Model
I’ve sold a couple Colt Pythons over the years and many more S&W Model 29s, so I’m probably going to hang on to my Ruger Super Blackhawk Old Model because of what it is. What I mean is that you can’t always buy back something nice after you let it go.

Shooters know that the Old Model has the action parts that can be finely adjusted to work butter-smooth, and in my Ruger they certainly do. The New Model can also have a nice trigger-pull, but the few I’ve owned have all had just a hint of creep in stage two. Comparing an Old Model to a New Model Super Blackhawk is like comparing a Colt Python to a Colt Official Police. Both are good, but the Python is noticeably better.

Ruger’s Old Model Super Blackhawk is a stunning revolver! The action is tuned butter-smooth and the finish is as deep as it gets.

I do not shoot factory .44 Magnum cartridges any more, if I ever did. But I can load a .44 Magnum down to a mild (relatively) .44 Special level that in the Super Blackhawk seems like a pussycat.

My Remington 521T is a target rifle made for juniors but sized for adults. It suits me fine and handles better than a Winchester 52. It’s not a serious target rifle any more than I’m a serious target shooter, but it’s all the rifle I need.

Remington’s 521T .22 rimfire is a classic-looking old target rifle.

When I shot the first sub-inch group of 10 at 50 yards, I knew this was a keeper. Not that it’s the most accurate gun around, but it can out-shoot me, and that’s all I ask.

Mossberg 500
Mossberg’s 500 20-gauge shotgun is as classic a pump shotgun as you can find. It’s up there with the Winchester model 12 and the Remington 870, as far as style and capability. But our shotgun is kept for defense. It stays loaded with buckshot, awaiting the time when bad things happen. There’s a companion 500 in 12 gauge that’s set up the same way for the same purpose.

Nothing beats a pump shotgun when the ship hits the sand!

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.

73 thoughts on “B.B.’s airguns – What I kept and why – Part 4”

  1. B.B.
    I have a 521-T myself. It has a plain straight post as a front sight. The stock had been sawn off and had dowl pins installed so the stock could be quickly shortened for smaller shooters. There is a steel plate inletted in the forearm that has multiple holes for the front swivel, and also has an aluminum filler plate that can be swapped around with it to give additional front swivel positions.
    There is also a number stamped into the bottom of hand grip. Must have been a club gun.
    I saw another almost like it a few years ago at a garage sale. Did not have the extra front swivel hardware.

    Mine was very accurate at first, but shifted poi over time and would not stay zeroed. Refinishing the stock took care of that. They are also very sensitive to forend pressure on the barrel. They like quite a bit of upward pressure.


  2. Good morning B.B.,

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve answered the question, what hand gun should I buy for protection in my house with, a pump action 20 gauge shot gun. I like my Crosman 180, but it’s noise level precludes shooting in the city. I don’t need any house calls made by the PG County Police.


    • Bruce,

      You are seeing the results of thirty years of defense planning by the Gaylords. We used to live next door to a sociopath who threatened to kill me several times. So the shotguns came first. After that, Edith got interested in home defense, and a .357 Magnum revolver was added. But that was impractical, since the recoil with full-power loads was too much.

      When we got to Texas we both went to qualify for our concealed carry permits, which is when I introduced her to the .45 ACP that doesn’t kick nearly as bad when it’s in a semiautomatic pistol.

      Now we have defense in depth, with guns positioned around the house for different responses depending on the situation. The principal threat has passed–literally. He dies drunk on his couch before we left Maryland, but both of us saw the need to remain vigilant.

      And a 20-gauge shotgun is a great first line of defense for a home. Nothing will survive it at close range.


  3. BB: You have some interesting guns there. The older Remington and Mossberg target .22’s were great guns. Many get overlooked as being cheap subsitutes compared to Winchester 52’s, 75’s, M-2’s Springfields, and the Anschutz’s. I’ve owned or shot all of those and kept a Mossberg 46B, as it can double for sporting use for me. It has a lock time as quick as the 52 Winchester’s . Many of these are starting to get noticed and prices have doubled on them in the last couple years. It’s funny what folks like in their guns, and what they keep.
    Although I don’t share your enthusism with the M1 carbine or Garand, I agree with everyone on the value of a shotgun for defense. Of all of them I like a short barreled auto loading shotgun the best. There’s no short shucking of a auto when bad things happen. I found that even with training, thoughts have a tendency to scatter when that occurs, Robert.

  4. BB,
    You were missed this past weekend at the Airfest / LASSO 2010 shoot. A lot of people asked me how you were doing and I gave them the last I had heard from the blog. I think final tally was about 125 people at the event. The weather was great. Highs in the mid 80s, overcast, and no breeze at all most of the day. Crosman had two men at the show. It was nice to talk to them and to get to shoot some of the newer guns they have on the market. There were a lot of big bore airguns there and a lot of small bore as well. I got to shoot a 25 cal. Marauder and 25 cal Nitro Trail from Crosman and a gun called the Monster which was made by Evanix that Jim Chapman was testing.

    The still air made for good shooting conditions. I was shooting an old style BSA Lightning while seated in a folding camp chair and using a tripod rest. I was able to hit a 1 1/2″ x 2″ threaded pipe nipple (Quigley bucket) 3 out of 4 times at 75 yards. I was amazed that I was hitting it.

    I hope this next year is much better for you and that you will be able to make the trip.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      As things turned out, I wouldn’t have been able to go to the LASSO show. I am taking one or two three-hour naps every day, because I just suddenly run out of energy. Sunday I went to bed at 7 p.m.

      I feel great when I’m awake, but my energy level has taken a nosedive since my gallbladder was removed.

      It sounds like there were a lot more people at this year’s LASSO than ever before. I knew about Crosman attending, but it sounds like more of the public was there, as well. That bodes well for the future.

      Congratulations on hitting the Quigley bucket so many times. You know, a windless day in Oklahoma is a pretty rare event, so you were blessed with great weather.

      Thanks for the report.


  5. B.B.,

    This has been a great series of articles. I really admire the diversity. Too many of us get stuck in a narrow rut of airgun and firearm purchases.

    Noticed your comment a moment ago that you left over the weekend. Yes, you’re to blame for spending more of my money. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t detect any shame and even got a hint of glee in your comment. This is where you planted the seed for a the new, lighter weight MTM shooting bench:


    Slinging Lead,

    Glad to hear the PW R7 arrived safely. What a fine gun. You’ve assembled a fine stable of airguns.


    An HW77 to fill the gap vs. an R8? Interesting. Any decisions about trying a vortek kit? Be interested in your evaluation especially since you’ve owned PW tuned guns.


    Hope I’m remembering correctly that your stock screws on your HW97 keep working loose. Did you buy some screwcups yet? Have you considered using vibratite?


    I agree with B.B.’s evaluation of your vintage R9 and blueribbon 66 scope. I think the scope itself is worth $200-$250 depending on condition.


  6. BB:
    A real treat when you show your collection.I am in absolute awe.
    Now this ‘ship hits the sand’ business.Is that another ‘Tom-ism’ by any chance. lol

    My son in law came over yesterday keen to see my new acquisition.
    It was him with his Webley Raider that turned me to the dark side of PCP’s for a while.lol
    From cold, he got a 1 and a half inch group, round the bull with six pellets at 50ft.
    Him being used to a scoped pcp and not an open sighted springer. I thought that was great.
    I am doing a lot of practice at the moment getting used to the more responsive trigger of the 99s over my B-3.
    A bit like driving a car without servo assisted brakes and then driving a car that has got it.
    Takes getting used to.

    Pete Zimmerman:
    I think that ‘Top Gun’ event is a good idea.
    Although I must say the competitors looked a bit rattled being out of their usual Comp shooting environment.
    It is amazing what a bit of razzmatazz can do for a sport.
    Look at one day cricket for example 🙂

    • Dave one good news for me too 🙂 – day after tomorrow i will receive my Diana 34 spring(actually two springs just in case ) , finally after three or more months this day will come!

    • Indeed. The competitors did seem a bit rattled, but that was the idea (I think) — take them out of the womb/tomb-like hushed environment of the finals of a regular event, and put them under a different kind of stress. And one with money at stake. And the humiliation for a top shooter of being The Weakest Link in full view of the world and having to walk away.

      I haven’t seen the film of the air rifle version, but they went so far as to make the contestants shoot in street clothes instead of in rigid penguin suits (if you watch people in full shooting coat and pants and boots try to walk, you’ll understand). Some people even complained that they needed their special clothing or they could hurt themselves. … From shooting a precision PCP air rifle off-hand? What kind of weaklings are they?

      • Pete,
        They did indeed shoot in jogging cloths, etc. I was surprised when they did that. However, thankfully, no one got hurt. 😀 And I was again surprised when they said the top shooter would take home 1,000 pounds in prize money. That’s a half ton of money! OK, no more stupid jokes. It looked like the event drew a large audience. The noise must have been equal to a basket ball game. They were even blowing some kind of horns. They didn’t look like vuvuzellas but they were close.

        I do think if they continue with this that the audience would feel more a part of it if they could see the targets being hit and where the pellet strikes rather than just the score alone. During this film they did show the target being hit on about four occasions and it was more meaningful to me.

        I don’t know if the live audience can see the targets since they’re rather far from them and the holes are so small. For a TV audience an extra camera on the target would be a must have and would make it more interesting. I mean, if TV can make a golfer’s putt seem interesting it surely can make a pellet smacking a target just as interesting.


        • The electronic scoring system can display the exact shot holes on large monitors; if it wasn’t done, it should have been. I remember from the narration that the pistol shooters did not see their score on a monitor in front of them the way they usually do; they found out only after all the shots were done. Do you have a URL for the rifle competition?


  7. For the second time in three years I’m having to send in the 853c for a leak. The symptoms are the same as last time…a very slight hiss at the breech when cocked and shot dropping about 4-5″ from normal at 10m.
    It doesn’t bother me in that I probably put about 8000 rounds per years…about 12000 between leaks.
    The first one was covered under warranty…this one won’t be but shouldn’t be too expensive, my dealer figures about $70…say $100 with shipping.
    So my question is this. It sounds like it is what is probably considered normal maintenance. If it is does anyone know what it is (I’m assuming it’s a seal of some sort) and is something easily done by the owner (that would be me).
    If it’s not too hard, and it’s going to happen every couple of years I should learn how to do it myself.

    • I had a leak in mine after I had it apart the last time. A little dirt got on the compression chamber seal.
      I had to take it apart again and clean it up, then lubed the ring before sliding the compression chamber back in place. Ant dirt on that o-ring will make it leak.


    • CowBoyStar Dad,

      I too had to send back my 853c for repairs last year after about 10,000 shots. It seems reasonable that after that many shots it woud need some repairs. I installed the AirForce diopter sight set on the 853c.
      Love it !!!-Great sights. I was inspired by BB’s blog to do this.

      Before sending the 853 back for repairs, I purchased a 953 and installed the 853c diopter sights. I am quite pleased with the 953. I use it for daily practice/plinking and switch to the 853c when I get serious about shooting.

      My plan is to practice re-sealing with the 953 (when the time comes) before doing it on the 853. There are detailed instructions available in the internet which even a klutz like me can follow.

      If everthing else fails, I also have a IZH 61 with diopter sights.

      Aside from these sporter/target rifles, I also have a 747, 717 and Diana 6G target pistols.
      Luckily, I have enough room in my backyard for a 10 meter range.

      Now saving to buy a Challenger 2009. Why do I need another rifle? … I must be nuts -a gun nut, like BB and the rest of you bloggers 🙂


  8. BB; Very nice article. I have a pair of 180’s, one needs to be resealed but both are in A-1 conditions as far as the finish and barrels. I also have a Grand. I purchased mine direct from what was then called the DCM in the early 80’s. It total cost $122.01 and was shipped direct from the US Army Rock Island Arsenal. I still have the paper work. Two days after I received it, the Army called me to make sure that the rifle arrived. If Western Civilization broke down, it’s one the the guns I would want with me.

    As for home defense, I keep a loaded Winchester Model 12 (12 ga.) and a loaded AK-47 and what ever pistol I’m using for concealed carry at the time. I live in the country so the AK is useful.


  9. Tru-Oil is great stuff! The one thing I’ve found is, use it THIN. Give it lots of time to dry before any more coats, or you end up with a very long drying time. I just got some for the stock on my Sheridan.

    Living next door to a nutball is SO much fun! We had to often wear a loaded holster in the house, working in the garage, doing anything in or around the place. We kept hoping the cops would take the guy out, but that never happened. Darn.

    The Model 52 is a great gun, especially with a long ol’ Unertl scope, but heavy in the field. I got tired of lugging mine around the p-dog grounds so sold it and got a Remington 541-T with a 12X Leupold, it would make 99% of the shots the heavy one would, and was a delight to carry. I understand the 541-T is a collector’s item now only because they’re SO good and Remington doesn’t make ’em any more. Your 521T is undoubtedly the same gun just a little different.

  10. That Haenel model 311 really got my nose open! I have the pieces of it’s configuration on different Haenel models in my little collection….all but the tap loader actually.I would love to hear more of this unique model.(if you ever find the end of your “to do” list!)

  11. B.B., I would love a report on your CZ 631. Had mine out on the weekend trying out the new scope I just installed. At 30m I was getting 10 shot groups in a 1″ circle offhand. During the week I’m going to build some sort of a rest for it and see what it can do supported.

  12. B.B.,

    I started target shooting with a Remington very similar to what you show. Ours had a full rail and a more pronounced grip. I can’t remember the model number though. I can say that even though they were much lighter, and with a much heavier trigger pull, than an Anschutz 1411, they were very accurate. In fact, we were not allowed to move up to Anschutz until we could clean prone at 50 yards, in competition, with the Remington. I did that early on, so I know those Remington’s are very good rifles. Some 30+ years later, I tried one of those Remington’s and realized that the rifle can perform, but it requires a lot more real skill than higher end rifles. The bottom line is that, you REALLY have to master the fundamentals with those Remington’s. That’s not a bad thing to ask of a new shooter, in my opinion. If you do, the gun will perform.


    • Victor,

      There were a great number of “target” rifles made by Remington on this category. The 510/511/512/513/514/521T and the model 41P, just to name a few. They were all downsized for youth, but could perform when used correctly.

      My 521T is a wonderful target rifle that can certainly outshoot me.


      • A buddy of mine just told me that the Remington models were 540x & 541x. I’m going to try to get my hands on some just to play with them. I like taking “lesser” guns and seeing what kind of performance I can extract out of them. That’s actually a lot of fun for me. I can spend MANY hours in a day shooting!

        For instance, I’ve been spending days playing with my Sheriden 397P and the Crosman (Williams) 64 peep sight. I’m finding that while it can be better for shooting at paper targets, it’s very sensitive to light, shading, and color differences around the target. Around noon I had it sighted in and shooting nice tight groups, but by around 5pm, the sight picture seems to have shifted around half an inch to the left.

        Also, I found that this peep sight worked fine at much closer distances (under 30 feet – contrary to what everyone else seemed to say). However, there is one difference in that, since I didn’t care for the original rear aperture (it was way to large), I ordered the next size down from Williams directly. That made a world of difference, since I like to shoot at small targets.

        The original rear aperture was model R-3/8 X 0.93 with 0.093 inner hole. I order the smaller R-38 X 0.050 with the 0.050 inner hole.

        I think someone should make a front aperture sight for this gun, since Williams has this rear sight. THAT would be ideal! It would have to either somehow clamp onto the front blade (post), or it would have to install through a hole through the blade.

  13. B.B., what a beautiful collection. That Crosman 180 has one of the shortest forearms I’ve seen on a rifle. Love that Garand. I was thinking of getting the traditional boiled linseed oil finish for mine for the sake of tradition, but I’m coming to appreciate the nice finish that Clint Fowler put on mine. What kind of accuracy do you get with that M1? On the subject of the op-rod, Clint tells me that one of his modifications is a two-piece op rod guide that clears up most of the problems with bending. He says that for largely historical reasons, the Garand action was dropped and never exploited to its full potential, but there are fixes for all of its shortcomings. For example, I had some problem with clips fitting–probably because I was mixing Greek and USGI clips with Greek surplus. But by loading 7 rounds in the clip instead of 8, all the clips load perfectly.

    I was going to ask why you needed two loaded shotguns in the house, but I see your point. The vented rib is something I associate with hunting. Have you thought of getting a tactical look by cutting down the barrel and restocking with a pistol grip etc.? The vogue in close quarters battle these days seems to be very short barrels and tactical furniture.

    PeteZ, I appreciate the intention behind the Top Gun idea, but if they want to popularize the sport, they’re going to have to do better than that. It’s still basically the same thing with people lined up to shoot at targets. For spectator interest, they will need to go the action route. For example, I just saw an article last night about a variant of action shooting which consists of people dressing up like Prohibition-era gangsters and using period weapons. Mostly this turns out to be 1911 pistols and semiauto Tommy guns. An intriguing idea and probably at least as much fun to participate in than to watch. My only other thought is that this idea is romanticizing people who, as I read about them, were extremely creepy. Underneath their glamor they were as sick as the worst perverts you read about. There was one assassin named Abraham Reles whose favorite weapon was an ice pick!? Baby-Face Nelson was a complete madman who liked to hunt FBI agents and whose last act was getting shot down during a suicidal charge across an open field although he managed to kill the opposing agents in the process. I also understand that Nelson was quite the crack-shot and innovative inventor who invented the beaver-tail safety on the 1911 although I haven’t been able to verify this.

    I love the Yuryev book on shooting. What a gem. It’s very scientific in a Soviet way. The Russian commandos are always talking scientifically in the same way. But the book reads well. Some highlights. He has me in a panic about barrel bulging which can happen with small obstructions in a barrel which impede the gas flow. If that could happen in a low-powered airgun I’m sure it would have on the occasions when I shot four pellets out of my IZH 61. But perhaps this really can happen with higher-powered airguns that approach the energy of rimfires. Also, Yuryev claims that the optimum projectile shape is the cigar which consists of the spitzer nose and the boat-tail end. Jane, a rejoinder based on your comment about how the tear drop is the optimal shape? Yuryev also claims that a traditional dispersion pattern of shots is elongated in the vertical direction. This would fly in the face of our assumptions that it is round. I’ve got no explanation for his observation. If anything, the pattern should be elongated horizontally because of wind. Also, he claims that of a given group, the radius of the whole will be 2.5 times the radius of the top (tightest grouping) half. This is a small but significant difference from the normal distribution which has the total radius at 3 times the closest grouping of the top 68% (first standard deviation) of shots. In other words, the Yuryev distribution curve would look broader and flatter than the standard bell-shaped curve. He doesn’t offer any mathematical justification, but he certainly speaks with the voice of authority and experience.


    • Matt,they did stray from traditional match format….riding a zip-line while engaging targets both left and right,cutting a guillotine rope,and throwing knives while balancing over water on a progressively
      thinner board.They even had a hillclimb with several military weapons at different stages…to get the heart pumpin’! Not great,but not boring really.

      • Frank, we’re talking about a different Top Gun than the History Channel show. Top Gun is what they called the shoot-offs at the end of the European Shooting Championship, an attempt to make the competition a bit more interesting to the audience. See the link I posted yesterday. Sorry for the confusion.


    • Matt,

      No, Mrs. B.B. and I don’t need the shotguns to look tactical. When we pull the trigger they act tactical and that’s all we want.

      As far as the Garand grouping, I can’t really say. It’s been over a year since I pulled the trigger on a live round in that rifle. I would reload some Sierra 168-grain MatchKings for accuracy testing, of course.

      I do hope to have something on the M1 Carbine coming soon. That good ten-shot group I showed you guys was fired with a loose rear sight that fell off the gun the last time I went to the range. I have it all staked sown now and am wondering how much better it will really shoot.


    • Matt61,

      I’m not keen on anything that glorifies the Prohibition-era gangsters; seems a bit like dressing up like John Wilkes Booth to visit Ford’s theater to promote acting.

      As to dispersion. If you assume that the barrel is true, then the major dispersion will be vertical reflecting varying projectile weights and powder (or air) charges to propel the bullet. Wind will also enter, but isn’t random except maybe over a long string. And as far as ideal shape goes, it depends a lot on the velocity regime, I think. For air gun velocities of the Yur’ Yev era, a domed diabolo might come pretty close to ideal. It has the advantage of being aerodynamically stable which the usual boat-tailed slug doesn’t. Somewhere in the transsonic or supersonic range I think you also want a pointed, long projectile with a wasp waist (remembering the shapes of supersonic airplanes of the 50s and 60s like the F-104 Starfighter. No body’s made a bullet like that, I think.

  14. B.B.

    What a great collection! Most of all I appreciate Garand rifle. It really has some style, and I regret that shot it only once – two clips. It’s a great rifle to hold, to shoot and to own. What I liked about it – for me it seemed very natural to aim it, despite stock being a bit short for me, without need to get rifle back on target, and recoil that is rather soft.
    Have you ever tried SVT-40? A very interesting rifle with its own style and look, a bit lighter than M1, with nice Soviet “try to break it” easy to maintain action. I shot close to hundred rounds from it in two rows and I didn’t get a blue shoulder – a thing very much expected from an army rifle chambered for 7,62x54R.


    • Duskwight,

      I appreciate the lack of a blue shoulder from these semiauto rifles. The 8mm Hakim semiauto is supposed to be the same thing. A real, pussycat, when a bolt gun shooting 8mm ammo is a killer. And my Mosin 91/30 was a bad kicker, too. I think the short butt helped it get a running start!

      No, I haven’t shot an SVT-40, yet. But you have planted the seeds of desire.


      • BB; Most military rifles have short stocks because it is far easier for a big man to get by with a short stock than for a small man to try and us a long one. Also, if you are wearing heavy gear, vests, LBE, etc., the short stock is an advantage. I liked your comment about using dip stick oil to get your Grand to run. I used that trick on a buddy’s Auto 5 Browning Shotgun a few years back.


      • B.B.

        AFAIR Hakim is an Egyptian semiauto, chambered for Mauser 7,92×57 round? Then I have to confess – in my experience k98k kicks least of all WWII near-.30 rounds 🙂


    • duskwight; “…….nice Soviet “try to break it” easy to maintain action.” That’s what I like about Mr. Kalashnikov’s rifle, it just works no matter what!!!!!!!! You can trust your life to it.


      • Mike,

        Try to break it is not a call to try. It’s a first part of a Soviet drill sergeant’s phrase: “Try to break it, and I’ll show you what’s coming to you…” 🙂


  15. Duskwight,

    I appreciate the lack of a blue shoulder from these semiauto rifles. The 8mm Hakim semiauto is supposed to be the same thing. A real, pussycat, when a bolt gun shooting 8mm ammo is a killer. And my Mosin 91/30 was a bad kicker, too. I think the short butt helped it get a running start!

    No, I haven’t shot an SVT-40, yet. But you have planted the seeds of desire.


  16. BB,
    It seems that the Crosman 180 has drawn a lot of attention here. If you have not blogged about the 180, that might be a good topic. I feel the 180 is an underrated gun. They can be very accurate and seem to give a lot of performance out of a single C02 cartridge. Nice guns are sold for around $100 and can often be found at pawn shops or flea markets for less than $25. As I have mentioned, I like the low power settings on airguns and that is also one of the appeals for me of the Crosman 180.

    David Enoch

  17. BB,
    I don’t know, but I’m afraid the bad guy will hear the forearm rattle on that Mossberg– at least give Edith an 870:). I don’t think you’ve written up the Haenel 311 — I would like to see more of it.

  18. Off topic, of course it’s me.
    I’m probably going to illuminate my ignorance of air gunning with this post but here it goes:
    I think what I’m doing is using a pistol hold on a 2240 with a shoulder stock and scope. Is this wrong? It feels very comfortable/natural to me. Basically, stock tucked into right shoulder obviously right hand griping trigger, my left hand palm I tuck up against right hand. This is offhand shooting, bones (muscles) don’t allow for getting into prone or sitting position or I’d be there till the sun came up 🙂 and I don’t use bench rests. I don’t shoot for groupings only for plinking/fun 10-15m. Last time out at just over 13m hit 18 of 20.


    • If I understand correctly, you are doing about all you can do. I shot a blackpowder carbine revolver not too long ago, and you had to remember that if you put your “off” hand on the “forearm” (i.e. barrel), that it might get cut off by the gas jet from the cylinder gap:). Didn’t really feel comfortable to me, and the barrel was about 3 feet too short.

    • Rikib,

      I’m far from being a good shot but from what experience I’ve gotten from my other activities is that if it feels right and you’re getting good results, why change what works for you? That’s the key here. Following someone else’s advice to the letter and finding it doesn’t improve your accuracy means that their methods are not for you. A case in point – in 10m pistol target shooting, one top shooter advised to let gravity do the work. That is, start with you sights aimed high and as the bull came into your sights, fire. I did horribly using this system but when I did the reverse, start low and when the bull was coming into my sight picture, fired, my scoring was much better.

      Hitting 18 out of 20 at 15m is pretty darn good. If you want to go 20 out of 20, then maybe you might want to experiment with a different method. It’s up to you. For what it’s worth, that’s my 2 cents.

      Fred PRoNJ

      • Fred,
        I agree with you about “what works for you”. I found personally that creeping up from the bottom worked best for me on bench rest with the Marauder. For me, coming down from the top blocks out the target while coming up from the bottom allows me to see it at all times.

        However, when I watched the pistol competition video that Pete Z sent I noticed that all 18 shooters “let gravity” do the work, but after they came down from the top, they paused for what appeared to be several seconds before pulling the trigger. I wish I knew what they were seeing then. It was amazing to see how steady those folks pistols were, them standing there with their arms extended fully out in front of them. They have to be very athletic or at least have strong upper body muscles.


    • Rikib,

      With the hold you describe are you able to get on target, close your eyes for a couple seconds, open eyes and still be on target? That’s the goal. Your hold is same as mine and it works for me, as it allows me to put left elbow against ribs for a triangular support. I have used the same hold on a .308 rifle for a particularly difficult shot with success.

      Take a look back at the pictures of Wayne’s field target range (archived somewhere on the blog) and you will see a couple of strange (to me anyway) holds that work as well.

      I caught my step father using the side of his door frame shooting into back yard. He hit everything he shot at, so I let it be! Scratches to heck on the barrel of his new 2240!


      • KA,
        Yes, I also use my left elbow to the ribs for support. I wait a second or two with my eyes closed to steady my breathing, ribs being used as support will destroy accuracy if not steady.


  19. B.B., rikib and CowboystarDad:

    Check out the Moka Express Tin Gift Set. It’s on special, priced below retail and on top of that you get an additional 10% off with coupon code GIFTSET10. It’s only the 3-cupper, but it’s the real deal from Italy, and just enough espresso to get you and Edith perked up for the morning blog!


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