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Today’s special: Mac’s favorite guns!

by B.B. Pelletier

Guest bloggers Earl “Mac” McDonald & Edith Gaylord

Before we get started, we have a couple announcements.

Big Shot of the Week: Greg Drown is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd AIR gift card.

Winning photo of this week’s Big Shot of the Week.

Discounted S410 rifles: There’s a special deal on the Pyramyd AIR website. It’s a left-hand, walnut-stocked Air Arms S410. It’s marked down from $1299.99 to $999.99 — a $300 reduction! Get them now before they’re gone!

Now, on to today’s report. Kevin asked if Mac could tell us his favorite airguns and several people, including me, thought that was a good idea. So, the first part of today’s blog is written by Mac.

My favorite guns
by Earl “Mac” McDonald

I cannot remember a time when I did not have a gun. Some will cringe at that thought, but in rural Tennessee, where I grew up, every household had a .22 rifle and a shotgun of some sort standing behind the stove. There were no trigger locks or ammo safes, just the safety that comes from being taught well and reminded often of responsible gun handling.

My Dad was half Cherokee, an excellent hunter and loved to shoot his single-shot .22 Winchester.  I spent ALL my allowance money buying 22 shorts, and by the age of 6 or 7, I was shooting lots of rabbits and squirrels. I believe that first experience with .22s is why I enjoy them so much today.  That little Winchester rifle has now been used by 4 generations, as well as a trainer for countless neighbor kids when my own children were growing up. When I turned 12, I got a Winchester 37, a sleek, single-shot in .410 bore. I still have both guns.

I believe that positive early experiences with particular gun types and calibers sort of set the course for us, at least it did for me. Airguns, being much like .22 rimfires, in that you have to get relatively close to your target, know your trajectory and sensitivity to the wind, as well as other things I’m forgetting, seemed like a natural progression for me.

Early Beeman catalogs described the FWB 300 as so incredible that I just had to have one. It did not disappoint! Of all the airgun types, I like this model the best. I don’t shoot the same one often as I have several similar versions: a 150; a 300; and the 300S in Match, Universal, Tyrolean and Running Target types. Some are scoped and others have the original aperture sights. One of my favorites is a really beat-up 150 with a very small, 1.80mm front disc and a 1.5x diopter rear sight.  That combo makes it possible to “mini-snipe” empty 9mm cases out to around 25 yds, even with my old eyes!

Second on my list of favorites are the little Dianas, specifically the models 16 thru 28. I have the ability to shoot 3 days a week, and I try to put a few rounds thru at least a few of them whenever I can. I like the inherent accuracy, simplicity and light weight of these sleek German guns. Their simple open sights bring me back to that first little Winchester .22. I also like to pick up inexpensive spring guns when I can. I use them as guest guns, especially for kids. If they really take to it, I usually send them home with the gun. That may be the most fun of all.

My son, Jason, shot the Quackenbush big bore that I got last year and had to have one of his own. Well, that’s like pulling a loose thread from a sweater — there’s no good place to stop! First, it’s carbon fiber bottles, and then you need the compressor to fill them! Fortunately, I’m already casting my own bullets, so making up the several pounds of lead to throw downrange every week is already a familiar task.

Love the big bores! We shoot them most weekends, and my guns have put a lot of lead downrange from firearm shooters who were unfamiliar with big bore airguns until they met me. Making converts is lots of fun. Seeing the smiles on their faces after that first shot is priceless.

My favorites in firearms usually go by caliber rather than action type. Going back to my first shotgun, a .410, I now have several — one side-by-side, several singles and a really nice over/under. I use them all for trap and skeet, however inappropriate that may be.

The .22 Hornet has been another long-time favorite of mine. Most of them do not disappoint! If they do, I usually do a bedding job or work up a load they like. This inevitably leads to a gun that I keep!

Also on my firearms list of faves is anything rimfire in .17 Mach 2 or .22. I’m particularly happy when I find any of them in H&R or Rossi single-shots. Our local gun club has a 300-yard range; and, yes, thanks to mil-dots, soda cans are not safe — even at that distance!

Now, on to the next topic
Well, folks, that’s what Mac thinks about when it comes to airguns and firearms. I feel very jealous about all the shooting he did as a kid, when I practically had to pull teeth to get to shoot at all. I read about guys like him who spent all their money on .22 Shorts and I think about how all I spent money on was issues of Guns & Ammo. Print was as close as I ever got to shooting, except on rare occasions.

Now we come to a topic Edith wants to cover. She was talking about this with me this week, and I asked her to make a blog out of it. So, here you are. Today you get a twofer!

Why don’t my items get shipped on time?

by Edith Gaylord

You can thank our good friend and fellow airgunner Earl “Mac” McDonald for this peek behind the curtain of the airgun retail trade.

Mac recently ordered an item from Pyramyd AIR. It was brand new but was not in stock when he ordered it. He assumed it would be shipped on the in-stock date posted on the product page. As luck would have it, the posted in-stock date was changed and delivery was postponed. Has this ever happened to you?

Some time ago, I posted a blog comment about the process Pyramyd AIR uses to determine in-stock dates for out-of-stock products. Here’s how it works:

1. We place an order with a supplier (a supplier can be a distributor, importer and/or manufacturer).

2. The supplier gives us the expected ship date. We calculate how long it’ll take the truck to hit the dock doors and add a few days for good measure. That becomes the in-stock date that you see posted on any product that has no inventory.

3. As the shipping date gets closer, an employee calls the supplier and verifies that we’re still on target. If not, we ask for another date. This step can be repeated once, twice or even more often. If it happens frequently enough, Pyramyd AIR removes the order button for that product so no one can pre-order it. This step avoids the ups and downs you’ll experience when you think something is coming…and then it’s not.

While this seems like a perfectly sound and reasonable system, it doesn’t always work. Here are some common reasons.

There may be a product design or function issue, and the supplier doesn’t know when it’ll be fixed. So, they just throw out dates in the hopes that retailers won’t cancel their orders…and customers who have pre-ordered the items won’t cancel theirs.

While most products arrive by their promised dates (and sometimes even earlier), some do not for a variety of reasons. Storms, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes are just some of the things that slow down transport.

Then, we have a secondary issue. To explain it, I’ll transport you to the 1950s in my virtual time machine and tell you a wonderful fairytale.

Airgun manufacturers often had leftover gun parts, and they made one-off guns from them. Frankenguns. They’re highly desirable, yet they don’t fit in with any other species of airgun. A collector’s dream! The end.

Not quite.

When recreated today, this fairytale becomes a logistical nightmare from which no one can wake up. Here’s how it works in the 21st century.

A manufacturer decides to create a new airgun, but no gun has been produced to-date. Before they even crank up the production line or buy materials to make the gun (no, I’m not kidding), they send out flyers asking retailers to order it. Pyramyd AIR orders it because they don’t know it isn’t a production gun, and they expect it to be delivered exactly as pictured on the flyer. Do I even have to tell you what happens next?

So, the specs have been released, people like me write up the gun for the product page (with as much info as I can eke out of the manufacturer’s flyer or my contacts) so airgunners will be enticed to order it.

When the gun finally arrives, Pyramyd Air’s photographer takes a gun and snaps and uploads the images. We’re fortunate because our photographer (Allison) is sharp as a tack, notices every little thing and alerts me when the product she’s photographed doesn’t match what I’ve written. As nice as that sounds, there’s a problem with that. Allison has seen only one gun. And there’s the rub!

The manufacturer has kept the gun’s original name and possibly even some of the basic specs and features, but they’ve changed a whole bunch of other stuff about the gun. They did that because they were unable to get certain parts or they found a cheaper way to make something work or…(you fill in the blanks). Sometimes, the gun arrives in two or even three versions! So, as the production was finalized, the incarnation of the gun changed. They may have bought materials from a certain supplier, the supplier jacked up their prices and the manufacturer then ordered new materials from another supplier with slightly different specs. They didn’t toss the guns that were made from different materials…they shipped them to retailers. Because we don’t open every box, we often don’t find out there’s more than one version or even that the gun has changed radically until a customer tells us or we’re asked to run a 10-for-$10 test or a customer asks tech to mount a scope for them.

More than once, I’ve ordered a gun for testing and discovered that it doesn’t resemble the description…or even the photos! The manufacturer has changed the gun, again. In some cases, they’ve changed it several times since we opened that first box and snapped the photos. Our next shipment could have all types of guns, and none of them look alike or have the same attributes. That’s why you’ll sometimes see several versions of a gun showing up on different product pages. We can’t list all the versions on the same product page because the specs are different, and customers will either get confused or they’ll expect to get what the specs state.

I’m sure some of you are now thinking that the airgun manufacturing world is run by monkeys who pick up random parts and assemble them into guns. While 99% of our products have none of the issues listed in this report, the remaining 1% make me wonder if the monkey assembly line really is in place.

That 1% causes more headaches than anything the editorial and photography team has to deal with. As you can imagine, it’s pretty embarrassing when we find out from a customer that we’ve been selling the wrong gun with the wrong specs and the wrong attributes. When that happens, we contact the manufacturer and are sometimes told that what we’ve got is actually one rendition back…and a brand new replacement model is going to hit us in the next shipment. Can you hear me screaming? (If you worked at Pyramyd AIR, you’d hear me ask that same question several times during a year.)

I could go on and on, but I think you’ve got the picture. Pyramyd AIR can truthfully say, “It’s not my fault.” But they don’t. They do whatever they can to make things right. You got the wrong gun? Send it back, and we’ll replace on our dime. Our description says it comes with a scope but your gun didn’t? You can either send the gun back (on our dime), or we’ll ship you a scope and mount equal to or better than the one advertised on our product page.

Why does Pyramyd AIR do that? Because the customer is No. 1. They don’t care what the supplier did…THEY will make it right. They actually care about the customer.

So, the next time you feel things are messed up beyond all recognition and you call to complain to Pyramyd AIR, remember that they will take the fall for anything that went wrong anywhere along the way.

I’ve seen ample quantities of emails fly back and forth between departments to determine what we actually have in stock. I’ve seen email threads with well over 30 responses. Everyone chips in to make it right. The customer doesn’t see this activity. All he knows is that Pyramyd AIR will take care of him. What I want you to know is that the company goes more than the extra mile in spite of things being messed up by another company. Instead of using their slogan “The airgun experts,” they should say, “We’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy.” Corny but true. If it weren’t, Tom and I wouldn’t be doing this. I couldn’t work for a company that doesn’t give a flip about the customer. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. (And wore it out — Tom).

Back to the out-of-stock dates. Unfortunately, we can’t make things right when we don’t have a product because the manufacturer hasn’t shipped it. We can suggest replacement products, but there isn’t anything we can do if the product doesn’t exist in our warehouse or the supplier’s warehouse.

Our blog readers come from all walks of life, and I’m sure they can tell similar stories about their industries. I hope this brings greater understanding to these situations. If you ordered something and the stock date keeps changing, you can still complain to Pyramyd Air…but we can’t do anything about it if the supplier can’t ship the product. If the supplier sent us something that didn’t meet our stated specs, Pyramyd AIR will make it right. That’s how we do things!

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.

75 thoughts on “Today’s special: Mac’s favorite guns!”

  1. Hi Tom. Please ask Mac to say more about shooting trap with a .410. I tried this once (once), having had a lot of trapshooting experience beforehand. I found I had to stand on top of the traphouse in order to even have half a chance of hitting the targets.


    • Joe B.

      I’m posting this for Mac:

      Well Joe, first let me say that I am not a “Trap Shooter”. Those folks are dedicated to the sport and practice it often. I am a guy with a gun and like to shoot!

      If you want to give it a try, pattern the gun. Most ranges have a patterning board. I use a large piece of butcher paper at 30 yds and draw a 30 inch circle on it. Since most trap loads are shooting to 1200 fps, I use Winchester AA, 2.5 inch. 8.5 shot, or sometimes 9 shot. Draw the profile of a clay bird in the middle of the circle and have at it. This is where the disappointment comes in! Many of the little 410s that are marked “full choke”, aren’t! Unless it truly is a tight choke, the pattern will have too many holes in it large enough for a bird to escape the shot.

      Another peculiarity of the 410 is the increased need for premium shot in the loads. Since the shot column is long compared to diameter, a greater percentage of shot has the opportunity to get deformed. Part of the deformation is due to the lack of a power piston, or other mechanism to “slow start” the shot moving, and some is due to soft shot, which deforms more easily. I have found the 2.5 inch shells with .5 oz of shot actually put more shot inside the circle than 3 inch shells with 11/16th oz of shot.

      If you do find a 410 that throws a dense tiny pattern, hits may still not happen! If your 12 ga is set up so you are shooting near the edge of a huge pattern, that same setup with a smaller patterning gun will lead to misses. Most important to get the comb height right so you are in the very center of the pattern, whether it be large or small.

      This is how I do it, but your mileage may vary. Mac

  2. Dear BB,

    I’m currently working on an article that will given an overview over all common (and some uncommon) types of triggers. It will feature vector drawings of the trigger systems, which will be complemented with some text and basic information about trigger design. Would you like me to blog this here? It will be a three-parts (maybe even four) blog, that will give the reader a complete overview about triggers.

    • Mel,that really sounds like a great blog idea.Is there any chance you might include a double set trigger?? I know they aren’t common any more,but I really like them.I’m certain BB will give you the “green light”.He has always encouraged guest blogs.That would be a great topic,simply because
      anything as complicated as a trigger deserves study.I’m jealous of people who can dismantle one,and then get it back together.Scares the crap out of me….I leave them alone.LOL

  3. B.B.

    A great shot in this week’s Big Shot. That’s what I call courage and determination – when a person finds a way to excel against all odds. And that also prooves that shooting is a great recreation and socialization instrument, available to everyone no matter what their abilities are. To have a favourite activity, friends and teammates and goals to achieve – isn’t it a great thing for everyone? but it’s so important to those who are handicapped in any way.
    And that also works against an image of a “gunner” as a mad gorilla-like brutal potential killer, so much feared by some crazy people.


    You’re a lucky man, man! 🙂 And I really like it about best safety devices – they are ones installed in a person’s head.


    • Dusk
      About “plastic bottle tuning” VS “beer can tuning ” 🙂 -here is the thing -you can’t fit plastic sheet in Slavia 634 piston(because of spring diameter) but you can fit a beer can sheet 😉 and i would recommend this because it will significantly reduce “twang” noise ( you can use “plastic bottle sheet tune “631 but not in 634 …)

  4. Thanks Edith! This just goes to show… “you get what you pay for”… PA might not be the absolute cheapest retailer out there but their customer service is gold. I have had nothing but good experiences with them. If I send a $500 gun back for a refund – it happens – no questions asked. It’s why I continue to buy from them for all my AG needs.

  5. Mac,

    Thank you.

    Really appreciate the insight into your vast experiece with guns.

    Had no idea we shared so many things in common. My first gun was a remington 550. Growing up in rural Colorado that gun covered a lot of ground with me. Still have that gun and shot it a couple weeks ago. My first shotgun came later. I think I was 13 or 14. A 16 gauge side by side eastern arms (Sears Roebuck) complete with thin blueing and a plastic stock. I didn’t weigh much back then and remember it kicked the living daylights out of me. Still have that one too. Barrels are too thin to shoot anymore though.

    Your stories about introducing firearm shooters to airguns and kids to shooting brought a smile to my face. At this point in life I enjoy the look on these new inductees faces almost as much as I enjoy shooting. You’re to be commended for sending kids home with their own guns. Even in the former wild west of Colorado too few kids are exposed to shooting today. With parents permission, I’m trying to do my part to remedy that LOL!

    I’ve never owned any gun in .22 hornet. Now you’ve piqued my interest. Thanks again.


    • Kevin : You should come East as there are a lot of .22 hornets, .25-20’s,32-20’s,.218 bee, and other mild mannered woods type rifles for sale here. I love the little cartridges. Use a classic rifle in .32-20 or .25-20 for woods walking type small game hunting just once, using mild lead bullet handloads, and you see just how much the .25 and .30 cal PCP’s try to be like like them performance wise. I just walked past a Savage 23 in .22 hornet on weds day morning of this week at a flea market for $150, and it even had the original clip and a nice piece of wood underneath the grime . Could have got it for less, but I passed ,because I have enough .22 Hornets and way too many irons in the fire now. The black rifle craze has brought a lot of these good rifles out of closets to be used as trading fodder for those purchases. All the young shooters (under 50) here know is deer hunting and turkey hunting. You can’t shoot turkey with a rifle here, and not many target shoot, handload, or small game hunt either.

      • Robert from Arcade,

        Not sure about the used supply of .22 hornets here. They’ve never been on my radar.

        I gave away all my reloading stuff years ago. Never thought I’d regret it but I’m starting to. Not sure I have the time to ramp up the reloading though. Too many irons in the fire. I’m going to look into a .22 hornet that could shoot off the shelf stuff for my entrance into this arena.

        Won’t be hunting with it but might be a fun gun for the range. I’ve been spending more time at the range shooting rimfires this year than I’ve been fishing. The browning t bolt and the winchester 9422 have risen to the top of favorites for plinking. Amazing how accurate that t bolt is even in my hands. I scoped the remington 513T and am trying to shrink my groups at 100 yards. Not sure I’ve found the right round for it but the journey is great fun.


        • Kevin,

          .22 Hornet is one of my recent favorites. Mac turned me onto it and now I reload for it. With store-bought bullets on sale I can cook up a round for $14/100. My Savage 23D gets groups just larger than one inch at 100 yards, using a vintage 4X scope that has a 15mm tube. A modern scope might clip off a quarter-inch from that.

          If you want a real screamer for a great price, consider the CZ 527 American. It comes with a single-set trigger and scope rings for just over $500. From the reviews I’ve read, it is a very accurate rifle.


        • Kevin: Yes the T-bolt is one of the very good ones! I’ve been shooting mine a lot also. My 9422 mag not so much, last time was Forth of July weekend last year. If you get a .22 Hornet , look for a Ruger bolt or single shot if you get a modern gun. The old mod 23 Savage I saw probably had the smaller bore and they often had headspace problems. The receiver and barrel were bored in one piece too ,so re-barreling is not an option either. The .25-20 & .32-20 versions of that model were OK but the .22 Hornet chamber pressure really put some strain on the rear locking bolt system of that model. It can fixed with a shim method , I know how, but it is one to stay away from as a gun you shoot often. I’ve had and have a few 23’s in all cals ,so I’ve had a bit of experience with them. My .25-20 in that model will stay under an inch at 100 yards all day long with handloads. The 1950’s vintage Winchester 43 bolt in .218 Bee is another one to be careful of. Personally I like the .218 Bee over the Hornet. It will handle a heavier bullets and has a little more pop, and is less fussy to handload lead and jacketed bullets for.

          • Robert,

            Yes, the Savage 23 does have the .223 bore (being made before WW II) but bullets are still made in that size.

            Around here a nice 23D commands about $350-400. Think about that the next time you see one for $150 or less.

            And remember that I still have that Sterling that Vince is reworking so I can finish my test. Some day that one will become available. 😉


            • BB: I know about the bullets and maybe that is why folks have the headspace issues with the guns , as they abuse it if they try to load it hot with the larger bullets. Old guns need to be loved. The real reason I didn’t buy that Hornet was the fact that I had only fifty bucks cash on me. One thing I never do is tire kick if I don’t have the funds, but I’ll be back there next week so I’ll keep what you said in mind.
              Remember last week when we were talking about combination guns? Well my favorite Hornet is my Savage combo .22 Hornet/.20 ga over under. It will shoot with any bolt action as to accuracy.

              • Robert,

                As it happens I have stumbled on a Savage 24D in .22 LR over .410 — almost the gun I said was one of my dream guns. I’ll get it for the right price, so if I don’t like it I can resell it and make a few bucks to boot.

                I’m with you on the “no tire-kicking” thing. I won’t discuss business unless I’m ready to pull the trigger. But please do keep me in mind if you see that 23D again and if it’s in decent shape. Also Savage 219 single shots in .22 Hornet and their associated kin are doing very well out here.

                My old 23D was apparently well cared-for before I got it and I load it soft with .223 bullets. I’ve been using 9.5 grains of H110 and 11 grains of Lil’ Gun, both of which are quite light. I’ve got a .219 Donaldson Wasp for those times when I want more power in a .22 centerfire, so the Hornet gets to graze in tall grass with lots of oats to keep her happy. Oh, and I also just acquired a 5.7 MMJ Johnson Spitfire built on a Winchester M1 Carbine chassis. That’s for when I want to abuse myself with reloads that have to be weighed to the nearest 1/10-grain and resized to within a few thousandths!


                    • I still have a early one I bought new in 1982 before NEF took over H&R. It is the version that came with a 20 ga. barrel, and has a wood(birch) straight grip stock. Mine has a heavy trigger pull. I’ve used the 20 ga barrel more than the .22 Hornet, but I did shoot a few woodchucks with it.

          • Robert from Arcade,

            My 9422 is not a mag and has so so accuracy. Great for plinking at 30-35 yards though. Guess I watched too many westerns growing up but a lever action just thrills me.

            Thanks for the guidance on .22 hornets. I don’t need another project gun. Have plenty. 😉


  6. Mac grew up in a place like I did. Our place shared one of it’s borders with the Seneca Indian reservation. Those folks were our neighbors. Single shot .22’s wearing just open sights , put a lot of deer down on their side of the fence.
    As far as PA’s customer service goes ,I have had no issues. I have always received excellent service. The only issue’s I have had are due to the Fed Ex shipper they use. That problem seems to be regional, and just so PA knows, the FedEx employees serving Western NY really, really don’t give a flip for their customers.

  7. B.B.

    I was just wondering were in the USA can you find a CZ ZAP960 I’ve looked everywhere and so has my family and so far I’ve only found Czech blogs about how awesome it is.


    • wprejs,

      Yeah, that happens. Several years ago the Russians came out with some futuristic-looking PCPs and they even brought them to the SHOT Show (the wholesale show for the shooting industry in America). But they weren’t ready to manufacture the guns yet so nobody did any business with them.

      And at the same time I saw a very strange PCP from Indonesia that was being backed by the Chinese. That one never made it, either.

      What I’m saying is that there are a lot of guns out there that don’t make it to the U.S. for many reasons. You can see them on the internet, but nobody carries them.


  8. Excellent blog articles today! I wish everyone could read today’s.

    Mac, I for one enjoy your writings. I hope you keep sharing.

    Edith, Same goes for you, too. I’m sure you’ve opened up a few eyes today with your out-of-stock tutorial. Please share any of your other insider “screamers” if you have any. Just proves the “walk-in-someone-elses-shoes” saying to be true.

  9. B.B. you mentioned yesterday about ‘swagging’ a Vortek spring. Is that the same as ‘setting’ the spring and should you always do this (or make sure it has been done) when installing a new spring? I was under the impression that you just press a new spring into the tube and it sets itself during use. Please clarify as I am soon to get a replacement for that canted spring.

  10. Great picture today. What’s his rifle? He looks like a pretty serious shooter. And on the subject of pictures, what should I find upon opening my Cabela’s catalog but a prominent photo of the Rogue air rifle. Congratulations, Lloyd. Here’s a trivia question for rifles. In the climactic scene of Jaws, when the hero faces the charging shark and says, “Smile you SOB,” before firing a shot that explodes the dive tank hanging out of its mouth and blows it to bits, what model bolt-action rifle does the hero use? I would guess a Springfield 03 since it looked like a military surplus gun.

    Thanks to Mac for his guest blog. So, now we know why he is such an excellent rifle shot. I’m reminded of the Gunblast Webzine writers, also from Tennessee who say, “I’m often asked the question of which gun I would have if I could only have one. The very thought is abhorrent to me but if I had to pick one it would be….” a .22 LR. Anyway, that’s quite the background in shooting and also reminiscent of the biography of Annie Oakley who at some incredibly young age took up the family rifle and shot the head off a squirrel as a first sign of her talent. So, I’ve just got a few decades to go to catch up. Mac, what do you think of your Mosin-Nagant sniper rifles? I would be interested to hear. I’ve only heard of the .22 Hornet in one context. There is a story, made into a movie, about some young guy out in the desert who links up with a sort of professional hunter who disarms him and then starts hunting him for sport. Saving his high-powered rifle for later, the hunter amuses himself by taking potshots at him with his own .22 Hornet. One got the impression that the .22 Hornet was underpowered. But the hero turns the tables by burying himself with a tube poking aboveground for air and then ambushing the villain with a powerful slingshot that he finds, capable of breaking glass bottles.

    Edith, yes I suppose the distributing of product is a difficult matter which gives me some insight into headaches of my own recently, not connected to PA. Actually, I was just notified that my RWS Hobbys are on the way one day ahead of the date given to me. Yippee! As for B.B., sarcastic he may be, but his self-control is also great as I have seen on many occasions including the instance where this line of his appeared.

    Wulfraed, you’re right. The trigger technique is to hold steady with the pressure when the sight picture gets disrupted as opposed to releasing the pressure completely, but it still doesn’t work for me.

    Victor, I would think that extra sensitivity to a trigger would actually be a plus for shooting. I’ll be interested in hearing your stories of corruption and incompetence as a trade although I believe that I can match you and raise you one. I have full house in a manner of speaking although more about cluelessness than malevolence. Soon enough.


    • Matt61,

      I looked through the on-line catalogs of all the major makers of match rifles. It’s really hard to tell for sure what the guy in the wheel chair is shooting, but the closest I can come is that it’s a Feinwerkbau P700/Evolution or Evolution-Top. The four “vent” holes in the forestock are very distinctive. The Evolution is a slightly lighter-weight version of the top of the line FWB P700-Alu. The evolution is significantly less expensive because the shroud on the barrel is aluminum instead of steel, and the stock is not as easy to adjust.

      It is possible that it’s a Walther 8002 aluminum stocked gun (that also has 4 vents, but they look very different), tho’ I doubt it.

    • Matt61,

      There’s something very different about my recent shooting experiences, versus my past. It’s a little hard to describe, but I think that in the past, everything that I did was more instinctive (probably because I built proper foundations, first). The sensitivities that I now feel physically, seem to create a kind of subconscious barrier that I have to overcome consciously. I don’t remember feeling this when I competed. I was never what one might call “a natural”, but I learned well, really enjoyed what I did, and didn’t stress over things. Equally important was the fact that I was in such great shape. My mind and body just played well together. I don’t feel that same synergy.

      In that accident, I tore lots of muscles in my hands, arms, back, and even my heart. Remember, I wrapped my upper body straight in and around a steering column at a combined speed of around 75 miles per hour, wearing no seat-belt. For MANY months, I couldn’t even unbutton a shirt, or even unzip my own pants (VERY frustrating). Doctors didn’t want me to do ANYTHING for at least a year. I’m not convinced that this was the best advice, but I followed it. Until I moved to a drier climate, I would have episodes in which my upper back would go into a state where spasms would even prevent me from breathing, so I’d have to go into emergency. This happened most years. Mind you, I’m talking over 10 years after the accident. Fortunately, I now only have to deal with the occasional random spasm, or sciatic nerve swelling. I don’t really think about these things anymore. I guess I’m used to them by now.

      With regards to shooting, I am a bit more limited, but I still know what I’m doing, and how to think things through (which is fundamentally critical to great shooting), so I can still get decent performances. It just doesn’t come as natural as it once did.

      BTW, shooting prone for hours is physically demanding, with my physical problems, but I love doing it so much that I just do it. It is wisely said that “obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off of the goal.” When it comes to shooting, I, for the most part, don’t see obstacles. Desire allows me to suppress the things that my body has to endure. Discomfort becomes like background noise. Focus is everything.


    • Regarding corruption, incompetence, cluelessness, malevolence, and matching and raising one on me. Maybe. Like I said, I’ve seen some doozies. I’ve seen these things on many levels; individual, organizational, and even corporate cultures. The root cause, as I’ve observed, has to do with peoples definition of “ambition”. Some of us are motivated out of passion and love for what we do, while others simply want/need power, control, or are greedy. They seem to be motivated by external stimulus, rather than love. Remember, the source of all creation is love. They don’t create. – They use and abuse. They can’t respect the impassioned, and sometimes even have contempt for all others. I honestly believe that they don’t have a clue as to why they are as they are. Only a professional could help them understand their motivation (why they are as they are). You can even feel sorry for them, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll ever want to have anything to do with them again.

      • Victor,
        You are applying the Dreaded Resolve I have been talking about. What you are doing you know in your heart is right and nothing will discourage you from doing it. It’s what you want, and enjoy to do. Your fortitude and your attitude is admirable. Hang in there pal! You have a lot to share.

        • Chuck,

          Thanks! Yes, the Dreaded Resolve resolve and I are old friends. Even in small things, I tend not to get flustered and quit on things. You might say that I’m an optimist. I believe that the rewards are worth the effort and sacrifice. Even when the reward is not realized, I just say to myself that I’ll get it next time. I usually do.

          I use to tutor university students in mathematics. I found that lots of students would quit on a problem as soon as there was any sign of trouble. There simply was no real effort to figure it out. Many of these same students would come to me, and just want the solution. They didn’t want understanding, only to check the problem off their list. I’d ask them, “What about exam? You’ll need to understand what you’re doing to do well on an exam.” I’ve met many people like this in the field. They aren’t particularly motivated, because they have no passion or love for what they do. The world is full of people like this in all fields. Their credentials are as thin as the paper that hangs on the wall. Winners aren’t like that.

          When I was a student, I hung in there on a problem for hours, even days. If I needed a professors help, the solution, when presented, was much more insightful. Often times (most of the time, really), the issue was that the solution in the back of the book was wrong. Yes, you also get to the point where you know (are confident) that the solution in the back of the book is wrong also, but you also want to play it safe. Of course, you get to know these things better, if you really try.

          The bottom line is that the “Dreaded Resolve” is a practiced thing. Like reading, the more you practice, the more natural it seems to come.


      • Victor, it sounds to me like you have overcome a LOT. Things change as we age, and it’s often not for the best. With your desire I think you will continue do just fine.

        Enjoy the 4th!


        • Mike,
          Thanks! I have overcome a lot, and the details of what I’ve personally overcome have convinced me that most people are a LOT more capable than they realize. I say this because I grew up knowing (deep down, and absolutely) of my own inferiority to everyone around me, everywhere I went. Early experiences in life have taught me that we really can mold our minds into whatever we want. I believe that a thin layer of self doubt prevents most from achieving MANY things. But it takes real effort that is constant and dedicated. It’s a battle that has to be waged, and thus, solved from within. I solved nothing by battling with others. With regards to my physical health, like everything else, I’m very patient.

  11. Edith,

    I’ve experienced a whole range of issues in my dealings with PA, and they’ve always come through with flying colors. One aluminum rifle case that I bought from PA came flexed. That likely happened during shipping, but PA was willing to take it back. Instead, we negotiated a discount, and they were very gracious about the whole thing. I’ve also done exchanges, and returns. No one makes it easier than PA, in my experience.

    The only disappointment that I’ve had in my dealings with PA had to do with a rifle for which the “in stock” date kept getting pushed out. You’ve just explained why and how this can happen. No biggie.


  12. BB,
    Whenever I’ve talked to Mac about guns, he always seems to have the subject very well covered. Now I know why… He’s been shooting forever!.

    Great blog Mac!

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse at the not-so-glamorous side of manufacturing and distribution.

    Thanks for the congrats on the Rogue. I’m glad it’s finally here!

  13. A friend is having pigeon problems in his barn so I stopped by with my Sheridan C. There were two there when I arrived and I got them both. The Sheridan is great for that kind of work with it’s variable power. You don’t have to worry about shooting through the roof.


  14. b.b., this ones for you 😉
    In a post going back to ’06 you mentioned that you got good results with your 631 using JSB Exacts.
    In my never ending quest of consistent 30m shooting with my mine I’d like to try a new pellet. I’m getting groups that are consistent…there will be 6 or 7 shots all landing in a 1/2″ group, but 3 or 4 will be off…opening the groups to 1.5 – 2″ overall.
    I’ve pretty much got the hold down this gun requires. At 15m all 10 shots can be covered by a nickel…but at 30 there are those annoying 2 or 3. So before I start sorting, weighing and lubing my pellets…I’m going to try a couple of different pellets (I’ve had such good luck with RWS products I usually stay in that line).
    So…after all that, the question. The Exacts come in 4.5, 4.51 and 4.52. Short of spending $40 on pellets and then not using a bunch of them…can you suggest which skirt size would most likely work best with the 631?

    • CSD,

      Your message comes on the tails of some sad news at my house. While working on my CZ 631 I managed to lose both the specially formed flat trigger return spring (the one that you never see until you find it on the floor) and the sear spring that fits into the trigger blade. So I am now unable to finish the report on the 631 until I get the gun running again.

      I have feelers out for parts, but if you know of any CZ parts sources I’d sure appreciate knowing about them. The rifle now cocks smoothly, if I could just get it to hold!


  15. Hi guys !
    My Diana to5 trigger has failed yesterday ,today i need to assemble it again and put it together ,but the thing is ….i don’t know what went wrong at the first place he has just ….failed ,didn’t want to release the cocked spring …..!?? A huge DRAG 🙁

      • twotalon
        Thank you for your advice :)! I did menage to to release the spring manually – by removing the trigger ,i would never open the rifle if the rifle is cocked…. it could be a fatality
        I did menage to make all function again(cocking mechanism ) and i will change the spring and put it back together ….what went wrong -i don’t know ….any suggestions !???

        • As I said, look for dirty, damaged , or dry parts.
          I had some problems for a while with my 48 not coming to full cock, but never had a problem with firing when it did come to full cock.
          My best guess is that the trigger plates did not position properly when you cocked it. If that was the case, then dirty, lack of lube, or sharp edges in the wrong places could cause it. Do not polish the crap out of it. Be careful that you do not do any more than just remove sharp edges on the plates.
          I put a bit of moly (very little) on mine, and do not have cocking problems anymore.


        • Another thing…
          If it does this again, attempt to recock it. While I had a different problem with my 48, attempts to recock cleared the problem. Sometimes repeated pulls on the lever fixed it, other times I had to release the anti beartrap and let the rifle fully uncock before trying again. It took 4 or 5 attempts one time. When the trigger parts snap back into place there was usually an audible click.


  16. OMG it’s too early to be typing…

    Please recap the differences between the 77 and 97 underlevers from HW…


    Going to get my full brain off of the charger and reinstall…

    • JGC,

      I think you mean the 77 and 97 underlevers from Weihrauch.

      The 77 is the older design. It’s a little lighter than the 97. The differences are mainly cosmetic, except that a whole lot of the HW 97s imported into the U.S. in the past have been 12 foot-pound guns instead of full power guns. So if you are buying used, be careful to get what you want.

      The 77 has a more classic stock, while the 97 is shaped more for scope use.

      And the 97 stocks can come in colors.


  17. The .22 Hornet

    Can’t resist the urge to post when the Hornet a topic as we go way back. I actually put a lengthy review together concerning the Hornet on a Sunday morning before work awhile back, but it was the same day the blog switched over to the new format and the post went into the abyss.

    So in a nutshell, the magical Hornet was my first center-fire cartridge in an very old Winchester bolt. It had the ability to reach out and touch ground hogs at ranges the .22LR could only dream of. It was just such a well balance rig with the equally old Weaver scope. In later years I would get bored with the sport when my upgraded equipment was a 12 lb rifle in .243 Winchester, even though it guaranteed a much higher kill number.

    As far as being underpowered, it is actually right powered for much work east of the Mississippi in skilled hands, sort of the R7 of the firearm world. If it carries any shame, it is due to its popularity with those that are less than ethical. The .22 Hornet was the poachers ideal round.

    The last Hornet I bought was a Ruger with a std weight laminated stock and the heavy stainless barrel. The interesting part of the story on the Ruger was the clerks reaction. Now I had decided on that Hornet months before, and after a brisk sales month in 2005 I walked into the sporting goods store with a bulge in my pants from the cash I was eager to spend.

    But try as I might, the clerk kept insisting otherwise and handing me various .223’s. Finally, I had to let him know I ONLY wanted a Hornet and the Ruger I had first asked to see was it. He then looked at me with knowing eyes, turned his head and said:
    “oh, I understand now” and gave a wink. “Coyote or Deer problem?”

    The implication was the rifle was needed for work outside the limits of the law.
    Offend, but not enough to stop the sale as these guys were the only ones in a 50 mile radius that had the rifle in stock I just agreed to move things along and replied “Coyote”.

    Of course he was correct that the .223 had more power, was easy to find anywhere and less expensive.
    But I’ll bet he never even carried the capable .22 Hornet in endless fields of freshly cut hay in the early ’70’s.

    • Hornet,

      When I was a teenager I wrote a letter to P.O. Ackley, asking whether the ,22 Hornet would be appropriate for use in Ohio farmland for woodchucks. I knew the answer before I wrote the letter and I had never even seen a woodchuck around where I lived — I just wanted to talk to P.O. Ackley. He responded and I kept that letter for many years like you might keep a baseball caught at a game.

      But my first Hornet came at the age of 62. It was a gift from a new shooting friend who thought I needed a Hornet. I still have that as my only rifle in that caliber and I reload for it a lot. People say the Hornet is difficult to load for, but I think it is incredibly easy. I have never damaged a case in hundreds of reloads.

      I was looking to perhaps buy a CZ American with a single-set trigger, but the one I had my eye on was sold recently. But I’ll keep my eyes open and someday I’ll get a second rifle. I agree that the Hornet is a delightful cartridge, and it’s one I want to get to know better.


  18. B.B.,
    That you know of, is there a PCP air-rifle at under say $500, that gets between 150 and 250 shots per fill. I believe that the Challenger can get close to 100. I know that my FWB 700 ALU gets around 220.

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