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Education / Training The art of collecting airguns – Part 7

The art of collecting airguns – Part 7

by B.B. Pelletier

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

This blog has done a lot to stimulate my own airgun hobby. I told you about the lucky accident that got me a 19th century crank-wound shooting gallery dart gun for Christmas, now it’s time for an update.

Like many of you, I cannot get out to as many flea markets, garage sales and auctions as I would like. In fact, I get to almost none of them! Instead, I have to look for alternative means of finding airguns for my collection. One of the best ways, and I have documented it already in this series, is watching the airgun classified ads and the other buying and selling websites on the internet.

We’ve discussed the dangers of dealing with people you don’t know. I told you about how I came in possession of my Walther LGV Olympia target rifle for only $425. It was a rifle advertised on the Yellow Forum classified ads website, but I already knew the seller was an honorable man. So, there was no risk dealing with him.

Well, two weeks ago, I did it again, only this time I scored a double! Allow me to tell you the tale.

One place I watch for buys is a website called Texas Gun Trader. It’s mostly a firearm website that gun owners in Texas use to buy, sell and trade guns. Because it’s all in-state and because this is Texas and therefore free from restrictive state legislation, this practice is still legal. There are thousands of entries on this site, but I seldom find anything that I want, because its mostly new guns, black rifles and plastic pistols. But, by watching i, I do catch the few good buys that come along — most of the time.

As an airgunner, I know and love the Sheridan company. Did you know that back in the 1950s, they also made a firearm? They made just over 15,000 single-shot .22 rimfire pistols that were low cost ($17.95) and originally meant to be thrown into tackle boxes and under truck seats. Remember, those were the 1950s, and freedoms abounded back then.

Anyway, the Sheridan Knocabout, as it was called, was never a star in its day. But today, an airgun collector may have an interest in owning a firearm made by one of the best-recognized airgun companies in America. I certainly do. It’s just the reverse of wanting to own a “Winchester” model 427 spring rifle, even though you know it was made in Germany by Diana.

A couple weeks ago, I saw that I’d just missed a Knocabout pistol posted a few hours ago on Texas Gun Trader. It was up only a few hours before it sold, and the selling price was $185 — a good price if the gun’s in good shape, which this one was. Better than that, it also came with a genuine Sheridan leather holster marked with the Knocabout name. That’s much harder to find and probably adds considerable value to the package. But I’d missed it — darn!

So, I went over to to the firearm auction website, gunbroker.com and searched on the name Knocabout. To my utter astonishment, there was one listed! I’ve done this numerous times before and always came up empty-handed, but this time I struck gold. The listing was for a gun in excellent condition, the original box with the owner’s instructions and another pamphlet about shooting. And, beside that, it also came with a leather holster!

The Sheridan Knocabout is a single-shot .22 rimfire pistol from the 1950s. This one is in excellent condition.

The small stud through the front of the triggerguard is pressed down to open the action for loading. The action opens via a spring, and the cartridge is ejected automatically.

Slightly over 15,000 pistols were produced. This is an early one.

The box is the only place that has the name. It cannot be found on the pistol. Note the unusual spelling that led to my good fortune.

The holster is made to fit the pistol. It’s much more scarce than the pistol, as not many of the $18 utility-grade pistols had $3 holsters bought for them.

Boring to anyone but a collector, the markings on the holster positively identify it.

The starting bid for this gun on the auction site was $250, which is high for a gun alone in excellent condition, but only perhaps slightly over half of what a boxed gun with a holster is worth. Then I looked at the number of times the listing had been viewed. It was less than 50! Nobody was looking at this gun! Want to know why?

It was hidden from view because the name Knocabout is a misspelling of the word knockabout! The second “K” is missing. Just on a whim, I did a search on the term Sheridan Knockabout and I found another gun in excellent condition listed on the same website, but there were already 12 bids on it. The gun I wanted to buy had nobody looking at it, while the same gun, minus the box, instructions and holster, had lots of interest.

This is a search strategy I’ve written about before, and it’s so powerful that you really should try it. Search for Daisys all day long, then search for Daiseys. You’ll find them. There are almost as many Crossman airguns as there are genuine Crosmans. Internet search engine optimizers know that misspellings are so common they must be incorporated into addresses, so you should learn to use this powerful tool, too.

I waited out the bid cycle and won the gun, submitting the only bid it received. I then made arrangements to pay and have the gun shipped to my local Texas FFL dealer. Because the gun was coming from another state, I had to register it through a licensed dealer in my state. That’s the law. The gun that was listed on the Texas Gun Trader was located in Dallas and would not have had to be registered because it was being sold between residents of the same state. That’s the way the federal law is written, and only a few states have created additional laws on top of it. Not Texas.

Okay, so now I go to my gun dealer to arrange the transfer of the gun. I pay them a $30 transfer fee and they arrange to receive the gun and register it to me. While I’m talking to the salesman there, I mention I’m into airguns, and he tells me about an airgun he’s had for years, but it no longer works. His father bought it many years before, and they’ve had some wonderful times shooting it together. I tell him that I will help him get it running again, and asked him to bring it into the shop so I can look at it. He said he would because he’s been looking for someone who knows something about airguns. I assured him that one way or another we’ll get his rifle fixed.

While we talked, I tried to guess what kind of gun he had. It was a breakbarrel for sure, but he couldn’t remember the brand or model. He thought it was from Germany. When I got home, I told Edith about my encounter and about the breakbarrel spring gun that stopped working (wouldn’t shoot a pellet out the barrel) and simultaneously we guessed that it might be an FWB 124. That would make perfect sense with the gun suddenly stopping like that, because the 124 had a bad formula for the piston seal and eventually all failed.

So, last week I went back to the shop to register my new pistol that had just arrived. After everything was finished, he showed me his late model Beeman FWB 124. It was the final model model that has no palm swell, has the aluminum trigger blade and the serial number is above 40,000. Oh, boy! According to Jim Maccari, this is a gun that will respond quite well to one of his tuneup kits. I told the guy that and I told him what his rifle was worth. I figured he would be delighted to have this cherished old favorite back in operation. Then, IT happened. You know what I mean. He asked me if I knew of anybody who might be interested in buying his rifle.

This 124 just snuck up on me at a gun store. And, yes, the scope is all wrong but I’m going to try it anyway.

I’d assumed that since it was his father’s rifle there was a lot of emotional attachment, and I would just be happy to get it running for them again. I never imagined he might want to sell it. So, I offered a fair price that was about a tuneup kit’s value less than the price I had told him it was worth. Long story short, I bought the rifle. That’s what I meant by this tale being about a double score. Not only did I get the great Sheridan Knocabout pistol, I also got an FWB 124 that I can now tune for you and share as part 14 to the FWB 124 series. I never planned this or even thought about it, but you can bet I moved plenty fast when the opportunity presented itself.

I also told the seller to watch this blog; and if he had regrets or second thoughts, I would sell his rifle back for what I paid. I usually do that if there’s a possibility of any emotional attachment.

So, this was a great find on two nice collectible guns: one is a firearm with an airgun connection, and the other is a fine vintage air rifle that has a lot of potential to be a nice shooter after I fix it.

All of which leads me to the rest of this report. Here I have some things for you if you’re a collector. All the time the story of the Knocabout and 124 was happening to me privately, another story of airgun acquisition has been unfolding right on this blog in front of you! I’m talking about the Whiscombe JW 75 serial No. 5 that was up for sale that I announced in the comments section. That rifle, which as of today has not been sold, has had the interest of two of our active readers. Maybe it will sell and maybe not, but it’s a story of acquisition that’s happening right now.

The rifle has a Tyrolean stock and is the same breakbarrel/underlever design as my own Whiscombe. The owner of this .22 caliber rifle wasn’t satisfied with the accuracy he was getting at 50 yards, so he did some experimental work that lead to the gun being returned to Whiscombe for another barrel. There’s more to it than that, but those are the highlights. Since Whiscombes don’t come on the market that often, I wanted to make sure all of you knew about this one. Contact me and I’ll put you in touch with the seller if you’re seriously interested.

There’s also the cased air cane made by Reilly of London that has all the tools, plus the pump and everything is in the original wooden case with maker’s label. That gun is another costly collectible that has been in play since last November. And, it’s still available the last time I checked.

In the collectible airgun world, it doesn’t get much better than a 19th century cased air cane from London…with all the tools.

And, now for a new prize that hasn’t been seen for almost a decade. Do you remember the article Steel Dreams, about the attempt to build a spring rifle in .22 caliber that would exceed the speed of sound? Well, that rifle is now available. Read the article and see if this is something you’re interested in, because it isn’t a rifle to shoot a lot. If you are serious, email me, and I’ll forward your message to the seller.

It’s a bruiser! One of two handmade guns designed to take .22 caliber pellets through the sound barrier.

Since this report is about collectible airguns, I want to make sure you all know about the best finds that come to my attention. You can do your own searching, as I’ve outlined above and good luck to you, but sometimes there are special things that are directed to me, alone. When I see them, I try to get the word out. If you’re a serious airgun collector, keep an eye on this blog and neat things will pop up from time to time.

212 thoughts on “The art of collecting airguns – Part 7”

    • Conor,

      That gun is a collectible. There is only one other like it in existence. I don’t know how much it is, but somewhere between $400 and $800 I would think.

      Did you read the report? Because as big and heavy as this rifle is, it isn’t that powerful. An R1 that’s tuned is about as powerful.


      • B.B.

        Wow, I smell some diesel effect. Can you tell me, what are the parameters for this last monster springer? I feel there’s some kind of Rekord trigger installed and compressible volume seems to be somewhat like 28×125.


        • duskwight,

          You really should read the report titled Steel Dreams. It’s all about that rifle, and it shows the Rekord trigger and what problems were encountered in fitting it to this large rifle.

          The link to the two-part report is embedded in the paragraph about the rifle.


          • B.B.

            Thanks, B.B., it seems I just overlooked the link. Having read that article of yours I believe I can say it was looking like a good idea, but badly thought through. No wonder why this gargantuan powerplant was so ineffective, there are several cardinal flaws in its design and the main is thinking “the bigger the better” way. One can’t fly a paper airplane even if it’s made in a size of a real one.
            However I wonder – what if this kind of rifle was built according to all the rules? I mean slimmer compression chamber, improved piston seal and so on?


              • B.B.

                Oh yes, that’s true. This way Russians and Americans are brothers, if not clones 🙂
                To prove it, I’ve seen once a breakbarrel, made by some genius, that had monstrous 30×160 swept volume with spring fit to hold a railroad car, rubber piston seal and barrel reinforcement made out of concrete reinforcement rod welded to the barrel.
                Of course it hardly shot 250 m/s with light pellets and was ugly to the extreme.
                On the other hand I’ve seen and shot rifle (well, I’d rather say it was a carbine due to its size) made out of MP-512 with side lever and highly ergonomic stock. Lots of thoroughly calculated machined parts. Thing is that this carbine was 3/4 of MP-514 long, shot 250 with heavy pellets and was very precise.
                Different levels of understanding air rifles and the way they work. And different money and time spent – to learn one’s lesson or to to turn lessons learned into metal. *whisper* I hope I’ve learned my lessons well, as I plan to order first set of parts machined in two weeks.


  1. B.B.,

    That Sheridan Knocabout has got to be the ugliest pistol I’ve every seen! lol
    It’s a gun that only a mother could appreciate to look at.
    It’s like one of those things that might look good after a few beers.
    Just kidding.

    The grip looks deep (for large hands), and the trigger looks like it’s for 2 or 3 fingers. Have you had a chance to shoot it? How does it feel?


    • Victor,

      The Knocabout grip is sized for average hands. The trigger pull is amazing! I would guess it’s less than one pound and glass-crisp. The only drawback is it is single-stage, so it’s not a target trigger. You have to be ready for it the instant your finger feels it.


        • Mike,

          I have read two things about Knocabout triggers since I wrote that comment this morning. One said they are lousy and the other said his trigger had worn down to about two ounces. So I tested mine, just to keep the speculation down. It breaks at just under three pounds. But the release is so glass-crisp that I was fooled into thinking it was much lighter.

          Now we know for sure.


  2. ugly guns: When I first saw the Contender, I thought it was the ugliest pistol I’d ever seen in Gun Digest…until I got to handle one at an IMSA event down the road from where I lived. I promptly bought one and set about collecting barrels for it, including a 7mm wildcat that was the current rage for shooting steel with. [This was many years ago and I had suffered a major stroke in between, that affected my memory.) I bought a T/C shoulder stock for it and thought it the most beautiful gun I had ever seen (next to my vintage Winchester M70 ‘Westerner’ in .264).

  3. BB: nice find on the Sheridan! Years ago, I looked hard for one for a trapline pistol and I never saw a holster for one . The Sheridan has the advantage of being able to be opened, loaded and un-loaded ,with the safety on. Please shoot it for us and post the results. The Japanese made Bushnell custom .22 scope on your 124 is the same one I’ve seen mounted often on the 124, in ads in old Gun Digests, and magazine articles back when they were sold. I have a varible 1.5-4X one on my .32-20 Remington pump and it is a good one for old .22’s with a low comb stocks. The Revelations sold by Western Auto were another fine small tube Japanese made scope . They are the ones to look for at flea markets. I’ve never paid more than ten bucks for one. Younger shooters just don’t know about the quality of those scopes, but they were light years ahead of the old Weaver B series back in the day. They just look right on the small guns.I don’t think it will last long on a springer like the 124 though, save it for one of your vintage .22’s. Take care, Robert.

      • Thank-you BB : I will watch for that!I ‘m interested in what it will do at say, ten yards at most with it’s fixed sights. Always wondered if it would be better than the usual Iver Johnson or H&R revolver that most folks use for the same purposes, Robert.

  4. I’d LOVE to get an aircane someday.
    I’m a sucker for take down stuff that’s all fitted in a nice convenient case like that. I probably watch too many spy movies.
    When you search for sheridan knocabout in google images a cased set with 3 barrels and a shoulder stock comes up, I don’t think it’s a knocabout but was posted on a forum with the word somewhere… I just couldn’t help myself and buy that thing even if it meant sharing ramen noodles with Frank for a few months (but then again maybe I wouldn’t survive long enough to eat noodles or have to eat thru a straw when my lovely wife learns I just spent all our savings on some old gun) come on lottery numbers LOL 😉


    ps : the Slavia 618 showed up yesterday, the inside of the barrel is mirror smooth but it still seems to shoot quite well, given the broken rear sights (it broke during the shipping) 🙁 good thing it was insured. I was still able to hit soda can at around 20 feets using only the front post, I’ll try to fix it and tell you more about it.

  5. BB.
    I love this topic.Getting to see some of your fab acquisitions as well.
    The Sheridan Knocabout looks like a tool that wouldn’t look out of place in a tool box.
    Not everyone’s cup of tea but I like it.

    On the subject of shooting airguns on your own property the only restriction in Britain I am aware of is,’Distance from a public road’ 35 meters or feet (not sure which)springs to mind.
    Of course pellets when shot must not leave the boundary of your property under any circumstance.
    Most properties here are well short of the required distance from a public highway and I would guess 99.9% of air gun owners in the UK would fall foul of this law.
    In practice,an air gunners shooting is only an issue,when it becomes and issue.
    A responsible shooter shouldn’t have any worries.

    The trail has gone cold in my quest for a set of open Fibre Optic sights for my HW.
    I have been in touch with Weihrauch by e-mail and they directed me to ‘Hull Cartridge’.
    Unfortunately they don’t import them,so I got back in touch with Weihrauch and await reply.
    After reading the report on the Diana 350 and some of the comments which touched on Fibre Optics,I think I will give them a miss.
    Fair enough if I could get them off the shelf for 30 bucks but probably not worth jumping through flaming hoops for.

    My son in law bought and fitted a bipod to his Webley Raider PCP,so he brought it round to sight in his scope.
    I never thought lying on a cold floor could be so much fun.

  6. B.B.,

    I don’t think your Knocabout pistol and leather holster has ever seen the inside of a tackle box or been under a truck seat. You had to be very pleased when you first saw the condition of both at your FFL’s store. Do you use lexol cleaner and conditioner on your old holsters and scabbards or have you found something that works better?

    The story about your most recent FWB 124 acquisition made me smile but didn’t surprise me. Don’t think I’ll ever forget about all the great guns that just walked up to your table at Roanoke begging to be bought.

    I really appreciate this series on the art of collecting airguns. I’ve bought and sold a lot of guns and you’ve taught me or reminded me of something very important to be successful at this in each article.


    • Kevin,

      I am not familiar with Lexol cleaner for leather. I have used Ballistol, thus far.

      About Roanoke, were you there when a Winchester 427 (Diana 27) walked up to my table and sold itself to me for the price I named? I still don’t fully understand what happened. It all happened so fast. It was as though the words of my mouth were materializing in front of me the moment I spoke them. Some would say “spooky,” but I prefer to credit a blessing, instead.


      • Yes, I witnessed that. Couldn’t wrap my head around what I saw at your table over and over.

        In hindsight I now realize that you must have had a bright beacon shining on you that wasn’t perceptible to the naked eye but airguns were drawn to it like moths to a porchlight.

        Can’t wait for Part 8 where you finally disclose this secret technique.


        • I am in awe of folks who have the knowledge stored in their heads to look at tables full of assorted guns and stuff, and zero right in on the good deals and the treasures. I am sure a lot of it has to do with reading and studying and memorizing, but it just doesn’t stick with me. I always struggled with classes that required memorization, history and literature, so I’ll use that as my excuse, but I realize it just takes work.

          The unique items in the original boxes are very appealing, though. I have a big size ( “O” gauge?) Lionel train set in the attic from the mid ’50s when I was a kid. It’s in it’s original cardboard box, with the cars and steam engine in their original orange cartons, but the years have taken it’s toll. The cardboard box has the original price scrawled in crayon on the outside, and I think it’s a ridiculous $15.95 or something like that.

      • Morning B.B.,

        Lexol is great stuff or conditioning and preserving leather. I’ve been using it for around 35 years. It is the Oil of Olay for leathers. Give it a try you won’t be disappointed will he Kevin.


        • There are a lot of products that do a good job conditioning leather. I like Lexol best. The first step in preserving a fine leather product is to clean the grit and grime from the pores of the leather so it can fully accept your conditioner of choice. The Lexol cleaner works best for me.


  7. Wow. Has it really been 25 years?

    January 28, 1986 — a scant 73 seconds into flight, nine miles above the Atlantic for all to see — remains NASA’s most visible failure. Sharpest minds in the world, huge budget but catastrophic failure. The Challenger disaster.

    Kind of puts things into perspective for me when we harp about some flaw in airgun engineering.


    • 25 years, and I can remember the Rockwell Downey, Ca and Palmdale, Ca plants working 24/7 as far back as 1972 to build the first Shuttle. A mere 39 years ago. They closed the Pasadena Freeway one night to transport fusealage and wing components from Downey to Palmdale.

      Hard to believe that the Shuttle was on the prototype drawing board as early as 1965!

      • I was at a garage sale down here in Georgia a few years ago. I saw something in the corner of his garage. About the size of a garbage can, pipes, hoses, mostly made of wood. He said he worked in Cali and it was a prototype of a buster rocket for the shuttles, for aerodynamic purposes. He said it wasn’t for sale, it was the only one they made.

    • I was cross-country skiing by myself in Vermont the day of the Challenger disaster and when I came back to to the lodge, everyone was sitting around the TV in shock.


    • My son was born the day before so I took a few days off. I watched the whole thing live.

      Only the events of 9/11 were more stunning to me, for obvious reasons. I was working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the time. My kids schools were closed, and so was the lab. It seemed like the whole world was put on hold.


  8. Heya B.B. going off topic here…please forgive any ignorance on my part, as I’m not sure what affiliation you have with PA but I need to know if I’m the only one who’s had to deal with their near-total lack of customer service. This began with my initial gun purchase (thanks to Glen at Umarex though, who was of great assistance) and continues on. Orders get filled and shipped immediately but beyond that it’s nearly unbelieveable how numerous phone calls and communications through their “contact us” page go repeatedly ignored. My tone has been one of patience and benefit-of-the-doubt, but I’m beginning to think that’s a mistake on my part. The current issue is a very minor one; wife ordered 3 tins of CP domes for me for Christmas, but the 4th free tin was not included. All I’m seeking is an acknowledgement/credit from PA, figuring the tin can be added to my next order, but it’s as if “nobody’s home”. How do these people stay in business? It would be well worth it to me to spend $10 more for a gun or $.50 more for a tin of pellets, in exchange for true customer support. Other companies do it, so can they. I’ll continue to buy pellets from them but never, ever another gun! Thanks for the great blog, been enjoying it daily.

    • Ken,

      I’m very surprised by your experience with Pyramyd AIR. I’ve done a lot of business with PA over the years. Yes, sometimes things went wrong. A phone call to the PA toll free customer service straightened it out immediately.

      What did they say about shipping the 4th tin of pellets you should have gotten when you called them?


    • Ken,

      I know that this seems silly, but for starters, the issue was one of semantics. If you order 3, they don’t automatically give you the 4th. If you order 4, then the 4th one is free. When you order on-line, you’ll see the details. Order 3, and you’ll only see 3. Order 4, and you’ll see an order for 3 AND an order for 1 (for free).

      I have made the same mistake of ordering just 3, but caught it AFTER the order was placed. I just called customer service BEFORE the order shipped. Because I order at least a $100’s worth, I wanted to make sure that my order was filled (even with my mistake) before it shipped to assure free shipping.

      I’ve placed many orders with PA, have returned a couple of damaged items, and have even negotiated the price down of a damaged rifle case. Overall, PA has been very good, customer service-wise.

      During the holidays they did have issues with their customer service because they were short handed and, apparently, needed to hire contractors or something. Was this when you placed your order?


      • On my recent order (I started browsing Pyramyd’s site a week or so ago) I was actually confused for about 20 minutes… I was adding an assortment of pellet tins to the order and when I added the fourth it showed up with a $0.00 price… It wasn’t until I’d gotten up to 8 or 9 various tins that I realized it was the “buy 3 get 4” arrangement (which slogan works for car tires, since one typically would buy a set of identical ones — but for assorted tins “buy 4 and the lowest price tin is free” is a clearer explanation)

      • Not sure if this is new, but I’ve never noticed it before. On a recent order with PA (I was stocking up on pellets), I noticed that after I had added 3 tins of pellets to the cart, there was a HUGE red banner at the top of the order confirmation page letting me know I was entitled to a 4th tin free:

        Buy 3 tins and get a 4th tin FREE!

        Just add a 4th pellet tin (or airsoft can) to your shopping cart and the least expensive tin will be given a $0.00 price. 9mm, 0.45″, and 0.50″ pellets are excluded from the promotion.

        That is a GREAT feature, as was the banner at the bottom letting me know how far away I was from qualilfying for free shipping. I appreciate that PA is openly advertising the freebies instead of burying them somewhere and hoping the customers don’t find them.

        Thanks PA!

        – Orin

      • Edith, I have noted over time that the PA “contact us” method is pretty slow on response. I don’t know PA’s situation with that process but, at the plant I used to run, I killed that “anonymous and goes to no one” type of email and made 2 of our C.S. reps directly responsible for those email contacts everyday, no excuses.

        It’s not just PA either, there are 1000’s of websites that provide this contact us button and it is virtually the same as flushing your request down a black-hole. It can only be one of two things, 1) it’s nearly, totally automated so no humans interact with it until… or 2) the bosses make sure it get’s no visibility or priority. “Just enter new orders” was my predecessors edict to our C.S. people, I changed that in a hurry, cause there will be no new orders if we don’t take care of those who have already ordered or need our help with an order.

        Just my 1.975 cents worth.

      • Hello Edith and All,

        The explanation of ordering 4 instead of 3 certainly makes sense and I can easily go along with that; I understand they can’t read minds and couldn’t know which brand and type of pellet I’d want the 4th tin to be (even though the 3 tins I got were all CP domes). No, it’s the total lack of any response from PA that irks me. If my wife’s order did not qualify due to the manner it was presented, I’ll gladly forget about it. I guess my (usually very attentive) wife did not see the “4th tin free” banner! Edith, regarding the tin of pellets, I sent an email through their “contact me” page (weeks ago now) which I did not make a copy of (didn’t think I needed to) and a voice message to a customer service representative at ext. 231. This person may be hugely overwhelmed and may not deserve blame. The issue with my original gun/scope order was a disaster until Glen from Umarex got involved and contacted a higher-up at PA, but things shouldn’t need to go that far. I’m quite easy to please and don’t want to feel like I’m being a pain in the you-know-what, but I don’t like to pay hard earned money for a purchase only to be forgotten after the sale. I can only guess PA is under-staffed and can maybe use one good CS rep to round out an otherwise good company. Thanks for your concern Edith…just wanted to see what others are experiencing with this company.

        • Ken,
          I’m with you on this one. There is no excuse for a “no answer” from the “contact us” option. This needs to be looked into. I’ve dealt with other sites and gotten virtually immediate response. Even a “will get back to you later” would be acceptable if thay actually did.

    • Uhhh…
      If you order only 3 tins (or boxes) , how is PA supposed to guess if you really only wanted three or should they throw in a box of whatever they grab first to give you a fourth?

      They have always asked me if I wanted another box (or tin)of something when I only really wanted two or three in the first place. They were giving me the option to get one free by picking one or two more. I could always use some more of something, even if I am not getting low yet.

      You have to tell them what you want.


    • I have not had any problems to speak of when ordering from PA.
      I got the wrong thing a couple times, but the problem was corrected promptly with just a phone call.

      Mind telling us what problem you had with a gun that has you honked off??


      • Hi twotalon,

        I looked at the order form more closely and I see the second line item listed at no charge is an advertisement flyer, not a tin of pellets so I understand why a 4th tin was not shipped with the rest of the order. My ONLY gripe…is as I said, a total lack of response following one voice message to a CS rep and an email through their “contact us” page. I wouldn’t be at this level of frustration if this were first-time, but this pattern has been consistent since my original gun/scope order. Since you asked, that issue involved an RWS 350 shooting 600 fps out of the box, and 2 RWS-branded scopes in a row that had loose parts floating around inside of them, again right out of the box. I refused to accept another junk RWS scope but eventually worked things out to receive a Leapers replacement. Still, I had to pay return shipping for the defective gun, and an upgrade charge for the scope! During that fiasco, which I communicated through real email and not the “contact us” page, I could not get anyone from PA to contact me in return, and the ball was totally dropped by a CS rep there. So yeah…I’ve had a less-than-stellar experience with PA.

        I’m a business owner who strives to provide my valuable customers with the very best in customer service and have built many lasting relationships this way. I don’t ask anyone to “jump” for me, but don’t like being ignored once a company has taken my cash…I’m actually quite reasonable and always give second (or third) chances. As I said earlier however, I cannot be convinced otherwise of PA and although I’ll buy pellets from them, I will buy my next gun from a smaller shop where I can consult with a caring and concerned individual.

        • I have never trusted anything that relates to ”leave a message’ or anything like it . I always like to talk to a real person.

          Getting a crap gun or a scope…or a couple in a row sucks. It can happen. I have had bad luck myself many times, and question all the good reviews.
          Once in a while there is a bad batch turned out. Sometimes you just get unlucky. Happens to me all the time.

          My 2300T had a bad barrel. Over size bored. No sign of rifling. Bore was around .180 cal. No pellets were large enough to fit.
          PA changed the barrel, but was just as bad as the original. Talked to Crosman and told them I wanted a new barrel, and would pay for it. Told them that I would send back the bad barrel. They said we will send you a new barrel. Later a phone call… send us the whole gun. Sent it, and got a phone call later. Their QA…”engineer” said it was within specs. They wanted to know what to do with it. I told them just to send it back.
          I intended to destroy every single part of the gun so that not even a screw could be used in another gun. Then send it back to Crosman.
          I cooled off for a while and ended up keeping it. I waited for them to run out of the bad barrels for a couple years. Got a new one, and it is just fine now.

          Bad luck. I know it well.


        • Ken,

          I’ve been forwarding your blog comments to Pyramyd AIR. They’d like you to check your spam folder to determine if the email responses have ended up there. Please do so.

          FWIW, I see the emails that come through from customers for a variety of things, and I also see the responses from Pyramyd AIR employees. The next thing you know, we get a series of customer emails telling us we’re not answering emails! This happens pretty regularly for people submitting ideas to get a 5% off coupon. I see those second, third, fourth, etc., emails come through, but there’s nothing we can do on our side because every response ends up in their spam folders. While customers may be frustrated by a perceived lack of response, we’re just as frustrated because we can’t do a thing about it.


    • I hope that this has been an unusual experience Ken?

      Like others, I have “flubbed” the buy 3 get one free pellet order. Ya gotta input 4 tins and the PA computer does the rest. I think the PA order entry folks don’t even see that you entered 3 and expected the 4th tin free, they just see 3 tins. Anyway, I have had the cust serv. folks email me and give me areference (usually their name) to getting my 4th tin on the next order.

      Like you and others have noted, Umarex folks have been great too. As was PA when my (6 mo old) CP88 was malfunctioning. PA authorized Umarex to repair and ship as if under original 30 day PA warranty. All went well with that transaction after a little prodding from my end.

    • Ken,
      I’m trying to understand your position. And I want to empathise with you. I have no affiliation with PA but, like you, do order stuff from them. You said you didn’t get the fourth tin free. The verbage states the fourth tin is always free so you should order 4? Of course you’re gonna get the lower cost one free. What would you expect? Plus the order summary clearly states what is in the order. But that sounds condescending and that’s not my intent.

      It sounds like you have more of an issue about a gun you ordered that didn’t work out but you didn’t elaborate. Can you let us know what that is or are you too p**** to talk about it?

    • I’ve had a few cases where PA fouled up. They always fixed the problem courteously and with minimal hassle. I’ve paid more in a couple of cases but I am a loyal customer because I appreciate their customer service. I like the idea of developing a relationship with a dealer. I also don’t mind PA making a few dollars on my business. That way they are still in business next time I want to order something.

      Maybe I’m stupid, but I feel that having a continuing order history helps when there is a problem. I’ve had a problem with very few of my orders. So I think when I complain that it is taken seriously more quickly.

      As far as not automagically getting the a 4th tin free problem, this has happened before. Although it is a known “quirk” of the ordering system, I do think that the ordering system could/should be fixed. If you don’t order in multiples of 4 tins, then the ordering system should throw up a screen telling you about the 4th tin policy. So if you order 3 or 7 tins, then there should be a message which would caution you to order the 4th “free tin.” (There is also a quirk in the 4th tin which is always the cheapest tin if you order more than one kind. Changing the order to ordering multiples of the same type as the free tin was problematic…) Obviously once you know about these quirks in the ordering system, then these two problems are easily avoided.

      Hope you will have better luck in the future,

    • Ken, ah the voice message and email may explain something. You certainly should expect responses here. But I would recommend calling and speaking to someone directly. That’s almost the only way I’ve dealt with PA, and they have always come through.


  9. I ordered a stock for my 1377c pistol. With the laser the “carbine” is all black, except for the brown fore grips. I emailed Crosman and they say they will have black fore grips by years end. Cool. I will be bad to the bone then. lol

  10. For those who are asking B.B. questions, he’s unable to answer right now.

    We’re having some connectivity issues. Our modem seems to be down. I’m using our USB travel modem to connect through my computer, but we have only one of them so B.B. has to wait for our ISP to reconnect. He’ll answer your questions later today.


    • Edith…
      We have trouble all the time with the modem and the router box. Have to shut them down, then power them up again. The router box gets pretty hot. May be part of the problem, but with this complicated electronics junk who knows.


      • twotalon,

        Charter Cable almost always tells us that it’s us or it’s because we have a Mac or it’s our router. In fact, over the past 7 years of using Charter, we’ve had only one instance where it was a bad modem. Because we are on the internet so much, we’re usually the first to identify an outage that others haven’t yet detected! Our modem & router do not get that hot or have heat-related issues.


        • O.K.
          They are dodging their own problems.

          We have dsl with our phone co. Sometimes the dsl goes out. Usually after their work hours .
          This really sucks, because my wife works at home (medical billing) and she needs the computer to work whenever she has work to do.


    • Edith, Tom hasn’t commented and I don’t think any of us have asked lately…how is Tom doing health-wise and after the hernia diagnosis?

      Hope he is mending well, cause missing the 2011 SHOT Show must have been %@*-ing aggravating!

      • Brian,

        Just yesterday, we had an appointment with his surgeon…and the final drain was removed. For the first time since last April, Tom has no drain tubes hanging out of his body. We celebrated at Outback Steakhouse last night 🙂 We knew the drain would be removed because the drainage had become so low that it couldn’t be measured by any device I had in the house (How do you measure 2 small drops?).

        Next Tuesday, he’ll see the gastroenterologist & have his temporary pancreatic stent removed (it’s done in the office).

        Tom’s still anemic, and there’s still that dadburn inguinal hernia. He may go for that mesh patch if he’s still in pain a month from now (our next appt. with the surgeon).

        He doesn’t need naps anywhere near as often as he used to. He can eat anything he likes, although we’re sticking with a high-protein diet to help build up the muscle he lost over the past 10 months.

        We have lots of plans and many new, exciting things planned for Tom (and Mac) this year. Once Tom’s recovered, those two will be going great guns 🙂 Stay tuned!

        Thanks for asking!


  11. B.B.,

    Here’s a question for someone who might consider becoming a collector. What would you do if, say, the firing pin broke on your Sheridan Knocabout? Is it the case that most gun-smiths can handle pretty much any problem that you might have with a collectors precious item? Let’s take this particular gun as an example.


    • I made a firing pin once for an old single shot shotgun.
      I used a hacksaw, an electric drill, a screwdriver, a file, a torch, a pair of pliers, and a glass of icewater.
      It worked.

      Depends on how complicated the shape is.


    • Same here as TT

      McMaster Carr sells hardened , precision diameter drill-rod in all sizes. A Dremel tool or a lathe, a little chilled water or oil bath and you have a firing pin!

      • I have it by the butt now.
        Drill (two of them), lathe, at least three working dremels, a bunch of files, a bunch of torches, drill press, 3 calipers and a mic. And a lot of determination.
        Torches run from mini-butane, propane, oxy-mapp, mapp, acetelyne-oxy.
        Soldering stuff too, but not real good for guns.
        Have a mig too.


    • Victor,

      You are coaxing a blog out of me here in the comments section!

      Okay, in the specific case of the Knocabout, take a good look at the first picture. Notice that the gun is put together with several rivets. The frame consists of two stout pieces of sheet steel riveted together, with the working parts held between them. So the rivets are also bearings for the moving parts on the inside of the mechanism. And, in at least one place, there is an internal metal sub-frame held in-between the two sideplates by folded metal tabs. That is where the firing pin lives, so fixing a firing pin on this gun would require a complete disassembly of the gun, I would think.

      That kind of construction makes the gun very difficult to repair. I’m not saying that it can’t be fixed, because the Mythbusters once built a lethal crossbow out of paper, but it is not a job a regular gunsmith would undertake. It would take more of a dedicated fix-it man like Vince to spend the time to study the construction and try to make repairs.

      I suppose I’ve answered your question, but I don’t know if that will satisfy you. Maybe you wanted something broader. Each kind of construction technology requires a different skill set to make repairs. The Schimel CO2 pistol, for example, is built from pot-metal castings that weren’t even good pot-metal back when the gun was new. So fixing Schimels is way different than fixing a Knocabout.

      Vince has fixed several cheap old tinplate BB guns for Wacky Wayne and maybe for some others. Those guns require still different techniques to make repairs.


      • B.B.,

        You answered the question perfectly. The specific issues with this gun, because of it’s construction, was exactly what I was thinking about when I wrote the question. I imagined that replacement parts would be very hard to find (if at all), and so custom repairs would be in order. For someone like me, this would be a huge issue with collecting rarities. I would be more inclined to buy such things only for display, because I’d be afraid of damaging them, but that’s not nearly as much fun as using them to know the full range of experience.


  12. BB, I see that you had to pay $30.00 for the FFL dealer to transfer the firearm for you. Here, our local gun club treasurer has an FFL. Club members can buy, ship, and receive firearms with no extra costs. So, while you pay for the firearm, shipping, and tax, there no charge have it transfered.
    Perhaps there is a club near you that does the same thing.


    • Mike,

      I do have such a local club with the same deal, but the people who run it are not businesspeople. That is code for they take their own sweet time getting things done. My local gun store, on the other hand, hops right to it when I call on them to do the same thing and I get my transaction taken care of in less than a day.


    • My FFL is also my smith. Not a coincidence. The transfer fee is a small price to bolster our rapport. When I need his help he makes sure my work is done right and quickly. Takes about an hour here to complete the paperwork and background check (if the CBI computers aren’t down).


      • Kevin and Matt,

        According to federal law, if you have a concealed carry license and show it at the time of transfer you do not need a background check to buy a firearm–any kind of firearm. I live in Texas, where they don’t add laws on top of federal laws when it comes to firearm ownership and registration.

        It takes me 10 minutes to fill out the form and sign it and any gun I want can be registered. I guess that’s why the transfer fee is so low.


    • You guy’s have all the luck. My FFL transfer fees have been astronomical–$50. And the price of the background check ran another $30 or so. It added almost $100 to the price of the gun, especially throwing in the price of transportation. The club whose shooting range I use is nice enough, but I don’t believe that they could transfer their way out of a paper bag.


      • Matt61,

        Thank you. The more time I spend in Colorado and the more I read about other places (like Texas) the more I appreciate Colorado.

        My FFL transfer fee is $30.00 and that includes the background check.

        Please remind me. Where do you currently reside?


  13. A single-shot .22 handgun does seem to have about the minimum functionality. What is it for? To dispatch fish?

    Victor, thanks for your wealth of information the other day. I can’t say that I’ve gotten caught up in the issues of shooting clothes since I don’t have any. I plowed all available money into the rifle. I’ve thought about getting a nice shooting jacket some day if my performance warrants, but that won’t be for awhile. On the other hand, I’ve already thought about an evasion of the ISU rules. What about those Anschutz undershorts on sale that I’ve always wondered about? Adding a few Kevlar plates might make a difference…

    So, do you try to shoot between heartbeats? I’m starting to wonder if that’s an urban myth. Neither David Tubb, Nancy Tompkins nor the Russian author whom Pete Z. recommended whose name I’m forgetting mentioned it. On the subject of fitness, I’ve had experience of how appearances can be deceiving. After I completed a five mile swimming race, a friend pointed out someone who had finished far, far ahead of me. She described his midsection as pyramidal…it was.

    What do you do for eight hours of shooting training? Even if you could afford all that ammo, wouldn’t your eyes give out?


    • Matt61,

      A good shooting jacket is very important. I just don’t like the new super stiff jackets that are sold these days. But, it is what the competition is wearing, and they do make things easier. When I competed, all of these shooting clothes, including undershorts, didn’t exist. I’m told that the shooting pants solve almost all of your stability issues from the wait down. Combine that with the super stiff jackets, and you’re effectively wearing a cast. I honestly can’t relate to that, and it doesn’t seem right. In my opinion, there should be a whole new category for this type of shooting. Records, especially for air-rifle, are apples and oranges, if you compare scores of 30 years ago to modern scores. The old scores reflect “Standard Rifle” specs, while the new reflect “Free-Style Rifle” specs. Not the same thing.

      Only once did I ever really feel the effects of my heart beat. That was the benefit of being in great cardiovascular condition. When I was 16, I was one shot away from both shooting a 1600, and winning the California State championships. Three shooters were behind me by one point, and all 3 had more X’s than me. Had I dropped a point on my last shot, I would have ended up in 4th place. This was the second time that I was in this position, but the first time I had no idea how tight the competition was. This time I knew perfectly well what that last shot meant. I took longer than everyone else on my relay to complete the final target, so when I looked around, EVERYONE (shooters and spectators) had their scopes on my target. My heartbeat had my sights bouncing up and down, probably about 8-ring wide. I couldn’t stop it, and knew I was running out of time, so I timed the last shot between bounces. My last shot barely hung onto the 10 ring.

      I know that’s a little different than what you were asking, about shooting between heartbeats, but really, that’s the only time that I conscious of my heartbeat. In my opinion, there are many other things that are worth focusing on. Again, the purpose of being in shape is so your body does not become a distraction.

      One last thing, the reason for lifting one leg up, when shooting prone, is to raise your mid-section from the ground, thus relieving blood pressure. That is another detail that is often considered regarding blood pressure.


      • Wow, this is high drama and at age 16. Were you shooting in an age-restricted division or unrestricted? I’d say your trial was in the same class as a couple I’ve seen at the international level. One had to do with a famous (I think original) Creedmoor competition in the 19th century between a world champion Irish team and an American team. They were shooting 1000 yards prone, I believe. Some Irishman shot the wrong target, so that an American could win with his final shot. So what does he do before shooting but ask for a swig of ginger beer?! (Whatever that is.) Then pressurization blows the bottle up as he opens it, cutting his hand. But, he binds up his hand with his handkerchief and proceeds to make the winning shot. Well-done except for the beer request…

        Then there are the finals of the archery event in the 2008 Olympics. There was some kind of sudden-death arrow for arrow exchange between a South Korean and a Ukraine shooter. The Ukrainian (with very empty looking eyes) dropped a point early on and couldn’t close. With the final shot, the Korean just had to shoot a 9 to win. He drew back the arrow and held it with a confident sneer as he had done all day. He looked like a man who could shoot Mongol invaders for hours without flinching. Then, he released the shot and scored an 8! He got the silver medal. There is certainly high drama in shooting although it is mostly internal and does not play well to television. Mastering shot mechanics is one thing but doing it under pressure is categorically different but surely one of the benefits of shooting. It would be a reason all by itself to try competition.


        • Matt61,

          There definitely is high drama, but as you recognize, not so obvious, or easily appreciated by those not involved in the sport themselves. This would be true of any kind of sport, or competitive event, where intimate familiarity is required to appreciate the execution of another competitor. For everyone else, it’s like watching grass grow.

          During the 1976 Olympic trials, I had the opportunity to watch Lanny Basham not only make the team, but truly dominate the sport, and win Olympic Gold. He was shooting at level that was very near what was determined to be the theoretical limit, as calculated by a joint research effort between the Soviet Union and the US shooting teams. The man was on a whole other plane.

          Also, a team mate and I had a strong rivalry. It seemed that we would win every other tournament over each other, sometimes by a single point. We were both very competitive, so it was difficult for us to be good friends. Well, actually, he was more reluctant than me, and practiced “gamesmanship” quite a bit. Lanny Basham said that “If you’re a good loser, then that’s why.”. Lots of top shooters are very bad losers.


    • Regarding 8 hours of training. A lot of that time goes into dry firing, analysis of each of 4 positions, practicing with different guns, and working with a coach or teammate. For instance, one thing that we did was have the shooter not use a spotting scope, but rather call his/her shots. Another thing is to have your partner load a dummy round so that you can see how well you squeeze the trigger, or follow through. I, personally, never tired, and had great vision. Fatigue affects vision. Again, the benefits of being in great shape.

      One thing that I wish I had really learned back then was the benefits of shooting different guns. I did that, but for the purpose of practicing for different kinds of competition. I tended to favor one, more than the others, too much. For example, I should have tried to shoot as well with my standard rifle, as I did with my freestyle rifle. I allowed myself to accept that one was easier to shoot than the other. That was very wrong thinking. I now practice cycling through my rifles to learn from each. I really try to shoot each as well as the others. I believe that my worse rifle (again, none are bad), will help me with my FWB. The longer, heavier, trigger pulls will help me with my concentration and follow through.

      • Ah yes, the dry firing. I’m becoming more and more impressed with the results of this. Thanks for the encouragement to use a variety of guns. I’ve done this for fun, and I’m glad it has benefit too.

        You are uniquely suited to answer a question that bears on the relation between airgunning and shooting. How does the accuracy compare between a FWB precision air rifle and your Anschutz rifles from your competitive days? One would suppose that as a pcp, the FWB would win at short distances with its low recoil until its trajectory falls off compared to the Anschutz. However, the test targets tell a different story. The Anschutz standard is 10 shots in a dime at 50 yards. I almost did that myself recently. I work that out to be well under a half minute of angle for 5 shots. On the PA site, the FWB is rated at .04 inches at 10m which works out to be virtually identical to the Anschutz. If the Anschutz is sub half minute at 50, it will surely be at least that at 10m. The numbers indicate that the Anschutz equals the FWB even at the short range which I would not have expected. So, having shot both at a high level, how do you compare their accuracy and general shootability?


        • Matt61,

          In addition to shooting 3 different Anschutz rifles, I also shot an FWB 300. My understanding is that the new barrels are NOT more accurate than what I used back in the 70’s (ctc accuracy of .04 inches at 10m). However, the newer PCP’s should allow for better performances because they lack the mechanical motion.

          How the FWB compares against an Anschutz smallbore rifle is a good question that I was curious about myself, back when I was in my prime (or on my way towards it). I never took my FWB to the outdoor range that I practiced and competed in, but I did test it at 50 feet. Except for the size of the hole, it was hard to tell the difference. Back then, I could shoot a 200×20 all day long in the prone position. On a good day, pretty much all shots were pin-wheels. Well, the FWB performed almost equally well at 50 feet. The difference, in my opinion, was the same difference between shooting a 1413 against a 1407. For me, it was easier to shoot better with the 1413 because of the extra weight. An FWB 300 was essentially a air-rifle version of a standard rifle like the 1407. I wanted to know how well the FWB did at 50 feet, and I found out. All shots were X’s, and damn near pin-wheels. These air rifles are very accurate!

          Also, the sample targets provided with high end air-rifles are not intended to be the last word on your particular rifles accuracy. They are provided as a sample to demonstrate that some minimum requirement was met. I have shot MANY groups that are better than the sample target that came with my FWB.


    • Matt,

      Back in the 1950s there weren’t a lot of guns on the market, and people wanted more than what was available. So there was a time in the 1950s when there were a handful of cheap single-shot .22 pistols like the Knocabout. The Wamo Powermaster that I briefly mentioned once (and will now make a complete report on) is another example:


      Savage made a single-shot called the model 101 and I know of a couple others, as well. These were cheap[ handguns that people could buy and have handy for whatever they might want to do. The Knocabout was advertised as a gun for trappers and hunters (for the finishing shot, when needed) that could be tossed in a tacklebox or knapsack.


      • I guess even one .22 cartridge is still lethal power that can be put to various uses. That’s ironic that in earlier times when there were fewer gun restrictions that there were also fewer guns to choose from whereas now in a relatively more controlled climate, we’re bursting with them. I am just astonished at the flood of new products and the endless refinements on old ones. Who is buying all this stuff??


        • Matt,

          We are experiencing a booming market for firearms at the present time. Most people I know have acquired 10 or more firearms in the past 12 months. The reasons for this are open to interpretation and the discussion quickly becomes a political argument, but the facts are clear. Firearms sales in the United States have never been higher than they are right now.


    • twotalon,

      That is good news, but I also sensed your frustration at the “…give us your money” remark. Fortunately I now have a surgeon who sits down and answers every question I have about my condition. And, if he is unable to predict my future, he tells us why he cannot.

      But I will still take “Looking good…” every time. And I know you will, too.


      • Lots of frustration. And waiting. Statistics show that I still only have a 50/50 chance of living 3 yrs.

        I had to win the lottery twice….
        If I had one kind of cancer, I would have about a 50/50. If I had the other, well…dead duck.
        I won the first time. Still waiting to see how the second comes out. I get pronounced ‘cured’ or ‘dead’.

        Living like I need to live. And am going to if I can.

        Now what’s next? Better shooting bench or another rifle? The bench would be cheaper. I have developed a taste for HW.


        • Oh, twotalon! Dang! You’ve been an inpiration to me! Where are the words?! So inadequate, so trite (on my part). Just carry the thought that you are so, so respected on this blog. Ahgh! I am so inadequate here! We love you man!

          • Hope you mean that.
            My last day in the Air Force before I started outprocessing, I worked the whole shift through at full speed (wiring problem on RF4C # 378) more than 20 yrs ago. Some guys go into ‘slow leak’ mode, but that is not my style.

            I ask some questions here, and I try to help when ever I can to pay back.

            You either like me or hate me. That’s the way I am.


              • Just the way I am. You like me or you don’t. Nothing in between.
                I can get along with most people beause I have learned to. I am hard to start a fight with.
                You can’t make everybody happy. I guess I would never make a good lieing, self serving, scumbag politician.


                • twotalon

                  I like you and always look forward to your posts. You have a no nonsense way with words that conveys the most information with a minimum of blather. I am sorry to hear about your tenuous diagnosis, but I think you will make it through. The BK stuffed burger with bacon discussion proved you have your sense of taste back.

                  Some people would become morose and bitter. I like your style.

                  I too am becoming increasingly impressed with HW products. What caliber is your 97?

                  • It’s a .177.
                    I could do without the spring buzz.
                    Incredibly accurate rifle. Shoots about anything pretty well as long as it has a good fit. Does not like heavy pellets. Medium to light pellets seem best. Firing behavior is very rough with heavies.


        • Twotalon, congratulations. Actually, your odds sound considerably better than a lottery’s which are just about impossible. Also, my study of probability says that the probability of one trial is totally unconnected to the outcome of another trial. So, you don’t have to think in terms of some grand scorecard. You’re now looking at even odds. The hard part is the uncertain nature of the thing. Your attitude sounds like it’s trimmed just right. Wait and see. I was once told that I had about a 1/3 to 1/2 chance of kidney failure in two years. The time passed and…no kidney failure.


  14. BB, Off topic again, but that is a beautiful 124 you have. How many foot pounds of energy are needed to go through one side of a tin can? Both sides? Or is the matter determined more by pellet shape?
    Thanks, HK

    • Depends on exactly what kind of can (some are thicker than others), and what shape and hardness of the pellet. The size of the can seems to make a difference too because it has an effect on how much the can can flex and absorb energy without being penetrated.

      This is about like asking how much penetration into a board. Different pellet shape and hardness, and the hardness and grain pattern of the wood. Nothing is consistent. There is no way to have a standard reference.


      • Sorry for my vagueness. How about a 7.9 grain Crosman Premier Domed being shot at a, say…. Campbells condensed tomato soup can? Is 500 fps needed, or 1000? These pellets seem pretty middle of the road in hardness, weight, shape, and size. I don’t really own any real airguns, and would like to be able to shoot through at least one side of soup cans. This is why I have no clue about even the general fpe needed.

        • I don’t have any tomato soup cans, but can come up with a dinty moore beef stew or campelles chili can maybe.
          A cpl will go through both sides for sure at 1000 fps.
          Will see what I can find in the trash and wack it with the 853 and a cpl (about 475fps). Will get back to you.


            • O.K.
              Dinty Moore beef stew can…sorry but the garbage man came yesterday and the only other empties around here are aluminum beer cans.

              853 with cpl and field pointeds…about the same at around 475 fps. Through one side, and a small dent on the other side.
              JSB Exact lites (lighter than the 8.4’s) through one side, but no sign of a dent on the opposite side.

              I would guess that around 600 fps would go through both sides.


            • HK,
              And if you have trouble shooting through the steel soup cans you can always switch to aluminum cans.
              Unless you are just trying to open the cans, and then I think a can opener would be easier and cheaper. Certainly not as much fun, though!

        • HK,

          I bought my father-in-law a Crosman 2100 for XMass. It has an advertised maximum velocity of just over 700 fps, with pellets. With 4 pumps, the pellet went through one side of a can, and put a significant dent on the far side. With 10 pumps, the pellet went through both sides. I know that this is not scientific (since I can’t state velocities), but IF the pellet really did fire at 700 fps, then you don’t need a higher velocity. We used Crosman pointed pellets.

          This rifle is hard to load, but it is VERY accurate.


    • HK,

      What will be the purpose of this air-rifle? The reason for buying the Crosman 2100 was to shoot pigeons. A multi-pump was chosen for it’s velocity control. The gun is very accurate and easy to shoot (not a springer), but again, not the easiest to load (very small space).


    • HK,

      You already received many good answers. I know what you are looking for. You want an analog testing method that is satisfactory, so you don’t have to buy a chronograph. believe me, I understand.

      When I worked at AirForce I had a quick way of testing a Condor in both calibers. If it shot through at least one and a half two-by-fours it was good. I actually spent the time to equate that to velocity and found out that it was a very good analog test.

      The problem is, to create a test like that, you need a chronograph.


      • B.B.
        Tricky stuff.
        My Talondor with 18″ barrel would shoot a Kodiak through a 2×4 at 950 fps, but with the 24″ barrel will not shoot through two 3/4″ thick boards at 1050 fps. The pellet trys to disintigrate.
        Texture of the wood makes a BIG difference.


    • Thanks to you all for your help. I am not experienced with airgun power. I am just getting into the sport, well, not really, since I have an old Red Ryder, but nothing else. I was just looking for a very general example of airgun penetration, since I did not know what realm to think of these guns in. I just had it in my mind that an airgun should be able to do this, an did not want to get ‘dissapointed’ by a lack of power. I do not needs gobs of power, I would just like to fulfill my school daydreams of knocking down tin cans at a reasonable distance.

      • Anudder question! What’s a reasonable distance? My 46 Stutzen did a credible job of banging soda-can-sized targets at 60 yards with about 750fps and 7.9gr Premiers. I know 750 seems a bit low for a ’46, but those breech seals can be a bear to get to seal right.

      • There are some tricks to knocking over cans…
        Too much speed will just punch a hole through them and not move them. You need to hit them slow enough with a pellet that is soft enough and blunt enough that they do NOT want to penetrate easily. More energy gets transferred to the can that way.

        I tried Raptors once on my TSS with an 18″ .177 barrel. MV about 1200 fps. At at around 35-40 yds, they just went through a steel can (the ones that hit it). No movement…just holes.

        I shot an empty beer can once with my brother’s Blackhawk (.30 carbine with hot 110 gr half jacket loads). Made a hole larger than a bulltet, but the can did not move. My poor aching ears! That gun does not kick much at all, but the noise is beyond description. Super painful might be an understatement.


      • Just knocking cans down? A Daisy 25 BB gun in a common backyard works for that.

        For something longer than 30 feet? Tricky — finding the combination of accuracy and power to reach to 75 feet that is slow enough not to just punch holes in the side of the can. In the 30 foot (or, these metric days, 33 feet/10m) standard target wadcutters and 400-500fps units probably suffice. Triple that distance though and the wadcutters probably lose way to much velocity (which can you throw further: a blunt-ended soda can, or a pointy football?) for accuracy and impact. Round nose pellets should help there — but determining what muzzle energy/fps rating will let the pellet push the can rather than puncture it? Can’t help — I’m in the middle of city, and the nearest range with a tin-can field is some 10 miles into the hills, only open to the public on certain days, and typically full unless one gets there before sunrise. If it helps, at ~30 feet, a .22 RWS 54 put a very obvious dent into the bottom part of a bullet trap rated for .22 rimfire (missed the sloping deflector part, hit the curved front that forms the lead collector base — visualize a G shape where the top part is /, and the tail is not as high… I hit the tail)

        Ah well, I think I’m rambling — somebody slap me…

        • How about ‘ shooting holes through one side of tin cans from ~25 yards as well as taking care of the occasional bird while also being able to shoot decent groups at 10 meters’? I’ve also come to the conclusion that a 397 is the best choice ( I’ve alway’s liked the aesthetics of bolt action ), but I don’t have much money, so co2 is out of the question too. I’m thinking that a 1377c with the plastic 1399 stock fills all of these roles, and I could remove the stock for my forest excursions. Only bad parts are the grips. Summer job could earn me a pair of RBs though.

          • “How about shooting holes through one side of tin cans from ~25 yards as well as taking care of the occasional bird while also being able to shoot decent groups at 10 meters?”

            I’d like a vehicle that can do 0-60 in under four seconds and usable on a road course as well as be able to haul 3/4 ton of gravel on the week-ends.

            The more you ask, the more it sounds like you either want a PCP type with controllable power level… OR two entry-level models… Something like a .177 Daisy 853 (for the peep/globe sights, high-grade barrel, and wood — over the 953’s open sites, utility barrel, and plastic) single-pump pneumatic for the 10m target/plinking category… and (I’ll dare suggest it for price point if nothing else) a mid-range Gamo .22 break-barrel spring/air for the 25 yard cans and large-headed birds. Use wadcutters in the Daisy [clean paper punchers], round nose in the Gamo for aerodynamic distance.

            $280 for the 853; $220 for a Gamo Whisper in .22… That’s $500 for the pair. No doubt there are other combinations that are ideal for each use; I just grabbed a few names and models that I’ve read about or of which I own similar products (a circa 1985 NRA marketed 953 with the 853 sights and stock; Gamo NRA-1000).

            {Of course, I’m presuming one is not in one of those regimes where air rifles are power limited}

            • I do not need 1/8 inch groups, nor 100% accuracy, nor the power to take a caribou in the chest. Just a well rounded airgun. ‘Good’ accuracy in your terms means 10 shot .177 pellets going into a .22 hole at 30 yards. I think that that is ridiculous and pure overkill. Shooting the occasional bird does not mean that I will be hunting wild turkey with a Gamo Viper. I’ve taken numerous birds with a slingshot. While some of you believe that shooting airguns and firearms requires skill, please try slingshots. When I say I want to be able to shoot tin cans at a reasonable distance, that does not mean I need to be able to shred a solid aluminum billet at 100 yards or tack drive 5 pellets into the ‘O’ of a Hormel chili tin at 200 feet. I would be thrilled with simply pulling the bolt back on a $55 1377c and letting a few pellets fly. I have no airgun or firearm experience and would simply like to perhaps spend a bit of this 15 year old’s hard earned money on something a bit better than a Red Ryder. If I were to purchase a 953, I would not need competition diopter sights, as the standard sights could probably out shoot me. Please look at this scenario from my perspective and take a step back. Wulfraed, Porsche Cayenne S. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

              • HK,

                I hear you, and understand your points.

                With everything you said, the 1377 and the shoulder stock sounds like the answer. I have had a 1322 (same thing in a .22) and shoulder stock for about 25 years, and I love the accuracy and addaptability.

                I also have a 2100, and it is no where near as accurate as the 1322, and does not give up much in power (it shoots no where near the 755 fps advertised – mine runs closed to 500). I get about 450 out of my 1322, and it was advertised as about 500 if I recall – I think the difference is in the efficiency of the barrel, as the 2100 shoot either BBs or pellets, and is thus probably a little oversized for pellets
                (BBs just spray out of it – no reall accuracy at all, but great for shooting at large things like milk jugs). the 2100 almost never gets used anymore, even by my kids (they have airsoft more accurate and fun than it). Of course I don’t know hwat ta new 1377 really shoots at.

                Everything except the expensive stuff shoots slower than advertised. Don’t worry about that, just go for being able to hit what you want, and have something good enough to know if the miss was you or the gun. And for that I think the 1377 would be better than the 2100. The 953 would be even better, but you give up some in versatility and maybe even power over the 1377, but a single stroke is really nice – the delay in pumping 8 to 10 times gets old, which is what I love about springers, or in the 953 case, a single stroke pneumatic.

                This certainly won’t be your last air gun anyways – but there is no reason it can’t be a keeper for you, even wiothout spending a lot of money. My vote is the 1377, and you can even get the stock later, with the 953 as a close second (although I don’t own a 953 or any of it’s brothers).

                Alan in MI

              • There is a second reason to consider a potential for two… Do you REALLY want to be fiddling with sighting in the gun every time you change “purpose”. The sight setting for 10m work will be seriously different from that needed for 25+ yards. More so if your choice is a single .22 caliber gun, as .22 velocities are typically slower than .177 (in the same action), and hence has more gravity inflicted drop with distance. While the faster initial speed of a .177 results in a flatter trajectory, their low mass is more easily buffeted by wind during that distance (again from the same action) [and I’ll concede, maybe not enough to totally open up the group size when targeting that bird].

          • HK,

            The Crosman 2100 is essentially the rifle equivalent of the 1377. The 1377 is also very accurate, but is more limiting power and distance-wise. Both are very good, so now you’d have to decided on a pistol or rifle. They are different animals.


      • HK,

        Fortunately, there’s a rifle for everyone. You can find something at pretty much any power level, and at a wide range of price points. Variable power pumps are very flexible. With my Benjamin 397P, I can shoot up to 800 fps, can use iron sights, a rear peep sight, or a scope. It’s accurate, but not as accurate as my springers. Some people hate to pump. Some don’t like break-barrels. I like under, or side, levers. If you don’t like any of those options, you can buy a PCP or CO2, but that limits you to only so many shots, and are less self-contained. Some models are offered at different power levels, like the Crosman Quest 800/1000, or the Titan. The Crosman 2100 that I mentioned is full-sized, but lite, accurate, and easy to shoot. I’m sure that others can make better recommendations.

        As twotalon mentioned, too fast, and the pellet flies right through. With a pump gun, you can adjust for that, if effect is what you seek.


      • HK,
        It boils down to what exactly do you want to do? And I mean exactly!!! And how much do you want to spend. Shooting down tin cans…anything will do. Maximum accuracy…different answer, Hunting…different answer. More specifics please, and you’re on your way to more than one answer and more than one rifle.

      • HK,
        I don’t think your request is unreasonable. I’m going to go out on a limb and recommend this one:
        My wife shoots an older generic model of this one (a QB88) that is not as nicely finished, and without the nice sights on the new one and it is still a real pleasure to shoot. What is has to offer is good accuracy, moderate power (minimizes hold sensitivity and trouble with scopes), a reasonable trigger (which is upgradable with the same kit as Gamos), fairly heavy (easier to shoot and less hold sensitive), and a nice sturdy hook to hold the sliding chamber. Oh, yeah, its also pretty cheap:). I don’t know if it actually gets to 800fps — I would guess 700 or so more likely (but remember mine is older and the new one may be improved somewhat). Also, keep in mind that it is made in China, so you could get a bad one, but PA is pretty good about returns from what I understand, and most of these (incl. the older QB88) have a fairly good reputation. I would keep the bird and squirrel usage short range, but it should work on an infrequent basis. Now I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this recommendation, but there it is; check it out.

        • Actually, BGF, that might not be a bad choice. It might do all he wants while avoiding all that tiresome pumping.

          There doesn’t seem to be too much out there in the medium-power range. The Shanghai website lists velocity as 750, which is a fair bit more than the old QB88 (one of which I’ve got, too). And Shanghai’s ratings generally tend to be pretty real.

  15. BB,
    I like the Knocabout for some reason — I suppose I could find a use for something like that, but I guess its too valuable to be put to the uses I can imagine. I have an anecdote about truck pistols, but it isn’t appropriate for this venue.

    • BG_Farmer,

      I think you like the Knocabout for the same reason I do. It’s an “honest” little handgun.

      And I cannot define what I mean by “honest” for the life of me. The gun just makes me smile. It’s like the gallery dart gun I got this past Christmas. Just knowing it exists makes me happy.


  16. Everyone,

    I have some sad news to pass along. Airgun collector Bob Spielvogel passed away at the breakfast table this morning. Bob was one of the long-time veteran BB gun collectors who helped me when I was writing The Airgun letter. Many who attended the Roanoke airgun show knew him for his educational displays, and he was an anchor at the annual Daisy Get-Together.

    Bob was very good friends with another Daisy collector, Wes Powers.

    He will be missed by the airgun collecting community.


  17. HK

    I will weigh in with my two cents, which is worth zip.

    I own a Daisy 953 Target Pro and a Crosman 1377c American Classic.

    My choice for you would be the Crosman 1377. It is much more versatile than both the 953 or the 2100. You can add the stock to make it a carbine. You can add a metal breech with dovetails for mounting better sights. You can easily change out barrels to .22 cal, longer barrels, or both. My 1377 is wearing the 1399 stock, the pump arm from a 1389, and an 18 inch .22 barrel.

    I highly recommend the 1389 forearm, as it is only $10 or so from Crosman, and matches the 1399 stock and is perfectly contoured for the hand. RB grips are beautiful but expensive.

    I can easily blast through both sides of a soda can (I suggest filling them half full of water and aiming for the bottom of the can) and at full power in .177 it would go through both sides of a tin can (green giant corn) In .22 the pellets do not penetrate so easy, but if you are shooting the occasional varmint, that is a good thing.

    I also owned a Air Venturi Bronco. I think it would meet your needs as well, as long as you were shooting small prey at 20 yards or less. Mine was scary accurate with boxed Crosman Premier lights. Only $125, and you could add a scope at a later date. Like the 1377, carbine it is very light for dragging through the woods- I highly recommend it.

    Let me know and I can send you pics of my 1377 to see if it appeals to you.

    • Slinging Lead, HK,

      I’ll bet the .22 cal version is also better at knocking over cans, which is the effect that you (HK) were originally asking for.

      I too own a 1377 (my 3rd one, actually), and love it. They are VERY accurate! In fact, barrel wise, they are accurate enough to be a decent 10 meter pistol, but the grips and trigger are lacking. Yes, in .177, with too many pumps, the pellets go right through cans. The 1377 is very quiet, so it is good for hunting.


    • My remarks about knocking over cans should be revised to simply, shooting cans. If it can go through it without hitting it over, all the better, no walking to reset the can. I would, however, like to see your 1377c with 1399 stock and the crosman forearm.
      Thanks, HK

      • If you don’t mind the pumping, instead of buying a 1377, change the pump handle to a more ergonomic one (the 1389) put a longer barrel and buy the 1399 shoulder stock to put on it you could just go with the Crosman 2289 it’s a very nice pumper. Google it, it’s very nice. I’m not sure if they’re still available in the US but they’re widely available here in Canada (and the UK) it shouldn’t be too hard to find one from here if you can’t find one close to you. You won’t even need to remove the screw holding the stock when using the shoulder stock since it has a nice little spring loaded pin to hold the shoulder stock in place, just press it to remove the stock and it simply clicks back on.
        It’s around 90$ Canadian $ here.
        Almost forgot, since it’s a 2289 the first 2 numbers indicate it’s a .22 caliber airgun.


  18. Vince, Brian, BG Farmer Duskwright and apologies to whomever I forgot to include,

    I thought you would like to know the results of my home gunsmithing project. With all your advice, I did a bit more research and came upon Larry Potterfield who works at Midway USA – gun supply and ammo store and major NRA supporter. BB buys from him quite a bit.

    After watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OorpZlG28fI

    I followed his lead keeping in mind BG, Brian and Duskwright’s advice and I forget who else and I apologize for that. The work took all of 15 minutes, having all the supplies at hand. Re-assemblying the rifle and shooting at 28 feet – the limit of my basement range, I put 5 pellets into a .46″ group – that’s the full extent of the group, not center to center. As a comparison, the rifle (this is the Benjamin Nitro Trail in .22) originally gave me a .833″ group. This .46″ group compares to my RWS 52 (.412″), R-9 (.442″) and RWS 46 (.452″), The Marauder is still king in my arsenal, able to shoot a .348″ group but of course, this is .177 cal. and a PCP.

    Of course, the real test will be a 30 yard range and that’s not happening until Spring but I think I improved this rifle to where it shoots to my satisfaction. Guys, thanks for all your advice and positive reinforcement! Blog anyone?

    Fred PRoNJ

  19. Alright. I’ll share another “secret” to my art of collecting guns.

    I’ve been reluctant but because there’s so many guys here that I like and because B.B. has been so transparent I’ll reveal a “key” that has unlocked the door and rewarded me with the acquisition of some of my finest guns.

    First, let me define what “finest” means to me. I own a few pcp’s that I enjoy. They’re purpose built for power and ease of accuracy. They play a critical role in my need and desire for airguns. For some of my needs there is no airgun substitute. They perform a few tasks for me very well. To me, they don’t have “soul” though.

    You must know that I’m an old firearm guy and it’s natural that I’m drawn to vintage airguns. The soul of air gunning for me is a fine old German girl well preserved shooting around 600 fps, silky smooth. Puff and the pellet smacks the target. I’m no longer talking about power. Power junkies can quit reading my banter now. It’ll be a waste of your time.

    I’m shallow. I believe that an airgun mostly built by hand by artisans proud of their craft honed by years of experience will shoot better in my hands. I want to believe that fit and finish enhances accuracy.

    In short, “finest” to me translates into vintage since I don’t see this quality and pride of craftsmanship in any mass produced airguns today. In my limited experience many of the high quality, vintage guns that are in the best condition have been sitting in gun safes for at least 20 years or more. The owners, or widows, are not internet savvy. They, or their good friends (that aren’t very internet savvy either) typically limp their way to an internet website that specializes in selling airguns but posting pictures is beyond their ability.

    We’re now in a window of time where the owners of these fine vintage guns are typically too old to be internet savvy enough to post pictures but are honest enough to describe the gun accurately over the phone so I can determine if it’s a worthy purchase or not. This window is quickly closing though.

    Here’s the “secret”. Search the popular “airguns for sale” websites and key on those ads that don’t have pictures. It’s easy enough to determine if that seller has the ability to post pictures based on past ads and in this case is either too lazy or is trying to hide something. No pictures and no history of selling on any “guns for sale” website is always a red flag but we all possess enough common sense to investigate the seller prior to finalizing any transaction.

    Many people run from ads without pictures. I view them as opportunity. Many forums have participants that whine and complain about ads that don’t display pictures. They don’t realize that potentially the seller is possibly the original owner of that gun, has cared for it very well and is from that era that posting photo’s on the internet is harder than flying to the moon. My advice is to not be like most airgunners and dismiss these ads out of hand since they could be the airgun equivalent of a home run.


    • Kevin,

      This is a secret that I have never heard before, and one I would never have thought of on my own. I have always shied away from ads without pictures, thinking that they were a ruse to disguise the poor condition of the gun. I never thought in the terms you have suggested this morning.

      I will reevaluate my position on this, because I often pass on ads without pictures. Now I will read the text to see if there are clues to the age of the poster. There have been a few occasions where the offer was tempting but I had to pass for lack of a photo.

      Thanks for the tip,


    • Kevin,
      Thanks for that tip. I bet BB is scanning all the ads without pictures right now! You are exactly right about that window closing. I’ll be 60 in a few days and have now been texting for a few months. I didn’t even know I could do that on my regular keypad cell phone until my 30 year old daughter showed me how. And you don’t need one of those fancy, scary ones with the touch screens and scrolling displays. She did….sit down for this….6,000 texts last month! Yes, that’s what I said, too. But with the type of job she has, and all sorts of other things, it works for her. I did it out of self defense. The kids are always to busy or somewhere they can’t answer the phone, but they will ALWAYS answer my text. And it’s a lot more convenient for me at work if they text me rather than calling. Yup, you can only avoid technology so long. Here we all are on the internet like we are good friends in the same room! Pretty amazing what’s happened in our lifetimes.

      • I also read somewhere serious that the farther technology is advancing the faster it gets. I don’t know if I’m formulating this properly but to make a car analogy it’s like a turbo, the advances technology is making makes it easier to advance even more. I’m 34 and it seems the technology grew up with me.

        The reporters were also saying that in a few years those who don’t know how to use the technology will be the equivalent of someone who doesn’t know how to read today.

        Maybe we’ll be getting more airgun like the Rogue but in smaller caliber, rifles and maybe even pistols with a small mini USB port to plug the gun into your computer and change the parameters and get more shots or more velocitys etc.

        It will never replace old style all wood and steel stuff but will be a nice advancement.


        • Wow, I had never thought of it being as severe as equivalent to not being able to read, but there are things that I have to do right now that I can only be done by email. Yes, with cars there was fuel injection and knock sensors, and the knock sensors made it possible to have the high boost turbos. You are exactly right.
          The Rogue has a microprocessor in it with lots of excess functionality. BB alluded to a lot of possibilities, but use your imagination. I know I made a few people cringe, LOL. Think of all the things the lowly cell phone can do.

        • J-F,

          Regarding how the technologically will be left behind in a few years, back in 1965 I was told by an “authority” that anyone who did not understand calculus would be doomed as a moron in a few years because the advance of society demanded that we all learn.

          Hasn’t happened yet.


          • I’m not saying people won’t be able to live without it.
            People who can’t learn otherways to do things and develop ways to go around the embarrassing part. Not so long ago the coach of the best hockey team in the NHL wasn’t able to write or read and no one knew or noticed it but that didn’t stop the team from winning the Stanley Cup.

            Look how many times you hear “for the contest and details go to http://www.yournevergonnawin.com” or how it is to make reservation… How many have you noticed people strugling with an ATM or at a store register trying to pay with an ATM card and is timing out. We’ll be using more and more of these and while people not knowing how they work will still be able to fonction life is going to be easier for the rest of the population.

            They did not say it was going to happen next year but my kids for example don’t know what a plugged phone looks like…

            It’s a snowball effect.


    • Kevin:
      Just floating a boat here but there must be many air guns that get surrendered to the local cops by a surviving spouse or family member and end up in a skip for destruction.
      Is it possible to rescue these guns from their fate?
      I can understand the authorities being keen to get rid of firearms but maybe they would release the airguns for sale or better still,for free.
      No hope of such an arrangement here but the USA may be different.

      • Dave,

        For the most part the airgun are thrown away with the firearms, because the cops don’t know, or don’t care to separate them, or they have regulations that prohibit it. I’m gue4ssing it’s the latter.

        You may not remember it, but that is where my galley dart gun came from–a throwaway pile of firearms in New York City. And, if you re-read that tale, you will discover that sometimes a gun or two gets saved anyway. I suppose it would make no difference whether it was a firearm or an airgun in that instance, since taking either one would be a crime.


        • BB:
          Ah yes,I remember the Galley dart gun.
          Thank goodness that story had a happy ending.
          What a shame potential and actual classic air guns and firearms get scrapped like they do.
          It is almost enough to lose sleep over….best not think about it.

  20. Edith,

    It appears the following comment from:

    “Wulfraed Says:
    January 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm
    “How about ‘ shooting…

    Has an ampesand embedded in it at the end of his last sentence causing the Comments RSS feed to fail for me. I don’t know if it’s just my problem or if anyone else is having problems.

    I’m able to send comments by clicking on the comments link at the end of the article but when I try to bring up the feed it errors out on:

    Reference to undefined entity ‘stock’.
    Line: 703 Character: 301


    • Ah… So I did the initial kill

      Though I would have to suggest the comment recording software is flaky if it permits ampersands on input which it then fails to escape on output (since it appears that word [without a closing ;] is being parsed by the RSS clients as some special code entity).

      • Wulfraed,

        No. I think it affected 2 people…Chuck and twotalon. The blog comments are littered with ampersands and they always have been. I think this was just a fluke.


        • It also killed my Sage/Firefox sessions last Friday. I can’t state about my home connection as, while / loads, the
          /airgun-video address just hangs.

          I have a very flaky DSL connection — and haven’t figured out how to contact the provider during a time both of us are available.
          The original issued “DSL modem” suffered heat failure nearly two years ago, and the third-party “advanced” unit
          I bought seems to have problems with various sites and protocols (I can’t even load the ISP’s home page!,
          though my web pages hosted by them load with no problems; POP3 email has required me to use dial-up access, the DSL access connects,
          logs-in the POP3 server, obtains the status of how many messages are waiting, and then hangs when it sends the RETR n command)

        • I do not believe the problem lies with the ampersand itself. I believe that somewhere in the bowels of the feeds compiler code lay a variable named “stock” which when combined with the ampersand in the text becomes an unresolved parameter.

          • There were a couple sequences of charactere before Internet Exploder threw a fit on me. I could not figure out what was being said. It looked something like assembler code.
            That may have set things up to barf where it did.


  21. Edith you should probably delete my comment the feed problem that’s dated:

    January 29, 2011 at 7:00 am

    It also has that ampersand embedded in it and will propogate the problem.


    • Chuck,

      It may be a quirk that both you and twotalon are experiencing. What confused me was that you said it was the last sentence in Wulfraed’s comment. It was not. It was just the last sentence you could see for some strange reason. The sentence had 2 words that were on either side of an ampersand, but there were were no blank spaces.

      I was able to successfully download the entire RSS feed in both Safari and Firefox with Wulfraed’s comment written exactly as he’d made it. Nevertheless, I went into his post and entered spaces on either side of the ampersand. Hope it works for you now. It’s our policy to NEVER alter another person’s comments. If it’s spam, we delete it. If it’s intended to hurt this blog, we delete it. I don’t believe Wulfraed intended anything of the sort.


      • Still not working here for some reason.
        Message says cannot display due to code errors.
        Running windows 7 if it means anything. It could have snuck in an update on me that trashed it. Just don’t know.

        Will try to restore to a week ago and see if that fixes the problem or not.


      • Edith…
        Mine is also saying “undefined identity “stock” “.

        Tried a restore and ran into more problems. Back to working as usual now.

        Can you try inserting a space on either side of that ampersand?


      • Edith…
        My wife just loaded firefox and it works there.
        She looked around a q and a website and found that the amperesand is an illegal character in an rss feed.

        That seems to be why internet exploder is bombing it.


        • Chuck and twotalon,

          I deleted the ampersand completely and replaced it with the word “and”– so please clear your cache.

          What I find interesting, is that I have used the ampersand hundreds of times in comments…and so have others. Yet, this is the first time it has caused an issue for you. Strange!

          The ampersand appears 4 times in the comments on this page alone (so far). In the previous day’s blog, it appears 8 times. The day before that, 7 times. The day before that 4 times. If it’s the ampersand, then it’s a recent thing. If you’ve recently updated any software, that could be the issue.

          If anyone else has any issues with the RSS feed that did not have before, please email me: edith@pyramydair.com. I’ll need to know your operating system, browser type and version, and if you recently updated either of them.



          • Edith..
            I think it takes just the right character sequence to cause the problem.
            I had been using the wrong punctuation mark as a spacer on one website with no problem, until the following word had just the right beginning letter…
            It posted the absolutely worst kind of smiley at the worst possible time.


  22. Info for chrony printer owners….
    The manufacturer lists the IR-30 ink roller for replacement. They seem hard to find around here.
    Someone had said that the IR-40 would work too.
    The manufacturer says you can just dab the old one with stamp pad ink if you need to.
    Staples here has a PR40. The roller is a bit wider than the IR-30, but it fits and works.


  23. Edith,
    On January 29, 2011 at 7:00 am I did a cut and paste of the bad pargraph into a comment to you and it is now causing trouble I believe. Would you please delete that comment. I have refreshed my feed and I’m still getting the same error and I think it’s on my own bad previous comment.

    For future reference, I’m getting the error in Internet Explorer running on both VISTA and XP. Everything seems to work fine in Firefox.

  24. B.B.

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your posts- especially this series regarding collecting. I may have inadvertently become a collector myself. I’ve always lusted after a fine-quality airgun for plinking and varmints and I recently stumbled upon an ad for a “Fahrwerkblau air rifle in need of TLC”. The owner had not fired it in years and did not know the model number, but he confirmed it was German, it did “spit air” and was in decent shape so I bought it sight unseen for $75. I picked it up from him and it is an FWB 150, a Daisy import in very good shape- it even has the owner’s manual and factory target. Could I bother you off-forum for a little advice?

    Thanks! Waldo1

    • Waldo1,

      B.B.’s not signed on right now, but he asked me to tell you this:

      Unless your question is personally embarrassing, I’d like to keep it here on the blog so all our readers can profit from the discussion. Also, there’s quite a bit of expertise in our readership, and I may not be able to answer your question or comment on it as well as someone else.

      So, ask whatever you like! By the way, you DID get a great deal. A 150 in shooting condition should be worth at least $450. One problem your gun does have is that the factory seals did not last. By this time, they should have been replaced, so they’re probably okay.


  25. Thanks, Edith! My questions are not personally embarrassing (although I do have a few stories which would be…) I just didn’t want to detract from the original topic. My quandary is this: I was looking for more of a field-type rifle and this FWB 150 is much nicer and has intrinsic value to a collector. I am more of a ‘user’ and being honest with myself, I could not do this rifle justice. I will almost certainly sell or trade it for something with a little more velocity and the ability to mount a small magnification scope (old eyes). I DO appreciate finely-engineered German products (I own, maintain and ride a 1977 BMW R75/7 motorcycle) so I want this to go to a good home- like my bike, they aren’t making any more of them. It will need a rebuild, as the pressure generated by the powerplant is obviously weaker than it should be and there is brown debris that is expelled from the muzzle when dry fired.

    I have been shooting for decades (grew up with a Daisy and graduated to a Crosman 760 when I was about 12) and am a member at local outdoor club, so I get plenty of trigger time with firearms. I am not on a mad quest recreate that in an airgun. I am looking for an accurate, well-made air rifle for casual target practice (not competition) and to keep the squirrels away from my bird feeders. My questions are; Should I have it rebuilt prior to advertising it or leave it ‘as-is’ so that the new owner can have the re-build done by someone they prefer? Are repair parts even available and if so, where? Do you have any suggestions (loaded question, I know) on a FWB model that would better suit my needs? Should I just have it rebuilt, shoot it and enjoy it for the piece of functional art that it is? I guess I am just looking for some thoughts and guidance from some of the more experienced.


    • Waldo,

      very nice find. Many of us lust after an affordable FWB 124 but I think any FWB is great to own. A couple of things for your information – first, off-topic questions on the current blog are ALWAYS welcome! Only a few of us monitor the older blogs and respond (yesterday I responded to a question on a 6 year old blog). Post on the current blog for the most exposure to the bloggers. Second, parts for your rifle -spring and seal, are available. A fellow named Jim Maccari makes his own springs and seals for many FWB’s. You can find him on the internet at http://www.airrifleheadquarters.com. I suspect that brown residue coming out of the barrel is the remnants of the seal – try to NEVER dry fire any air rifle as without a pellet to provide a cushion of air, the piston and seal will slam into the end of the compression chamber. Modern seals can take the punishment but not on a regular basis.

      To take the rifle apart, do a search for instructions on this blog – it’s been documented many times. You may have to do a search for FWB on the archives to find the article – everything is on the right side of the screen. Your seal may actually be a leather one but I can’t be sure as I’m not the FWB expert here. It’s also been documented on how to make a new leather seal on past blogs. Searches will turn this up, as well.

      One last thing – Mr. Maccari does not suffer fools gladly and will not answer “dumb” questions – that’s what we’re here for. 🙂 Welcome to the wonderful world of airguns. Hope you stick around.

      Fred PRoNJ

    • Waldo,

      You have described the classic problem of a disintegrating piston seal. That brown stuff you see is particles of what used to be the piston. Do not attempt to shoot the gun any more, as it will only damage the parts. Without the seal the gun is simply dry-firing.

      This does subtract something from the value of the gun that I mentioned. A reseal job on a 150 costs at least $150 and may be even higher. But even so, you still have a great gun that is worth a lot.

      Assuming it is in good condition otherwise, and assuming that it has the target sights, you could easily trade your rifle for something as nice as a Feinwekbau 124 in working condition. You should not have to reseal your gun to do this.

      I would advise against trying to fix this rifle yourself. These are complex guns that require an experienced hand.

      Randy Bimrose is the go-to guy for resealing the 150. He is so established in this that I do not know of any other place to do the work. Contact him here, if you decide to have the gun resealed:


      In my opinion, I would not have the rifle fixed before trading it. Why go to the trouble, when a 150 is easy to trade in any condition?

      Speaking of condition, what is the condition of your rifle?


  26. I don’t know if the Bbb will accept the picture, but I’ll try one. The rifle is, to me, in great shape for a weapon manufactured in 1967- 6 years after I was born! I wish that I were in such condition! The stock has a few minor scratches and dings, which appear to be from storage and handling as opposed to abuse. There is one deep mark on the wood just below the cocking arm where it looks like someone lost their grip and the arm slapped ‘home’ under spring pressure, indenting the wood just below where it is inletted for the stowage of the cocking arm. Most if not all of the wood marring would steam out and be invisible if followed by a light sanding and a tung oil refinish. The bluing looks great in normal light, but under a bright light you can see it thinning and brown ‘freckling’ on the barrel just above the forearm (grasping the barrel while cocking?) and near the chamber opening (loading pellets?).

    The action is smooth and consistent when cocking, with a soft racheting sound as the lever is moved in both directions. It takes a little more effort to close the cocking arm than I expected, but this is my first experience with this type of rifle.

    The sights are are a one-piece design (mount and windage/elevation) all cast in one piece. The eyepiece itself is labeled, “Anchutz” and there is a rotating ring calibrated from 09- 16 in one complete revolution. Integral in this eyepiece is a secondary ring which, when rotated, appears to change the size and color of the aperture. Sorry for the vague description, but the most complicated sights I have previously seen are on my M1 Garands.

    The manual and test target are pretty neat. They are signed and dated July 24, 1967.


    • Waldo1,

      Well, your 150 looks pretty good. I am working on an FWB 124 that I just got a few days ago. It’s the rifle shown in the last photo in this article, above. It needs a piston seal, so I’m tuning it right now. It has a scope, but no open sights. I would sight it in and test it before sending it.

      I need to tune it so I can write an article about it, but if you would be interested in it, I would swap it for your 150. That would give you the sporting rifle you want and I could get the 150 resealed and then test it for this blog. I’m always looking for new guns to test.

      If you do want to do this, I need some time to tune the rifle, before I could send it. If you want to try other rifles, I’m sure you could get a good trade for your 150 as it is. Here are two airgun classified ad sites to look at:




      • “I need to tune it so I can write an article about it, but if you would be interested in it, I would swap it for your 150. That would give you the sporting rifle you want and I could get the 150 resealed and then test it for this blog. I’m always looking for new guns to test.”

        That, Sir, sounds like a plan! I had hoped that I could find it a good home and I believe that I have. You must promise to send me some good pics when you finish with her. Do you have access to my e-mail address via the control panel? Lets get in touch and you can get me your shipping address. Your new 150 may as well sit in your safe as mine until you are ready to get started.

        Thanks, B.B.!


        P.S. Take good care of my 124- I hear that you do nice work!

    • “The eyepiece itself is labeled, “Anchutz” and there is a rotating ring calibrated from 09- 16 in one complete revolution.”

      Sure there is no “s” in that name?

      Looks like a lovely competition peep sight. Don’t know what the 09-16 ring represents, unless it is the size of the aperture (presuming an adjustable iris type) in millimeters. Though 9mm seems a touch large for the finest setting, and 16mm would be over half an inch — too large to call it a peep… Maybe 0.9 to 1.6mm? Naw — too narrow a range then… 0.09-0.16 inches? That would span about equally over both sides of an 1/8″ aperture.

      • Wulfraed,

        You have an eye for detail! It took my reading glasses and a 3 Watt LED light to even get that many letters! On the inner surface of the eyepiece it is engraved: J.G. Anschutz GmbH ULM West Germany. The smaller, offset adjustment ring definitely varies the color/brightness of the sight picture and the larger, rotating portion of the eyepiece graduated from 09-16 does decrease the size of the iris/aperature as you are vewing the target.


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