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Education / Training Great expectations

Great expectations

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s blog is targeted toward our younger readers — I think (and hope!). Edith has been reading hundreds of Pyramyd AIR customer gun reviews for the past week, trying to get caught up with a huge backlog. She has encountered several dozen complaints that should never have been lodged in the first place. They’re complaining about a product being exactly what it’s advertised to be, instead of what the buyer really wanted!

Think about that, because it’s also something that I encounter quite often in comments from new blog readers. A guy orders something and is then put off when it arrives, because it is exactly as advertised instead of being the fantasy he concocted while shopping. I’m using the male pronoun purposely because this is a trait I see only in young men.

It may not sound like anything worthy of discussion on this blog, but I believe this is at the root of a lot of potential new airgunners being put off airgunning forever. If that’s true, it matters a lot, because it will keep this hobby from growing!

First example
To keep from embarrassing anyone, the following customer complaint is fictitious, but it is no more bizarre than many of the real ones I have read.

This Crosman 2100B is a piece of junk! I wish it was a breakbarrel and instead of 650 f.p.s. would shoot 1,200 f.p.s. with .25 caliber hunting pellets. The only thing I like about it is the price. Keep that.

To me, this review was obviously written by a very young man, someone probably under the age of 18, and this is his first experience with buying something for himself. The complaint is a thinly disguised plea for life to conform to his imagination, rather than the harsh reality that it is. I think this is what happens when too many video games have instilled the false belief that things always turn out for the best. After all, didn’t the magic scorpion turn into the Jewel of Osiris when he poured the Potion of Hope on it?

If he really wanted what he said, why didn’t he buy an AirForce Condor in .25 caliber? It might not have achieved quite 1,200 f.p.s. with .25-caliber hunting pellets, but it would have come closer than any other pellet rifle on today’s market. Of course, it also wouldn’t have been a breakbarrel, but do you know what that means? The young man telling himself a second lie. This one is that spring-piston guns can achieve similar velocities as precharged guns, because he can’t stand thinking about the extra expense and added effort that goes into owning and using PCPs.

He told himself all these falsehoods for one reason. Money. He hasn’t got any. The Crosman 2100 was all he could afford, but the dream rifle that doesn’t exist anywhere is what he really wants — or thinks he does.

Without analyzing the young man’s desires, let’s move on. There are plenty more where this came from.

Second example
I get this next one a lot. It starts out as a question from a new reader and it more or less goes like this.

I am new to airgunning and am considering buying my first air rifle. Can you please evaluate the following guns for me and give your reasons for what you say about each one?

Remington Vantage air rifle
Gamo Varmint Hunter
Hatsan 125TH air rifle combo
Walther Talon Magnum

When I see a list like this, I immediately know what’s happening. You probably do, too. This young man wants “The mostest, powerfulest air rifle” he can afford. Notice that he didn’t put one RWS Diana rifle on his list, even though there are some like the RWS Diana 350 Magnum that are in the same power class. Every rifle on his list comes with a scope, which tells me he also thinks he needs a scope to hit what he shoots.

Has he ever read about the artillery hold — or even thought about it? I doubt it.

Does he read the description that says each of these rifles is hard to cock? No! And what’s more, that information wouldn’t mean anything if he did read it, because he has never held a powerful airgun in his hands.

For that matter, has he read and understood what each of these powerful air rifles weighs? Once again, the answer is “no.”

When we get a comment like this on the blog, all the veteran readers take turns trying to persuade the new airgunner to reconsider his choices. It’s extremely frustrating, because what normally happens is that he posts a second list a few days later. One or two of the original guns will be on the new list, and he will have added others — hoping that we will now see his point of view.

We continue to try to persuade him to rethink his priorities, but he’s in a group of young men that is much larger than just airguns. In the world of firearms, these same new shooters are buying S&W .500 Magnum revolvers and .338 Lapua Magnun rifles, or .44 Magnum revolvers and 7mm Remington Magnum rifles, if they have less to spend. They end up selling their new guns after fewer than 50 shots, convinced that shooting is a harsh and painful pursuit.

I don’t see any way to reach people with this kind of mindset, short of mentoring them one at a time. They don’t read, as a rule. Or if they do, they only read things that support their personal viewpoints. Many of these are the guys who are so vocal on the forums but have zero experience to back up what they say. If you watch the forums over a long period, you’ll notice that they come, are active and very vocal for a brief period, and then disappear forever.

If a young person shows up at my rifle range and wants to learn about shooting, he’ll be overwhelmed by all the voluntary assistance and mentoring he receives. It has actually happened a few times. But getting him to come is the hard part.

Third example
I once had to finish a gutshot deer for a drunken neighborhood man who had wounded it with a single barrel shotgun (in our suburban neighborhood where hunting was not permitted!). He shot it with only two rounds in his pocket and hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to finish the job. After the animal was dead I told the young man that it was time to clean the deer, so he whipped out a bowie knife and made for the throat.

“Whoa!” I shouted at him. “What are you trying to do?”

“I’m going to slit its throat to bleed it out,” was the reply.

I then instructed him in the correct method of cleaning a deer, by opening its gut and dumping all the intestines, organs and pooled blood out on the ground. Then I watched him squirm when I made him reach up and cut the deer’s diaphragm, so he could reach up even farther and cut the esophagus and windpipe, releasing the remainder of the internal organs from the carcass. You would have thought you were watching a teenage girl in biology class being asked to dissect a frog!

I could have done all this for him, of course, but he had just ended this deer’s life and I wanted the full impact of what he had done to sink in. Now, let me show you what this looks like among new airgunners who are making choices of what airguns to buy.

They buy an air rifle without sights, then complain bitterly that it came that way — without sights. Now they have to pay even more money for a scope!

Hello? Did you read the description that clearly said the gun has no sights?

Of course not. They were too busy daydreaming about making fantastic shots like the ones they see on the internet.

So, they get their new scopes and struggle through mounting them. Then they shoot the new gun for the first time and are bitterly disappointed because it doesn’t print the tight little groups they’re so used to seeing elsewhere.

Well, of course it doesn’t! All the while, they’ve been mixing the groups shot by guns like the Air Arms TX200 and the Air Venturi Bronco with the power of the mega-magnums, whose velocities have mesmerized them. They couldn’t find as many groups posted from the powerful guns, so they just assumed they were the same as the ones they did find.

Someone recently commented that I always tout the Bronco because of the royalties I must get from the sales. Edith set him straight right away. There are no royalties in airguns! This is not rock music, my friends. This is a little niche hobby that doesn’t gross as much as quilting or the Sno-Cone industry! I “tout” the Bronco for just one reason: It’s accurate.

At the end of the day, if someone buys a Bronco I know it’s going to be accurate for them — no matter what level of shooting experience they have. That’s so much better than listening to a bunch of whining and crying because the gun of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare in their hands.

The school of hard knocks
The bane of youth is that there is no body of experience to temper their desires. I went through it and so did most of you. We made a lot of mistakes that became the price of our wisdom, such as it is. It seems there’s no shortcut through this kind of learning, either.

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.

145 thoughts on “Great expectations”

  1. This article reminds me of the type of questions you hear in gun shops. I would say airgun shops but most people who go to airgun shops are better informed than the average person who visits a gun shop. I say this not to belittle gun shop patrons, I am simply pointing out the facts. Most people who go to a specialized airgun shops know a little more about their hobby than the newbie at a gun shop, and the airgun shop usually is run by someone who is an expert in the field.

    I have heard so many times someone ask for a gun that will kill someone quick. Usually the inexperienced sales person will tell them to get a 45 instead of 9mm. They should be telling the newbie that you need to look for a caliber that has stopping power not killing power and that with modern expanding ammunition caliber is just not as important as it was even 20 years ago and that it is better to hit your target with a 9mm than to miss with a 45. He should also tell them that 9mm ammo can cost half of what 45 costs and that practice is what makes you a good shooter and that you are better off with more practice than with a hand cannon that you can’t hit anything with. I have heard salesmen say that they would not trust a 9mm with their lives. Well, I would not trust them with my life. I think that the NRA should put together a course just for salesmen, both airgun and firearms that would make them more informed so that they could give out better information to new sporting members.

    • steve,
      You make some good points. I’ve run into people wanting to buy that powerful handgun, never considering whether or not they’d actually hit anything. Also, my son has recently bought a few handguns, but really did his homework. His purchase of a Glock 19 was a very good one, including the costs of 9mm versus .45. I was surprised that a handgun that small could be accurate enough to hit a small upper torso at 50 yards, and it handles very well.

  2. B.B.

    I should wait until I wake up enough, but just HAVE to say something….

    Today’s topic really got my interest, and for a reason….
    Some times I will see a particular gun mentioned that I know nothing about, so I go to P.A. and look at what it is. Sometimes I read the reviews too.
    I don’t put much stock in the reviews in general for a lot of reasons, but today’s topic reminds me of what I have seen a bit too often…..low ratings because a gun is EXACTLY what is advertised. Sometimes A LOT of complaint because it is EXACTLY what is advertised. And the reviewer ADMITS knowing that it is EXACTLY what is advertised.
    So I wonder, why complain because you got exactly what you KNEW you were going to get? It was no surprise. Why did you write a review that makes you look like a ( expletives left out to keep it rated G)?

    There is a difference between complaining when you get exactly what you ordered ( and KNEW what you were ordering) and getting something that is defective.


    • TT,

      I usually read the comments when reviewing a gun, but Edith does hundreds of them each week, so she sees everything. When she read me some of the ones I mention today, I couldn’t believe it! I had to say something.

      Of course only the readers will ever see it, and they are the ones who already know the right things to do.


      • B.B., first I’ll take note of Edith’s and your dedication to this enterprise. I think your both nuts, but I love you for it.

        Although you are undoubtedly correct that the ones who need read your blog the most are also the ones who likely are not reading it. Still, you have written about the futility of some responses we can make when interacting with the illusioned ones, and likely more productive ways.

        When I first started reading your thoughts, my own first thoughts is that it is often easier to deal with the technical details than with customers. Any business that has no monopoly must take care with both aspects.


    • TT

      Either you are reading my mind or I am reading reading yours, because I thought the EXACT same thing. Spooky.

      These are usually the same people who can’t type a coherent sentence much less a grammatically correct one. Some of them can be saved, many of them are hopeless.

      If these people spent as much time researching their purchase as they did writing a negative review, then they might become enthusiastic airgunners. Unfortunately, these folks lack the skills of critical thinking, so stumbling into an enjoyable and accurate airgun are left up to chance.

      I don’t want to offend any new or curious airgunners. If you are even reading this, you are way above the curve.

      • Since getting woke up (a pot of coffee) , I had thoughts of writing a review here and doing it three ways….

        The typical review done by someone who is deluded….
        An honest good review done the same way that a politician or member of the news media would do it, selectively using only the facts that they want to present….
        And a REALLY honest review without pulling any punches….But Edith would have to delete this one due to language content.


      • SL,

        Alas, they’re not all from illiterate people. Many times, the grammar/punctuation is very good and pretty flawless. I disagree that they’re from children. These are from adults. I know this because most of them have written other reviews. The vast and overwhelming majority have written about other guns they’ve bought for their children or grandchildren.


  3. Once again you hit the nail on the head, save this post someplace so it can be shown to newbies. I dearly love selling the right airgun to the new guy and watching their eyes light up when they shoot it. Many times it’s not the biggest and baddest one that they wanted to start with.

      • Maybe a print out of this article posted at the sporting goods department at Wal Mart? Thousands of potential new airgunners could be salvaged. Danged security cameras.

    • That is so true, mikeiniowa. I still don’t have that one that B.B. offered a picture of in one show report. It’s the one that shoots a 7 gram pellet. I have had to settle for less but I am not overly disconsolate, thankfully.

      Seriously, it is good that you are able to help someone make an appropriate choice.


  4. What a great blog this morning!

    Some folks, well most folks, at my work know of my interest in airguns; since I sometimes have them delivered here. Most of them ask how fast it sends the pellet down the barrel. When I tell them the velocity of some of my 10 meter guns, they get this look on their face, like, what the heck are you going to do with that???

    I know what I’m going to get when I spend $90 on a gun, I also know what I’m going to get when I spend $800 on a gun. But for the uninitiated, most folks are going to expect $800 results from that $90 gun.

    Folks need to do a little research before they buy. And that goes for everything! I’m getting ready to buy a really upscale computer aimed at playing the latest and greatest games. I’ve spent the last 2 months researching specs and companies. I think I’ve made a decision, but I’m still researching the customer service and reliability of the company that will get my business.

    Same for airguns. Before I committed to Pyramyd AIR I researched the heck out of AG companies. I read blogs, reviews, articles, in fact everything I could get my eyes and hands on.

    But that’s me. I’m almost 61 years old. It’s what I do before filling in my credit card number–RESEARCH!

    I don’t know how to get to these “kids” and tell them what airgunning is all about. Pyramyd has some really excellent tutorials on their site and also on youtube. And they have links to those videos and tutorials right on the product pages. But how do you get people to watch them?

    On the other hand, I love reading some of the reviews on Pyramyd’s product pages. Folks getting dime groups at 50 yards with a $40 pistol. I just laugh my rear end off at those. Sometimes I’ll comment, most times I won’t. But people researching these guns, see these reviews and think, “wow, I’m getting one of those!”

    Perhaps it’s these reviews that perpetuate the idea that a low end gun will do what they hope it will do.

    • chasblock,

      You said, “expect $800 results from that $90 gun.”

      You hit the nail on the head. The real head-scratchers (and you’d probably be surprised how many of these I get in a day) are the people who bought a 600 fps multi-pump pneumatic rifle and are giving the gun low ratings and trashing it because it’s not a breakbarrel and doesn’t deliver 1200 fps. I got several reviews in one day for one gun from different people, and they all listed these as disappointments and reasons to make bad remarks about the gun. Makes me wonder if they ever bothered to read the description.


        • petez,

          I publish reviews if they trash a gun because it doesn’t have the attributes that are plainly stated in our description.

          No reviews are ever trashed/deleted. We decline them, and they remain in our database.

          With all the questions about reviews, I’m going to write a guest blog tomorrow morning about customer reviews, videos and images that are submitted to Pyramyd Air’s site. There’s a lot that people don’t understand about the process. The worst issue we have is that people write reviews, don’t remember what they said and then are shocked when the review is declined. They usually tell us they’ll never buy from Pyramyd AIR again. For every review that’s declined, there must be a stated reason attached to the review that explains specifically the reason for not approving it.

          I’ll explain all of it tomorrow.


          • I like the ones that give excelent reviews but only four out of five stars like this one. This is an actual review taken from the PA site:


            Overall rating:4 4.0
            Value for money:4 4.0
            Accuracy:5 5.0

            By from USA on 2012-01-23 03:15:09

            Things I liked:Great starter rifle. Find the best pellet and it can really deliver.

            Things I would have changed:Trigger. I have the plastic trigger. The second stage is as bad as everyone says.

            What others should know:Use the scope stop holes. My scope always moved until i used the stop holes.

            End Quote

            I can’t find the reason for the 4 rating. Can you?


              • Chuck, I suspect the brackets have something to do with the scripting language that the IT programmer uses to configure WordPress, informing it about plugins such as the Gravatar plugin, and controlling access (among other thing I know nothing about; I failed at programming and scripting long ago).
                I am surprised that this happened when you posted, but I learn something new every day).


              • Chuck, I just tried putting something inside of the less than and greater than brackets as a test.
                It is either gone up in smoke or just not visible.
                I expect what we tried is reserved by the scripting language used by WordPress. Of course, this is conjecture on my part.

                    • My guess is it doesn’t purge anything it just sits there unseen. I think the brackets are supposed to indicate where HTML code begins and ends, and the parser(?) just ignores anything that is not valid code. “”


                  • I’ll try posting this to you, Chuck so you’ll get it in your email. I am learning that Edith will see everything so I won’t cause her to see this twice.

                    I just did something I do quite frequently, although sometimes I just don’t click. I right clicked on the page and chose to look at the page source (this can be oh so informative). I learning two things. I don’t see the brackets normally, probably because that is never what I am looking for. I also don’t see what I put in brackets although our posts are all there along with the formatting information.

                    Anyway, you nailed it about it being html.


      • One of the worst is the Umarex PPK.
        A great little gun that gets good reviews…it’s fun, its blowback feels realistic…what’s not to like.
        Well, I find that about 15% of reviews give it a thumbs down because:
        1. At 50 feet it can’t hit a quarter.
        2. At 50 feet it can’t kill squat.
        Then they go on to give it a thumbs down because it’s a piece of over-rated garbage.

  5. B.B.

    That’s true and even harder. I can sign under each and every example.
    And that headless deer hunter… Well, I can say he’s a shame for all the armed mankind, stupidity turned him into a mindless torturer. Guess that’s a good reason to break his gun over a tree and to tell he was lucky not to get it broken over his empty head.
    I remember listening to one of such penniless 16yo wannabes, raving about D-350 (ex. 1 + 2). I took him to the range, asked my friend to lend us his fine-tuned 350 for a few shots. “Now cock it, boyo” I said. No wonder ultra-magnum-springer-crackshot could not even cock the gun of his dreams twice in a row, not to say shoot it targetwards.
    I guess if one has no cold blood, one must get a free cold shower to cool his head down. And the best is if the bucket is held by a caring and friendly hand. Life tends to add too much ice in cubes too heavy.
    Great article, B.B. really great. That’s a “must read” and if you plan on publishing a book – I guess that must be a foreword, or something in the very beginning.


      • For crying out loud you already wrote THE book. Just add a few new sections and publish the UPDATED version of The Beeman R1 book. You know it would sell.

        I’ll be long gone before you write and publish another book.


      • Yes, a book. I think I suggested something like this around when I first appeared. Since you’ve pretty much got what written in the blog archives and elsewhere, you can’t back out now! But you’re right that bringing the thing to fruition is no easy task. I’m writing a book now under contract and my initial euphoria at getting the contract has given way to near-panic at getting the thing finished on time. Running down every loose end and making things look sharp is a lot different than musing over them.

        By the way, on the subject of writing, I was totally fooled by your pseudonym here until you revealed yourself. My thought was that Tom Gaylord was clearly the class act of airgun writing, but otherwise that B.B. Pelletier was certainly doing a good job in his own right.


        • Matt61, like you I was a bit confused about why Tom Gaylord no longer wrote the blog posts and B.B apparently took over. This coupled with trying to understand what was new about the Benjamin Titan to loss of sleep and stress. I understand both now, but sadly my understanding came to late. I am having a stress test this Thursday….well, I am having a stress test.
          I suspected, but I wasn’t sure until B.B. pulled off his mask and revealed he was actually Tom Gaylord (king of like when Hulk Hogan returned to the ring wearing a mask…nah, not really).

          About the Titan; I have seen through the veil. The Crosman .177 Titan is rebranded as the Benjamin .177 Titan. It’s a real let down. After all, my Benjamin .22 Titan has a part number of C8M22NP; go figure.
          New, indeed 🙁

  6. You can’t help them if they won’t accept the help and experience that only comes by doing. You gotta let them bump their heads, and some will get it, and some will be lost. This blog and the folks on it do a great job of providing a base line, and instruction to learn the skill of shooting . Airguns are what they are . They are not a replacement for firearms. They are just another bridge to fun, and the craft of markmanship. They occupy places we can’t go to when using a firearm.

    • AlCook, you are not alone. Anyone around my age (61) may have written off for an Honor House catalog. The catalog offered such wonderful things as a submarine, a Sherman tank, a rocket pack and many others. I never got one of those but I did manage to order a set of 3 custom, balanced throwing knives. Oh, the anticipation. They may have been made of some soft lead alloy; I could bend them by looking at them, they were dull and they looked nothing like the drawing in the catalog.

      Now, this is the part where I supposed to tell you I learned from that experience…

  7. BB

    I never assumed you made any royalties from sales of the Bronco. I always thought you were just bragging about having designed such a great rifle. 😉

    I bought one and really enjoyed it. I needed to get a gift for my nephew, and decided the Bronco was the perfect solution, so I gave it to him. After awhile I missed the little filly, and bought myself another this past Christmas. It seems that as much as I liked it, I had forgotten how great it really is. That trigger is a treat to pull. Some rifles costing many times more don’t have a trigger that nice.

    100 years from now some lucky youngster will be shooting one of these, and loving every minute of it. It is built to last. I have a Diana 27, and won’t ever sell it. But I prefer to shoot the Bronco.

  8. BB –

    Preach, brother.

    I agree with you, and with the comments above. Especially the remark about only being able to reach the uninitiated newbie in any way other than one-on-one. Best case for mentoring that I’ve seen in a long while. I’ve always felt that people with knowledge bear the responsibility to pass it on to the next generation. That knowledge would include things like how to have realistic expectations, how to distinguish fantasy from reality, and the necessity of dealing with the consequences of your own actions. The experience of selecting and buying a first airgun and learning to shoot it responsibly and well should be a right of passage for all young people. We seasoned airgunners should always be keeping our eyes and ears open for newcomers to our hobby who need a guide and don’t know who to ask.

    You’ve been that guide to a lot of them. Keep writing the truth.

    – Jim in KS

  9. This may be crazy talk but what if manufacturers read this and printed in manuals or rifle boxes?

    It’s like when people complain about not being to hit a dime size target at 20 yards with a BB pistol… it’s not what it’s made for!
    It’s like complaining you don’t have enough room for the kids and all your camping gear in your new corvette, it’s not it’s purpose.

    If manufacturers took a little time to better educate their clients everyone would leave happier, because in the end it’s THEM and their products who are getting the bad reviews.
    I’m not saying it’s all their fault if the clients aren’t researching what they’re buying but maybe they could make it more available? We would then have a big THEY TOLD YOU SO to answer them.


    • J-F,

      Most manufacturers do not believe it’s their job to educate the end user. They are the supplier. If a dealer wants to sell products, it’s their place to educate the customers. That’s the reason we have Airgun Academy. That’s why Pyramyd AIR has product videos. That’s why they have a glossary of terms. That’s why they’ve asked Tom for more articles for their website that educate rather than articles on specific guns. It’s also the reason they created the AirGun Guide. Many more things are in the pipeline. My head is spinning!


      • PA is one of the very few I’m aware of that does so much educating. PA is a GREAT source of information, from the BLOG, to Paul vids to the most complete description available on the web, your descriptions are often better than what is found on manufacturers website.

        I know PA is doing an AWESOME job of educating buyers BUT since not many of the other sellers out there do much in the education department and they often don’t even have the knowledge to inform potential buyers and lets not talk about the big chain stores with clerks that hardly know where they parked their cars when they came in for work in the morning.

        If I was a manufacturer I would try to better inform my clients on my products so I get as little bad reviews as possible. I know “HARD TO COCK” isn’t a big selling point on a rifle box but maybe there’s a way to put it more nicely?


  10. BB,

    Having a FAQ page might reach a few of these dreamers. I suspect most of them will never even look at it, thinking that they already know everything from listening to or reading the hype. In real estate, we used to call it “puffing” when emphasizing only the good points of a property. I’m not sure what they call it when making wild claims about an airgun’s capabilities to mislead the uninitiated. Most of the needed info is right in the description and specs on PA’s site if they are willing to look. A FAQ page is definitely helpful if the link is prominently displayed. I don’t know what else we can do except be as kind and helpful to those we run across as possible.

    BTW, I’m still looking for my 3000 fps, 30 cal, silent, dead accurate, 200 yard range, (but wouldn’t hurt anyone at 205 yds), springer that only takes 10 lbs of force to cock. Must be a multi shot beast and be able to retain full power while dialing down the range to be backyard friendly too… Can you point me in the right direction?


  11. Mornin’ Gang,
    Mr. B.B. & Ms. Edith, FANTASTIC blog! As a newbie, how I started is fresh in my mind and I’m still doin’ it. Just fired off another large (for me) order to PA. Couple guns mostly piecesparts. Spent 3-4 weeks RESEARCHING everything ordered, right down to the Ballistol. Research is what led me here awhile back, but only started reading the comments a short time ago, cuz I expected the same “stuff” (you’re killin’ me Ms. Edith) as the product comments on PA. Knowin’ nuttin’, and bein’ kinda cute, but not real bright, I had a tough time tryin’ ta research my first purchases. Took awhile ta figure out that many of the product comments came from exactly what you’re describing here. Even mentioned it here, while you were Shot Showing, how I had begun to see more comments on reviews from Ms. Edith setting the record straight. I keep thanking all of “The Gang” here cuz, y’all have been a HUGE help to me, even when you’re bustin’ each others chops. THANX again. Just a thought, half those product “reviews” could be eliminated by makin’ ’em do these “very complicated” math problems we do ta post here!?!

    • Speaking of Ballistol…
      Some reviews mentioned that the smell is not all that great. I just got a can of it for the first time last week, and have to say that the “not too great” smell is a bit understated. I think it is something along the lines of possum feces. I would rather have my guns smelling of RIG, moly, and air tool oil.


    • Beazer, perhaps I shouldn’t mention this is such a public place but I think you may be the perfect example of something. “Allow your friend and your enemy to underestimate you. At some point the one will be amazed and the other shocked.”


          • Ken, like I said earlier, kinda cute but not real bright, so I have no clue what ya just asked. Ain’t blonde, but parts of me are. Being a part-time S.N.A.G. (sensitive new age guy), I would never bestow or honorific anybody. As for the second part, pretty safe bet I’ve been a few places you wouldn’t go & got pics & t-shirts ta prove it.

            • Well, Beazer, you did it whether you like it or not. Many Viet Nam vets (and most of the movies about the Viet Nam conflict refer to someone a *sahn or *san. Of course, Viet Nam isn’t the only country where that may be heard, and if you are in California you have probably heard it in any number of contexts.
              Quick research reveals that san means Mr. or Mrs. in Japanese. And that terms like mommasan and pappasan are America G.I. slang. I suppose how much respect is meant depends entirely on the one who is saying it.
              Never the less, I’ll take what I am given, Bearzerson.


                • Bonding? Who knows, if you lived next door to me you might put up a high, thick wall, land mines and electric barbed wire to separate us. However, I have been able to show macho males that they can share an appropriate hug and still be bonifide, 100%, hetero and totally at peace with their masculinity and accept that others may not understand. No offense to others but I am talking about a specific group and specific ends here.
                  So I suppose the same group can learn to lovingly caress their magnum springer in a tender artillery hold.

                  All right, Beazer, that’s far enough!


                    • “Ken, buddy, that’s funny stuff right there!!! You 1 sick puppy! Keep ‘em guessin’”

                      You know, I really want to tell you that’s one of the nicest things anyone ever said to me. I just don’t want you to take it the wrong way 🙂

                      Okay, I know you won’t take it the wrong way. I appreciate it just the same.


  12. Woah hoa hoa! Great rant BB! Is it Friday already? I was expecting the beginning of a 4 part dissection of one of the many new models introduced at the show, but wow!
    I have read some of the comments on the products and can only imagine what you ( y’all ) have to sort through. And admittedly, I see myself in many of the descriptions you made. The shopping, the choice, and even my reaction from the first shot of my first spring piston rifle! And I was over 40 at the time.
    Anyone short of the complete idiot will take a second look at what they just purchased and will most likely stumble across your blog. Then they will learn how to shoot what they bought or at least learn to define what they want for a second purchase.


  13. Tom,

    All your columns are good, and almost all of them interest me. But if I had to pick a “best of the past year,” this one is it. Period.

    My first thought was “you’re putting me on!” But no. I’ve seen plenty of “reviews” that read just like the examples above. As for the deerstalker, did you ever ask him why he shot the animal? I would really like to know.

    One thing, tho’. It explains a lot about my lack of interest in hunting: I think you have to be taught well at a young age by an expert to get much pleasure out of the sport; it is a very hard task to hunt well and humanely and to know what to do with the meat. Wherever did your neighbor-man “learn” to reach for his Bowie knife?

    Best from the wilds of Ankara, Turkey where the Internet connections are truly flakey. GOOGLE is unreachable here, except in Turkish which doesn’t do me a lot of good.


    • Forgot to say that I don’t think it’s true that those comments are from young people. I think they are from stupid or immature people, surely male. But I think that most kids who plunk down the money for an airgun are smarter than that.

      The authors of such reviews are almost surely high school dropouts.


  14. B.B.,

    From my viewpoint you were wrong when you said, ” I “tout” the Bronco for just one reason: It’s accurate.”

    There are many reasons to tout the Bronco especially as a “first airgun purchased with my own money”. Accuracy should top the list but there are other reasons:

    3-good set of open sights
    4-good trigger
    5-ease of cocking
    6-medium power so less hold sensitivity

    It would be tough for me to provide even a close guess as to how many hours I’ve spent on this blog answering questions from newbie airgunners that usually starts out with “which of these magnum springers is best?” (see second example in your article today). Don’t misunderstand, these are my favorite types of airgunners.

    It’s tough to get these folks to travel out of the darkness of “velocity is #1, #2 and #3 priority” and into the light of have you considered for your price point a good set of open sights so you can learn to shoot a gun, the importance of a good trigger, cocking effort for those long shooting sessions that are critical if you’re going to learn how to shoot accurately and minimal hold sensitivity so you’re not frustrated by this terrific hobby before you even get your feet wet?

    I’m hopeful that I helped a few to understand what they should expect when their new airgun arrives.

    It’s tough to talk an adult out of buying a .44 magnum as their first pistol (remember the Dirty Harry era when .44 magnums were flying off the shelves?) but I think it’s almost impossible to lead a youth into the light when they’re in their first airgun purchase mode.

    Yes, power sells. Probably always will. The marketing departments in big airgun companies know this. Awful tough for a few voices of reason and experience to be heard in all this wind. This explains why the word gamo always gets stuck in my throat when I speak about airguns.


  15. BB, a friend from church who hunts a lot just bought his 8 or 9 year old son a 1200 fps Gamo rifle. It’s hard to think of a more inappropriate gun for an 8 or 9 year old. When most people think of cocking an airgun they think the cocking force will be like the pump pressure of the old pump up BB guns they had when they were kids. They also look right past the heavy weight of these guns and have no idea how hard it will be to shoot them well. I wish he had asked me first since he knows I collect and shoot airguns. I think I will call him and ask if he can take the Gamo back to the box store and try to talk him into buying a Bronco.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      You’re a real friend. That’s probably the most inappropriate gun for a 9 year old. I think the only way to counter this “hype that sells airguns” is one person at a time. Good for you.


  16. B.B.,

    I can’t say enough about how much I would like to see more readily available (and authoritative) information being published on airguns.

    I think one of the major problems commonly besetting young (or older) potential new air gunners is the fact that most don’t know yet what they want. I was hooked on the hobby after my father-in-law let me try his old multi-pump gun. Naturally, I wanted to get one of my own, and my first impression was to go to the local sporting goods store and see what they recommended. That was probably the worst choice I could have made! Going into the store, I didn’t really have an idea about what I wanted (other than having something I could shoot at cans and paper targets in the back yard). Perhaps knowing my ignorance (or just being ignorant himself) the guy behind the counter set me up with the weekly special–a made-in-china air rifle that happened to bear the Beeman name.

    The gun was “fun” until I started getting more informed (and started shooting other guns). I still have the gun, and will probably keep it for the sake of the memory, but I can’t say I like the trigger (it’s mushy and unpredictable), the sights (fiber optics), the optional scope setup (too dim and not at eye level), or the buzzy mainspring. I am glad that I stuck with the hobby despite the dissatisfaction of my first gun. However, I realize that I could have been a lot happier with my first gun had I thought through what exactly I wanted and researched my options. I would not have even had to have spent much more cash (BTW, thanks for the blog a couple weeks back on the best airguns for the price); I simply needed to know what to look for in a gun so as to match my interests.

    All of that to say, it is important to help people identify their interests and inform them accordingly. I know it is hard to deal with the young (read arrogant) fool who wants a dream gun for the price of a Red Rider and who thinks that he can actually pull off half-inch groups at fifty yards with a magnum spring rifle and no practice. However, if there was a better flow of information (not just blogs, but books or a magazine) from the people who knew the hobby well, it would spare people like me from potentially negative first encounters. I hope someone will be encouraged to write a book aimed at the average new air gunner–not just for the long-time veterans of the hobby.

  17. The first question to ask a Newbie is “what do you plan to shoot with this gun?” I don’t expect him to understand the difference between FT and 10m, but is he shooting targets, does he want to kill small animals (if so, why? which?), is he impressed by the Gamo adverts about hunting wild pigs, or does he want to make holes in soda cans? Or has he just caught the “bug” from too many thrillers and wants to be “The Jackal” from “The Day of …” and want to stare through a scope and pretend. In which case I want to discourage him, period.

    I was really lucky, I realize, when I first contacted an RWS dealer to ask about how to pick a gun from the big RWS/Diana catalog. He asked me what I wanted to do (10m shooting I answered), and he said “accuracy” and “great trigger.” “Let me help you. I can even improve the trigger.” Well, in the end I didn’t get an RWS, but rather an FWB because the recoilless feature appealed. This was mid ’80s; I don’t remember the dealer, but it probably wasn’t PA.

  18. WOW! I’ve heard video games being blamed for a lot of the problems in this world but this is the first time I’ve heard them being blamed for bad airgun choices. 🙂

    I know exactly what you’re talking about on the reviews I’ve read, and they do make one chuckle, but you know, PA encourages that by asking, in the reviews, “Things I would have changed:”. PA could save them a lot of effort just by asking, “Yes or No, do you want the perfect gun for only $10 and free shipping plus a lifetime supply of ammo? We’re sorry about the $10 charge but we do have to pay to keep this web site up.”

    • Chuck,

      We went round & round on that question. We wanted input and wanted future buyers to know what to expect. We didn’t think people would say they wanted the complete opposite of what we clearly stated were the gun’s specs.


    • Chuck, you have provided a loose segue to one thing I have noticed repeatedly. In the, “Things I would have changed”, specifically with Benjamin Titan (I’ll spare you the story; suffice it to say that after many sleepless obsessed nights I bought one from that unmentionable place and then starting doing some research. Thank goodness for folks like B.B., Edith and PA because I am still scarred from the research experience, think yellow for instance; however, I have no regrets about the purchase at this point; I know what I have) there was the repeated call for a better scope and a better trigger, with an occasional call for a sling. Implicit in each of these, and only experience leads me to believe this, is the unwritten, “and DON’T INCREASE THE COST”.

      About the Titan: I haven’t concerned myself about replacing the trigger. However, I was given a little cash for Christmas. I bought a Centerpoint Adventure Class 4-16x40mm. Its overkill and I think Tim Allen would approve.

      I won’t be able to use the Titan in a couple of weeks, but that is a separate issue from the purchase itself.

  19. This is a welcome addition to your blog, and is an issue that, as a committed review reader, I’ve encountered too many times. Someone orders green, but when it arrives, it’s not purple. Thanks.

  20. Agree completely. However, some of this may be the industry’s fault. For example, bragging about pellet speed while not disclosing the weight of the pellet used. I am fairly new to this hobby and I fell for that trap myself. It’s embarrassing to admit as I’m a 41 year old man. I think the industry should agree to show the foot pounds of energy at the muzzle for all airguns. Right now they buy a 1,000 fps airgun and wonder why the chronograph only shows 850 fps. Sometimes the industry doesn’t always “advertise exactly” what they’re getting. They’re misleading an uninformed customer base. Am I way off in this? Open to criticism.

    • se mn airgunner,

      You’re hitting on all cylinders!

      Imagine if a car mfr stated that you could get 75 miles per gallon but failed to state that the only way you could get that mileage was by coasting at least half the time; never going over 30 mph; removing the doors, hood & trunk lid; never using the air conditioner; and never carrying more than one person over 150 lbs. It would be fraudulent. Yet, airgun mfrs find nothing wrong with using totally unsuitable ammo to get excessive speed (or inserting oil in a springer’s powerplant so the gun will deliver a higher velocity just that one time).


      • Careful, Edith; I agree with you and se mn airgunner completely. However, there must be a way to deal with the misleading claims with out the Feds getting involved (that is the only thing I would add about comparing car claims; besides auto manufacturers and dealerships lie a lot).


    • se mn,

      You’re right, of course. The muzzle energy is the more relevant number. But general customers dislike it, because it isn’t well-established.

      As far as the industry being at fault, so is the public. One very determined ambulance chaser has sued Daisy repeatedly and when interviewed on “20-20″ showed a BB gun pitted against a .22 auto pistol. He demonstrated that the velocity was similar. The network should have roasted him as a charlatan, but they know their believing audience will eat it up.

      What if someone told them that billions of neutrinos are blasting through their bodies at nearly the speed of light? Would we have a public outcry for neutrino-safe zones?


      • Thanks so much for the reply! Yes, the public is dumb…I include myself in that statement. Seems to me Pyramydair is the #1 online airgun site, am I wrong? How about Pyramydair show muzzle energy on all guns for sale on their site? I expect Pyramydair could be a leader in this regard. They already show what a gun is useful for (i.e. plinking, hunting, etc.) but that is in the “dropdown” menu, or at the very least you have to scroll way down the page. It is generally not stated right away in the description. By showing muzzle energy in large font, showing it’s importance, it might very well get the buying public to, at the very least, “google” it and see why it is so important of a number. And think of the commercial possibilities….PyramydAir, “the only online air gun retailer who tells you what you really need to know about the gun you purchase”. Instead of WAITING for the industry, CHANGE the industry. The Pyramydair and Gaylord names have that kind of clout based on everything I’ve read. Also, would give Pyramydair a competitive contrast to other sites. OK, rambling here……

        • se mn airgunner,

          PA has begun to allude to ft/lbs energy (fpe) by including some of the results of tests with certain pellets in the info. I’d love to see fpe numbers included on all guns in bold with an explanation of what it means for those who don’t yet know. Great idea, se mn airgunner! PA could change the future of airgun marketing! 🙂


      • B.B. for whatever consequential information they offer us I place 20-20 and even the 6 o’clock news in a category slightly better than reality TV. When CBS first started airing some show I hoped would not survive, I wrote them that they had successfully proven that the average American had not advanced beyond the 6th grade. I see only the “previews” of it and I haven’t changed my mind yet.


  21. We’ve all been there…whether we like to admit it or not.
    I remember my first air-rifle…a beautiful Webley sidecocker that my father bought me about 25 years ago to try and re-kindle the love of shooting that I’d lost. I think he felt that with my tight schedule in those days (I just didn’t have much time to head out in the country for a days shooting) a good gun I could shoot in the backyard would be the ticket.
    I’d come from a world of .22LR, .222 and .270 and I just expected too much from that first air rifle.
    I got rid of it the day after I ‘proved’ there was something wrong with it.
    I was at a friends acreage who had a pigeon problem. We set up in his yard to try and nail the pigeons that loved to sit on the top of his barn and crap all over it.
    Didn’t hit a single one. I figured the gun was a piece of crap and put it on consignment at our local sporting goods store.
    looking back… I had no idea what the artillery hold was, and to the best of my recollection I’d now guess the distance at about 120yds, and I might have given the targets a couple of inches holdover at most.
    So naive!!!
    That’s why, when I’m at the range nowadays I don’t consider there to be any stupid questions when it comes to air rifles, and why I’ll always take a bit of time to explain them to the PB guys who ask. More than a few of them have been very impressed with them (airguns) when they realize their limitations and strengths.

    • CBSD,

      I’m seeing more & more gun reviews that quote the artillery hold and that it makes a huge difference in accuracy. Some time last year, I started seeing the artillery hold being mentioned more & more in gun reviews. Before that, I’d see about 1 quote a year. Beginning last year, I was seeing it quoted about 1x a month. I expect it to pick up more followers this year.


    • CBSD,

      You make a great point about the artillery hold.

      I’ve spent a lot of time reading the articles on this blog. Once upon a time I helped answer a few new questions that were posted under old articles. This required reading the old articles. Over the years I think I’ve read them all. I’ve also read most of the yellow forums old posts. Three things are crystal clear.

      1-Your story is very common. “Had an airgun once and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with it.”

      2-Tom & Edith have played significant roles in growing the number of active airgunners since they have spread the word on which airguns are accurate, how to shoot them accurately and how to maintain their accuracy.

      3-Some airgunners would rather argue about minutia on the internet than be out shooting their guns.

      I’ve read post after post, article after article wherein Tom & Edith patiently describe the artillery hold, encourage checking stock screws and scope mounts for being snug, explain why the frustrated airgunner should try better quality pellets and a variety of pellets neither of which are available in their local stores, etc. etc. I’m convinced that with their unwavering perserverance to spread this word year after year that this has contributed greatly to the increase in active airgunners.

      Our reward is an explosion of new airgun introductions and new airgun accessories.


  22. Duskwight is correct, the killer of the deer deserved to have the police called on him instead of someone taking care of his problem and educating him in the process. Let’s hope he appreciates it and knows better than to go on drunken shooting sprees again in suburbia.

    Edith reads all the comments!? Not even sure what that experience would be like. These complainers sound like the very ones on the Lizard Lick repo show who send in one payment on their vehicle and believe they own it, then fight tooth and nail when the repo men show up. My take on internet comments is that generally the average over a long period of time is startlingly correct but there is room for enormous variation–I guess we would call it standard deviation–and the need for a lot of sifting of each one. Also, they can be extremely funny, intended or otherwise.

    Thanks for all feedback about shooting ranges. Local public ranges would be good to know. Well set-up and managed ones with long distances would be better. But I seem to recall reading about national level ranges with distances out to 1000 yards where gunwriters regularly travel. And the ultimate was something called the U.S. shooting range complete with hotels and courses you could sign up for–sort of like a shooting resort. I seem to remember reading about this somewhere but the details are hazy. I guess Camp Perry is sort of like that although it would be nice just to be able to learn without competing.

    Yes, Flobert, I know about the range in Honolulu for Japanese. I’ve been there. It’s run by Japanese and costs an exorbitant amount of money. Something like $40 to rent a 1911 and shoot 20 rounds in the course of a half hour–no sharing allowed. This tells me that the visiting Japanese are desperate to shoot and loaded with money.

    So, that business of holding the pistol sideways is complete bunk without foundation? It looks like it would play hell with the sight picture and recoil.

    PeteZ, glad to hear that Washington D.C. has cleaned up its act and you anticipated my question on how this was done. So, Marion Barry shares the credit?! All I know about him was the video of him taking a smoke against a wall. Also, I seem to remember that fairly recently, Justice David Souter of the Supreme Court was worked over by muggers while jogging in the evening. If a Supreme Court Justice can get punched out, everyone is vulnerable.

    Kenholmz, there is a YouTube video of training of North Korean bodyguards with them jumping completely over cars and striking flaming objects….intense. The woman who wanted to visit there was out of her mind. About the only other thing I can think of about North Korea is a Yahoo comment on the passing of Kim Jong Il: “I guess he must have been really ill. Otherwise, he would still be here as Kim Jong Well.” PeteZ, nice catch with the North Korean nuclear material.

    Victor, you’ll enjoy the 1911, the greatest pistol ever made and a must-have for the serious shooter. I like to wonder what Lyudmila Pavlichenko that of the Colt 1911 that was given to her at the Colt factory which was accompanied by a single round with the inscription “310.” (She had shot 309 enemy soldiers at that point.) My understanding is that the mid-level Smith and Wesson and Kimber 1911s selling at about $1000 have been the most popular. But the Ruger seems to provide comparable performance at half the price. I’ve heard good things too about the Ruger All American but also that it is an imitation of Savage, right down to its leaf bladed trigger. (Hmph.) Why bother with this when you already have a Savage?


    • Matt61,

      I used to read all the customer product reviews. After a while, I trained someone else & passed the accessory & ammo reviews to them. Then, I gave the gun reviews to someone else for about a year. Then, that person got a well-deserved promotion & was no longer in the editorial department. So, the gun reviews passed back to me. Just about on a daily basis I read gun reviews that make me shake my head & wonder why more people aren’t in jail due to gun “accidents.”


    • Matt61,
      You’re right about the Ruger being an imitation of the Savage. In truth, our next hunting rifle will likely be the Long Range Hunter in 300 WinMag, per Kevin’s caliber recommendation for larger animals. But my point was more about the value that companies like Ruger and Savage are providing to their customers. They are providing relatively high performance, at low cost, right out of the box. With most of the better known brands, you have to go “custom shop” for this level of performance, so you’re talking 3 to 5 times the cost. My real point is that I wish that air-gun manufacturers would take the same path with their “new” technologies, whether they be trigger, power-plants, or whatever.

      As an aside, both Ruger and Savage really do provide super bang for your buck. I looked at websites specifically for long range hunting, and the Savage action is the recommended base for building a high-end custom rifle. Look at 1911.org (or something like that), and you’ll find that the SR-1911 is the recommended starter gun, because every piece is standard and can be upgraded.


      • Yes, can we say that getting high value for a cheap price is a distinctively American feature (although IZH does very well in this department as well)? But I’m comparing with the European, especially German, tradition of top-end equipment for top-end prices. So maybe this is a good side of the hunt for money savings that characterizes the American business model.

        On the subject of calibers, perhaps you should consider the .338 Lapua Magnum instead of the .300 Win Mag. I understand that the U.S. army snipers consider the .338 the superior of the two. And when not hunting, you can see if you can hit targets at one mile which is supposed to be within the range of the .338. You’d have to find a range with this distance though.

        Standard parts on the SR1911 may be the key point. The SW1911 which is almost double the price has mostly custom features at a non-custom price. And I do like that extra wide thumb safety. But I’m sure you can’t go wrong with the SR1911.


        • While a good round, keep in mind that the .338 Lapua Magnum is a very expensive round. Even the brass is high so reloading cost is up there too. The 300 Win Mag is very accurate for a high powered round but much less expensive to shoot.


    • Matt61, I think the young woman was just asking, “what would happen…” If you search for “joint security area” on YouTube you will likely find it (among others). Yes, the scene you described and others related to the military ( would say “and police” but I think the military handles just about everything related to controlling their border and controlling their people.
      Another thing that bothered me was watching footage from their great celebration performances, watching adults and children performing flawlessly. What they had the children doing distressed me. Yes, it was amazing to behold but I wonder what it took to obtain this performance and I wondered what happened to the children who didn’t make the grade (hopefully, they were able to just go home).

    • I noticed that I started to say something that got lost along the way.

      Matt61, I think the young woman was just asking, “what would happen…” If you search for “joint security area” on YouTube you will likely find it (among others). Yes, the scene you described and others related to the military ( would say “and police” but I think the military handles just about everything related to controlling their border and controlling their people) ARE DISTURBING TO SEE.

  23. B.B.,
    Once again, another excellent blog! Boy, so much to say here, so I’ll start with a comment my wife told me as I just finished reading this report. None of you know this but I’ve only shot a gun twice over the past 9 months. I’m confined to a wheel chair these days, and haven’t be able to stand upright for most of that time. Back problems getting worse. On top of that, I broke my leg and ankle. Long recovery, unfortunately. Anyways, my wife was researching doctors who might “fix” my back. She started by asking good doctors that we know, then proceeded to read reviews. WOW!!! Whether you’re reading reviews for doctors or air-guns, it’s almost all the same. There are lots of really bad reviews, so you have to take so many with a grain of salt.

    In my experience, reviews can be very useful, but you have to know what you’re looking for, and understand the readers credibility. So, finding useful information can take some work.

    I don’t recall how I found this blog, but it wasn’t until after that I bought my first springer. Two things. First of all, I know how to shoot, so I was never disappointed with the pneumatics that I owned. Outside of that, the vast majority of my experience with with an FWB 300. So there were no negatives from my perspective. Second of all, by reading this blog, I learned about the artillery hold, and what the issues with shooting springer’s were. So when I bought my first springer, I knew that I effectively had to learn how to shoot again. In my opinion, I really did have to learn how to shoot again, and I honestly do appreciate that. My first springer was a Gamo CF-X. My first groups at 10 meters were about an inch and a half, and shrunk very slowly over SEVERAL MONTHS (shooting almost every day, and for as many hours as I could).

    But you understand my point that I fully understood what I was getting into, and had the discipline and patients to work with that gun until I got good results. I’ve bought several more springers since, and each took a lot of work to realize great performance.

    To me, shooting springers is a lot like shooting pistol. When I shot small-bore with my high-end Anschutz target rifles, mastery of the fundamentals was important, but not so obvious. The rifles were heavy, and the triggers were very fine and light. In truth, I didn’t master the fundamentals with an Anschutz, but with a Remington, which was light, and with a heavy trigger. Anyways, shooting pistol is like doing business naked. All your flaws are exposed, so you become much more aware of the fine details pertaining to each of the fundamentals. Springers, for me at least, have forced me to rethink about the fundamentals. They’ve forced me to solve new problems that I would never have considered when shooting an Anschutz or FWB.

    Bottom line, this blog provided a much needed path to better shooting, in general, and not just air-guns. I think that several of these blogs should be collected by PA for easy reference by new customers. Maybe PA should somehow encourage new customers to read the blog before making a purchase. For sure, only a fraction of PA’s customers will bother, but that’s the best you can realistically hope for. From that a better informed customer base might be created.


      • duskwight,
        Thank you so much for your kind consideration. I really do appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I know that B.B., and others here, can appreciate what real suffering can be. It really gives one added perspective about a lot of things in life. We can take so much for granted.

        I will promise you this. In three weeks, the screws come off that are holding my bones together. I will do everything in my power to make sure that I don’t make things worse. The good news is that my body tends to heal remarkably well, and this is turning out to be no different. Tomorrow I see another orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion about the extent of the work needed to alleviate my back problems. I’ve been struggling with this for over 27 years, and have done relatively well, but now I have to face the inevitable.

        In my prayers, I will accept my pain and offer it that you may have a wonderful birthday and year.

        Thanks again,

    • You said a lot, Victor, but I’ll just address one area. I regret to hear of you physical difficulties and I do pray you can get better.
      On that note I want to offer you a web site, and for only one reason. I first found it while my wife was in the hospital in August of 2000. She had been hit head on by a drunk driver. She had already survived cancer and now she was badly hurt, wearing a halo. I stayed overnight as much as I could but had to go back and forth between home and hospital (and later rehab). One evening, I made a snap decision to stop at the mall and see a movie. I chose, “The Cell”. I wasn’t emotionally ready for it, to say the least and I still hate sadistic so and so’s, whether real or movie characters (I see mushroom clouds just thinking about it). When I got home I was still upset. I decided to go on line and see what others might have to say about it.
      I happened up crankycritic.com and read what he had to say. Then I wrote him a message and essentially related what I said above. He wrote back and suggested I click on “Who We Are and Why We do What We Do”.
      This is not a plug for financially supporting him; only to say that I have when I can, that I find his movie reviews to be useful and his methods refreshing. I recommend him to anyone who reads any movie reviews and even if you don’t (normally).
      There are true Spartans among us. When I consider what I wimp I am compared to all of you, I can only work to do better.


      • Thanks Ken! I appreciate your support. I’m very lucky in that I have a wonderful family that is able to help me along. Like B.B., if there is one thing that I did right in this life, it was to marry well. My heart goes out to those who do not have loving support. Again, there is so much that we take for granted. I will look at this movie critics website. Thanks again, Victor

  24. Glad to hear that most criminals are bad shots. I wonder if the following hierarchy of shooting abilities is fair.

    1. competition shooters
    2. airgunners
    3. plinkers
    4. hunters
    5. criminals

    And I understand that the mentality of criminals is down there with their shooting skills. Aside from the occasional evil genius, there’s not much going on–even with the middle management. In the Michael Douglas film, Traffic, a drug lord in protective witness custody is telling his police bodyguards about how he used “regression analysis” to find places to smuggle his drugs across the border and then tells them that they are stupid for fighting a losing battle against crime. Their response is: “But, you’re here.” A little later the drug lord gets poisoned to keep him from talking.

    And there is a very entertaining book called Memoirs of a Honolulu cop that has other examples. One case is of a drunken, one-legged elderly man on crutches causing a disturbance at a night club. The two responding officers approach him cautiously so as not to injure him. The next thing you know, he’s dodging around on his one leg, using one crutch to hold them at a distance and the other to wallop them. When they both close in, he hurls his body forward, slamming them into a lava rock wall which rips their uniforms and causes multiple abrasions. Just when they’re ready to go for their guns, a prostitute comes up to talk to the old guy, and he goes all to pieces blubbering about how “they started it.”

    Then, there’s the guy who was being instructed what to say in a police line-up for voice identification. His response, “But that’s not what I said”….


    • Matt61,

      Your hierarchy is makes sense, however, I think that there may be a distinction between serious, conscientious, hunters, and people who think that the simple act of killing animals qualifies them as “hunters”. Kevin’s accuracy criteria for offhand shooting at 100 yards pushes the limits of even a good competitive marksman. On the other hand, there are those who simply kill, even if it means causing a slow painful death. I got to tell you, I’ve been very disappointed with some of the “hunters” on the Outdoor Channel. They do everything that Kevin advises that a good hunter not do (e.g., shoot from too great a distance, injuring the animal, requiring follow up shots, sometimes after a great deal of tracking). So in your order, #2 may be for “real hunters”, with #5 being “animal killers”.


      • Victor, here is a video on YouTube that never should have gotten there. As much as it hurts me to see it, I am not referring to the initial bad shot; it is all that happened afterward that makes me just as sick. I know there are hunters to sorely regretted they could not find a wounded animal…not finding this doe was not an issue. The poster of the video should have never had a reason to post it.


        • kenhomz,
          That’s a very sad report. Again, there are hunters, and there are posers. My son did some volunteer search party work this weekend, looking for a lone hiker who has been lost for several days now. Unfortunately, they did not find him, and it doesn’t look good. What they did find was a freshly killed big horned sheep. It was apparently shot with a huge caliber gun (.50 caliber, or 338, maybe). The exit wound was huge. They were told by park rangers that this looks like the work of poachers. They shoot the animals, then later take the horns, only. Again, that’s why I would modify Matt61’s hierarchy. In this case, we’re talking about animal killers and criminals.

          • Victor, I would encourage Matt61 to create one other category for law enforcement. Thankfully, most of them aren’t criminals (lawyers and politicians maybe; oh my, some are both).

        • Ken,

          These things absolutely disgust me! We had a similar case where a goose was shot by some idiot with a field pointed arrow. The neighborhood pansies and media viewed it around for days while it suffered instead of taking action to put the creature out of its misery! Someone should have killed that poor goose as well as the doe in that video immediately instead of following it around with a freakin’ camera!!!!


  25. I haven’t read through the comments yet, but want to ask this before I forget, if it’s been addressed allow me to apologize.

    Is there a resource that’s been designed to offer a clear, relatively concise introduction to the world of airguns? While this blog is a wonderful resource (and I’ve learned so much, and I don’t even own an air rifle [yet]) that anyone should be able to read for a while and start to pick up quite a bit of knowledge, I don’t think I’ve seen any resources I could point someone completely unfamiliar with the world of air rifles to. Somewhere they could come away with a solid understanding of what power plants are available, as well as what kinds of rifles are out there and appropriate uses for same.

    • Derekb,

      about 5 years ago, I was in your position. I stumbled upon airguns due to vermin attacking my house and started looking for a book. I’ve read books by James House (who loves Crosman and Benjamin pumps), Total Airguns by Pete Wadeson (a professional airgun hunter in the UK who goes to farms and such to rid them of vermin) and AIrgun Odyssey by Steve Hanson. I was not satisfied with any of them but did learn some interesting facts. I stumbled upon this blog my Tom “BB Pelletier” Gaylord after I got fed up with another blog due to all the flamers there. Believe it or not, this is, right now, your best source of information. Use the search engine on the right of the screen for current and archive information.

      But to start, go here and start reading the articles that interest you:


      There’s one about different power plants. Another about pellets and loading. Another about accurate shooting (techniques used for airguns as opposed to powder burners).

      This is a great blog even if a lot of us seem to be ill right now (darn it all, you guys better get well in a hurry – hear that, Victor?) and the knowledge that is here is indispensable should you have a question that you can’t find the answer to. I hope you become a regular here and I do warn you, this hobby is addicting. It even helps your math……

      Fred PRoNJ

      • Well, I’m fairly satisfied with what I know and the rate at which I learn about airguns. I’m curious about a resource that’s more concise, more immediately digestible than a series of articles or pointing someone at this blog and saying ‘read away!’

        I envision a site with a few pages of good, basic information. Diagrams and easily approached lists.

    • derekb,

      Alas, there are no books like you describe! What books do exist are either focused on specific guns, like my book about the Beeman R1, or else they are general titles that cover many things, like the hunting books and the Blue Book of Airguns.


  26. This will be short,I’m quite ill (flu) and in pain (back) but I just returned from a job I needed to do
    and I’m heart broken.A local elderly widow I do mechanical and landscape work for has a neighbor that epitomizes today’s blog.He told me of a coyote problem they are having (basically,they are seeing them) and we discussed me taking care of it.He knows I bring MUCH more than the airgun he has to the table.We have spoke at length,& he is late 50’s so not incapable of learning stuff.Today I overheard him speaking about a wounded coyote……the most dangerous kind.He later let slip that it “might”be because he SHOT it with his multi-pump.I was sickened…….I guess it’s because I got ill
    that he decided a multi-pump was right for the job.I WILL put down the coyote,but I don’t plan on speaking to him again.He KNEW better……nothing legal you can do with them folks.

  27. I think you might be able to dissuade some of the 1st time air gunners from buying the wrong rifle by changing the ” best guns for $150” blog and the ” Toms picks” section on pyramid air by putting them in usage categories. Ie: inexpensive target rifles, medium cost target rifles, inexpensive bird hunting rifles, inexpensive rabbit hunting rifles, inexpensive ground hog hunting rifles, inexpensive target rifles suitable for 9-12 year olds, etc.

  28. Everyone,

    Ballistol smells like anise (dead fish) because there is anise in it. At least that is what I have been told.

    It is a superior metal lube and protectant, despite the bad smell, which I must say I no longer mind as much.


  29. I was an MSF motorcycle rider coach for many years. We have the same problem with people buying bikes for the first time. People now buy things by organizing their perceived values/wants on a SPREADSHEET. They think their spreadsheet will solve any possible issue…blah, blah. These same people also think the world is Wal-Mart; that is they can return anything that does not meet their (imagined) expectations. Arrr.

  30. Edith,
    Smarter than I gave it credit for. On my last comment, where I said it doesn’t purge anything, you’ll see double quote marks at the end. I put the brackets and some text in there. Do you not even see the brackets between the quote marks?

  31. I have made a few mistakes buying airguns but they are few. I tend to like novel ideas like the viper express. A true air shotgun, who would have guessed they would make such a thing. And I do use it. Some of the guns I own are no longer in production like the savage arms enforcer and the tech force 66 and tech force 6. Collectable in my opinion but rarely used. Some guns I bought for a specific purpose like my ruger airhawk bought to deal with a muskrat problem, and it did the job efficiently. What I really wanted was a gun that could do everything from 10 meter to long distance pest-getter-ridder-ofer. I can finally afford an airforc condor co2 powered gun I can upgrade and downgrade as needed. Now it appears my collection that quite literally spans the globe will be obsoleted by a gun made in texas. However, I still truly take pleasure in my collection. I take a few out at family get togethers and break out the targets and let people have fun shooting until they get tired.

  32. Yes this is a good rant. This helped explain some of the conversations that I have read and decided not to avoid joining in on.

    New Airgunners seem to want the most powerful rifles and have the best possible accuracy. I have never understood this, how are you going to have any accuracy at transonic velocities with a pellet rifle? It is not going to happen. And what about accuracy; do they really think that they are going to get a Springer to shoot good tight groups, or even be accurate enough to reliably take small game at more than about 10 yards? Not going to happen, unless they get a really good springer and willing to put in a lot of practice, in the order of hundreds of thousands of shots.

    Realistically they need to look at the good MSPs like the Crosman 2289, or Benjaman 392. These are good affordable accurate Air Guns, either worth more than the combined price tag of both in terms of performance and accuracy.

    Personally I prefer MSPs, this is because they are in my price range and they are simple to maintain, can produce the needed energy for small game hunting (like my 2289g that I have modded, and will mod some more), and with the correct set up are EXTREMELY accurate. I really prefer the Crosman 13xx platform (1322, 2289, etc) as it is extremely easy to modify for a little extra power and good accuracy 🙂 . Though even the Crosman 66 has its place, and is my .177 with many of the same modifications to it as I did on the 2289 (there are a few that do not carry over).

    Of course I would be very happy if Crosman made a .22 PCP that I could afford and shoots at around 550 fps to 650 fps with 14.3 grain Crosman Premier Domed Pellets, though I would not expect to get the accuracy of the higher end PCPs, or even the accuracy of my pumpers as that would be to much to ask.

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