B.B.’s Christmas gift suggestions for 2012: Part 3
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
At the end of the last part (Part 2), I said that was a wrap for 2012. Then, several folks recommended other things and my wife, Edith, suggested that I do Part 3 to include those things. Furthermore, I learned from Pyramyd Air that a huge number of new people are joining us daily, and many are new to airgunning. So, for them, I want to do some ‘splainin’.
I’m Tom Gaylord, but I write this daily blog under the name B.B. Pelletier. You can address me either way, but I’ll probably respond as B.B. here in the blog. The reason is a long one and not that interesting, but I don’t want new readers to be confused.
Do I work for Pyramyd Air or don’t I? Well, yes, I do get paid for this blog and for some other things I do, so in that sense, yes, I work for them. But I don’t pull any punches when it comes to reviewing products. It either tests out or it doesn’t, and I try to tell you exactly what happened when I tested it. Pyramyd Air never tells me what to say in the blog, nor do they try to control what I say in any way. So, in that sense I’m independent. I’m a contractor with Pyramyd Air, not an employee. I also write for other publications. I have a monthly column in Shotgun News, and I write five or six feature articles a year for them, as well. I also develop airguns and airgun products for various companies.
Pyramyd Air wants me to educate their customers, which is exactly what I try to do in this blog. When I write, I think about a guy living in Keokuk, Iowa, who will only buy one airgun this year. He’ll buy it based on what I say, so I don’t want him to be disappointed. I think of this guy as my best friend. He’s intelligent, but he doesn’t know what I know about an airgun, so I try to tell him. That’s why the writing is as informal as it is.
We have many thousands of readers, but most of them don’t comment. However, when someone does comment, we strive to welcome them and to listen to what they have to say. There’s no flaming or name-calling allowed here. A couple times in the past there have been attempts to hijack the blog, but they were put down swiftly. So, no matter what you do or don’t know, you’re welcome to talk about it here.
Finally, this blog is the property of Pyramyd Air. We don’t allow advertising for competitors. If someone tries to do that, their comments will be deleted.
Off-topic comments are invited on any blog. If you have a question about a topic that I wrote about 3 years ago, you don’t have to ask your question on that old blog. Just post it on the current blog because more people will see it and provide answers.
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This is the third report presenting possible Christmas gifts for airgunners. Parts 1 and 2, which are linked in the beginning of this report (above), have the airguns I recommend. If that’s what you’re looking for, those would be the reports to read. Today, I’ll concentrate on some other things an airgunner might also like. I’ll tell you the item and give a link to it, as well as a brief reason for the recommendation. There may also be a few airguns in this report because several I overlooked were pointed out to me.
Plano Pro-Max double-scoped rifle hard case
If you have nice airguns, you want to store them in nice cases. Blog reader Slinging Lead recommended the Plano Pro-Max double-scoped rifle hard case. He puts each rifle into a soft gun sock that he’s turned inside-out and sprayed with Crosman 1377 and 1322
Slinging Lead also pointed out that I didn’t have the Crosman 1322 or 1377 multi-pump pneumatic pistols on my list. That was an oversight on my part because these two pistols definitely belong there. They’re very powerful multi-pump pneumatic pistols that keep alive the heritage of airguns from the 1930s and ’40s. They’re accurate, inexpensive and either would make a great gift for an airgunner!
Crosman Premier pellets
I wasn’t going to put any pellets on the list this year; but in light of the number of brand-new airgunners we have reading this blog, I feel I have to. I’ll start with Crosman Premiers. I’m recommending the ones in the brown cardboard boxes; and when you look, you’ll find they’re the most expensive. They’re all taken from the same die lot, and you can count on their uniformity. They’re also packed more to the box than to a metal tin. I think the Premiers in the tin are getting better and may be almost as good as the boxed ones, so it is just habit that keeps me recommending the boxes. They come in the following sizes:
There’s no .25-caliber Premier pellet, but there’s one that’s close, and it’s also one of the two best pellets in .25 caliber. It’s the Benjamin 27.8-grain domed pellet.
The rest of the pellets
This list is very long, so instead of talking about each one, I’m just going to list what I feel are the best.
Besides Crosman Premiers, there are very few .20-caliber pellets I can recommend. Even the Beeman Kodiak in .20 caliber is too lightweight (in lead) and just not that accurate. There are a couple, though.
Historically, .25-caliber pellets have been the worst on the market. The guns that shot them were not accurate enough to warrant good pellets, so the manufacturers just didn’t invest the care they do with .177- and .22-caliber pellets. Even the best of them were just mediocre until just a few years ago. Now there are a couple great pellets available. The .25-caliber Benjamin was already mentioned with the Crosman Premiers, above. Here are the rest.
Final word on pellets
Beeman Kodiaks are actually the same as H&N Baracudas. Kodiak Match and Baracuda Match are essentially the same as Kodiaks and Baracudas. I’ve shot both and don’t see any differences in their performance. I’m telling you that so you know to order the least expensive ones when they’re available.
The CO2-powered Crosman 1077 is another air rifle that was left off the list and shouldn’t have been. The 1077 is a 12-shot repeater with an internal double-action revolver mechanism. It’s styled to resemble the Ruger 10/22 rifle, and its one of the best values in a plinking airgun today. Accuracy is well above average, with 10-shot groups the size of a nickel at 10 meters when you are careful.
Daisy Red Ryder
Several readers asked me to include Daisy’s Red Ryder BB gun on the list. It is certainly the iconic Christmas BB gun here in North America — made famous first by Daisy and again by the 1980s movie A Christmas Story.
For inexpensive shooting fun it’s hard to do better than the Daisy 880. This multi-pump pneumatic shoots both BBs and pellets, though I recommend only pellets in this gun, because the BBs aren’t as accurate.
For a little more money you can get the Crosman 2100B. This multi-pump is very accurate with certain pellets — namely 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers.
The Crosman 2240 CO2 pistol is a must-have if you like accurate air pistols. It forms the basis for many higher-end Crosman target guns but is an accurate .22-caqliber pellet pistol in its own right. If you do buy one as a gift, don’t forget to throw in a box of CO2 cartridges that it needs as its power source.
RWS Diana 34P
I would be shortchanging you if I overlooked the RWS Diana 34P spring rifle. I chose the 34P over the wood-stocked 34 for its slimmer profile. Either gun is a winner. They’re accurate, powerful and the T06 trigger can be adjusted very nice. I don’t like the fiberoptic open sights, but if you use a scope they don’t matter.
Blog reader Kevin Lentz recommended that I put paper targets on the list because many airgunners won’t spend the money for them. They print out targets on copier paper that tears and isn’t satisfactory, where good target paper usually shows clean holes where the pellets passed through. All targets that are on target paper are worthwhile, but I have two I especially want to recommend. The first is the single-bull 10-meter air pistol target from National Target. Don’t be put off by the name — you can shoot at it with a rifle, too. In fact, if you have open sights, this target extends your range out to about 25 yards because the bull is so large.
The other target I’m going to recommend is the 12-bull 10-meter rifle target, also made by National Target. I cut these up with scissors and use them in smaller sizes, which multiplies the use I get from each target several times.
Kevin also suggested getting some Shoot-N-C targets that change colors vividly when a pellet passes through. These come in all sorts of packages, but I like a combination of targets like this one. You can use the different-sized bulls for different things, and the black dot pasters that come with the targets will repair any of them. Just peal the target bull off the paper and it will stick to any other paper surface, so changing targets is a breeze.
Tactical flashlight and knife
Two things on this blog that we talk about besides airguns are tactical flashlights and knives. I’ve devoted a lot of time to both topics, and I know that most of our readers are interested in them, though they may never mention it. I recommend the UTG Tactical Flashlight, because it is identical to one I use all the time, but costs about $20 less. And I must also recommend the Walther Tactical Folding Knife that is the coolest knife I have seen in the price range. I like it so much I take it to airgun shows, just to show people how neat it is. The more you use it the easier it becomes to open, until it gets to the point of opening almost as fast as an automatic (switchblade) knife. It stays sharp and can be sharpened easily, though it does require a special serrated blade sharpening tool.
That’s it! Yes there are a great many more things I like at Pyramyd Air, but you can look around the website for those just as well as me telling you. Remember, this is the third part of a much longer list of potential gifts. The links to Parts 1 and 2 at the top of this report will take you to the rest of the list where there are a great many more gift suggestions waiting.