A safe strategy for no-loss – mostly gain – airgun collecting – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

I wanted to follow up with this second part right away to keep the lesson together and fresh. Yesterday, when I closed, I mentioned some huge pitfall to be avoided, so let’s begin there.

Modified guns
Avoid modified airguns if you want to get your money back! There are a few exceptions that prove the rule, but let’s explore this first. Any modification will sit well with the one who did it or for whom it was done and a percentage of the general public, but the rest of the folks won’t like it. For example, barrels cut short to boost velocity in spring guns. It doesn’t pay to do this and it often ruins accuracy, but the flat truth of it is, it makes the gun no longer standard. Do you want a Beeman R1 with an 11-inch barrel? Most people don’t, and if you buy one you’ll soon find that out.

Avoid guns that have been modified/gunsmithed by their owners. That 2240 with the 14-inch barrel, the custom wood grips and the dot sight might make you all warm and pink inside, but it won’t ever be worth what you have to pay for it. Buy it for yourself if you want, but don’t try to fold it into this buying plan, because it won’t hold its value.

One exception to this that proves the rule is the LD modification of the Crosman Mark I. That’s a safe investment as long as you buy it right. But the same sort of thing converted by Joe Blow isn’t going to carry water. So, in general, modified airguns are money pits.

Guns in poor condition
I see it all the time. Some dealer unrolls a blanket with the battered and rusted components of a gun that would have great value if it were in nice condition. Then he hunkers down over the remains of his former treasure and demands top price for something that belongs in the parts pile.

Condition really matters in airguns, as it does in most other hobbies where collecting is involved. The only way out is when the gun is also valued as a shooter, such as the 124 I mentioned yesterday. My rusty find for $35 had value as a shooter but never as a collectible. A sale price of $185 might be possible for a slicked-up shooter, but don’t even think of trying to get $200 or more. On the other hand, an excellent condition 124 with a rotten seal should still bring $250. Condition is everything.

Let’s look at some other things to be on the lookout for. Rarity is one. If a person tried to sell you a 1953 Corvette in nice shape are you smart enough to know what you’re looking at, or are you a person who thinks that somewhere along the way somebody stuck a six-banger engine in this Vett to save on gas? Because the first several years of Corvettes all have six-cylinder engines; but if you don’t know that, you’re oblivious to their value.

What do you do when someone hands you a Brown Pneumatic in the box with the instructions that look like blueprints? What’s one of those worth? Or a guy has two Winsel jet-powered pistols in boxes he wants to sell for $25 apiece because he can’t get them filled anymore. What are they worth?


Collector Larry Hannusch owns this beautiful Brown Pneumatic air pistol in the box with the original instructions. This is such a desirable airgun that it heads the Vintage Airguns Forum page.


Ever see one of these? Would you know what to do if you did see one for sale? It’s a Winsel.

Or, you walk into a consignment store, like a friend of mine did a few years ago, and there sits a Quackenbush Lightning with a $500 price tag on it. The store owner researched Quackenbush airguns on Gun Broker and he found that Model 1 and 2 guns bring $400-500 in good condition, so he figured this one should do the same — whatever it is. Actually, this Quackenbush is one of the rarest of all airguns, at least as rare as a Plymouth Iron Windmill BB gun that predated the First Model Daisy wire stock gun. Wes Powers said he only knows of half a dozen Lightnings that still have their rubber-band-propelled sliding rear chamber that builds the compression. So, here sits a gun worth, conservatively, $5,000 to $10,000, and however much more the next ardent buyer is willing to spend to get it. Do you know enough to spend the $500 to buy the gun, or will you wait and ask somebody days later, only to find out you alerted the neighborhood and the gun is gone.

Knowledge is power
In this business, you have to know the merchandise, and the Blue Book of Airguns is a great place to begin. Yeah, it’s full of contradictions and errors and omissions, but there’s nothing else on the market to replace it. And the people who criticize it the most are the same ones who won’t give you a straight answer to save their lives. So, buy the freakin’ book and be done with it.

Along with that, the more you know about the shooting sports in general, the better off you’ll be in this business. I have a library filled with old Stoeger catalogs and Gun Digests from decades past that tell me things about airguns that no other books contain. I go to gun shows and talk to the guys who have a couple old Crosmans on their table.

Maybe, if I do that, one of them will level with me that he has a Sheridan under his table that looks different than the modern Sheridans. It has a big aluminum receiver! Trouble is, it won’t hold air when he pumps it, and he doesn’t want anyone to get a bad deal from buying a gun that doesn’t work.


A fine Sheridan Supergrade needs to be cocked to hold air. But how many people know that?

I’ll buy it because I happen to know that the Sheridan Supergrade this guy has under the table has to be cocked before it will hold air. That’s what I mean when I say knowledge is power.

Don’t do this!
The kiss of death at a gun show or an airgun show is to insert yourself into the conversation between two people talking business. But why does it continue to happen? I’ll be closing a super deal and some motormouth will queer it with his comment about the gun I’m trying to buy. It doesn’t take much, because when a deal is closing either one or both the buyer and seller are as nervous as a teenaged girl on her first serious date.

The proper etiquette is to wait for the conversation to stop before asking one of the persons, now disengaged, your question. There’s no call for a smart remark in this situation. Save that for the party at the roadhouse this evening.

Now that’s not to say that you can’t follow a guy who’s trying to sell a gun you want to buy and stopping him in the aisles, but wait until after he’s left the dealer’s table.

Do make the shows!
If you really want to go far in this hobby, you owe it to yourself to make the airgun shows. Especially the really big one in Roanoke, which will be happening this month on Friday, October 22, and Saturday, October 23. That’s where all the action is. This is where I once saw a $60,000 military Girandoni change hands for $3,500 in the aisles. This is where three BB guns once sold for in excess of $40,000. This is where Robert Beeman once walked the aisles (when the show was in Winston-Salem) and Olympic double gold medalist and current CMP chief, Gary Anderson, once had a table. People fly in from around the world. If airguns are your thing, this is the show to attend.

You don’t have to have a table to have fun at this show. And by all means come on the first day when the dealing is the hottest. Here’s a flyer on the show with all the information.And if you do come this year, please stop by my table and introduce yourself. I’d love to meet you.

66 thoughts on “A safe strategy for no-loss – mostly gain – airgun collecting – Part 2

  1. BB and All

    Any hints, tips or comments on changing the Breech Seal on the HW97K?

    I have new, Jim Maccari seals that are supposed to be slightly longer (thicker) and more durable than the stock seals. The new seals are supposed to lock up against the breech more firmly due to the slightly increased size.

    Any help will appreciated!

    Brian in Idaho


    • I have heard of hooking seals with a dental pick or screwing a wood screw and pulling them out on Dianas. Looks like about the same kind of seal, so either may work.
      Just be careful of the open breech and your fingers.

      Do you have any indication that the seal may be shot? Considerably reduced velocity or erratic velocity?? Bad firing behavior ??

      twotalon


      • Nope, the seal is just a little worn on the face, and after 6 years, the lock-up is not quite “loose” but… it’s definitely not as firm or resistant when closing the under-lever as when it was new. (ie: the last few thousands of an inch compression of the seal against the breech)

        I have not had the issues that seem to be regularly written about on some of the blogs and bbs, and I often wonder if those guys “slam home” the under-lever or have crushed pellets in the seal area or other bad stuff? Also, those same blogs talk incessantly about shimming behind the seal with up to .015″ thick washers or shim stock. Don’t like shims in mechanical devices of any kind except as a last resort, so thought that the Jim Maccari seals (well reviewed and written about) would be a good idea.

        This rifle is a fine piece of engineering and I can’t believe it’s a “seal eater” as some of the blogs seem to point out.

        Bottom line, my seal replacement is more about maintenance and maybe… a few fps improvement in velocity based on some, minute leakage at the breech.


        • Shimming could be considered a last resort at times. With some guns it is a necessity because of poor manufacturing tolerances.
          Seals could be damaged by improperly seated pellets.
          Then there is wear in the linkage. Considering how heavy the linkage parts are, if lubed every so often the wear should be very slow and would take an awful lot of shots before it loosens up to cause a seal leak on it’s own.

          My 97 shoots at about the same mv as the one that Mac tested for Tom. Perhaps just a bit faster.
          I start out with a mv test of a new gun, then check it once in a while with the chrono to see how it looks. Something spastic like my Titan was is a sure indication of something being wrong.

          I will probably get some replacement seals for spares just in case I need them, but if everything is working right and about as expected I will leave the gun alone.

          twotalon


        • Also…
          I have trouble getting the cocking lever to latch or unlatch at times. The fit is so close that it needs to get a little wear or something at the latch end. I think this will take care of itself over time.
          I have oiled the latch mechanism a bit and it helps some.

          The 48 is much easier to figure out for seal pressure because of where the cocking lever starts offering resistance on closing. However the seal could still be leaking if it has a cut or some other irregularity in it’s face.

          twotalon


          • Right, the cocking lever ball detent has to ride over a square faced hole to engage and lock up. I have seen some photos on the web of guys who have ground a small radius on the “outboard” side of the hole to allow the ball detent a little room on it’s way into the hole or pocket that retains it. Makes sense and I may do a little polish/radius in there myself.

            I keep all the hinges well lubed on mine but, I have read where some guys have actually bent the cocking linkage to force a firmer lock-up after the hinge pins and seals wear. This would NOT be my method of addressing any wear issues. Given the span or total cantilever in the arm and linkage, even a small amount of bend to “adjust” the lock up would be the point of no return as the breech seal and other parts would now be reliant on that bend to remain tight or solid. Backyard engineering at best, irreparable damage at worst.


  2. Morning B.B.,

    A wonderful topic. Thank you. Do you have any suggestions on places to look in your old stomping grounds? I’ve never seen any used airguns in the pawn shops or gun stores around here. Sure wish I could be singing off with see you at the show, but it’s not to be.

    Bruce


    • Mr B.,

      Since B.B. has been generous in revealing a truckload of secrets I’ll follow suit and share one.

      Same here. Pawn shops and gun stores around me rarely have airguns in their racks. It’s rare to see an airgun at a gun show. BUT, people bring in their aiguns hoping the pawn shops and gun stores or the guy with a table at the gun show will buy them. If they buy the airgun I ask them to call me. If they don’t buy the airgun I ask them to have the owner call me.

      I had some business cards made up that say, “I BUY USED AIRGUNS, BB GUNS, PELLET GUNS. WILL PAY CASH. CALL KEVIN 303-555-1212

      I’ve handed out hundreds of these cards over the years. I’ve also put them on the cork boards at grocery stores, dry cleaners, copy store, etc. I was making the rounds at a gun show awhile back and at the 25th table I stopped at I asked my standard question, “Do you have any airguns for sale?” Yes, he had some but didn’t bring them to the firearm show. Pretty common since most dealers/traders don’t want an airgun next to their “real guns”. He couldn’t even tell me what airguns he had. Said he acquired them when he had to buy an entire lot of guns from an estate. Gave him my card and asked him to call me.

      About a week later he calls. Among others he had a new, in the wrong box, crosman Mark II. I bought it. That gun is now in Wacky Waynes collection.

      In this same vein would you believe that our largest flea market in Colorado (formerly the wild west) prohibits selling airguns? I’ve handed my cards out to many dealers at the flea market and have bought several airguns as a result.

      kevin


    • Bruce,

      Atlantic guns on Bonifant St. In Silver Spring has had some winning airguns at great prices.

      Also, Edith and I always made the Gettysburg flea market on the sidewalk. It’s held twice a year.

      B.B.


  3. B.B.
    Word used to be that keeping the original finish and parts was the most important in getting the most value out of a gun…or other things. That is if they are not in horrible condition. And provided they could be worth very much in the first place.

    Is this still generally the case?

    twotalon


    • twotalon,

      Absolutely. Refinishing a gun never improves its value, unless it is a dog, and even then you don’t refinish a valuable gun.

      Yes to a 124 that’s rusty. No to a Brown Pneumatic or a Benjamin collectible.

      B.B.



  4. BB:
    I greatly admire folk who trade and make a profit.Can I do it though?
    Cars,houses,shares.I have caught the penny but lost the pound every time.
    I get the feeling I could fall into a barrel of pacifiers and still come out sucking my thumb.lol

    By the way I have been practising the artillery hold while shooting the HW99s.
    The lighter crisper trigger of the HW means I can really put theory into practice for the first time.
    I’m using my stock of H&N’s at the moment till I get the JSB’s but even so I am pleased with the results.
    Three strings of five hollow points, in one inch groups at 50 feet.
    I have never had consistency like that with a springer before.
    What a system πŸ™‚

    On the subject of Bows. I have a Barnett Banshee Quad compound bow.(only a cheapy)
    I too wondered whether it being under constant tension would do it harm.
    Thank you for putting my mind at rest Gentlemen with yesterdays conversation.
    DaveUK


    • Unless there is wood in the limbs you don’t have to worry about it too much.
      Compounds and crossbows are usually constructed to remain strung. They can be difficult and/or dangerous to be fooling with because of intense forces on limbs and cables.

      Replace strings or cables only when they get ratty. Always use the right cables and strings. You don’t want it to come apart in your hands or in front of your face.

      twotalon


      • When I was 12, my brother moved up to a larger long bow and I inherited his old one. Strangely, I had to reconfigure the thing because I shot it left-handed (probably due to my left-eye dominance). I knew absolutely nothing about shooting a bow other than the times my brother (4 years older) would allow his little sister to be near him, much less watch him shoot. So, I picked up the bow, placed an arrow, aimed at an undetermined angle, pulled the string and promptly hit a bullseye about 50 yards downrange. I was as astonished as everyone else!

        I’ve been after Tom to get a crossbow for hunting because you never know what the future holds in the way of firearm ownership & hunting. I want to be prepared should the unthinkable happen. My parents lived in China for 10 yrs during and after WW2, and they almost starved to death. While they couldn’t have owned firearms, a bow would have been useful. They survived, but it would have been nice if they could have thrived.

        Edith


        • I can still remember my first ‘Robin Hood’. I was shooting badly that day, mostly from shooting too long. I was all over the target and about ready to quit when a shot went ‘clink’ and I saw one piece of the nock go straight up in the air and the other go straight down. Surprised me.

          twotalon


          • Robin Hoods …. suck. It’s a thrill the first, maybe even the second, time, but after that it’s just an arrow eaten.

            Which is why the GOOD archers shoot on multiple bull targets. The guys shooting American style indoor target, because the distances are relatively short and they use fat arrows. The Olympic style archers use very thin arrows and at longer distances so Robin Hoods are rare, and they just consider the odd Robin Hood the cost of doing business.


        • Edith : You make a very good point about the utility of bows for foraging . The use of one for hunting would save precious ammo for keeping the ones who don’t have any, from maybe taking yours from you. Also, a person should practice the art of hunter/ gatherer, even if they only do it for a weekend at a time,Robert.


          • Robert from Arcade,

            I agree. My mother used to refer to me as a “pioneer woman.” She meant it as a derogatory term, but I liked it! She never envisioned that her daughter would be a person who liked doing things for herself. She used to roll her eyes at me for being so “primitive.” When I was a teen, it was great to irritate my mother. As an adult, I’m glad I can do things for myself.

            Edith


            • Haha my Mom used to yell at us for “running around like wild Indians” and this was in the 60s and early 70s, when the Indians were still the bad guys in the movies. What makes it even funnier is, we’re part Indian!


        • That must have been quite a bow to allow a first-timer of 12 years old to launch an arrow 50 yards. I’m up to about 25 yards although I’m shooting more or less in a straight line. I remember once serving a volleyball and dropping it perfectly through a nearby basketball hoop.

          Matt61


          • Thanks for all the advice guys.
            After I got home from work yesterday I took the boys bow and the de-stringer it came with.
            Took all of 10 seconds to get the string off. I then tried restringing it just to be sure I knew what I was doing and…yup, easy as pie.
            I went to the FITA website last night, and checked out the junior section. They are the equivalent of the ISSF (which governs Olympic rifle shooting).
            Man…the stuff that is available for kids these days is mind-blowing. Too bad so many of them find that doing all this stuff in a computer game.




  5. Hi BB,
    You are a walking encyclopedia of airgun knowledge with a mind like a steel trap. I am constantly amazed, and sincerely appreciate how you share that knowledge so freely, and in such an understandable fashion.
    Knowledge certainly is power and that’s why I tend to glaze over at the shows. Maybe I need an earpiece and mini-cam hooked up to you as I walk the aisles so that you can “advise” me.

    I did have one good experience when I bought an RWS 54 in .22 cal, but I knew exactly what I was looking for and what it was worth. I really love it, and now its worth almost twice what I paid for it., so I guess even the “knowledge challenged” can occasionally do OK.

    I am curious. Because everyone knows you at the shows, does your haggling go easier or harder, or does it depend on the particular dealer?

    I hope to see you in Roanoke!
    Lloyd


    • Lloyd,

      I am buying or trading for an RWS 54 in .22 caliber from Mac just before Roanoke. Funny thing is, it’s one I tuned for him a couple years ago. I find that it’s one of the classics that I must own.

      As for the haggling, I don’t think my identity does much to help or hinder, but how would I ever know for sure? The one thing I never want is for anyone to attach a special meaning to a gun just because they got it from me. Often I will discount prices to make sure that doesn’t happen.

      But I still do okay.

      See you in Roanoke.

      B.B.


  6. Supposing, I had the necessary airgun knowledge I would feel kind of bad buying a severely underpriced airgun from someone too ignorant to know its true value. My reasoning is the same as what’s behind my outrage at B.B.’s story of his childhood friend who bought an airgun off of him for a song, had his father repair it and laughed about it. That would really piss me off. And the same reasoning is behind a quote from a documentary film entitled The Russians Are Coming, about Russian immigrants to America during the Communist era. One Russian was interviewed about his idea of opening a small business and asked what he would do if a competitor opened up nearby and undersold him. The guy responded, “Then I would have to kill him.” No my friend, that is not the capitalist way….. Some people are probably not meant for the rough and tumble of the business world.

    I finished the Yur’yev book last night. Much of it, I’m pleased to say is similar to David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins and other things that we talk about so we are on the right track. Some pointers that I found interesting are as follows. Not a word about breathing between heartbeats! If this world-champion and super-serious Soviet shooter doesn’t mention this technique, I believe it is safe to chuck out the window. More on grandmaster differences. You will recall how David Tubb said that near wind affects a shot most while Nancy Tompkins said far wind does. Well, both say that a large front aperture is best while Yur’yev says that a small one is best. (I’m going with large because of my approach method.)

    Best of all is a perfectly rational and convincing reason about exactly how to do the 6 o’clock hold. CowBoyStar Dad, you will recall asking rhetorically whether one should hold the front post touching the black or with a separation and how much separation. Now all is made plain. Incidentally, there are some unusual theories and explanations out there. Clint Fowler tells me that for Camp Perry competitions he would hold the post 2/3 of the way down the black. His reasoning is that the conventional 6 o’clock forced you to evaluate an area whereas his method allowed you to evaluate a point. That seems totally backwards to me, but you can’t argue with Clint’s high master ranking or his two Nathan Hale trophies as the best civilian shooter at Camp Perry. Borrowing from the mathematical definition for a tangent, I decided to use a 6 o’clock hold with the post just touching the lowest point of the black. Now for Yur’yev. He claims that you should allow the smallest possible line of white space between your post and the bull, but they should not touch. The reasoning is the same as my tangent method. Ideally you want the post just touching the bull. But if you actually do this with the post waving around, you will never be sure if you are just touching or covering more of the bull. The thinnest white line is the way to come closest to the ideal 6 o’clock hold. Sounds good to me. I tried it last night and got good results. There were some good groups with the air pistol and X’s with dry firing….

    Matt61


    • A too-tiny line of white between the bull and your aligned pistol sites will make you watch it too closely and overcontrol.

      One good pistol target hold is, imagine below the bull, a white bull the same size. Touching the black, real bull. Let your sites float around the center of that 2nd, lower, white bull (the bull of the imagination) and pay attention to the site picture. Be able to call every shot.

      Uhh …. use the Force, Luke. Yeah.


    • Gotta take you to task a bit Matt. Your comment about this ‘super serious shooter and chucking it (the book out the window)
      Your do realize that he was the Russian National Coach at a time when they (the Russians) were dominant in the Olympics and the World Championship.
      That his book is considered ‘the’ manual by everyone from the ISSF (International Sport Shooting Federation) to the NRA.
      I don’t think I’d quite toss it out the window πŸ˜‰


    • Matt,

      That incident with the BB gun DID piss me off! But after I became a writer I used it many times to illustrate the human condition.

      I may have told everyone on this blog what a ham-handed craftsman I am, but I also went the extra step and showed them when I showed he inletting for the peep sight on the Bronco. Now, they know I speak the truth.

      B.B.


    • Matt,
      The 6 o’clock hold is something I was happy to toss out the window when I started muzzleloader matches. No sight adjustment and 4-6 different (vary by size and range, sometimes even shape) targets during a match, plus an intense hatred of the concept of a hold that is useless in the field and I’m back to holding on the center. Much better, at least simpler for me. Breathe when you need air; main thing is to get the shot off before you start shaking, or put the rifle down and start over :). I don’t know what your tangent method is, but I know that it is important if you are using an approach method to fire the shot at the same “point” each time. I was having trouble with the 50 yard small bull and practiced something like that — it works well, but you have to keep in constant practice with it, and it seems a little more vulnerable to wild excursions with any changes (in the shooter or equipment). One match after a couple of recent practices, the three shots (# for that particular match) were w/in an 1.25″ or so of each other–looked like a decent 25 yard group.


  7. BB

    “The kiss of death at a gun show or an airgun show is to insert yourself into the conversation between two people talking ”

    BB you said a whole book-full there! Whether gun shows or any specialty show, there are ALWAYS the resident, self proclaimed experts who love to comment on your in-process transactions. And have you noticed that this is typically not just a verbal assault on your senses, oh no, these guys actually lean into the buyer and seller and It usually goes something like… “ya, back in 1988 I bought 5 of those for $9 and sold e’m all for $1000, that one isn’t worth $25…blah-blah-blah”

    You can usually spot these guys before they intrude into your space due to their a) multi-color, soup-stained suspenders, b) obvious avoidance of barber shops and c) holding onto those give-away plastic bags full of more give-away plastic bags and free stuff but no actual purchases in their hands.

    Anyway.. I have cleared a few of these “types” away from my transactions by simply turning around in surprise at their comments with the firearm in question pointed in their direction…oops.


    • That’s against NRA gun safety rules!

      However, I don’t remember anything in the Rules about casually klonking a guy with the butt-end of the gun (as long as the muzzle end stays pointed in a safe direction….)

      There may be a REASON pepper spray is always for sale at gun shows!



        • Flobert,

          they also sell those 50,000 volt stun guns which are much better than pepper spray in that it won’t affect by-standers. In fact, they even come in different colors. I picked up a pink one thinking it was a flashlight! BB, that was the year that the BATFE plain clothes guy started following me around (to those who aren’t aware, Ronaoke also has a full bore gun show going on at the same time and my buddy and I were walking around it). Since we’re from NJ, we couldn’t buy any weapons at the gun show and this half-wit was going to make sure he would arrest us if we did. My buddy, the ex-Navy Seal and former business associate of mine, turned around to the guy and told him I was shopping for handles for an air pistol and not a gun and that his tradecraft stunk. Embarrased the hell out of the agent who turned around and left!

          Fred PRoNJ


    • Brian,

      I will study what you said, because I have long looked for a way of dealing with these pests. The problem is, they are often like Donkey in the Shreck movies. Pests who aren’t aware of it.

      B.B.


  8. Speaking of classic guns, this C9 Sheridan Blue Streak I got recently…..

    (1) The bolt won’t stay back when I cock it, I have to hold it back with quite a bit of force to put a pellet in.

    (2) It really lacks power. I can pump it up OK but it just seems to be a gutless wonder.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    I actually want to sell it but I want to make sure it’s working right before I do so.


    • Flo-b,

      when you cock or pull the bolt back, you’re also pulling the spring loaded hammer back which is supposed to be latched by the sear. So, I suspect someone didn’t assemble this right. They may have put in the wrong spring to give the hammer more velocity and the spring is coil bound, preventing the hammer (a cylinder) from being pulled back enough for the sear to catch it. The spring that loads the sear may be missing or broken or fallen off the sear. The sear may have a piece broken off. These guns are pretty simple to work on. You may also be missing an o ring or other seal between the valve body, which holds the compressed air and the transfer port into the barrel or the valve body itself needs rebuilding.

      Ah, it’s a broken parts gun. I’ll give you $5 for it πŸ™‚ .

      Fred PRoNJ


    • Flobert,

      Those bolts never stay back. It’s part of the design. Hold it in place with your right hand as you load the pellet.

      Until you chrono the pellet don’t just assume it’s gutless. It may actually be quite powerful, but not as loud as you were expecting.

      B.B.



  9. Edith,

    I too have always been fascinated by crossbows since I read a story about medieval English knights when I was young, but have never gotten around to owning one. I believe in Florida they are considered “real” weapons, more than airguns. The bolts are supposed to fly farther, hit harder and be easier to shoot accurately than arrows from a long bow. But they’re also supposed to be harder to cock. Is this true? Have you already chosen one for defense/survival purposes? Are there significant choices to make, or are they all pretty much the same? I’d be real interested to hear your thoughts/recommendations. (B.B.: Your Xmas gift list for Edith just got easier! πŸ™‚ )

    I already forsee that shooting bolts into my duct seal-filled pellet trap would be a messy business. So that raises the issue of suitable practice targets…

    AlanL


    • Alan,

      Buy the book The Crossbow, by Sir Ralph Payne Galleway. It was written at the turn of the 20th century and is the bible for crossbows.

      Just trust me on this.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Done!! Thank you very much! Just bought it from Barnes and Noble. Author is Ralph Payne-Gallwey.
        I can’t wait! Wish MY wife would let me make lists! Well, I can make them alright, but the effect is not entirely what I would have hoped for at Christmas time… πŸ™‚

        AlanL


    • B.B.’s Xmas buying ordeal is usually very easy. I give him a list and links to websites, and he buys what I like πŸ™‚ That happened after one very memorable Xmas: I had told him about several presents I wanted but explained to him exactly what I did not want (some things were very similar but had attributes that didn’t work for me). As luck would have it, he listened to only half of what I said. Guess which half? Xmas 1987 was the year that every present was what I absolutely did not want! So, that’s why we now have lists.

      He always surprises me every Xmas with some things I don’t know I’m getting. He’s getting much better, because I can’t think of anything he’s given me in the last 20 years that I don’t like.

      B.B. also gives me a list of his wants. However, I also know how to buy most gifts without direction from him because he likes and wants just about everything πŸ™‚

      And that’s the up side of a person who likes everything!

      Edith


      • Edith,

        Thanks for demonstrating how to lay on a guilt trip without even trying! I’m sure the married guys are used to being talked about like this.

        Now I have to out-do myself at Christmas, just to live up to what you said. And I thought I was through with that last Christmas.

        B.B.


  10. B.B.
    Good stuff.

    Especially the part about how too much β€œimproving” hurts the value.
    Readers should use classic cars as the example. Stock with maybe just a little tweak is best.
    In the airgun world that equals a high quality spring replacement and that’s it, any more needs a big name. Think Carol Shelby = Paul Watts.



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