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Ammo Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 1

Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Gavin Twigger 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.

Gavin’s said this about his submission: “This is what HAPPY looks like. Cheers Pyramyd Air! Great deal, great job. Hopefully soon, I’ll show you the rabbit that’s been digging up my yard.”

Today, we’ll start a large report that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. It’s based on the belief in the firearms community that a .22 caliber CB cap is just as good as an air rifle for eliminating pests.

By “good” I take four things into consideration: accuracy, power, cost-effectiveness and discharge sound.

Before I started this test, I’d read a lot of shooting forums and came away with the observation that very few shooters really know what CB caps are and how well they do or don’t work. Every discussion I found was centered on using the cheapest approach to pest elimination, then projecting the CB cap on it as the solution. I also discovered that the people who were doing the talking considered Gamo spring rifles to be the most expensive air rifles around. They also were comparing CB caps to Crosman 1377 pistols and 1077 rifles.

With that much confusion and misinformation, I felt honor-bound to test CB caps against real, worthy air rifles — not to shame the CB caps, but to set the record straight. In this test, I’ll be pitting several .22 rimfire rifles shooting CB caps against an AirForce Talon SS with a .22-caliber, 24-inch barrel. It’s the same rifle I tested for you several weeks ago in the three-part series titles What would BB do? In fact, that report series was actually one of the preambles to this test.

Brief history of the CB cap
The CB cap has a history that dates all the way back to the 1840s. At that time, the percussion cap was relatively new, having been in existence less than 40 years and in general use less than 20 years. By 1840, it’s safe to say that percussion ignition had all but replaced the flintlock except for a few shooters who held out for very specific reasons.

In Europe, someone had the idea of using just a percussion cap itself to power a small, lightweight lead ball for very close-range shooting. By 1845, Flobert was making and selling these bulleted breech (BB) caps for small, inexpensive guns. Some guns were rifled, others were smoothbore and a few were very fancy, indeed. They were available in a number of metric sizes, with 6mm, 8mm and 9mm being among the most popular. In these Flobert cartridges, the priming compound was the only thing providing the propulsive force for the projectile.

In 1855, Rollin White patented the bored-through revolving cylinder, and the startup company of Smith & Wesson used his patent to create the first .22-caliber revolver that used their new proprietary .22 rimfire cartridge. This small cartridge would later be known as the .22 Short, but at the time it was the only .22 rimfire cartridge around so it was just called a .22. As an important deviation to the Flobert ammunition, this cartridge did contain a small amount of gunpowder! Remember, at that time, all gunpowder was what we call black powder today.

The history of the CB cap and .22 rimfire cartridge is worthy of an entire book, but I’m going to skip a lot of that. Some time after the BB cap was created, a cartridge with a little more priming compound was created to launch a heavier conical bullet. Instead of a round ball, which is ballistically inferior, this new conical ball cap, or CB cap, shot a heavier projectile that also had a slightly higher ballistic coefficient.

It’s confusing, because cartridge makers also refer to CB caps as zimmer ammunition. They’re not the same as 4mm zimmerstutzen ammunition.

On a parallel path of development, but not part of the .22-caliber rimfire cartridge development, was the creation of the zimmerstutzen or parlor rifle. It initially used separate percussion caps to power a small lead ball in the same way that Flobert cartridges worked, and by the latter part of the 19th century the cap and ball had been joined into the now-familiar shape of a rimfire cartridge. These small rounds look like BB caps, but they’re smaller in diameter and do not play a part in the story I’m telling.

Zimmerstutzen ammo still comes as both fixed rounds (right) and separate components.

The 4mm zimmerstutzen round (left) is dwarfed by the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The two do not compete in the same sports, nor are they used in the same guns.

By the early 20th century, there were both BB caps and CB caps mixed in amongst the other sizes of .22 rimfire rounds, of which there were many more than we see today. By this time, the BB cap had standardized, more or less, into a tiny self-contained 6mm cartridge with a lead ball crimped in the end. Because it was so close in size to the .22 rimfire bore diameter, the 6mm BB cap was commonly shot in .22 rimfire guns, though it had to be handled manually because it was too short to feed through any repeating mechanism other than a revolver cylinder. Later on, I’ll be showing you some 6mm BB caps in this series and even shooting them for you, but right now I want to remain focused on the CB cap.

Is a CB cap just as capable as a good air rifle pellet?
That question is the focus of this test. I want to give CB caps all the advantages possible to let them show their best face, because the airgun they’ll be compared to is already a known performer.

The test rifles
I initially decided to use the following four rimfire rifles in the test.

1. A customized Ruger 10/22 that has a tuned trigger, a tighter target-spec. chamber, closer headspacing and a couple other improvements that do not affect accuracy, such as an improved magazine release. The rifle is scoped with a Centerpoint 8-32x56AO scope.

This 10/22 looks stock, but a lot has been done to make it a better shooter.

I chose this rifle because it’s so commonly available. It isn’t the most accurate .22; but with the modifications my rifle has, it’s more accurate than a factory 10/22 and able to hold its own against other good, contemporary rimfire rifles.

I also have a 20-inch Butler Creek bull barrel and custom stock for this rifle, and I can swap those for even better performance. That gives me not one but two different 10/22 rifles to use for testing.

2. A Remington 521 Junior Target rifle was also selected. The 521 is very accurate, yet it’s not in the same class as a Remington model 37 or a Winchester model 52. In short, it’s an accurate bolt-action rifle that the average guy might own. You could equate it to a modern Savage or CZ bolt-action. The sights are a Lyman rear aperture target sight and a model 17A globe front sight with ring insert.

3. A Winchester Winder Musket chambered in .22 Short caliber was the final choice for this test. This is a special version of Winchester’s popular 1885 Low Wall model. The Winder was developed for the junior target shooter of the early 1900s. It was considered to be one of the best junior target rifles of its day and was even purchased by the U.S. Army for their marksmanship training. Because it’s chambered for the Short cartridge, I’ll be able to take advantage of the CCI CB Short cartridges that might not work as well in rifles that are chambered for the long rifle cartridge. The sights are a special Lyman rear aperture target sight and a Lyman 17A front sight with ring aperture.

Winchester’s Winder Musket is a fine target rifle from a century ago. This one still shoots well.

The pellet rifle
I’m shooting my AirForce Talon SS with 24-inch, .22-caliber barrel and the bloop tube that was reported in the series What would BB do? You’ve already seen this rifle turn in a 10-shot group that was smaller than a half inch at 50 yards, but I’ll be shooting it, again, on the same days I shoot the CB caps to keep the conditions the same for every projectile.

The one pellet rifle in this test is my Talon SS with 24-inch barrel and bloop-tube silencer.

CB caps currently available
CB caps come and go from the market, and more have gone than have come in recent times. When I made my ammo purchase for this test, all I was able to buy were CCI CB Longs that have the cartridge case of the Long Rifle with a shorter and lighter bullet, CCI CB Shorts that have the Short case and the same bullet as the Longs, Aguila Colibris that have the Long Rifle case and a smaller bullet, Aguila Super Colibris that have the same case as the Colibris but offer different velocity, and RWS 6mm BB caps. All of these cartridges have priming only inside the case. None contain any gunpowder.

In recent years, I’ve been able to buy CB caps from other makers such as Eley; but when I made my ammo purchase this time, these were all that were available in the U.S.

The premise
I’m testing whether it’s reasonable to assume that a .22 rimfire rifle shooting CB caps can perform as well as a good pellet rifle, with respect to accuracy, power and quiet report.

The test
I decided to test all the guns for accuracy at 25 yards and 50 yards with 10-shot groups. For sound, I’ll use my ears, plus those of whatever witnesses are available. I’ve already done some of this, and it works well. You don’t get a number, but you can tell when something is louder or quieter than something else. I’ll get velocity from the chronograph, of course, and cost will be calculated on the ammunition, alone. I won’t factor in the cost of the guns, because nobody will ever have exactly the same guns as someone else. I want this to be representative of what a shooter would encounter if he decided to pit CB caps against a good pellet rifle, but there will always be differences in equipment.

First day at the range — a lot is learned
Things seldom go as we plan, and nothing shows that as clear as a day at the rifle range. For starters, I discovered that the semiautomatic 10/22 would not feed any of the CB cap ammo from the magazine — even when I manually cycled the bolt. Two thirds of the time the cartridge failed to enter the chamber, which caused me to stop and clear the gun before proceeding.

After a number of such misfeeds, I unloaded the magazine and loaded each cartridge into the chamber by hand. That’s not easy to do with a 10/22 that doesn’t have an automatic bolt hold-open feature. It’s possible, just not easy.

Still, I managed to shoot two groups of 10 rounds at 50 yards. One was with Aguila Super Colibris and the other was with CCI CB Longs. The Aguilas landed on two different targets for a group size in the range of 12 inches, and the CCIs landed in a group that measured just under seven inches.

Then, I tried the CCI CB Longs in the Remington 521 and got a group of 10 in exactly four inches. I may have tried the Super Colibris in this rifle, as well, but I have no target to show for it, so I think I didn’t.

The Talon SS shot three groups of 10 with JSB Exact Jumbos domes weighing 18.1 grains. The best group measured 1.25 inches, while the worst measured 2.1 inches. One group of JSB 15.9-grain Exact domes went into 1.37 inches.

Where do we go from here?
I’m just getting started with this test. It’s the research for a feature article I’ll write for Shotgun News in November, and I’ve already been to the range two times. I’ll have to write a special summary report when this test is completed to make sense of all the data.

I would like to hear what you guys think. Especially, those of you who have experience shooting CB caps in rimfires. I’m not sure where this test will take us; but I already see things I never would have expected, so I think we’ll all learn something from this.

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.

167 thoughts on “Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 1”

  1. BB,seeing the results from day one,I am left curious why the heck anybody would use them.That leads directly to my question.Are they accurate at closer ranges? Other questions come to mind like what weight range are the projectiles and are they apples to oranges compaired to pellets for energy
    delivered to the target? I know,I know……stay tuned! Intriguing test idea….kudos.
    P.S. AA Shamal on yellow…..I can’t afford it,but it’s beautiful!

    • I’m with Frank B. on this one. My guess is that the airgun pellets will easily dominate at 25 and 50 yards. It could be that the .22 CBs do much better at short parlor shooting distances and would make for a more equal comparison there (just as airguns compare much better with firearms below 50 yards than above), but airgun performance doesn’t degrade either at short distances. So, at this point, I would say the airgun pellets have the opposition pinned.


  2. WOW This is gonna be an interesting test.
    Although I think it’s completely apples to bananas.
    The average plinker and garden pester is going to
    choose whatever is available from one of the
    big box stores.That usually means a Marlin or
    Henry .22 compared to a Crosman or Gamo.
    And we all know that wally world ammo is mostly
    gonna be Gamo,Crosman or Daisy.
    My local wally world for example does carry
    the CCI CB long and a few variety’s of 22 short ammo
    but the only AG ammo is in .177 and that is Daisy or
    Crosman,wadcutters and pointed with a tin of
    CPH occasionally.
    Then there are the AG’s which are either the springers
    which require the artillery hold or the pumpers most of which
    are smoothbore.

    The kind of folks who are willing to spend the money for a PCP
    and test all kinds of pellets to find what their gun likes are able
    to do the same thing with their RFs except with an RF you usually
    try to find a bbl to go with the type of ammo you want to use,
    as in the right chamber,twist rate etc.

    I think this test will be an eye opener for some,but personally
    I believe the Talon is gonna (stomp a mudhole in) the RF’s
    with low power ammo JMHO because the RF bbl’s are not
    suited to the lower velocity ammo.
    We shall soon see lol
    Bring it on BB 🙂


    • JTinAL,

      You’re right that. Joe Sixpack is never going to be influenced by this report. But I want to know the truth. After reading what the guys are saying and realizing they haven’t got much of a clue, I want there to be one place in the world where the test was run to exhaustion and those who care can read what happened.

      Plus, I am curious — especially after the second trip to the range.


  3. B.B.

    I have shot the CB shorts in several different rifles and handguns over the years. I was not exactly impressed.
    Quiet? Yes. Accurate? No. I have seen grey squirrel under 25 yds take multiple hits before dropping. Most slugs were still in the squirrel.
    They should have a higher B.C. than pellets because they are essentially a .22 short bullet. Would be dangerous at a greater distance than a pellet.

    Never shot the CB longs. Have shot the high speed longs before and found them worthless for accuracy and any power at a distance. Have only used guns chambered for .22 LR. That’s what most people will have anyway.

    Would rather use subsonic .22 LR in match or plinking ammo than a CB. Nearly as quiet, and much better accuracy and punch.

    I would pretty much defy anyone to shoot a CB short with the accuracy I was getting yesterday morning out of two of my HWs during a fine adjustment session in preperation for squirrel and starling season. By starling season I mean that they are forming in big flocks and roosting in particular places in large numbers. This is fall and winter behavior.


    • twotalon,

      I’ll add this one comment to what you have said. CB caps USED to have a .22 short bullet. Today some of them are using something different. It’s shorter, lighter and I don’t yet know how effective.

      Now here is a bit of trivia. Do you know one compelling reason why the .22 long cartridge continues to exist? According to Mac, it’s because the Alaskan natives were given rifles chambered for the .22 long to use for foraging by the U.S. Government in the early part of the 20th century. Apparently there are still many of these rifles in use today and the cartridge makers are either cooperating or pressured into making small runs of the cartridge to fill the need.

      Thank you for your observations,


  4. I just bought a bunch of cci cb longs at wally world but it’s the first time I ever saw it there.

    shot a possum a few days ago, tried a dum-dum’ed cb long and out of a rifle, up close, through heart/lung area and still did’nt kill it. At least not fast. I finished him off with a remington subsonic which we all know is a standard velocity round with a hollow point. I find this load *very* useful around here.

    sorry about the typing, I cut one finger tip nearly off and I’m amazed I’m typing at all.

      • I cut the tip almost all the way off. It’s not far up enough to be really bad, but there’s a sort of cap cut most of the way around. I applied compression for about an hour (it bled a lot which is good for wound cleaning) and when that settled down, put band-aids on it. It will just take a while to heal, and since it’s a finger tip it’ll need to be kept under a bandage for a long time. It just hurts and no heavy lifting for a while.

        • Flobert, I did something similar to that several years ago only I used a hedge trimmer. Crazy Glue is excellent to close your wounds and betadine for sterile conditions. Don’t be surprised, however, if you lose the feeling in the tip of your finger, as I did. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it get infected.

          Fred PRoNJ

          • Thanks Fred. It hurts like hell and I keep bumping it on things. I just made a little plastic “bumper” that protects it, and keeps me aware of it. It still oozed blood but then it got bumped many times today, wearing a “bumper” should help a lot.

            • My wife cut the end of her thumb a few years ago while at work (cutting potatoes) the chef working with her put tobacco on her finger it hurt like hell but stopped the bleeding immediatly.
              They cleaned it and try to glue it back on with a medical kind of glue but it eventually fell off. She has lost sensibility at the very tip.

              What color is the bit that’s been cut off? If there’s still color, there should be blood and it could re-attach.

              Good luck and be carefull with it.


              • The little cap is purple right now, frankly I don’t have much hope for it. The “bumper” I made is a Godsend, I was bumping it every few minutes and it was always throbbing. I went out and had dinner with a friend and noticed while sitting at the table that it finally didn’t hurt and there’s no blood seeping out. I was hanging up my shirts just now and did a little “whack” of it against the closet door, that would have had me cursing up a storm, instead just a little “click” against the protector and that was that.

                I actually looked at the store-bought type of finger protectors and Nah, didn’t buy one. Mine is made of a piece of the handle of one of those little pails “sidewalk chalk” comes in and I have enough to make another one if I need it. I put the band-aids on first then put this on with packing tape cut down narrower.

      • BB,
        Yup, it’s there. Thanks, I don’t know how I missed that. I even reread the blog looking for something like that but missed it. I must have been in a hurry to get to breakfast. Been fishing near Minaki, Canada this week and trying to keep up with the blog, too.

  5. If the general idea is to use the low-powered round for pest elimination, I’m wondering if the Talon is really the gun that would best represent what would be used in this role. I’d think that the shooter would be more inclined to go with a simpler gun that would be a bit less complicated to support. Something that might sit in a closet for weeks at a time until it was needed and could easily be cocked and shot a few times before being put away again.

    Since you are trying out a variety of rimfire guns, would it be useful to throw in a couple more pellet rifles? Perhaps a TF89 or an RWS 34 or 48? Seems to me that this might be a more likely candidate for this soprt of use.

    • I 2nd the vote to add the RWS 34 to the test. It’s available to the locally (Cabelas, Bass Pro), so it’s something a pest eliminator might buy – And it’s similar enough to the Gamo that the CB proponents won’t say you biased the test by using a “super exotic” airgun. For pellets, I wouldn’t restrict it to Crosman or Daisy ammo. RWS and Gamo match are available locally too (Cabelas, Bass Pro, etc).

    • Vince,

      The Talon SS is the simplest gun I could think of that can rival the CB cap for power. When I go to the range I don’t even take along a tank to refill the gun. As long as the onboard tank is filled when I leave the house, I have 40 good shots. That’s almost a whole box of CB caps (in the old days, when they came 50 to a box).

      The Talon SS is only complex to those who are not yet into PCPs. Once you are, it’s a very simple gun to use, which is one of the many reasons I use it as a go-to airgun.

      Black power gun are an analog to PCPs. Before getting into them the new (old) technology seems daunting, but once you have all the stuff, they are far simpler than modern arms.


  6. I completely agree with Vince. In fact, the RWS 34 may be the top end for the real argument that the pellet naysayers use – the Gamo’s may be a more likely as JTinAL says.

    I know someone who is exactly the test case – he uses CB caps to eliminate ground hog pests on his property. I’ve shown him what my Marauder can do, and he stands by using CBs – and I can’t really argue with him. His typical shots are 15 yards or less (often 10 or less), and he gets them almost every time. He has no interest in moving to an air gun and the benefits it brings. At best, he would go with a Chinese if he bought any, but I don’t think he will.

    Clearly we all know that an airgun will beat the CB cap for accuracy, and will be cheaper ammo. But if you include the cost of the gun into the equation as this friend does, you really can’t argue with them.

    Alan in MI

    • Alan,

      But the RWS Diana 34 is no match for a CB cap. That Talon SS is. I wanted this to be a fair test — not a lopsided one. The boys on the gun forums are all using weak spring guns to compare to CB caps and it isn’t right.

      As for the cost of the guns, I have more money invested in my 10/22 by a large margin than I do in my Talon SS. Even if you throw in the carbon fiber tank, the Talon SS comes out as the cheaper gun. You won’t get many Volquartsen owners to step up to the plate to do battle with an air rifle when they are forced to shoot CB caps in their $1,500 rifles, but once they are free to make sniping comments from the sidelines of internet chat forums, they feel safe. And they are the ones who think that Gamos (RWS/Dianas, whatever) are the most-refined and most expensive air rifles around.

      The whole point behind the three-part series where I introduced all of you to my Talon SS was to show you how utterly reliable and stable it is. If you read the final paragraph of that three-part series you will see that it was all done just so this test could be run.

      There isn’t a spring rifle in the world, excepting the now-obsolete Whiscombe, that can hold a candle to the CB cap when it comes to power. I wanted to pick an airgun that could hold its own.


      • BB,

        I agree with pretty much everything you said, with one exception: I think you have changed the intent of the test slightly from what you said back in the “what would be BB do” blog (at least as I understood it). In that you said you wanted to address shooters that say “I don’t need an air rifle to eliminate pests. My 10-22 with CB caps is just as quiet and just as accurate and whole lot cheaper in the long run.”

        Look again at the example I gave of the friend I have that is one of those CB cap shooters. He is taking out garden pest ground hogs at 15 yards or under, and that is his stated need for “accuracy” in his case. In such a case, the sentence on airguns vs. CB caps is dead on. I will add say that I disagree with him for other reasons, the biggest being that even though he is using CB caps that his neighbors don’t hear, he is still “discharging a firearm” and would be much better getting an airgun from a legal standpoint.

        While I agree that it is not fair to compare a “weak spring gun” to the power of a CB cap, that is what the CB cap shooters will be doing because that is the only comparison they would make. They are not going to buy a Talon or Marauder just to take out pests. It will be a spring gun or a multi-pump, not a PCP for that first pesting purchase (I can hear the conversation now – “I need WHAT to use this thing?!?!”). At short range, a well placed .22 pellet from a magnum springer can do the job – more power is better of course, but it can be done. I did it myself with my Quest 800 (heck, that is what I bought it for) – but I feel much better when I do it now with my Marauder.

        If you want to prove that a quality airgun beats pretty much any CB cap from pretty much any gun, have at it. Your readers here already know what the results of that will be. But I don’t think it speaks directly to the original shooters objection, at least from their perspective. I think a Gamo or RWS34 would be more in line with their perspective, as the initial cost is much lower, and the versatility case can be argued there in terms of use in a garage or attic if needed. In fact my favorite airgun pesting example I’d give to a firearm only guy would be the woodpeckers that occasionally attack the siding on my house drilling holes in it – I shoot at them with my 1322 using wadcutters and 2 or 3 pumps. I usually get them, but if I miss the damage is less than the darn bird was doing to start with. Try that with a CB cap!

        Bottom line, I’m not against you on this. I just think it depends on the individual’s starting point as to where they end up. You might want to consider a low cost magnum springer at 15 or ten yards – the power will be much lower, but the accuracy will be enough for headshots while pesting – and don’t bother with it at the longer ranges. In the end, we just need to accept the fact that the anti-airgun CB cap shooters are simply not as enlightened as we are 🙂

        Alan in MI

        • As someone who is still afraid of pcps, I think there is something very practical to be said about Alan in MI’s point. Showing equivalent accuracy and effective power at short ranges with a magnum springer might be more convincing than showing superior performance at longer range with a pcp. But people to a certain extent will see what they want to see, and I know that the prejudices of the firearms shooters against airguns can be large.


        • Alan,

          Your comments are exactly what I was hoping to see.

          My thrust on this test is still the same as it always was, but I think that you and most everybody else is reading in something that I never intended. You all seem to think that I want to convince the firearms shooters that airguns are the way to go. I don’t want to do that at all, because I don’t think I can. All I want to do is to benchmark the performance of modern CB caps so that all the superstition and witchcraft goes away.

          I selected the Talon SS, not to represent an airgun that “everyman” would own or use, but rather as an airgun that is currently available. One that anyone in the U.S. can buy and shoot with no fuss. In other words, don’t talk to me about CB caps being better than Diana 34s because your Remington 40X will out-group an RWS 34 at 50 yards. I selected a rifle that nobody’s Remington 40X can possibly out-group when it’s shooting CB caps. A rifle that can generate more power than any CB cap on the market, and yet a rifle that is still nearly as quiet as most CB caps.

          Your comments were very thought-provoking and I will dwell on them as this test evolves.


  7. BB:
    I think folk who already own a 22lr rifle will be more inclined to explore other ammo for their gun than buy into air rifles.
    However if they knew the flexibilty an air rifle offers they might change their mind.
    For example I went shooting with my shotgun buddy Steve who now has a CZ 22lr bolt action.
    Even though we were in a very wide open space we were paranoid about over shoot,kind of spoiled the day feeling restricted like that.
    This of course is where CB caps come in but if they can’t hit the target what use is that?
    Even a farmer friend of mine,who owns shotguns and rimfires, opts to use his air rifle for pest control more often than not.

    Talking of ‘What goes around comes around’ in history.
    During the riots of the early 80’s our cops had to grab anything to hand to defend themselves.
    Garbage can lids and fence panels for shields.They even had to chuck rocks back at the rioters as their only form of offence.
    The Met Police now has a dedicated area devoted to riot training.Streets,buildings,burning cars, petrol bombs,totaly realistic.
    The scale of the trouble though meant there was not enough of these trained officers in any one place.So many cops were back behind garbage can lids.

    • DaVE,

      I think you have raised an important point. If a guy already owns a good .22 rifle why should he invest in another expensive air rifle, just to kill pests? So a major part of this test series is to establish just what a GOOD .22 rifle can be expected to do with CB caps.


    • DaveUK, ah, so that’s what the abbreviation MP stands for. The MP do look awfully well-suited up. Watching the riots, I am newly astonished at the notion of “Rules of Engagement” and the enormous restraint of law enforcement. It seems to me that if someone does something potentially harmful to the police like throwing objects basically anything should be allowed to the police in the name of self-defense short of lethal force.


          • It does. Where “Met” means “Metropolitan.”

            Remember that the overwhelming majority of UK police do not carry firearms and are not allowed to use them. One problem I have with the UK police not being armed is a certain tendency of the armed force not being as well trained in split second decisions on the use of lethal force as they should be.

            The armed group can usually count on higher-ups deciding. If guns are carried there is a feeling that means “weapons free”. It leads to shootings that shouldn’t happen. Not just my own thinking; I have a friend who is a London detective.

            • Matt61:
              As PZ said ‘MP’ on the back of some riot helmets does indeed mean ‘Metropolitan Police'(who I used to work for).
              You may also have seen ‘CP’ City of London police(my dad and brothers old force) and many other letters,as there were riot cops from 30 other police forces drafted into London from around the country.
              The Police who are armed all belong to specialised squads,so are very well trained but their senior officers are no longer time served coppers with experience but University grads who have been put on fast track promotion.
              Often with nick names like ‘jigsaw’ because when the ship hits the sand (hat tip BB) they go to pieces.

              • To clarify for those who aren’t familiar with London ins and outs. The “City of London” is not “London.” It’s the (roughly) one square mile that comprises the historic financial district. It starts at “the Bar” on the west at the Royal Courts of Justice (which isn’t the more famous but less photogenic “Old Bailey”) and runs to roughly the Tower of London, and then north from the river for about a mile. It has its own Lord Mayor (who is not the mayor of London; that’s Boris Johnson), police force, etc.

                “London” is the great big city on the Thames with the Houses of Parliament, the Palace, Oxford Street, Piccadilly, Soho, etc. Crudely 8 million folks, more or less depending on just where you draw the boundaries of your census.

                My problem with special armed squads is that they aren’t dispatched unless somebody figures there’s an imminent need for armed force. This tends to lower the thresholds at which gun fights start. I have no worthwhile opinion on the value of starting college educated candidates at more senior levels of the force.

                • PZ:’My problem with special armed squads is that they aren’t dispatched unless somebody figures there’s an imminent need for armed force’

                  Who would that ‘somebody’ be then?
                  A senior officer,a senior officer who most likely is not a time served copper.
                  Like Cressida Dick,under whose command an innocent Brazilian was shot dead and she still gets promoted.
                  A better example of this fast tracked folly cannot be found.

  8. I have shot CCI CB Longs in my old Remington 512 bolt action. It has an equally old 3/4 inch tube Redfield 4X scope on it. It’s been a while but I recall shooting groups around 1 inch at 25 yards with it. I have used in on a few starlings and they worked OK. This same rifle will often cut a ragged hole with Wolf Match Extra ammo at the same distance.


    • Mike,

      That is the reason I will also be testing at 25 yards. And I haven’t said this yet, but thinking more about this question and the man who just wants to kill that squirrel in the attic, I am also planning a third test range of ten yards.

      By the way, your 512 is about equivalent in accuracy to my 521. These old Remingtons are something to behold when they are in good condition! Same for older Mossbergs of the 42/44/46/144 line.

      This will all come out in the next several parts of this series.


      • I have used my old Sheridan C for squirrels in the house three times over the last 30 years. It worked great with four pumps at two inches to five yards. The two inch squirrel thought I couldn’t see his hiding spot……..he chose poorly.


  9. I agree with Vince in that maybe a common pumper like the Sheridan or Benjamin 392 would be good to include as most who argue for CB caps for pest elimination wouldn’ consider a Talon. Most who would consider an airgun for pest elimination are not hunters or shooters. If they are , they only often consider the air gun because they are trying to get around a law againist firearms discharge in town. Many to their suprise, find out that joe law doesn’t distinquish between the two. They usually will go the cheapest route which often means a very cheap springer. As I m a trapper, I have used the CB longs to dispatch furbearers at what is essentailly contact ranges and I will tell you from much experience, that they usually (like 85% of the time) will not get it done as cleanly as a sub-sonic LR or a short. A Sheridan Blue Streak will get it done better if you cannot use a firearm, like inside of a barn. The noise is similar inside of a building. Personally ,I have shot CB longs and have found the accuracy to be very poor . Most recently was with my Browning T-bolt and the accuracy was around 4-5″ at only 25 yards.My Sheridan will shoot less than 1″ groups at the same distance. I have a Winchester Low Wall in .22 RF with a 16X Flecker target scope on it that is very similar to your Winchester,except to sights and stock. I will test some CB longs in mine to compare to yours and report back.

    • Robert,

      A 16X Flecker scope! Man, you have the gun, there!

      I will soon be adding a comparable old target rifle to this test — the Stevens 414 Armory with target tang sights. I’ll give the reasons when I announce the rifle in the report.


      • BB: My Low Wall is a wierd rifle. I bought it about 20 years ago for the scope and re-sale of the action but then I ended up keeping it. It is very accurate and I have often wondered what it’s roots are . It has a heavy,1″ dia (straight, no taper) 26″ long barrel chambered for the .22LR. The butt stock is hideous but actually works well with the Flecker scope. The cocking lever has been lengthened and bent to match the butt stocks pistol grip. The forend looks like it could have been cut down from your Winder Musket. After seeing the pictures of your Winder I wonder if the one I have came from one? If you have the time, could you tell me what is the length and dia of your barrel?

          • BB: Thank-you for that information,guess someone re-barreled this one and used up some parts. Anyways, I shot it tonite at 25 yards. Haven’t shot it in awhile. I used some Remington CBee longs from about 10 years ago, since everyone agrees the newer stuff is crap, and the best I got was a 1.682 group. Also shot some WW super X .22 shorts, and got a 0.834 group, and some CCI pistol match did a 0.226 group, ten shots each. Will try some 50 yard groups with some other CB longs . I think they did a good job with the barrel, who ever it was. Also the scope is a 16X J.W. Fecker, no “L” in there, spelling error.

  10. I’m sad that the Stevens Armory isn’t in the lineup. My guess is that B.B. doesn’t need an excuse to shoot that one.

    I have to agree with Vince and Alan. For this test to be relevant I think another airgun should be added to the lineup for fair comparison. Any airgun as long as it’s unscoped. Otherwise I think outsiders would view this test as a thinly veiled attempt to sell talons with a 24″ barrel with a bloop tube attached.


  11. BB,
    I have done some testing with my 10/22 using Colbri, Super Colbri, Winchester “match”, CCI CB Long, and Remington CBees. The Winchester Match was by far the most accurate, doing about a 2″ group at 20yards. The least accurate was the Rem CBees, which had wild ups and downs in velocity. The most quiet were the Colbris, and the loudest (unless were talking about a velocity spike in teh rem CBees) on average was the CCI CB Longs.

    Shadow Express Dude.

  12. I’ve conducted much of the same tests in the past for my own enlightenment so I feel confident that I know what the end results will be, but the final spin should prove interesting.
    I’ve tried the CCI CB Longs in a wide assortment of accurate .22 rifles—-mostly various iterations of the Remington 500 series of which I am justifiably enamored—-as well as a few ‘target’ grade rifles from various sources. By far the most accurate was a tube-fed Remington bolt-action bought by my father-in-law as soon as he could following WW2 duty as a recovery diver at Pearl Harbor. He gifted me with that rifle a few years ago before he passed—probably because I rehabbed it and cared for it for him after he was too incapacitated to do so.
    I agree with several who have noted that using the known-quantity Air Force rifle is a poor choice of the airguns that might stand in a cabinet near a 10/22, Remington or Savage waiting to be chosen for a specific pest elimination task in ‘Mr. Average gun guy’s’ household. That same ‘Mr. Average’ who is an exponent of the perceived superiority of the lesser rimfire rounds is far more apt to have a 347 Benjamin, Blue Streak or Gamo in his arsenal. While I’m quite fond of an apple and orange fruit compote for breakfast in these ‘dog days’ of late Summer I feel the same is out of place in the current test.
    A short story for those who noted the utility of the subsonic rimfires and in particular the Remington Sub-Sonic branding. I’ll relate only the facts and allow the reader his own conclusions—-

    !5-20 years ago after emigrating to the Ozarks where I could have my own firing range a short way outside the shop door I got pretty serious about rimfire shooting. I bought a brick of Remington ‘target-grade’ ammo that was so inaccurate that I stopped trying after @ 75 rounds and wrote a letter of complaint to Customer Service at the Remington ammo production facility in Lonoke, AR.
    Time passed—-but eventually a reply letter and UPS pick-up resulted in returning the remains of the brisk for ‘testing’. More time passed—several months—before I received a letter to the effect that the returned ammo had been tested and received a passing grade. I fired back a letter to the effect that if that ammo was the standard of excellence they thought acceptable that it might prove revealing to them to try a few boxes of RWS Sub-sonic target grade. I received no response—-but a year or two later I dropped by my local gun store and the owner—who was very familiar with my search for accurate rimfire fodder—said, “I’ve got something new for you to try” and dropped a box of Remington ‘SubSonics’ into my hand. You be the judge.
    Good choice of subject—I will eagerly await further developments. Cheers, Tom @ Buzzard Bluff

      • My experience with Remington subsonic HP’s has been poor accuracy. RWS subsonic HP’s are much better. I think there are too many bean counters at Remington these days. They need a few more shooters.


        • Are we seeing the decline of Remington? I’ve heard bad things about their other ammo, and so much the worse if their target ammo is in the same category. And the Remington 700 design doesn’t seem to have the same dominance as before. Maybe this is one of those imperceptible seismic shifts.


  13. Experiments with commonly-available .22 shorts have already shown me that they quickly become worthless out past 25 yards or so. Tried on the 100 yard range, you get an instant, visible feedback on how variable the quality was (I think they were the remington shorts), as some would have little enough drop at that range to still hit a steel silhouette, but others would puff up the dirt 30-40 yards in front of me.

    CBs, I can imagine, will present similar results, at much shorter ranges.

    • DereckB,

      Did you know that the .22 Short was a favorite Schuetzen cartridge for offhand matches at 100 and 200 YARDS in the past? And those were black powder rounds.

      The problem with the Short cartrodge is today people shoot them in rifles that have a twist rate for the Long Rifle bullet. One turn in 16 inches is too fast for the Short bullet. It needs one turn in 20 and even 22 inches to properly stabilize. That’s why I’m using the Winder Musket and not loading the CB Shorts into a rifle chambered for Long Rifle ammo.

      Thanks for bringing this up.


      • I didn’t even think about that. Thanks for the insight!

        I can also report that my Marlin 39a will reliably cycle shorts, so long as you cycle the action slowly and deliberately. Having 20 something rounds in the tube is an experience, so they’re definitely fun for short-range plinking.

          • I love my marlin. Mine is a mountie, from.. sometime in the late 60s or early 70s, I don’t recall and I’m 800 miles away at the moment.

            The 39a has a huge following, and with a reason, I think. Mechanically, rifles today resemble rifles made decades ago almost exactly (I think the major difference is in the extractor and ejector in modern rifles being somewhat poorer quality). It’s a fun, handy rifle that’s great for anything you might want to use a .22 for.

            Mine has a williams receiver peep sight and a fiber-optic front post, and it’s a great combination out to 100 yards (the longest range I have available), shooting better than I do, as pistols are my primary skill set.

          • BB: Definintely get it if it’s at all sound. Mine is from that era and doesn’t have the micro groove rifling either . It has a heavier 24″ barrel and is wonderfully accurate, and was cheap because it had been restocked and is blue worn. I put a Williams peep on mine also. I had the opportunity to keep another 39 with the Micro-groove rifling from the late 1960’s. It was shorter and lighter (20″ barrel),and did look nicer. Both had the pistol grip stocks. Shot a few rabbits with it and it was good ,but not as good as my older one ,so I gave it away .

  14. IMO a HUGE advantage of airguns over CB caps for dispatching small pests is that in much of the world ANY type of projectile-firing device that uses gunpowder, despite how weak it might be, is legally considered a firearm and is therefore illegal to own. This is true not just in much of western Europe but also much of S.E. Asia and many urban and suburban parts of the U.S. Alternatively, in many of those same locales a .50 pcp producing a couple hundred fpe, let alone a 700 fps .22 airgun, is perfectly legal. (I’m not making apolitical statement here, I’m simply making a state of fact.)

    Hey, if a neighbor in your cul-de-sac hears a soft “pop” and asks you what were you doing in your backyard, and you respond, “Killing a @#%$&* birdseed-eating chipmunk with a pellet gun,” he or she will chuckle and say, “Well, don’t shoot your eye out!” Conversation pleasantly over, because most folks think all airguns are some type of variation of the cute little Red Ryder in Christmas Story.

    But instead respond, “Killing a @#%$&* birdseed-eating chipmunk with a .22; it’s OK, though, because it’s only loaded with these little things called CB caps,” and you will immediately have to add, “No, really, they’re not a danger to your kids because I’m being safe about it, and they really aren’t that . . . hey, please, please do NOT call the police. Look this is ridiculous! No, no, I won’t shoot you if you don’t put the gun down. No, no, I said I WON’T shoot you! WON’T — WILL NOT!”

    To most people air equals Daisy BB gun and gunpowder equals AK-47. To them a .22 short is dangerous while your airgun, what do you call it, a Talon SS?, uh, well, have fun with your man-toy. (“Toy,” get the joke?)


    • I think this is a valuable insight. A heck of a lot of people really do think this way. Even a target gun for 10m shooting is a serious WEAPON in my eyes, but to the public, “Oh, that’s a fancy beebee gun” lol.

  15. Uh, I meant “a political,” not “apolitical,” at the end of my first paragraph and please insert “exceptionally” before “dangerous” in my last paragraph. Of course, a .22 short IS potentially dangerous.


  16. BB,
    I don’t know how the noise compares to a CB cap, but the Remington SSHP’s several other have mentioned are impressively accurate and fairly quiet for me also. Anyway, for a necessary shot every now and then, I don’t need to worry about how much noise something makes and can use the 12G if that’s what I think will work best, so I’m not your demographic it appears. I do agree with the others that a springer or cheap multi-pump is a more realistic rifle in pest elimination scenario, but I’m interested in seeing your results.

    • BG_Farmer,

      Remington Subsonics are quiet for regular long rifle ammo, but they are not in the same category as CB caps. I don’t want to soil the surprise that I will have in the next report.

      And curiously, although I find a lot of Remington ammo to be third-world when it comes to quality, the subsonic HPs and the standard speeds are quite reliable and very accurate in many good rimfire rifles.


  17. Ah, that photo of someone with a new gun in a box is iconic. Gone (mostly) are the heady days of me receiving one new gun after another. I would say that my most memorable such experience was getting my IZH 61 with my M1 Garand after several months of waiting a close second.

    B.B., that’s quite a shooting rest you have there. I’m glad to see that you don’t have the buttstock in a vise. There were some guys at the shooting range in Hawaii with a rest like that except the buttstock was completely supported. What’s the point, except for very precise load testing. Yet, these were the guys fussing for 10 minutes over each shot.

    If it’s true that with history viewed as a moving experiment of different identities, roles, activities and so on that everyone, therefore, may have their niche that may not fall exactly in the historical period when they are living, then maybe I’m a natural Zimmerstutzen parlor shooter. And on that subject, I want to set at defiance all Old Guard IZH 61 shooters who scorn the new plastic receiver models! After last night’s session, I must say that the new IZH 61 will do whatever you tell it to. It is sensitive to shooting technique which may be the point at issue here, but all missed shots were clearly my fault. If you have good technique without anything exotic in the way of special holds or anything else, the gun will deliver. I would even go so far as to say that with its accurate barrel, magazine, easy cocking, and even sensitivity that there is nothing better for low-cost high volume, short-range target shooting which, if the goal is improved shooting skill, is pretty central for everyone. The nearest competitor I can think of is the Crosman 1077 but that heavy trigger and changing velocity of the CO2 bring it up short in my opinion.

    Thanks for the commentary on the shape of powder grains. How interesting. It certainly makes the powder easier to handle to my great relief. What is the story on the aging of powder and shelf life before it goes bad? B.B. mentioned that WWI surplus can still be good, and I’ve had no problems with Greek surplus from the 70s, but is the shelf life different when the powder is loose in its container and not under airtight seal in a cartridge?

    J-F, you’re a bodybuilder?! Wow, that’s fascinating. I’m reminded of a conversation with my barber where I said, who is that very muscular guy in the photo, and he replied that it was him at a younger age. Ooops. I read a book about a guy (Samuel Fussell) who did serious bodybuilding for a short time, and the stuff he did for competition was quite unhealthy and just about put him at death’s door. Overall, there was more abuse of the body than improvement to get it to fit competition standards. For example, a sugar solution injected into the veins made them stand out more and look blue for a “vascular” effect. After the competition, he binged like mad on pizza as was customary and without resuming his routine, in a very short time, all the muscles were gone. There were other disadvantage too. While trying to make out with a female bodybuilder, he found that his chest and her’s were so huge that they could not get into position to kiss.

    Victor, thanks for your engineer’s appraisal of the Russians that captures their unique ability to improvise. Not only is the German engineering high-priced, but it seems that sometimes the Germans outengineer themselves. Josef Allred, the German sniper writes that during one cold snap on the Eastern Front, the German weapons stopped working, even the Mauser, with its high tolerances, but the Russian weapons kept working. There is also a professional sniper who writes that the Mosin Nagant may have been the greatest sniper weapon of all time since 330,000 were built, all capable of close to MOA accuracy, which is a stunning number for that level of workmanship. Mostly they were just pulled off the production line with minor modifications. And of course, there is the undimmed performance of the IZH 61. >:-) Actually, in a documentary of the Apollo 13 debacle, one of the engineers claimed that the summit of engineering is the level of ingenuity you can bring to bear on limited resources. Given unlimited wealth and money, you can build practically anything, but the NASA scientists found themselves highly challenged to work with the materials available in the spacecraft to solve their problems. By that standard, the Russians rank very high indeed. Such a fascinating culture and country. Their defining paradox for me is the mixture of incredible suffering, privation, and chaos which outdoes any disaster you hear about in Africa with the highest levels of brilliance and culture all coexisting together. The dichotomy is related to the authoritarian monarchical history of the Tsars but not exactly the same thing. For example, the incredible nationalist spirit and innovative brilliance of the Second World War cut across class lines. Maybe someday I’ll get out there. And it would be unjust indeed to omit mention of the stunningly beautiful Russian women of such a high proportion to the population as their sniper rifles are to their infantry rifles…. Okay, maybe I don’t want to say that, but this is a gift to the world no doubt about it.


    • Matt61,
      Some engineering professors with ask a group of freshmen, what is engineering all about? Then they’ll answer, it’s about trade-offs, or compromise. When I worked for JPL, I saw guys propose DSP algorithms for which no existing computer could possibly process in a reasonable amount of time. It’s not uncommon for high-powered engineers and mathematicians to develop something that can’t be made “real world”. This is one reason that defense contractors will fail to prove their technology in real world scenarios. The algorithm may be “the best”, by some definition, but not “the best” for implementation purposes. Sometimes solutions simply must be practical. I’ve also worked at both extremes, where at one extreme you have virtually unlimited resources, and at the other you have to make due with scraps. Each extreme requires an entirely different mindset. In one, you can mask inefficiencies with high computer bandwidth and storage resources, while at the other extreme, every solution must be optimized in every way possible.

      What’s important here is that it can be all too easy to adopt the wrong mentality. The experience that you gather over years, is not very different than your training regimen in martial arts. You become what you practice. If your training style fails to develop defense, then when you fight, you’ll be easy pickings.

      The bottom line is that your mindset is developed, much like a culture, out of necessity. Russians developed a mindset/culture that allowed them to produce things that were more than just practical, but at least on par with the best of the rest of the world. The AK-47 is just one example.

      By the way, when I studied cultural anthropology, my professor was a man in his 80’s teaching his very last class. This man was incredible, as was his book. He defined a “successful culture” as ANY culture that is able to survive within the limited resources of his realm. A simple example would be Native Americans who were able to live in the most barren of deserts. Ethnocentric cultures tend to look down their noses at “primitive cultures”, usually out of arrogance (ignorance and stupidity).


      • Victor, I remember when the F-15, F-16 aircraft came out there was some question whether the huge investment we made in their technology was worth the sacrifice of numbers; the opposite doctrine from the Soviet bloc countries which, probably based on WWII experience placed a priority on numbers over quality. This came to a head in a big aerial battle over the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon between Israel and some Arab states in the 80s. The result was a totally lopsided victory with almost no losses for the U.S. equipment. That would seem to vindicate the technology approach. However, I wonder if we have become victims of our own success and pushed the technology angle too far. Apparently our entire fleet of stealth aircraft are grounded because something is wrong with the complex systems of the F-22 and the F-35 can’t even be built yet. I think we need more Russian-style ingenuity than money.

        How interesting about the cultural anthropology professor. I remember as a young child asking what was the big deal about studying other cultures and didn’t get a clear answer. Maybe it’s here. In addition to what the professor said, I would add that culture is a record of the totality of human experience–always interesting in its own right. But I would agree with the professor that culture is a record of survival–not just subsistence living but how to thrive in a given environment with a given set of resources. Heck, maybe that would shed light on the so-called culture wars and various ethnic animosities to renormalize all cultural practices relative to the particular situation of the people who developed the culture. From that perspective, their decisions might make a lot more sense. I’m reminded of the rainforest whose exotic plants with all the variety of chemistries in their substances supposedly contain the cures to many diseases if we could just learn how to exploit them and not destroy the rainforest first.


        • Matt61,

          Oh, I believe that you should push the limits of technology, when you have the resources. However, if you don’t have the resources, then you are forced to come up with better solutions to individual problems.

          Interesting that you would mention the rain-forest, chemistry, plants and their medicinal value and significance. I had a professor who became world famous, for finding natural cures for previously incurable diseases. According to him, he learned most of what he knows, regarding finding cures, from medicine men of the Amazon. He says that these medicine men have the scientific intellect and capacity of “civilized” men with at least a Masters degree in fields like biology, chemistry, and medicine. According to Dr. Eloy Rodriquez, of UC Irvine, they don’t just have “knowledge of”, they KNOW what they are doing. Dr. Rodriguez is highly regarded, researcher and scientist.

          Listening to him, and feeling his great respect for these medicine men, made me think of the Mayan, Aztecs, and Inca’s, and their wealth of scientific knowledge and abilities, demonstrated thousands of years ago. The Mayan calendar is an incredible example of how other other cultures demonstrated that they truly advanced. When you realize that they can predict astronomical events that only occur every 25,000 years, among other things, you realize that they were brilliant by ANY standard. The world is full of examples of highly evolved, and successful, cultures. In truth, they are not looked down upon because they were inferior (although some would like them to viewed that way). Their greatness was not recognized because they were different (and they had gold). This is the significance of what it means to be ethnocentric.


    • Hmmm I guess you could say I WAS a bodybuilder LOL.
      I did quite a bit of weight lifting a few years ago, much of it is gone now, I still have very strong legs and big shoulders but that’s about it.
      I had big legs to start with and apparently big calves are pretty hard to obtain and mine were naturaly big so the gym owner who was doing competition asked me to compete with him, I don’t why it is but my muscle developed very quickly, I was training with my cousin at the time and he was much stronger than me but I was much “bigger”, I didn’t have much interest in the competition side of it but when he told me about the diet it was definetly off!
      I did it for me and looking back it probably didn’t help the carpal tunnel problems I have today.

      I may go back to it in a few years when the kids are older (they’re 3 and 7 now).


      • J-F, I didn’t mean to sound like I was making fun of your sport, just some of the excesses of this book, and what I described was the very least of what this guy did… Anyway, the research has shown that muscle building is an essential part of fitness that, if anything, gets more important as we grow older. So, it’s a question of how not whether to build muscle. By the way, someone has said that the pedigree of modern bodybuilding is Arnold Schwarzeneggar and…Bruce Lee. Even though Lee was not bulked up, his displays of his ripped and shredded physique in his Kung Fu films are credited with inspiring bodybuilders.

        I don’t know if I ever got the fixation about calf muscles. Supposedly an archaic bow in the European tradition, current around the time of the musketeers, was for men to straighten the leg, point the toe and roll the leg to the outside while stepping back with the other foot bowing low and spreading both arms. The idea was to focus attention on the calf muscle of the lead leg, and some guys would even wear falsies for this purpose. I’ve heard a Playboy Playmate say that she is most self-conscious of her calves although I doubt too many people are looking there. And Arnold was so dissatisfied with his calves that he cut off the trousers from his pants to expose them and to motivate himself through humiliation. So, you’re in luck genetically.

        If you want to resume the weightlifting, I would strongly recommend the kettlebell. The idea, which I like very much, is to work a weight in many planes of motion to develop subsidiary muscles–instead of just a few large muscle groups–as well as muscular endurance and general conditioning. Instead of looking bulked up, one looks tigerish with a combination of power and litheness. I’ve been watching videos of tigers now in addition to apes. And even if you don’t get really bulked up, you get strong as hell. I was watching one practitioner jump from a tabletop to the floor and back again on only one leg. I can attest that the kettlebell works very fast and that you get a lot of results in a short time. There is also the benefit that by working in the many planes of motion, you armor yourself against injury, so maybe this would be one approach to dealing with your carpal tunnel syndrome. But, be advised that the correct technique is a must or you will really wreck yourself. It’s not hard, but you have to be strict about it.


        • I never got the impression you were making fun of it but you could…
          I think what we see during these competition is silly (to be polite).
          Strongest man competitions are fine but the muscle shows… The point of this is supposed to be strong and healthy starving and dehydrating yourself is a lot of things but healty ain’t one of them (and let’s not talk about the goofy orange paint they put on themselves) and the “girls”… if wasn’t for breast implant and longer hair you could honestly mistake them for guys. This “sport” isn’t regulated and drug use was common at the international level.
          For some of these guys you could make fun of them without them realising it. I don’t have a lot of respect for most of these guys, I could never understand the point of all this show off thing, as I said I did this for fun, I was training with my cousin because I liked it, when I moved away from him, it wasn’t the same, there was no fun in it so I just stoped doing it and most of the muscle either disapeared or turned to fat 🙁 😉



    • Thanks for the commentary on the shape of powder grains. How interesting. It certainly makes the powder easier to handle to my great relief. What is the story on the aging of powder and shelf life before it goes bad? B.B. mentioned that WWI surplus can still be good, and I’ve had no problems with Greek surplus from the 70s, but is the shelf life different when the powder is loose in its container and not under airtight seal in a cartridge?

      Unfortunately, that same Wikipedia article ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokeless_powder ) doesn’t give a time-range — only mentions the slow decomposition. Don’t know if the “acidic” breakdown products will alter the smell; that could be one way of determining if a canister is past its prime.

      Greyish dust on the grains is probably graphite… Brownish dust that appears after storage, but wasn’t present when first opening the container, may be indication of decomposition.

  18. Hi B.B.

    Totally off-topic. Carbon fiber air tanks.

    I was comparing PyramydAir’s 4500psi carbon fiber 88cu. ft. tank with the Luxfer 4350psi 106 cu.ft. tank. The Luxfer is considerably larger/heavier but less expensive. I was wondering how to compare number of useful fills of say, a standard 3000 psi Talon tank, given the two tanks’ different pressures and volumes. I would guess the math is straightforward, but I’m not familiar with it. Can you guide?

    I think most airgunners favor the smaller, lighter weight tanks and never look back. Can’t blame ’em. But for those on a budget, the Luxfer 106 tank for less money is a consideration. I will be shooting and filling mainly from my home–limited transporting.

    BB, what is your personal opinion on the subject? I’m expecting a vote for carbon fiber, but wanted a fair comparison of the tradeoffs.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Bill,

      The volume of a pressure vessel that holds air is calculated by how many cubic feet of air at standard (sea level) pressure it can contain. So there is your answer. The 106 cubic foot tank holds significantly more air than the 88 cubic foot tank.

      But when the weight of the tank is also considered I’ll go with the carbon fiber tank every time. It weighs 20 pounds when filled, while I would guess the Luxfer weighs about 60.


    • Bill,
      You might want to check in your area and make sure you can get a 4500psi fill before you invest. I have 2 dive shops nearby and one does 3000 psi and the other does 3500. That’s it for me. Of course, the lighter weight of a carbon fiber can’t be beat.

    • Thanks BB, Lloyd, for your responses. I will definitely double check locally for 4500 psi fill capability.

      So, if two tanks of equal volume, say 88 cu ft., were filled to different pressures, one to 4000 psi and another to 4500 psi, wouldn’t the 4500psi tank give more fills than the 4000 psi tank?

      If so, then while the Luxfer is a larger volume tank, because it’s max fill pressure is lower than the carbon fiber, when both are at their max pressure, isn’t the max fills from the larger Luxfer less than if it could be filled to 4500 psi?

      Maybe someone who has both a Luxfer 106 and carbon fiber 88 has already done the max fill comparison on their favorite PCP?

      I’m trying to get an intuitive feel for the relative affects on max fills of tank pressure vs tank volume.

      Maybe, given that the Luxfer’s 4350 psi max fill pressure is so much larger than a typical 3000 psi fill, the larger tank volume dominates relative to the max tank pressure?

      Thanks guys,

      • Bill,

        106 cubic feet of air is more than 88 cubic feet. Stop right there, because that us the answer.

        The PRESSURE, is what happens when that much air (the volume) at standard pressure (sea level) gets stuffed into a pressure vessel of the specific size you are talking about.

        The interior volume of all the tanks we are talking about is different, and it has little to do with the cubic foot number (88, 106, etc.) that is given for them. Although that number sounds like a volumetric term, it actually related to air pressure, once you start talking about one specific tank that has a specific interior volume.

        Here is what I mean. Let’s suppose that the same size tank that is an 88 cubic-foot carbon fiber tank is only rated to 40 cubic feet at 2,600 psi because it isn’t built to withstand the greater pressure. The 88 cubic feet and the 40 cubic feet would tell you how much air both tanks hold, although they happen to be of an identical interior volume. The 4,500 psi and 2,600 psi would tell you what air pressure was reached when these two tanks were filled to 88 cubic feet and 40 cubic feet of air, respectively.

        Does that explanation make sense?

        So the 106 cubic-foot tank holds more air than the 88 cubic-foot tank. Forget the pressure, because it will decline at two different rates ads these tanks exhaust.


        • Intuitively, larger cu ft means more fills,

          Ah, but let’s take that to the extreme… Say, a 1000cf tank with a max pressure of 3000PSI…
          If you remove ANY air from that tank, it will no longer be 3000PSI… So if the criteria is “how many 3000PSI fills” then the answer is 0… It may be 2999PSI, followed by 2998PSI, and 2997PSI… etc.

          and higher max pressure means more fills. So how does one compare max fills of a Marauder cylinder when when one tank has larger volume but the other tank has higher max fill pressure?

          Presuming one uses that 3000PSI cut-off (my .177 Marauder with factory settings favors 2700-2000 for 35 shots) then the usable air in the tank is only the portion that took the pressure over 3000PSI…

          Let’s see… 105cf@4350 would give 52.5@2175, and 26.25@1085.5… Is that linear?

          My slide-rule seems to think so… So… that would give 72.5cf (remaining) at 3000PSI.

          105 – 72.5 => 32.5cf usable air

          88@4500 => 44@2250, etc…. Or 58.75@3000

          88 – 58.75 => 29.25cf usable air

          Now comes the difficult part — I believe the Marauder capacity (215cc) you cite is water volume… Need to convert to “cf” at pressure (since knowing a pressure is 0PSI relative doesn’t give a point for the volume contained in the pressure canister; and this is a small enough unit that rounding could be significant)… 1 Atm is 14.696PSI, so pumping the container up to read 14.696PSI over atmospheric means pushing a second 215cc into it…

          215cc => 7.59265…E-3cf… Ugh… Not going to be nice putting either on a slide rule (especially with my eyes, trying to interpolate more than 2 significant places)…

          7.59E-3@14.69PSI => 1.139@2200 (refill point) and 1.55@3000

          1.55 – 1.139 => 0.411cf needed per fill.

          The 105cf tank gives ~79 charges.
          The 88cf tank gives ~71 charges…

          Is 8 charges difference critical? Probably not — it would come down to tank weight/convenience vs cost.

          • Wufraed,

            Nice math, but you are over-thinking this.

            Here is the real problem, not a hypothetical. Both air tanks in the question posed by Bill are pressurized to OVER 3000 psi. So when they decant to fill a gun, neither one drops to below 3,000 psi on the first fill. And, as I pointed out to Bill, because the 106 cubic foot tank holds more air in total, it loses pressure more slowly as well. So, despite starting out at a slightly lower pressure, it will still provide more full fills than the 88 cubic foot tank.

            But no calculator or math is required to figure this out. The answer is in the specification of each tank. The 106 cubic foot tank holds more air than the 88 cubic foot tank, period. That’s it. The answer.


            • Slide rules still, uhm, rule for working with proportions. On a calculator you practically have to set up the relationship each time (or do the main ratio once and save it in memory, then recall it for each other value desired). Slide rule you just set it once and read all other combinations by moving the cursor.

        • Bill,

          it’s not another variable. It’s apples and oranges. The air in a pressure vessel is calculated in two different ways. One is by how many cubic feet of air at standard pressure (that means the air pressure at sea level) can be put into that vessel. A 106 cubic-foot tank can hold 106 cubic feet of air at standard pressure. An 88 cubic foot tank can hold 88 cubic feet of air at standard pressure. That is all there is to it. The tank that holds more cubic feet of air holds more air.

          The pressure numbers reflect the air pressure that those tanks rise to when they are full. But the 106 cubic foot tank will lose pressure more slowly than the 88 cubic foot tank when it is decanted into another pressure vessel (the air reservoir of an airgun), despite having a slightly lower pressure when it is entirely filled.

          You don’t need a calculatort. The answer is the tank that holds more cubic feet of air also holds more air TOTAL.


      • Bill,

        There are fill calculators online that can tell you exactly what to expect from each tank.

        But an easy way to look at which tank will give you more fills is look at the amount of air each tank has above the level you want to refill to in your gun. To do that, simply take the PSI that the tank can be filled to by your dive shop (this may not be max pressure), and subtact the level that you want to fill to. Then multiply that by the cubic feet of air that you have – this is the rated cuft of the tank multiplyed by the percentage of a full fill that you can get (psi you get divided by the fill rating of the tank).

        It sounds complicated in words, but is pretty easy. Be sure to ask the dive shops what they can fill to. If 3500 ends up being the max you can get, you’ll find the most fills and cheapest solution might be a 120 cuft 3500 psi steel scuba tank – but it will be heavy!

        Alan in MI

  19. Matt 61:
    Forgot to mention that they sent a refund to me for the brick of bad ammo.

    The earlier Remington SSes were excellent with a few isolated exceptions. Bricks that I’ve bought in the last few years are starting to show clearly that something is going awry whether worn-out production machinery, QC standards or bean-counter influence. The last brick averaged nearly one bad round per 5 shot group. Even so I still use them as a benchmark round simply because they shoot so well in so many different guns. A CPL in my rimfire world in effect. I also find them much more effective than Hi-vel rounds on game tho I have no explanation for the seemingly contra-intuitive evidence of my experience. Cheers, Tom @ B uzzard Bluff

    • Matt,

      I will underscore Tom’s experience. Remington .22 ammo is the worst in the world these days. Good luck getting it to shoot. It’s a crap shoot in every gun.

      It seems to be the priming that they just can’t get evenly distributed in the rim of the case, and of course this is a rimfire.


      • B.B.,

        Oh, boy! You said it! Remington is horrible ammo. I bought a bunch of the target ammo, because it use to be very good decades ago. Now all I can say is that I get a lot of use from the loading blocks that it comes in. While my experience doesn’t show one failure out of 5 shots, I definitely get at least one dud out of each box of 100. The Federal Target ammo, in bulk of 325 rounds, is MUCH more reliable. I usually by everything on the shelf of the same lot number. Unfortunately, I found out a few days ago that the price went up a dollar per box of 325. I haven’t bothered to shoot better ammo with my Ruger 10/22 Target because in my opinion, I’m still learning how to shoot it. For me, there’s a huge difference between the learning process and when I’m finally settled with a gun, including air-guns.

        By the way, I’ve read that the quality of Remington ammo deteriorated badly when they moved shop to Mexico. That surprised me because according to the Wall Street Journal, the qualify of manufactured goods from Mexico was suppose to be significantly better than that of the US. In particular, failure rates of products are supposed much lower than most places, including the US. But, in truth, those articles were at least 10 years old. Something has happened all across the world that is resulting in lower standards. It’s almost like a collective consciousness thing.

        An interesting thing happened during the early 80’s with Eley ammo. For several years, they were producing very poor performing ammo. Fortunately, this affected everyone who bought it equally. During that period, it was rare that records were broken, and winning scores were almost laughable, when compared to scores of the 1970’s. I’m told that the issue had to do with them “going green”. It simply took them a long time to get their manufacturing process and QA on par with their past. As they say, $&!+ happens. Remington better get their butts straight, because they have already earned a horrible reputation.


        • Victor,

          I haven’t shot much .22 rf ammo for many years, but sadly I have to agree with you about quality. When I was working in New Mexico I would shoot in a desert area frequented by firearm shooters. Having a friend that did reloading, I gathered reloadable brass. Scattered around with the center-fire brass was quite a few rf .22 cartridges. On most days I would find unfired Remington .22 rounds. Firing pin marks on the rims, but bullets still in place.

          This really surprised me. Back in my college days (1967-72) I did a lot of shooting, using Remington high-power “gold” long rifle ammunition almost entirely. I do not recall a single round that failed to fire out of many thousands shot.

          Checking with friends who shoot .22’s, I find that failures are not uncommon at all these days.


          • Desertdweller,

            It’s a real shame what’s happened with Remington .22 target ammo (and I’m sure others). In my experience, you can count on at least one dud per box if 100. On the other hand, it’s very rare for the Federal ammo to fail, in my experience. There was a time when I used Remington Target exclusively for practice, and I practiced A LOT! I honestly can’t remember the older version ever failing. I even get a sense that it’s not as accurate as it used to be. I simply won’t buy it any longer, unless it’s the only thing on the shelf, and I have to have something at that moment. Clearly Remington does not care about it’s product. I’ve read reviews going back several years, all citing exactly the same problems.


    • So, it’s true. Their ammo is terrible. Might I recommend Wolf Target/Match ammo? It has a great price and it can stretch my Anschutz 1907 to its limits. That rifle is supposed to put 10 shots inside of a dime at 50 yards which is sub half minute accuracy, and I was able to do that on one occasion with the Wolf.

      I know we have talked about the various factors surrounding stopping power and its relation to velocity. But at the moment what comes to mind is that maybe your high velocity ammo is punching through whereas the lower powered is burying all or more of its kinetic energy in the target.


  20. For the avg. person, a high-powered pellet rifle will indeed be a Gamo or a Ruger-branded Chinese job, or their Daddy’s old Silver Streak. That Talon thing is rocket science to most of us. We select our guns from Wally World and Big-5.

    VERY GOOD POINT on the differences in rifling twist. Kinda rains on my dream of taking .22 primed cases and shooting .22 pellets out of my firearms and expecting decent accuracy. Now I need to do some testing.

    • flobert,

      I tested one of those primer-powered pellet-shooting systems in an S&W 686 years ago and it was worthless. I got four-inch groups at ten feet! Besides being noisy and inaccurate it was also costly and difficult to load.


      • I think I remember reading about those, in Gil Hebard’s catalog. There was a brass barrel that went inside the real barrel and was kept in place with o-rings, and you’d power the pellets from primed cases.

  21. Good Morning BB,I asked this question last night,but may have been in the wrong spot to get an answer,so here go’s.Can a bit of RWS silicone chamber oil be used on the Condors breech seals where it’s pure silicone oil? Thanks in Advance

  22. BB,
    Thanks for starting this series of reports.
    If I were in the jury selection pool, I would be thrown out because I already have my mind 95% made up. But your reports can always turn me 180 degrees.
    Before I really got into airguns, I was trying all sorts of 22 ammo. CCI CBs, Super Colibri, Aguila Sniper Subsonic, any brand of subsonic that I could find, Eley pistol match (subsonic). I wanted quiet and accurate. There was a continuum of noise and accuracy and I never found a point that satisfied me. The CBs were quiet, but I couldn’t hit anything with them. The pistol match were accurate but certainly not quiet. All the subsonics were loud. The Sniper Subsonic was interesting in that it threw a 60 gn chunk of lead reasonably quiet, but it keyholed like crazy.
    Then to make a long story short, I ended up at WallyWorld and bought a Gamo 1000. I was shocked at its capability in comparison to my airgun benchmarks, a Daisy No. 25 pump from when I was a kid, and a cheap B3 I bought at one of those traveling tool shows. My 22s have been collecting dust ever since.
    That’s my idea of a different comparison scenario: I had an “everyman’s” 22 but it didn’t work for my situation and all I wanted was a cheap solution to the problem. It was a no-brainer.

      • I never was much of a firearms person, so I wasn’t leaving too much behind. But I was an avid woodworker and cabinet maker, which I still love. But that is the area that has been sorely neglected since I became hooked on airguns. Now the garage is full of metal chips and airgun prototype parts and assemblies instead wood chips and sawdust. Breathing all that sawdust is bad for the lungs, right?

        • Lloyd,

          I noticed some woodworking tools in the garage but thought you just fooled around and used them to make the stock for the Rogue prototype. I would have absolutely loved to have seen some of your work which I’m sure you have throughout the house.

          Oh, well. Next time. Hope we’ll both make it to Roanoke.

          Fred PRoNJ

          • Fred,
            Darn, yup it’s all over the house. Most of my woodworking equipment is already out at our new property, and that’s why the garage had some empty floor space.
            A couple of my favorite pieces are a pair of 3-drawer bedside chests with full inset drawers. They were made from some framing lumber I salvaged from a small, old nightclub in Christiansburg Va. It was tiny place you had to knock on the door to get in… rough and seedy, and was being torn down for a road project. All the framing was rough sawn wormy chestnut and when I was planing a piece of rafter to thickness to make one of the drawer fronts, it perfectly exposed half of a lead bullet and a 5″ long channel through the wood. Probably a little bit of history from that old place, and its still right there on that drawer front.
            And yes, I’ll definitely be in Roanoke! That’s less than 30 miles from where I got that old chestnut.

  23. Well, now I’m completely happy with my shooting of late, and specifically trying to wring out the last bit of accuracy from my Slavia.
    As many are aware, I’ve been frustrated lately with all the claims of super accuracy I see on some of the other forums (in particular a certain color of forum).
    Well a post today cleared that all up. Someone submitted a photo of a group they had shot (5 shots) and asked help in measuring it.
    3 shots were great, touching. Two were ‘flyers’ (both about 1/2 to an inch away from the main body).
    .176″ is what they came up with on the 5 shot group, COUNTING ONLY THE BEST 3!
    Well, hell, I can do that with my kids Red Ryder. I might have to disregard 8 out of 10 shots, but it appears that some would say that if 2 are close our Red Ryder is capable of dime size groups at 50 yards 😉
    Okay, so seriously…what gives. I know that in 10 meter shooting all 60 shots count.
    I’d assume bench rest is the same…or do you get to thow out the ‘fliers’?

  24. Where CB’s really shine is in a handgun, I use the combination of the long case for easy handling and the std 29 short slug for accuracy. Most other brand \ combinations I have tried are not as accurate. They are in the link below. Nothing in the airgun world comes close to feel, ease of use, multi shot ability, size, etc of that old Ruger Single Six on CB caps.

    Of course out of a 6 inch barrel they have less energy than what is stated for a rifle, which is fine. My old Beeman quite trap catches them with ease in my basement and they are much quieter indoors than the .22 lr sub sonic ammo. Not to mention the sub sonic’s will rock the target with the extra umph.

    Surprised you tried CB’s in 10/22? In a rifle, the Browning BL will handle them with no issues and keep the fun factor high.


    • I guess I should back up a little.
      I tried numerous air pistols in the past to practice at home for hand gun shooting. I seldom ever went after a pest with an air pistol, given the huge advantage in accuracy of a rifle.

      Some of the pistols I had were the Beeman P1, Webley Hurricane, Daisy 747, plus numerous Daisy and Crosman CO2 offerings, etc. Also a Daisy SA replica that shot BB’s slower than I can trow them.

      The CO2 adds cost and noise plus leak issues and the springers are slow to use and fairly unrealistic, except maybe the P1.

      In any case, I finally settled on CB caps for home practice. I would guess the energy out of a revolver at about 20 ft lbs or so. Never bother to Chrony them, but I will now just out of curiosity.

      • I recently got a ruger single-six, and I’ll have to see how it does with CB’s. I doubt it’s all that quiet, but it might not be bad – I notice if I’m not mentally involved with something, when the neighbor shoots a possum with his S&W K-22, that was quite noticeable when he was using some kind of weird hyper-velocity ammo that has a tip that looks like the tip of a Crayola crayon. I gave him some Rem Subsonic to dispatch critters with. Since the chamber to barrel gap on the Rugers is supposed to be as good as a target revolver, I’d expect similar noise levels out of my Six, so I guess I’m answering my own question, CBs would indeed be quiet.

        I also plan to pull apart 6 .22 cartridges and putting 6 .22 pellets into the chambers and putting the primed cases behind ’em and seeing how that shoots.

          • What’s that got to do with it though? Duds can happen any time. We all know if we hear what sounds like a squib, which is what that was, to unload the gun and drive out the bullet with a cleaning rod etc.

            .22 primer will drive a .22 pellet just fine, I’ve done it in a Ruger Mk II. The pellet goes out at about the same speed as my Red Ryder spits out a BB, so, 300-odd fps. But a .22 flat nose pellet at that speed will ruin a rat’s or starling’s whole day. With the revolver I can load up 6 loads like this, and a lot of pest birds have no idea what a pistol is.

        • Flobert,

          Indoors at the std 21 feet I think you will be happy with the CB caps. I still use hearing protection however, they gave higher readings on my sound meter than even an un-shroud Discovery. The time I missed and hit the cement block wall the damage was no worse than a pellet, meaning all that was needed was a paint touch up.They do make a 300 fps load that is very quite, but that are worthless past 5 feet.

          I agree with twotalon, I would not try your pellet experiment.

        • flobert, enjoy your Single-Six. It’s fabulous gun in both the .22 LR and magnum chamberings. I can come close to my aimpoint offhand on the 50 yard berm. I wouldn’t risk a gun like this with experimental ammunition.


          • I did some reading and while the Rugers are not considered the *prettiest* revolvers, that honor goes to the Colts and Smiths, they are considered the *strongest* by far. There’s extensive discussion of this. So, I’m going to stick to Ruger for my revolver needs.

            This type of experiment isn’t going to hurt the gun, it’s an experiment in underpower not overpower. If it gives me minute-of-rat accuracy at 10 yards I’ll be very happy.

            I guess I need to stop talking about it and do it. And take pics of groups etc. to send to B.B.

  25. Off topic question:
    What’s the least expensive rifle, scope, and rings/mount that would be competitive for field target ? I see Tom recommended the Air Arms TX200 and Leapers 8x32x56 in his 2007 field target blog. However, the scope has been discontinued, Tom’s 2011 blog about the Diana 54 may imply he liked it better(?), and more PCPs are now available…

    My family life would be more peaceful if I bought a Diana 34 + 12x32AO scope (or anything else in the same price range). I’m also considering a Discovery, but not sure the inconvenience of pumping is worth it (I have 68+48 cu-in 4500 psi paintball tanks – will these work ?) Above all, I don’t want to buy something that I couldn’t possibly be competitive with (I have some competitive military shooting experience, although I’m 20 years out of practice…). Are the 34 or Disco “good enough”, or is something like the TX200, 54, Marauder, or S200 really needed ? If so, which one is best ?

    • John,

      The answer to your question is not an easy one. I have seen great shooters use inexpensive guns to do very well in local field target matches. But don’t choose a Diana 34, because being a breakbarrel it is one of the hardest rifles to shoot accurately. The TX 200 allows much more slack, in terms of being less sensitive to how it’s held. The same is true of the HW 77 and HW 97. Generally the underlevers and sidelevers are the least sensitive to hold and are just easier to shoot accurately.

      But if you want to win, you really should be thinking of a precharged rifle, and of those that are available, I would say the Marauder is the current best buy on the market. The accuracy is superior and the trigger is fine. It is a repeater, which is a drawback for field target, but it’s not that hard to keep track of the shot count.

      The Discovery is a fine rifle and can be modified to be even nicer, but I don’t think it can stand up to the Marauder for the same money spent.

      The reason you want a higher-power telescope is so you can range-find more accurately at longer distances. So buy the most powerful good scope you can afford. A Centerpoint is made by Leapers and is an equally fine optic for a very reasonable price. Hawke scopes are sharper than Leapers, but they do cost more.

      Your air tanks will work as long as they will output air to the pressure the gun needs. Some paintball tanks are regulated down to 800 psi and would not work. And of course their hose must end in a Female Foster quick-disconnect fitting.


      • But if you want to win, you really should be thinking of a precharged rifle, and of those that are available, I would say the Marauder is the current best buy on the market. The accuracy is superior and the trigger is fine. It is a repeater, which is a drawback for field target, but it’s not that hard to keep track of the shot count.

        Unless it’s been discontinued, isn’t there a single-shot loading ramp available to replace the rotary magazine?

    • John,

      I have a Gamo CFX with a GRT-III trigger that shoots extremely well. I believe the CFX has been discontinued, but on occasion, they come out as refurbished. I don’t find mine to be hold sensitive, and it likes cheap, Crosman Premiers. Being an under-lever, you can mount a long scope, and add a sun shade. I think it would be a great starter gun, if you can find one.

      Also, since you’ve been out of practice for so long, it will take about about a year to see your abilities get to where a lot of practice will result in real refinement. For the first year, you’re pretty much solving the more obvious issues. In small-bore competition, you’ll often see a new shooters scores jump almost 100 points after the first year or so, with a fair amount of practice. Being that you’ve got experience, and training, it might take less, but there will be a big jump the first year.


    • I was wondering about the B40. When BB tested one (Oct. 06) it was comparable to the TX in accuracy. I know that QC has been spotty, but if you can pick up a known good one used, I’m wondering if that might be a fair compromise.

  26. Thanks BB. Which scope and mount/rings would you recommend ?

    Thanks for the heads-up about the paintball tanks, I had forgotten the valve was a regulator. I also have a 30 cu-ft 3000 psi pony bottle. Any idea how many times this would fill the Marauder ? I also have several 20oz CO2 paintball tanks (with 800 psi regulators). Would these work well, as long as I sight-in at the beginning of each session to account for temperature differences ?

    • John,

      You would probably get 1 full fill and 6-12 partials for a Marauder from a 3,000 psi 30 cubic foot tank. Each partial would be to a lower ending pressure, so it would be your call when it was time to stop filling the gun and refill the pony bottle.

      CO2 tanks for airguns don’t need regulators, because the gas regulates its own pressure. The pressure of CO2 at 70 degrees F is about 850 psi. There are devices called regulators that go with CO2 fill systems, but I have never heard of a regulated CO2 tank being used on an airgun. Maybe they use them for paintball, but with airguns just the pressure regulation of the gas itself is all that’s needed.

      While the Marauder WILL operate on CO2, that isn’t the way to go if you plan to shoot field target. It would be such a liability that you might as well shoot a Chinese breakbarrel. CO2 changes pressure as the gun shoots and as the day’s ambient temperature changes, and no one would consider it competitive for field target competition.


  27. Another couple of questions: I’ve fired one TX200 (tuned) and one Marauder (stock). This particular TX200 “felt better” than the Marauder to me. I liked the taller forearm that came down to where it was even with the trigger guard, the slightly higher comb, and the much lighter + shorter trigger pull.

    This makes me wonder about a few things:
    Is the trigger pull on a stock TX200 any shorter and lighter than a stock Marauder ?
    If I raise my price range a bit, what is the “next step up” from the Marauder (S200, Evanix, something else?)
    Can the Challenger 2009 be adjusted to field target velocity now days ? (your 2009 review said it couldn’t, but someone told me the A-team had done some things that Crosman may have incorporated). If so, how do you think it would compare to the Marauder for field target ? The ergonomic stock seems very handy, but is the Marauder better in other ways ?


    • John,

      What you are really asking is can any rifle other than a Marauder be used for field target, and of course the answer is yes. But to try to explain why would be meaningless at this point, since you have yet to compete in a field target match.

      You are at the point where it is time to make a choice and then spend a year in competition learning all about both your rifle and the sport.

      Here is why I say that. You describe the TX 200 trigger as having a short pull and the Marauder as having a long one. But both of them are two-stage triggers and you neglect to tell us which stage is long on either gun. Or whether you simply like a short first stage and that is why the TX 200 trigger feels best to you.

      How do both rifles feel when you are on the 50th shot of a match and using the AAFTA seated position, international-style? Are you using a side-focus scope or an objective-focus scope and does the extra weight of the TX200 feel like a disadvantage if you use an objective-focus scope?

      These are just two of a hundred questions you would need to know the answers to before making a realistic comparison between a TX 200 and a Marauder in competition.

      Instead of focusing on what you don’t know at the present, I suggest you concentrate on what you do know. You seem to like the hold of the TX 200 over the Marauder, so why is that? Would it be worth it to get a TX 200 and learn even more about it?

      I think it would.

      I think you should ask yourself this question. Which rifle do I think I will be able to shoot ten times from the sitting position and hit an American quarter at 40 yards each time? That would be the rifle to get and learn to use. And, when you can hit the quarter 50 times out of 60, you are ready to compete seriously in field target.

      Another reader on this blog, Wacky Wayne, once had similar questions about field target and air rifles. He bought all kinds of airguns to try each of them out, as I tried to describe a field target match to him through this blog. Then he competed in his first field target match. I bet by the time he had shot three matches he knew more about airguns and field target that what he learned on this blog in a couple of years.

      Today he is a match director for a field target competition, and he travels around the country shooting in matches. He has even competed at the national level. He went from wondering to competing by picking the best gun he could find and going with it.

      Has he found the right rifle yet? Well I bet he thinks he has on some days, while on others he’s not so sure. That is what competition does to you and for you.


  28. Good points. After thinking hard about it (based on taking a couple of shots with each of 4 different rifles at my local field target range), I think I have more confidence my ability to be consistent with any PCP over the TX200 for 60 shots. Some of those 1/4″ kill zones were really hard to hit at 25m without 2 oz triggers !

    What scope do you recommend ? Price is a concern, but not having to buy something better a year later is a bigger concern.

    Also, is there a target style stock available for the Marauder ? I really liked the adjustable cheek piece, taller forearm, and the “claw-like” butt-plate on the FWBs (which I can’t afford). Is there a better rifle that costs around what the Marauder with a target stock will cost ?


    • John,

      The claw-like buttplate you refer to is termed a hooked buttplate and is illegal in field target.

      Now you want to know if there is an out-the-door rifle that will suit you better for less money than a modified Marauder. I would have to say no, there isn’t. An adjustable butt and cheekpiece can be added to the rifle by a good woodworker for about $150. That puts the rifle into the thousand-dollar class.

      I recommend a Leapers or Centerpoint 8-32 scope. They are the cheapest scope that can really compete in field target at all levels.

      Who is placing quarter-inch kill zones at 25 meters? That would not be sanctioned by any AAFTA match director I know. The quarter-inch kill zone is usually restricted to 16 yards or less. But you are right about being more consistent for longer when shooting PCP. It’s just that much easier to shoot.


      • B.B.,
        If one needs to shoot 60 shots for a FT match (I don’t know), and since the Marauder only gives you 40 shots per charge, then you’d need to recharge the Marauder in between a match, right? Also, You suggest an 8-32 scope, which likely will cost more than say an 4-16 (or some other lower magnification range. Aren’t the power range capabilities dependent on what class you’re shooting? Isn’t there a class that limits the power to around 10x?

        • Hi Victor. The Hunter class limits the scope to 12x. There is also a “springer-only” class for both regular FT, and Hunter FT. Just competing in springer hunter would definitely be a lot less expensive.

          • John,
            Yeah, that’s what I was driving at. I’m sure that you’d get just as much satisfaction out of springer only, and Hunter class. I think there are lots of inexpensive, good shooting guns out there that would leave the only real question regarding performance with the shooter, and not the gun. No matter what you start with, provided it’s a good shooter, it will be the learning experience of the first year or so that will play the most significant role what you get out of the sport, more so than the gun itself.
            Good luck!

    • Depending on your budget, Steyr (maker of the LP-10 which dominates Olympic air pistol) makes its LG-110 in field target versions… But it’s not for the faint of wallet.

  29. Thanks BB. A Marauder with some woodworking it is then. (I think I can add an adjustable cheekpiece and palm rest myself).

    Wow – 8x32x56 is bigger than I expected. (I was thinking 16 or maybe even 20x was needed – thanks for steering me right !) Which mounts / rings do you recommend for the Marauder and the 8×32 ?

    It looks like I’ll have to use a pump until I can afford a large tank. Which do you recommend ?

    ps: Is this a hooked butt-plate ? /product/feinwerkbau-700-universal?m=1033

    pps: I didn’t measure the kill-zones. They could have been bigger – that was my best guess based on how they looked through the scopes 🙂

  30. I’ll weigh in, and say yes, given the same trigger and sights/optics, *any* single-stroke pneumatic or pcp will beat even the mighty Feinwerkbau 300/300s. It was Feinwerkbau in fact who came out with their 600/601/602 single-stroke pneumatics and displaced the 300 as THE 10m gun.

    In a similar way, single-stroke pneumatic pistols replaced the Feinwerkbau 65 for the same reason, and Feinwerkbau was in the lead to put their own 65 out of the lead place.

    CO2 ruled the pistol world for a while, since it’s hard to get the 600 fps velocity needed for top accuracy out of a single stroke pneumatic pistol. I think the one I had was good for 450 fps or so with match pellets. There were CO2 rifles, but most athletes, and the top ones, just used a single-stroke pneumatic, 99% of ’em a Feinwerkbau.

    PCP was just coming onto the scene and first caught on with pistols, where it made the most difference. CO2 is heavy. You actually get a small recoil. This is why you see various compensators on 10m CO2 pistols. Some of them even worked. Morini and Hammerli came out with the first pcp pistols I saw, the Hammerli was fantastically expensive and everyone looked at the carbon-fiber wrapped tank on it uneasily. I think in the 10m game it’s all pcp now. Shooting a pcp after being used to CO2 is nice.

    • Following my usual procedure, I wrote *then* researched. I got it spot on. It’s all pcp now, and the guns all cost about 2 thou. They look yummy too! Love the Germanlish on the Feinwerkbau site.

      I think my next airgun will be a Crosman 2300S. Made for silhouette shooting with iron sights, looks like a FUN-ass plinker.

  31. Michael from IL,

    Yep, any PCP is easier to shoot than the best springer. The TX 200 and RWS Diana are tied for the smoothest in my book.

    I will not compare target rifles top sporting rifles that have three times the power. Of course the FWB 300 is smoother than a TX 200 but you can’t use it for the same things, so it’s like comparing Corvettes to ocean liners.

    Yes, any TOP European PCP target rifle will be easier to shoot than an FWB 300, because the 300 moves when it shoots. The top PCPs do not. And their triggers are light-years better.

    You want the absolute best, in my opinion? Get an FWB P700. It is so dead-calm you can only tell it fired by the sound.


    • Flobert and B.B.,

      Thanks very much for the clearing up a LOT of stuff for me. I suspected that when folks here made shooting characteristics judgments (e.g. “The Diana 58 is remarkably smooth”), they were relative to the specific type of rifle, but I needed to be certain.

      So for paper shooting, a pcp 10 meter gun is the way to go. But add plinking or longer range target shooting. . . I have no interest in hunting pests with the gun I’ll eventually get, because I already have something to take care of that. It was the mini sniping blog that REALLY got me going. That sounds like it could be addictive, in a good way. And while the FWB 150 and 300 are obviously capable, I’m the sort that needs some positive reinforcment early on. It seems to me that the lessened hold sensitivity of a pcp, along with the flatter trajectory that a couple 100 more fps than a 10 meter gun, might be just what would be best for me.

      I guess that means an excellent shooting small game pcp, perhaps one with adjustable power. 600 fps might be not quite enough for me at 25-30 yards, but 1000 is a bit of overkill. 800 sounds good, which might mean a pcp in .22, if adjustable power is a rare feature. (Like Flobert, I have not yet done my research. ;^)

      Thanks very much once again,


  32. FWB 700 = DROOL DROOL!

    OK I finally did the danged experiment! Pulled 6 CB Longs because I believe they have a bit more primer than many loads, pu 6 .22 flat-nose pellets into my Single-Six followed by the primed brass.

    It SUCKS. First, it’s still a PITA to load. Then, I think it only gives about 300-350 FPS. Closer to 300 I think. Then, while shooting one of the pellets worked loose and jammed the cylinder, so much for carrying the gun around to plink pests with.

    I’d actually been so busy, I’d picked up the gun and put it away and this is my first time playing with it. It’s f’n beautiful. I got it used which knocked $100 off the price and it has nice wood grips on it.

    I think a Crosman 2300S is in my future, not sure if near or distant future LOL. From the reviews and from my own experience plinking with Olympic guns, it will be a FUN plinker.

  33. BB,

    I did some 50 yard shooting yesterday with my Marauder, and in the spirit of this blog topic (airgun vs. CB caps), I thought you might find the results interesting. I used both front and rear bags to give the gun the best conditions, and the wind was variable but very light – less than 2 mph when it hit.

    While not tuned for anywhere near the power of your Talon, I was shooting Baracuda Match 5.53 at just over 800 fps for about 30 ft lbs. I shot lots of other pellets, testing the ones that have done OK at 20 yards out to 50 yards. None could touch the Baracuda Match.

    I shot six 10 shot groups of the Baracuda, and the best came it at 0.62″ ctc (with 8 or 9 of the ten landing within 0.32″ of each other), and the worst group came in at 1.21″ ctc. But the amazing thing is that if I overlay all 6 groups with repsect to the POI, my “60 shot group” measured only about 1.5″ ctc!! The majority (around 70%) of the shots are in the same central 0.5″ zone. Lets see CB caps do that!

    Alan in MI

  34. OK to further the idiocy, I took a CB Long and trimmed the bullet off level with the case, leaving a little “butt” of lead to shoot out.

    It’s LOUD out of a single six, and I shot at a Bumble Bee tuna can, which the “butt” indented deeply but did not penetrate.

    Shooting little “butts” like this out of a rifle is quieter than a standard CB Long, and pretty quiet. I don’t know about accuracy, it’s probably lousy.

    • When you “trimmed” the bullet even with
      the case,I believe you destroyed any chance
      it had to be accurate.Since .22 RF bullets are heeled,
      the part inside the case is smaller diam.than the rest
      of the bullet.It probably didn’t even have enough left
      to engage the rifling in the bbl.
      You may have also lowered the FPS because the heel
      of the bullet isn’t big enough for a proper seal,so the
      propellant gases could escape past the bullet into the bbl.
      Maybe even causing some possible turbulanece(sp) in front of the bullet.
      lol yeah that last part is stretching things a little but
      hopefully you get my meaning. 🙂

  35. Yeah, I do. The idea just had to be tried.

    .22 bullets actually engage the rifling all the way down, I know, I used to pick up shot .22 bullets from a neighbor’s shooting area as a kid. I was fascinated with guns and would find bullets in all calibers and find the brass and try to stick them back together, I remember my mom’s reaction when she found my little collection LOL. The base of a .22 bullet is a bit hollow, so the pressure spreads the skirt out against the rifling.

  36. i used cci cb longs all the time. they are fun …plinkers. i can hit a tin can 30-40 yard away all day long.
    i dont know how much that air gun cost but i bet it was a fortune compared to a 1022′
    the airgun doing what it was designed to do, the 1022 was not designed to shoot 22long .plus those bull bbls are very finicky about there ammo anyway. i was surprised that being a gun writer you thought a cb would feed let alone work the bolt of the 1022.
    i would compare a stock rws34 to a marlin tube magazine bolt action or a gun that that was design to handle s,l, and lr. Then, you would have a test. most people dont have $600 airguns. anyone can buy a box of cb caps. btw those calibi 22s would not hit an elephant sitting at your breakfast table with you.

    • Steve,

      I never thought CB caps would cycle through the mechanism of a 10/22 or work the bolt. But several readers asked me if I tried feeding them from the magazine, and since I knew I would be asked that question, I did try it. It doesn’t work, as you know. That is all I was saying.

      Yes, the Super Colibris were inaccurate in the 10/22, but better in the Remington 521T, which is a target rifle. Have you read the other two parts of this report? I ask because you posted your comment on Part 1 and there are Parts 2 and 3 that were written later and provide additional information.

      Find the links here:


      Also keep in mind that I am shooting these targets at 50 yards, which is probably way beyond the distance CB caps are meant for. I started there so I could compare them to a good PCP rifle that can shoot 10-shots groups of less than an inch at the same range and with similar power. The whole premise I am exploring here is whether CB caps can stand on their own or if a person should forget them and just use an air rifle because it is more effective.

      I’m not even halfway through the test at this point. I have indications of how it’s going to turn out, but I’m not going to summarize until the final shot has been fired.


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