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I want an air gun!

by B.B. Pelletier

I was in a friend’s gun room last Friday, having a conversation with a mutual friend we shoot with a lot when he said this, “I need an air gun. What should I get?”

Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you can imagine the questions that followed.

What kind of shooting do you want to do? How much do you want to spend? Etc.

Turns out he wanted to keep the pest birds (boat-tailed grackles, which are larger than most small birds but not as big as crows) out of his bird feeder, squirrels out of his attic and generally have something to shoot when he couldn’t get to the range.

There’s an amusing conversation in the movie, Roxanne, in which something like the following question is asked, “What can you sit on, brush your teeth with and drink out of?” When no one can guess, the person who asked the question gives the answer, “A chair, a toothbrush and a glass. Sometimes there isn’t one answer for everything.”

And that’s the first part of our lesson for today. Sometimes, one air gun just can’t do everything, and you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment by looking for one that can.

Cost destroys reason
After I hear his answers to my questions, I have a short list of guns to recommend; but when the question of cost is addressed, the list fragments and disintegrates. Cost is often the destroyer of reason.

I’ve watched the comments to this blog over just the past couple weeks and cost is always the ugly monster that’s used to tear reason apart. We want an air gun that can do thus and such, but we never want to pay more than this much — and everybody knows you can’t buy what we want for what we want to pay. But let’s get back to my discussion last week.

I recommend a Crosman Titan GP Nitro Piston – Lower Velocity air rifle, and of course the question came back, “Why would I want the lower velocity rifle? Why not the one that has the most velocity?” Well, the rifle I suggested is accurate, powerful enough for hunting at close range, comes with a scope and is one of the really great bargains in all of airgun-dom. But the name sounds bad.

I blame Crosman for that! That name may have made perfect sense in their conference room, when everyone was gathered around coming up with something to call this new rifle, but tacking on the qualifier “Lower Velocity” was akin to saying the rifle was somehow deficient. Sure, everyone in the room knew they meant that it had lower velocity than the Titan GP (that now no longer exists), but what they did was paint a fine new product with the brush of doubt.

It’s like trying to sell a car called Nova in a country where that name means “No go”!

If you are curious about this rifle you can read about it here.

Back to the discussion. So, my other friend drags out aΒ Diana RWS 48 sidelever that he has had for about two years. He’s never fired the thing — he just took it on a trade involving several guns. I then observe that it would make the perfect air gun for this guy. It’s a .22, has more power than he needs to dispatch his pests and it certainly is a nice rifle for general shooting. But then for reasons I don’t understand I added, “But this is an expensive rifle! Without the scope it costs over $400 new.”

Why did I say that? If I had kept my big trap shut, these two guys would have probably made some sort of deal; and the guy who wanted the airgun would have gone home happy. But thanks to me, the owner of the gun that he never shoots now thinks it’s valuable and the buyer thinks it’s too expensive for him!

We had not mentioned money up to this point! This deal could have happened as a trade where no cash would have changed hands. Both parties would have gotten something they wanted, and everyone would have been happy. But no. I had to spoil it all by saying the airgun was expensive.

Forget the cost!
And that’s the other part of today’s little lesson. Forget the cost. The thing to do is to figure out what you want. Don’t allow cost to be a part of that process. The reason you don’t want to let cost be involved is because cost, by itself, is meaningless. It doesn’t add or detract from value. Cost doesn’t make an air gun more accurate, nor does it make it more powerful. It doesn’t even make it look better, though there are many who would argue with that! Cost is an artificial factor that people make up when goods and services are bartered.

When I deal in air guns, I would much rather trade than sell or buy. The reason is simple. If someone sees value in what I have and I see value in what they have, it’s much easier to deal with just that than if money enters the discussion. A Sheridan Supergrade may well bring $1,400 on the open market, but if someone takes a fancy to a TX200 and wants to trade straight across, what’s the harm?

The harm comes when a “scorekeeper” enters the picture (always uninvited) and announces the relative prices of each item, to make it obvious that the deal is lopsided. Some people just have to keep score for the rest of us that way. Last Friday, I was the scorekeeper and I stopped any chance of a deal with my careless remarks. And the pity is that the owner of the 48 sidelever wasn’t the least bit interested in it. He would have been much better off getting a gun he could use or even some money he could spend. He hadn’t paid the new price for the airgun anyway, so what business did I have saying anything?

Concentrate on what you want
I smile when you guys talk about kung fu lessons, because this is one of them. Forget price and concentrate on what you want. That’s how to pick a new house, a career or an airgun. I know how easy it is to poke holes in that sentiment, such as everybody would want a mansion that few could ever afford; but if you free yourself of the cost consideration and think about other things, you might discover that a mansion is not what you really want. Mansions require upkeep and an investment of time (and money), and many people would not want that millstone tied around their necks!

Back to airguns
Some people wonder why I get rid of so many airguns. When I talk about guns I’ve owned, they think I’m crazy for letting go of the one(s) they would enjoy so much. For example, a lot of people think I was crazy to ever let Mrs. Beeman’s FWB 124 go. It has such gorgeous wood, and it was custom-made for the wife of Robert Beeman — how could I ever have let a gun like that get away? Read about the Queen Bee here.

Easy! I didn’t want to “covet” it for the rest of my life. I don’t have a museum with guns on display, and that gun belongs on display — not out shooting boat-tailed grackles. I let it go because I couldn’t give it the devotion most people probably feel it deserves. It was sitting around, not being treasured, and I felt that a gun that nice deserved to be loved. So, I sold it back to the person I bought it from, and today it has increased in price six times what I sold it for.

If you’re a person who has to own the finest of things, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t strive for that. Get what you want, but do so for the right reasons — and the cost of something is never a good reason, unless you stand to make money from it.

And if what you want is an air rifle for hunting grackles — get one! Don’t hope that your Crosman 760 can do the job because that’s all you have. Stop shooting grackles! Nothing in life forces you to shoot grackles, does it? Stop convincing yourself that you “must” do something and then worrying that you aren’t equipped to do it. But if grackles are really a problem for you — then get something to deal with them. Something appropriate — not something you can afford.

No kidding — this really happened!
Last true story — just to demonstrate that I’ve already made all of these mistakes that qualify me to warn you what not to do. This story is about deer hunting. It’s not about real deer hunting, but the kind of deer hunting that’s done with the wallet.

Decades ago, I was stationed at Fort Bliss and was invited to go deer hunting. I went out and bought a rifle; and, because I was a young married man with a family, I couldn’t afford much. So, I bought a Remington model 788 and put a scope on it (because everybody knows a gun has to have a scope to kill a deer). But I was out of money at that point. Fortunately, I’d thought about that, so the rifle I bought was in .308 Winchester caliber and the current U.S. M60 machine gun used 7.62x51mm rounds — which are also known as Winchester .308 rounds.

I managed to obtain about 40 rounds of machine gun ammo. After removing the steel links and discarding the tracer rounds, I had the cartridges I needed except for one thing. The bullets in these cartridges had full metal jackets, so I spent several evenings filing cross slots into the pointed tips of the bullets to expose the lead cores. In short, I made Dum-Dum bullets!

All my preparation time meant that I had only a short session at the range to sight the rifle in before the hunt. But that was no problem. What I brought to the field gave me precious little chance of ever doing anything other than embarrassing myself.

And I did it all within a tight budget!

79 thoughts on “I want an air gun!”

  1. Cost. How much!!??

    When it comes to guns quality is almost always cheaper.

    Usually cheaper to maintain because of better build quality.

    Cheaper because they usually do the job well that they were designed for which eliminates the need to buy a second gun. You can read stories daily on airgun forums that usually end with, “I should have realized that this cheap gun wouldn’t last and wouldn’t be accurate. Can someone recommend a good gun for my needs that I should have purchased first?”

    Cheaper because many years from now when springs wear out, it needs seals, bumpers, pistons, etc. parts will probably still be available to make your gun work like new. There are new replacement parts still available today for many quality guns made over 50 years ago. There are cheaper guns made just a few years ago that you can’t source parts for.

    Cheaper because when you decide to sell the gun there will be a stronger resale market. Historically high quality guns have held their value. Your cost of ownership could be close to zero if you choose quality.

    The problem is usually that the typical American buyer won’t save for quality and doesn’t have a long term view of what an item actually costs over the entire period of ownership. They’re fixated on the initial upfront cost and how quickly can I have it. This usually means cheaper is better and the segment of the disposable society grows.


  2. OK you got me thinking (usually not a good thing) I’m going to buy a plinking air rifle. Right now I have a TX200 and Marauder both in 22. Along with my first air rifle Beeman C1 in 177 I purchase some 30 years ago. I was going to buy a Bronco now you have me leaning toward a Beeman R7. Give me a push will you and I won’t hold it against you.

    ON the fence

    • What for you want one of those R7s? They cost a lot, have no open sights, have droopy barrels, the cocking links drag on the compression tube, trigger is hard to adjust, and they are not suitable for hunting coyotes and elk.

      If you get an HW 30 you will get rid of one of those problems….you will have open sights if you want them.

      By the way, I have two R7s. Any problems (other than lack of open sights and lack of big game hunting power) have been fixed or compensated for. No way I would sell them.


    • speakski,

      This is something I cannot do, nor can anyone other than you. A Bronco is not anything bad, so you’re not giving up anything by getting one. But if you really want a Rekord trigger, when the R7 is the way to go.

      In other words, both choices are good ones. You have to decide.


      • Those Bronco triggers really are very good . The one we bought was shootable right from the box, one of the few air rifles I’ve ever been able to say that about. BTW, it is a PA pre-owned gun too.

        • I bought a Bronco. I loved it. I gave it to my nephew, because I love him too. Despite owning an embarrassing wealth of airguns, I eventually bought another Bronco from PA that was ‘used’. The cost of the Bronco vs. the value is so lopsided, I couldn’t resist. I dragged it out today and shot it. What a joy it is to shoot that rifle.

          BB, if I didn’t enjoy your articles so much, I would suggest you go into designing rifles full time.

  3. I for one am into quality. Unfortunately, quality costs. That is why my air gun collection is extremely small and will remain so. It is difficult to justify spending a month’s salary on a toy. That is why Crosman will likely be around for quite some time to come.

    • RidgeRunner,

      This report wasn’t really about quality versus no quality. It was about getting what you really want. Once cost is eliminated from the set of features of anything, it becomes easier to look at that thing objectively.

      Yes, quality can cost, but it doesn’t have to.What does cost is allowing yourself to be driven by artificial “values” like cost that have no real value whatsoever.

      I’m probably not saying this as clearly as I should, but I don’t know how else to say it.


      • B.B.,

        I think people will understand this if we relate it to non-airgun things.

        Everyone knows somebody who buys the best of everything. And the way many of those people determine what is best is by cost. We have such a relative. If there are 2 identical items on the shelf but one is more expensive than the other, the more expensive item will be purchased because the price indicates a better product & some added value that they cannot see…but it’s there.

        I used to work for a gigantic direct mail company (direct mail is commonly called junk mail :-)). We had a book department. Before a book was ready to go to press, we sent out test mailers to our mailings lists, offering the book at different prices. One mailer offered the book at $39.95, another at $49.95 and another at $59.95 (each of these offerings went to 1 million addresses…3 million total). I’ll never forget the first time I saw the results: More people ordered the book priced at $59.95. Not just a few more…a statistically significant greater number. It was a huge book…I think 900 pages or so. It was a reference text, but they saw greater value when it was priced higher. Yet, we would have made a good profit if we sold it at $39.95. The director of the group told me this was not an unusual occurrence.

        So, people are willing to pay more for perceived value than they are for actual value. Also, our relative who buys the more expensive items likes to brag “I buy only the best.” Price=best.

        Last example. I started a desktop publishing business in 1985. I charged a pathetically small amount for writing commercial newsletters for businesses. I wasn’t making much for the amount of time I was investing. I believed that if I charged more, people would perceive more value and that I was a better writer. The first month that I raised my rates, my revenue was 10x higher than the previous month. Yet, nothing else changed but my rates. And my business grew like crazy. There even came a time when I would turn away business. Nobody wants to buy copy from a writer who thinks her writing isn’t worth much πŸ™‚


      • I understand what you and Edith are saying. But when you want a FX Independence and your wallet says you will have to settle for a Daisy Red Ryder, knowing full well you will not like it, you have to man up and forget about it.

        Cost is a consideration that must be dealt with, unless you are in the upper ten percent. This is why it has taken so long for air guns to catch on in the USA. For the price of a decent quality air rifle, you can buy a very nice .22 and a whole lot of ammo. Or just about any other rifle, pistol or shotgun for that matter.

        It is also true that with research, you can find quality at a “decent” cost. I researched for two years before I bought my first air rifle, a Gamo CFX. For the price it is a nice air rifle, especially after I put a different trigger in it.

  4. Cost, and value of a dollar (ruble, etc.) are pretty much drilled into all of us from birth. And who knows, maybe we even understand some of what we hear while still in the womb… It’s no wonder why cost comes spilling into almost every trade conversation. We’re programmed with it.


    • Dave,
      It is part of our Christian up bringing.There is a passage in the Bible which advises to first sit down and count the cost before building a house, lest we are unable to finish it and have people make fun of us.
      In the old days, when you wanted something you saved for it. Now we are part of the “I want it now generation” which often gets us into trouble. All of us, including myself, have made that mistake at one time or the other.


  5. BB, very good, very true words. Decide what you want, divide the cost by 30 years of use, save some money, do some research, go get it. In a short time you won’t miss the money at all. If later it is no longer needed or wanted, quality items will sell. I have been helping a friend pick out his first air rifle.
    What’s is his first consideration………you know……….price.


  6. I’ve found the internet to be so valuable in this respect. It is so easy to do a lot of research in a short period of time…comparing product reviews, consumer reviews and sites like this make purchasing much easier than it was in the past. I remember the days of reading magazines to get product reviews and wondering if that 1/2 page ad for the product in the middle of the magazine was influencing the testers in any way πŸ˜‰
    What I have found is that somewhere between ‘cheap’ and ‘luxury’ is always the ‘good value for the money’ product. To me examples in the airgun world are the Slavia 630 series, the Avanti (both pistol and rifle) and the Gamo Compact. I know there are many more, these are the ones I have experience with. I don’t mind paying for a LW barrel (for example), but can make do with the plain beech stock of the Avanti 853 compared to a similar rifle with walnut at twice the price.
    I’ve found this holds true for just about any product on the planet…guitars, electronics, cars…all of them seem to have that mid-ranged great value for the price lineup.

    • csd,

      Exactly. I also wholeheartedly agreed when B.B. said, “quality can cost, but it doesn’t have to”.

      A little research on the internet can identify quality rather quickly. Used guns are also an option if cost is the major consideration but unlike buying a new gun from a dealer like Pyramyd AIR there are no guarantees. While researching used gun prices it’s easy to determine resale value of almost any gun. Although you may not be buying the gun for immediate resale an important aspect to identify “quality” is to determine how strong the resale market is IMHO.

      To your “good value for the money” (I call them quality guns) list I’d add the bronco (amazing how quickly these used guns sell for and how much of their value is retained), FWB124, almost all vintage Weihrauch rifle’s especially the Beeman marked guns (guys reliving their youth?), late model diana 27’s, FWB 300’s and I could on but don’t have time.

      As I stated in my post above, unfortunately the typical airgun buyer won’t take the time to do this research and wait to find a good deal. The “how quickly can I have it” is a trap.


    • CSD,

      Yes, and I’d like to add that if someone else wants something different than you do — that’s okay, too. Just as long as they are making decisions with their pocketbook!

      Maybe in a couple of weeks I will come back to this topic and address the cost issue, because it certainly is important, too.


  7. BB,
    Wow! This is not a lesson on airguns. This is a lesson on life. How do you come up with these things? I have been trapped by the cost monster many times. It is a hard beast to avoid. Every time I want to buy something my cheap gene kicks in making me want to settle for less than I really wanted. Then, I end up grousing because either (1) I bought the cheap one, then still bought the costlier one because the cheap one didn’t do the job, and ended up spending way more than necessary, or (2) I keep thinking about the one I really wanted knowing I settled for the inferior one, letting it drive me to distraction.

    I have, many times, regretted getting the cheap item, but I have NEVER regretted getting what I really wanted!


    • Chuck,

      No one is exempt from this type of thinking. I would like to cite these examples from B.B.’s life:

      (1) In 1985, he wanted a Macintosh computer. He looked at the price, thought it was too expensive and opted to buy the less-capable Apple II computer which had none of the features which were driving him to buy his first computer. A year later, he bought the Mac because he still needed the features that only the Mac had.

      (2) He loves 1911 handguns. He would do just about anything to get another one. Several years ago, I asked him what he wanted for Xmas. He named some goofy gun…I can’t remember what it was. I told him that I could buy him that, but I had wanted to buy him a Wilson Combat 1911 because I thought he would really like it. Of course, he jumped at the chance to get the Wilson, but he would not have bought it on his own.

      Everyone falls into the price trap at one time or another.


      • I did the exact same thing a few months ago. I was due for a new laptop, went for the bargain, the cheap one. Once I got home I realized it was actually slower than my old laptop, back to the store it went. I got the better one, paid more money but well worth it. Meanwhile I lost time installing the programs and drivers and to remove all of these programs and drivers from the cheap computer and THEN to reainstall all of it on the new one, ugh.


        • BB

          Wait a minute, didn’t Macintosh computers cost like $4000 in 1985? My first computer was an Epson that did not even have a hard drive. It was basically an expensive word processor. I feel old using the term ‘word processor’.

          You hit the jackpot when you married Edith. I think we all agree, you are a very lucky man.

            • B.B., I can’t know for sure but I do suspect you would have been less pleased with the 128k Mac.
              I also bought an Apple IIe, but I bought mine in 1983 before the Mac existed. It was the Lisa that was for sell and it was $10,000.00. The IBM PC was about $5,000.00. I spent four months researching and learning about personal computers. The IIe was right for me; I learned a lot and got a lot of function out of it. I have no reason to think it was the same for others. I think this is what you have written, that we must each decide what we want, what we can honestly afford (whether right now or by saving up) and avoiding the impulse buy (as I did with a DOS laptop, among other things I will avoid mentioning).

              My few airguns are not among things to be avoided. I am still pleased with the few I have purchased. I am now saving up for something (not sure which one but the Discovery is on the short list) and I don’t feel pressured to spend impulsively.


              • Ken,

                I saw the Lisa, of course, but I was actually trained to work on the Xerox 8010 system, which looked like a Macintosh and was thousands of times slower. I once moved a raster drawing of an M1 tank 12 inches on screen and sit the system down for 8 hours as the image moved in small increments and each raftered line was redrawn!

                What a kludge!


          • My computers cost more each time I buy one…

            My TRS-80 Mod III was over $1000 without floppies (I paid $800 to get a memory expansion and floppy added; later I paid that much to convert the motherboard to a Mod 4).

            My Amiga A-1000 was mid $1500 or so, and then I paid $800 for an outboard memory box and 2MB of RAM.

            All my Windows boxes have broken $2000 (one approached $3000).

      • In 1986, when I was in middle school, I talked my dad into replacing his phototypesetter with a Mac. We spent just shy of $18k on the whopping 1 MB Mac, the whopping 20 MB hard disk, and a laser printer. Very big money for Dad’s small business at the time. He would probably tell you they were some of the best bucks he ever spent. We cut his work week literally in half. And, the old phototypesetter still held much of its value at the time, with many publishing wonks still sneering at those newfangled desktop publishing contraptions.

        That Mac ran the business until late 2000, happily running System 6 well beyond the Y2K teakettle tempest that old the Chicken Littles adored so. It was a big, high-end spend when it was new, but that thing paid us back with many days by the river with the dogs, instead of at the office. Bet it still boots!


  8. That’s why one of my very first airguns was a FWB 700 ALU. It’s what I wanted, and for good reason. There really was no substitute, but the Crosman Challenger came pretty close. My first purchase was the Gamo Compact. Not being nearly as much of a pistol shooter as I am a rifle shooter, the Compact gave me a decent platform to work on fundamentals, and I shot the heck out of it.

    Springer’s were entirely new to me until I found this blog. Never would have considered them, but have found them to be a unique pleasure. As I’ve said many times here. Springer’s required that I learn how to shoot all over again. I have a special appreciation for them, but still respect what my FWB can do.

    Price not being a consideration, for the most part, I’ve bought a bunch of air-rifles in the $150 to $600 range, and with only one exception, found them all to be worth every penny. My Crosman Titan is a good example of an air-gun that I’ve derived MANY hours of pleasure from. I’m talking HUGE SMILE on my face pleasure!

    I love to shoot! I REALLY love to shoot! I literally can shoot from Sun-up, till Sun-down. I can’t put a price on the enjoyment that I can derive from even a $100 air-gun, if it’s accurate.

      • When the braintrusts at Coca-Cola decided to translate their slogan at the time “Coke adds life” into Chinese, they must have contracted out the translation to the lowest bidder.

        The mangled interpretation turned out to mean, “Coke brings your dead relatives back to life.” Not a claim they could back up with evidence. This mistake was unfortunate, but hilarious nonetheless.

  9. Well, I guess you can ignore money up to a point. But no credit default swaps please. πŸ™‚ The way I approached the cost problem was to get my Anschutz 1907 rifle and let it stand for all great rifles. I’m pleased with the purchase, but I must say it is not quite like that Russian-capture K98 that I’ve been eyeing.

    Flobert, your shot sir. How do you ignore money when you’re off the grid? πŸ™‚ More seriously, thanks for your thoughts. But I’m not sure the stories about your friends A and D are exactly reassuring… So how do you buy from PA without a credit card? Please ignore this if it gets at proprietary info.

    Victor, glad to heard your version of Karate was different. That stuff was awful. Odd too, there was great sophistication in some techniques like the turn side kick that I thought was a very low percentage showy technique. But there was the day-one error of charging forward squared up with hands down. I’ve been trying to figure out how this could possibly work. One possibility is that bare knuckle boxers apparently kept their hands low because it is only with gloves that boxers could make repeated head shots. With bare hands, they would get broken knuckles. The forehead is much harder than knuckles, and it was a well-known technique to dive your head into someone’s fist and break it. This even happened to Gene Tunney, one of the great defensive boxers of all time. So, I was thinking that maybe this low-hands approach reflected a more realistic as opposed to sporting martial art. On the other hand, those people clobbered in the face were done. So /Dave I don’t know if it ultimately mattered whether it was a point format or not. Also, they were making heavier contact than you usually see in point fighting.

    This is much more my idea of proper head coverage.


    That’s Katie Taylor, world champion boxer from Ireland and a wonderful athlete. You could say she is all around much more my style than the Karate clip. She’s hot. Trouble is, her accent is such that I can hardly understand anything she says. She will appear on interviews very nicely turned out. You’ll wait for the words of wisdom, and it may as well be Greek. Her boxing has to talk for her.


    • Matt61,
      Speaking of tough Irish ladies have you ever read the book”‘Follow the River” by James Alexander Thom ?
      I read it years ago ,borrowed from a friend,but just found a copy at a used book store. When telling a friend she might like to read it she said she liked the movie. I didn’t even know there was a movie πŸ™‚

  10. Matt61,
    Interesting about “…bare knuckle boxers apparently kept their hands low…”. I found that bear knuckles make it more practical to keep your hands high. Why? Because in Karate, and street fights, you must guard against kicks. When wearing gloves (not just boxing gloves), the gloves obscure more of what your opponent is doing. Barehanded, you (at least I) can see much more.

    • That’s a good point. You certainly don’t want to take a kick to the head. But why then do the Tae Kwon Do people who do nothing but kick keep their hands low? I suspect it is to permit more mobility and some of their acrobatic moves.

      A lot depends on the size of the glove. Jack Dempsey used a four ounce glove, and his hand techniques were very sophisticated. The ones that boxers use now are like pillows and they have debased the technique without really affording extra protection–except against cuts.

      That’s quite the shot you took from what I assume was your then-future wife, but maybe worth it in the end. πŸ™‚ The closest I got to that was an advanced black belt woman who practiced Shotokan which I believe is the most popular Karate style in the world. With her high rank, she had all the makings of a training partner I needed at the time. And perhaps there would be more! I was willing to overlook her long nose. But what a farce that turned out to be. She was a hypercompetitive cheap shot artist very much in the image of those guys you saw on film except that she was an utter coward who was not willing to take the kind of contact she was dishing out. Finally, I had enough, so I picked her off the floor and gave her an almighty shaking like you would to a little kid. And that was the end of that little partnership… I think you’ve had better luck with your training partners than I have.


      • Matt,

        In ITF/USTF Tae Kwon Do, we keep our hands high but loose and elbows in. If you don’t, you pay with black eyes, sore ribs, loose teeth, etc… We’re also taught to kick low in a street fight. Never above the waist. Much harder to defend against, than the fancy head kicks that we practice in tournament sparring. Lots of hand techniques and grappling too. It’s the combat TKD, not the “sport” or olympic version.


        • /Dave,
          You’ve just described our training goals. Nothing fancy, just quick, effective, punches, kicks, hand techniques, and grappling. If someone misses with a kick, you grab their leg, move them, forcing them to try to keep balance, while you pound them, for example.

          • Yes! I will admit that I have been the recipient of a number of leg grabs as a reward for having too slow of a foot and/or bad aim. Hopping around on one foot while getting simultaneously pounded, then dumped on my backside or face and getting laughed at the whole time tends to make ones aim and quickness a bit better… πŸ˜€


      • Matt61,
        Ah, cheap shot artist! I’ve known a few very well, including my best friend from high school. I strongly believe that these types have very deep psychological issues, and in some cases I was privy to enough knowledge about them to see that this was absolutely true. The best way to effectively deal with these types is to give them a dose of their own medicine. This is unfortunate, but true. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about people who commit “accidents”.

        Just as I do not like to go shooting with just anyone, I was also very selective about who I practiced sparring with. I also don’t like horseplay. I’ve found too many instances where someone could dish it out, but couldn’t take it.

  11. My extremely thrifty grandfather set aside money for me to go to college. (A Scottish immigrant, who arrived in America during the Great Depression) I got my degree in marketing, with a major in advertizing. What a colossal waste of money for a person with a conscience. Being a paparazzi reporter carries more dignity.

    I just couldn’t do it. I felt like I was Luke Skywalker, thinking “Vader’s outfit is pretty cool”. What we pay for some things is completely arbitrary as Edith illustrated. My expensive degree is worthless to me.

    This article really hit home. I purchased my first airgun with budget in mind, and then spent a great deal of money customizing it to make it better. Then I found this blog and all hell broke loose as far as budget was concerned. My very next airgun purchase was the aforementioned TX200.

    Unfortunately for me, the current economy has eroded my spending power significantly, just at the time when I need to buy a new car.

    Today, BBs blog has inspired me to say “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

    In the spirit of this blog I have settled for this car, as it satisfies my needs for daily transportation

    Thank you BB, for making my choice so much easier.

    • SL,

      You need to watch the movie “Crazy People.” It stars Dudley Moore (don’t care for him as an actor, but he’s great in this) and will have you on the floor laughing. It gets the point across by slapping you in the face with it. Rent it. Watch it. Laugh a lot. Warning: It has “colorful” language.


      • Edith

        Oh my stars and garters! My virgin ears could never abide the crudeness of colorful language! I get the vapors just thinking about such a thing. ;-P

        I happen to like Dudley Moore quite a bit, God rest his soul. His portrayal as Arthur is timeless. Also he narrated one of my all time favorite films, “The Adventures of Milo and Otis.” Movies don’t get any better than that.

  12. Drat!
    Double Drat!!
    My friend brought over the Savage last night.
    Gave the barrel a cleaning, put on the bipod and she’s all set to go.
    Two days ago it was 10c (50f).
    The forecast for the weekend is 0c (32f) and snow.

      • As long as it’s not a blizzard we’ll likely head out πŸ˜‰
        There is a bit more to the plumbing story than I mentioned.
        I have a treated wood floor…so part of the floor had to be torn up to get the ‘crap’ dealt with.
        Luckily the backup was under a toilet right in the corner of the basement…only about a 3′ square had to be taken out and then replaced…if the toilet had been more central in the basement I would possibly have had to tear out the whole floor.
        But I gotta admit…the plumber was there about 8 hours and his assistant 3. So that means they were charging $163 an hour for their time…more than my doctor.

    • My condolences…

      Two or three weeks ago I pulled the electric heaters (unused) from storage because the gas heating bill in my new location ran over $100…

      Today — I just put on shorts and t-shirt; 80degF is too warm for long pants and long-sleeved T’s… (Grand Rapids, MI — where the normal March average is mid-40s)

  13. Yeah, that’s a drag. But you just need a different gun for those conditions. I can think of nothing better for my Mosin sniper rifle, and never expect to have those conditions in California. πŸ™


  14. B.B., so what’s wrong with a scoped Remington 788 in .308? The dum dum bullets are a bit painstaking, but I would think that even the FMJ rounds in that caliber would be plenty for deer. What’s not to like with this set-up?


  15. So, B.B., did you not have a good time on your fateful dum-dum deer hunt? Any hilariously embarrassing anecdotes πŸ˜‰ ? What would you have done, if you had it all to do over?


    • Jan,

      Two years later I was hunting roe deer in Germany and was given unlimited hunting privileges because I was so effective. I hunted from May 15 to Dec. 31 and shot 13 deer in an 18-month period. I had a rifle that was accurate, I had studied the game I hunted and I sat in a high deer stand instead of walking about like a bumpkin.

      No anecdotes from the Dun Dum hunt, I’m afraid.


  16. O have a rather extensive airgun collection now. Most of my guns are out of production. At this time I’m simply storing them as a collection. Some I bought to hunt with. Some I bought for fun. Others simply because they were plain old innovative things I never saw before. Sadly all these seem to be lacking somehow. One of my biggest complaints is the love affair manufacturing is having wiyh PLASTIC. It’s good for toys but I have never heard a serious airgunner say,”I need more plastic! Cover the thing in plastic and make the insides mostly plastic too!” This is why I am so far suceeding in building what I like to think of is a great gun. Real wood, stainless steel, and aluminum, nice light trigger, custom one of a kind muzzle brake, and good quality optics on the best rings I can find. The idea is to turn out a beautiful light highly manuverable airgun that can be fired in any temprature. So far everyuhing is going great. I took a 600 fps gun and got it up to 700 fps, and my muzzle break is totally negating barrel lift so it is highly accurate at 10 meters which is my goal. The feather light trigger also is a great help as well as the adjustable seer. I’m estimating the build cost about $500 and it is the prettiest gun I ever saw. Why can’t the big factories build like this? It would definitely make airgunning, in my opinion much better than flooding the market with plastic trash.

      • Volvo

        You are so busted. People often save their most poisonous venom for the thing they covet the most.

        Now that the dreadful secret is out, I might just grudgingly admit that you could possibly be an man with exquisite tastes. I am sorry you didn’t win the auction.

        I am somewhat disillusioned by all of this. What’s next? Trading in the Volvo for a BMW M3? Volvo, I thought I knew ye.

  17. I have a question regarding mounts on magnum powered air rifles. I have a Benjamin superstreak which I installed a gas spring in. The rifle has been pretty hard on the mount that came with it, especially with the gas spring. What mount would you recommend to use on my rifle ? Also would a scope stop solve my problem ?

  18. B.B.,

    While your advice may be good, ultimately it’s what the industry wants us to want that matters. Namely, they want us to want a springer that shoots a .177 pellet at a minimum of 1000 fps. If I walk into a store, that’s what they are likely to have. There isn’t a lot of advice available either. Store clerks don’t know any better, and really don’t care.

    Would it makes sense for someone to write a small, easy to read, book/booklet that provides a simple overview of what the pertinent factors are (e.g., cocking effort, type [pneumatic, springer, PCP], weight, sights, etc.), along with parameters (e.g., velocity, caliber, energy, etc.) and how they map to specific applications (e.g., hunting, target shooting, plinking, etc.)?

    I’m thinking a relatively small booklet with an obvious title, like

    ============= Air-gunners Buyers Guide ==============
    == What You Need to Know Before You Buy an Air-gun ==

    This is should NOT be encyclopedic, but rather should cover the most obvious elements of real (that should be, at least) interest to a potential newbie. It should have plenty of references, including web-links.

    So what would our blog members like to see in such a booklet? Remember, it has to be relatively brief, and yet cover the fundamental essential to a newbie. No low-level technical details, only high level, brief, descriptions of the various power-plants, for example.

    If I walk into the gun section of a Wal-Mart, I will see a few books, including a gun buyers guide, so it’s not as if customers have to browse through a catalogs worth of books. Because I buy most of my ammo at Wal-Mart, I run into lots of air-gun shoppers. They rarely buy an air-gun the first time around, and the store clerks aren’t comfortable make recommendations. If such a book were on the shelf, the store clerks could simply recommend that they take a look at the book, or buy one at say, $2.00 a pop. I realize that I’m playing fast and loose here, but I do see some potential for a partial solution to some of the problems with this discussion.

    So, again, what would our blog members like to see in such a booklet?


  19. I am a week behind reading the blog and I just read this one. I really enjoyed it. Value verses cost is what makes it hard for me to sell some airguns. They are just worth more to me than what I could sell them for. I will generally pick a Diana 27 over an R7, a BSA Supersport over an R9, etc. To me the Diana 27 and BSA Supersport are worth more than the R7 and R9.

    I always buy used guns and try to consider resell when I buy a gun. I want to know that I can get all of my money (and usually more) back if I decide to sell the gun later. That will skew my buying decisions away from some cheaper guns that shoot well but will not hold any value. But, if you can get them at the right price to begin with it is OK but they may be a hard sell. A hard sell is also a problem buying some obscure and interesting airguns. Will anyone even know what it is and would anyone else buy it from me?

    I hope to see you and others at LASSO this weekend and at Malvern in a few weeks,

    David Enoch

  20. Tom, a wonderful article! As usual you have wonderfully articulated an experience most of us have put ourselves through…my fourth airgun was the one I really wanted, so all the money spent on the “economical” first three was wasted!

    My mom put it very succinctly: “Even bargains cost money.”

    Oh and speaking of Fort Bliss: My little brother and I were both born there, while our dad was playing with Nike Ajaxes. Mebbe there is something in that El Paso water that just makes ya wanna shoot an airgun?

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