Selling (or buying) the right airgun

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

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

Pyramyd Air's facebook winner for Big Shot of the Week

A.J. Stewart submitted this week’s winning photo for BSOTW. There probably isn’t a person reading this blog who hasn’t experienced the same elation as this boy!

I was at a gun show a few weeks back and a couple incidents struck me as odd. They got me thinking and ultimately prompted this report. How often do people sell or buy the wrong airgun?

The first incident happened when a man happened by my table and showed an interest in an M48 Mitchell’s Mauser (a variation of an M98 Mauser bolt-action military rifle) I had. Mitchell’s Mausers are reworked guns that have a new appearance, though they may have been made 60 years ago. Mine was a Yugoslavian M48 Mauser that had been made in 1948, and then stored in an arsenal since that time. Mitchell’s found them in the 1990s and had them all restocked with teak stocks and all the metal reblued to look like new. Since they were never used, their bores were pristine, which is very unusual for an 8mm Mauser, because most military 8mm ammo is corrosive.

I’d dragged this rifle to numerous gun shows before this one, and everyone who saw it fell in love with it for its sharp looks. But when they learned that it was a Mitchell’s Mauser, they all put it down as though it was somehow infected with a disease. They knew that it was a “doctored” gun, and they wanted no part of it.

But the guy who bought it, bought it to shoot and didn’t care about its pedigree. To find a “real” 8mm M98 Mauser in the same condition, he would have to spend over $2,000 — and this rifle was selling for a tiny fraction of that. Everyone else had commented on the rifle’s good looks, they just couldn’t abide the fact that it was somehow tainted.

What this gun needed was someone who just wanted a good shooter and wasn’t looking for the history. I should have known that, but it didn’t occur to me until the right buyer came along.

The funny thing that made this incident really stand out in my mind was the fact that another guy who was walking the floor had tried to sell me his genuine (but really beat-up) 98 Mauser for very little money. But his gun had a mismatched bolt and a bore that was shot out. It was neither a shooter nor a collectible. It was the worst kind of value — which is no value at all.

At this same gun show, there was a Colt AR-15 pre-ban rifle for sale. It was made without a forward assist, which put its manufacturing date back into the early 1980s timeframe. What made it a pre-ban gun was the fact that it had a bayonet lug that’s now banned on civilian rifles. Buyers kept looking at this rifle because it was a “Pre-Ban Colt” and sounded highly attractive. Then they picked it apart because of the lack of a forward assist and the fact that the carry handle was permanently attached to the upper receiver. But both those details are part of what makes it what it is!

Here we had the reverse of the Mitchell’s Mauser. This was a collectible rifle that the buyers wanted to be a modern shooter. They liked the idea of a “pre-ban” gun because it sounds cool, but they had no idea what that actually meant! Seeing that drama unfold, coupled with the Mitchell’s Mauser incident, caused me to think about numerous instances at airgun shows over the years, where I’ve seen the same thing.

There was the young man with his baseball cap on backwards who ran up to my table at a show, picked up an FWB 300S and said to me, “How many FPS?” I could tell from the way he asked the question that he had no idea of what he was doing, so I decided to have some fun with him.

“What does FPS stand for?” I asked.

“I don’t know, man. It’s got something to do with how fast it goes. Is this a fast one?”

“You wouldn’t like this one. It’s not fast enough.”

“How fast, man?”

“About 640 feet per second.” And, no, it apparently never occurred to him that I had just explained what FPS meant.

“Six-forty? That’s too slow! I want a thousand, at least.”

“What do you want to do with it?” I asked.

“I want to shoot field target. There’s a club in Damascus (Maryland) and I want to get something real fast and accurate so I can shoot field target.”

I happened to be the match director at the club he was talking about, but I didn’t tell him that. This young man had no idea of what he was doing. He’d obviously been reading things on the internet and wasn’t interested in the facts, so I let the matter drop. I didn’t have anything on my table that went a thousand f.p.s., and I told him so. I never saw him again, not even at the field target matches.

And the point of this anecdote is that this young man was looking for something that didn’t exist. He wanted a spring rifle that shot a thousand f.p.s. and was good for field target. He might as well have been looking for a Shelby Cobra with a three-point hitch to plow his fields!

Another time, a shooter asked me numerous questions about how he could fit diopter target sights to an Air Arms TX200 air rifle I was selling. I explained that the TX200 is made for a scope, and he replied that he wanted to shoot 10-meter target with one because it was so accurate and had such a good trigger. Yes, a TX200 is accurate and yes, the trigger is good, but had he ever considered an FWB 300S that was already set up to do exactly what he wanted and has a far nicer trigger than the TX? Yes, he thought about that, but he wanted to try the TX200 because nobody ever had and wouldn’t that give him an edge on the competition? Wouldn’t the extra velocity be good? No, it wouldn’t. What the extra velocity would do is get his rifle disqualified from competition, because it would be too powerful for the target traps they use!

Or the guy who wanted to buy a Crosman 2260 rifle, so he could convert it to run on high-pressure air. When he was told he would need to upgrade the reservoir to a piece of seamless steel tubing that would cost him about $50 (for the correct length machined to fit on the gun) and add a pressure gauge that costs $12 if you buy a thousand but $35 if you only buy one, he balked, saying, “I’m going to have to pay someone to put this thing together for me. That’s going to cost me at least $100 for just the labor. I might as well buy a Disco!” The funny thing is, a Benjamin Discovery is a Crosman 2260 that has all of those improvements (and more) already done to it!

I sometimes get a question that goes like this: “I’m interested in the IZH 46M pistol, but I need it to have at least 12 foot-pounds of muzzle energy and come in .22 caliber. What modifications do I need to make to get what I want?”

You need to change your mind! You don’t want an IZH 46M. What you want is an air pistol with the accuracy and the good trigger of an IZH 46M, but also one with a minimum of 12 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. And you want it in a caliber larger than .177, which the 46M will never be, because it’s a target pistol. So I answer with this:

“Have you looked at the TalonP pistol?”

“Yeah, I have. It sounds great but it is too large and it also needs a scuba tank.”

“What about the PPK/S pistol? Have you considered that? It fits in your pocket and yet it produces more than 200 foot-pounds at the muzzle.”

“Where can I get one of those!”

“At a gun store. Just ask for the .380-caliber PPK/S.”

“But that’s a firearm. I want an air pistol.”

“No, you don’t. You want an air pistol in size and price, and a firearm in power.”

We have been here before
Edith says I have written this report before when I told her what I was working on. I suppose that’s true, but why does it keep coming up as something that needs to be done if I’ve already addressed it? I guess I should try to answer that before I end this report.

The fact is that if we focus on the reasons why we want a certain thing rather than the thing, itself, we may get a better picture of what will satisfy our need. For example, if I really want an accurate field target rifle, maybe I don’t have to buy a 10-meter rifle and spend a thousand dollars to get it converted to shoot field target. Maybe there are already good field target rifles that have everything I want.

And if what I want is a powerful air pistol, maybe one already exists. Maybe I don’t have to modify anything except my attitude to get what I want. Maybe the reason people say that a certain air rifle is the best is because it really is. And instead of buying something that is close to it, and then trying to change it to be the gun I really should have bought in the first place, maybe it would be easier to just go with the flow, buy the right gun and be done with it.

Maybe you can’t have a gun that cannot be touched for fear it will lose its value and yet still be a wonderful shooter at the same time.

Last story and I’m out of here. A while back at a gun show, a guy came by the table with a Winchester model 92 lever action rifle for sale. I love Winchester 92s. But this one had been modified from 25/20 caliber to .357 Magnum. “I want a thousand dollars for it,” the seller informed me.

“But Winchester never made the model 92 in .357 Magnum,” sez I.

“Yeah, but I couldn’t buy 25/20 ammo anywhere. Now it shoots a cartridge I can buy everywhere, and it’s still a Winchester!”

“No, it isn’t! What you have is a $450 Italian lever-action rifle that’s been made out of a collectible Winchester. The fact that it says Winchester on the gun means nothing, because it’s been modified. It would have been worth your thousand dollars if you’d left it in the original caliber. Right now, it’s worth $450 and only that because the bore is pristine.

I could tell by his facial expression that I wasn’t the first person to have told him that. He lowered his head, tightened his grip on the “Winchester” and trudged on down the aisle — looking for an enlightened person who could recognize the wonderful thing he had done.

114 thoughts on “Selling (or buying) the right airgun

  1. At this same gun show, there was a Colt AR-15 pre-ban rifle for sale. It was made without a forward assist, which put its manufacturing date back into the early 1980s timeframe.

    <blink><blink>

    I’ll concede I’m not an expert on AR-15/M-16… But I’m pretty sure the forward-assist made it to the M-16 by the early 70s… Are you saying it took over a decade for that to make it to the civilian AR-15?


    • BTW — if it has any bearing… I’m an “Army brat”… My father retired ~1974, and I’m sure I saw a forward assist on the rifle he had to qualify on ~1969… [I wouldn’t be surprised to learn his prior qualification had been done with an M-14 or even an M1 Garand]


      • Wulfraed,

        I began Basic Training at Fr. Leonard Wood in November of 1962. We were issued M-1 Garands. We also were given a “familiarization orientation” (a movie) on the M-14 and the instructor had one to pass around the room. I remember that the upper handguard was pressed out of some kind of sheet metal. We were told that it was going to be replaced with something synthetic as the got got so hot under rapid fire that people were burning themselves if they touched that handguard. I also remember being told that we were the last or among the last to qualify with the M-1. I remember being told that, but I have no idea if in fact we really were.

        NRS


        • Ah, the infamous meningitis capitol of the world…
          Missed me by 7 years (6th grade, Pick Elementary)… Was 69 or 70 when my father was inflicted with the M-16 familiarization week-end.

          Then again, in 62, Ft Riley KS probably still had a cavalry horse and saddle to display…


        • NRS,

          I took Basic in 1968, and the M14 had replaced the Garand for everything except bayonet training. But the M16 was about to replace the M14, so I had a similar experience as you, only six years later.

          B.B.


    • Wulfraed,

      Yes, I am. Check it out on Gunbroker.

      I commanded a Combat Support company in Germany in 1976 & ’77. All of my M16s (over 100) had forward assists. I know the black rifle well from the military side.

      I qualified with an M14 in 1968 and the M16 was offered as an option to those who shot Expert. Can’t remember if they had forward assists or not, but by the time I was commissioned in 1970, it seems they did.

      B.B.


      • I have a AR-15 SP1 purchased new in 1975. It doesn’t have a forward assist. You will never need a forward assist unless you drop your rifle in the mud with the bolt cover open and don’t clean it or shoot old late 60’s vintage ball ammo full auto in quantity. The M-16 A1 did have a forward assist in 1975. Also, with the sunset of the “Assault Weapons Ban”, bayonet lugs are legal again just like high cap mags.

        Mike



        • I thought the forward assist was a bit useless too… but I’m a cheapskate, and when I bought a bunch of Wolf .223 (24 cents a round!) I found that I actually had to use it from time to time.


          • Vince,

            As a newbie to AR civilian rifles, I don’t know how long it takes them to gunk up. I know the military M16s were reliable for about 100 rounds in the 1970s. And of course that was with early 5.56 ammo.

            So, if I shoot clean-burning ammo and keep the rifle clean by the book, how long before it starts acting up? Any idea?

            My brother-in-law wants to possibly trade me his early ’80s Colt that has no forward assist, which is the reason for my question.

            B.B.


            • I’m a newbie to these too, but I can tell you the Panther I’ve got has a few hundred rounds on it and has never been cleaned. Most of that is the “Wolf” stuff which is probably not the cleanest out there… but it sure is the cheapest!

              The forward assist was only necessary (sometimes) when stripping the first round from the mag. Operation has been flawless after that. And I had recently bought a different mag (I don’t remember the brand) and it functions better – never had a problem with it at all.


            • B.B., I have no experience to share but an abundance or reading and meditating on this question. I’m almost at the point of taking Mike up on his invitation to try the AR-15 just to settle my questions for myself. But I think I will let you do it for me. And (as Frankenstein’s monster says) I await the results of your tests with unutterable anxiety.

              My understanding is that if you keep the AR-15 clean by the book, you should never have problems. That is until the heat transferred into the bolt carrier group wears out parts prematurely. Not sure how long that takes although it is supposed to take less time than for a comparable piston design. As for how soon the action gunks up, it should happen almost right away since debris is deposited right into the action. But that need not interfere with the operation of the rifle, provided you keep it running wet with Breakfree or a wide range of solvents squirted right into the action.

              Despite my misgivings, I’m following AR developments with great interest. The LWRC piston system seems to have solved any reliability problems with its piston design and its special metal coating. But it’s very pricey. The Smith and Wesson M&P system seems to have achieved the same level of reliability with just the coating and by generally making the basic DGI system more robust. Reviews of this model are most impressive. Rock River Arms seems to have original DGI actions that are just extremely good for some reason. Probably my favorite right now is the Ruger SR556 with its piston design and its 6.8 upper. But I don’t know if all these brands are interchangeable with your lower.

              Matt61


    • Wulfraed,

      The first M16 I held in my hands was a Vietnam trophy. I guess it was one of the first series – no forward assist, no brass deflector, aluminium 20-rd magazine and 3-slot flash suppressor. It was obtained no later that 1968 (by inventory number engraved in USSR). The M16A1, that was ready for production in 1967, had forward assist included into its design as a result of troubles with M16.

      duskwight


  2. All right, this evening I’m going to my countryhouse where “stock cake” awaits, and start working on inletting my rifle into stock. At the same time I’ll make THE first shot after completion of honing my bypass, as I have everything in place – engine assembly, receiver assembly, barrel and o-rings. Everything fits fine so I think let’s not waste a minute 😉
    So far, I have to note that I was a bit lax on construction’s weight discipline, and Mk.1 will really need some more shaving. I do not consider moving towards 7075+black chrome lining cylinders yet, but that would be a very nice weight reduction measure (despite it’s hard to work with).

    duskwight


    • duskwight,

      Sounds like you’re going to get to “keep your cake and eat it too!” 🙂

      Something to think about for the future… 7075-T6 is not that bad to work with. Worse than other forms of aluminum, but not horrible. Plus, it’s hard enough that I don’t think you’d benefit all that much from a chrome lining. Teflon buttons on the piston would work if you wanted to go that way. Another thing to consider if you have to have the chrome lining, is using 6065 and having it chrome lined after the machine work is done and the bore is honed a couple of thousandths oversize. A general aviation shop should be able to direct you to where they send their old cylinders for rework.

      /Dave



        • Caprolon or teflon rings would make much easier manufacturing of the pistons and still be simple enough to assemble. Good choice, duskwight! Can hardly wait for more pics and test info when you’re done! I forgot, which barrel are you using, or did you have that made up custom too?

          /Dave



    • B.B.

      To be honest – I’m impatient too.
      I’ll make them of course, but no earlier than I assemble everything and test it. Plywood cake looks not that photogenic – imagine a stock outline sawed out of the cant 🙂 On Sunday I’ll start to chop out a form out of this log, but before that I need to inlet the system into it.

      duskwight


    • Dang, that was a total failure with the plywood.
      Epoxy didn’t react – in spite of me doing everything correct. 1:10 proportion (just like in manual) didn’t work, so my cake was wet with goo even after 5 days and 24 hours of heating and it flew into dump container. I increased the volume of hardeter up to 1:5 and it worked. on experiment. All right, things that don’t kill you on the spot – make you stronger, I’ll make a second attempt this week.
      Back to metal.
      Asembled everything together. Honed some off bypass for a perfect fit and…

      It works, gentlemen, even on relatively weak springs. Made a total of 50 shots into pellet trap. I estimate speed cca. 650 fps, but that is when the rifle is _way_ underpowered.
      Pics to follow shortly.

      duskwight



        • GenghisJan

          Quite loud, sound is unusually sharp – I guess with low power springs it’s about “stage 2” gun according to the “Blue book”, let’s see if we’ll move to “stage 3” with more power, but otherwise no feeling of the shot itself. No recoil, no movement except for synchro pushers, it just makes a hole in the paper and that’s all.

          duskwight




          • as a favorite cartoon character on television would say, “exxxxxcelent” (that would be the Mr. Burns character from The Simpsons – voice by actor Harry Shearer). This is sounding very exciting, Duskwright. Regarding the stock, it’s too bad you don’t know anyone that loves to work in wood that would make you a stock to your specifications, for free. As a matter of fact, I can see a possible future with you and Lloyd Sykes (inventor of the electronics in the Crosman Rogue) in new and exciting airgun designs.

            Fred DPRoNJ


            • Fred,

              Comrade, I know this character – a typical capitalist, sucking out blood out of working class. I love to test my devotion to the Party by watching this piece of propaganda from decadent West. And I must confess to you, comrade, that sometimes I say “exxxxxcelent!” in even more evil and bourgeois way than Mr. Burns himself (just don’t tell that to Central Commitee, or they’ll cut my AK rounds ration!).

              duskwight



      • duskwight,

        Congrats on the test firing! What a feeling that must be!

        Too bad about the epoxy failing. That is frustrating! Might be time to try a chunk of hardwood. Maybe get someone to split out a slab of dry birch or your first try. That way you’re not worried about making a mistake on an expensive piece of wood. Then, no worries about failing epoxy. Just make sure the chunk you get is dead dry so it doesn’t warp and split…

        /Dave


        • Dave

          Yeah, now I’m smarter and try on a spare piece of wood first. What failed me – is my confidence that I got what I paid for with that epoxy. Now I’ll remember and act by my primary rule – “Trust only those people you can control” 🙂

          duskwight



    • All right, ladies and gentlemen. The one, the only (for now)… DWR Mk.0!

      http://i45.tinypic.com/289y82w.jpg

      It is missing muzzle device and barrel shroud, but it already shoots.
      And the man, who’s guilty of all the sleepless nights and money spent is here – it’s B.B. 😉
      3 years ago I read his article on his JW and that was a spark to start a fire that I did not know then when and how will end. But now I know how – and I think your support and interest were among key elements of success.
      In some near future it will also get a stock and sights – and then will see was it all worth the sweat, but I’m sure it did, just for fun’s sake – I got a point to get to and moved there, step by step, inch by inch.
      Thank you, B.B., and thank you all who read this and kept their fingers crossed for me!

      duskwight




    • As the saying goes; “I resemble that remark!” Not that I really do a lot of buying and selling but the tempting mirage that is the “magic” new rifle which will let me put pellet after pellet into the same tiny hole, offhand, at long range does haunt me. And that it will some ineffable quality which will make me happier just to own it.

      By the way, my purchase of an FWB 602 confirmed that my skills really are more in the Daisy Red Ryder neighborhood… but I still love shooting it!



  3. The guy with the modified Winchester should reconcile himself with what he has. If he truly had modified his gun for the purpose of being able to use more common ammunition, fine. It probably would have been a fine gun to shoot anyway, but it is a shooter, not a collectible.

    After all, he still has the classic appearance and mechanism of the original. I would think a lot of people would appreciate having a gun like that, if they were not concerned with it being a collectible.

    This would be like someone who shows up at a car collectors’ meet with a nice 1930’s-era Ford, with a small-block Chevy engine and Turbo-Hydro transmission. Probably nicer to drive than an original, but not a collectible.

    I like to go to hotrod shows, and 80-90% of the Fords of that era are running around with Chevy V8 engines. Kind of a letdown for a flathead V8 fan.

    Les


  4. Haven’t had time to read todays blog yet…I need another cup of coffee first.
    But I just had to say…that is the best ‘Big Shot of the Week’ photo yet!
    Every shooter with kids can identify with this one.


  5. I don’t know if AJ is the boy’s name or his dad’s or his mom’s but if his name really is AJ then I say:

    AJ, YOU LUCKY DOG! WHAT AN AWESOME BIRTHDAY PRESENT! AND I SEE YOU GOT SOME FISHING STUFF TOO. I SAY IT DON’T GET NO BETTER THAN THAT! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LUCKY AJ!

    -Chuckj





      • Edith,

        I know that PA would not try to be deceitful, so I thought it was worth pointing out. Something tells me that this page was borrowed from another one, and they failed to make all the necessary revisions.
        Oops! This sort of thing happens all the time with programming.

        Thanks,
        Victor



        • Victor,

          No, this page was not borrowed from another page. They put in those high dollar amounts in several fields in case the product is activated by mistake before it’s properly priced. Then someone will see that (or a customer will mention the absurd price), and we’ll fix it. So, it’s a safety measure. For more expensive guns (like FWB 10m guns), we put in a placeholder of $9,000 instead of $900, since those guns will sell for more than $900…and customers would then get a bargain at below dealer cost :-\ As it happens, the person who priced th Zombie rifle forgot to add the right number to that one field.

          Edith


  6. “I suppose that’s true, but why does it keep coming up as something that needs to be done if I’ve already addressed it?”

    B.B., the short answer is that “they” haven’t been reading your blog 🙂

    Getting 64 slice CT-Scan and MRI on Tuesday.

    ~Ken




      • J-F, I want you to know that I am doing well. The radiculopathy symptoms are helped by the Lyrica. The CT-Scan and MRI didn’t show any problems so we will just have to see how it goes. ~Ken


    • I suppose this is as good a place as any to say I got the results of my 90 days past radiation scan yesterday. I’m still giddy: no trace of disease nor of any area where it could reasonably recur. All nodes clean. I’m still weak, but I guess I’ve beaten the damned thing. “Go forth,” the doc said, but given all the radiation, maybe “being fruitful and multiplying isn’t a great idea.”

      I said that at my age further multiplication isn’t in the cards. Period.

      I’ve been wanting to go to Roanoke, but I still don’t have the endurance, and my wife can’t play chauffeur that weekend. Next year in Roanoke.

      If I did it, Ken, you can too! Much luck!

      Pete



      • BEST NEWS I’VE HEARD ALL WEEK! Congratulations, Pete. If I didn’t have to do a quick trip down and back (play and wedding need to go to Saturday and Sunday respectively) this year, I would have taken the longer way to Roanoke – down I-95 and swung over to pick you up. Unfortunately, I’m going out 78 to 81 South this time around. There’s always next year. Just bring cash.

        Fred DPRoNJ




      • Pete, I have just re-read the e-mail message and now I see here that I did not respond to you. I hope you are gaining endurance every day. I hope you continue to do well and have no recurrence of the illness, nor any new illness. As Edith has written more than once, we are family here.

        My own issues are stable. Sadly, although the neurosurgeon’s staff checked to see if our nearby imaging lab had a 64 slice CT-Scan it turns out they only have a 16 slice machine. The results lack the fine crispness the neurosurgeon was looking for. I will need to deal with this and likely drive an 80 mile round trip to get the image he seeks. At least there was nothing that appeared to be a problem on either the CT or the MRI.

        I really want to learn to shoot a pistol now. Last Saturday I had no problem handling the 9mm auto or the .357; I was comfortable with them. I suppose I should say I want to learn to shoot a handgun accurately. I have done some reading this week about stances and hold; about focusing on the front sight. It all works in my imagination. I want to try it in action. Not that I expect to be some kind of sure shot, but I would like to be able to hit a circle that is 4.5 inches in diameter at 10 yards. When I can do that I will think I am learning. ~Ken



  7. Love the picture of the kid with the Daisy Red Ryder birthday present ! Remember my first Daisy, a Model 105 it is called now. Bought it in the 30’s with magazine selling door-to-door. Saturday Evening Post, Liberty, Collier’s, True Detective, Lady’s Home Journal (I think..). Cost maybe $1.95 for that Daisy. Los Angeles, California. We lived at 625 N. Normandy Street. Anyway, you learn real quick about “Trajectory..”
    Pete in California


  8. Yes, that’s a great smile and the thrill of getting a new gun is like no other. That must be what I looked like when I received my IZH 61. And no man suffered as I have during the 6 months or so it took for Clint Fowler to work on my M1. Trouble is, reproducing that big smile will run up a lot of money. Maybe that’s where the buying and selling skills come in…

    My big problem in purchasing is that I seem to have missed the moment for buying Russian-capture Mausers. They were selling like mad a few years ago upon being released from Russia and now the supply has completely dried up. But maybe my niche still exists. If people really do treat guns as commodities for buying and selling, one of them might turn up. And I really could not care less if the parts are matched or not. What I want is a gun that has gone through the Eastern Front and is in good shape–in other words, rearsenaled!

    B.B., maybe the young fellow with the baseball cap was not so far off. Springer that shoots at 1000 fps and accurate enough for field target? Sounds like a B30 or a TX200.

    What does it mean when a Daisy 747 requires a major dump of pellgunoil every time I shoot to stop the air from leaking? Have I not been lubricating it enough or are the seals wearing out? This is most inconvenient, just when I’ve decided to work a little on the one-handed pistol shooting.

    Victor, that is intense losing your memory of things for a period of time. Definitely a sign to back off. That Clint Eastwood line is one of my favorites with no shortage of applications. Have you had a chance to try out the Ruger LCR? I hear good news about it on all hands.

    Matt61


    • The Mauser supply may have dried up, but I still see a lot of Mosin-Nagants on the market at reasonable prices. If I were into powder burners, I would probably have one by now.

      I saw the trailer for the new Clint Eastwood movie “Trouble with the Curve”. He had a wonderful line in the movie that rivals “Make my day.”

      When a guy makes unappreciated advances toward Clint’s daughter, he is told, “You better get out of here, before I have a heart attack trying to kill you!”

      He is still a guy who won’t be messed with.

      Les


      • Thought the same thing about the Mosin-Nagants which is why I have one. They are selling by the crate now. The question is whether they will go the way of the Mausers and Enfields which were once so dirt cheap and available but have dried up or whether, with 20 million copies, they will always be plentiful.

        Yes, I saw the Clint Eastwood line from the trailer for his recent film. Who would have thought that such a rough and tough kickbutt kind of guy would have such a sense of humor too? That line reminded me of one in Space Cowboys where Clint gets into an altercation with some younger guy in a bar, but the guy refuses to hit him because Clint is too old. Clint responds, “Go ahead, I’ve got Medicaid.”

        You can see the nascent talent in the Go ahead, make my day line from the Dirty Harry era. And then there’s a hidden gem that I think has gone unappreciated in that series.

        Mayor of SF: There’s the case of the man you shot dead last year.

        Clint: He was attacking a woman.

        Mayor: And how did you establish that!

        Clint: (Pause) When a naked man is chasing a woman down the street with a butcher knife, you figure he’s not out collecting for the Red Cross. (Walks away.)

        Mayor: He’s got a point.

        Matt61



      • Thanks, I was afraid of this. And how did the seals come to harden? Did I neglect something? As for replacing the seals, do you mean that’s something I could do myself? Goes against my grain, and there are some time issues involved. Do you know if PA will do this for a fee?

        Matt61


    • Matt61,

      Yes! The LCR has a very nice trigger for it’s type of pistol. However, it’s hard on the hand when shooting 38+P rounds, even for me. This is my wife’s pistol, and she has a damaged hand. She has no problems with non +P rounds. Overall all, for what it is, a reliable snub-nose concealed-carry weapon, it’s very good.

      Victor


      • Thanks for the review. I’m a little surprised that it stings the hand since one of the benefits of this model is that unlike other snub-nosed concealed revolvers it is supposed to not sting the hand–too much. Still, an overall good performance. Hope you’re up and about and able to shoot more these days.

        I’ll tell you what’s working on my mind. It all started with B.B. praising the SW 686 airgun revolvers. I’ve looked into the firearms equivalent. The .357 magnum is real Americana as a weapon invented to counter Depression-era gangsters with their armored cars and bullet proof vests. The 686 is also supposed to be on a level with the Colt Python, no longer made, the very summit of the double-action revolver design. And it’s so big that it will handle .38 special and +P loads with ease. All reviews rave about it.

        Hm, water will wear away a stone.

        Matt61


  9. Honest to Holy Crap!!!
    Yesterday a client of mine told me that he had a couple of air guns that he hadn’t used for 10 years and because of a muscle condition that gives him the shakes, wouldn’t be using them.
    Told me he’d drop them by today and I could have them on ‘permanent loan’.
    No idea what he had…literally figured he’s show up with a couple of Daisy’s or some such.
    Well, there in my office now and they are mint…no real wear that I can see at all.
    An FWB 300s and an FWB 65.
    Okay…I’m very nearly giddy…


  10. Yup, I’m really looking forward to the weekend…and I did actually think of leaving work after lunch J-F (but a mountain of paperwork says no).
    And you’re right caveman…I think the 853 and the Gamo Compact are going to be languishing in the closet in the future (actually they will become the boys guns).
    On a philosophical note. I’m a huge believer in Karma b.b. I’ve long had the belief that every good deed one does in this world eventually gets returned…maybe not in a monetary or physical way such as this instance…but in just feeling good about yourself.
    I try and help people when needed (I do a lot of volunteer work with thinks like my boys Cubscout troop and their archery classes)…that sort of thing.
    In return I can actually say that I’ve been very lucky in life…and have very little to complain about.


    • cowboystar dad,

      Most times the reward is in just knowing that you did the right thing.
      I teach young people to be sincere and appreciative of the good things that others do for them, because usually, that’s the greatest reward that can be returned.

      Victor


  11. Unless one has thought it through and intends to keep it forever, I’m not a big fan of “custom” anything (if that means modifying an existing product), as it means trouble for support and parts in general, and limited appeal to buyers, most likely. In modern “guns” I actually tend to focus on the most popular in terms of long-term sales (think approximately a century or so in some cases), not because I want to fit in (I could be more popular with some fancy rigs) but rather because I want them to work out of the box and be supported for a long time. I do like the clunk airguns, however, because they are cheap enough to play around with w/o losing a lot of money. Except for the antique long rifles, where the unique artistry of each one along with historical context and possibly significant provenance makes them useful and interesting even if they don’t shoot, I have absolutely no use for any collector’s item in terms of working guns. I think if there are more than a few identical (mass-produced), the intrinsic value to me is limited to whether they can still be used; a gun that never leaves the safe is worth exactly $0 dollars to me, maybe less. So, I’m not heartbroken about the ’92: yes, he took a bath and learned a lesson, but eventually someone will get a reasonable deal and have the pleasure of shooting one with ammo he can buy readily.

    Also, I’ve noticed that “tuned” air rifles or those with much aftermarket customization don’t sell for any more than stock ones, sometimes much less. Something to think about.


    • BG Farmer,

      In general I agree.

      Depends on the type of “customizing”, what it was done to accomplish and who did it. Aftermarket stocks that are pupose built by recognized and respected makers and aftermarket triggers in firearms are two examples that consistently add value.

      With regard to airguns…I just sold an R9 in a custom ARH stock tuned and checkered by PW with other fineries for $1,300.00 without advertising. The guy had been after me for 2 years. An R9 for $1,300. Some customization does add value. Even to airguns.

      kevin


      • Kevin,
        I always like to paint everything with the big brush, don’t I :)? You point out some notable exceptions and I should have qualified my comment a little, but I still think one needs to be cautious about it and know why they want to do it, because even when customizations do increase the value of a gun, they often don’t get valued at full cost by a buyer and sometimes reduce the number of interested (or qualified :)) customers. Several years ago, my brother picked up a 10/22 with nice custom stock, trigger (I think, it was pretty nice), and heavy target barrel. He paid approx. 2x what a 10/22 costs, but much less than half what the original owner had spent on it, if I recall correctly. The seller was happy to get that by the time my brother bought it. I also think it was worth about what my brother paid for it on the open market, but not as much as it cost originally. Also, PW tune is in a different class than if someone I don’t know says it has e.g. self-installed JM internals/tune — it might be better left stock :)!


  12. Tom,

    Forgive me for bothering you but you’re one of less than a handful of relevant airgun historians alive in the world.

    In seeking the answer to my question I’ve spent untold hours on the internet, researched Beeman catalogues, Airgun Revue’s, vintage forum, yellow, jm’s site, etc. and can’t find the answer.

    Here’s my question in a roundabout way.

    I know the .20 caliber existed before Robert Law or Dr. Beeman arrived on the scene. It seems that among his many “marketing firsts” that Dr. Beeman hyped the .20 caliber as the great compromise caliber since it fit neatly between the common .177 and relatively new on the scene .22 caliber. Sadly the .20 caliber obviously was one of the few markets that he didn’t win over.

    It seems that the high water mark of his marketing was when he was forced to make a commitment on the R5 and realized that from a business standpoint that America wasn’t ready to embrace the .20 caliber. Personally a disappointment since I wish .20 caliber in some powerplants would be world beaters. Unfortunately pellet manufacturers realize what a small segment of the market .20 cal consumers are so it seems we’re doomed. It’s clear that even today the subtle differances in fps and fpe aren’t embraced enough by consumers to even generate pellet diversity. Shame really.

    Sorry for rambling. Let me put a finer point on my inquiry after bemoaning the fact that the .20 caliber had it’s chance to shine and was relegated to the shadows.

    Here it is. Did Weihrauch have a .20 caliber airgun before Dr. Beeman came on the scene? If so, when and what model? If not, what Weihrauch model was introduced by Beeman’s direction and in what year?

    kevin


  13. Matt61,
    Tear down instructions for your Daisy 747 pistol if you need it:
    http://anotherairgunblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Daisy%20747?updated-max=2010-01-12T13:00:00-08:00&max-results=20&start=5&by-date=false
    There’s 11 or so posts on various things relating to the gun–grips, trigger tuning, etc. Go back far enough in the results and you’ll find a couple tear downs. Parts are available directly from Daisy for next to nothing. If you only need o-rings, I’d hit the hardware store. They’re nothing too weird in a SSP.


  14. I don’t know if you’d love or hate my take on airguns based on this article. I’m still using my Benjamin 397 (newer kind, single screw holds the whole thing together, I keep a printout of your take-down instructions with it just in case) and I think it’s the ‘best’ air rifle. When people with the magnum springers or PCP’s criticize it, I point out that I can put all shots in a bird’s brain. It’s not ‘fast’, it is musket-loading slow to reset for another shot. But without a brain, nothing I’d go after with it needs much more, so I’ve never upgraded.

    Maybe someday I will get a discovery or a marauder, but I’d still love Crosman to put out some more high-quality multi-pumps. They work best for me. Pure wish-list on my part.


  15. BB,

    the great barrel bending adventure with my FWB 124 is complete — and successful. I bent the barrel down so that the Point of Impact was 3.5″ approximate, lower than Point of Aim at 28′. That allowed me to re-align my rear sight from near the bottom of its’ adjustment to roughly 1/4 of total adjustment from the top. Thanks for doing that blog on barrel bending. I did have to touch up the bottom of the barrel with some Birchwood Casey Perma Blue when the C Clamp slipped off but that worked out fine. One must examine the barrel very carefully to make out the scratch marks.

    Fred DPRoNJ



    • Fred,

      Thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad your project was successful. Isn’t it easy?

      Too bad about the slip of the c-clamp. I( never had that problem in either of the two jobs I did, so I couldn’t have warned you.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        the C clamp slipped because I didn’t have it perfectly centered on the barrel. It’s a function of my eyesight. It’s difficult for me to be sure things are perfectly centered or perfectly plumb. For the same reason, I back off from doing any close precision machining work because I know I won’t be “spot on”. I’m the guy that when it comes to close carpentry, I measure twice and then cut three times.

        Fred DPRoNJ


  16. Seems to me that there are a lot of reasons to own a specific gun:

    1. It shoots the way you want it to (presumably that means accurately consistent with what you want to shoot). Guns for 10m competition are different than for field target and still different from hunting guns.

    2. It’s a thing of beauty, and you like to look at it. But if it’s that gorgeous, you probably don’t want to take all the risks that go with shooting it.

    3. You think that it will be in higher demand in the future than when you bought it, or for some other reason the price will go up (e.g. you bought it from somebody who didn’t know what he had). In which case you sure don’t want to shoot it, because it might get damaged.

    Case #1 means the gun is a tool for you. Within the rules there is no reason not to modify it as desired, because you don’t think of it as an investment, just as you wouldn’t hesitate to tape the handle of a hammer. A few scratches add dignity.

    We can all elaborate on these or divide and subdivide the categories. I concede that my guns are all in case 1. I’m pretty sure most people who shoot in any kind of competitions feel that way about their competition guns. Make it fit *me* and don’t worry about keeping it “original.” Hence the huge aftermarket in custom parts, improved sights, better triggers or trigger shoes, and so on. But someday if money were no object it might be sweet to have an HW-55 with a Tyrolean stock in factory-new condition hanging over my fireplace.

    pz


  17. Anybody know how good the crowns are on LW barrel blanks ?? The one I have looks good, but you can’t always tell by looks.

    I have it cut and fitted to my AA T200 and shooting. I have to find out if the position of the front sight will affect group size, which pellet is best, and what fill range will hold groups.

    Looks like a lot of shooting ahead. Really hate to recrown if I don’t need too. May do it anyway.

    twotalon


    • twotalon,

      Some LW blanks passed through my hands and I must say they are beautiful – but blank means blank. It actually has no crown and to have a good result you must always make it yourself.

      duskwight


      • Thanks dusk.
        Looks crowned on the muzzle end. (yeah, I checked 10 times before trimming the breech end)

        OK…. a crown job too then. Not like I have not done a few already.

        May have to do a bit more inlead work too. Don’t like how the skirts look after the pellets have been chambered.

        twotalon


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