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Ammo Air Venturi Bronco with optional target sights: Part 3

Air Venturi Bronco with optional target sights: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today is the day you find how I improved the accuracy of the Air Venturi Bronco rifle I’m testing with the Bronco Target Sight kit. I asked you to guess what I did to get better groups, but only Fred of PRoNJ got it right. I thought this would be a straightforward test and that one range session was all I needed for this rifle. After all, I already did a 7-part report on the gun, so there’s been plenty of time to get to know how it shoots. In fact, I even installed a Williams peep sight on the gun, so I even know how it shoots with that. This was just supposed to be a test of the Bronco Target Sight kit and nothing more. But man plans, and God laughs!

Yesterday, I told you about the front sight screws and the barrel that obviously needed cleaning. Afterwards, I was not rewarded with those perfect groups I’d anticipated. The groups I got were better than before the rifle was cleaned, but they were still bad for an accurate rifle at 10 meters off a rest. Something else was needed.

The artillery hold
How many of you guessed that the secret to good shooting was the artillery hold? Guess again, because I saw no difference between resting the rifle on the flat of my palm and on the backs of my fingers.

One thing I did rediscover was the need to hold the Bronco absolutely “dead” in my hands rather than with any tension built in. For its power level, the Bronco seems to be on the twitchy side as far as hold sensitivity goes. So, before you shoot, it’s imperative that you relax all the way and allow the rifle to settle in wherever it wants to. Then, you have to shift your hands and body until it settles in with the sights very close to on-target.

But that wasn’t the secret I was looking for because the groups were still on the large side. Then, something cool happened. As you know, my friend, Mac, has been visiting us; and while he was here, I got a couple spring-piston air rifles to test before they come to market. I’ll be starting some reports at the end of this month, so I asked Mac to test the rifle while I worked on other things. It’s never difficult to get him to test a brand-new airgun!

One of the pellets he selected to test the rifles with was the venerable RWS Hobby, which is the lightest all-lead pellet around. Hobbys are often among the most accurate pellets for spring-piston airguns, and they did really well in these new rifles, so his choice seemed obvious. Since the Bronco is also a spring-piston gun, I wondered if Hobbys might do well in it.

Did Hobbys shoot better?
Yes, they really did. They gave groups that were in the ballpark for the rifle as it was now performing with the clean barrel, but they weren’t the groups I’d hoped for. But something drove me to continue to shoot them. I guess I was thinking about the pellet seasoning effect we talk about. As I was shooting, another thought popped into my head.

Two years ago I was testing a Hy-Score 801 — a Belgian-made breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle that has a pellet seater built into the gun. It sits above the breech and swings down to push the pellet deep into the breech. When I tested it, the seated pellets increased in velocity by 100 f.p.s. and also grouped closer. Could that same thing be true for the Bronco, I wondered?

Well, it didn’t take much to test the pellet-seating theory, because I’ve been testing the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and PellSet for some time. But this was the first time I had occasion to use the adjustable PellSet tool to push a pellet into the breech of an air rifle! Until now, I’ve always used a Bic pen, but this new tool is adjustable so I can control the depth to which each pellet is seated. And once the tool’s adjusted, every pellet gets seated to exactly the same depth. Consistency is paramount to accuracy, so that’s very important.

The moment I began seating the pellets deeply with the PellSet tool, the groups shrank to an acceptable size. It looked like a television infomercial, because the difference before and after was night and day. I shot another group but didn’t seat the pellets. I held the rifle as carefully as I had when the pellets were seated deep, just to eliminate any bias. I’m not saying there still isn’t some bias in my testing, but the results of seating the pellets looks very promising!

This PellSet tool is an adjustable pellet seater that hangs around your neck and seals each pellet to the correct depth in the breech. Using it immediately tightened the Bronco’s groups!

When you load a pellet manually, you seat it flush with the breech like this.

The PellSet tool enables you to seat each pellet to the same depth in the bore. The tool is adjustable so you can fine-tune it.

Ten RWS Hobby pellets seated flush with the end of the barrel grouped in 0.916b inches at 10 meters. While not a great target, this demonstrates that the Bronco wants to shoot Hobbys well, because 8 of the 10 pellets made a group about half the size of the large one.

When the Hobbys were seated deep into the breech, they grouped into this 0.72 inch group. This is much better than the first group and clearly shows what deep-seating can do. But notice there’s still one flier in this group.

When I saw the difference between the deep-seated and flush-seated pellets, I believed I was on to something. But one result doesn’t make a conclusion, so I shot another two groups. This time, I was very careful with each shot to apply the artillery hold correctly.

The second group of flush-seated pellets was tighter than the first, though not as tight as the first group of deep-seated pellets. Only a single flier this time. Group measures 0.845 inches between centers.

The second group of deep-seated pellets gave this 0.516 inch group. No fliers at all. This is the accuracy potential of the Bronco!

There was a lot to cover in this test. First: I found that the longer front sight screws do not present any problems as far as accuracy is concerned. That was a needless concern.

Next, I discovered that the barrel wasn’t just dirty — the bore was actually constricted at the muzzle. Cleaning the bore (but not with J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound this time) did improve accuracy, but not as much as I’d hoped. Something else was needed.

I had shot decent groups with this rifle in the past, so it is accurate. After cleaning the barrel, I almost got groups as good as before, but not quite. However, I’d been shooting 10 shots at 25 yards before and only five shots at 10 meters. Any direct comparison between before and now was impossible.

Switching to RWS Hobby pellets was good, though Hobbys may not be the most accurate pellets for this rifle. But by staying with them, I eliminated any other comparisons that might lead me astray. I also seasoned the bore, so no one can say that accuracy suffered from switching pellets.

Finally, I used a pellet seater, and not just any seater, but one that’s adjustable so I can set how deep the pellet goes. This tool has a lot of potential for improved accuracy in lower-powered spring-piston airguns, and I plan on using it in a lot of future tests.

Bottom line
The Bronco Target Sights are a nice addition to the rifle and far less expensive than any alternatives. A scope would work well, too, but for those who like iron sights, this sight set might be the best way to go.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

123 thoughts on “Air Venturi Bronco with optional target sights: Part 3”

  1. B.B., I have read about the difference seating flush or deeper can make in the accuracy of some airguns. What I have read is that seating deeper makes little difference with the “magnum” airguns but can make a significant difference with some less powerful airguns.
    I think you have demonstrated that difference that deep seating can make in some airguns and with some pellets.
    Just one more variable I have to learn to deal with to get best results


  2. B.B.,

    There’s a distinction between the “Artillery Hold” and a “dead hold” that I dont’ grasp.

    You said, “The artillery hold…How many of you guessed that the secret to good shooting was the artillery hold? Guess again, because I saw no difference between resting the rifle on the flat of my palm and on the backs of my fingers.

    One thing I did rediscover was the need to hold the Bronco absolutely “dead” in my hands rather than with any tension built in.”

    I always thought the “artillery hold” and “dead in your hands” was one in the same. The similarities being “how light”, i.e., no cheek contact, back of fingers, no thumb over wrist (thumb up), etc.

    You make a distinction but I’m too dense to understand. Please elaborate. Thanks.


    • Kevin,

      This is a case where I should have worded it more precisely. I did use the artillery hold, but I had forgotten how important a dead hold can be. So perhaps what I should have said was that with this Bronco it was important that I used the “perfect” artillery hold, because the dead part is the final touch to doing it right.


      • B.B.,

        Your shooting techniques have made me a better shot with all rifles. Firearms and airguns. Thank you.

        Springers still captivate me because they’re like women. Each has a unique diet and a preferred way of being held. Springers have personalities IMHO. Rimfires are their kissing cousins in the powder burning world.

        I don’t think there are “degrees” of the artillery hold. There are variations. The variations IMHO are firmness of hold, cheek pressure and hand placements. For me, a lack of tension, i.e., “dead” should always be a goal when shooting. When benching a gun my last step before pulling the trigger is to close my eyes and when I open them the gun should still be on target. If it isn’t, I’ve got tension somewhere that I overlooked.

        I’m hitting this/your point very hard since I’ve seen good springer shooters turn into great springer shooters just by implementing this bench rest technique. Close your eyes before pulling the trigger. If you’re off target when you open your eyes you need to resettle into your shooting position. Minimizing tension is my goal. Follow through is my last thought.


  3. Fred nailed it! That’s too cool. I look forward to reading more about this new seater. Why and how does it work. And at what power level does it stop working. Interesting stuff indeed.

    • Hank,

      Well, I am looking for exactly the best way to present and test this tool. I see pictures, explanations and of course the before and after tests.

      This is one where you guys can also participate, by doing the same thing as me. I think this little tool may be a real find!


  4. Hi B.B.. In this post you stated that you did not use J-B Non-Imbedding bore cleaning compound, but you didn’t say why. So, why? Regards, Joe

  5. Sorry, BB, but I don’t fully buy this one. Did you have this problem with the earlier Bronco review? You’ve also mentioned in the past the differences between two rifles of the same model, and that may be a part of this. I found a tool that fit for slightly depressing the pellets by a consistent amount (just a guess from your picture), tried it and the results seem slightly worse, but close enough that it would take many more shots to really know and the night is getting late.

    I’m just using Crosman Premier Super Match 7.9. You say the Bronco is twitchy on hold sensitivity. Yes, I’m seeing a full lock-down hold opening up to about .9, but several different light (floating) holds on the barrel end don’t seem to effect it. I also started locking my thumb around the stock and that improved the grouping, and light cheek contact didn’t matter. Note that I’m NOT arguing your “artillery hold” comments in general. My Gamo whisper IGT needs most of what you’ve mentioned on that topic. For that matter, most of what I know here came from you.

    I’m using the same sight as you and 10m range. I may be more used to the Bronco and sight at this point, as I’ve been practicing for several weeks now. I’d like to hear from some other Bronco owners on what they’re seeing here, to see which of us has the more typical Bronco.

    • Gerry,

      You are giving this a lot of thought, and that is good. That’s what we need to learn whether things like this tool really help or not.

      So here is something you can do with your Bronco without buying anything. Use a common Bic pen to seat your pellets, and test that against the best way you are loading your Bronco at present. Of course there is no adjustment with the Bic, but we don’t know for sure that different seating depths even matter yet.

      I temporized in the report when it came to the bias issue, because the last flush-seated group looked so good, except for the one flier. I think deep-seating is the answer for thins rifle, but as you point out, I’m not certain. All I know for sure is that in this one test where eight ten-shot groups were fired, cleaning the barrel helped a little and deep-seating helped a lot.

      One final observation gives me some confidence that deep-seating really does work with my rifle. If you look at both sets of groups, each target in both sets seems to have landed in the same place, but the deep-seated pellets do land in a slightly different place than the flush-seated ones.


      • BB, can you measure how far your pellet is pushed in? Maybe probe with a thin wire to the skirt edge then measure the wire. Or to the dimple if you can’t catch the skirt. I’ll set up something to match that and give it a try. Better that way then a pen which could be quite different.

        On the hold differences, I’d suspect we’re dealing with the barrel vibration from both the piston stoke and the air release. If there are resonances involved, some rifles could end up far less hold sensitive than others, just due to manufacturing differences. This would also have some have some contribution to the different ammo tolerance, with weight and dimensions being other factors.

        The reason I said resonances is that near a resonant point a very small change at the right place can have a large effect. Maybe one day I’ll look into measuring this, which should be possible with low-mass accelerometers and would be a fun thing to do.

        • Gerry,

          Don’t you start going all anal on me! 😀

          I miked the depth (using the probe on a dial caliper) and the edge of the pellet skirt is 0.020-inches. But remember — I don’t know if that is the best depth for my gun, nor do I know if your gun will respond the same.


          • Really BB? You’re telling an engineer not to be anal?

            That’s less than I expected. This weekend, I’ll try it with 0.02 and 0.2. If either has a significant effect, I’ll play with the depth a bit. I’ve got until the end of July before the state competition, so there’s time and value for looking into this.

            And, now that my accuracy is much better than before, I’ll retest several different pellet types and try varying the hold again.

  6. I have owned two Broncos.

    The first was as accurate as all git out, in spite of this I gave it to my nephew.

    The second one (purchased used from PA) has a smother shot cycle, and is in the same ballpark but not quite as accurate as the first. I think I just need to do more research to find the right pellet to get it shooting like the first one. I lack the discipline to shoot 10 shot groups, but I have shot 5 shot groups into one hole at 10 yards. It is a wonderful airgun indeed. Thank you BB, for what you have wrought.

  7. B.B.

    You have me puzzled as to why you did this test with Hobby pellets when your previous testing indicated that they were one of the worst possible choices…..bad velocity spread and bad groups.

    You maybe need to put a sticker on the stock with the best pellets to use when you keep a rifle?


    • TT,

      I used Hobbys only because they seemed to be working well this time, and I wanted to concentrate on other things. Yes, I think there are probably other pellets that will out-shoot Hobbys in this rifle.

      Having said that, look what I did with Hobbys!


  8. B.B.

    Looks like I ordered my pellet pens too soon. Mine did not come with the seating tool or the neck strap. Have to stick them in my shirt pocket like a Bic pen.

    The pens work great with round nose, but they don’t work very good with wadcutters.


      • B.B.

        Pellet pens help me a lot with break barrels (with DOMED pellets). Dumping some pellets in my shirt pocket causes some problems. First, there is always lint and cat hair . Sometimes other dirt (I do mow grass, run a weed wacker, and work on things). Next, my dexterity is not what it used to be. Nerve damage in my hands from chemo. Half the time I have to look at a pellet before attempting to load it because I can’t tell by feel which end is which. Sometimes I pick up two pellets at a time without knowing it, because the nerves are not sensitive enough to tell. I finish seating them with my finger nail.


  9. Looking at the bottom picture of the breech area may have a clue as to the problem …the sharp edge where the rifling meets the breech cuts could be what causes the problem. If that edge is just broke with a slight radius it could quite possibly remove the problem. Have worked on rifles with the problem Tom shows here and that has cured it…loading pellets correctly helps no doubt about it..

    • Mike,

      Are you referring to the breech chamfer? It is uniform around the entire breech. The light I used for the macro shot, plus the angle of the camera only enhances the bottom, which I did intentionally to show the rifling inside the bore. But it looks the same around the entire breech.

      Or have I misunderstood you?


  10. I have an old Beeman pellet seater. It might be worth a try on my FWB 124. But, that rifle might be a bit too “Hot” for deep seating to help.


    • Mike,

      This does open an entire universe for exploration, doesn’t it? I’m going to assume that deep-seating affects lower-powered spring guns for the present. but eventually I will get around to testing…!

      You have given me a wonderful idea. I have the perfect tool to test this. My Whiscombe. But because the harmonics also change with velocity I need to give it a lot of though before embarking on a test. This could take the rest of my life!


  11. B.B.,

    Thanks! I don’t have the pellet seating tool, but I do carry a Bic Pen to the range with me. Next time out, I’ll shoot a target using the pen, and one without, and see how they compare.

    My best targets with the Bronco were shot with 7.9 grain Cabelas wadcutters. They performed better than 7.5 grain Gamo wadcutters. On the other hand, my XT shot best with Cabelas 10.5 grain domed pellets.


  12. Seems everything old is new again at some point.

    I use the now defunct Beeman Pell-seat, which gives you the choice of a little past flush or deep fit depending on the end used. I have played with this tiny tool extensively over the years.

    Spring rifles being the complex ladies they are, my experience is you cannot draw any absolute conclusions.

    However – their is always a “however”, Magnums tend to loose power when seated with the deep end and often their is no accuracy benefit. On the other hand, the ball end which seats them just a bit keeps the pellet from being clipped by the closing barrel, assures it has an “even” start etc.

    I think Kevin will agree, I sent him a spare I had and he quickly became a fan of the consistency – which is really the key – no magic here – a pellet that starts exactly the same tends to end exactly the same. He abandoned the Bic pen approach once he had the real deal.

    I did run into a couple rifles that preferred the “deep seat” always assume something was not right with breach.

    • Volvo,

      I’ll look and see if I can find my Beeman Pell Seat tool. That would be a good thing to run in the upcoming test of the PellSet tool.

      The great benefit of the PellSet is the adjustability. I want to test it right away, but I’ll let some time pass so I can think about the best way to do this.


  13. I was thinking the discussion about flush/deep seating pellets had already been addressed? Somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my mind I remember reading about this “controversy”. Perhaps it was on the GTA… heck, I don’t remember. But as I recall, results were pretty much inconclusive; or short of that, it was looked at more from an FPS viewpoint as opposed to an accuracy viewpoint.

    But I’ll be interested, B.B., to see your futher reports on this. As well as the other’s on here. I have an older Beeman pellet seater as well. Normally I seat pellets with the back of my fingernail, to make sure it’s flush with the breech. Hopefully, this weekend I’ll get a chance to take my new Bronco (I put a scope on mine) out in the backyard and give it a try with flush and deep seating.

  14. I can’t deny that the accuracy got better by seating the pellets but I’m having trouble accepting this as the real solution. I think there is still a problem here that is being masked by the pellet seat variable.

    I say this because the complaint was that this rifle is not shooting as well during this run of tests as it was during some run of tests in the past. Did I understand that correctly?

    My point being, when you were shooting acceptable groups during that run of tests in the past, you were not seating pellets then so how do you explain that?


      • I don’t think I did a very good job of making my point. You were not seating pellets in the 2010 Bronco review and you were getting accurate results, if I remember right. Today you are having poor accuracy results and now attributing that to improperly seated pellets. I’m having problems with that logic. That’s why I think there is still anther undetermined issue.

        • Chuck,

          There are limits to what I can do in one blog. It takes me 2-3 hours to do the testing and another 3-4 hours to write it up.

          I know I changed the test conditions from the earlier tests. That is why I called attention to that in this report.

          Since I want to test deep-seating again, I will use the Bronco to get that started.


    • Those same pellets did not do well in the past either.

      A change in seating depth is going to screw with the power plant’s pressure curve. A different amount of pressure buildup to get the pellet to start moving. Also the extra air space behind the pellet.

      I would guess that if B.B. had run these over the chrono (after deep seating), he would have seen an improvement in consistency. It was crummy in his first tests way back. About a 30 fps spread.


        • B.B.

          You might start out flush seated (against the inlead), then adjust just far enough that the skirt is engaged just barely past the edge of the rifling (or about even by eyeball), then add 1/2 or 1 turn to the tool at a time (depending on how fast the thread is).


            • B.B.

              Yeah, the other things like….
              Happy power plant does not mean that the muzzle will not be at a high vibration point, or that the pellets are good fliers in the first place. It all has to come together, but sometimes does not.


          • I’ll differ a bit on what setting to try. I’d first compare flush to the maximum inset. If that does nothing, then you’re done with it. If it changes, go half-way then half again if needed.

            • Something will change pretty much for sure. Question is , will it be for the better or for the worse.
              B.B. can do this any way he wants, as far as I’m concerned. What happens with any particular rifle and pellet he chooses will not have much to do with anything I have. I have found what works for mine.

              Could make a big difference for some rifles that are very hard to find a good pellet for. At least it is another way to give it a try.


  15. Question: Do top-rank 10 meter or field target shooters find any use for pellet seating aids? My memory from watching ISSF video is that they don’t use them, and I suspect shooters running close to the 600/600 mark match after match would be looking for every advantage, however tiny.


    • Pete,

      Most 10-meter air rifles and pistols (the really good ones) have probes on their bolts that seat each pellet. So the answer to your first question is yes, almost all world-class target shooters do seat their pellets — even if they don’t think about it.

      Of course the older vintage guns like the FWB 300 do not have probes, and that leads me to the field target shooters. Their guns are often made so they cannot easily use pellet seaters. And the PCPs they shoot mostly do have probes.

      There are exceptions to this. The USFT doesn’t use a probe, though it might be possible to use a manual one.


      • Thanks, BB.

        The bolt on my C-62 and the one on my LP-10 do have tapers before the O-ring seal, and that probably acts as a positioning device as well as a seal to ensure that the discharged gas flows right along the pellet axis (which I think can also be a contributor to poor grouping if it doesn’t, and if it happens to flow in part and asymmetrically around the sides of the pellet).

        I’ll have to look at my FWB-300. I thought it had a taper.


    • Hi, fellas. Another exception is the FWB P70. It has a loading gate design that allows you to hand-load pellets into the breech.

      On at least one example I’ve seen (B.B., did you shoot with Thomas Jones at DIFTA?), the rifling at the breech is very tight and “bitey” – enough that it’d be really tough on your thumb if you were seating pellets with your fingers alone. Thomas has a nice pellet seating tool that seems custom-made for his P70 breech. The pellet literally snaps into the rifling with a satisfying ‘pop’. Once seated, you can see that the skirt is already nicely engraved into the rifling, just 1 or 2 mm into the breech.

      Does anybody know whether this P70 pellet seating tool is standard issue, or yet another custom doodad that shooters of these high-end target guns seem to have left and right?


  16. B.B.,

    I know you’ve written quite a bit about the history and workings of a Girandoni. Since you’ve never done a blog on accuracy I wish you would.

    Here’s one that you could trade for and use as the test gun:


    Here’s the translation:

    “description: Octagonal, striped cane, fine decorated in gold and silver, adorned with effige of an angel whom sound the bugle, a vase, fiorami and l’ registration ” in Wien” , equipped of I raise variable and view-finder, cal. 11 milimeter; on the skillful flank the tubular loader for seventeen blows, adorned with a little one fiorame in silver, fortified of sportellino revolving in the front and dosatore part to carved motivating force to floreali reasons; motivating force A battery in ahead with long folder recorded with the ” C” (for Contriner) and with floreali decorations; false dog recorded; the contropiastra worked en suite, recorded with the ” J” (for Joseph) and fortified of sure; wide codetta in iron carved with a trophy to flags, ghirlande and bands of flowers, to the center a badge in bringing gold an recorded gun; case in carved wood to floreali reasons; fornimenti in iron decorated from refined carvings, floreali recordings and partially golden; ponticello with trophy, troncoconico soccer with tank d’ leather air, covered brown. Baton in wood. notes For Joseph Contriner you see ” Der Neue Stockel” , vol. I, pag. 239. It begins l’ apprenticeship already in 1798, to Vienna, where he becomes single Master twelve years after, many of its works have been ordered from the viennese court.”

    If not made for a king it’s certainly fit for a king. Or a Gaylord. Maybe a mothers day gift idea for Edith?


    • Kevin,

      That rifle is valued at more than my truck!

      Of course I have old shoes that are also worth more than my truck, so that’s not really such a big thing.

      I think YOU should buy it and then start a lending program to circulate it around the blog readers. I would be up for that!

      I think the evaluation is too low and the rifle will realize five figures. A military Girardoni now sells for over $30,000 euros in good condition.


        • Kevin,

          I don’t think Edith is Tom’s mother. Her appropriate day is called “wedding anniversary”; sometimes “Valentine’s day,” and every year “birthday.” And if you’re as lucky as we, there are two wedding anniversaries a year, one for each of two weddings.

          And if he forgets any of the three, her remedies may be hanging on the wall. And the personal days are easier to forget than the commercial holidays because there’s no saturation TV to remind him.


          • Pete & Kevin,

            I am a low-maintenance woman: I rarely ask for anything & usually talk myself out of anything I do want.

            Birthdays are fun days at our house: Whoever is the celebrant gets to eat/do anything they want on that day. Modest gifts are also given, as is a card. The cats usually add their paw prints and some cat humor to the card 🙂

            Valentine’s Day: I feel it’s just a commercial holiday. No cards, no gifts, no chocolates, no nothing. And it’s MY choice. Soon, we’ll be married 30 years, and Tom still asks me every February if the same rules apply to V-Day. Apparently, the barrage of commercialism spooks him annually 🙂

            Anniversaries: We go out to eat + a movie if it’s on a weekend. We used to give cards, til both of us forgot our anniversary one year til his oldest sister called & reminded us. We decided that our marriage could stand one less card exchange. Why get a card when you can just say it yourself?


          • pete,

            My wife isn’t my mother but she is a mother. She receives gifts from me on Mother’s Day because I’m very appreciative and want to acknowledge her talents and significant contributions in that role. 🙂


  17. B.B. or Edith….

    You still got enough nip ? I am in the process of harvesting a spring batch.

    I should ask Bruce too…I think he might have been smoking it instead of giving it to his cats.


    • TT,

      The catnip is so incredibly potent & long lasting, that weeks after it’s been vacuumed up, our female cat writhes around on the space on the carpet & yowls and carries on like she’s in heat. Even though she’s spayed, it stirs up a LOT of interest with our neutered male cats. I have to be careful to put it down for only a very short period of time & then vacuum it up thoroughly with the Dyson. We can’t leave the house because at least 2 cats will get into a fight until the effects wear off completely. This stuff is really crazy powerful. I keep it inside 2 freezer Ziploc bags tucked inside a plastic shopping bag that’s knotted at the top. It’s lost a LITTLE potency, so I no longer have to keep it in the chest freezer in the garage to prevent the cats from destroying the 3 bags to get to it.

      Your original package will probably last their lifetime.


        • My cat went COCO LOCO with fresh catnip. He rolled around in it, his eyes were dialated and he started running around our house. The he ”marked his teritory” on his scratching post. Then we showed him normal off the shelf cat nip. Nada.

          • I do the GOOD stuff. No stems, no seeds, no alfalfa, no ragweed, no grass…..just dried leaves .
            Temperature kept at 125 while drying. Don’t want to sun dry it or overheat it.
            After drying, it gets ground up, sifted for stem pieces, and stored in a cool dark place. Keeps for years.

            Some cats like it fresh and green better, some like it dry better. Some don’t care either way as long as they get it. Some could care less about nip in the first place. Some go nuts just from smelling it, some would rather eat it.

            Agressive or nutso behavior is the usual thing.

            The store bought stuff usually sucks. The cats think so anyway.

            It’s fun to season a few of those store bought mousies in a jar of nip overnight, then hand them out the next day.


              • The secret is to grow so much of it that the cats ignore it as long as a stem or leaf does not get broken open.
                Once you get a few thousand plants growing and always let some of it go to seed, you get the stuff growing everywhere. Goldfinches like the seeds, but they don’t get ’em all.


    • D. Willmore,

      The feed was messing up the RSS feed to the home page of Pyramyd AIR. I changed it so only the last 50 comments get posted. That means you’ll have to follow them regularly to get all the messages.

      If anyone has a problem with the # of messages downloaded thru the RSS feed, let me know. I can set it to any number of comments. It was set at 500, which was excessive. Maybe 100-200 would be better. Let me know.


            • You don’t have to worry about it, It is not a problem.
              I would rather you use your time for something more important than my minor issue.
              Fore someone who needs it. I check the comments nearly everyday so I see if a new post is out anyway.

      • 50 for the feed does feel a bit short… Anyone using RSS on a once-a-day basis is going to miss a lot… Heck — it appears that over 50 comments arrived just between noon and 730PM today.

          • Colt,

            It will hit a 100 comments (we’ve had quite a few with over 100…and even over 200 and over 300). When the blog post supplies lots of fodder for discussion, such as the possibility that there’s more than meets the eye in the post, the discussion really picks up. While B.B. writes the blog post, our readers have so much to offer that we learn a lot from them. It gives us additional insights we might never have gotten without them.

            Also, there was considerable off-topic chat today. The catnip comments contributed quite a few comments. And that’s okay, too 🙂


        • Wulfraed,

          I misspoke and had corrected myself with a supplementary comment:

          The RSS feed for the blog POSTS was the one reduced to the 50 latest. Since there are 5 a week, I’ve allowed 50 blog posts — or 10 weeks — to download with the RSS feed for POSTS.

          The RSS feed for blog COMMENTS still sits at 500. I won’t deprive you of getting all the comments if you decide to take off a weekend 🙂


          • The feed I’m receiving is only showing 50 comments period — new and old combined. They are not separated by parent “blog” entry, but are chronological (reverse) by post time (the subject reads “Comment on “).

            Firefox 3.6.28 (yes, old — 1) I don’t like the interface of the newer Firefox on my laptop [having to go through one menu to reach the bookmarks list, for example]; 2) Mozilla’s stupid idea of issuing a new /version/ every six months rather than a patch set [Mozilla is incrementing versions faster than most corporation IT departments can test and approve the product — patches on a single version don’t get as much scrutiny]

            Sage RSS plug-in.

            • Wulfraed,

              I changed it back to 500. I’ve sent screenshots to IT and asked them to please fix it because it clearly says the number of POSTS is supposed to be limited to 50. Apparently, that function is also limiting the number of COMMENTS to 50, too.


              • There’s probably some happy medium (palm out, waiting for silver to cross it) that sees a value between 50 and 500 as optimal. {You NEVER want to accidentally hit the “mark all unread” operation in Sage — it basically locks FireFox up for the rest of the day <G> )

  18. I found a couple things that are useful either at the range,or in the back yard.I thought you guys & gals might like them too.It seems that now pushpins,which I like for putting up targets…..come in two cool new varieties! One pkg I bought are just plain freakishly larger…..including a scaled up in size pin.They work great if you use a plywood backer.
    The other ones are normal sized,but have a removable end,held on with a real strong rare earth magnet.That way the pin doesn’t need to move to change targets.Best of all was a pkg of each was only 1$ at wallyworld…..on clearance.Very nice additions for the rangebag or your home target setup.

    • Colt,

      Since we can’t get anymore TT pistols from Russia, Crosman was smart to create their own version. The advantage the Russian version had was that it was made from the original TT firearm. It wasn’t an airgun originally. I think that was a big part of the draw. It could be field-stripped like the firearm and was rock solid.


      • Sadly I don’t think Crosman “created” it. It was featured in the asian airsoft catalog I sent you a few months ago.
        There was a blowback and a non blowback model. So it seems to be another one of those airsoft to airgun conversions. Some of the more interesting models (for me anyways and I REALLY hope they make it here) are :
        Mauser BroomHandle WITH blowback
        Makarov identical to the one sold by Umarex but WITH blowback
        Luger sadly non-blowback

        If I’m not mistaken it’s the same company who makes the Tanfoglio Witness 1911, GSG 92, and SIG Sauer P226 excellent replicas.

        4 of these are rated at sub quarter groups at 10M, and they include a generic 1911, the Luger, the TT33 and one of BB’s favorite BB pistol the Makarov. I hope we can buy those not yet available soon.


  19. I posted this yesterday,but if you missed it……The Bluebook folks have a couple new videos on Youtube about Girardoni’s,including one gorgeous pistol! Well worth watching….Dr.Beeman bought the pistol at an auction where a Girardoni rifle went for $67,000.Do a Youtube search for “Girardoni pistol”

  20. I just got back from the gun range. Beautiful conditions: 80 deg. F, wind from South 10mph, clear sky.

    I had to try the pellet seating idea.

    Used my normal setup: Shoot from bench. Used 6″ diameter target on box on table at 25 yd. 30 rounds on each target, max. possible score 300.

    Pellet used for all shooting was Cabelas 7.9 grain wadcutter. Bronco Target gun.

    My first target was shot with pellets inserted by hand, flush with breech. Score of 266. My previous best score with this combination of gun and pellets was 277, pellets seated by hand.

    The next target was shot the same way, only the pellets were all seated with a Bic Pen. Score was 279, the best so far with this gun. After the first five shots, the red point of aim had disappeared.

    I was disappointed with my first target, and thought I could do better. Put up another target and shot another 30 rounds, seating the pellets by hand. Score of 263.

    So what did today prove? The seated pellets definitely outperformed the unseated ones. Today.
    But although they performed considerably better than the unseated ones today, they were only marginally better than the best performance by unseated pellets overall. I thought about shooting a fourth target today, seating the pellets again, but I was getting hot and my score was already beginning to slip.

    I did get a tighter group with the seated pellets than with the unseated ones. Next time, I’ll shoot another target with seated pellets and see what I can get. If I can keep my groups tight, I think I can improve my 279 score.

    I also have two cats. One goes nuts for nip, the other is not affected at all. Yesterday I planted two patches of “white and green cat grass” in the back yard. Is that the same stuff as nip?

    I’ve heard this stuff attracts mountain lions, but it’s been several months since we’ve had one in town.


    • Les,

      I reckon your experience today is how this will go for a long time. Sometimes it will seem to work and other times it may not work. Or the difference will seem too small to be decisive.

      Any test we construct will always have some kind of bias because of normal shooter error, getting tired as we shoot and so on.

      What we will eventually need is a blind test, in which the shooter is unaware of how the pellet has been seated. But even that may not work, because I can detect a small difference in the feel of the shot from flush-seated to deep-seated.

      At any rate it gives us old men something to talk about on warm days when we sit on park benches and feed the pigeons.


    • Cat grass is not nip. It’s usually oats.
      Nip is in the mint family. Has a strong minty odor. Gets almost rancid smelling later in the year and don’t smell as good to people, but the cats don’t care.
      Looks and smells a lot like spearmint this time of year.


      • So THAT’S why it wasn’t working with the cats!
        Thank you TT!!!
        I just searched it and found the latin name for it: Nepeta cataria
        I’ll try to find some locally. All I had was a regular grass looking stuff that the cats don’t really seem to care about.


        • You can get seed, but it takes a while. You can usually get plants that are already started from a greenhouse . It can be transplanted if you find a patch somewhere. Just make sure it’s catnip and not something else.
          It’s a perennial….comes up every year. And talk about seed!


        • Also…
          Some people use it for an herb. Make tea out of it to settle the digestive system. May be used for other things too.

          Once you get it started, it keeps spreading unless you keep mowing it off or hit it with weed spray.
          A lawn mower or weed eater hitting a mature plant loaded with ripe seed will shoot the stuff all over the place.

          Frost does not kill it. Have dug it out of the snow. A little wilted, but the cats don’t care.


          • Thanks for the info, I think it will definetely be a potted plant, our cats don’t go outside and the last thing I want is all the neighborhood cats coming here driving the dogs crazy.


            • Outside plants do not seem to attract cats. They ignore it unless the stems or leaves get broken open and the juice seeps out. Most outside cats don’t seem to learn about what it is. The cats around here come for food and water, but ignore the nip that is growing all over the place.

              To grow it in a pot, give it as much sun as possible and a little fertilizer. Hope your cat does not get wise to what it is.


              • I read somewhere that catnip contains the same chemical compound as that found in either male cat urine, or their glandular spray or musk. I can’t remember which. My cats love the stuff, even the shwag from the grocery store. They eat it, roll around in it, and generally act a bit crazier than they already do.

      • If anyone’s interested, look for “Cosmic” brand cat nip. We grow natural cat nip in our garden for our 8 little guys/girls; some are interested, some not. One of the guys gets really aggressive with it, just like a mean drunk! Anyhow, the “Cosmic” brand is good stuff, really equivalent to the stuff we grow in the garden.

  21. I don’t get it….

    Same Bronco, two tests.

    In the 1st test, the gun was accurate when seating pellets flush by hand.
    In the 2nd test, the gun required deep seating pellets with a tool to be accurate.

    I’m guessing this is just because of a change in pellets.

    What were the results of the 2nd test using the same pellets as the 1st test? Bad accuracy?
    If so, why ???

    • I too am kinda confused with this test. Like you and a couple way above said. The Bronco did not need seating before, but it does now?

      Could the new front sight cause a change in the harmonics, or something?

      Maybe going back to the old sights and see if we return to the tighter groups?


  22. What benefit does a deep seated pellet offer over a properly seated pellet? I find a deep seated pellet drops overall velocity 10-20 fps. A properly seated pellet (either shallow or deep) improves velocity consistency. However, the net improvement in accuracy appears minimal at 10-20 yards. I’m wondering if a deep seated pellet changes the pressure build up and the location of the piston, somehow producing less vibration in some situations. Similar to the effect on the piston using different pellet weights. This is my first post, so don’t drill me too hard!!!

    • TC, I don’t know any advantage from deep seating, but will be doing some testing this weekend. It seems to me that a deep-seated pellet will make only a small percentage change in the volume after piston compression and probably not effect barrel vibration. But we do know that a longer barrel increases pellet velocity, so this should slightly lower it, as you mentioned.

      OTOH, if the large-mass piston is primarily responsible for the barrel vibration, the barrel will tend to a damped vibration at a certain frequency. As a heavier pellet travels slower through the barrel, it will pass out the muzzle when the barrel has flexed to a different point. The max flex will happen at the muzzle and where that’s aimed is where the pellet will go. On that point, I’ll note that at a custom airgun site in TX he actually bends the barrels to compensate for droop, claiming no loss in accuracy so it’s only near the muzzle that the direction is set.

      While I’m confident that is correct, we don’t know how large that effect is, compared to those from several other factors. I’m also thinking it won’t be useful to do this test at 10m with that peep sight, as my groupings are already pretty small and eyesight will be a limit. With my scoped 1377 at 10m I can shoot overlapping holes, so I’ll probably move that scope to the Bronco for the test.

    • TC,

      Nobody is going to “drill you” for asking a question on this blog. And we really don’t have a good grasp on this phenomenon yet. It appears that deep-seating may help accuracy (and velocity) in some situations, such as with lower-powered spring guns. But we have a lot more exploration to do before we can say that for sure.

      Welcome to the blog!


  23. The pellet seating test is now done. Because my previous groups at 10m with the peep sight were so close that vision (in aiming) was a limit, I replaced the peep sight with a 6x scope. I compared flush seating to indents of 0.02 (what BB used) and ten times greater at 0.20. All three gave me both the same grouping and the same aim point. This was with Crosman Premier Super Match.

    As BB’s results were very different, I’d suspect another factor came into play. Perhaps the particular pellets he used, or his Bronco had a slightly different breech diameter, or perhaps some AirGun Deity was laughing at the time. Or, he may be the norm, and I’m the odd one here. Perhaps there are some thing that we may not be meant to know.

    Looking back at BB’s original Bronco postings, it’s not only at 25 yards but uses a different target, so I really can’t compare them. An earlier post is at 10m, but I’m still unsure of the target used. He may have mentioned this somewhere, but I can’t remember. For this post here, it looks like he uses a AR-5/10 target.

    Two other points now come into this, regarding my 10m target practice with the Bronco. First, since the scope allows me to clearly see any small movements on my part, I should practice my hold and trigger with the scope mounted. If I get that nailed down, then when later replacing it with the peep sight, I have only the peep sight to concentrate on learning.

    Second, this will better show me the ultimate accuracy of the Bronco and shooter (me), and any differences between brands of pellets. It will set a goal to try and reach with the peep sight mounted. Thus far for wadcutters, I’ve used Crosman Premier Super Match, RWS Meisterkugeln 7gr, and H&N sport Match Pistol. If there’s any difference between them, I just won’t see it at a 10m distance.

    • Gerry,

      Thank you for your report on pellet seating. I have been working with the Bronco and have discovered two things that may have a bearing on the results I got with the peep sight. I will address both of them in an upcoming report, so look for it.


    • Gerry,
      Very interesting test. I find the key is making sure the pellet tail is flush with the bore, not the edge of the barrel due to the tapered edge. Anything deeper, just reduces fps, but not accuracy. If the pellet tail is just flush mounted to the barrel edge, it widens my groups. This seems to be true so far on any brand rifle I’ve tested where the pellet is manually inserted.

    • TC, I had to take a close look at mine to see that slight bevel on the edge, but what you’re saying sounds logical to me. The effect would also vary with the rifle and pellet used, changing how well the pellet skirt gives an initial air seal. That bevel might also explain why BB’s very small 0.02 made a difference for him, and looks like the only thing mentioned here which does. We do know that a springer should not be dry fired, as the air compressed against the pellet serves to slow the piston’s impact. So, even a very small air leak right at that point would change the recoil and from there the barrel vibration. TC, thank you for noting that.

      All of my pellets had a snug fit, and I notice now that I tend to push them down a bit with my finger. While that was to make sure the pellet didn’t just fall out, it might also be helping to seat them just past that very small bevel you noted. With a looser pellet skirt, one of those tools might be needed to get it in far enough.

      Continuing to practice with the scope at 10m, the magnification is really helping me to see and take out more and more jitter in my hold and smooth the trigger. I figure a week or so of this before I return to the peep sight. As far as I can tell, every error here is still mine, and not the Bronco. It’s interesting that, at this point, my scoped 1377 pistol (highly modified) is still more accurate than the Bronco. However, I do seem to be able to hold the 1377 with less jitter, and it’s upgraded trigger is even better than the Bronco’s. I hope to match it after more practice.

      OTOH, for my pistol competition the P17 just won’t do it. A few group well, then the aim point changes on me. Stripped, cleaned and lubed, no issues were seen but it still changes. I suspect a valve issue but don’t have time to pursue that as it looks okay under magnification. So, it’s either buying a Williams rear sight for my 1377 (no scopes in this pistol competition), or looking for another air pistol (IZH 46m?). There are a few others cheaper than the IZH 46m, but they all seem to have some issues. The only one I’ve found for the IZH is that it is front heavy, so harder to use for many shots while off hand.

      • Gerry,
        I discovered this when trying to improve my accuracy on a Crosman Quest 1000. It sprayed most pellets, which I first felt was a hold issue. However, the more accurate pellets had a wider head which provided better sealing, reducing the need for tail sealing. Using a home made tool, I started to properly seat the pellet tails, and found the Quest much less pellet sensitive.

      • TC, I think that might just open up a new variable. For some reason my Bronco may be less sensitive to this than BB’s rifle. However, I believe my Gamo IGT did poorly with some pellets. When time allows, I’m going to try this and see if it makes any difference.

        In the meantime, perhaps other readers could try this. If you have a springer that doesn’t “like” certain ammo, try shooting a 2nd group, with the skirts seated in about 0.02 or so. Yes, there will be other factors, but if this makes a difference for a significant number of combinations, then it’ll be something that we should always check.

        • Gerry,
          As you suggest, it would be great if others would test this out as well. I have a suggestion for you. Insert a pellet that has a tighter fit in your Gamo. Manually push it through the bore, making sure you only push on the center part of the pellet so you do not deform it. I’ve found that some barrels do not have a consistent bore diameter across the full length, and you can feel the pellet slip in spots. I’ve found those harder to group and are very pellet sensitive. I owned an older Sheridan Blue Streak, at it taught me a few important lessons. One was the idea of seating the pellet at the same distance every time (including the pellet tail) and that the bore diameter was flawless from start to finish (no pellet slip). True, it was not hold sensitive, but I feel these other factors played a role in how well it grouped any pellet I used.

          • TC, I tried that with several brands of ammo. Each one was a tight fit and took quite a bit of force to push down the bore, so it moved in jumps. I couldn’t detect any slips.

      • Regarding my P17 comments just above here, I finally found an issue. While nothing appeared wrong with the valve, I suspected the molded stop for the valve just might be a few ‘thou off or not be flat, so that the valve didn’t fully open fast enough. Used a knife to scrape it down and flatten it. My groups are now consistent! As I found worked best with the Bronco, I’ll scope the P17 and learn to shot 10m with that first. If the scoped accuracy isn’t good enough, then once again I’ll look for something else. But, at least the P17 is now a useful gun again.

        • Update on my P17 comments. There was no question on the grouping being poor with various ammo types even with a scope at 10m. Now, “poor” is a relative term, but I’m looking at 10m pistol competition with iron sights. For comparison, I just got an IZH 46M. After sighting it in, the groups I’m shooting with iron sights are far smaller than the P17 with a scope, and this is just in the first day of shooting.

          At some point I may try the P17 again. Perhaps removing more material from that molded valve stop will make a difference, since the previous change there did help.

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