Is it appropriate?

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Stephen Carolyn Donahue is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card. Congratulations!

BSOTW winner Stephen Carolyn Donahue says this about his winning picture: “Most of our children, posing with air rifles purchased from Pyramyd Air, three years ago. Please note that none of these weapons were loaded in this picture.”

I am attending the NRA Annual Meetings in St. Louis today, so I’m asking the veteran readers to watch out for new readers who need their questions answered before I can get to it. I’ll be back in the office on Tuesday.

Today, I want to talk about mixing airgun features that don’t go well together. I see this in two main ways. One is a thread on a forum in which someone touts a certain feature, such as a 24-inch barrel on a CO2 rifle. The thread that follows looks like a line of lemmings stepping off the same cliff as the originator of the thread. What if 24-inch barrels don’t do well on CO2 guns? No matter! Off they go in a race to change over all their CO2 rifles to 24-inch barrels, and someone wonders aloud where he can get a 30-inch barrel.

The other way I see this is in questions. They never come out and say what’s really on their mind, but a careful reader can usually see it just below the surface. “Where can I get a 6,000 psi nitrogen tank?” […so I can fill my PCP rifle to 6,000 psi so it will shoot faster, flatter and straighter — won’t it?] Or they ask where they can get something “repaired.” I have a Sheridan Blue Streak that needs the barrel attached.” […because when I mounted a 24x scope on the gun it cracked the solder joint and the barrel fell off.]

I gave you all a good look at what happens when someone acts on an idea they have without thinking it through. Remember Steel Dreams? That was an oversized Beeman R1 through which the builder planned to shoot .22 pellets as fast as a .177 R1. In other words — break the sound barrier. If you recall, the rifle weighed over 11 lbs., cocked with 75 lbs. of effort, had an Anschütz match barrel and was no more powerful than a normal R1.

And so it goes
But these stories don’t dampen the passions of the armchair tinkerer, because in his world all it takes to invent something is to imagine it. No metal is required, no machine time, no need to test whether that longer spring will even fit into that “underpowered” spring gun. Just the knowledge that he is right sends him off to the races.

Writer Ladd Fanta once wrote of a reader of his who “invented” the perfect airgun. It had to be fully automatic, have a plastic body so all the parts could be seen and cost less than a hundred dollars. He wasn’t talking about an airsoft gun, either. No, sir! he wanted a full-blown accurate and powerful pellet rifle with all those features.

More power!
Comedian Tim Allen got it right when he recognized the male need for more power in everything. What he missed entirely was the male resistance to doing work to get it! I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard something like the following. I bought the new Dragon Spittle Extreeeeme because I thought it was the most powerful air rifle made. But I can’t cock it! I am a healthy 15 year-old and large for my age, but my father can’t even cock this rifle more than once. Why do you sell such a powerful rifle that is impossible to cock? He might as well have asked why sports car seats are so small or why 180-lb. beer kegs weigh so much!

You meet this same guy on a double diamond ski slope with his face planted firmly in the snow.

Price rules!
I want the most accurate, most powerful pellet rifle made, and I don’t want anything made in China or Turkey. And it has to cost $125 or less. Well, start working, Bunky, because you will be the first to build one, if you can!

Why don’t they…
… make barrels longer? Because everybody knows that longer barrels are more accurate. Oh, really? Then why, pray tell, are Olympic target rifle barrels 16 inches long, when the barrel shrouds that house them are 25 inches long?

… make better hunting air pistols? Could it be because it takes a long barrel to produce the power needed for a hunting airgun? And what’s wrong with the TalonP?

… make PCPs that sell for under $100? I’m actually working on that one.

… turn 10-meter target rifles into more powerful rifles for field target? Everyone knows 10-meter rifles are the most accurate in the world. Actually, Walther did just that about a decade ago. I worked on it through Smith & Wesson. They called it the Dominator, and it was supposed to sweep the field of all the prizes. The other competitors didn’t get the memo in time, I guess.

… make a BB gun that’s accurate? They did and they still do. The Diana model 30 was such a gun and is still sold in Europe, but the thousand-dollar price scared away American buyers. The Daisy Avanti Champion 499 is still a very accurate gun, though it competes at just five meters.

I’m as guilty as anyone
Many years ago, I had an “idea” that it would be nice to own a reloadable .22 cartridge that performed like the long rifle, but one for which I could cast bullets. So, I set out to build it. First, I ordered an E.R. Shaw .22 barrel with a 1:10 inch twist and forced them to chamber it in .22 Hornet. They balked because the Hornet twist is supposed to be 1:14 inch, but I knew better. They did what I asked and afterward they announced they would lo longer make .22 Hornet barrels!

I envisioned driving a 50-grain lead bullet at 1,200 f.p.s. and having the equivalent of the .22 WRF (or better still, the much older 22/45/10 single-shot from which the .22 Hornet was derived). Twenty-two ammo was up to $20 a brick and this was a chance to stick it to The Man. I never checked the availability of .22-caliber bullet molds (there aren’t many) or of custom mold makers who make .22 molds (there are next to none who do). I just assumed all the molds I needed would be there when the time came.

What I ended up with was an inaccurate .22 Hornet that didn’t like cast bullets or jacketed bullets, either. I had the barrel rechambered for .219 Donaldson Wasp — another cartridge that is supposed to have a 1:14 inch twist. I’m still playing with that one — trying to get it to work, because underneath everything there is a fine custom E.R. Shaw .22 barrel.

So, what gives?
Why do people want things that are impossible? I think I know. I think they read a few “facts” and become fixated on them to the exclusion of everything else. You can’t tell them anything because it’s way too loud inside their heads. They “know” they’re right and that others have simply missed the wonderful thing of which they’ve dreamed. Until they attempt to do something about it, they will never know the truth. They sit back and view the airgun world as one large buffet, putting things from every dish on their imaginary plate. From this, we get requests for pocket-sized air pistols with 50 foot-pound power and minute-of-angle accuracy. Or 30 foot-pound spring rifles that cock with 20 pounds effort and cost less than $150.

I’m just ranting now; I don’t expect an answer or think this will ever change. It must be part of human nature.

157 thoughts on “Is it appropriate?”

  1. My pet peeve is taking a spring gun and wanting to know how to push it to it’s ridiculous limits. “I don’t care about cocking effort or harsh firing behaviour just tell me the spring, piston seal, spacing and secret to get this thing shooting 60 fpe” is the question/plea. When the gun tears itself apart they blame the supplier of the parts.

    Why not buy a more powerful springer and de-tune it?

    The springer owners that want to break the power barrier I can’t talk to or help. They need to create and shoot their horrendous elephant guns to appreciate the teeth loosening shot cycle, shotgun style accuracy and short lived enjoyment of same before the gun implodes.

    B.B.-Safe travels my friend.


    • Kevin,

      Ivan Hancock did just that! He took a Webley Partriot and de-tuned it to 12 foot-pounds. The story I heard was that it was very smooth and easy to shoot. All of his magnums were, so I don’t know why that one wouldn’t be even better.

      But the UK laws ruled that if the gun was ever sold at the higher energy level, then it was always an FAC gun, no matter what the tune. So it wasn’t worth his time, since nobody wanted to go to the trouble of obtaining an FAC, only to have a rifle at the legal 12 foot-pound limit anyway.


    • Kevin, you just described my gamo hurricane hunter 1250.That was my gut feeling too when I first took it out the plain cardboard box.I ended up keeping it because the fit and finish is so nice,it has a made in England mark on the rifle.I stoped taking it out because every one kept hitting the barrel on the ground.

  2. B.B.,
    The obvious answer to the question of why we ask for what we ask is that we simply don’t know any better. Sometimes an answer doesn’t exist, so we pursue the ridiculous to the impossible. But how ridiculous our wishes are is a function of our practical understanding of the issues at hand. Sometimes we simply don’t have a feel for things. But that’s not to say that individuals should be discouraged from asking for stuff. Sometimes what we want simply hasn’t been considered. While necessity is the mother of invention, sometimes ideas (even seemingly stupid ones) are the seed that leads to great new things. Even a bad idea can lead to something worthwhile, if given consideration.

      • BB,

        You created value at least. The fact that you got Shaw to make a one off .22 hornet bbl is worth more than the price of a custom. And the fact that the manufacturer stated they will never make another one… Priceless!

        Where can I get one of those “new Dragon Spittle Extreeeems”? LOL!


        • Can’t help on the Dragon Spittle Ex…… But I do have three bottles of Dragon’s Milk in the refrigerator. (I used to think Spaten Optimator was high alcohol, but Dragon’s Milk is 40% higher)

      • B.B.,

        When I first started working in engineering, I was given a series of projects with a history of failure, meaning people eventually just threw up their hands and said “I can’t do this!”. Almost all were highly mathematical in nature. I solved each problem without fail. The reason for this is that I was persistent. A huge part of the process was considering what others hadn’t, and thus eliminating a lot of bad solutions.

        I think a lot of my success was the fact that I hung in there one extra day, or week. Once the solution presented itself, even if just the tip, it was as if the floodgates had opened up and suddenly all sorts of good things followed.

        But sometimes a seemingly “bad idea” is the best idea, and something that others would usually rule out.


        • Victor, you can amuse yourself with my latest problem. When riding a bike over a speed bump at right angles, you will get a nasty jolt. But when you cross it diagonally, you get a much smoother ride. Explain this effect as a function of angle of approach! 🙂 A seemingly easy problem that turns out to be less tractable than the rifling angle problem.


          • Matt61
            The less the angle the longer the path the less abrupt the bump, until you lose the traction to climb over the edge then it becomes an edge trap which will spill you because you can’t steer to balance.

            • If you’re defining the angle as zero along the axis of the hump, that is correct. And this has powerful implications for cyclists. When approaching a bump, almost regardless of steepness (provided it does not have an edge) a violent sideways twist of the front wheel will carry you over whereas a straight line path might spill you. But pinning this phenomenon down mathematically as we did for the rifling angle is no easy task.


              • Matt61
                Sorry I’m not much of a mathematician and the only method I can think of would require the speed bump to be part of a circle ,unfortunately they are usually flattened out. The technique for motorcycles is to swing wide of a curb and cross at close to a 90 degree as possible, hitting at a lower angle can throw you. I use to cross a 4 inch diameter pipe in the parking lot where I worked by hitting the gas just before contact to loft the front wheel like a mountain biker crosses a log, you could not cross at anything less than 90 degrees .

  3. Yet again I learn something new and fascinating by reading this blog! I had never even heard of the Diana Model 30 before but as soon as you mentioned it I was off exploring the internet for information. I can see why it costs a lot but I have to admit that I’d be sorely tempted if one came up for sale in Canada! As for all the questionable modifications people do, I assume that it’s a learning experience for everyone involved, and that occasionally it results in a genuine advancement. Still, when I read a long series of posts on the Canadian airgun forum involving things like people trying to modify the Tanfoglio Witness 1911 BB pistol for more velocity, and mostly succeeding in making it totally nonfunctional until they spend a considerable amount of money to buy the parts to return it to stock condition I really have to wonder…

    • I know who you’re talking about as I’m a fellow CAF member.
      I always want to ask WHY would someone need more power out of a fun to shoot BB pistol, it’s not like you’ll ever be able to hunt with it and it won’t become more accurate because the BB is flying out of the barrel faster…
      But then I remember asking about a depinger for my Hatsan AT-44 or how to put the gas ram in my IZH-60 and people asking why. It’s just how I want it, if I can get rid of the ping of my Hatsan and the buzz and torque of IZH-60 because that’s what I like why not do it.
      You can do what you want to your stuff BUT the thing is, don’t come complaining you ruined the thing afterwards!


    • Jake,

      I believe that it is possible — not just to make such a gun, but to make it right here in America. The Crosman 2260 proves it, I think.

      While I never wanted the Benjamin Discovery to cost under $100, I did want it to sell for $250 with the pump. Crosman first offered it at about $400, and it is still at that price today.

      To get under $100 the pump has to go away and the wood stock, as well. The Crosman barrel is plenty accurate and they have the design of a good trigger already in the Discovery — they simply choose not to build it that way. The aftermarket trigger mods are all based on what Crosman has provided in the basic design.

      The fill pressure has to be reduced so the spec on the reservoir can be lowered, and that takes them into a liability situation, since an owner might over-fill their gun, thinking to get more power. If we can get past that, then the possibility exists for a cheaper PCP, I believe.


      • I’m now imagining something like a 2260 with the 2240 synthetic stock that fills to ~1800 psi. Sounds like it’d be a fun, lightweight gun. But now I’m just speculating like the rest of them….

      • What ever became of the HPA conversion kit for the 2240 – 2260? Last I heard the guy refused to get the certs. needed for the mini “tank”. What a missed opportunity for potentially HUGE sales volume by getting the big airgun retailers on board.


        ( 3rd comment this am and all 3 needed ‘8’ for the CAPTIA! So I have one of my lottery #’s for tomorrow? )

      • Would it shoot very fast? In order to get as many shots per fill I think it should be kept under 500fps (so I can buy one in Canada 😉 )

        I never should have bought a PCP, now I’m hooked I know how the young Skywalker felt when he joined his dark master before becoming Darth Vader.
        I kinda regret it because I just want MORE but the power feels sooo great. PCP’s really are the dark side of airgunning, once there there’s just NO turning back.


        • J-F,

          You raise an interesting question and perhaps a good starting place for such a gun. The market would be much softer for a gun shooting below 500 f.p.s., but is there are market for a youth-oriented PCP?

          I don’t know.


          • Why wouldn’t there be place for a youth PCP? Imagine a small low velocity lever action PCP, a RedRyder (or Marlin cowboy since it will probably come from Crosman) that’s easy to cock and can be more accurate the actual BB gun. It could be small and light weight without people complaining about it because everyone is used to the small lever action carbine look. It would also be a repeater, include the number of mags you can shoot with one fill, that way you fill the gun and the rotary mags, once you’re out of pellets you’re out of air.
            I’m sure more than just a few adults would buy one for themselves too.


    • I know somewhere where you might be able to get what you want, but you better hope that the police never check the serial number or the rightful owner does not see it and recognize it. The rightful owner might not be impressed.


  4. B.B.

    You must be reading some of the forums that I look at once in a while. Plenty of comedy value. Yeah, you can see what a lot of guys are really thinking about even if they don’t come right out and say it.

    Reading reviews provides a lot of comedy value too. One of the best I saw was something that you or Edith mentioned once. Some guy writes a bad review because the gun was exactly what was advertised, but what he wanted was completely different. Why you buy the thing in the first place Bubba?


    • TT,

      If there is any type of customer product review that’s more common than others, it’s the one where a person states his disappointment due to something that was known before he bought it.

      Why would you order a mount for your gun without checking to see what type of dovetail was on your gun or checking the dovetail/rail length of your gun?

      Why would you criticize a gun for not being able to kill rodents, when you’ve ordered a 410 fps BB pistol?

      Why would you condemn a product for being EXACTLY what we said it was, but you bought it expecting it to be something completely different?

      If we state that it takes 40 lbs. to cock a gun, why would you think it would be easy?

      If we state that a gun weighs 9 lbs., why would you think it would be something you can carry around all day without a care?

      If we state that a scope has a parallax setting of 100 yds., why would you say that it’s junk because it’s unsuitable for shooting in your 25′ basement range?

      Why would you spend $600 on a PCP gun and then return it because you are disappointed that you need to spend another $300 to get all the filling gear? How did you think the air was going to get into the reservoir?

      This is only the tip of the iceberg. The number of people who trash guns and accessories because they performed exactly as we described or are exactly what we said they were is mind-boggling.

      I believe a big part of the problem is that people do not read. There’s so much to read online that people tend to scan. That’s the reason I started converting Pyramyd Air’s descriptions from paragraphs to bulleted lists. I started years ago but haven’t converted all the items, yet. It’s a massive undertaking. But customer behavior forces me to do it that way because people want quick snapshots of a product, not detailed info.


      • Edith..

        Maybe some people don’t want to read in the first place. They want things to be what they want them to be by majic.

        I know you see some good ones.
        I have written very few reviews. I don’t see why I should bother. Mine would be the only bad review, or just another good review in a huge pile of other good reviews. Who would suspect that my review might be worth reading ?


        • TT,

          The reason you should write a review regardless of what other people state is that people like me look for products that have an overwhelming number of good reviews.

          When we bought a flat screen TV a few years ago, I went on Best Buy’s site and looked at all the 42″ flat screen TV reviews. The most were for the Samsung. They had 65 reviews at the time, and all were positive. I don’t think I read one negative review. I also read reviews from people who’d bought a Sony 42″ TV for more money but found it to be inferior to that Samsung. I bought the TV based on those reviews. If there had been only 10 good reviews…because the other 55 people figured they didn’t want to write just one more good review…I would have looked for another product with more reviews.

          Also, Pyramyd Air often brings up bad reviews to the mfr in the hopes that they’ll fix the issue. In some cases, the product’s description and/or owner’s manual does not sufficiently explain the uses or the operation of the product, and the customers are not using the item as intended. In those cases, I either write up a replacement manual or an insert to the manual.

          Customer reviews are real important. If something is terrible & people don’t write an honest review about it, then we may not know it’s a piece of junk. Some items are just cast aside when they’re junk because owners don’t want to be bothered returning it or don’t complain about it because it’s not expensive. These are the things we can fix by not selling them anymore or making the mfr change the product…but we won’t know that if people don’t write honest reviews.


          • Edith…

            I see your point. It’s just that when there are a very large number of reviews (in either direction) that there would not be much point in adding mine to the pile no matter which way mine might go.

            If it were a new item and it was really junk, then I would say so. After a lot of bad experiences, I tend to think first before I pull out my credit card now. I don’t get as many surprises now.


  5. Another good one…

    I have seen this one more than once….

    Some guy gets a PCP and sends it to a “tuner”. The purpose for this is never stated.
    First thing Bubba does when he gets the rifle back is to screw with the adjustments, and gets the rifle into a hopeless condition.

    Then there are the guys who go to all kinds of trouble trying to get a rifle to shoot a particular pellet that the rifle does not like at all for some reason. Wake up dude ! If the same kind of pellet was the best in every rifle, then that would be the only one on the market. ….except for the gimmick pellets that are sold to snag certain kinds of people.


    • Fused,

      I understand the fun part.That’s why I told that story on myself.

      But some of these guys build their castles in the sky and then want government subsidies for them because they were build shoddily! That is what I’m ranting against!

      If you do something stupid, have the decency to admit it and invite the world to criticize what you did!


  6. I’m not that much of a tinkerer, but I have been fooling around with the 2240 some for the past year or so. I achieved what I outlined years ago, well all but the repeater part, not understanding what it would take or what I needed to get there. Victor you nailed it when you stated “But how ridiculous our wishes are is a function of our practical understanding of the issues at hand. Sometimes we simply don’t have a feel for things”. I could’ve bought a 2250XE and been done with it, but that’s hind sight! And now I have a better understanding of the works of the gun. and more power than the XE, but less consistency than a HPA power plant, which is where I think I’m headed if I continue to seek improvement. Happy for now with CO2. And I’m learning.


  7. Well, we’ve been through the issue of ridiculous reviews, and that in no way is solely with airgun reviews. You can buy a new China-made clarinet for $99. The reviews on those objects are mostly glowing, probably written after opening the case and being dazzled by the shiny keys. Then there’s the single review from, say, a band director who feels stretched by giving it one star. The only objective review in the lineup. I bring this up because I know more about clarinets than I do airguns. Forums are equally strange, and the fact that with all the customization that seems to fund the after-market parts business – and I have no qualms with that – it seems that everyone who joins in on the monthly, and low key, target shooting competitions, and it’s only a small handful, are shooting, more-or-less, stock airguns. I fully appreciate the tinkering, yet I consider much of it to be counter productive with unrealistic expectations. Good thing I’m not in charge. RC

    • That’s why I only read the bad reviews. I don’t want to read the good ones, I already like the airgun as I’m looking into buying it… What are people complaining about is important.
      When they say:
      I can’t shoot a buffalo with my RedRyder. You know you can skip it.
      When they say:
      The gun is too loud for suburban backyard plinking. It might be worth looking into it, that’s the kind of critics I want to read.
      When it’s just bashing the gun because it’s poop isn’t telling me anything, I want/need to know WHY you think it’s poop.


      • Yes, that seems to be the picture. And if it, whatever that ‘it’ might be, doesn’t perform as expected, might as well blame someone, regardless of how distorted the expectations. Anyone doing even a minimal amount of investigative homework would come to a reasonable understanding of the product they’re hoping to purchase. I’ve read a number of reviews which had the statement, “I wish it… ” (fill in the blank). Damn! RC

    • WOW Ken,nice link.I watched the first half…..give him credit for lots of ingenuity.BUT the free floated,free rotating! barrel & use of steel projectiles is quite scary.If Darwin doesn’t intervene,that fella has a great future.

      • Frank, if you watch the next couple of videos you’ll see that he does keep making minor improvements (like making the barrel more stable). I just hope he doesn’t over fill the bug spray can.

        Here’s another, a young fellow in Malaysia creates his own version of the airforce talon ss. Notice the text mentions that it is “illegal to own or buy a bb gun in Malaysia”.


        Even today I reminded someone how good we still have it in the U.S. Still, I do give the fellow credit for his accomplishment.


    • Ken,

      Holy ____, Batman! That guy is ingenious and dangerous at the same time!

      I remember when Gary Barnes used CO2 paintball tanks as pressure vessels for air at 1,800 psi — I thought he was crazy! But an aerosol can!!!


  8. When it comes to airguns, it seems that most of the manufacturers (with the exception of the particularly elite ones) are aiming to produce a gun that excels in only one or maybe two ways. Think of the spring guns that are supposed to be super-powerful (of course they have crummy triggers, lame sights, less-than-desirable accuracy, and sometimes look about as ugly as a gun can be). Then there is the “cheap gun”–the one that is designed to be sold on the appealing price alone (whether it can perform or not). The list goes on…

    My question, where are the products that are more balanced in their features? Is it really all that hard to combine several decent elements in one gun? The Bronco proved that accuracy, a good trigger, fair looks, comfortable weight and cocking effort, good accuracy, and a modest price can all go into one gun. Where are the others like it? For that matter, does anyone know what happened to the comparable guns in the Mendoza line? I can’t seem to find them anywhere.

    • Oh, they’re out there, though they might not conform to every desired consideration. Crosman’s 1377/22 and 2240, especially considering the cost, are a real value, yet the trigger action is nothing special. My Diana LP-8 is another stellar product, though the weight may not be suitable for everyone. I think the key, and what seems to be one point of this blog is, know, as best you can, what you’re buying without imposing our own expectations on it.

  9. Hi Tom,

    It’s been a while since I posted here. I have a question about buying an air rifle for my wife who made it clear to me yesterday that she wants a pellet gun so that she can thin out the squirrel herd in our backyard this spring/summer.

    I’ll admit that I’m a bit hesitant about this for a couple of reasons. I’d have train my wife in how to use an airgun safely; I can teach her, but will she follow through? (She won’t have the time to take a proper safety course.) The other reason is getting a rifle that my wife can enjoy and easily use without injuring herself; i.e. a multi-pump or spring rifle might be too much for her to handle when it comes to pumping or cocking the gun.

    I have a Benjamin 392 that is very difficult for her to pump; she doesn’t enjoy using it at all. Also, I’m not interested in .177s (high-velocity or otherwise), just .22 under 950fps. I’ve limited the budget to $150 to $250, and that’s without CFO approval.

    First, my chief concerns for my wife are her not having the strength to break open the breach, and then not being able to deal with the recoil that might cause her some discomfort and . (Would a gas spring actually make this a moot point?)

    I know a PCP would be the logical choice, but they’re outside the budget-barrier, except for maybe the Discovery, adding the pump or C02 cartridge would be a deal-breaker for my wife. So this option is most likely out of the question. Too bad, nice gun; and, in my opinion, really the logical choice.

    Second, I’ve narrowed the search down to the Benjamin Titan NP/Crossman Nitro Venom or Benjamin Trail NP, maybe the Gamo Bone Collector Bull Whisper IGT or Big Cat w/NP. The thinking here is that these guns might be a little easier for my wife to handle over most springers, especially when it comes to recoil, even though the NPs are still hold-sensitive.

    As for springers, my preference would be for one of the RWS 34/34P combo models, partly for selfish reasons (I’ve always wanted one), and partly because, psychologically, I ‘d feel more comfortable with her shooting a gun with a lower velocity rating that still takes down her objective effectively. Maybe the Hatsan 95 combo might do just as nicely for $150; just not sure about its accuracy.

    Anyway, your thoughts on this topic would be helpful.

    Seattle, WA

    • Looks like you are stuck in a hard place.
      You have not said if you live somewhere that you can shoot safely without posing a risk to property or people.

      I get the picture that you don’t think that your wife can handle much of a rifle. You set the power bar pretty high, and it is not going to be easy for her unless she is stronger than you think.

      Nitro pistons are not really going to be any easier to live with than springers. Biggest difference will be the buzz with a springer. You have to put power in to get power out.

      Let’s say you live somewhere that you can get away with shooting in your back yard without the fear of the law showing up. Let’s say that she can handle the rifle adequately. What happens the first time she plugs a tree rat? If it is stone dead on the spot with no twitching (like that will happen) will she suddenly feel guilt and not want to do it again? Maybe the tree rat will kick for a while before it finally holds still, or maybe try to crawl off from a bad hit. Maybe even more guilt.

      So if you can’t talk her out of it, you might as well get the 34. It won’t be any harder to shoot. If she can’t handle it, she will probably tell you to kill the tree rats. You will also have the 34 that you want anyway.


      • TT,

        You took the words right out of my mouth. This is exactly the same train of thought I had.

        Until you’ve killed a critter, you never know how you’re going to feel or react. Not everyone can do it…whether man or woman.


        • Edith…

          My wife can’t kill anything but bugs (not the fat wacko cat we have by that name….for good reason). It does not bother her at all if I wack the critters as long as I don’t bring them in the house. She has even eaten tree rat and bambi and likes it very much, but won’t kill them herself.

          I brough a live snake and possum in the house one time. She did not like that.


          • TT,

            Yeah…I wouldn’t like it if you brought a snake or possum into the house. Those are outdoor critters. Cats are cute & lovable. A possum would bite your face off while you slept. Snakes don’t purr or play with floor apples (a Tomism…that’s anything they find on the floor that they deem edible).


            • Edith…

              If I catch a snake, I will always end up turning it loose outside someplace away from the door. I feel bad if I get one in the lawnmower.

              I turn possums into buzzard food. They won’t be back.


        • Edith,

          I always feel terrible after I kill a squirrel. Eventually I get over it, and when my wife calls out the squirrel-alert, I always grab my trusty 392 with its cool little, and very accurate, peep sight. She can’t stand the little critters because they wreck havoc in her garden. They keep digging up her iris and tulip bulbs, and last year they got into the herb garden and took off with the shallot starts. She also can’t stand the crows, but it’s illegal to shoot those here, especial during the nesting season.

          We’re both pretty liberal minded, and it really surprised me when, one day a few years ago, Debi insisted that I buy a pellet gun to take care of the pests. That really surprised me. Bless her heart!

      • Thanks twotalon,

        This is pretty much my conclusion as well. It’s about 50 feet from my back door to the fence that separates us from our back neighbor. When shooting my Benjamin, I’m very aware of my environment: no shooting above fence height, no shooting when the neighbors are home or hanging out in their backyard, no shooting, period, when the neighbor’s 6-year-old is home. Them be the rules. There’s not much one can do about freaking out the neighbors where they call the police, whether shooting an airgun is legal or not; I just minimize visibility. In any case, for my needs the 392 works nicely.

        One safety concern that I forgot to mention, and the one that the RWS 34 fulfills, is having an automatic safety. The Benjamin Trail NP, the gun I was leaning toward, does not. And I think this is a very important issue that shouldn’t be disregarded. I’d rather my wife have an auto-safety feature for my own peace of mind. Along with what you mention about gas pistons not being much different than a traditional spring break barrel is something I suspected, but wasn’t sure.

        In any case, I think you and I are on the same page with the 34–a very nice, high-quality air rifle for the money. It sounds like the recoil between the 34 and a gas spring isn’t very noticeable, and that hold-sensitivity is pretty much the same. Oh, and yeah, the 34 would be the gun that I would get for myself, hands down.

        Thanks, man.

        • What you could do…

          Start baiting the tree rats. Sunflower seeds, squirrel feed mix, granola. Anything they like. Then get a small box trap. When you catch them, take them in the garage or basement and snuff them any way you want to.

          But I still like the idea of getting the 34 . Discourage the wife and get what you want at the same time.


            • You know , if you catch the tree rats then you will have to do something with them right? Well, you need the 34 to do the job. The 392 would not be adequate (if your wife asks). Just hope that she does not know any more than you think she does.


              • That won’t work. She’s seen me take out a few squirrels with the Benjamin. My best bet is to buy the 34, show her how to use it with the proper hold/follow-through technique, and make it fun her by getting a couple targets to practice with. If it doesn’t take, then the worst thing that happens is that I get a new rifle.

                I really wish that a solid PCP wasn’t so expensive. But then it probably wouldn’t be solid if wasn’t.

                • Yeah. I would not expect to see any decent PCP with a China_Mart price tag too soon. With or without the necessary fill equipment.

                  Speaking of that, I let my wife try to pump my Talon tank once . Her feet came off the floor and she almost fell on her head.


        • How are you going to shoot the squirrels if you cannot shoot above fence height?

          The squirrels in my backyard are very seldom that low. They hang out in trees and on power lines.

          It’s a moot point here. No shooting anything in the city limits, including bb guns and bow and arrows.

          My back fence is a low chain link one, so it isn’t gonna protect the neighbor’s house anyway.

          I could pop them from an upstairs window,but then my wife would be upset when it started raining dead squirrels in the back yard.

          I’ve got a doghouse the dog refuses to use in the back yard about 15 yards from the back of the house. I could get a clear shot at it from the window above the kitchen sink, if I took the screen out.
          If I set the target box inside the dog house, I could probably shoot at it all day from inside the kitchen. No one would be the wiser, except the wife. Who already told me I’d better not try it.


          • I hear what you’re saying, Les. But the squirrels I typically shoot are the ones that I see hanging out at ground level or a couple feet above ground, hanging on a tree trunk in the backyard.

            Yeah, I checked the RCW code about airguns, and the only thing I can find is that air guns are not allowed in public spaces, especially on school grounds.

      • Yeah, that’s what has kept me away from springers vs. the Benji. I mainly shoot in the backyard. But my wife’s request for her own gun as piqued my interest in gas piston and spring piston guns. I’m starting to think that an appropriate gun for her might be out of our price range. Although, I’d probably jump on the 34 for myself if I could justify it.

        Thanks for your reply, Matt61.


        • You’re welcome. I’m glad to opine about anything in sight. 🙂 As Fred mentions, the Discovery is a great PCP that B.B. worked hard to design at a springer type price. In stock form, it is loud, but there are shrouding devices that others on herecould tell you about that make it extremely quiet. The only problem is that the pump is quite expensive. That is one thing that keeps me away.


    • Sdemont,

      the Discovery is a fairly loud rifle so if you are worried about neighbors, this would be a problem. However, it is probably the best rifle for your wife. If the price with pump is a bit high for your budget, start searching the Yellow for used. The RWS34 does take a bit of muscle to cock. The Nitro is probably a better as it’s cocking effort is not bad but the one you pick up may not be very accurate. We’ve done some work on it here on the blog and you might want to review this:


      However, I loved shooting this rifle even though I have several far more accurate springers.

      Fred DPRoNJ

      • Hi Frank,

        Yeah, noise has always been a concern for me. The 392 is pretty quiet.

        I actually read that article the other day while doing my research about the Trail NP. Looks like a simple fix if you have the time and inclination to do it. It’s a shame though that Crossman/Benjamin doesn’t institute some kind of QA at the China plant to address this issue before shipping the product. Oh well, maybe next time around they will. Your fix looked like it really did the job to increase accuracy. Very impressive.


      • Yep, Shot my father in law’s. It’s smooth and fun. Still undecided if it’s accurate or not, as neither of us has many pellets through it! Not too loud either.


    • sdemont,

      For the budget you set of $250, and with the power of 900fps in .22, I seriously doubt you can do better than a Discovery on CO2. The gas springers you mentioned are still springers, and even though they are well within the budget they require more from the shooter than a CO2 or PCP. If she’s missing the target, or having to use too much finesse, she may get frustrated or lose interest, both of which contribute to less accuracy. What’s wrong with CO2?


      • You make some good points about getting frustrated with a spring or gas piston gun, KidAgain. And, indeed, this would apply to my wife. She wants to fire and forget.

        Maybe the the Discovery w/C02 is the way to go, or the Gamo Extreme. The only problem that I see would be that storing the gun with a partially filled C02 canister might not be very optimal, especially if you go to gun after a few of days and find out that the gas has dissipated from non-usage. I read somewhere that there are some limitations to storing a C02 canister in the gun.

        • You will have power about equivalent to the 392 with a Disco on CO2 . CO2 is not very fast compared to the other stuff you were looking at. You will need to get the fill equipment and buy a CO2 bottle. Will last a long time before you need to get the bottle filled again. You will have to learn how to fill with CO2. Not as simple as air.
          Later you can get a pump or scuba if you want and run it on air if you choose. It will get pretty loud that way.


            • Yup. No provision to load a cart or two like the Walther lever action. There are one or two that use the large carts. Can’t remember which rifles they are.


              • With guns that use the cartridges, I think the problem most people have is ruining the seal by cranking the tube plug down tight, thinking that’s how the cartridge gets pierced. I can see that the Disco would not have that problem, as it is filled from a bulk bottle or tank. So, my question is this, are guns that fill from bulk source CO2 more apt to hold pressure over a long period of non use? If so, I would think the more complex filling and additional cost of the bottle to be a fair trade off for the often replaced 12oz canisters. I’ve considered converting over to bulk CO2, but deemed it unnecessary for my use, and if I were to convert what I have i would go HPA.


                • CO2 is a larger molecule than most of what is in air, and also under lower pressure than air in conventional PCP configuration. The CO2 should be less likely to leak. Regulated air tanks that cut down air pressure to CO2 pressure may be able to leak easier than straight CO2 because of the smaller molecule size.

                  I have left CO2 carts in guns for a long time. Some slowly leak out and some do not. Some may leak out slowly on bulk fill too. If it’s VERY slow, then it’s no big deal.


        • If it’s legal to shoot air guns in your own yard safely, the neighbor should not be calling the police. I would have a nice talk with them about shooting air guns. If that didn’t work, I would contact a lawyer and for a few bucks they would write a letter to your neighbor explaining your rights and the various legal problems THEY could have if they harass you. But, that’s just me. I like to be nice to folks………………until it’s time to not be so nice.

          Years ago, my dad had a similar situation (Not air guns though). The letter worked wonders.


          • Hm, great idea. I’ll keep that in mind for when I have a neighbor like one I saw on YouTube who was leaning into her neighbor’s yard to cut his rosebush with a chainsaw while making threatening gestures.


  10. nice emotional dump this morning:-)

    must feel better.

    I think Edith nailed it yesterday with the “Power Hungry Male” thing… add in advertising induced impulsiveness and you end up with a garage full of stuff.. and end up selling it at 10% of what ya paid:-)

    so ya can fill er up again..

    and again.. and a storage unit too:-)

    can we ever learn to teach ourselves.. and then our kids to think before we buy?

    would the world economy fall apart if we did? .. or change to give us products we really need.

    do we even know what it is we really need to have a happy, fulfilled life?

    let me know when ya find out..

    Wacky Wayne

  11. This blog is all about a phenomenon that is very intrinsically human and definitely predates the Internet! Who amongst us doesn’t remember the back pages of countless comic books??!
    Somehow,on that magical page….the laws of physics and reality itself were suspended.It was the very gate to childhood dreams……hmmmn,….do I want the hovercraft first,or my very own village of Sea monkeys??

    • Frank, did you write for an Honor House catalog (as found in the back of the comic books). Sea Monkeys, X-ray specs, tanks, submarines; I did order the set of balanced throwing knives and learned the deceptiveness of advertising early in life.


        • twotalon, yep, and I forgot about the backyard space ship. Of course, I really wanted one like they had on Fireball XL-5. I passed up a chance to purchase the whole series on DVD a few years ago. I suppose I’ll get past that.


            • You are so right, Wulfraed. Fireball XL-5 is the only one I remember seeing on local television back when. The deal I passed on was at a Half-Price Bookstore and they had Thunderbirds as well. It was a rare opportunity and I may not see that again. But, you know, just remembering brings some pleasure.

              Thanks for the Amazon link.


          • kenholmz
            Not to forget Johnson & Johnson and their big bang carbide cannon I can’t be the only one that wanted one of those. I used to tell my mother that I was a millionaire until she got rid of all my old comic books. There was a small sporting goods store near where I lived that dealt in used comics , you could get two for five pop bottles.

            • shaky, you are so right. As soon as I read “carbide cannon” I was transported back to a time of dreams. I never got one, but I sure did dream of having one to make a big bang. This was back when you could still buy real cherry bombs. I never had any but some of the older teens got their hands on them. It wasn’t until later I even hear of the M-80 until it was illegal in the U.S. (anything that powerful is by permit only for professional fireworks displays). I actually think that is reasonable. Cherry bombs and M-80’s were considerably more dangerous than typical fire crackers. Anyway, I say all of that because the carbide cannon could provide the bang without the damage. If ever I had gotten one I would probably still have it, if only to look at it on the shelf.

              I’m envious. I never had an opportunity to make a direct trade of bottle for comics. Of course, I didn’t know any difference at the time and I was glad to have a way to earn some cash I could trade. I actually purchased a model car or two with pop bottle proceeds. This was back when Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was designing fantasy cars, as well as turn the Ford Futura into the Bat Mobile and creating the two vehicles for the Munsters TV series.

              But lest I forget, some of the proceeds also went towards b.b.s. Until I saw something the other day I had all but forgotten that we were able to buy b.b.s in little cellophane packages much like we could buy peanuts. The little packages cost less, of course, so it didn’t take as long to get enough cash.


      • Yeah, I remember those ads. The one I wanted most was the “bb machine gun”. I never saw one, not even a photo. The ad included a line drawing of something that resembled a .30 cal. Browning water-cooled machine gun.

        I have no clue how that would have worked. I probably would not have been able to afford to keep it in bb’s anyway.

        I remember the “X-ray” glasses. Never saw those either. If I had ordered a set, I’m sure it would have been confiscated the first day.

        Anybody ever see one of those “machine guns” at a gun show? (Me neither.)


        • Desertdweller, I don’t know that they would have confiscated your X-ray glasses. I didn’t have a pair, but I knew someone who did. You needed a light to shine from behind that was strong enough to pass through the skin and vessels. Then you could see the dark outline of the bones. This was mostly good for looking at someone’s hands, if you like to look at the outline of hand bones. Be glad you saved your coins for something else.


      • Nope,we were lucky to have the comic books.I couldn’t have handled the catalog…..my little head might have just popped! I poured over those ads in the back of those comics.I guaranty I re-read them
        each a hundred times over.I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the link BB provided….in the comments (I always scan them on old topics!) there are active links to the actual Western Hague .12,plus a couple others.Again I read & reread them! Same old attraction 🙂

        • Frank, I hear you loud and clear about being lucky to have comic books to read. Until I was able to advance to mowing yards, my main source of comic book money came from scouring the road sides for bottles I could take to the grocery store and collect my reward. We had no regular allowance although my parents did fare better as time passed. I was the eldest child of five; I was fifteen when the youngest was born. She is also the one who was spoiled rotten, but I love her anyway 🙂


  12. That’s quite a picture this week. It looks like the Hatfields and the McCoy’s. You clearly do not want to cross any of the family members.

    Let’s send today’s blog to North Korea. Heh heh. But it indeed does raise important ideas about human nature–not just the North Korean variety. When you think about the structure of competition, failure of all the participants is virtually guaranteed. Annihilation is total. Few kids play sports on their high school teams. A fraction of those play in college. A fraction of those go onto the pros and most of those don’t last. The path to Peyton Manning is literally paved with bodies. And the same with the Olympics. For every Michael Phelps, there are myriad people of great talent and ability who come up fractionally short, who nobody cares about. Failure is certain. Give it up. Bwa ha ha…. Why even take part in such a system? (Have not seen the Hunger Games but it sounds like a case in point.) I guess the response is that process is important for personal development as much as anything and perhaps the whole system bumps up the average of achievement so that everyone ultimately benefits in an indirect way. When you think about a lot of benefits that we take for granted, they were made possible by people undertaking quixotic and impossible tasks. These include building railroads over the Alleghany mountains with blackpowder. Venturing into the American wilderness with flintlocks! Attempting to fly around the world with the very mediocre piloting skills that Amelia Earhart possessed as well as what was apparently a horrible plan of operations. But maybe these failures somehow participated in success in the end.

    Duskwight, you must mean Rashamon, a movie by Akira Kurosawa. Saw it once. A bizarre tale about a rape and murder investigated after the fact through, among others, the spirits of the departed. Not sure how that was relevant to Ghost Dog, but I’ve never heard of Hagakure which sounds like it’s worth a look.

    BG_Farmer, my impression with the 30-06 was that it can do just about anything (with handloading) from hunting varmints to the biggest game animals in North America. I also understand that it held many highpower records at Camp Perry. And while it was displaced by the .308, the accuracy difference is hardly noticeable. And one the remaining strengths of the 30-06 is its slightly higher velocity. So, it should perform well at over 1000 yards. With your Savage, you should be able to go way over 275 yards if you can find a range big enough.

    As your correspondent on the spot, I have an update to the report just released on the pepper-spraying incident at UC Davis in November. Ouch. It is a comprehensive roast of everyone involved on the university side in every way possible. The administration never established that the protesters were from outside of campus, so the legal basis of the operation fell apart. The chancellor overrode the police recommendation for a nighttime Navy Seal type raid to remove tents and ordered instead more of a Roman Legion type frontal assault in the afternoon. The star of the show, however, is probably the police chief. She failed to press her case for a nighttime raid; had shouting matches with her lieutenants who ignored her; was seen taking video of the incident with her cell phone when she wasn’t calling in orders outside of the incident chain of command. There were some real problems no doubt. On the other hand, in reading the report, one definitely senses 20-20 hindsight. Who has time to read all of the documentation that surrounds us in any bureaucratic environment whether it is the NIMS emergency planning guidelines or the training for the mk9 pepper spray canister as opposed to the mk4 version? But it is all too easy to work over people afterwards for technical violations. You just have to hope not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and probably have a good lawyer handy.

    Incidentally, I see that that the paintball guns that we identified as carried by the police were loaded with pepper balls. I guess those would liven up any paintball games.


        • The term is a reference to the 1978 prediction of D.Kessler,a NASA scientist that by the year 2000 low earth orbit would be so littered with man made debris that a single collision of 2 orbiting satellites
          (at around 15K MPH ) could set off an exponential chain reaction rendering L.E.O. unusable for generations…..!

    • Matt61, Rashamon is a little less bizarre if you consider Kurosawa was presenting the subjective perspectives of witnesses, which is what makes witnesses in courtrooms less than objective.

      You do always have thoughtful posts. I am amazed the the breadth of you interests and knowledge.


      • Well, if that’s the point then I agree with it. In the one time in my life when I was summoned for jury duty, the judge went on at length about which items of information should be disregarded in the jury’s mind. In fact, this was the basis of determining if individual jurors were suitable or not. (“Can you ignore this person’s past as a drug dealer–and his basically thuggish demeanor?”) Heck no. Fortunately, I never got far enough to be asked this. If the whole structure of legal knowledge is based on this idea, it seems pretty shaky to me. On the other hand, it was my impression that most people give it their best effort.

        Thank you for your kind comments. 🙂 I’ve been told that I am “a virtual fount of useless information.” I like your version much better. 🙂


        • Matt, I agree that most people will do their best to provide accurate information. Of course, separating those from the ones who are not as interested can be difficult. Among others, I have a book by Daniel Goleman called Vital Lies, Simple Truths. It is subtitled, “The Psychology of Self-Deception”.

          Goleman cites one rather infamous case regarding John Dean, who worked in the Nixon administration. He gave copious testimony in great detail. Yet, when the equally infamous tapes were obtained, many of Dean’s details weren’t accurate. Still, there is no one who was active in the investigation who thought Dean deliberately falsified his reports.

          I definitely don’t think your plethora of information is useless; I just think that we don’t always share the same degree of interest in particular topics (but that is something that changes periodically, at least for me).


    • We had them. They are much like a paint ball gun but don’t use CO2, they are PCP’s. It’s like a paint ball gun on steroids. In law enforcement circles they are called “Pepper Ball Air Launchers”. They will also launch inert powder filled balls for training and solid plastic balls used to break glass.


      • I would think that any pepper ball that was cohesive enough to retain its form while flying through the air at pcp type speeds would hurt like mad on impact even before it began to stifle people.


    • Matt,
      As I responded to Mike a while back, my comments regarded MPBR and the rifle used as a tool as it is most useful to me in my situation. I can shoot any range I want for fun, but when it goes back onto the rack, I want it setup so that anything from chewing on the barrel to 275 yards is dead without considering anything other than windage. Given the terrain where I live and any likely purpose or situation, that is more than adequate. If I lived in a different place or had more specific needs, all that would change and I would use different criteria!

  13. O.K. guys…

    It has been so long since I bought a comic book that I don’t know if they still advertise the same useless junk in the back. Somebody tell me so I won’t waste the time or energy to look the next time in the store.

    There was something else I saw in a lot of mags back then, but I will not mention it. May be a touchy issue here.


    • twotalon, like you haven’t peeked in a comic books in quite a while. I actually expect I would still like some of the Marvel and DC comics (and a few others I know nothing of) but other things require my attention. I used to be hooked on Heavy Metal but that is a past sin I have repented of.

      Speaking of other things that appeared in mags, Edmund Scientific was a less fanciful, more objective enterprise. I managed to order a couple of things but I can’t even remember what they were.

      Saw M.D. today and have been prescribed 750mg of Levoquin (antibiotic) daily for 10 days. The future looks bright.


    • twotalon, I expect you recognized that I meant to write, “like you, I haven’t peeked in a comic book in quite a while.” Seeing what I wrote bothers me enough that I want to send this note of correction.


  14. BB said, “What I ended up with was an inaccurate .22 Hornet that didn’t like cast bullets or jacketed bullets, either. I had the barrel rechambered for .219 Donaldson Wasp — another cartridge that is supposed to have a 1:14 inch twist. I’m still playing with that one — trying to get it to work, because underneath everything there is a fine custom E.R. Shaw .22 barrel.”

    I think I would rechamber to .223 Rem. It will work with bullets 55 grs. and under. The original AR-15 had a 1:14 inch twist barrel.


  15. Ok Ill have a stab at it.What if you can make a spring gun push the 30fpe mark with just one new redesign, for under few bucks? Yup a new Piston seal that acts like suction cup.On some guns a gas spring improves fps slightly. Not because air (gas) spring is faster/stronger than metal but because, when a gas piston slams inside a chamber into air port it does not bounce back as fast as metal spring would so the air pressure it produced pushes the pellet for longer lenth in the barrel than a metal spring.this happens so fast that I dont think anybody has measured how fast the piston travels.I belive gas ram is twice as slow (which is a good thing for that purpose).meaning that metal spring pistons bounces back so fast it cancells the air pressure before the pellet moved 1/1000inch (just sayin it as example) in barrel ,so pellet is launched by inertia or is that kinectic energy(ha ha).WE all know pcp rifles shoot pellets faster because the high pressure air pushes pellets for the entire trip till exit.So the new suction cup seal would work simular as a pcp,once piston hits the end chamber it would stay in place(locking suction cup to chamber tube by transfer hole behind pellet only lossig suction when pellet exits barrel, break barrel guns are designed so perfectly for this to work) transfering all possitive forward air pressure till pellet leaves barrel.Once pellet exited barrel suction cup would let go by law of phisic. Im not saying that it would be more power than pcps, but it would give break barrel guns advantage for heavy pellets more fpe, I know a lot of people feel that gas ram /nitro piston is faster because its advertized fast lock time,but that is company maketing.This suction cup seal would also reveal the truth,if infact gas spring produces more fpe than metal spring.Im thinking a R1 and RX2 would be the perfect test rifles.

    • Chris,

      Suction? If there was suction in front of a piston seal, the pellet would not exit the bore. By design there is always pressure in front of the seal. There cannot be suction.

      Also your design runs into problems with materials, because any material flexible enough to create and maintain suction would fail quickly in the harsh environment inside a compression chamber.

      You are correct in saying the pellet leaves the bore on its own inertia, because it runs out of push very quickly, since the amount of compressed air is so small. But even so, there is always a positive pressure in front of the piston until the pellet leaves the muzzle.

      Webley did something similar to what you have suggested. It was a rubber ring behind the piston seal that got squashed out to contact the compression chamber wall when the piston stopped at the end of the chamber. It held the piston in place for a fraction of a second as the pellet traversed the bore, then released it after the pellet was out. But the boost irt made was very small.

      Good thinking!


      • Thanks BB ,yes you are right suction will not work. at the time I read this blog “Is is appropriate” there were no comments, I wanted to be the first. When i clicked submit I was #87 I know what happened I pulled up this blog on nidnight last night, went to work ,came home and didnt hit refresh.Webley had a proto type,or an actuall model they sold.Did you just came up with a future blog of that webely rifle you mentioned.(ha ha)

  16. Plinking puzzle…

    A couple days ago I got the urge to do some plinking over an open and bare field. There was more wind than I wanted, but I wanted to shoot.
    I parked my van sideways to the wind, and was shooting with the wind. We do not have constant straight line wind, and it is never of constant speed. There were obstacles that effected the wind. I was not way out in a wide open place.
    I started out plinking a small plastic coffee can at a couple distances. Too easy, and I found that they are tough enough that they do not crack or shatter. They hold together.
    I picked out a rock that was smaller than my fist. I ranged it later to 49 yds. I was resting over the open window on the downwind side of my van.
    I only had to hold a little high to hit it. Next thing I knew I had to keep holding higher to hit. The dirt kept kicking up un front of it. Then all of a sudden I had to bring my aim back down to hit.
    I got to watching the wind. When the wind speeded up, the rifle shot lower. Makes no sense. More tail wind should cause less velocity loss.
    Got to thinking. When the wind speeded up, the air flow over my van must have created a vortex that pushed the pellet down during the first few feet of travel. It’s the only answer that makes sense.


      • This reminds me a great deal of a question posed by Matt61……long time back.He was compairing what D. Tubbs said about doping wind nearer the muzzel to that of same “value” downrange.I recall that two celebrated and well known long range shooters had opposing views of which had greatest effect on the projectile?

        • Frank..

          I think it has to do with when the bullet or pellet was bumped, and how hard. How far the projectile flies after it is bumped off course would probably have the most effect in deviation from the original course. You could possibly have multiple wind direction and speed changes that would end up cancelling out. Of course everything could add in the same direction too.

          I know that when shooting from my back door when the wind is from the right direction and the right speed, it becomes pointless to attempt allowing for the wind. Walking from the back door to 30 yds out, the wind changes speed and direction several times. It would not help much if the direction was constant out in wide open spaces or way up above the ground. There are too many objects along the way that cause twisting and swirling of the air. The pellets can’t handle it very well above a certain point. Some handle it better than others.



          • TT,…..TT,…LOL 🙂 I recall having a real problem agreeing w/ some that insisted that wind near the bore caused the projectile to literally change course,as in the further it went AFTER the push…..the further off course it would end up.I simply cannot accept that explanation…..it makes NO sense to me.
            My understanding is inertia continues carrying it forward and duration and strength of wind dictate how much drift in a given direction.

            • Frank

              Seems to me that there will be a directional change. Once you change direction, that direction will continue. If you continue a direction changing force, the angle of deviation should continue to increase.


            • To put a finer point on what I’m saying…..downrange wind has a SLIGHTLY higher value due to greater exposure time as the projectile loses speed.longer the range=the more exaggerated the difference,tied to the B.C.>??

              • Frank..
                I see what you are getting at. It really depends on reference points along the flight path and vector force strength and amplitude. Where you choose to set your reference points changes the outcome of the discussion.


                • I guess I’m having trouble agreeing that a projectile with many Ft.Lbs. of energy traveling at a target can be “redirected” by the relatively tiny amount of energy acting on the small side surface…….I say it “drifts” in the direction of the wind……but the inertia going foreward still maintains it’s initial control of flight path.It’s still gyroscopically stable…..it has just been carried sideways some.The nose and tail still remain oriented.I’m NOT insisting I’m right,mind you…….I just cannot concede its a complete change of direction.

                  • The nose and tail still remain oriented.

                    Actually, NO…

                    Like a gyroscope, you will have precession. Heck, even without wind you may have precession at terminal range.

                    To simplify matters, lets reduce the trajectory arc (which, due to air drag and resultant loss in velocity is not even parabolic) to a simple ramp up, then a ramp down. During the up-ramp, the nose points along the direction of flight. But during the down-ramp, the nose is “above” the line of flight. In a vacuum but with gravity (needed to produce the ramps) this has no effect.

                    Now add some air drag… During the down-ramp, the air impacts the side of the pellet. Bernoulli forces around the side of the spin will try to drag the projectile to the side. Furthermore, center of drag vs center of gravity will result in the pellet trying to pivot (putting the center of drag behind the center of gravity relative to the flight path). Since the projectile is spinning, it will act like a gyroscope, and twist to the side perpendicular from the drag push.

                    Cross-winds will have the same type of effect.

                  • Frank..

                    Next I was going to suggest pool balls. A ball bumps another one, it changes direction and continues that direction unless bumped again. Same as the theory on how to save earth from a huge asteroid. Hit it with something when it is a long way off. It will only cange direction by a tiny bit, but if it flys long enough in the new direction it will miss us.

                    You are right. beer time.


      • tt,
        I was on the road and trying to comment with a Nook Color tablet. Not a fun thing to do.

        At first I was thinking the wind gusts coming from the rear like that might be like wind shear on an airplane where wind destroys the aerodynamic lift of the wing. After discussing it with a friend we thought that maybe, if the pellet was spiraling at all, the wind gusts might be affecting the timing of where the bottom of the spiral occurred resulting in the pellet hitting the ground sooner or later. But then if a pellet is traveling at 700fps against normal wind resistance and the tail wind picks up to add an additional few fps (if it really does) does it really have any measurable affect at all?

        In other words, good question.


        • The thing is, I was sitting in my van, which was parked sideways to the wind. The wind was from behind me coming from the same general direction all the time. It was when the wind speeded up that the pellets dropped. It about had to be the air flow coming off the top of my van and causing a vortex .


          • Ah, but consider what a tail-wind does for air-craft… Reduce lift — the danger of micro-bursts… landing aircraft first hits the outflow of the downdraft as a head-wind — excess lift; pilot reduces throttle to maintain altitude… pass through center, and now the downdraft is a tail-wind, loss of lift — plane drops.

            During the latter part of the trajectory, when the pellet nose is above the line of flight, you have a bit of lift caused by air flowing over the top of the pellet. Tail-wind might reduce that lift (though ChairGun Pro doesn’t show such an effect — may need formal study to correlate pellet orientation with aerodynamic lift and “air-speed”, rather than assuming plain drag on nose or tail effects on velocity…

            • At first I was not buying what you are saying because you were talking about airplanes. They are shaped to have lift in the first place. The wings anyway.

              But then the part about the orientation of the pellet nose to the line of flight did make sense. A planing effect.

              Mabe this is the cause, or maybe a combination of both. Both would cause the pellet to drop more than it should.

              If I can find the right day to do it, I will try shooting from a bench and shooting from my van both during low and high wind. That might be a real trick trying to find a day when the wind is gusting, but coming from a pretty consistent direction.
              Might be easier to just shoot 50 yds on a calm day from a bench and then do it again on a windy day with 15-20 mph wind if it is fairly steady in direction. No horizontal vortex to interfere if there was one in the first place.


  17. A customer asked me for a powerful multi-pump .22 caliber gun that was accurate too. He wanted an fx smooth twist barrel until he found out this would add $389 to the price of the gun. Then heucwanted a walther lothar .30 caliber. I finally convinced him that it would never be powerful enough and with all the custom machining it would add $500+ to the gun cost. We finally got agreed on .22 cal. To make it powerful enough to make him happy he ended up spending $625 just in parts to make his dream gun. I ended up using everything I ever learned along with new stuff as well. Even with all that he never got a 1000 fps gun since it is not even possible with everything I could do in multi pump. When I was done the airgunner would need to be in very good shapr to pump the beast up and have very powerful hands to cock it. The best I could achieve was in the neighborhood of 800 fps. He wasn’t thrilled about that but was thrilled with the look of the thing all decked out in polished aluminum, stainless steel and carbon fiber to make up for “the lack of performance”. I tested the gun after I got it adjusted and thought it was perfection being the most accurate thing american engineering could build. You just can’t please anyone fully no matter how fine you hand tune a gun.

  18. Can you imagine in the future air rifles that will be charged electro chemically ,just a push of a button and the unit recycles,making the piston fall in place automatically using the same reaction power of the shot that is fired. If batteries and chemistry advances in cars why not in something as “simple” as airguns.

    • If the gun was powered by a chemical reaction, it would no longer be an air gun. It would be a firearm.
      Initiating the chemical reaction by an electric impulse instead of a mechanical whack would not change that. It would be gas generation by chemical reaction, similar to the gas generation in an automobile airbag deployment system. Not much different than what happens inside a firearm cartridge.

      Remember there are people in this hobby who argue that CO2 guns are not air guns, because CO2 is not “air”.


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