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Ammo Shooting the Falke 90: Parts 2 & 3

Shooting the Falke 90: Parts 2 & 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Test and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

Falke 90 underlever is a rare and vintage British air rifle.

I got an email from Vince yesterday morning, asking if I planned on publishing the rest of Mac’s Falke 90 test. Well, I figured old Vince just hadn’t read the blog the day I did the rest of the test. A few minutes of fruitless searching later, I discovered he was right, I hadn’t told you the rest of Mac’s story. What happens in a case like this is I get the report, I read it and then two days later I forget what I’m doing and figure that everyone in the world knows what I know. To make up for that, I’m going to combine Parts 2 and 3 and give you the rest of the report on the Falke 90 today.

As you may recall, the Falke 90 is a rare underlever spring rifle from the 1950s. It copies the even older BSA Airsporter, in that the underlever is concealed in the forearm and the pellets are loaded through a tap that opens automatically when the rifle is cocked. According to the best information we have at hand, it’s believed that fewer than 200 Falke 90 airguns were ever made and fewer than 35 are known to exist today. It’s not an airgun that’s commonly encountered.

Vince repaired this rifle, which wasn’t working when I acquired it at the 2010 Roanoke airgun show. He reported on how that went in a special three-part report. Now that we’ve seen the insides and read Mac’s overall impressions of the gun, it’s time to test both the velocity and accuracy.

Mac found the bore to be oversized, which was common for British airguns back in the 1950s, so he tested the largest pellets he had on hand that also had the thinnest skirts. The first of these were RWS Superdomes.

RWS Superdomes
The 14.5-grain Superdome isn’t a large pellet, but the skirt is thin and it can be expanded with a ball-type pellet seater. That’s what Mac did.

The Beeman pellet seater has a ball on one end to expand pellet skirts for a better fit.

Superdomes averaged 490 f.p.s. with a total velocity spread from 481 to 494 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generated 7.72 foot-pounds. The total velocity spread was just 13 f.p.s. Mac mentioned that he did try these pellets without expanding the skirts, but the rifle sounded wrong. It sounded as if it was dry-firing.

A loading tap like the one found on this Falke is tapered on the inside. It has to pass all sizes of pellets in the correct caliber range, and the taper usually takes care of that. But most taps tend toward the large side, and we know that the bore of this rifle is already oversized, so only by expanding the skirts can regular pellets be used.

RWS Superpoints
I told Mac that I had found RWS Superpoints to be accurate in the Hakim, which is very similar to the Falke 90, so he tried them next. Superpoints have very thin skirts — even thinner than the skirts found on Superdomes. They weigh the same 14.5 grains as the Superdomes, but their skirts have less reinforcement, so I figured they would be good in this rifle.

They averaged 499 f.p.s. and ranged from 488 to 513 f.p.s., for a total spread of 25 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 8.02 foot-pounds.

Eley Wasps
The next pellet Mac tested was the 5.56mm Eley Wasp. These are still being made, and I believe you can import them from Canada, but the U.S. Eley importer stubbornly refuses to bring them into this country, and Eley doesn’t seem to mind. I bought 30 tins of them years ago to make the importation worth the effort. If you decide to try to get some, be aware that there’s a 5.5mm Wasp pellet, also, and they won’t be as large as these. Only the 5.56mm Wasp is oversized for all those vintage pellet rifles that have overbore barrels.

Eley Wasps also weigh 14.5 grains, so at their average velocity of 474 f.p.s in this rifle they generate 7.24 foot-pounds of energy. The total velocity spread went from 451 to 500 f.p.s. — a 49 f.p.s. gap. Those numbers are for a group of pellets with expanded skirts. But Mac found that he had to push the expanded pellets into the tap, so he shot a second string with non-expanded pellets.

The second string averaged 503 f.p.s. with a spread from 465 to 542. So, the spread was 77 f.p.s. At the average velocity the energy developed was 8.12 foot-pounds.

Okay, so now we know the power, to which Vince already alerted us in his guest blog. Next, let’s look at accuracy.

For this test, Mac tried both the open sights and a Mendoza sport aperture rear sight that Pyramyd AIR no longer stocks. With the open sights that came with the rifle, the best group of 10 Eley Wasps he was able to get measured 0.66 inches between centers at 15 yards.

When he installed the Mendoza rear sight on the rifle, it was loose, so he inserted a paper shim under the sight base to tighten it up.

Here you can see the paper shim Mac placed under the base of the Mendoza peep sight to tighten it on the Falke.

Ten RWS Superdomes made this group at 15 yards that measures 0.92 inches between the centers of the two farthest holes. This is not good accuracy for a rifle like this. You can probably blame the too-small pellets for this.

Mac says he also tried shooting RWS Superpoints at 15 yards, but they were too bad to measure. Several missed the target.

This is a great 10-shot target! It measures 0.35 inches at 15 yards. Ten Eley Wasps, which appear to be THE pellet of choice for the Falke 90. These Wasps had their bases expanded.

From my experiences with Hakims, I can say that this Falke is just about as accurate as they are. In the past, I used to mount short scopes on Hakims, and they shot just about like this Falke is doing with the peep sight.

Final word
The Falke 90 is a shooter, as well as a rare vintage collectible. Vince was clever enough to put this one back on the range. Thanks to Mac, we now know what to expect. It’s certainly no barn-burner air rifle. More like a Diana 27 that’s put on too much weight. But the neat hidden underlever and machined parts throughout the action make the Falke 90 an airgun you’ll remember.

Many people have asked me if I intend to refinish the stock, or in my case, to get it done by somebody else. I don’t think I will. Even though it’s been disfigured by someone in the past and even though the wood is cracked in several places (that Vince glued), I think a rare gun like this is always more valuable when it’s left as is rather than being prettied up. Refinishing destroys collectibles in my opinion.

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.

161 thoughts on “Shooting the Falke 90: Parts 2 & 3”

  1. WARNING !!!!

    My wife got a couple E-mails yesterday that Norton pegged as a virus.
    E-Mail is supposedly from United Parcel Service (UPS) . DO NOT open the link for more information about your shipment. DELETE the mutha.


  2. B.B.
    You have mentioned thin skirts before on the super domes. I thought this must only be on the .177 pellets which I have never tried.
    The .22 superdomes I have have very decidedly thick skirts. You won’t easily expand them with anything. I wonder if whoever makes the rws pellets changed their pellet machine. These tins were bought about a year and a half ago when I got my 48.


  3. Morning B.B.,

    Thanks for reminding us to leave the finish and stocks on the vintage guns alone. To me that really adds to the story they have to share with us.



    Thanks for the heads up on that virus.

  4. Yeah, like a day goes by that I don’t read the blog. Right.

    Funny how the least consistent pellets in the velocity test shot so well (and better than anything I was able to do – but I was using the open’s that came on the gun). Perhaps I’ve been overestimating the importance of super-consistent velocity?

    • Vince,I don’t think these targets completely disprove that.This group of shots benefitted from two things…..the randomness of velocity variance,and the 15 yard range.At further distances,vertical dispersion would quickly open things up……like accuracy needs another enemy! Also,the velocity spread should be compared to the muzzle velocity when interpreting it’s signifigance.An extreme spread AND low velocity are the worst combination.

  5. Vince,

    Sorry about lack of clarity in my comment. NO, repairing the stock by regluing the cracks does not detract from the value of the gun any more than putting it mechanically back into its original shooting condition.


  6. BB and Mac:
    The old Eley Wasp.
    I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say that every home in the UK with an air gun will probably have a tin of those lurking around.
    Except mine that is.
    Looking at that fantastic group,maybe I should revisit this old favourite.
    Not much of a gamble as they are relatively cheap.

    • I can’t believe that Eley won’t bring their pellets here. The market in the USA has to be the biggest ammo outlet in the world for sporting ammo? I used to shoot the old English bulldog brand pellets when I was a kid ,and they were way better than the Crosman ashcans we had as the only other choice. In fact they were better quality than the Gamo pellets of today,IMO. If they sold Eley wasp pellets here for the same price I would use them over the Gamo’s,especially in my Webley, and other low powered airguns, Robert.

      • Robert,

        Believe it, because I asked the American importer myself. He had a chip on his shoulder about pellet guns and since he sees his business as the Eley target .22 ammo, he feels he doesn’t need the small amount of business airguns would bring. Those were his words at the SHOT Show.


        • Now there’s a clever businessman – giving up additional potential revenue and profit for no reason other than he doesn’t care. Perhaps Eley would like to import their pellets here through someone else. Josh, are you interested in another line of pellets to see if they would sell alongside H & N’s and JSB’s?

          Fred PRoNJ

            • BB,

              my thought was that Eley might be interested in a second importer that would handle only their airgun line. I would be interested in approaching Eley directly in the UK and ask them if they would be interested in such a deal. How could the current importer of powder ammunition have any objections? All Eley could say is “no”. Of course the other concern is doing this without a market study to see if one could actually generate sales here in the US.

              Ha, I can just see a thousand pounds of lead pellets in my basement while I ship them out one and two tins at a time. Methinks my wife might have an objection or two which is why I added the line to Josh Ungerer.

              Fred PRoNJ

                • But what if they’re really garbage like UK Dave is intimating? I’d have to melt them down and use them as sinkers or wheel weights. Wait, I know. BB, would you be interested in some lead for casting bullets? I might be able to make you a good deal…..

                  Fred PRoNJ

                  • Fred, While I completely get your point….I prefer to hang on to the justification! Think about it.
                    “Sorry honey,I have to buy a few more airguns…..just until I find one that shoots these pellets well!”

      • Gentlemen:
        I know my review resource is out of date but reading the comments spaced between 2004-2011 the Eley Wasp gets very mixed reviews and appears to have suffered some serious quality control issues.
        Not having bought a tin for many years I couldn’t comment myself as to whether this problem has now been resolved.
        I would hate to think of you fellas going to the trouble of importing some and being really disappointed.
        Were the Wasp Pellets Mac used from an ‘old’ tin BB?

  7. Edith: I was just looking at the .20 pellet section, and you might want to check the quanity and price difference of the .20 cal premiers. If thats not a typo I’ll take a case! Regards ,Robert.

        • OK , my bad, I was just looking at the style box and the count per price. Didn’t go to the info part of the description. Why would they sell .20 domes that sure look like the premiers at a glance, have the same wt, and are in the similar packaging? Call them “copperheads” and put them in tins then. They are apparently undersize according to that one reveiwer? I’ll pay better attention next time,Robert.

  8. Wonderful to see a rare, vintage gun like the Falke brought back to life. Well done Vince.

    Mac is just full of great advice and reminders. Expand pellet skirts, shim a rear peep sight and listen to your gun while pellet testing too.

    Under the catagory of “What were you thinking?”…..I hope we never revisit the era when it wasn’t uncommon for owners to carve their initials somewhere on their gun.


    • I dunno about that, at least in some cases. The Slavia 619 my Dad gave me when I was, oh, about 11 or so was very dear to me as a kid.


      When I was about 13 I electrified an X-acto knife (turning it into a wood burning tool) and used it to toast my initials into the stock. Otherwise, the gun is really in very good condition.

      Does this detract from the collector’s value? I imagine it does… even though the old Slavia’s don’t command a lot of money right now the 619 seems to be a rare variant. Am I glad I did it? Of course – and even if I COULD undo it I wouldn’t. The remembrance of the affection of a young boy has for his toys – the tools through which he develops and comes to know his skills, his priorities, his interests, his very self – I would suggest has far more value. It sure does to me every time I look at it.

      Remember ‘Toy Story 2’? When Woody, the vintage and valuable cowboy doll, is restored by a professional artisan there’s one scene in which he paints over the word ‘Andy’ on the sole of his boot. He makes it more valuable as a museum piece, but there’s no escaping the sense that something far more valuable was lost, and one of the high points of the movie is when Woody later rubs off the paint, sees the name, and really remembers why he even exists.

      • Vince,

        Never saw Toy Story. Maybe I should put it on my list. Never carved or burned anything into my guns. I remember having a wood burning tool when I was a kid and burning just about anything and everything else using that simple plug in device.

        Sounds like you were destined to be an artisan from a very young age. I spent more time in my youth blowing things up and setting them on fire than I did creating masterpieces. Guess I should have gone into the demolition business now that I think about it.


        • Kevin; I have bought three vintage firearms over the years that were very heavily discounted because someone did some carving on the stock. I actually look hard for this when I want trading stock to roll over to get better stuff. You know, like during the last hour of the local gun show on Sunday when everyone is getting out of Dodge. One example was a Winchester 62 with flawless metal , a vintage Lyman tang sight, and a folding Marbles mid-barrel sight and a front to match. It also had a craving of a crouching cougar on the right side of the butt stock at the butt end. I was going to buy it to re- sell it , after replacing the butt stock but I never did , nor did I replace the butt stock. I got to thinking of how much this gun maybe meant to the original owner and why he did it. Maybe he shot a cougar with that .22. The carving isn’t even half bad and I speak for the perspective of someone who majored in studio art in college. It didn’t hurt that I only paid like $150 bucks for it either. so folk art can be a plus sometimes! Regards ,Robert.

      • Vince,I also think it’s an uncommon deluxe variant.I acquired one LNIB,that I can only imagine never
        found an 11 yr old to thrill.I’ll give it to you in exchange for some repair/tune work if you are interested! I like those little guns,like the Haenel model 1,and the Hyscore 801…etc.I guess it’s that lost level of engineering.

      • Vince

        Thanks for the link. I read that blog a while ago, but can appreciate it better now that I have some knowledge of the rifles used in the report. And about how stinkey results can be with cheap pellets (or the wrong expensive pellet).

        I have no airrifles in my youth to wax nostalgic about.

        I did recently buy a Slavia 630 which looks like a 631 and came with micrometer peep sights. She is a peach. I don’t know how she shoots with ashcans thoug!

    • Edie

      Thanks for that.

      I don’t know what it is, I love hearing ” HI! I’m Tom Gaylord, and today I’m gonna be with YOU talkin’ about airguns!” Always makes me smile.

  9. Good Morning All,

    Off topic update from my last Friday’s post about accuracy issues w/ my .22 Mrod…

    I received many good suggestions last Friday when i posted about the accuracy problems i was having w/ 18.1g JSB pellets. I wanted to update the list, and thank everyone who offered suggestions to me again.

    I think i am on track…

    I polished the bore w/ Mothers Mag, and cleaned it very well. I checked the crown w/ a q-tip (all good), and finally received and installed the missing screw which holds the stock to the action. I saw only a slight improvement over the results i was seeing before.

    The real breakthrough came when i got my order of H&N Baracuda Match, .22 Cal, 21.14 Grains, Round Nose pellets yesterday. I shot about 50 (un-lubed) of them yesterday after i got home from work, and while the conditions were not perfect, these pellets performed better than any of the 4 others which i had previously tried. I’m going to do some more testing this afternoon w/ them lubed w/ Krytech, and i think (based on my experience w/ the Beeman Kodiak’s) that my results may be even better. I did notice that these H&N pellets come in three different head sizes: 5.51mm, 5.52mm, and 5.53mm; the ones Kevin recommended (and i got) were the 5.52mm head size.

    Kevin, i am curious as to why you recommended this size over the other ones ??

    At any rate, i believe i am on track to finding the perfect pellet for this particular tune of my Mrod, and I’m very happy about it! If the lubed pellets give a slight improvement, I’ll expand my testing to longer ranges, and if satisfactory, I’ll stock up on them 🙂

    Thanks again,


    ps. I didn’t know about the ‘etiquette’ of whether i should post this on last Friday’s blog, or on today’s. Is there a preference i should be aware of ??

    • Steve, your “etiquette” is just fine, everyone appreciates updates from shooters, especially ammo and M-Rod updates.

      As you move along with your testing, keep a notepad handy and remember to work on one (1) variable at a time. Gun settings fixed, add variable #1 new pellet, results good, add variable #2 lube same pellet, etc, etc and on down the road.

      At some point, you might want to make a chart of the hi/lo gun settings and a short list of the pellet types and weights that work within each window of settings. (assuming you are adjusting hammer strike and other settings on the M-Rod, right?)

      Brian in Idaho

      • Brian in Idaho,

        I am learning about adjusting my M-rod settings.

        I have come up w/ a tune which i think the gun likes, and I’m keeping spreadsheets of the shot strings for the various tunes i have tried. Basically, I’m tuning w/ cheap pellets until i find one which gives good results, then i move on to trying to find the most accurate pellet for that tune. I’m very familiar w/ the scientific method 🙂 The current tune I’m working on is what I’ll call my ‘hunting’ tune; it gives me a little over 30FPE (on average w/ 21.14g pellets) across a 30 shot string. I may refine the tune a bit more, but overall, I’m pretty happy with it.

        I’ll probably try to achieve a tune for max shot count and low FPE for indoor shooting when i get this one worked out.

        I have really learned a ton of stuff from all of you guys, and am grateful for the excellent resource.


        • Steve,

          Congratulations. You certainly are on the right track. Glad to hear things are improving with the marauder.

          Please keep posting your comments and questions under the most current article. I’ve learned that there’s nothing “Off Topic” here no matter what the general discussion is about.

          Re: “Kevin, i am curious as to why you recommended this size over the other ones ??”

          The reason I recommended the 5.52 is because they shot best when erik’s gun was set up at 30+FPE. We tried the 5.51 and 5.53 as well and they didn’t group as well at 50 yards. Your gun may like them better than the 5.52. He’s since backed his gun down for a higher shot count and it now shoots crosman premiers very well at the lower power setting.


        • Excellent, with your familairity with the Scientific Method, we will expect to see process control charts for the various distances and power settings and statistical sampling data from your pellets (raw material controls) ha ha ha!

          This hobby either makes you smile or makes you crazy and sometimes both, welcome to the club!

    • Steve,
      I’ll overlook your ” bad etiquette” if you’ll overlook my “bad memory”. I don’t remember if you tried the .22 boxed Crosman Premiers (14.1gr I think. I’m on the road now so can’t verify that.). I use them exclusively in my Marauder with excellent results at 10m. I have shot them once at 50yds and, if I remember correctly, liked the results. I do lightly lube them with a Pelgunoil like lube. Sorry if I already asked this.

      • Hi Chuck,

        No, i haven’t tried any of the boxed Crosman Premiers; i’ve only shot the ones from the tins. I’ll have to put them on my short list as next to try.


  10. For those still doubting the benefits of facebook Crosman is taking 20% off for it’s facebook “friends” 😀

    OK since you guys are also my friends I guess I can share with you right…

    “Just for Facebook Fans: 20% OFF TODAY THROUGH MONDAY! Use coupon code: FBROCKS”

    happy shopping.


  11. Since Edith reminded me the site offers videos to watch I checked out a few. One was about sighting in scopes. In the video they recommended 20 yards as the best general use distance for 800-1000 fps airguns. I usually do mine at 30meters (100′). I’m curious what most everyone else is using as their most common sight in distance. Bub

    • I run mine through a ballistics program to determine where to zero any particular rifle for a 1/2″ kill zone.
      Then I follow up to see if it comes out close enough at near zero, far zero, and midrange.


      • Where do you find ballistic coefficients for common/uncommon pellets?

        I suspect I’ll have to sight in at whatever the range will allow… Need to contact them regarding using the Chrony and whether high-power air-rifles are permitted on the 25yd pistol range. Otherwise it may be the 50yd range… Along with finding Condor settings for the various pellet grades (based on three shots each into a noisy rimfire trap [why did no one call the police!] 8-0 is too much for 14.5gr RWS, but could use a moderate increase to move the EU 32.4gr up to 1000fps; it came in at 947fps… Need to test all the intermediate weights)

        • Chairgun lists quite a few. There are some listings elsewhere on the web.
          You can also figure BC on your own with a chrono.
          I would forget medium weight pellets in a Condor.


        • You could also do it fast and dirty…
          Sight in for about 1/4″ high at 40 yds. Or sight in at about 50-55yds dead on. After that, you can vary the target distance to see when you need to allow for distance.


          • twotalon: Interesting suggestion, I’m guessing if my poi is at 50-55 yards my high should be somewhere around the 35 yard mark +/-. Varying shot distance to get correct hold over under might be a good summer project. Bub

            • Your midrange trajectory high point should be somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of your far zero range.
              You can adjust for your mid range point if it is not acceptable, then move your target closer or farther from the initial 50yd sight in by 5 or 10 yds at a time until you find out where you will start falling out of the kill zone and have to start allowing for drop.
              For the close range end, you might start at 25-30 yards and work your way closer to see when you need to start allowing for your closer distances.
              AF rifles get very radical at close range. The very high scope position causes a lot of grief with the bore being around 3″ below the center of the scope.


            • I should have paid more attention. My comments were for Condor . If you have a lot less power, you need to drop back to a 20 or 30 yd zero as your initial point. Velocity, BC, and scope height make a lot of difference in what your piont blank range and zero points will be. There are two zero points….near zero and far zero.

              For an example…
              My 97K has a near zero of 18 yds and a far zero of 34 yds with the midrange high point at 26.5yds. The point blank range for a 1/2″ kill zone extends a few yayds from each zero point. So it should shoot no more than 1/4″ high or low through the entire range.


  12. Thanks to Mac and Vince together for bringing us this series. That’s good shooting out of the old gun. The fit of pellets to bore seems to me like the analog of firearms headspacing. It certainly does make a difference for pellet guns. Faix and sure that’s a good one for the seller of .22 rimfire to look down on airguns….

    Victor, good man with the control in that unfortunate episode. I suspect that many would use a threat to loved ones to escalate a situation unnecessarily and turn it into a mini-Trojan war. But even as a practical matter, a messy brawl is not going to help the people who need to be rescued. Best to escape and evade. I think we need to revisit the principle of good scores after a long layoff. There was the friend you mentioned who took six months off and shot a personal record. Last night there was my humble self who has not shot anything for a few days. I was expecting to ease back into things while not feeling particularly alert or in the best of health and lo and behold a near personal record with my Daisy 747 and very good groups with my IZH 61 and B30. I wonder if this phenomenon also explains the people who pick up a gun with no experience and do extremely well; you could interpret their lack of experience as a long layoff. Into this category would fall the incomparable Crystal Ackley as well as my Dad’s friend in Army basic training who held the rifle all wrong and broke the range record. He did very poorly later in his MOS as an MP while training on the 1911 and was finally advised to throw the weapon at the assailant. This would seem to indicate his talents did not go so deep since good with one type of gun is supposed to mean good with all guns. Is the layoff business akin to the principle of the training taper in other sports whereby you ease off of heavy training and rest up before the event? Do elite competitive shooters taper?

    Wulfraed, thanks for your info. I now recall the business about thinning the case wall at the neck and should probably review that. Nevertheless, I believe I’ve threshed out most of the basic questions about reloading and am very close to buying my equipment.

    Someone mentioned shooting the SMLE Mark IV the other day, and that reminded me of a great deal online for SMLE’s that have shiny good bores and have been checked for safety all for $265. Eeee, what a temptation.

    Edith, what do you consider to be a lifetime supply of primers? 20,000? What about .22 rimfire ammo? I understand that this is supposed to be the most useful survival caliber. I am actually getting a lot of enjoyment out of my case of 5000 rounds of Wolf Target/Match .22 ammo which I hoarded unnecessarily because of a California gun law that was struck down, and I haven’t even shot any of it.


    • Matt,

      Twenty thousand primers would be a five-year supply.

      Since bricks of .22 LR will be worth more than gold or silver if the government collapses, get and store as many as you can.

      I own a No. 4 SMLE and I can tell you :

      1. It doesn’t recoil much for the power it projects.

      2. It’s one of the fastest bolt actions ever made.

      3. It’s a joy to own and to shoot.


    • Matt61,

      Funny you should ask this now. For the past few days, I’ve been bugging Tom about shoring up our ammo and reloading components. I don’ think we have enough. Actually, I don’t EVER think we have enough…no matter how much we have. I see ammo and reloading components as the new currency should we have a currency crisis or the world economy falls apart. Since Tom can reload ammo, I see this as the equivalent of printing money. It’s like having the mint in the garage 🙂


      • What you say if very true. Such a crisis would be the end of sports shooting at least until things returned to something near normal. The ammo would be too valuable to shoot except when there was a real need or it would be used as a barter item. The exception on a limited basis would be air guns if you had a large supply of pellets on hand. Which reminds me, it’s time to place an order with Pyramyd!


      • Edith, you’re every man’s dream! Tom, you lucky rascal! I have to argue my reasoning every time a new box of ammo shows up. I wholeheartedly agree with never having enough .22 rimfire. I have quantities well into the 5 digits and continue to buy a couple bricks a week. I hope I can get my reloading down and the rest of the equipment before the collapse. Seems it’s a bit of a race.


      • “Plan for the worst and hope for the best” That is what I am doing. Some of my freinds think I am nuts and others don’t. I don’t think you can ever have too much ammo. If it gets really ugly there are going to be the haves and the have nots. The people with guns and ammo will be the haves. Toby

        • You see? Here is the difference between us and the Japanese: There you see no wholesale looting and chaos. Here we must prepare for it. Why the difference? Why are we driven to paranoia?

            • Japan is often held up by the gun grabbers to be the perfect example of national gun control by a govenment. Gun laws such as are in place in Japan would be a disaster in the large culturally diverse country that is the melting pot that makes up the USA.Remember gun laws like Japans are meant to nationalize a person’s right to self defense. Draconian gun laws are the responce of a failed govenment when a major disaster occurs and they are unable to control the situation. Remember what happened in New Orleans after katrina? Police took guns from law abiding citizens who were trying to protect their property! It is to the advantage of the govenment to have such gun laws in place BEFORE something happens. Regards ,Robert.

              • On having a large stockpile of ammo in the event of TEOTWAWKI, it is important to note that ammo is not the only thing to stock pile . It is really about in forth or fifth place on the list. Safe shelter, water, more sources of safe water, food and alternative sources of energy are more important. Those deer that are a nusiance now ,and even the bird feeder raiding squirrels ,won’t exist after the first couple weeks no matter what you have to shoot them with. I pity the folks who get trapped in the sub-divisions,Robert

                • Robert, I agree with you. Shelter, water, food and an alternative source of energy are more important. Keeping those things is also important and that is partly where the guns and ammo come into the picture. Upon making my comment yesterday, I should have capitalized the words REALLY and UGLY. I mean no offense, what I say is just my opinion. Toby

          • Chuck,
            I’ve got to side with you on this one. I’m not really sure where B.B. is coming from on this one. Yes, we are free, but does that give us the right that in the middle of chaos we can steal and act like sub-humans.
            I don’t see how B.B. can say that the Japanese people act this way out of lies their government tells them. They are acting in a very civilized manner, unlike when disasters hit here.


            Are the two sides criminal and civilized?

            • I’ll bet that’s because that’s not what BB is saying. Japanese culture always placed great emphasis on absolute devotion – not just obedience, but devotion – to authorities. The events of 66-70 years ago are illustrative of this… it wasn’t all that long ago that the Japanese ‘officially’ believed that their emperor was divine. And although individuals may have had doubts, their environment wasn’t very conducive to airing them out.

              There’s both a positive and negative side to this. Social and cultural cohesion is tighter, but when you ‘place your trust in the princes of men’ things are frequently gonna go wrong… and when everything you believe in is proven to be so imperfect, there’s nothing left to believe in.

              Suggesting that BB is touting the ‘right’ to do wrong is off the mark. But greater freedom does provide for greater potential – for either glory or shame, good or evil, civility or barbarism. An ape does not have the potential to become either a wretch or a saint.

              • Vince, I tend to agree that the Japanese behavior is not so much intrinsically good or bad but a result of a uniquely collectivist temperament and culture manifesting itself in different ways. Come what may, it is not the Japanese way to fall apart under pressure as was demonstrated on countless Pacific islands when they were in hopeless situations. On the other hand, they weren’t unified in a total sense either. One reason they lost the war fairly rapidly (three years and eight months after Pearl Harbor) was not just their smaller resources but their inefficient management practices. Their army and navy were constantly fighting each other and their operational plans tended to be overly complicated and unworkable. The imperative for everyone to cooperate produces byzantine administrative structures and indirect communication patterns. I believe this is one reason their economy and government are still in the tank almost 20 years after the collapse of their finances in the 90s. It is even my private theory that the collectivist mentality is behind their terrible atrocities of WWII which were remarkable even by the standards of the battlefield. The pressure to conform in Japan is enormous, and I suspect that the abuse of enemies was an indirect expression of fear at not being able to measure up. You abuse someone who surrenders to help motivate you not to surrender. This doesn’t excuse this behavior but it may make sense of it. Anyway, it’s complicated, but I will give a lot of credit for the way the Japanese are holding up amidst disaster. This isn’t easy for anyone and you can’t very well fault someone for their training if they perform well.

                While we didn’t exactly distinguish ourselves by the behavior after Katrina, I will say that it reflects very well on us to see the generosity of sentiment towards the Japanese in the online comments to news articles. Not a single troll in hundreds and even thousands of comments. What other news topic could one say that about. One unemployed guy even donated $200 to the relief effort in Japan. This outward-looking quality seems to be a very American one.

                On a similar note, whatever one might think about the Libyan intervention, it is interesting to me to follow the conversations about command authority. What I take away from this is that large-scale power projection through politics and the military is a very rare and difficult thing to find. The European Union would seem to well-qualified with all of their resources and cultural connections, but even they can’t seem to get it together. This capability seems to be something you can only get by harnessing the power of a large heterogeneous culture which we, for all of our shortcomings, have managed to do.


          • Chuck,

            The difference between us, and the Japanese is in the belief that some of have described here. Where the Japanese believe in their leaders, system, and each other, we don’t to varying degrees. The situation in New Orleans demonstrated one extreme of lack of belief. What I believe explains the differences between us here in the US is our sense of reality. There are multiple sets of reality, all very real to each, and some of us can’t understand or appreciate why some believe and behave as they do because we simply don’t know their experiences. But as is usually the case, harsh judgement doesn’t help anyone. As John Wesley would say, “There but for the Grace of God, go I.”, whenever he would see someone behavior in a way that he did not “agree with”. Some of us are more blessed than others. Many of us are who we are by accident of birth, and some of us are by our own making. Jesus taught that “As we treat the lessor of our brothers, we treat Him.”

            Another detail regarding catastrophes and reaction, time changes everything. When desperate to keep his family alive, a man will stop being that nice, law-abiding citizen, and become a savage, if need be. I pray that we’ll never know.


          • Chuck,
            It’s IMPORTANT to note that my last comment was NOT directed specifically at you, just addressed to you as a reply to a post by habit. Just my general thoughts about such matters.

            • Victor,
              One of the many reasons I like this blog is that it is Flamer free. I know from being here as long as I have that neither you nor anyone else here is a Flamer. From time to time we have all expressed our opinions here and have found them to be respected even if not shared. I know your comments are friendly and not malicious attacks. I find it admirable that you are even concerned about offending. Please know that I am not offended. You’re a good guy.

              • Thanks! And yes, we don’t always agree amongst each other, but that’s OK. I understand that there are multiple realities, which to the individual are more than just a difference of opinion.

      • Edith, if .22LR gets consumed at the same rate as primers, then you are going to need a mountain of .22LR. The next concern is where to put all of it? I’ve taken note of these large canisters for burying gear that I’ve seen in catalogs. California apparently is not only under threat of a massive earthquake like what hit Japan but also a monster storm unlike anything ever seen before that will dump something like the equivalent of 10 Mississippi Rivers on the state. The record shows these occurring at intervals of centuries, and we are about due. I would have to evacuate without being able to take everything, and one option is to bury things for safety. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that I would be able to find my buried guns and ammo after returning when everything has been washed away. I would be like the Von Arnim person whose buried family guns are lost forever! But in an apocalyptic scenario without the storm one could secret caches of supplies in these canisters in different locations I suppose and give yourself different lines of retreat.


    • That was probably me mentioning the Enfield. Neat rifles. It would be a plus if they are Mark II’s. They have the trigger pined to the receiver rather than the stock. Some Mark I’s have been up graded and will be marked Mark IV I/II and probably marked FTR as well. The means “Factory Through Repair”. This being a factory rebuild. I have several but when I bought them back in the 1980’s they could be had for $100 to $150 in very good condition.


      • The James River Armory has some at the prices I mentioned. The word is that the supply of genuine Mausers is drying up and maybe the SMLE’s are not far behind. Another point in favor of the AK 47 is that with 50 million manufactured, I suspect that they will be available forever.


    • Matt61,

      A layoff can help to relieve stress that can build up going into a big match. This stress can cause us to over-think things, taking us away from executing naturally (without having to think about every last detail) to thinking too much (and possibly second guessing ourselves). Again, when stressed or nervous, we are more easily distracted by details, and then rely on memory (which can easily fail us, once the number of details exceeds a relatively small number). This becomes overwhelming in a real-time event. Those details should be suppressed to our subconscious mind, allowing us to focus on the only details that matter (i.e., real-time events like reading wind, or other necessary conditional adjustments). In the beginning, I use to practice up until I’d have to fly out to Camp Perry. Considering that, and other experiences, I came to realize that resting a bit more before a big match could be better. It was. Our team made a decision to rent a motor home and drive to Camp Perry. My coach had family along both the southern and the northern routes, so we drove up visiting family along the way, and afterwards drove down, visiting more family. That was not only a great experience, but it also allowed me to relax. My last year at Camp Perry, I was shooting my best scores ever, when something happened to me. I was asked to be a coach on the national team, before the days normal competition, when I got bit by possibly many spiders and got violently ill. I was spotting for a shooter, and when I tried to get up, I realized that I had no equilibrium, and almost fell over. That was just the beginning. I couldn’t finish the match. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that being sick like that can cause your body to do some pretty gross stuff.

      My buddy did so well after a 6 month layoff because he had no expectations. It is wisely said that the secret to happiness is to have no expectations. Well, it also helps one act with a clear mind. The first time I went to compete in the US International Championships (Tryouts), my coaches told me that there was NO WAY that I could possibly place in such a tournament. This was “Big Time” competition, so I was only there to get experience, they told me. I tied for second in one competition, and won Gold in another. Psychology is huge in sports, but probably more so in competitive marksmanship because in competitive marksmanship our primary goal, with regards to our body, is to not allow it to become a distraction. We try to stay in shape so that our body is not a distraction. We try to use a sling, or our body as a rest, so that muscles play virtual no role in our execution. At our best, the struggle is purely mental. Taking it further, the goal is to reduce the mental to our subconscious. Our capacity to achieve this state is how we arrive at maturity.


    • Also, a nice layoff can help you find your center (i.e., get back on track). Sometimes, the harder we try, the more we affect our objectivity. The stress of trying too hard can cause us to try to force things to be as we want them to be, as opposed to how they have to be. You can’t read a situation, if you cant see things as they are.

      • I also believe that a layoff from shooting, as in golfing, causes one to forget the bad habits that have been picked up along the way (such as jerking of the trigger, fail to follow through and so on). Picking up the rifle or gun again, one is thinking of the “pure” practices needed for accurate repetitive shooting. In my case, it doesn’t last that long -at least for golf.

        Fred PRoNJ

      • Victor, in regards to the psychology of the layoff as well as that of combat that you described the other day, I give you the comments of the Greek historian Polybius writing ca. 200 B.C. about the qualities of Roman centurions. I guess these guys knew how to fight.

        “In their choice of these captains not those that are the boldest and most enterprising are esteemed the best; but those rather who are steady and sedate; prudent in conduct and skillful in command. Nor is it required that they should be at all times eager to begin the combat, and throw themselves precipitously into action; as that, when they are pressed, or even conquered by a superior force, they should still maintain their ground, and rather die than desert their station.”

        In other words, you don’t want a hothead but the man of control. The special forces have apparently found the same thing; in their qualification procedures a phlegmatic temperament not easily rattled is most successful. I suspect that this would do as well in the pressure situations of shooting competition. I was always to nervous and distracted and noticing everything. As they said about RoboCop: “Sensors lit up like a Christmas tree.” Important to ignore that or get it under control.


        • Matt61,
          We learn much from formal competition in Karate. The most important requirement is the use of proper form. A hundred punches thrown wildly will get you nowhere. Quick, well formed, accurate strikes result in an immediate score. Do that enough, and you’ll realize the value of speed, precision, and most importantly, control.

          Everyone stresses in competition in the beginning. One value to competition is that it presents an opportunity to overcome yourself. Formal education does a similar thing. It presents opportunities to overcome yourself, which pays of big in the real world.

    • Now lets get very serious here about the stockpiling on ammo. We should all know by now that ammo will become invaluable, but it’s purpose must be made clear. Ammo will be used for killing, and NOT for feeding ourselves. When all living creatures are zombies, ammo will be our only solution to zombification prevention. 🙂

      • You need to do more research on the subject… firearms are too loud and will draw zombies to you.
        A .22 or .25 Marauder on the other hand…
        When the zombies come I’ll finally be happy to see cold weather come my way, almost as good as a dead zombie will be a frozen one. 😀
        Sorry I love zombie movies and books, the zombie survival guide is one excellent book written by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks).


          • Did you see the film called I Am Legend or something like that with Will Smith? Don’t mess with those zombies. Swift as gazelles, super strong, and similar to rabies victims in their uncontrolled rage and aggression. One of them head-butted his way right through bulletproof glass. I don’t believe that anything in airgun technology could handle them. They are a world away from the zombies from Night of the Living Dead (I think that was the film) whom you could knock over with a sledgehammer. Or like one policeman did, you can say, “We got this be the a–” and then knock them down with a forearm before they can react. (Although the policeman did finally get cornered and bit.)


            • Baloney. They were just Hollywood zombies. They always glam’ ’em up for the big screen. Kinda like the Japanese did with Godzilla (whose on-screen persona is nothing like the real thing).

              BTW – some time ago I concluded that Godzilla is the Japanese allegory for the USA. Anyone concur? Or am I the last one to figure this out?

            • Of course I’ve seen it but those aren’t zombies as they aren’t dead, they mutated from human form, but the movie had a biggest flaw… being in New York most of them would freeze to death during the winter (seems there IS a good side to the freezing cold after all) even if thwy found a warmer place to hide in numbers the first few years to would eventually all die.


  13. Vince,
    Thanks for demonstrating that aperture sights are better than the more common post sights. I’m a huge fan of aperture sights, and personally prefer aperture sights over scopes. Good shooting!

    I just wish that more air rifles better accommodated the installation of aperture sights for both the front and rear. That to me makes more sense for springer’s than scopes, considering all the problems that people have with scopes on springer’s. A) Target sights (front and rear aperture) are at least as good as any scope when shooting targets (which we all do to find out how well a gun shoots). B) Target sights won’t fall apart or fail because of springer recoil. Air gun manufacturers should really consider providing adapters so that a front aperture sight can be installed, similar to the adapters that they make for the 397 rifle and the 1377 pistol. I’ll bet lots of air gun enthusiast would be very happy to know that they don’t need to find out whether or not a certain scope can handle the recoil. In my case, I’d like just like to extract every millimeter of accuracy possible.

    • Victor:

      I adapted the plastic ramp front sight of my Quest air rifle to hold a Lyman 17A front sight. I did it by filling in the slots in the side of the ramp with epoxy, and filing the top flat. Then I dovetailed it for the Lyman sight. I used the Williams receiver sight for the rear sight. Has being good now for years. Even for hunting pest birds in good light it is better than the scope for me. The round post aperature in the front sight is perfect for bracketing a starlings head. I think Crosman could easily make a muzzle break that was already dovetailed or maybe just a replacement plastic ramp with the aperature front built in , with the inserts maybe being held in by an O-ringed a cap that fits inside of the tube. On the 22xx series it could just tap on like the present front sight. I have also made a ramp from scratch out of keystock for my Diana 34 to accept a better front sight , but it involved a lot of work and a gunsmith would charge a lot for what I did . Probably as much as the gun is worth, so much that, averageJoe airgunner wouldn’t be likely to pay for that. I agree with you that there is a lack of good front sights for target shooting with most of the airguns in the lower end of the price bracket. Robert.

      • Robert from Acrade,
        I’ve considered a similar thing (fashioning my own dovetail like sight rail) with a few of my air rifles with large front sights. It would be nice if air-gun manufacturers, like Crosman or Gamo, would simply provide an interchangeable front ramp that is already very close to providing a base for both aperture and post front sights. Again, in my opinion, aperture sights are at least as good as a scope (for me, better), AND having front and rear aperture sights cannot be as fragile as a scope. This in my opinion is the solution for providing sights on a springer. All we need is a dovetail option for the front. We already have a dovetail option for the rear, and plenty of target sight pairs from various sight manufacturers. Thanks for explaining what you did. I might get motivated enough myself to fashion a solution.

        I gotta tell you, I see a great opportunity for after market products for some of the more common airguns, like Crosman and Gamo. CharlieDaTuna’s got the trigger market taken care of. What’s lacking are adapters for front sight dovetail adapters, and better stocks. If I had the tools, and skill, I’d put thump-hole stocks, or very good pistol grips, on all of my air rifles. These solutions would provide better control over triggers (good and poor).


  14. Eley Wasp pellets are no longer made by Eley. They are made by a company called John Rothery Limited. John Rothery bought the pellet manufacturing equipment from Eley several years ago. Rumour has it that the equipment was worn out and that is the reason why the pellets now labelled “Wasp” are of lower quality than the Eley Wasp that generations of airgunners used. However, the quality of Wasps may improve in the future if the machinery is updated. If you are looking for a useful .22/5.56mm pellet to use in old British guns then it may be worth trying the Lincoln Jeffries Marksman pellets. These are still made in Birmingham, England by the descendants of the original Lincoln Jeffries who invented the BSA under-lever air-rifles.

    • Ed:

      Do you know if these are available here in the states? Maybe the folks at Pyramid should get in contact with Lincoln Jeffiries and work something out?

      • Anyone wanting to find out about importing Lincoln Jeffries “Marksman” pellets could write to: Lincoln Jeffries Limited, Summer Lane, BIRMINGHAM, B19 3TH, England. I have visited their factory and it is fascinating. The Jeffries family are very generous and give terrific customer service. My friend asked a question about their pellets and one of the owners motorcylced round to his house to deliver some free pellets. They have also donated pellets to my club’s Scout Assocation marksmanship course. When I get the hang of blogging I will write some articles about the aspects of the gun-trade in Birmingham and offer them to BB Pelletier to publish online. I am sure some shooters on the other side of the Atlantic would like to read about current events at BSA, Eley, Lincoln, Webley the Birmingham Gun-Barrel Proof House etc.

        • Ed, thanks very much for the lead on these pellets. I have a buddy going back to the UK for a few weeks and I’ll ask him to bring back a tin or two of the Jefferies and Wasp pellets and try them out. I think that you’ll find BB is always open to well written and/or technical exploratory blogs. Well, he’s published a few of mine so obviously his standards are not extremely demanding 🙂

          Fred PRoNJ

  15. Pete Z.- you were absolutely right on target. You were the first person I know that cautioned that the containment building of one of the Fukushima reactors had been breached. This is really going to be worse than anyone anticipated now.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • The Fukushima situation remains confusing at best and opaque at worst. Some comments that may help you.

      1. Critical: there is no danger to North America, and there isn’t going to be any. The very small amounts of radioactive material that reach our shores are already so diluted, that one need not worry.

      2. The two critical isotopes to watch for in the news are Iodine-131 and Cesium-137. Both are products of uranium fission, but I-131 has a half-life of 8 days while Cs-137 has a 30 year half life (round numbers). What does that mean? It helps identify the source of radioactivity. I-131 cannot come from the spent fuel pool; the fuel in the pools is at least a year old (since leaving the reactor), and in a year the amount of radioactivity per hour from I-131 is down by 2^45, which is a very large number indeed (2^10 = 1024, 2^20=1,000,000, 2^30= a billion, etc.) So 2^45 is a factor of more than a trillion reduction.

      But Cs-137 is hardly affected in the passage of a year. Cs-137 without I-131 surely comes from the spent fuel. But the presence of large amounts of I-131 probably means that the leak is from the containment.

      3. I-131 has been reported in water below Unit 3. Does that mean the containment of unit 3 has been breached? Maybe; probably; but not certainly. Lots of steam was vented from Unit 3, and I-131 would naturally come with it. That steam could mix with water already leaking from various pipes, and provide I-131 in a puddle. It’s not highly likely, but it could have happened that way. Or the I-131 could come from leaks in the first cooling loop that runs through the reactor, which is bad but not as bad as a serious break in the concrete.

      4. Did the fuel melt? Almost certainly. The system is designed to contain molten fuel. We’ll see what happens.

      The Japanese have been cagey and irresponsible in the way they have released information. The bosses there surely know more than they have let on, whether good or bad. In the first hours after the earthquake it seemed to me that this was going to develop as a textbook case of how to ride out a serious event while keeping good control over the reactors. A lot of mismanagement and poor engineering design has made it an example of bungled bureaucracy and poor public relations — not to mention an economic disaster that could turn into a physical one.

      • Pete Zimmerman,

        I’ve worked for a Japanese company, and worked with Japanese companies in developing new products. They are notoriously slow, ultra-conservative, and ultimately inflexible in many things that they do. This leads to an almost machine-like mentality, which is very different than what we are used to in our culture. It’s great that they can work in unison, but these other qualities can have consequences. On the other hand, we sometimes abuse our freedoms when we act too privileged, entitled, and ultimately spoiled out of selfishness. There are pluses and minuses to both cultures and societies. If we are wise, then we take the best of what the Japanese can teach us (in this case, by example) while appreciating and respecting our liberties, freedom, and each other.

        Thanks for the excellent summary!


        • Viktor,

          My son spends about 3 months out of every year plus his last sabbatical leave building and running a particle physics experiment at a Japanese lab in the village/city or Tokaimura. The lab is right near the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture, but was lucky enough not to have been flooded; the tsunami stopped just a little short because they are on a straight coast line, not in a bay which seems to amplify the incoming water wave. And I’ve spent a bit of work time a couple of decades back working with Japanese colleagues. I agree with you for the most part. They are frustrating people for an American to work with, but I suspect they say the same about us.

          I should say something else about the Japanese nuclear situation. They were hit with one of the largest quakes in recorded history and a very large tsunami as well. They almost pulled it off: the reactors at Fukushima all went into shut-down automatically, and were on the way to a safe cold shutdown (and remember that all other reactors in the country did go to cold shutdown automatically and safely). The recent quake was well beyond the design basis earthquake, and the tsunami far above the design. What killed them was having their diesel generators at such a low level, but above ground, that they were flooded.

          Also, I am involved professionally in studying the effects of a Mag 7.7 quake near Memphis along the New Madrid fault. All estimates are that it will take at least a week to get the lights on in the non-devastated areas. The Sendai quake was more than 10x as energetic, and Tokyo Electric had the lights back on in almost their entire service area in less than 4 days. Yes, with rolling blackouts, but power 21 hours a day isn’t bad! I am impressed.

          There is a lesson in this for other “end of the world” scenarios that involve the power grid: likely ain’t gonna happen. The grid is more resilient than is widely known; most of the cited problems have solutions being implemented. For the usual and obvious reasons, I can’t go into details on problems and fixes, but I have come out of this incident with a lot more confidence than I had. It’s always possible to take a hard scenario that’s got engineering solutions and then make it harder still — and say “and then what? The whole grid fails for months or years…” But it’s very hard to see how those are realistic. Not even the highly touted electromagnetic pulse attack. I spent the last year of my life studying that one, and again am quite encouraged by what’s been done. I’ll be happy to discuss what I can off-line if anybody want’s to post their e-mail contacts, but this is an air gun list, not an engineering one, nor a survivalist one.

          • Pete,

            I’m sure that everyone will be exploiting this catastrophe as a great opportunity for a study in “lessons learned”. As I recall, one lesson learned from Katrina was specific to the placement of power generators during a major flood, namely, whether they were placed at the top of a building, versus in the basement. Obviously, this detail is more critical to those who live along a coastline, and especially as in the case of New Orleans, where they are below sea level.

            In any case, based in part on the reasons for your optimism, the world will hopefully be a safer place in the future because of what we’ve learned from the several disasters of the past decade.


  16. This is a bit unrelated but I’m pretty worried about this one. Yesterday I was shooting my brand new Remington NPSS and it had about 50 shots through it. It was perfectly smooth, actually the smoothest cocking gun I had ever felt. I didn’t know what to expect because this is my first gas piston rifle. Then out of nowhere, the next time I cocked the rifle it was extremely hard and felt like something was grinding. I know that all spring and gas piston guns have a rather long break in period, but the roughness came so sudden and it was so smooth before that it seemed like rough cocking wouldn’t be a part of the break in period. This makes me worry that there may be a problem inside the gas piston. Any ideas as to what might be the problem if there is one?

    • Drew, Stop, don’t mess with it any further. Call the place you bought it from and tell them you want to send it back. There should only be a slight mechanical “feel” when cocking a gas piston gun, something si wrong inside.

  17. Afternoon B.B.,

    A help me please question–my Talon SS will not set the trigger when I push the bolt forward. I get a little click but the gun will not cock. How do I get at the trigger assembly to correct this problem? That’s much!


    • Bruce,

      Unless you have lubricated the trigger (a real no-no) or disassembled it, there is a small piece of dirt in the mechanism. The fix is to just keep on trying to cock it until you dislodge the particle. It may take 100 or 200 times, but this does work.

      If you have lubricated the trigger or disassembled it, it probably needs to be disassembled. If it was lubricated, it must be completely disassembled and dried. The trigger parts all have dry-fim moly on them and are lubricated for life.

      You can either send it back to AirForce or go online and learn how to do it yourself.


      • If the trigger is stock from one end to the other, and that includes the safety, then do what B.B. said first. If you have gotten silly and beefed up the hammer spring, then you might have a bent hammer sear.
        There are other problems that can happen too. The hammer sear and the first sear both have oblong piviot holes. They must be able to move around right during the cocking cycle. Not just dirt, but the springs for both sears have to move around at their contact point with both sears. Dirt or not enough lube at these points will prevent proper sear movement during the cocking cycle.
        Also a potential problem with the safety balk. It always presses against the front of the hammer sear. If something is hanging it or it’s spring up, then there may not be adequate pressure to get the sear positioned right.
        There can be a combination of dirty or dry parts adding together .
        The trigger itself and its spring are the only parts that absoloutly CAN’T cause this problem. Don’t think there is any way that the safety rod and its spring could do it either, but I would not want to bet on it just in case.

        If you can’t clear the problem, then do not try to take it apart without asking for help first.

        By the way, you don’t have the travel limiting screws for the trigger do you?


        • twotalon,

          Thank you for the tutorial on the trigger assembly. Fortunately for me, B.B.’s advice was spot on and the trigger is now functioning as designed.

          As a matter of fact the trigger feels smoother and has a noticeably lighter pull and the safety lever can now be manipulated with an easy push of my trigger finger. (Had to use my right thumb before.)

          My advice to anyone else who may have the same problem with an absolutely stock trigger assembly is to follow B.B.’s advice and just keep trying to cock the trigger until it works again. I lost track of the attempts, but they were well over 200 before they dislodged the dirt particle.

          Thanks B.B. and twotalon.


      • Bruce,
        Another thing to check: Check out the position of the tophat and see if it can be pushed back towards the air/CO2 bottle. I had an issue with mine with the tophat on a CO2 converter where the tophat didn’t seat properly causing cocking problems. It would slowly begin to extrude. I could push it back and the gun would work for a while until the tophat creeped out again. I had to send my CO2 converter back to PA for repair and they replaced the tophat. I suppose the same thing could happen to the air version of the tophat.

  18. Disaster! My IZH 61 has broken. I noticed the weirdest grinding, crunching sensation while cocking the lever the other day. On closer inspection, I see that it’s not the mechanism but the buttstock. Resting the stock in the crook of my arm and cocking the lever creates a torque that has caused the buttstock to bend and rotate. Actually, it has held up well but after 70,000 odd rounds the material has given way. The gun is still perfectly functional, but this has really cut down on my enjoyment. Where can I get a replacement buttstock? If PA is now importing the IZH 61 would they have this part?


  19. Matt61,

    Why do you suppose you were so nervous before or during competition? Did you consciously think, or worry, about your scores (maybe in relation to practice scores)? Nervousness is typically just a fear of failure, which is important to realize. If you can overcome your nervousness in your personality outside of shooting, or any other competitive activity, then you can overcome your nervousness in competition. On the other hand, if you can overcome your nervousness in competition, then you’ll overcome it in other parts of your life. The good news is that almost all shooters start off more nervous than will be the case later. The key to reducing nervousness in competition is to compete more. That’s why people who allow themselves to overcome themselves in competitive activities and become “winners”, become winners in other facet’s of their lives. You are one person, inside and outside of competition. You don’t have a competitive you, and a non-competitive you. Human psychology doesn’t work that way.

    This is a good topic of discussion, but still really only scraping the surface. Mentally, a champion shooter must satisfy three characteristic:
    1. He must have a compelling desire to win.
    2. He must be firm in their confidence, to the point of believing that they are the person to beat.
    3. He must be intelligent and able to analyze his performance.

    We sort of talked about number 3, when I talked about deliberate goal oriented practice (i.e., dedicating practice to address specific issues). Well the same goes for real-time analysis during competition (i.e., solving problems as you encounter them).

    You know Matt, you’ve made me think about details that I almost forgot. This has been good for me. Thanks!


  20. G’day BB
    Pity we did not look into that Falke 80 last year I told you about. I have never heard of an 80 but I did know of the 90. I might try and track it down if you are interested.
    I have been trying my hand at trap with my son lately. I could shoot an air rifle for a year on what it costs for a day
    Good to see your health has improved.
    Cheers Bob

    • Bob from Oz,

      Good to hear from you, Bob. Trap certainly is expensive. Like Skeet, you have the cost of chells, clays and usually a tip for the trap boy at the end of the day. The sport of kings, I guess.

      Definitely pursue the Falke 80. At the time I had no idea of how rare they are.


      • G’day BB
        I can not find the ad in the old Sporting Shooters. Could you search for that email I gave you with the details…big ask! Sniffing around on the Net I was shocked to see so much written about them. When I sent you a picture of a 90 some years back no one spoke about Falke.
        However I have emailed a fellow in South Africa who has an 80 for sale in very good condition (he says!). He is asking US $265 but a guy in New Zealand is asking for NZ$1000…take off 1/3 for $US
        Looks like they are becoming popular collectors.
        I asked the fellow in SA how difficult it was to export the 80 and awaiting a reply. He gave a SA number 071-4861815 if you wish to contact him direct.
        Cheers Bob

  21. Eley Wasp pellets.

    As has been mentioned, there is a difference between the older and newer pellets. In my experience these short, fat pellets are nice to have in your ammo selection but are very rarely the most accurate. Especially at longer ranges. If you have vintage guns, especially old weihrauchs, that typically have oversized bores they should be on the list of pellets to try. They don’t always work of course.

    A year or two ago I think I remember sending a tin of wasps to matt61 for a gun he had that had an oversized bore. Matt should chime in but I don’t think those wasp pellets performed much better than other pellets that he tested.

    If you’re patient you can find the older wasp pellets on the yellow and other sites like egun. Yes, shipping costs are higher from Europe than Ohio. Buy larger lots and sell some of the tins to offset your costs. There are many airgunners on the yellow that know the value of these pellets.


  22. I saw a episode of “American Airgunner” this afternoon. Nice show. I did notice the the female lead, didn’t get her name, needs an update on handgun techniques. Her primary and secondary grips were incorrect. She seems to be shooting OK so only a little help would make a big difference. She is also cross dominate which can cause some problems with long guns without proper training. No one is born knowing these things. I know I sure wasn’t.


    • Yes, she does fairly well. Cross dominance isn’t normally a problem with a handgun. I haven’t seen her shoot a rifle. If her handgun technique was improved, she would do even better.


      • While fitting to a rifle might be tricky, it’s shotgun that will be the problem…

        Does anyone still sell shotguns with cross-body cast in the stock? Much less minor cast for normal users?

        • Obviously shotgun is not applicable to the run of the mill air gun (though I’m sure some of those big-bore models could be converted — say using a shot-filled sabot style round, though the spread would be extreme from the rifling twist imparted on sabot… unless the round just holds a straight column of 3-4 balls)

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