Home Blog  
Education / Training Beware the man with one gun…

Beware the man with one gun…

by B.B. Pelletier

… and laugh at the fool with too many! That should be the ending of the famous statement, as I discovered suddenly this week.

I live in Texas, which is a pretty large state as most of you know. However, unlike many other states, Texas has very little open hunting ground. Most of it is owned and posted. Just like in feudal Europe, if you want to hunt in Texas, you either pay thousands per year for a deer lease or you know someone who owns one and get an invite.

So, I got invited to hunt for mule deer this year on 45,000 acres of open country in the western part of the state. Knowing what a rare opportunity this was, I accepted and then thought about what gun I would use. I went to my gun closet and behold — there was nothing. Oh, there are plenty of suitable guns in the closet, but every one of them is in some state of setup for a different, arcane purpose. There’s my Ballard, which is deadly accurate at 100 yards, but which I haven’t begun to try out at 200 yards. The bullet travels so slow that unless I get it sighted in, shooting that far would be chancy. And, in western Texas, long shots are the rule. Then there’s the fact that I now only use a single cartridge and it takes the better part of five minutes to reload it; but, hey, the deer will wait, won’t they?

Then there’s a 30-30 bolt-action that would work except that it isn’t really made for these distances. Besides, I haven’t got an accurate load worked up yet. My M1938 Swede Mauser is right on at 100 yards, but I have such a pansy low-recoil load worked up that I doubt it will even go 200 yards.

On and on it goes. Nothing in my closet is quite right for mulies at 200-250 yards. So, I recently traded for a 1920 Savage in 250 Savage. I reckon I can also use it at my friend’s place in the Texas Hill Country, where whitetails abound. There, the land is so crowded with brush, that the longest possible shot is 100 yards, so no problem. All I have to do is cook up an accurate load and get it sighted in for about three inches high at 100 yards. That puts it dead on at 200.

This past Wednesday evening, my friend told me that hunting season opens tomorrow, and suddenly I find I have nothing to use. Nothing that’s sighted-in, and nothing that has a useful load cooked up. Oh, I could shoot my Garand, but I don’t have any softpoints loaded for it. I could borrow a rifle from my friend, but out of more than 50 centerfires in his closet, he also has nothing that’s sighted-in.

What we have are closets full of works in progress. Why is that?

Airguns are no different
Contemplating that thought causes me to shift over to airguns, where I discover similar circumstances. My Whiscombe is in the middle of a test, so it can’t be disturbed. My TX200 Mark III had its scope stripped off for the test of another airgun a long time ago and sits in the closet in forlorn anticipation of some day when I will love it again. My Talon SS is currently set up for the CB cap test I just finished and is probably the closest thing I own to something that’s sighted-in, but I would have to read the Shotgun News article I wrote with it to see where I last adjusted the scope.

I don’t have any airguns that are ready to go, either.

You see, my philosophy is, and I think I speak for all of us armchair adventurers now, that when the comet finally does crash into the Earth, ending civilization as we know it, there will be an announcement and plenty of time to get out to the range and sight things in.

All is not lost
All my .45 pistols are sighted-in and I have a handload cooked up for them that is so good it is locked into my Dillon Square Deal B press. A ton of lead, ten thousand primers and 24 pounds of powder stand at the ready for the day Edith and I have to shoot our way out the front door.

But I don’t have a hunting rifle! Plenty of potentials but nothing ready to go.

Oh, woe is me! Back when I was a lowly lieutenant in the cavalry in El Paso, I only owned one hunting rifle. It was a .270 Weatherby and was sighted-in and I had a good handload cooked up for it. When I went to Germany for four years and had to leave my guns at home, I bought a Sako Vixen in .222 Remington in Germany. Using factory ammo, I dropped 13 deer in 18 months of hunting.

Those were the days when I was young, stupid and broke. Now I’m older, still stupid and, thanks to Edith, have enough money to indulge many of my gun fancies. But nothing I own is sighted-in nor are any good hunting loads cooked up. Everything is a work in progress.

I think I know what’s happening. I think I acquire each new rifle in the hopes that it will solve all my shooting problems. It will get me invited to hunts, it will always be the right caliber for whatever I want to hunt, and it will remain permanently sighted-in with each and every imaginable load. And, after all, there will be time to get everything done before the comet hits.

I’m like the guy who buys the air rifle that comes with two barrels, hoping it will be the only gun he’ll ever need. But heck, my Whiscombe came with four barrels, and the one I need is never on the gun when I need it.

I can remember a time when I had my stuff together, as we used to say. I may have had fewer guns back then, but each was ready to go. Part of my problem now lies in the fact that I write about guns and, therefore, am always tearing things apart while searching for the next article. But both of my gun buddies — Mac who lives in Maryland and Otho who lives here in Texas — have the same problem I do and neither of them writes about guns.

I wonder if this is a normal kind of thing. As your acquisitions grow in number, does your familiarity with each diminish?

I can now understand why Imelda Marcos had all those shoes but nothing to wear.

Announcement: Ethan Harvey 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.

Ethan’s winning photo is of his airsoft team. Looks like they’re ready for war.

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.

142 thoughts on “Beware the man with one gun…”

  1. LOL!! I have to share a similar story that unless this article was published I wouldn’t have told anyone.

    I used to hunt. A lot. I got rid of most of my centerfires since I never thought I’d want to kill another animal again. This is many, many years ago.

    4 or 5 years ago I had a pest problem at my cabin in the mountains. We are prohibited from using rimfires or centerfires since the neighbors are too close and our private club prohibits it. Enter airguns. Airguns have kept the ground squirrel and rabbit problem in check.

    Last year we had a blossom of rabbits worse than I’ve seen in 20 years. They were everywhere. This year they were just as plentiful but the coyote population also blossomed which is historically common since the predator population follows the prey population.

    The coyotes have become so plentiful and brazen that I saw one in the early morning several weeks ago at our kids sand box which is within 75 yards of our front door. Unacceptable. My daughter, her friends and our dogs play there daily. They would be easy prey for a coyote.

    I have quite a few guns at the cabin but none were suitable for this task. I started thinking about the guns at home that I could bring up the next weekend that would be a good tool and none of them filled the bill for this job! All were set up for something else. Either too much or too little.

    I immediately traded for a varmit gun that was known to be accurate with factory loads. Changed the scope on this used gun and fired 3 different factory loads on my range the following weekend to zero the new scope. Erik the Viking was there to help. He was more interested in shooting his powerful airguns at long range than shooting the .22-250 though.

    For someone with quite a few guns it was humbling to realize that I was lacking a specific gun for a meager application after all these years.


    • I’ve heard that one before but it’s great. Kinda like, “Good, Cheap, Fast, you get to choose TWO”.

      Well, sadly a standard violin can’t stand up well to the 50 degrees F or more daily temperature swings here. I live in something essentially equivalent to an Army field tent (and yes I’ve lived in those) in terms of isolation from outside conditions, and thus, if an instrument can’t be used in marching band, it’s probably not durable enough. I’d like to experiment with the saxophone sometime, but those are damned expensive. Kinda like getting into PCP guns. I’ve got a few diatonic harmonicas and just got a chromatic one, interesting beastie with a bigger sound because ….. it’s bigger.

      I can think of a violin setup that would stand up to my living, and proposed busking, conditions: A Yamaha electric with geared type tuners. By the time I got one of those beasties and bow, amp, etc. it’s well north of $1000 easily. Not saying it’s not worth it, but it’s not something I have jangling around in my pocket. Now the saxophone, and it was originally designed as a marching instrument, a decent Yamaha model 23 alto can be gotten for $500, and no amps required. I’d like to play with one, and I’m sure in the future I’ll come across one. In the meantime, it’s amazing what can be played on a harmonica. Yeah it’s trickier than the violin but it’s not that hard. There are people playing Pananini’s Caprices on YouTube on the harmonica, and some very nice classical playing.

  2. B.B.

    Looks like you have a probem.
    I don’t hunt anything that requires that kind of range, and don’t have anything that could handle it.

    I do have other problems. I sometimes have trouble deciding which gun to use.
    Sometimes I will have 2 or 3 airguns that need a zero because I have been working on them, or I want to do a seasonal check and touchup (as necessary). I always have enough that are ready to go.
    My powder burners are stable, and require nothing more than loading up when needed.

    Then there are the ones that I just don’t use at all and are never considered.


  3. Morning B.B.,

    You’ve hit a cord here also. I’ve been searching for an airgun to fill a perceived nitch for quite awhile now, but none seem to be suitable. Two more would do it, but budget won’t allow that luxury at this time. Poor me, I can see everyone saying get both of them, but that doesn’t solve my budget constraints.


    I’ve been wondering why we never got a report back on your coyote problem? Now we know, but how’d it go?


    • Mr B,

      The gun and scope are dialed in. I haven’t been back up to the cabin since then because of weather. Snow storm was so bad last week that we lost power in our city house for 3 days. Great fun trying to keep this big house warm when it got down in the teens at night. We boiled water and took spit baths. We’ve lost power before but it came back on everytime within 24 hours. Can’t get up to the cabin this weekend but hoping next weekend. I have big plans for the coyotes when I can get back up there.


  4. Interesting that Texas, a state with less restrictive firearms laws has no place to hunt, and here we have a HUGE! anti- hunting/ gun culture base, but a three month deer season and millions of acres of public land to hunt on.As far as the tools go ,I can relate.

  5. Sounds like you need to hit the range and sight in a couple of “go to” guns. In air I have one that is reliable and zero’d for two years. In powder I have a varmint gun sighted in at 100 yards and a pistol for home defense.

    Enjoy your hunt!

  6. The problem is being so passionate about the subject of guns and accuracy that we’re always chasing our own ideas of perfection. If I was in that situation regarding the hunt, I’d go buy a couple boxes of quality factory ammo and go to the range. The gun would get sighted at 200 yards as best as possible and that would be that. –OK, OK, knowing me, I would buy a box of every brand of ammo the store carried and then go to the range. Clearly, I have a different (but related) problem.

    On airguns, I’m with Twotalon. My the biggest issue is deciding which airgun to use, and you can only carry so many at a time. It’s particularly bad when we’re going to some remote cabin and I can take only one or two rifles and a couple pistols. I always ponder that question on and off for a few days beforehand before spending an hour looking into the safe. Ultimately I end up taking a couple from up front because I don’t want to pull them all out just to get one from the back row.

  7. Well you may not have to wait for an asteroid strike BB if they don’t sort out this Euro Crisis.(which I don’t think they can)
    Stock up on beans and shotgun shells,Just to be on the safe side.

  8. B.B. –

    What you really need is…

    Just kidding. Great post. On a more somber note, thanks for relieving some of my anxiety about only owning a few airguns. Following your advice a few years ago, I got some good ones, and they each get used a lot. Good luck with the deer hunt. Hope you bag a big one.

    – Jim in KS

  9. BB, just buy some Leverevolution ammo for you 30-30 Remington 788. The pointed bullets it is loaded with will turn it into a 200 yard + rifle, just zero it and go hunting!


  10. BB,

    I had a good laugh at this one!

    You are most definitely NOT alone. I think it’s our basic nature to think there’s one ideal solution for a problem and we look for one solution to multiple problems. Of course, as you’ve described, after w try out the one solution and find it wanting, we go l looking for the next one solution. I have only about 10 airguns, most of which are sighted in for my basement 9-1/2 yds range (I could get a full 10 meters if I wanted to scrunch myself into the corner…..). So, I really have no pellets matched to any gun for any longer distances.

    My powder burners are sighted in with factory ammo, and since I don’t make reduced recoil rounds, most of my reloads are pretty close to that. Within a few inches at 100 anyway… But, if we ever have to bug out fast, which one do I take? I sure can’t carry them all! Here’s to never having to make that decision! I’d still be deciding when I should be running…..

    Victor, I am that mechanic. Maybe not “great” though…. I have 3 cars and a fast bike. All run. None of which are particularly trustworthy….


    • Sounds like you all should hit the nearest truck dealer for an old fashioned van (not “mini-van”, not “van conversion”; just a van with no rear side windows and no rear seats).

      Weld a set of lockable gun racks to the left hand inside wall, weld some ammo-boxes to the floor below them. Put in a foot locker for tools and rests…

      • Not a bad idea, Wulfraed! That’s assuming I can drive anywhere when the brown stuff hits the fan. If not, it’s just what I can carry, or stay home in the fort and hunker down until it calms down outside….. 🙂


  11. I forwarded this blog to my daily shooting roundtable under heading of “Reading this was like looking in a mirror”.
    My own problems were brought to attention early this past Spring when I had a groundhog living in the barn under a stack of curing lumber. I stepped out of the shop in a shed on the back of the barn one day to answer a call from Mother Nature, peered @ the corner to see if the groundhog was in sight and there he was—20 yards away with his back to me, happily munching clover. I stealthily withdrew, retreated to the door of the shop where 2 rimfies and an airgun were leaned up against the doorframe. I reached for one of the rimfires and suddenly realized that I didn’t know if any of the 3 rifles were ready to go or awaiting re-sighting. Fortunately I made the right choice and relieved the immediate problem but the scope of the problem (no pun intended) again reared it’s ugly head a few weeks ago when couple of young state fisheries biologists were visiting and asked to shoot on my range. I directed them to targets, ammo and the same two rimfires by the door telling them the scopes might need to be zeroed and returned to the project of the day. They subsequently reported being unable to get one sighted in. It still sits there.
    No doubt that we suffer from an illness—but is it treatable? Tom

  12. I had a somewhat similar circumstance soon after moving into a duplex with wife number one of not having the right weapon.

    The property sat next to an open lot so I planted a garden and soon after a family of ground hogs decided to take up residence in a brush line that had overtaken a drainage culvert. Now had I been the usual city folk that rented this property, I am sure they would have been as safe as could be.
    But that was back when coyotes were still just a rumor in Ohio and my brother-in law and I were like visiting angels on farms where we helped reduce the ever increasing population of those hole digging whistle pigs – with a vengeance.

    The issue was, since I was now a “man” I had sold off my Ruger 10/22 and also forsaken the sweet little Winchester in .22 Hornet for a Remington 788. I picked the 788 up on clearance in 1984, it was a .223. The more popular calibers of the day were sold out since the rifle had been discontinued the year before.

    Side note -the 788 was tack driver, and if I could blink and get rifles back, it would be one of the first to return.

    Anyway, I waited until the wife went to her mother’s for the day with my daughter and I pulled out the .223 since it was my only rifle and stuffed the magazine with hollow points. I opened the sliding glass door, adjusted the AO on the scope and waited on the floor in the family room. I had a bologna sandwich and drink with me too, just like I was out in the field for a long day.

    Soon enough one of the little ones came out to dine, distance was about 25 yards and the young’en literally blew up when the round connected. I had to get the hose out and squirt guts off the tomato plants. My ears rang from shooting the .223 indoors. (I did not even own hearing protection back then, at best we would put a finger in one ear when we used each other’s shoulders to steady a rifle for a long shot- please never try that)

    Planning on decimating the entire family, I decided the .223 was not the best tool. So I then pulled out my Bear Grizzly recurve and in the following weeks and dressed in camo near sun down and took out most of the remanding members of the family. The rest wisely decided to move on. The bow however was not ideal, as a miss glanced off the ground and sailed another 75 yards, nearly hitting a passing car. Just like the .233 the bow was over kill and too dangerous for the situation.

    After that experience, I spent a life time making sure I had the right weapon available for every possible scenario, real or imagined. What was one of the first I added? Hint – it cost more than the Remington 788 and was the fairest in the land. The scope, mounts, and maintenance kit I ordered from a far off land called California.

    It was of course a Beeman R1.

    FYI –for some reason the neighbors in the duplex would never look at me in the eyes….

  13. I don’t hunt, and I live in the east. Only time I’ve ever seen a mule deer was at Fort Leonard Wood in 1966, when one wandered out onto the range when we recruits were shooting the M-60 machine gun — a most memorable time, machine guns shooting at the deer, tracers flying all over the place and Range Control screaming “Cease Fire, Cease Fire, God Dammit!” — but as I remember it, that deer was the size of a small mammoth, far larger than a whitetail and many times bigger than a man. During WWII the Army put M-1 Garands in the hands of raw recruits, gave them a few weeks’ training and expected them to kill Germans at 300 yards when those Germans were shooting back at them. I’m confident that any .30-06 ammunition you buy will be at least as good as what those GIs had, and I’ll bet anything your marksmanship skills and your M-1 are in much better shape than anything in the field in Germany.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good, and I think you’re over-thinking this. You won’t need any dime-sized groups here! Anyway, what’s the worst that could possibly happen? It’s not like you’re going to shoot out the lamp, as happened a few days ago.

    • Mule deer are big. I’ve seen ’em on Stanford University land next to I-280 and saw half (!) of one on I-17 (along with a lady whose car’s front end was all smashed up, and was crying about it to the cop taking down the particulars, right in the middle of the usual hectic nighttime I-17 traffic. They’re big, greyish suckers with muley sort of ears.

      • Flobert,

        A mulie around where I’m hunting weighs 275-350 lbs. The 350 is probably a stretch, but my buddy shot one last year that weighed 275. The average whitetail weighs 100-130 lbs. and here in Texas we have a dwarf breed that goes down to 75 lbs.


        • That sounds about in line with what I’ve gotten glimpses of here. Smaller than a pony, at least in weight, but then a pony’s what 500lbs and up? Lotta meat on a muley I’d say. In fact when I told my EMT school instructor about the muley that had been neatly whacked in half by the lady’s car and how the rear half was just sitting there, he said if the traffic hadn’t been so bad and the cop there etc he’d have been temped to stop and grab it lol.

          • We’ve no mule deer here (northern Virginia), but we sure have a lot of white tails. A few days ago I counted a herd of TWENTY in my 3/4 acre lawn. Beautiful things, but they have too many collisions with cars, and frankly they’re starving to death because they are way beyond the capacity of our (very open) suburbia to carry them.

            Normal evening herd has run between 6 and 8 including a couple of bucks.

            • Yeah, the deer overpopulation around here, with all the related starvation, Lyme Disease, and vehicle encounters, makes me feel pretty danged guilty about not being a deer hunter. I would love to chip in on the population problem, and spend more time in the woods, and have a freezer full of venison. But if we’re among friends here, I gotta admit I’m too squeamish about all the dirty work. What a wuss!


              • I thought I beat you to that…

                It’s the cleaning/skinning that stops me from hunting (that, and having to learn to cook with something that doesn’t taste like typical ranch beef). No problems with the idea of shooting the critter itself, if someone else will handle the aftermath.

                I don’t want to think of the mess I’d make trying to gut a deer — given that I sometimes have to back away from bags of trash in my kitchen because a sour cheese scent is making me gag and nearly lose lunch.

            • Too bad suburbanites are so squeamish about harvesting some of those deer, and too bad it’s not OK to have some kind of a service where a professional hunter can take them for you and do the dirty work, for a fee. On a per-lb basis it’d be cheap, good meat.

              Sadly, suburbanites tend to think of deer as Bambi, etc blah blah blah. Our neighbors here feed the squirrels walnuts and think it’s cute that a raccoon comes by nightly and takes a few minnows from their pond – at least their son told me the way to trap one using a fish pond, you put a trap down there and something shiny in it. Raccooons are cute only until they’re into your garden, killing your chickens, etc. squirrels are wonderful, until they’re building nests in your house causing a house fire.

              • flobert,

                When I was at an airgun show several years ago, I met a man who told me that he had two great ways to convince people that deer in your front yard was a bad idea.

                One way was to tell people that had dogs that deer are not generally dog-friendly. In fact, the deer can be quite aggressive against dogs. And if their dog happened to encounter a deer, the deer would trample the dog and seriously injure it and even kill it.

                If the people had no dogs, he would tell them about a relative who had been feeding deer and got extremely friendly with the critters but ended up with crippling Lyme disease that destroyed her body. In fact, there was no such relative, but the story usually got their attention and the deer were no longer considered sacred cows, to turn a phrase 🙂


              • A friend of mine used to get ragged on by a female fellow employee who always gave him a hard time about hunting and killing those “sweet, innocent deer”. UNTIL ONE DAY……..
                She bought a brand new car, and on the way to work she hit one of those “sweet innocent deer”.
                On the way home she hit another one.
                Next day she told him”KILL THEM!!!!!KILL THEM ALL!!!!”


                • TT,

                  Many people are incapable of seeing this point until they are personally affected. How many times did that woman read in the papers that cars have hit deer and the injuries that resulted to the car & passengers? It’s not OK to kill the deer until she’s affected. How incredibly narrow-minded.

                  When we lived in Maryland, a man hit a deer on a local 4-lane divided highway. It was the morning rush hour, and he pulled his car over to the shoulder so he could tend to the injured deer. Not having a clue what a wild, injured animal will do to anyone trying to “help” it, he got too close and the deer kicked him in the chest…killing him almost instantly. The deer then galloped off into the trees.

                  I am continually amazed at the number of people who have no clue what should/shouldn’t be done, yet they feel that anything they do would be better than nothing. In cases where wild animals or injured animals are concerned, that’s a faulty way of looking at things.

                  In the early 1970s, I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park when a man came running down the hill at lightning speed. When asked why he was running, he said that he’d found a baby bear and was concerned that it was separated from its mother & wanted to help. The bear cub was NOT lost, and the mother bear was NOT pleased. I almost wanted to beat the man myself for his stupidity.


                  • When I was living in Colorado there was a story in the paper about a guy who’d found a small buck with some does in a small valley behind his house. The buck charged him and he was fighting it off, getting stabbed by those antlers, and finally climbed a tree and yelled for help. Some other people heard him and shot the buck, and the guy had to be taken the the hospital and stitched up and stay to recover a while. Those antlers will stick you in the legs, the gut, etc. they’re weapons after all. And a buck full of testosterone can get pretty crazy – especially if they don’t know to be scared of people.

                    Planting an extra garden for the deer and using a hunting bow could be pretty good return on those “deer seeds” you plant.

            • In defense of my co-suburbanites: We’re not allowed to discharge a firearm in our part of the county, and frankly it wouldn’t be safe to do so given the density of people. That doesn’t mean people don’t go after the deer. The county has decent deer removal season; we close the parks and let in professional bow hunters, and frequently they also bring in professional marksmen. The meat is donated to various charities. On occasion homeowners are allowed to bring in bow hunters on private land.

              I’m too unskilled to gut and skin a deer myself, and maybe too squeamish to pull the trigger. But I would be delighted to let some pro come in and share the venison with me.

              Everybody knows somebody who hit a deer with his/her car. And a few folks have gotten Lyme disease from ticks. And nobody has any roses left. When the county announces a hunt these days, there are very few Bambi-huggers left to protest.

  14. BB,
    When I moved to Texas I couldn’t believe how little public land there was around. And, the amount of money people pay to be on hunting leases is just crazy to me. I grew up in rural areas where I always knew plenty of places to hunt for free, both on public land, and farmers we went to church with that would let us hunt or fish anytime.

    It’s too bad Texas will not let us hunt with airguns. I think you still have a DAQ which would make for a challenging hunt. Good luck getting something set up the way you want it and good luck on your hunt. It sounds like you have an awesome opportunity.

    Most of my air rifles are set up to shoot but I don’t do as much tinkering as you. I have a FWB 124D that needs seals and the JM spring kit I have for it installed before I can shoot it. And, I did pull the scope off my HW55. I need to re-scope it. Those are some projects I need to get done.

    David Enoch

    • Dave,

      need your advise. My son is being transferred to Marietta, OK and was thinking of living in Gainesville, TX. Rather than take up the Blog’s space and time, could you contact me off-blog with any knowledge you have of this town in North Texas by the OK border?


      Fred PRoNJ

      • I had a rolling block in 45/70 back in the late eighties but it was a re-barrel job with a 1 1/8 barrel that was just way too heavy for me. Now I keep a Marlin 1895 handy. Funny thing is the Marlin is more accurate in my hands than the old rolling block was. My grandfather carried a old 45/70 Marlin in his truck back in the late sixties that was used on beavers as they would dam up and flood were he had to check and service oil wells. He kept it in the rack and a cooler with the dynamite in the tool box 😉 The dynamite was for the dams. You can’t drive around like that anymore LOL! He used to tell me when I was little that it was the only gun you’ll ever need. He’d say son, you can hunt anything on the north American continent with it. From dear to slow moving locomotives 😉 Brad

  15. Wish I had a dollar for every time I hit the submit button when I really wanted to hit the spell check one.

    Conversation overheard at the Gaylords:

    Edith: “Hon, we can’t go to the party tonight. Look in this closet. I don’t have a thing to wear.”

    Tom: “You think you’ve got problems. I have a hunt tomorrow. Just look in this gun cabinet…and this cabinet…and this cabinet…and this cabinet.”

    Edith: “Now I know why I don’t have anything to wear!”

  16. BB,
    I think you’ve seen the light! This is why I always say people are either “gun nuts” or “shooting nuts” :). If you can’t stand to do it alone, I’ll go with you to buy a run-of-the-mill bolt action in a loading that every Walmart in the US carries, then hand it over to Edith (she’s obviously the sensible one) with instructions to use her best judgment when a need arises for you to use it :).

  17. Hmmmmmnn…….I wonder what that is like???? LMAO 🙂 I “got rid of” a .270 Winchester this morning,only to arrive home with a Millenium Red Ryder & a 422 Winchester .177. So much for making space.Oh well,misery loves company.

    • Of course 20 minuites after I posted this Mr “FedEx” delivered me a Huntingto Beach R9 in a custom walnut thumbhole stock,.177 w/ a Paul Watts Adv. tune.I positively stole it for 500$ shipped! It has a shortened barrel with a nice blued 8″ muzzel weight.Time to see if I “have” any scopes….LOL WoooHoooo.

      • Good grief, Frank! Here I thought I was bad getting a 397 a couple of weeks ago because I never had one…, and then this afternoon a 2240 was waiting on the porch for me when I got home from work, because I never had a co2 gun….. Both guns surprised the heck out of me by stacking a few pellets out of the groups of 5 at 9.5 yds even with their horrible triggers! With a little work, I might really like them!! 🙂


        • Dave,you just wouldn’t believe how nice this one turned out to be.It looks just like one from P W’s Springgunning websight gallery labelled “Mandalorian R9”.More important than looks,it fits me well and
          I used Crosman Comp wadcutters to sight in that I paid $1 a tin for.Standing offhand leaning on the door jamb It is consistently shooting under 1/4″ 5 shot groups @ 25 yards.Keep in mind this is just the first pellet used!!!! It is easy to hit previous pellet holes,and I’m only using a 3/4″ vintage Bushnell Scopechief 22 8x scope! I’m blown away…..the firing cycle is unreal.Barrel is shortened to around 11″
          and must have lots to do with this accuracy.If I paid $1K I would still be happy with it.

          • Frank…

            My .177 R9 likes FTT 4.50 and the heavy Excacts really well. The FTT are about the most efficient of the pellets tried so far. The heavy Exacts give up quite a bit of FPE compared to the FTT. Can’t tell any difference in how the rifle feels when shooting them. Both hold together well in the wind.


            • /Dave…
              I have both a .177 and a .22. Both are extremely accurate.
              Both were buzzers right out of the box. The .177 now has a Vortek kit and no longer buzzes. The .22 does not have a kit yet. I am waiting to see if the spring noise goes away after more shooting. The velocity is presently creeping up. Can’t get the trigger as light as my other HWs. Giving it some break in time.
              Buzz or no buzz, right out of the box they shoot good. My 97K was horrible to the point of almost putting me into spasms, but it still shot very good. It has a Vortek now too.


              • TT,

                I’ve got to get rid of the buzz my HW57 has. It shoots so well, I never want to take it apart. When I pick it up, I just commence to shooting and ignoring the buzz on it. It’s really noisy though, and I know that one of these days it’s gonna get tarred, or totally tuned…. The coated square profile die spring and thrust washers I put in my TF99 along with the re-worked teflon piston head and quad profile o-rings took care of it’s bad characteristics and made a sweet shooter out of it. Now I usually don’t go out of the mid single digits for extreme spread on it and it stacks pellets at 10 yds. I’m pretty sure I can do even better for the HW57 since it started out better. That’s if I can ever get it off of my shoulder and onto the workbench….


  18. OT
    I’d like to post a video some may find interesting…prompted by yesterdays discussion between Matt and Victor concerning calling shots.
    Edith…it is from another dealer…however their marked it the military/LE sniper so it doesn’t infringe on anything Pyramyd sells…but I understand if the rules say it has to go.
    It deals with how to use a snipers logbook to properly set up your gun and use your scope for ranging. I picked up one of the logbooks this past spring and found it very helpful…once I adjusted all the ranges down to airgun limits.

  19. B.B. this is hilarious. It’s a look into the mind of someone who owns a vast collection of guns. So, the desire is never fully satisfied, eh? It sounds like people who are going broke on an income of a million a year. 🙂 In light of this, it is interesting to recall my initial pellet gun purchase. At my most thrifty for a dubious new undertaking, I decided that the Crosman 1077 does it all and would be the only airgun I ever need. Now that gun is shot the least–because of its voracious appetite for pellets and gas, not any shortcoming. But for your hunt, I don’t see the need to cook up an exact handload. If you just did one of the standard loads in a handbook and took a range day to sight in, that should be sufficient. If you need a go-to gun, just pick up a Savage rifle that is cheap and shoots like a house afire. 🙂 By the way, I thought you had given up hunting with firearms and were sticking with big bore airguns.

    Victor, thanks for the outstanding review of training with positions. This has an inexorable professional feel that I really like. In a list of best shooting practices, I think this could be used as is about how to get started. Since prone is not really possible in airgunning, I guess that a benchrest is the obvious starting point. That’s common enough although it seems that many never go on from there to position shooting which I much more interesting to me. The distinction between weak as opposed to difficult positions strikes a chord with me. During my high school shooting career, the coach at one session told me to fill in some time by working on my position that needed the most work and asked me which one. I told him prone which had been causing me problems (because of the sling hurting me and because the very minutiae of details was kind of freaking me out). I did relatively better in standing (although lower raw scores) because the movement inspired a sort of piratical focused mindset that was what I needed at the time. Anyway, the coach looked at me like I had two heads and told me to shoot standing. I knew that guy was a dud.

    Chuck, a small point on the notion of calling your shots. As I understand calling your shots, it means being able to tell from your sight picture EXACTLY where you were pointed at the moment your shot goes off. David Tubb makes the same point as Victor that calling your shots and follow-through are essentially the same thing. But that means you can’t really call your shots before they take place, so that is not the correct term for when you know in advance that you will hit dead center and you do. I’ve had the same experience. It’s the sign of the Jaws of the Subconscious….

    Wulfraed, I believe it was you who recommended a modified Weaver hold as an improvement on my pistol shooting with the Isosceles Triangle hold. The Isosceles has always appealed because of its simplicity. Everything is symmetrical and you’ve got the triangle of your arms built on the triangle stance of your legs. Incidentally, these superimposed triangles are the basis of Wing Chun Kung Fu which was Bruce Lee’s original style before he got creative. Anyway, the physical principles have some history. Also, among the IPSC shooters I’ve looked at that include the various hot women shooters and the decidedly unhot but phenomenally talented Todd Jarret among others, all use the Isosceles stance. The Weaver variations just seem more complicated although they look cool. But in any event, I’ve tried them all and the Isosceles always does significantly better.

    How about this for weird science. A propos of the recent article on CO2 cartridges, I recently finished one 12 gram cartridge in my Walther CPSport after 80 shots which is a number I’ve worked out from experience. This is well beyond the recommended numbers that I’ve seen published and any more get me in danger of getting a pellet stuck in the barrel. After unscrewing a cartridge, it hisses briefly as it releases the remaining gas and then goes silent. But on this particular occasion, it didn’t stop hissing. I continued well into my shooting of my next gun and the smell began to build up in my shooting room where I keep the windows closed to mask the sound. The hissing went on for several minutes, and I started to worry that I was going to faint. Finally with the hissing going as strong as ever, I set the cartridge outside the window on the sill. It was finally empty when I retrieved it a half hour later.

    In a similar vein, I have an inexpensive Radio Shack EC 4028 hand calculator that has worked without changing the battery for over ten years. I don’t use it every day but on a pretty regular basis and even if the calculator was left inactive for that period of time wouldn’t the battery wear out? I don’t even know when I got it but it was not new when I took one job where I was at for seven years and has continued to function perfectly four years into another job. And this was made well before the era of lithium batteries. Mighty strange….


    • I did have a minor error in my modified Weaver — it’s my left arm that is slightly bent, and the right arm full out… I don’t think I could even get into a true isosceles — not and still fit my left hand first finger over the front of the trigger guard.

      (as I realized while moving the spring-cock/cheap AirSoft pistols from a bookcase — my moving plans have hit a major roadblock; 26ft U-Haul cargo limit is 7400 pounds which means it would be overloaded with my 6000 pounds books, 1000 pounds archived American Rifleman, Comm. of the ACM, etc., and 12 75pound bookcases… Forget about the rest of my possessions… Time to let a moving company have the heavy stuff).

      • Try ABF U-pack — they park a semi trailer (with ramps) at your house and you pack it as tight as you can, then they charge you for the linear feet used, and the trailer will show up at your new place when you call them. You will have to load and unload, but you don’t have to drive, buy fuel, and worry about your stuff every night on the road, like a compromise between U-haul and a full-service mover.

    • I agree with Tubb’s definition of follow-through. And I learned, you MUST call each shot. What happens is, the better you call the shots, the smaller your group becomes. So, you call one as “5 o’clock” and it will indeed be at 5 o’clock, in a TINY group. The time you get a bit of brain-fade and don’t call one well, that will be the flyer.

  20. BB,

    I was going to suggest you try your .45/70 for the mulies, but Brad beat me to it.

    It is a sad situation about the lack of open hunting land in Texas. When I lived there, I learned the reason was when Texas joined the Union, it was allowed to retain the title to its public lands. This has worked to Texas’ advantage in several ways, for instance, the capitol building was funded with the sale of public land to the XIT Ranch.

    The downside is the lack of BLM land the public can access. It is odd and frustrating that in western states with so much open land, there is lack of public access. I found the same situation where I was working on Southwestern Kansas, and, to a slightly lesser extent, here in Western Nebraska.

    By contrast, Southwestern New Mexico is a shooter’s paradise. All kinds of open desert BLM land, restriction limited only by common sense. If you don’t make trouble for other people, they won’t make trouble for you.


  21. B.B.

    I know this situation – lots to choose finally makes no choice, it happened to me. So I’m a one gun man – my “shillelagh” is always sighted in, cleaned, lubed and has a “primed” barrel. Of course there are other airguns I own, but they are just either “in storage, ready to use” condition or like “girl gun” – sighted in, cleaned, etc. The reason for that is maybe because my current airgun is good – so I see no reason to seek an alternative, unless it is two heads above my current posession.
    Maybe that’s because here in Cold Commifornia choice was rather limited. So it got into people’s bones – one has to hold to some versatile solution, keep it always in top shape and always ready to the limit, for who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow?
    Today I spent a great day at the range (under roof of course as +8 is quite warm but not very comfortable, forecasts say we’re going to have first cold days in a week). It feels good to see myself in a good shape and making “one hole” shots.
    I always make observations on men with airguns and today it seems that some observations are true to this posting’s title.
    Some are obsessed with power and don’t care too much about precision, some are precision maniacs, but there’s one common trait: the more the man is “in business” the older and more weird-looking gun he has. Some part of his personality seems to imprint into the gun, with custom mounts, levels, custom-carved grips shiny from their hands, worn-out stocks and “frosty” steel parts. It’s just like good old comfortable shoes – one finds his true gun and it serves him for years. So, a man with one gun may be just a newbie, but a man with one gun that has an unusual look and distinctive wear – that’s a competition for sure.


      • B.B.

        You’re reading my thoughts. Yes, from time to time I start to think – what’ll it be to have two good airguns (assuming my Duscombe will be a gun, not a waste of time, money and brain energy 🙂 )? One thing I know for sure – I won’t sell my shillelagh.
        Perhaps I will solve the problem the Muslim way – as in Islam a man can marry several women only in case he is able to treat them all equal and fair. So equal and fair it’ll be, I hope my heart is big enough for two of my brainchildren.
        Maybe there will be no competition – a rhythmic gymnast cannot compete a heavyweight boxer and vise versa, they are just two different universes. So classic and proven springer would not interfere with a semi-experimental counterimpulse system, and both will have their own niche.
        Just let me get the second rifle to discuss 🙂 As of today parts did not arrive and I have nothing to show to you 🙁


        • Duskwright,

          I could not resist the opening you gave us – I, too shoot one hole shots. Then I take a second shot and have two hole shots :).

          As for not having a rifle handy for a particular range or task, I, too had that problem earlier this week when going squirrel hunting in the attic. But I was fortunate enough to know my Benjamin 392 was sighted in for 30′ and would do the trick if a mad squirrel came charging at me.

          Fred PRoNJ

        • duskwight,

          Whatever your Duskcomb turns out to be, a pile of parts, or more likely a fine rifle, it will not be a waste of time and brainpower! Don’t be fearful of redesigning a couple of parts as needed to get to your goal! That’s how projects grow….


  22. BB,

    I believe you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Same situation here with my air rifles. Several are sighted in for 25′ practice in my basement.

    But none are sighted in for my only hunting endeavor, which is squirrel hunting. BUT, it’s late in the season, and it is colder than I want to venture out in AND huntable season won’t start till next May.

    SO I have plenty of time to get some sighted in for squirrels right? RIGHT!

    Wanna bet I will be hurridly sighting them in the day before squirrel season starts? If you’re a betting man it would be good to bet I will be doing just that day before season starts! Only problem is if I were a betting man I would bet the same. So I have no idea where we can find some one to bet the other way! 🙂

    Ain’t life good? 🙂

  23. My grandkids stayed overnight last week at my place and they wanted to shoot. I got out the IZH-61s I bought for each of them and lo and behold none of them had a usable sight, I had cannibalized them to outfit newer guns. What’s worse, I had removed all their rear sights back in day one to facilitate swapping scopes and sights on them.

    The good news is I had my trusty Bronco wearing one of the peeps that used to be on an IZH so the day was saved, but then they had to share.

    I have swapped scopes so much that none of them are sighted in any more except for the Talon SS, and my new Challenger came with its own peep sight that I will keep on it forever. But no one else touches these two, upon pain of death.

    I tried to eliminate the scope swap issue by buying a scope for each rifle I own but found out that that only made matters worse because I always fet that scope A on rifle B would probably work better on rifle G, and what made thing even more worse was I started swapping scope rings because of the same reason. As a result, I barely have time to write this comment. 😉

  24. I always know which airgun I want to use for any given purpose. Knowing where that airgun is, and being able to get to it without emptying an entire closet is another matter.

    Among my many problems, I suppose it is a good one to have by comparison.

  25. B.B.,
    “… when the comet finally does crash into the Earth, ending civilization as we know it, there will be an announcement and plenty of time to get out to the range and sight things in.” We hope that there would be something in place to assist humanity. I’m not so convinced anymore.

    Last night I had a very enlightening experience. I opened up a brand new container of “fiber supplement”, to find that it was tampered with, and contained something entirely different. First off, it took an extraordinary amount of effort to open the canister. Once I removed the lid, I realized that something was very wrong, so I closed it immediately. My concern was that there might be a dangerous agent of some kind in the container (there was a story the previous day about a ring of extremist to had intended on spreading such an agent). I then called the store, and they told me to call the police. I called the police, and they gave me the runaround, ultimately telling me to call an entirely different police force, because the store was on the border between the city where I live, and the Metro police force. I called Metro, and they told me to call the first police department, or wait until tomorrow to call the Health District. I told them that if this were some deadly agent, that I wouldn’t be around to call anyone, since I had already opened the container. I asked if there was any way that they could send someone to pick it up? They said no. I said, “Are you telling me that IF this was some deadly WMD, that no means of reacting to such a potential exist to help save local civilization?”. The lady put me on hold. Minutes later, she came back and said that they’d send someone over, but that they couldn’t give me a time frame, but also that it could take over 4 hours. I told her to forget it, and that I was just going to take it back to the store, since they were open 24/7.

    In my mind, this was Katrina on a microscopic scale. In other words, should a real tragedy happen, don’t expect our “system”, or government to react in a reasonable (i.e., potentially life saving) manner. Bottom line, you’re on your own, when it comes to your, and your families survival.


    • Victor, I just love it. When seconds count, the police are minutes away unless it’s one of “their own” who are in danger. Hopefully, there is nothing in that container that will be harmful to you.

      Fred PRoNJ

      • Fred,

        When Tom & I lived in Maryland, we had an insane drug-crazed neighbor for almost the entire 23 years we lived there. The police never responded in a timely manner. All I’d have to do is call them and give them my neighbor’s name, and the entire police dept. knew who he was.

        About 10pm on summer night, one of his drug-crazed friends was strung out and holding my neighbor and his mother hostage with a gun pointed at them. We called the police, and they already knew about it. Their response? They’re not going to send anyone to the scene because “the officer doesn’t want to get shot.” Yes, you read that right. That’s verbatim what they told us.

        Eventually, the drug-crazed hostage taker committed suicide. He blew his head off and it literally rolled past our bedroom window toward the street. We were on the line with the police when that happened. Did they come out after that? Not right away. Since the hostage scene was now over, they decided to go to the dead man’s house to see what evidence of drug use/paraphernalia they could find there. Some time later that evening, the police swarmed my neighbor’s house.

        While not all police departments are that incompetent, I know that there was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling several years ago that law enforcement has no obligation to protect or help citizens. I’ve mentioned this to several people over the years, and no one believes me…until I whip out the ruling so they can read it. Here it is:


        That encounter in Maryland opened my eyes a LOT. The Supreme Court ruling reinforced what I already suspected. While I will not color all law enforcement with the same broad brush, I believe you take a big chance if you depend on others to protect you. There were many times when I lived in Maryland that we slept with a shotgun under our bed. Never knowing what insanity would come to my doorstep, I found myself carrying a handgun to the front door when I answered it.

        I became an unabashed, unrelenting, unapologetic gun rights supporter. No one is as interested in protecting me than I am. The police may take an oath to protect and defend, but it’s just a promise they made one day. They’re not obligated to live up to it. Many DO live up to it, but my encounter in Maryland was proof that I may not be so lucky that the police officers who honor their oath will come to my aid. So, I’ve taken it upon myself.

        Off my soapbox.


        • Edith,
          I appreciate your suds! 🙂 I was flabbergasted to see our governments response to Katrina, but yet hadn’t considered how critical my own situation could become under the wrong assumptions (i.e., expectations of help from local authorities). I won’t become paranoid because of what I’m discovering, but I certainly won’t allow myself to live in fantasy either. When the $6!+ hits the fan, you’re on your own!

          • Wow. Just. Wow. Every time I read one of Edith’s posts of any length she gains a foot of stature in my eyes!

            And yes, it’s called WROL which for the longest time I thought, “huh, a radio station east of the rockies?” but it means Without Rule Of Law. It’s when the cops all go home because they have their own homes and families to take care of. Or some agenda of their own to follow because all heck’s broken loose.

            So you’ ll hear a lot of discussion on prepper sites of life without WROL.

        • On the other side of the spectrum, the “lady” who lives across the street from me calls the cops when the neighbors kids are throwing the football, and it lands in her yard. And yes, the police will actually respond, faces all scowled up, doing their ‘ command presence’ BS, as if they really have a crime to deal with. I’m certain they would all be hiding under their desks and urinating on themselves if something dangerous came across the radio. Spineless jellyfish.

      • Fred PRoNJ,

        Thanks! No, I don’t believe that there was anything dangerous, but it sure did concern me. I’m a fairly strong guy, but there was no way that I could twist the lid off. I tried every trick that I know of to remove a stubborn lid, and nothing. However, I considered the possibility of a manufacturer defect, like when the perforation on a soda can is not complete, and you can’t just pop it open. In this case, I literally had to slam the container down onto my hard kitchen floor. When I opened it, the first thing I saw was a piece of material that appeared to be there for dust control. I then realized that someone had been very careful to make sure that the contents were well prepared for transport. I’m not a paranoid guy, and I’ve never called the authorities because of a “suspicion”, but it seemed like someone had gone through a lot of effort to make sure that THEY were safe.

        The first thing I did with the container was doubled wrapped it in plastic bags, and stored it outside of my home, until it was gone. I had already spoken to the store manager, so I took it to customer service for a refund, and to let them deal with it, since the “authorities” had no interest in helping. The first thing I told customer service was to NOT open it and leave the plastic bags alone, and that I wanted to speak to the specific manager. Immediately, the customer service clerk started tearing the plastic bags to check the contents for herself. I told her that I just asked her not to do that, so she stopped. Another lady there stepped back away towards the corner.

        In any case, I’m sure everything is fine. But it certainly did expose a few things to me that I hadn’t expected. This, in effect, was a drill, and everyone failed. 🙁


        • Some years ago I was teaching and had just failed a couple of students from the Mid-East. About a week later I received a package in the mail that was clearly suspicious (I had had some training about IEDs in the Navy, but even my wife spotted the problems and told me not to open it.). I immediately called the Fairfax County police, and an officer was on the spot in under 15 minutes. He took about 5 minutes to gawk, and then called the bomb squad which referred him to the Postal Inspectors’ bomb squad. This was a Saturday, but even so the Postal guys were there in under 30 minutes and carted it away for an X-ray.

          The next day I got a call saying that there was metal inside, and were they allowed to open the box. Sure, I said.

          OK, it turns out it was something benign and banal, addressed to me by the realtor handling sale of my mother’s house after my dad died. She didn’t realize that she had done everything wrong, from not having my name on the box to not having a return address, etc. So red flags were flying.

          Anyway, the responders involved did everything right. By the way, nobody worried about mild shaking of the package; it had just passed out of the parcel post mail stream…

          • I remember *right* after 9/11, a bunch of Middle Eastern people in the apartment building I was in left, a Middle-Eastern grocery store closed, etc makes you go Hmmm.

            • It does *not* “make me think.” Most of those people who left were not involved with terrorism, but were rightly scared of what the American people, angry as we were, might do. Given the mass roundups and extreme difficult getting out of custody despite innocence, US citizenship or permanent residence, etc., maybe they were right. Ask the California Japanese.

              I should have noted that this occurred during the time of the Reagan Administration. 9/11 was not even imaginable.

    • Outrageous. It reminds me of when a dealer closed his business without transferring to me my Savage 10FP which I had paid for. I called the local police and was bounced around to some very rude and unhelpful person in city hall who told me to hire a lawyer and go to small claims court. Then she directed me to a byzantine website full of procedures, court fees, schedules and destinations to travel that would have cost far more than the gun. The federal government has not distinguished itself by any means but the local and state levels are no paradise either.


  26. All of us “Gun Guys” and Girls tend to accumulate a fair number of different ones over the years. But, here’s what you need when western civilization melts down. An AKM in 7.62X39, a Scoped 30-06 or .308, a Ruger 10/22 or Remington Nylon 66, a 12 ga Shotgun, probably a Remington 870. A Sheridan pneumatic air rifle wt/scope. Last, is a handgun of some type……….just pick what you like. My suggestion would be a Glock 17 in 9mm.

    But, if you can have only one, then the AKM or the Remington 870.


    • Sounds reasonable. I would go for the AKM without considering ammunition resupply. But since that is crucial, I would go for the Ruger 10/22. I saw a video of how one guy converted his to full-auto and it looked deadly. You could probably come close to that effect by pulling the semiauto trigger as fast as you can.


    • Well… Got an 870, but finding 2 3/4″ shells may be getting tricky (gives you an idea of how old the 870 is, it has the short shell only ejection port and action). Original barrel was a 26″ with a Cutts Compensator, with “skeet” and “imp. cylinder” chokes. Barrel needs to be checked by a good gunsmith as there is what is either a severe cleaning rod scratch (okay) or an incipient crack running from just in front of the chamber about three inches, mostly under the vent-rib. I do have a modern (3″ chamber) 26″ barrel with a full set of choke tubes, but no compensator.

      Never took a liking to the AK-family… I suppose my HK-91 could be pressed into service in this situation — but for just common daily usage; not when mine only has 50 rounds (plus factory test) through it, and has appreciated to be over three times what I paid for it. For defense, I suppose I should stock up on .30 M1 Carbine and save the other .308Win (Browning A-bolt II Varmint model) for hunting.

      Small game… The Marlin Glenfield 60 would be last choice — since it’s the only example I know for a gun with “side droop”. The stock inletting and the barrel are at a distinct angle to the left relative to the receiver — open sights weren’t a problem since they are on the barrel, but even the K1.5 scope (shimmed with Dr. Sholes molehair patches) is cutting the hypotenuse of a triangle. Guess it will have to be the Ruger 77/17 .17HMR with the 20gr “gamegetter” (soft lead nose rather than the 17gr hollow points or ballistic tips, which have a reputation for fragmentation splatter). Or… at shorter ranges… The Ruger Mk II Government Competition model with red-dot sight. {Note: I’ve skipped over the airguns, though the RWS Diana mod 54 in .22, the Marauder in .177, or the Condor in .22 would suffice for Slappy through Bugs I’d think; actually, the Condor with EunJin heavies may be overkill for Bugs [though I wouldn’t go so far as to say it would do for Porky… Rocky Raccoon maybe]}

      Personal defense… .40S&W P99 (followed by S&W4006 and 459). Close range Bambi — T/C Contender in .357Mag…

      And then I get to sight in and work on my shoulder strength with the Browning Compound Bow.

      I do have dies for .30 M1 Carbine and .357Mag, and a Lee Loader for 12gauge — but would need to raid a supply shop for powder, primers, shot/bullets/wads… Oh… But I do have four old canisters of Pyrodex for a Remington New Model Army (?) in .44/.45? (with two cylinders and adjustable target sights)

      {All the above, and I only hit a range every 5-10 years, and I don’t hunt — not from qualms of killing a critter, but from the thought of having to gut/skin it after the shoot! [out of curiosity, what DO you ground hog/coyote killers do with the evidence?]

      • You are all set. You don’t really need anything else. But, 2 3/4 inch 12 ga ammo is still as common as dirt. Even Wally World has lots of it.

        You really do need to get out more often!


      • I’ve eaten the ground hogs, they are herbivores. Taste like ground beef. The coyote, I skin and sell the dried hide to the local fur buyer and use the money to buy more ammo and hunting stuff.

          • No ,they don’t. I raise chickens and notice that given the chance they will eat any old crap including each other even if fed well. Think about that next time you sit down to supper and chicken is on the menu. Woodchucks on the other hand eat only the best grasses just like the angus cattle I also used to raise. BTW, is is dark meat and very lean, low colesterol too.

    • Remember our previous conversation with duskwight ( think it was him) about the non-existance of the AK-47? Well, it turns out an AK-47 really does exist, according to the October American Rifleman magazine mailed out by the NRA. There is no Russian AK-47 but there is a US company, Inter-Ordinance, Inc. (www.ioinc.us), who builds an AK-47C in 7.62×39, paterned after the Russian AKM. The article referenced, among many other Russian autos, many AK and AKM rifles but never mentions an AK-47 until it got to the paragraph about I.O.’s AK-47C. The article is called “The All American AK” and is a review of AKs and others by a former Spetsnaz soldier Marco Vorobiev. I enjoyed the article more because of our conversations on this blog.

    • I’d say ….. a bolt-action in some common large caliber, say .30-’06 or .308, a shotgun so say an 870, a .22 rifle, and a concealable .357 handgun.

      If I could only have two, the .22 rifle and the concealable .357

      If I were down to ONE weapon, that’s a hard call. The .22 rifle is the most useful long-term, but you may need that .357 to get you through to the long-term.

  27. G’day BB
    I sporterised my school competition SMLE 303 some 40 years ago and then found it shot 3-4 feet high with open sights at 100 yards so I bought a Bruno 308. Then got rid of all my rifles when I moved to Sydney but kept the 303 for sentimental reasons.
    Now my youngest son wants to take it hunting. I never did figure out how high the front sight would have to be but it at least half inch higher but they can’t be purchased.
    I think taking off the bayonet fitting may have been flexing the barrel downwards when it was original full wood but it did group well.
    Any ideas for this Marathon project…have been thinking seriously of another 308 for a Christmas present.
    Cheers Bob

    • Bob,

      I had the same problem with a Trapdoor Springfield. Shot about two feet high at 50 yards and a foot at 100. I filed a slot in the front sight that allowed a 1/16th-inch steel flat to be installed. Then I started filing it down. It rose to about an extra half-inch before the gun was on at 50 yards.


  28. I shot my Hatsan a bit today and the pump isn’t too hard to work, I fired 60 shots (6 clips) and the pumping to get it back to 200 BAR was surprinsingly easy. Really happy with my buy. I haven’t tried other pellets yet but Crosman cheapies wadcutter do pretty well!!
    Look at this group, 10 shots, rested at 40 feet what’s not to like?
    Do you guys think I can find a better pellet?
    I’m sure I could have done a bit better with a better shooting position.


    • J-F,
      That is a very nice group for 40 feet, and especially with the Crosman wadcutters. I’ve never gotten good results with those, but you certainly did. Good job!

    • J-F

      What’s not to like indeed. Very nice shooting. I think you are shooting near the outer edge of performance of those wadcutters as far as distance is concerned.

      What else have you tried? I find myself reaching for H&N FTTs or FTS most these days.

    • Nice group, J-F! For longer ranges you’ll probably want something else, although these might work fine too. Form, half the fun of getting a new gun is hunting up what it likes to eat! If you don’t find anything better, at least you’ll know what it doesn’t like!

      From your picture, I might have to add that to my list of what to get when I make the jump into pcp’s myself… Thanks for posting that! 🙂


    • Which Hatsan is it? How do you find fit, finish and general quality? I’m going to be in Turkey this winter on business and may look into finding a Turkish-made Hatsan as a souvenir. If they shoot that well, that’s great!

      • Thanks everyone for the good words, I wasn’t expecting that much accuracy but I’m really happy it’s there 😀
        I haven’t have time to test other pellets yet and I can’t wait to go to the country to stretch it’s legs and see what it’s capable of at longer yet resonnable distances (remember this is a sub 500 fps air rifle).

        Pete this model is the AT-44 10 shot repeater in .22 caliber. It’s the same as the Hammerli Pneuma repeater.
        The same models (AT-44) are available with wood stock (walnut if I’m not mistaken) and many different synthetic stocks, there’s camo everything, fake wood, pump action, thumbhole or no thumbhole. They’re also available in a “long” version with a longer barrel and 230cc reservoir instead of the 180cc I have on mine. There is also a BT-65 which is even larger and is also available in wood and synthetic stocks.

        The AT-44 only has the butt plate and trigger adjustable, the BT-65 also has an adjustable cheek rest.

        Happy shopping!


        • I will likely go for something physically smaller (the suitcase volume problem), say a pistol, and also cheaper. I don’t pay my ticket, but there won’t be any sizable honorarium. But this is the third time they’ve invited me. But it sounds as if you got a good gun. Enjoy!

          I did look at the Hatsan catalog. All their “44” series seem real competitors. Be nice to see a first-line maker making affordable products!


        • J-F,
          Just read about your nice group and looked at the pic. Great Shooting! As for searching for a better pellet, seems logical to me. I know I won’t be satisfied until I see only one pellet sized hole after 10 shots.

  29. Has anyone used a Microsight yet? Would appreciate your opinion.

    This is supposed to screw into a rear diopter between the diopter and iris/sight disc. It’s touted to allow clear focus of the front sight AND target. Here’s the marketing blurb:

    “The Sinclair/AOS MicroSight is a revolutionary solution to a problem thats plagued riflemen since the beginning of rifle shooting itself: how to see both the target and the front sight clearly at the same time. A legitimate game changer doesnt come along very often in the precision shooting world these days, so when we heard the MicroSight called one, we were, frankly, pretty skeptical. Then we tried itand couldnt believe the difference it made in sight picture and group size. The MicroSight uses phased zone plate technology in two tiny, internal lenses to produce two distinct focal points, so you see both the front sight AND the target perfectly clear, crisp, and in focus at the same time. You get a dramatically enhanced sight picture for more precise aiming and faster target acquisition that leads to superior accuracy and smaller groups. It gives iron sight target shooters, hunters, and military/law enforcement marksmen an amazing capability previously available only with a scope, red dot, or holographic sight.

    Invented by David Crandall, an engineer at Idaho National Laboratory, a competitive shooter and U.S. Palma Team member, the MicroSight is actually a small add-on device that adds essentially no weight (OK, a few grams) or bulk to your rifle. It screws between the sight body and the rear aperture on adjustable rear sights from Centra, Gehmann, RPA, Warner, PNW, Anschutz, and similar models that have a 9.5mm x 1 thread pitch and require a rear-to-front radius of approximately 33″ (84cm). For best results, use with 1.5mm or larger aperture setting.”



      • Slinging Lead,

        I know Mac uses an adjustable iris with magnification (Gehmann 530?) on his FWB 300 for mini sniping but as far as I’m aware he doesn’t use this microsight.

        Is there somewhere on the blog that has details of him or anyone else using a microsight?



    • Because we highpower competitors are (comparatively) well-off, and old, we have money and bad eyes. Many of us have therefore tried microsights, I included. They (sort of) work. You are told you will get, and you do sort of get, a simultaneously clearer image of target and front sight. Most of us, as a concomitant of age, normally see the target, and have the front post a smudge, so this is a plus, a sharp front post being critical to iron-sight accuracy. But they only work on the target if you have very good long distance vision. Otherwise, they just give you a sharp front post and the target is something between a circular blob, and gone. Many of us learned from the microsight that our long-distance vision was not as good as we thought. Matched against the best conventional rear-sight lens inserts, they are comparatively low on light transmissivity; I have heard 60%. My sight picture goes very gray on anything but clear, sunny days. Given the tiny concentric lenses (ie, my understanding of how they work is that you have a tiny circular lens for the front post, surrounded by a tiny thin ring of lens for the target, surrounded by a tiny thin ring of lens for the front post, seriatim) they are easily clogged by a raindrop or snowflake, and very difficult to clear out when it happens — much more difficult than a normal rear lens under the same conditions – and they are bad enough. If one of them gets obstructed, they are very slow to change out, though regular lenses are by no means quick. You’ll lose that stage if it happens, but you’d probably have lost it with a regular lens. They are a problem for astigmatics, as no correction is or can be built in. They require a threaded insert to hold them in, and the insert very often reveals that your AR15 rear sight hood is not (perhaps I should say, NOT) coaxial with the bore. Normally, of course, as you are looking through it, so long as it looks round or nearly round, a misaligned rear sight hood doesn’t affect accuracy. But with the microsight installed in it, an angled hood means the face of the lens is not normal to the line of sight, and in that case, it cannot work very well no matter how well-suited your base vision is to the device. The main seller was at Camp Perry last summer with a screw-in laser so he could bend the sight hoods back into linearity. I was somewhat surprised to learn my rear sight was several inches off over the short sight radius of an AR15, so watched as others came in, and they too were way out of alignment. The sight worked better after the realignment procedure, but most purchasers are unlikely to suspect they need it, or to be able to do it accurately for themselves.

      About half the people I know who have tried the microsights have put theirs on eBay. Most just didn’t have the native distance-vision that the lens wants, to give you the crisp target. I haven’t sold mine, but I was disappointed for all the reasons cited above, and am now trying out one of Leo Ahearn’s optically centered (and correctable) lenses, with pretty good results.

      • Simon Kenton,

        Thank you for this in depth reply.

        Although the application is similar I THINK we’re talking about two different products.

        When you mentioned use on an AR-15 and when you mentioned they are easily clogged by a raindrop or snowflake, I suspected you’re talking about the SR Microsight designed and manufactured by Stallings Machine Company. I think this unit is designed to replace the standard AR-15 hood that is normally found on most AR-15 rear sights. Your comment about so many AR-15 sights being so far out of alignment was an eye opener to me.

        The microsight I was referring to apparently uses a similar concept of technology but is actually a small piece that installs in a rear diopter which you then screw your adjustable iris into. This unit is actually “sandwiched” in between the diopter sight and iris. It was designed by David Crandall of Idaho National Laboratory and is being marketed as AOS (Apollo Optical Systems).

        Although it appears that the SR microsight for AR-15’s has been around for over a year the AOS unit has apparently just hit the market. I’m going to order one and try it.

        Thanks again for your comments.


        • Hi, Kevin,

          I just looked. The Stallings uses the same physics as the AOS sight, but the zone plate is built into a replacement AR-15 rear sight. They even use the same picture of sight and target as the AOS. Neither is a magic eye, IMHO. I’m not sure it’s worth $140.

          Stallings says it’s legal because the sight barrel is the same size as standard; strikes me that’s only true for service rifle.


          • PeteZ,

            “Legal” doesn’t concern me since I’m not using this in any formal competition. I’m more concerned about improving my accuracy primarily with airguns. I’ve only got two firearms with peeps that may benefit from this device.

            It may not be worth it. I’ve ordered one and will let you know.


        • Based on the person whose response slid in ahead of mine, they are using the zone plate to focus the front sight, while letting the target image come through “untouched” (in truth, I’d expect some out-of-focus blur for both, since any diffraction working on the front sight will produce fuzz for the target).

          The information seen already implies it is optimized for a particular sight radius. Unclear is if one is supposed to focus on the front sight (normal recommended sight picture) and the attachment causes most of the distant light to converge to the same focus; or if one is to focus on the target and it brings the front sight image into that “distance”

          Zone plates are subtly related to pin-holes; both tend to have wide depth of field, but at a cost of very low light transmission (which this attachment claims to compensate for by using “phased glass” rather than light/dark rings — and still recommends using larger apertures; I suspect a really small aperture brings the rings themselves into focus)

        • pete,

          I believe you’re correct. I was doing some quick research this morning and came across a link to a forum that stated that some official shooting events (NRA?) had approved the use of microsights in their matches. Maybe they’re not such a “game changer” afterall?


  30. I am from South Africa and we have very strict firearm laws, with 22 calibre air rifles being classified as firearms and requiring a firearm licence, which is very hard to come by, so we South Africans stick to 177 calibre to avoid this complication. We also do not have the variety of airguns to choose from like you have in the US, with Gamo and Hatsan being the most popular and affordable brands available here. You can of course get other brands, but they usually need to be imported and this is quite expensive because the guns are quite heavy making shipping very expensive. You can of course get cheap Chinese air rifles, but quality of these are very inconsistent and more often than not, very poor. Having said all this, I would like to know if my impression about PCP air rifles are correct: as the mass of the pellets increases, the velocity does not fall to the same degree as with springer airguns. This means that, unlike springers, where the energy remains fairly constant regardless of the weight of the pellet, with PCP guns the energy increases as the weight of the pellet increases (up to a point, I presume). If this is true, does it mean that I can use 16.1 grain Evanix pellets in my 177 calibre PCP Hatsan AT44-10 with much the same effect as similar weight pellets in 22 calibre PCP air gun?

    Another issue: The Hatsan AT44 was previously sold in the US as the Air Venturi Halestorm (that seems no longer to be available over there), but the Hammerli Pneuma that you reviewed looks exactly like my Hatsan AT44, including the synthetic thumbhole stock and the 11 mm/22 mm scope mount. I suspect that all these rifles are made in Turkey by the Hatsan-factory, rebranded and sold as more famous brands. BB, do you perhaps have more knowledge about what is going on here?

    Regards and greetings from South Africa.

    • Vasco,

      Hatsan makes the Hammerli and Halestorm guns, so they are what you suspect. I find these guns well-made and you lose nothing by shooting them.

      Yes, a heavier pellet is less affected in a PCP than in a springer, so the muzzle energy increases, where in a springer it decreases. Spring gun energy doesn’t remain constant. Just recently I saw a 2 foor-pound DROP in energy in my Whiscombe springer with a heavy pellet. Read the Accuracy versus velocity test to see what I mean.


      • I suspect there is a range of weights which maintain fairly constant energy transfer, and above that range to much energy is lost in pellet friction, etc.

        {Warning: since I’m now accessing from my home system, my spreadsheet is available for cut&paste <G> }

        These are not averages; since I was shooting in my apartment living room I only risked one shot per pellet type.

        Maker Style Wt (gr) Velocity (fps) Energy (ft-lbs)
        Gamo NRA 1000 Special .177
        RWS Hobby 6.9 926.7 13.16
        RWS Super-H-Point 7.4 926.1 14.09
        RWS Superdome 7.7 852.2 12.42
        RWS SuperPoint 7.7 894.2 13.67
        RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle 8.3 850.6 13.33
        Predator Polytip 9.2 723.4 10.69
        Benjamin Discovery (RN-HP) 10.5 709.5 11.74
        Eun Jin Domed 15.6 528.0 9.66

        (obviously the spacing has been lost)
        Between 6.9gr and 8.3gr (inclusive) this Gamo (version of the old Shadow 1000) is just over 13 ft-lbs. Over that range, and it doesn’t even make 12 ft-lbs, and the heavy pellet doesn’t make 10 ft-lbs.

        RWS Diana M54 .22 (single shot each)
        RWS Meisterkugeln 14.0 810.8 20.43
        RWS SuperPoint Extra 14.5 778.7 19.52
        RWS Super-H-Point 14.5 787.9 19.99
        Beeman Silver Sting 15.8 751.1 19.79
        Predator Poly-Tip 17.2 725.8 20.12
        Beeman Silver Arrow 17.6 704.3 19.38
        AirArms Field Plus 18.2 688.1 19.13
        JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.2 701.7 19.90
        H&N Crow Magnum 18.2 669.9 18.13
        H&N Baracuda Match 21.1 618.7 17.93
        Gamo TS-22 22.0 561.1 15.38
        Eun Jin Round Nose 28.5 465.9 13.74

        Similarly, the .22 caliber is just over 19 ft-lbs with pellets in the 14gr to 18.2gr range, losing 3 ft-lbs in the 21-22gr range, and whopping 6 ft-lbs with the 28.5gr pellet (I didn’t even bother with the HEAVY EunJin pellet).

        Benjamin Marauder .177 factory settings ~2450PSI
        Crosman Premier Wadcutter 8.0 952.4 16.11
        RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle 8.2 940.8 16.11
        Predator Poly-Tip 9.3 907.0 16.91
        Beeman Kodiak Copper 10.2 877.6 17.42
        Benjamin Marauder .177 factory settings Discovery 10.5 872.4 17.74
        H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 876.2 18.15
        Beeman Silver Arrow 11.6 831.7 17.77
        Eun Jin Pointed? 15.9 743.2 19.49

        In contrast, the Marauder spanned 16-18 ft-lbs as pellet weight increased from 8gr to 11.6gr, and jumped to near 20 ft-lbs with a heavy pellet (this may actually be listed as a16.1gr pellet, but I think I weighed the samples as the tin was illegible)

  31. Deer in the road are only part of the danger. Last week a lady was killed here because she hit a deer. The deer didn’t kill her. It was the semi behind her following too close.

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.