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Ammo BSA Polaris underlever air rifle: Part 3

BSA Polaris underlever air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

BSA’s Polaris underlever air rifle is an attractive new design. Featuring BSA’s rotary breech, this rifle comes in a hardwood stock.

Today is accuracy day, and I hope I have a surprise for you. Sometimes, I get an airgun that just wants to shoot, and the BSA Polaris underlever air rifle seems to be just such a gun. It isn’t quite in the TX200 class, but it rivals the Diana 46 underlever more than a little. So now let me stop telling you the results and instead show the tests that provided them.

The scope
I decided to go straight to a scope. Since I had it on hand, I mounted the Hawke 4.5-14×42 Sidewinder tactical scope. The more I use this scope, the better I like it. I definitely need to find a way to keep this one around, because the optics are finer than anything I have in my gun closet.

Unfortunately, I did a poor job of mounting the scope. For starters, I used high rings, and the Polaris already has a tall scope base, plus this Hawke is designed for low mounting. It ended up being so high that I had to put my chin on the comb to see the image. Also, I mounted the scope too far back, so instead of a full image that was bright, I was getting a smaller image with black borders. The image rotated around the central axis of the reticle as I moved my eye slightly. Nevertheless, as you will shortly see, I got good results in spite of these problems.

Obviously, this scope is mounted too high. It made me shoot with my chin on the comb. Also, the scope could be moved forward a little.

Firing behavior
For most of the test, the Polaris acted like a tuned air rifle. The shot cycle was quick and without any buzzing. That’s what put me in mind of the Diana 46. Only when I shot the lightweight Air Arms Falcon pellets did it have just a touch of buzz.

I’ll criticize the Polaris trigger a little. The long second stage that releases so indifferently is a distraction. However, I remember something I learned years ago about shooting accurately with a poor trigger. Squeeze the trigger faster and your groups will shrink. Whenever you have a trigger that’s vague, get through the pull as fast as you can without disrupting the sight picture and you’ll get the best results. I tried that technique here, and pellets started going through the same holes.

Modified artillery hold
Normally, I like to place my off hand back, touching the triggerguard. With the Polaris, this makes the rifle so very muzzle-heavy that it shakes. For this one, I slid the off hand forward to the point that I could feel the cocking slot on my palm. That settled the rifle down and, as the groups will show, it was a good hold.

The Polaris is very forgiving of the hold, as long as you follow through. Make sure you’re on target when the sear releases, and the rifle does the rest.

Sight-in with Premier lites
I sighted-in with 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellets. The range was 25 yards, and it took 8 shots to get on target. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of making the POI the exact intersection of the crosshairs, so on the first target I blew out the aim point on the first shot. With other scopes, that might not have mattered as much, but this Hawke is so sharp that I had to guess where the center of the target was. Yet, with all that going on, I managed to shoot the best group of the day with the first pellet tested.

Ten Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domes went through this 0.385-inch group at 25 yards. It was the best group of the day.

At this point, I got that confident feeling about this rifle. I actually started feeling good about the Polaris in Part 2 when I saw the velocity was not ridiculous. You’ll remember that the velocity for Premier lites was 782 f.p.s. That made me think that this might be a good shooter; and if this target doesn’t convince you of that, I don’t know what will. Remember, the Polaris is a spring-piston rifle and these are 10-shot groups. This is very good performance for such a rifle.

Air Arms Falcon
Next, I dropped the scope by 10 clicks so I wouldn’t shoot away the aim point. This time, the pellet was the Air Arms Falcon dome that in some air rifles has been shown to be a winner. The 10-shot group was slightly larger but still able to hide under a dime.

Ten Air Arms Falcon pellets went into this 25-yard group that measures 0.467 inches. It was the worst group of the test, yet a dime can entirely cover it. The group is intentionally low, so the aim point isn’t shot away.

With the 7.33-grain Falcons, the Polaris also buzzed a little with every shot. Maybe this isn’t the best pellet for this rifle, though it isn’t that bad.

JSB Exact RS
The final pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. Another 7.33-grain light weight, the RS didn’t make the powerplant buzz, so there’s a definite difference between it and the Falcon pellet. It gave me a better group than the Falcons, too.

Ten JSB Exact RS pellets made this 0.431-inch 10-shot group at 25 yards.

Overall impressions
The BSA Polaris is a killer air rifle! One of those that comes along so rarely. I’m thinking strongly of putting it in Tom’s Picks, because it isn’t that often I test a gun that is this easy to shoot and also is one that shoots so well.

Want to know what this rifle reminded me of? It reminded me of my Beeman R8, which is another lower-velocity springer that shoots 25-yard groups a dime can cover. You can’t buy a new R8 anymore, but the Polaris is available as a new gun.

I have to give this rifle high marks for almost everything except the trigger. But it isn’t a magnum by any means. It’s just a good accurate spring rifle that wants to shoot where it’s aimed. You can’t do much better than that.

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

60 thoughts on “BSA Polaris underlever air rifle: Part 3”

  1. B.B.,
    That is good shooting, even if the trigger is not great. Great advice! – “… shooting accurately with a poor trigger. Squeeze the trigger faster and your groups will shrink.”. I think that with a little more work, those groups will shrink even more, which means that we haven’t yet seen the full potential of this rifle. I speak from experience. Some springers took me months to master. Maybe I’m slow, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that the rifle had potential that just took awhile to realize. This looks like one of those rifles!

  2. I wonder what the accuracy might be with slightly heavier pellets? I found that the heavier premiers shot better in one of my rifles that was at about this power range.

  3. I must say, I’m surprised that these gun manufacturers just don’t bite the bullet and create better triggers? On average, they’ve been doing this for nearly half a century. Why can’t they just add a little refinement? If you look at the GRT III trigger, you see that it’s not exactly a lot of extra design, engineering, or manufacturing. If it’s greed, or laziness, then it’s very short sighted. I can’t think of one good reason why they don’t make better triggers. It truly boggles the mind. Some of these guns have a lot going for them, except for a decent trigger. Why, why, why?

      • Yes, the attorneys and I think, BSA and others may see the customer base as measured by the posts on various forums and their age groups/experience as follows: 1) 18-25 yr old ex-daisy/airsoft guy… “this rifle rocks, I shot 3 starlings at 30 yards and killed them all”. This guy is not a paper puncher or interested in 10 or 20 meter accuracy and his basis for assesing trigger refinement is based on the previous mentioned guns. 2) Older, more knowledgeable shooter, probably owns a Benji 392 and a 2240 pistol, both un-modified… “this gun is super smooth and the trigger ain’t bad compared to other guns that I have, I can put 10 pellets inside a 2″ ring at about 30 yards” 3) Airgun afficionados (of any age) like the folks on this forum, who appreciate 10 meter accuracy and triggers in a hunting rifle and know how airguns work inside and out…”nice rifle but… (add your own comment, critique here).

        BB knows the sales numbers and marketing better than I but, I’m guessing that market groups 1 and 2 represent 80% of the target market for the airgun companies? (with black rifles being another 80% of group 1)

        • “lawyer triggers”
          Some examples come to mind…
          Daisy Powerline 1000 (turkish) hard and painful after a few shots, as is the rest of the rifle.
          Benji 397 and I think the Daisy 853..sear pivot point and the hammer catch end create an angular motion to release the hammer. The end of the sear does not just have to slide down to release the hammer. It has to push the hammer back to release. You have to fight the trigger spring, and the sear spring, AND the hammer spring.

          By the way, did you get the peep sight installed and tested??


          • TT

            Yes, and working fine, no elevation issue on my gun as others have reported.

            Thanks again TT, I wanted at least ONE of my rifles to be open sights and this 397 is the one!

            Brian in Idaho

            • Still have to get better zero on both, but have been having a weather problem. Might be a while yet.
              Also need to do a fine zero on the 97K and R9. If I can catch a good day, I might get all four done at the same time. They are all close right now. Close enough to use except at longer ranges.


              • TT let me know your best 10 meter groups with the HW97 (if that’s your initial sight-in distance).

                I’ll be glad to take on a challenge and maybe we can have a blog/postal match?

                Mine likes .177 RWS Superdomes and I’m using a Hawke 3-12x X 40 AO scope.

                • I am sighted in at about 20 yds. I have it set up for just a bit high at 25. Don’t have a full 10 indoors, and the scope does not focus that short.
                  BSA Tactical Stealth 4-16x and H+N FTT 4.50.
                  Notice I avoided the amperesand?

                  Will have to be bench rest. My offhand shooting is pretty poor, particularly with how heavy the 97 is.

                  When it gets warmer there should be some fairly calm days. It does that in the spring. During summer and fall there are quite a few days when it gets calm right about at sundown. Would hate to see what skeeter repellent would do to the finish. They are not too bad if the weather has been dry enough to outlast their life cycle. In such times, it is only necessary to spray my hat and the back of my shirt to keep them away.


      • Kevin,
        I wasn’t necessarily thinking that a lighter trigger was the answer, although there should be a minimal standard for that, like say 4 pounds. What I was thinking was simply a smoother trigger.

        I’ve read several articles on “do it yourself” trigger improvements for various types of gun, and the solutions are always surprisingly minimal, including a relatively small amount of grinding and polishing. When you look at the before and after pictures of most of these solutions, you can barely see the difference. Sure, it takes a little trial and error, as I’m sure CharlieDaTuna did, but the point is that it only has to be done ONCE. And who would be better qualified and equipped for this than gun manufacturers that have been in the business for half a century and have the resources?

        I’m not asking for trigger assembly redesign, just a small amount of refinement, as lots of people end up doing themselves. The customer should not have to do this, when the solutions are so simple (at least they should be trivial for gun manufacturers who have been in the business for half a century).


        • Agreed, and I hope these guys are reading these blogs? The 2240 pistol is a prime example of stamped/sheared trigger parts that only require a little stoning and moly to be 100% better! I would pay another $10 for the 2240 if it was laready done at the factory, hell, even $20 more. But, I guess I am not the target market at Crosman?

          Like Harley Davidsons with the “brushed aluminum” (yuck) front forks, I would pay the extra $200 that it costs the factory to polish and chrome those all important features on the bike but Nooooo… they want to sell you chromed forks for $800 + labor as an accesory item.

          I almost get the profit motive at HD, but not the so-called cost motive at Crosman.

        • I’ve come to realize that the definition of a “good trigger” is a very personal thing.

          The majority of the market for entry level guns seems to be very forgiving of trigger creep, length of pull and weight. Trigger ergonomics don’t even seem to be a consideration with this target market. Initially, they seem more interested in how fast the pellet goes once they’ve pulled the trigger. Later comes a desire then demand for accuracy. Seems it much later they realize that the quality of a trigger, ergonomics, fit of the gun to them etc. plays a vital role in accuracy and prolonged shooting comfort.

          Since a good trigger is personal I’m afraid we will be relegated to cleaning, lubing and adjusting our own triggers to our liking. As long as the trigger is adjustable or has an aftermarket drop in trigger unit that is I’m fine. I’m not going to pay a higher price for the factory to adjust my trigger since they wouldn’t get it right for me anyway. My two cents.

          ps-I won’t shoot an airgun with a 4 pound trigger more than twice. It would be on the work bench very quickly.


  4. B.B.

    Exactly just like I said: CFX, and its twins are a cheapest possible “serious” air rifles. And just what I discovered about CFX Royal – it likes being held with left hand just in the end of cocking slot.
    It’s practically the same very good rifle, although I like Polaris’s woodwork more. Well, CFX Royal has an advantage of better-shaped rear cover, I like it streamlined. Another disadvantage is too much plastic to my liking. Anyway, it’s a great rifle with an advantage of safe loading and tremendous upgradeability.

    Some CFX suffered off-center boring. Not fatal, but not very elegant. How’s Polaris from that point of view?


    It’s greed, mixed with down-to-earthiness. Most airgunners never think about achieving B.B.’s results, displayed here, so they just don’t need such precise instrument as GRT-III or IV. It’s a couple of bucks, saved on EVERY rifle in many thousand batch.
    On the other hand, if that feature was made and installed – that would improve the rifle’s prize for at least $75 – as it’ll become another class. Do you need that? $34 and a minute’s work is better than $75 for some dude across half the globe IMO.


    • duskwight,
      Your logic, as it applies to expectations of more typical air-gunners, is fine, IF we’re talking about the air guns that one might buy at Wally-World for under $160, but as in the case of the Polaris, we’re talking about a gun that has a suggested retail price of $450.

      I think that the expectations could and should be higher for airguns that have a suggested retail price of OVER $200 (OK, maybe $300). Things should not be so complicated that the buyer always has to consider after market improvements, AND the customer should not be forced to shell $500+ for a more refined brand and model, just to get a better trigger. Again, lots of these guns have a great deal going for them, except for the trigger.

      Bottom line, I think that airgun manufacturers should do their loyal customers a service by simply providing better value without being greedy (i.e., jacking up the price because they shaved a few millimeters off of a sear, hammer, or some other part of the trigger mechanism). Design an improved trigger once, and then go back to selling millions of them over decades. These manufacturers are very conservative about keeping their designs. Trouble is, they keep bad designs. They should provide a better design and then stick to that for decades. I’m sure that no one will complain. Nothing wrong with a win-win situation in my book.


      • A design that has not been successfully attacked by the lawyers’ brigade will remain in service. Make any change to it, and the lawyers will instantly claim that you didn’t test this or take that into account, and you’ve opened yourself to a suit. Probably applies more to triggers than any other group in the gun, because that is what makes the gun discharge.

        • pete z,
          Quality and questionable safety can be two entirely different matters. Consider that Gamo recently changed (“improved”) their trigger. That was the time to really consider improvements that included better quality. Why didn’t Gamo, or Crosman, just design something on the same order of quality as the GRT III trigger, leaving in a little extra weight? CharlieDaTuna is probably grinning all the way to the bank (as he should, and I’m glad of it for him), but the whole additional step of having to buy such an aftermarket improvement should not have been necessary. See my response to Kevin above.

          • Quality and safety are different things. But a design change gives the lawyers a new chance to raise the liability/safety questions in the hope of getting a different answer. Charliedatuna and other tuners may be taking a chance making unsanctioned (by the manufacturer) mods to a gun. Perhaps they don’t have deep enough pockets, but just wait until some idiot kid does something that causes the gun to fire when it’s pointing at junior.

      • Victor I’d like to add that offering increased value to customers can be practically free for manufacturers by simply tightening up quality control. I find it amazing how many new airguns and scopes must be returned, often more than once, due to improper operation, breakage or complete failure. This hurts distributors and manufacturers alike. I agree with you that offering just a bit more content could in many cases greatly increase perceived quality and appeal. When I discover a product that offers true value, I feel eager to promote it because I appreciate it. I’ve often found the best values of any product type lie at that particular point on the cost curve where things start to get expensive – but before they get too fancy. I’d even say that if someone really loves airgunning and can make the stretch to purchase say, a TX 200, that they should do this instead of going through several inexpensive guns they will never find true happiness with. If less-than-great accuracy, gritty operation, breakage and cheesy plastic feel turn you off, they’ll just end up in the basement. What will something be worth in 20 years? I find tremendous value in knowing that the people who made a particular product were passionate about it, in getting enjoyment from holding, admiring or maintaining it, and to be able to pass it on to another person many years later. Getting off topic here but yeah, Crosman could have done better on this 2240 I just got. Breech is crooked, sights can’t be adjusted far enough to make it shoot straight, and I don’t feel it should be my job to fix this on a new gun. Lurking in Custom Shop, where I’m hoping there’s a bit more attention to assembly quality. Maybe I’ll even have a TX 200 someday.

        • Ken,
          I’ve had to return a couple scopes myself. One simply never worked, and another didn’t take long before it stopped working. But because of who and how I am, I spent days trying to figure out if it was a hopeless cause. I’ve been very fortunate in that I love all of my air guns. Unfortunately, I have had to replace at least 4 triggers with the GRT III. Factor the extra $25 to $30 dollars into a better product and all of us would be much happier. Why isn’t this obvious to the manufacturers? Obviously, someone is not listening, or maybe we haven’t spoken loud enough yet.

  5. B.B.

    That turned out to be a good shooter in spite of a couple of unforseen handicaps. Also looks to be less fussy about hold and pellets. If this model is consistently like this then it would be a great choice as long as you are not looking for a mega-magnum. I would guess that the open sights are also in the right position for easy use if a scope is not wanted.

    Have to wonder how this one would have worked with medium exacts, fts, ftt, and preds. AND a lower scope.

    I ran into the ‘scope too high’ problem when I tried a scope with the droop adapter and low rings on my 48. I found it too wobbly with a chin weld.
    I found that the mile long trigger on the Titan could be best dealt with by just pulling through it rather than a slow squeeze.
    Here you had both problems but still pulled good groups.


  6. BB,
    Those accuracy results look good — I had to check and make sure they were 25 yards. I also wonder if the scope being mounted too far back didn’t work to your advantage — forcing you to have the same eye position each time.

    • AlanL,

      I log in as myself and have to switch the selection to B.B.’s name. Sometimes, I forget. It’s happened several times before. No big deal. Corrected now.


  7. That’s some impressive accuracy. Maybe I should try to master the non-repeatable chin weld.

    I’m going to remember this gun as an inexpensive alternative to the tx200.


  8. A few months back you were testing a Beeman R7 and ran into some scope problems. As I recall your plans were to retest with a different scope. Did I miss that report or is it just something you haven’t gotten around to doing?

  9. Good shootin BB. Nice gun for the $ too. I too like the wood on it. I never was a fan of the compostie on the CFX, though it doesn’t give me any complaints, and is functional. The scope is awesome, I NEED ONE! I WILL HAVE ONE!


  10. Afternoon B.B.,

    A very interesting rifle. This will be the next springer that I buy. However, a .25 caliber PCP is standing in line before the BSA Polaris underlever. Any idea when AirForce’s will be in stock?


    • Mr. B.,

      They have already sold both guns and spare barrels, but they ran out. They estimate another two months before they will have them ready again. The problem is AirForce orders barrels faster than Lothar Walther can supply them. They typically order a thousand barrels or more at a time. It takes LW some time to manufacture that many barrels, then they are shipped by surface, which takes another month.

      Once AirForce receives them they have to be ground to remove hard scale, then hot-tank blued, cleaned and have their bushings attached.


    • Bruce,

      I’m been thinking about a .25 cal pcp for quite awhile. The urge has increased since shooting erik’s EXTREMELY accurate marauder in .25 caliber. It’s a laser at 50 yards but also an airhog. About 15 shots is max. I’m still trying to figure out what my .25 cal would do that my .22 cal pcp’s can’t. ??

      I’ve looked at but haven’t heard any first hand reports of the new .25 cal in the Air Arms 510. The velocity numbers stated on Pyramyd Airs site seem anemic. Waiting to hear about the shot count, velocity etc. in the new Royale.

      If you don’t mind me asking, what do you plan on doing with a .25 cal? What made you decide on the talon/condor?


        • B.B.,

          Sorry for the confusion I was referring to the FX Royale. Did you mean to type Daystate Royale?

          His .25 cal has to push the jsb kings (25.4gr) pellets at least 880fps (44-45 fpe) to be accurate. I like the Air Arms guns but the 510 specs on Pyramyd Airs site lists it as 780fps/42fpe which seems underpowered in my very limited experience. What’s your take?

          Good luck with the blue book project. Sure are a lot of guns that should be listed. Was trying to find info last night on the lgv uit. Nothing in my year old blue book. Sure is a great reference though. Had no idea you had the time for a major project like that. I’m guessing that you cut sleep out of your schedule to accomodate all the irons you have in the fire.


      • kevin,

        I am planing on shooting woodchucks at 95 to 115 yards and want the extra foot pounds of energy that the .25 caliber will give me. I have a Talon SS in .22 caliber with the optional 24″ barrel that gives me ” 4 guns” guns by switching barrels and using CO2 and HPA. Also have the LDC’s from Van and Martin at AirHog. They’ve got a .25 Caliber AirForce based rifle for sale now which is looking better and better to me.

        I like the AirForce platform–good value for the money, very accurate and highly modifiable plus Van’s LDC’s are very very quiet and sold for a very fair price epically considering their efficiency.


  11. B.B. nice gun and nice shooting. The word is that firearms have become much more accurate within the last few decades, so maybe the same is true of air rifles, and not just pcps. Is there a difference between a stiff trigger and a heavy trigger? My B30’s trigger requires much more weight than any of my other guns yet sometimes I misfire prematurely, so the actual tension required is not that much.

    CowBoyStar Dad, that is outrageous about your son’s bookmark. I think that Duskwight has a great idea in making a bookmark out of an M1. Then the teacher could see the comparison between that and the D-Day photo. The fact is that the AK has enormous historical relevance in changing the fate of whole nations and being featured on some national flags.

    Duskwight, I understand that the bully victim in Australia was suspended for the same length of time as his attacker even after literally turning the other cheek. Crazy. I did have the teacher’s point of view explained to me by an elementary school teacher. She told me how she broke up a fight, and when she asked one of the participants why he was fighting, he told her that the other kid had punched him in the “privates.” Sounds very provoking to me! But the teacher said even if that was true, you can’t let it go because then there would be chaos. As Lincoln would say, the real enemy is war…. Given that lower-grade teachers are often operating on the edge of total disorder, you can sort of see their point, but it is not satisfactory at all. Much more satisfying is another person I heard about who worked as a substitute teacher. One kid was so insufferable that the teacher went to the biggest boy in class and told him to take out the other kid during recess (!) which he gleefully proceeded to do. And during questioning he had an airtight alibi: the teacher told me to. That was one short-lived excursion into the field of education for the teacher. Has anyone noticed that the elementary levels of education sometimes have the oddest most underqualified people teaching kids at what is arguably their most sensitive stage of development. Of course there are outstanding exceptions to this.

    Also viscerally satisfying is a story I heard from one girl that during her first romance at age 14, her boyfriend (a real creep) subjected her to psychological warfare which pushed her to the brink of suicide. She finally explained things to her father at which point all torment ceased as well as just about all contact with the tormentor. She finally asked her father what happened, and the story that he told matter-of-factly was that he took his hulking temperamental self over to the kid’s house and when the kid answered the door told him that he would kill him if he ever upset his daughter again. Sounds good, but what if the parents had opened the door….It’s rarely this simple. Victor, you’re the man of control for restraining yourself with all of your realistic Karate training, when your daughter was treated the way she was. I’m extremely careful in the way that I might use any martial arts technique but I believe that your scenario would legitimate just about anything. On the other hand, you’re right. Self-defense in modern society is less about repelling aggression than about walking a fine line between aggression on the one hand and the irrational legal system on the other. You want to go low under the radar. I’ve heard that one thing that can be done to help yourself is hit with an open hand; a closed fist crosses some legal boundary. An open hand can push or be as good as a strike and done properly it can do much more damage internally, all without leaving a mark. There is a whole class of martial arts techniques that are done covertly so that you don’t look like you’re doing anything like the damage you really are. I’ve heard of this in connection with the French martial art of Savate which developed covert techniques when it was the province of gangsters and there is a certain amount of this is in the Russian Systema style that I admire so much. By the way, Victor, was it your son that became the physical therapist? Good job. I considered that field myself at one point and encouraged myself by thinking that Jesus, after all, was a physical therapist.

    Not covert at all but highly useful in evening things up with bullies is the area of improvised weapons. There is an interesting story about this from Peyton Quinn, now a martial arts teacher and proponent of real-world Karate based training. When he was a kid, some bully would smash his lunch tray to the ground when he was in line leaving him nothing to eat, costing him money, and embarrassing him. Somehow this went on daily without intervention by teachers. Finally, he got to the point where he figured he had nothing to lose by resisting this much bigger person even if he got a beating. He spent nights meditating about what to do, and finally it came to him. He had a metal lunch tray in his hand. He figured how he had just one shot so he needed to make it count. So he imagined in great detail just how he would grip the tray and where he would aim it. (This is quite an advertisement for visualization.) On the appointed day, bang went his lunch to the floor, and indeed the rest of the scenario went in well-oiled fashion as he gave the assailant a tremendous lick on the top of the head with the metal tray. Down went the bully. It felt ecstatic. He gave him another, and another…. He was starting to experiment with the edge of the tray when the useless teachers arrived and pulled him off. Whatever the punishment was apparently did not affect the course of his life at all.

    PeteZ and then there is a response of ultimate elegance which you should appreciate. The story apparently is that James Maxwell, discoverer of the theories of Electromagnetism and second only to Einstein (and Newton) among all physicists was bullied unmercifully as a child. He was small and studious and subject to a particular kind of nasty and systematic bullying that one finds in the British public school system. There was no grand vengeance, no metal trays to the head. Life went on. When asked about this period later in life, he simply said of his tormentors, “They didn’t understand me, but I understood them.” I take this to mean that beneath the posturing, the emotions, and the different points-of-view of bullying experiences, Maxwell knew as much as he knew his science that the bullies were in fact low-life creeps. That and, as the saying goes, the best revenge is to live well since nothing stopped him from being a super-success.

    Reloaders, all this talk of case trimming has made me wonderng what exactly is case resizing that you do routinely with a resizing die. After all, trimming a case is resizing it in a manner of speaking. Does resizing per se have to do with reshaping as opposed to cutting a case? On the other hand, I thought that the expanding gases from a discharge force a case into the exact shape of a chamber, and isn’t this what you want? This is a puzzle for me.


    • Matt61,
      As I approached the situation, I was a man with a clear purpose, namely, to save my daughter. I was honestly in shock at what had happened, and had tunnel vision. In the back of my mind, I knew that I might be having to face several opponents, which often becomes the case, but NOTHING was going to stop me from saving my daughter. Most men would die for their child, and that certainly was the case for me. Besides what I saw, I also saw the horror in my wife’s face, and that put me into a mental state for action. But I know that restraint first must be the priority. This jerk was proud of what he had done, so when I got to them, I did a quick assessment of the situation (in a nano second), and made the decision that the first thing to do was separate him from her. That is what I did, and that made it clear that I was now in charge. My daughter was safe, and I was satisfied with that.

      Understand, I truly was in shock, and perceived that this could turn into a life or death situation. I was coherent, but on the edge. Had I sensed aggression, I think that I would have switched into a mode that I’m glad I didn’t. My one act was already swift, powerful, and decisive. Again, I was taught to end a fight in under a minute. I know not to allow myself to take that course, without a very good reason. I learned one very important lesson from this, namely, that watching your child in danger changes EVERYTHING. It someone threatened me, I’d feel entirely different, since I’ve fought so many highly skilled men. I’d feel little in the way of fear. With my experience, I’d mostly feel adrenaline (almost an excitement, which is good). But seeing my daughter in danger put my senses in overdrive. I felt a fear that I could never feel for my own safety. What helped was that I knew what the goal was, namely, to provide safety for my daughter. Once I had that, I switched off. That was the closest that I’ve ever gotten to feeling true absolute terror.


    • Wulfraed,

      Oops, forgot to check case length. .45acp fired once, it’s their first reloading. Sized, belled, primed and ready for powder and bullets. Got too cold in garage tonight, so I stopped. Check ’em manyana!


  12. Here’s my opinion for the reason for the not so perfect factory-installed triggers. The answer is planned elimination of manufacturer liability in a higher percentage of lawsuits. The triggers are designed to need upgrading because lawyers know that’s the first thing you’ll “fix”. Once you have modified that trigger in any way not designed in the original specs, the manufacturer is off the hook for any damage claims. The defense will claim the gun safe until the plaintiff modified it…lawsuit denied…Charlie-da-Tuna then becomes the next defendant who then claims his trigger is safe if installed properly…plaintiff must prove otherwise…if the trigger was honed, filed, molly’ed, or reshaped by a DIY’er…case dismissed.

    • Chuck,
      But then there are all the manufacturers who sell excellent triggers independent of pull (RWS, Beeman, etc.). Some of them are in fact very light, but not all. Sure, you have to pay an additional $200 to $400 for them, but you also get a whole lot more in terms of finish, but not always more accuracy. I’m not asking that Crosman, Gamo, or other lower-end manufacturers, provide a true match trigger, just something with a little more polish so that an after market trigger doesn’t have to be a consideration. It just seems more efficient and a more value added approach to doing business. Again, everyone wins. What’s wrong with that?

      • It appears that Victor is just asking for a sear face and trigger that is not a chop-saw or sheared at an angle piece of junk. That is not so much to ask from a Co. like Crosman or even Gamo. My AR2078 trigger components look like net-shape investment castings with bead blasted finish by comparison, and that gun is straight from China!

        C’mon Bloomfield NY, fix the junk steel triggers (and the poor casting features and the trigger wobble due to the poor casting features etc).

        Someday, you will have to quit beating that 100x amortized tooling and fixtures for the 2240?

        • Brian in Idaho,
          You got it! I’m not asking for much, almost just the minimum, which is something that isn’t shoddy, which some of these triggers can be. In part, my point is that some of these rifles are actually quite good, except for the trigger. The trigger is the one thing that sticks out as much as the more positive qualities. It’s just such a shame that potentially great products are produced, only to be offset by a small piece, or two, of metal. It really boils down to that. Again, I’m NOT asking for a complete trigger redesign, just a bit more attention to detail and polish. I’m not asking that they be made light weight, only that they feel crisp, clean, and predictable. Remember, these are relatively large manufacturers who could do just about anything, IF they really wanted to.

          • I think it’s a bit odd that manufacturers don’t pay a bit more attention to the trigger, just on the basis of sales. After all, the trigger is the one movable part on a gun that users interact with. Even somebody who is not a serious shot, or who is a beginner with a BB gun can feel the difference. You don’t have to install a match trigger, but these assemblies that feel like they are grinding metal parts cannot inspire confidence — nor can they help hit the target.

            My own feeling is that if a new shooter (or new customer) can hit a target reasonably consistently, he or she gets more pleasure out of a gun than if the pellets or BBs go wild. And more pleasure means more sales of accessories and guns. A roughly decent sight and a decent trigger go a long way.

            • Pete,
              That’s exactly my point. If polishing up a piece or two of metal can change the whole experience, then why not? This is one reason that lots of guns end up sitting in the corner somewhere, never to be shot again, and more important, never to produce a return customer. Why settle for a win-lose outcome, when you can have a win-win situation? A win-lose outcome always requires justification, but a win-win outcome never does. It just generates praise, and customer praise is how you gain repeat customers. No leap in logic here that I can see.

      • Victor,
        It’s always difficult to cover a complete opinion in a blog paragraph. My response to your comment would be that maybe the more expensive guns are targeted for a higher level of shooter who is less likely to be reckless, but more interested in quality, whereas the cheaper rifles are bought by more inexperienced, new to air rifles, younger shooter therefore more likely to be careless and accident prone with no idea of quality. It’s an opinion not backed up by any studies.

  13. BB,

    Now that’s what I am talking about. A gun that can shoot, and a shooter dead on when testing! Keep up the good work.

    In my book a gun that can shoot less than dime size groups at 25 yards is a keeper!

  14. BB had encouraged me with his shooting today so tonight I took out the RWS 52 and posted a 10M silhouette target (pictures of animals on a piece of paper at 28″). Nailed first 4 and 5th pellet landed 1/4″ high. Hmmmm. Managed to get the next 3 and then pellet landed 1/4″ left of the target. What the? This is my best spring piston rifle? Long story short, I missed 5 out of 20 of the silhouettes and was disgusted. As I was putting the rifle away, the idea hit me. Out came the phillips screw driver. Turned out both stock screws were loose. Locktite to the rescue! Moral of the story, at least for me, always check the darn screws are tight before shooting ANY springer!

    Fred PRoNJ

  15. Great shooting B.B. Wish I wasn’t so bent on “taming the beast” as I am right now with the 350, but I’m getting closer all the time. When I’m there, I should be able to shoot anything else pretty well though! My next springer will be something in .177, a gentle and willing partner that doesn’t eat scopes lol.

  16. Off topic question…

    I was just watching Pauls review of the Evanix Windy City and noticed when he loaded the JSB Monsters that the magazine was backwards to the Rainstorm. He loaded the pellets head first into the flat side of the clip and inserted the clip with the detented side facing forwards. The clip is the same one on the PA site for the Blizzard/Rainstorm/Monster/Windy City, so does that mean on the Windy City, a) the indexing pawl is on right side, b) the indexing pawl is on the left side but indexes downward, or c) the clip was loaded and inserted backwards? The only reason I ask is because I thought the Windy City had the same action as the Blizzard and Rainstorm.


    – Orin

    • Never mind… I just looked at the close-ups of the Windy City pics and the magazine is loaded and inserted the same as on the Rainstorm. I wonder if that’s why the Monsters didn’t group as well. 🙂 I have to assume Paul found that out before taking the second shot, because the clip can be inserted backwards, but it won’t cycle that way.

      – Orin

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