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Education / Training Look-alike airguns: Part 2

Look-alike airguns: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

In Part 1, we saw seven airguns that copy firearms. Let’s look at some others, plus I’ll give you an appraisal of how one of them functions as a firearm.

This is such a fascinating part of airguns, and the time has never been better for collecting airguns that look like firearms. But lookalikes have been with us a lot longer than many suppose.

The Egyptian Hakim 8mm battle rifle was an adaptation of the Swedish Ljungman 6.5mm rifle. It’s a gas-operated semiautomatic that has close-fitted parts (the Swedish heritage) and an adjustable gas port to adapt the rifle to different ammunition. It’s been called the “poor man’s Garand” and the “Egyptian Garand,” but its operational history tells us it was anything but. Where the Garand operated well in a dirty environment, the Hakim jammed quickly when sand was introduced into the mechanism. Not a gun for use in the desert!

In 1954, Egypt contracted with both Anschütz and Beretta to make a number of training rifles. Anchütz made .22-caliber air rifles, and Beretta made a 10-shot .22 LR semiauto. Navy Arms wound up buying most of the air rifles and importing them to the U.S. in the 1970s. They ranged from a few that had apparently seen little use to the majority that looked like they had been stored in a sewage ditch.

I acquired a Hakim air rifle through a newspaper ad. After discovering what it was, I went on a buying spree that netted me more than a dozen rifles over the next few years. I’ve cleaned and rebuilt them exactly as they came from Egypt, and I’ve also seen a couple that others have cleaned up and tuned. The least I’ve paid for one was $60 and the most was about $150, but the price has risen considerably since those days a decade ago. Today, a good shooting specimen should sell for about $250-300, while a nice one will command considerably more. But beware of the ones that have been reworked, because they’re out there. I see one on Gun Broker that has parts missing, and the starting price is about twice what it’s worth, in my opinion.

The Hakim pellet rifle was made by Anscütz in 1954.

The 8mm Hakim battle rifle is closely fitted and not suited to a dirty battlefield.

The Hakim action is based on the Falke 90 air rifle that I showed you last year. And the Falke 90 is based on the BSA Airsporter. The rifle is an underlever spring-piston action that’s loaded through a tap. And like the Falke, the Hakim is doing very well to make it into the mid-500s with medium-weight, .22-caliber pellets. They can be tuned to shoot faster, but in doing so you lose the calm demeanor the rifle was designed to have and get a bucking, snorting headache machine in return. It isn’t worth it, in my opinion.

Because it’s a taploader, the Hakim will do best with oversized pellets and with those that have thin skirts. I’ve always found RWS Superpoints to be the most accurate in my rifles.

As far as accuracy goes, I had no problem putting 5 shots into a dime at 10 meters. I never really shot the rifle at longer distances, but I think the accuracy would hold together out to 25 yards or so.

Ruger Mark II — Crosman Mark I
I don’t know very much about airguns, but I’ve been shooting and collecting them long enough that, to a newcomer, I can sometimes sound knowledgeable. Several times each year, I’m asked why no one has ever thought about copying the Ruger Mark I and II target pistols. Well, the fact is, they have! But not recently.

You have to go back to 1966 to see the first Crosman Mark I (.22 caliber) and Mark II (.177 and BB caliber) target pistols. They were single-shots and had the lines of the Ruger pistols down pat, as you can see in the photo. Both airguns were powered by CO2 and had remarkable triggers–but also high-quality, rifled barrels. With modern pellets, these guns can hold their own with a firearm Mark I or II out to 20 yards with no problem.

Ruger Mark II above the Crosman Mark I Target pistol. Both are wonderful target sidearms.

My own Mark I air pistol is a delight to shoot; and until I tested it against a Crosman 2240 a couple years ago for a Shotgun News article, I thought it was just about the most accurate pellet pistol I owned — other than an outright competition model. But the 2240 beat it fair and square, so I have to concede that.

Of course, many readers own the Ruger pistol and can tell you what a joy it is to shoot. For less than half what some .22 target pistols cost, the Ruger will keep up with all but the specialty Olympic models. In fact, I’ve gotten rid of Colt Woodsman and High Standard Victor pistols because my Mark II Ruger is everything I need.

Desert Eagle
Several years ago, I got the Magnum Research Desert Eagle .177 pellet pistol to test and ultimately kept it. I was impressed with the accuracy and the blowback action, though this air pistol does use a lot of gas when it shoots. But the thing that impressed me the most was the huge grip. I wondered for years what the actual firearm would be like.

Edith joined me in this curiosity, because she could see how large the grip is. It’s incredibly long front to back, so even though the magazine (of the firearm) is a single-stack design, the grip is still very large.

The Magnum Research Desert Eagle pellet pistol (top) is larger but lighter than the .357 Magnum Research Desert Eagle. The air pistol copies the current Mark XIX pistol, but my .357 is the earlier Mark VII, which accounts for the lack of accessory rails.

Then we happened to see not one but three Desert Eagles in a local pawn shop about six months ago. Edith got to hold the .357 (the other two were .44s), which was the only one I thought we might be interested in, and the salesman was surprised to see her one-hand the gun. Unfortunately, the price was too high and although we made an offer, they declined to accept.

Fast-forward to a couple weeks ago. We happened to stop by the same pawn shop and looked around, but saw nothing. When the salesman asked if we had found what we were looking for, I told him we were looking for a Desert Eagle but none were in the case. He asked us to wait a moment and brought out the very .357 that Edith had looked at previously. Someone had started buying it and didn’t finish paying for it, so it was for sale again.

This information gave us a tremendous bargaining position, because the gun had already earned the store some money. So I lowered my offer from several months earlier (they didn’t remember it) and stood firm. We got this gun!

Now, we have the firearm to compare to the airgun. This is the third firearm we’ve bought on the basis of seeing the airguns first. There was the Walther PPK/S BB pistol that turned into a .22 LR pistol and the Walther Lever Action rifle that became a Winchester 1894 .30-30.

Now that we had the .357 Magnum, I had the opportunity to dispel a rumor that’s very common — namely that a Desert Eagle pistol soaks up so much recoil because of its gas operation and its weight that shooting a .44 Magnum feels just like shooting a .45 ACP. Bull! Our .357 Magnum, which has considerably less recoil than a .44 Magnum, still has at least twice the recoil of a .45 ACP in a 1911 pistol! It’s true that it recoils less than any other .357 Magnum I’ve fired, but that’s not the point. The point is that the gun still kicks hard, and shooters need to know that going in. I did find it very pleasant to shoot about 30 rounds of full-power magnum ammo, which usually starts me flinching if I do the same in a revolver.

As for accuracy, that’ll have to wait for another day. The ammo I was shooting was not what is recommended for the firearm, and the best I could do was an 8-inch group at 50 yards. I know I can do much better than that when the gun does its part. We’ll have to return to this sometime in the future.

Cleaning firearms
I don’t have any place else to put this, so I’m adding it in to today’s post. If you dislike firearms talk, now is the time to stop reading.

For decades, I’ve stayed away from shooting genuine black powder because of the mess involved in cleanup afterwards. Just this past week, as I was reading Ned Robert’s The Muzzle-loading Cap Lock Rifle for the umpteenth time, I happened to pay attention to how he said to clean a rifle that’s been shot with black powder.

When you return home from shooting, boil water and remove the nipple of your rifle. If you have a patent breech, remove the barrel from the stock and stand it in a pail. Pour two quarts of boiling water down the muzzle while holding the barrel with a towel wrapped around it. It does get very hot! You will see particles of black soot coming out of the nipple hole.

Then, let the rifle stand until the barrel cools down to just warm. When it is cool enough to hold, run an oil-soaked swab down the bore several times. I used Ballistol on a wool mop, and it worked perfectly.

This entire process took about 10 minutes start to finish. The next day, I ran a dry patch down the bore and removed the excess Ballistol. No dirt came out! The rifle is sparkling clean. I even looked down the bore with a tactical flashlight, and all I see is clean rifling.

This process won’t work as well for a flintlock because of the small flash hole not draining water fast enough. But with a cap lock, this is the easiest way I’ve even seer to clean a rifle. My centerfire rifles take longer and are messier and more involved than this charcoal burner, which is a .32-caliber by Thompson Center! I’m going to stop shooting black powder substitutes and return to the genuine product, now that I know how to clean my gun so fast.

Marinate the barrel
The black powder process reminded me of another great cleaning tip I learned. If you don’t want to clean your gun right away, coat the bore liberally with Ballistol and let it sit and “marinate” for several days. Using this process, Mac and I have cleaned dozens of guns that hadn’t been cleaned in many years. Ballistol softens the residue and makes it come out with minimal effort when you finally get around to cleaning.

Get the rust out
Earlier this year, Mac acquired a Ruger Mini-30, which is a Mini-14 chambered for 7.62×39. The rifle appeared to be in excellent condition until you looked down the barrel. It was coated with red rust that even repeated soakings of Ballistol could not remove. What happened is that an owner unknowingly shot military surplus ammo in his rifle without appreciating that it is corrosive. It then rusts the bore within a couple of days.

So, I fired three rounds through the gun and then cleaned it. The bore came out sparkling — with no trace of pitting or frosting from the rust. When I finished cleaning the gun this time, you could not tell that it had ever been abused.

The reason I knew this would work is that I used to encounter a lot of GI 1911A1 guns back in the 1960s that had the same problem. Uncle Sam used some corrosive pistol primers in WWII, and that ammo was still available in quantity in the 1960s. The guns that shot it often had rusted bores. But shoot a couple rounds of FMJ through them, and they cleaned up just like it never happened.

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.

68 thoughts on “Look-alike airguns: Part 2”

      • Neat! I guess I’d still like to have one!

        Meanwhile, I honestly thing my Daisy 880 is accurate enough that with some Olympic sights, and a little trigger work, I could qualify for Nationals with the thing.

  1. A .357 Desert Eagle? I like the negotiating story more than the gun LOL!

    I really like the affirmation about cleaning black powder. Never been a black powder shooter but my curiosity has been aroused my the discussion on this blog. Sounds like Ned Roberts technique that he describes on page 110.

    Never thought about it in terms of marinating the barrel but it’s a great term. I’ve used kano kroil and plug one end of the barrel with rubber plugs that are whittled. I’ve let barrels sit for days. Shocking what comes out of some barrels when you drain then swab them.

    What a great read!


    • Kevin,

      Oh, there is much more to come. It tuns out that if you shoot black powder with a priming charge of smokeless powder, it burns clean all the way! So my Ballard might turn out to be a better shooter if I use a duplex load.

      I have stopped shooting the Ballard because the Lee bullet mold I own throws a bullet of 0.381″ diameter and the rifle has a groove diameter of just over 0.383″. So for Christmas, I’m getting a Hoch nose-pour mold that’s based on Dr. Hudson’s design, where the back two rings will be 0.384″ and the three forward rings will be 0.376″ — the diameter of the top of the lands.

      Since smokeless powder doesn’t obturate lead bullets, I have been getting blowby on every shot. That’s where some of the accuracy has gone astray. The new bullet should fix that, as well as being easier to load into the bore ahead of the round.. Smokeless powder will then work better, and who knows how well black powder will work?

      Once I have everything running again, I will take many photos and blog a day at the range with the Ballard again. 🙂


      • B.B.,

        Wonderful news that you intend to do at least one more article on the ballard. This is a fascinating journey to accuracy since there have been so many locked doors along this path. I’ve come to realize the importance of having the original bullet mold with the gun if you intend to shoot these American treasures accurately.

        I’m optimistic about your success since you’re now even considering shooting black powder.


  2. I shoot target with a Ruger Mk I and when I got ahold of a Crosman model through an auction I had to think long and hard: leave it in stock configuration or modify it to the likes of the “LD.” I enjoy the Ruger so much that I now have no intentions on mutating the Crosman. When I took it out to the range one evening, thinking I would become the butt of jokes, a number of guys who tried it became 8-year olds all over again! Oh the grins! Everyone who shot the Crosman enjoyed it and raved about the stock trigger. In our home it has become the defacto training tool as well as a fun basement competition shooter for when friends and family come to visit.

  3. I’ve seen that 8mm lookalike before and like it.

    Glad you found a good cleaning method for BP. Whatever works and keeps working! Sounds like you got a new toy, also :). Most BP isn’t bad to clean up — Pyrodex is a lot worse. The mess varies with how much you shoot and how big a charge also: .32 caliber probably is pretty minimal. I would like a .32, but my fingers are too numb to handle the ammunition. If you have a hard time finding BP, triple seven comes in 3Fg also, but is harder to find than the 2Fg; shoots well in a caplock. For real BP, you should try some Swiss 3Fg — that is about as good as it gets, and might be a good option for a .32, since it uses such a small charge and the consistency is very important. One last thing, when you mention removing the barrel if you have a “patent breech”, do you really mean that or do you mean a “hooked breech” where the breech plug has a hook that goes into a block on the tang and comes out without removing the tang screw? Its nitpicking, but you can have a patent breech without its being hooked.

    • BG Farmer ; I also have .32 and .36 flintlocks . In the .32 , 20 grs of black gives me more than enough zap for tree squirrels at woods ranges. Never had a squirrel hit anywhere using the ML in .32 and RB, run off like some can when hit with a .22 RF that misses bone. I like the .36 for game like woodchucks and raccoons, too big in my opinion/ experience for squirrels.

      • I plugged an awful lot of fox squirrel with a .36. Dead on the spot. REAL dead. A shot to the ribs behind the shoulder did them in real good. No meat wasted.
        Never wanted to hit any good meat. Particularly destructive at close range, but at 25 yds or so it slowed down enough to just poke a hole through them.


      • Robert,
        That sounds like an ideal pair of squirrel rigs — I really like my flintlock more than I thought I would, especially in the woods. I can’t always grip the .32 and .36 caliber balls, but I will have to get or make one for my son someday, so that he can load it and I can shoot with him! Do you use buckshot in both or cast your own? I wish I could take advantage of the buckshot option, esp. with the .36.

        • BG: I cast my own with Lee moulds out of used airgun pellets, or buy the Hornady brand RB .I found that buckshot is less uniform, and I have to use thinner patch. If you would like something bigger than a .36 cal , you could go to a .40. I have a Dixie Cub cap lock built from a kit that is a good compromise and would do for all small game and varmits, except deer. One of my favorite fun muzzle loaders to shoot. IMO, muzzle loading has become too fixated on the extra deer season aspects of the sport, small bores get little coverage.

          • Robert,
            I already decided .40 is the best/smallest feasible choice (for me), but I appreciate your verification. I feared the buckshot was too good a deal to be true, and the .40 is a little easier to handle. First task is to build a target rifle, since I shoot 2 matches/month, and the .50’s (with slow twists) tend to eat a pound of powder for breakfast to get good results:). I’m going to build a halfstock with a homemade mule-ear lock (actually those are more from your neck of the woods, but I like them for some reason) that will interchange with a standard flintlock by simply changing a nipple for a vent liner and switching locks. That way I can either use flint or go percussion when BP is scarce or I need an edge.

    • A “patent breech” is a section of the bore that is smaller than the rest of the bore. It is right at the back of the breech where the flash channel is. It allows powder to be worked in behind the ball or bullet if it is loaded without powder. Some say it also improves ignition of the main charge.
      This section of the bore also needs to be cleaned but your regular patch jag won’t get in there. I use a .22 rod with a slotted tip which seems to work well.


    • BG_Farmer,

      My patent breech has the hook. But I’m also negotiating on a vintage cased N. Lewis cape gun from about 1860 that has the tapered pin type of patent breech. I do know that the inside of the breech is what they are referring to, but that name goes with the quick-dismountable breech so much that I used it here. And it really is a patent breech.

      I also really appreciate the snail TC provides around the nipple. My beautiful flintlock that I once owned had already started eroding the wood around the lock from fewer than 100 shots, but with this snail it looks like I will be able to shoot as much as I want.


      • Like I said, it was nitpicking :)! Sounds like you’ve got one you like and will shoot a lot, which is the important thing. How such a clumsily loading, finicky, antiquated rifle design can be so much fun is beyond me, but I hardly ever touch my rimfires much less centerfires anymore. I think it is the challenge and the slower pace, just like springers.

        PS. — As you alluded to above, keep oil and moisture out of that powder chamber — it can ruin a day of shooting. I just run a pipe cleaner through the cleanout screw on the drum (or snail, assuming it has a cleanout) after wiping the oil out of the bore before shooting, and never had a problem since I started doing that, although it has been months at this point since I shot my cap-gun and I fear I will have a learning curve when I go back.

    • Hoppy,

      With a handle like yours, I should think so! I will buy one, as well.

      I’ve talked to several airgun makers who tell me the single-action grip is too short to accommodate a 12-gram cartridge. When I then tell them about the Colt 1860 Army having a much longer grip frame, they look at me with a blank stare. That’s why it is so important for a gun maker to know about guns!


  4. BB: That .32 TC Cherokee is a tack driver, you have the .45 barrel for it? Wish Crosman would look at producing a RB shooter. A commercially available .32 or .25 cal pumper built like a larger 392 for shooting JUST the round ball ( like.310 Hornady’s), would be great for hunting squirrels and fun for plinking. It should have a magazine like the old .22 RB shooting Benji’s. Shooters could cast the balls themselves and that would also make it great for a self contained survival /subsistence type gun.

    • Robert,

      Yes, the Cherokee is a tack-driver. Now that I know how easy it is to clean I plan to shoot it a lot more. I don’t have any other barrels for it, but I do own a .50 cal. TC Hawken that is also nice. I was just looking for something that didn’t kick. I had no idea the little rifle could be that accurate.

      Your idea about a round ball shooter is noted. If I have the opportunity I will raise it with someone.


      • BB: Have you thought about lapping out that Lee mould a bit ? Maybe it wouldn’t work anyway, but it might be worth a try. If you could get someone at Crosman to listen that would be great. Awhile back I read where someone on the yellow built such a gun from a benji pumper. The barrel soldering would be an issue in that model, but why not a re-vamped 1400 with a seperate breech and barrel? A round ball at 600-700 fps is a killer on small game . I use a buckshot load in an original Austrailan BSA Martini Cadet rifle that had the chamber reamed (un-fortunately ,since .310 cadet brass is available now) to .32-20, that consists of a (.313 dia average) buckshot pressed into the mouth of a chamfered .32-20 case and filled 3.0 grs of Red Dot. Shoots to the point of aim at 75 yards with the original open sights on the gun. Safe to shoot up into trees in our crowded northeastern rural areas.

  5. Everyone,

    Wow! We’ve got quite a discussion going for a Monday morning! I was concerned that my talk about cleaning firearms would put off some people, and maybe it has, but this is a pretty good start on discussions for a Monday.

    I want to do more things like this, but before I do I’d like to hear from more readers. I especially want to hear from those who do not like this sort of content.

    I have found that my appreciation and understanding of airguns has exploded in the past two years — not from shooting more airguns, but from reading and now trying some things that were common 150 years ago. Hence the references to black powder this morning.

    For example, the spiral track of pellets that we have all seen in the videos recently was discussed by Dr. Mann in The Bullet’s Flight.

    Do you know that one of the pressing issues of the 19th century was what rate of twist delivered the best accuracy and whether a gain twist was better than one that never varied. Then there was the discussion of the tapered bore and choke-bored barrel and its affect on accuracy! Talk about topical!

    This is why I keep bringing these things into the blog.

    But if it’s a put-off, I want you to tell me.


    • BB,

      NOT a put off! Great topic this morning, thanks. Interesting that cleaning was brought up today, as I just did clean my handguns last night. Though not black powder, they were VERY dirty from not cleaning for a while. My 1911 had GSR almost an inch back of the muzzle! Now they’re all clean and happy!

      A blog that stays monotopical gets boring. And I find that reading things that I wouldn’t read otherwise broadens the education. Even when I skip read over a topic that’s not particular interesting to me, like the black powder gun stuff, I still clean from the info. And the Whole Ballard subject is interesting as you have shared from the beginning of how you acquired it, etc… Keep it coming!


    • BB,
      I like the other stuff, keep it coming. As a matter of fact could you please hurry on the tapered bore subject. I ‘m having trouble deciding between a two grove tru flight or a custom three grove tapered bore.

      • Caveman,

        Why don’t I give you the lowdown right now? All the finest barrel makers, Including Pope, Schalk, Schoyen, Brokway, and others as good, either tapered or choked the bore. Pope did both! Only some makers didn’t do it, and the proof is in how the barrels were made.

        I’ll do a report on it this week, with some suggestions on how this might possibly help us airgunners.


        • BB,
          I’m looking forward to that. The shop I’m working with just started making small bore target rigs. They will use anybodies blank but they do the taper, hone, and lap in house (they refuse to put a barrel on one of their guns that they didn’t finish themselves). BTW Thanks

    • B.B.,
      This blog is the best thing going on in the internet, period. Sure, there are cases where the topic is of little or no interest to some, including myself, but pragmatically it still just a matter of common sense that you can’t please everyone all of the time. Whether interested in the particular top, or not, people will still chime in with an off-topic comment that has a place here. That off-topic comment might even inspire a new blog.

    • BB,
      You just keep on discussing whatever pops into your head. The majority of the time I learn something new and useful and the minority of the time I learn how to read every fourth line.

    • BB

      Me complaining about you going off topic would be about as hypocritical as the president telling me to spend my money more wisely.

      “I don’t know very much about airguns, but I’ve been shooting and collecting them long enough that, to a newcomer, I can sometimes sound knowledgeable.”—-actual quote, BB Pelletier 2011

      Really? Am I supposed to accept this? Hogwash! You’re infernal humility is infuriating as it is endearing. But more infuriating.

      Edith, can you just edit it out when he does that? I can’t take it anymore.

        • This reminds me of a Watergate era American Express commercial where Sam Ervin, the retired Speaker of the House says, “I’m jus a little ole country lawyer” and wiggles those bushy, white eyebrows. Uh huh. And BB barely has enough education to know you pull the trigger while making sure the barrel of the gun is pointed away from ones’ self. 🙂

          Fred PRoNJ

    • How could someone be put off by learning new things?
      I say bring it, I don’t own any black powder guns but I do look at them each time I enter a sporting goods store while traveling in the US (and I’m a bit surprised everytime by the fact that they often are unlocked in the store isles where anyone can pick them up, they lock up airsoft and airsoft ammo here).

      I wouldn’t read a daily blog about black powder guns but a firearm article once in a while is always good to me, I wouldn’t read a blog strickly about vintage airguns, about BB guns or Olympic guns, what’s keeping this blog at the top (for me at least) is the diversity, there’s something for everyone and we keep (again it’s MY case anyway) learning.

      And Tom “I don’t know very much about airguns” puhlease… if you don’t know much about airguns, I don’t like bacon!


  6. BB,

    I find I shoot many more pellets than bullets in my senior age but still appreciate learning these neat tricks. I especially liked the method you used for cleaning rusted barrels! Now I find myself lusting from an M1 to replace my Ruger Mini 14 that I had years ago but let go as that first rifle was considered “an assault weapon” here in the People’s RepubliK of NJ.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • Fred PRoNJ, consider this an opportunity to upgrade to an M1. (The Ruger Mini-14 was just an imitation after all.) I just dry-fired my M1 this weekend. A fabulous weapon merely to hold, and there’s nothing like that coughing roar when it fires.


    • casey,

      Good point! I hadn’t thought to put any subguns on the lookalike list because people have so much difficulty owning the real thing. A legal H&K MP5 costs a minimum of about $16,000 today, and the price keeps going up all the time. Just a couple years ago you could buy one for “only” $8,000! So at that rate, it makes it hard to own both the firearm and the airgun.

      I suppose there are two ways of looking at that. One being that if you can’t own the firearm at least there’s always the airgun. Is that your thinking?


      • The second reason is probably why I have so many, owning handguns is quite complicated north of the border, you have to go take the course which is once in a blue in your “region” and be a member at a shooting range which are few and far between around and you can’t bring your pistol to shoot any other place than the range. So let’s say you have a friend who lives on a farm far away from other human being you can’t take the pistol with you to shoot at his place and thanks to our great gun registry if you get pulled over by a cop he knows you have registered handguns and can ask you if you have them with you, if you do you’re in trouble, if you lie and he feels like searching your car you’re BIGGER trouble.

        So BB guns it is!


  7. I need to start going to gun shows, (and need to start having money) being in the SF Bay Area or, well, not that far outside it anyway, there may be a fair amount of air gun stuff showing up.

  8. OT.
    Had a ball with the boys (8 & 10) yesterday.
    After watching a bunch of Top Shot episodes on Saturday the boys decided they wanted to have an elimination shootout downstairs.
    I had some targets on hand….. sighting in targets with 4 gridded bulls on each. I assigned point values to the grids (the closer the squares the higher the points).
    At 10 yards the boys fired 6 shots each at their assigned bulls. On two of the bulls they shot our Crosman Shiloh and the other two their Red Ryders.
    Then we totaled the points and eliminated a shooter. The oldest won (Which I knew he would), but both were happy. The winner got 2 comic books, the 2nd place (note…not loser…but 2nd place) got 1 comic book and they got pizza for dinner.
    A great Sunday afternoon.

  9. Anyone following my (boring) DIY-stuff blog knows I got all sidetracked building stuff yesterday, and I really meant to get more done on my shooting pellets out of a single-six trials done on the weekend. Today it’s time to get some work done on that.

    I’ve decided, though, rather than string it out to a bunch of parts, to *just keep going back and adding to that one post*. So, instead of having to hunt down a lot of parts, people can just find that one post and it’ll all be there. I actually expect my little write-up to gain a certain notoriety online, since everyone’s first impression is, “How idiotic!” and “What kind of idiot would do that to a nice gun??” then “Wait a minute, does it work? Hmm… I could practice my S.A.S.S. quick-draw on cat food cans in the basement…” and my post will teach them, it’s all in the patch. So, I’ll put all the dope in that one post.

  10. Most fascinating to me is that a badly rusted bore can be cleaned up with no ill effects. I thought that rust was the metal itself in a corroded (oxidized) state so that you were bound to get pitting or damage in the final cleaned product.

    Jan, thanks for the graph. So what is the pink line marked Dev? It has a minimum group size at over 1000 fps. Is that right? That would seem to challenge our thinking about transonic velocities.

    Slinging Lead, I neglected to answer your question about my self-defense weapon. Answer: don’t have one yet, not a gun anyway. This issue is running up against my monomaniacal safety procedures. The ammo for my firearms is two rooms away from the firearms themselves and never crosses the threshold except when I’m packing for the range. Otherwise, I’m not ready to take on the responsibility of having a loaded gun around. I consider Edith a real daredevil to walk around with a round in the chamber of her Glock. There is also the issue of magazine springs wearing out. And I live in an extremely safe neighborhood. The likelihood of some accident is far greater than an encounter where I would need a firearm. But I am far from helpless in my castle. An intruder would have to get past my knife collection, fighting sticks, plastic sjambok, and the material I’ve gleaned from the Systema dvd about fighting in confined spaces as well every kind of lock, kick, choke, flesh grab, strike and anything else I could think of. I’m not worried about defense that much. But it has occurred to me to take my 1911 out of my gun room and practice Close Quarters Battle (QCB) with a pistol that I’ve read about. These include slicing the pie while going around corners; clearing rooms systematically; holding the gun low so that if your hand is grabbed, you can drop the body and rotate the gun upwards into the target; and various Systema gun fighting moves I’ve picked up. And then there is a lot of stuff about shooting from various positions with one hand or the other…

    On the subject of concealed carry, here is the update on the state department special agent on trial for shooting a guy in Hawaii. The incomplete details that have emerged thus far are that the agent and the guy got into some kind of altercation in McDonald’s at 3am. The agent was heard to say, “Do you want to get shot.” I think that is a real no-no for concealed carry and does not make him look good at all. For whatever reason, the agent launched a karate kick which flattened the guy, but he bounded up and the two began struggling. At some point, the agent fired three shots, one of which hit the guy in the chest, killing him. The agent also pulled a knife although he says it was to cut the guy’s shirt off and give him CPR. We’ll probably never know what really happened. But the interesting question arising out of this for me is whether if someone is beating you up, whether you have the right to draw and kill him? On the one hand, you shouldn’t have to tolerate someone laying a hand on you. On the other hand, that isn’t lethal force either, so does it give you the right to use lethal force. With what the agent is facing now before a local jury, I’m guessing that he wishes he had taken a beating…

    Victor, so you’ve made the decision to go with the Ruger LC9 for your wife’s carry gun. I love a good justification for a gun, so what made you choose this one? What stands out for me is that this is not one of the tried and true designs but something new, so there is a certain gamble there…

    On the subject of shooting joy, I got a new battery for my red dot scope that I use to practice dry firing with my Savage 10FP. I had been using a dying batter and didn’t realize the difference it made. Getting slinged up with that gun with a bright dot and dry-firing at an ink spot a couple feet away… Can it get any better than this? Maybe if I had a real range and ammo, but otherwise not.

    I also feel bound to announce that 20 more rounds of Matt61 ammunition has entered the world. With the chilly temperatures in northern California, I sort of pretend that I’m a Russian factory girl working in an unheated factory in the Urals during WWII. I’ve also developed a radical new technique for controlling overall length. I seat the bullets a little long. Then I sort the cartridges into batches based on length. Starting with the shortest, I then use the fine adjustment with the bullet seating die to reduce the length until it is just exactly right. My adjustments are so utterly teeny tiny that they are barely perceptible to the naked eye. (I might even start sorting pellets after this.) Now true perfection is mine! The OAL is within two or three thousandths of an inch. In addition, my powder is correct to 1/20th of a grain. The primers are seated perfectly. What can get better? Perhaps a straight line bullet seater? Now watch my brass go ejecting in all different directions….

    Now for a question that bloggers are ideally suited to help me with. After some of experimentation in seating bullets, I’ve developed burrs on my Sierra Match King bullets. It seems that the edge of the case mouth has skinned up the jacket and rolled it up. (Curiously enough, it has done so in straight lines parallel to the axis, so apparently the bullet is not seating evenly around the whole case mouth as I had supposed but onto regularly space contact points.) Anyway, I deburred the bullets down with a very fine file, but now there are alloy shavings in the grooves of the file. So the question is how to clean a file like this? My best guess is using a bore brush to brush it away, but I thought I’d ask.


    • Matt,

      Every concealed carry trainer knows about the springs. You replace them every other presidential election year. They don’t wear out, but to feel more secure you still replace them. Same for the recoil spring and buffer, if you have one.


    • Matt61,
      My wife bought the LCR, which is a 38+P caliber. She did all the research and ultimately selected the LCR from a short list of pistols that were recommended for concealed carry. She bought some magazines with reviews, and read online reviews. My personal concern is the caliber – it seems pretty big. When compared with a 9mm, it’s huge! Considering that it’s also a very light gun, I’m expecting that this pistol is going to have quite a kick. We haven’t shot it yet – lots of unexpected interruptions this past weekend. I might take it out to the range tomorrow.

      • Victor,

        Snubnosed revolvers in .38 Special are noted for their stinging recoil. And in +P this lightweight is going to be very unpleasant.

        Best thing to do is what I did with Edith when we first started out. I bought her a Ruger snubbie .357 Magnum, but I always made her shoot 125-grain bullets that I handloaded with light powder charges. She was able to tolerate that and used that revolver for ten years — shooting it once or twice each year for familiarization.

        It was only after she tried the 1911 and found that the recoil is less than a revolver’s that she switched calibers.

        So buy .38 Special rounds with 125-grain bullets, if you can find them. And save the defensive ammo for protection.

        And if you own a .22 or can rent one at the range, definitely start off shooting that. Prepare your wife for the greater noise and recoil she will encounter with her .38 by shooting her gun first and letting her watch.


        • B.B.,
          That’s all good advice! She is aware of the expected sting. As it turns out, she asked that I shoot it first as well. With regards to the ammo, she already bought 300 rounds of 125 grain 38+P ammo. She has lots of experience shooting my .22 cal pistor (Ruger Mk II). According to her research, the LCR is more accurate than comparable guns, and doesn’t have the “seating” problem that the others do. All-in-all, the LCR was best overall to her.

    • Matt,

      What powder are you using to get within 1/20th gr? This is the only component I lack for my rifle loads (well, more accurately, it’s the funds that is lacking!). I was given an article from my uncle in TX on doing what you described to get consistent cartridge lengths. Titled “The handmade recipe for accuracy”, it was in American Hunter, Oct/2011 and was written by Bryce M.Towsley. He also discusses the benefit and method to reload fire-formed brass using full length dies. Good for bolt action ammo for sure.


  11. Well, I am going to avoid buying the look a-likes. I can’t afford the firearms to go along with them. I do like the excuse though. Buy the new Crosman pumper and then you have to buy an AR. It does limit your selection of firearms though. Now if you switched to Airsoft, you would have an excuse to buy all kinds of interesting firearms.

    I need to order some Ballistal and Non Embedding JM bore paste next time I order pellets from Pyramid. You have gotten me more than curious about both products.

    Have a good day,

    David Enoch

  12. B.B. My Father recently purchased a Mosin Nagant rifle. Trying to be a good son, I have purchased him a case of surplus ammo (corrosive) for Christmas. It is my understanding the best way to clean after shooting corrosive ammo is to run a patch soaked in hot soapy water down the barrel, rinse, dry, and clean as usual (we use Hoppes#9). For the bolt rinse and lube. Couple question: I know you like Ballistol, does it help with corrosive salt? Also, since you no doubt know more about this stuff than me, I’m on the right track with my cleaning procedure? Bub

    • Bub,

      The problem with corrosive primers is they are invasive. One cleaning is usually not enough. Soapy water is the right way to clean the gun, but you need to look at the barrel again the next day and a couple days after that.

      Ballistol will get rid of rust and it does neutralize rust that’s active, but I don’t know where it is with corrosive salts. Probably best to stick to the soapy water and end with Ballistol.


  13. Thanks for the “marinating” tip, BB! When I used to shoot black powder back in the 80’s, I learned that hot water, but with a little Palmolive in it, from a gunsmith that made fine flint locks. Works great and the heat helps evaporate the moisture out.


    • /Dave,

      I learned the same thing. Only in my case, it was Dawn. And Windex.

      The point I am making is that you don’t have to add anything, as long as you clean right away and use boiling water. The heat of the water will evaporate any remaining water in the bore, though when you let the barrel cool it’s best to stand it on its muzzle, just in case.


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