Erma ELG 10 air rifle

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

Announcement: Brett Latimer 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 Big Shot of the Week

Brett Latimer is the Big Shot of the Week on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.

Today’s report was influenced by blog reader Kevin, who suggested that I use some of the old articles I’ve written in the past. Well, I’m always open to something that makes my life easier, plus I’ve had access to some of the most unusual airguns in the world over the years. So, today, we’ll take a look at one of them.

I wrote this article in 1999, and I’m not changing anything in it — apart from making some corrections to spelling, grammar and punctuation. It was originally published in Airgun Revue 4.

Someone said they wanted to see how Tom wrote in the old days. Well, here we go!

Erma ELG 10
Erma’s ELG 10 was a single-shot underlever spring gun, though it looked like a western repeater.

There are never enough models to satisfy the curiosity of collectors of very finely made airguns. They struggle along, first discovering 10-meter guns, then German sporting models and finally coming to rest with the finer British guns like the Webley Mark III or the BSA Improved Model D underlever. And that’s where many believe the road ends. Unless they want to branch out into tinplate and cast iron toy guns, they think they’ve seen it all. But they have not yet turned over all the rocks. Not until they own an Erma ELG 10 will their collections be complete.

To look at it, the Erma is a curiosity. You find yourself looking for the plastic parts or where to put the CO2 powerlet. Your eye tells you the gun is solidly built, but your doubting airgunner’s mind tells you it can’t be as nice as it seems. It looks too much like a Daisy model 1894. You keep waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under you, and it never is. The ELG 10 is exactly what it looks like — an extremely high-grade spring air rifle built from all wood and metal, in the best Winchester tradition. In fact, the Winchesters of today should be made so well!

The gun came to the United States in the late 1970s through the Beeman company, where they were sold for a short time. Their retail price of over $300 was what killed them, coming as it did at a time when R1 rifles sold for the same money. The ELG 10 is a low-powered plinking rifle, and few people were willing to shell out big bucks to buy something that couldn’t even keep up with a Diana model 27. Never mind the fact that they produced the same power as the FWB 300 target rifle, which was selling for twice as much. The Erma simply looked too much like a toy; and until you hold one in your hands and realize what it is, there’s no sale.

There was an article in American Airgunner in 1991 about the Erma that spawned some desire for the gun. After that, people were placing ads to buy one in Airgun Ads and elsewhere. I even had the strategy of watching the Gun List ads for Erma firearms, hoping that one would mistakenly pop up. It’s a habit I haven’t shaken to this day.

My first ELG 10 came from Airgun Ads, and I paid plenty for it — $550, as I recall. It came with a Beeman box and was in pristine cosmetic condition, but the power seemed low. The gun was shooting lightweight Hobby pellets only in the low 400s. Knowing that Erma is not primarily an airgun maker, I reasoned that the gun might well have leather seals; so, I lubricated mine with Beeman’s Chamber Oil and saw the velocity jump up to the mid-600s…where it belonged. Despite what the article in American Airgunner said about the gun growing tired over time, all it usually takes to rejuvenate one is a little oil on the seal. I still don’t know if the seal is leather or not, but the gun responds to oil as though it is.

As luck would have it, after paying so much for that first one, I stumbled across a SECOND Erma just two weeks later. This one was in a local gun store, where they were asking $175. I bought it, figuring I could average the cost of the two guns and realize two good bargains. It, too, was shooting in the 400s until a shot of chamber oil fixed things.

Although the rifle is short, at just 37.75 inches, it’s a handful. It weighs six full pounds, and never does your hand touch anything except wood and metal. It’s as accurate at 10 meters as a Diana model 27, which validates the integral scope rails machined into the top of the receiver. Although the iron sights are quite nice, the Erma is the perfect gun on which to mount a small scope, like Beeman’s SS3 or SS1.

Firing behavior is a quick forward jump with a small but noticeable spring vibration. It comes at the end of a 6 lb., 12 oz. trigger-pull that’s crisp but definitely not light. Part of that extra weight is safety engineering, no doubt, because this rifle is loaded with it.
The gun is cocked by swinging the finger lever all the way forward. Although it looks like a lever-action firearm, the cocking lever is really much longer than just the finger lever because it has to provide some mechanical advantage.

Erma ELG 10 cocking lever forward
The finger lever is part of a longer underlever that retracts a sliding compression chamber, opening the way for loading the breech.

This is not a gun you hold up to your shoulder and just flick the lever with one hand. No, indeed. You dismount it and work the lever with one hand while restraining the rifle with the other hand and your leg. Not that it is hard to cock, for it isn’t. It cocks with about the same 17 lbs. of effort as the FWB 124 breakbarrel rifle, but it’s not a job for one hand, alone.

As the gun is cocked, the sliding compression chamber retracts, just like on a TX 200 or HW 77. As it retracts, a clicking ratchet catches the chamber at intervals, so there is little possibility of an accident should your cocking hand slip.

When the chamber is all the way to the rear, there’s access to the rear of the barrel for a pellet to be inserted. It’s a tight fit, but elevating the muzzle helps you balance the pellet on your thumb until you make contact with the barrel. All the while, the sliding chamber is retained by an anti-beartrap mechanism to keep you from chopping off your digits.

Erma ELG 10 compression chamber retracted
The compression chamber is retracted, leaving lots of room to load the gun. The slot at the bottom is for clearance for the cocking linkage.

The cocking cycle is completed by returning the lever to the starting position. To shoot, upward pressure must be maintained on the finger lever, just like so many lever-action firearms. There’s also a safety behind the receiver, profiled to look something like the hammer on a firearm. It’s not automatic, but you can put it on at any time. The way it functions is very strange. Instead of blocking or disconnecting the trigger, it simply pushes a steel bar straight down through the bottom tang, where it props the finger lever from being squeezed closed. Thus, they use one safety device to force engagement of a second device. It works fine, which says a lot for the Erma engineers’ confidence in their design.

So, the gun is bristling with safeties! That means you cannot decock it. Once cocked, a pellet must be fired. Also, it means that a slot had to be cut in the bottom of the outer receiver to allow for travel of the link that connects the sliding compression chamber to the cocking lever. Unfortunately, the slot looks exactly like the ones in the cheap Chinese sidelevers that were formed from stamped sheet metal stock. Nothing on the ELG is cheap, but this one feature does give that impression.

Erma ELG 10 safety
The manual safety looks a little like the hammer. All it does is block the lever from closing completely — so the gun cannot fire.

Erma ELG 10 safety up
The gun is cocked and the safety is off.

Erma ELG 10 safety down
Push down on the safety button and the safety is on.

Another very neat feature of the gun is the full-length cleaning rod that’s stored in the “magazine” tube under the barrel. Simply unscrew the cap of the tube, located under the muzzle, and the rod can be dumped out. A cloth mop for the end of the rod serves to wedge it inside the tube without rattling. Of course, there’s no need to clean the bore of the gun for any reason, but it is a nice touch just the same.

Erma ELG 10 cleaning rod
The cleaning rod lives in the tube under the barrel. The cleaning mop keeps the barrel from rattling.

The iron sights are simple but effective. The rear is a notch with a sliding elevator, and the front is a hooded square post. It’s no problem to get on target at the ranges this gun is made for — say 5 to 25 yards. Windage adjustments are possible by drifting the rear sight in its dovetail. As we indicated, most people will probably mount a short scope or just use the sights the way they come from the factory because part of the gun’s charm is its fast handling and “plinkability.”

Erma ELG 10 rear sight
The rear sight is a simple elevator for elevation. Windage comes from drifting the sight in its dovetail.

The butt and forearm are made from beech, stained a dark red on all the guns I’ve seen. They fit as well as any firearm wood made after WWII. The buttplate is blued metal, reminiscent of Winchesters from decades ago.

Throughout this article, the word metal has been used without further explanation. The gun is not entirely made of steel. That would add at least a pound of weight, if not more, and it isn’t necessary. The receiver is made from tough aircraft-spec aluminum, while the functional parts and the barrel are made of high-grade steel. Everything is finished the same, so there is no way of telling what’s what unless you go over the whole thing with a magnet.

The Erma ELG 10 is going nowhere but up in price. Even in Europe, where more were sold, it was never a mainstream airgun. So, sitting around waiting for the market to go flat is a hopeless cause. If you want one, better get it now because it will only cost more later.

That article was interesting for me, as I hope it was for all of you. I want to thank Kevin for putting me onto this idea. Edith did it when I was sick, but I just never thought it could work in anything except an emergency. But since I don’t own an Erma ELG 10 any more, I guess this is as close as I will get to one, so we might as well enjoy it for what it is.

Regarding my prediction on the price continuing to rise in the future, it actually did keep increasing until around 2008. When the economy stalled, the prices for vintage airguns like this one all took a dive. Only in recent years have they shown any signs of increasing again, and I would have to say that the price is pretty well where it was in 1999 — around $550-650, depending on condition and if it has a box.

Resurrecting this old article was fun, and I think we’ll do it again as several of you have requested.

127 thoughts on “Erma ELG 10 air rifle

  1. Reviving old articles is a great idea, especially for those of us who like me were not around in the letter days and it gives you and Edith a small well earned vacation.
    It would be interesting to see articles on guns like this one that many of us have never heard of and that have disapeared never to be heard of again but seeing stuff that originaly came out in the letter days that is still around today or things that were improved and that we have something modern to compare it to.
    Keep them coming.
    Just like the firearm blogs I like everything shooting so I’m open to all suggestions and will read it all with great enjoyment (it’s so well written, who wouldn’t?)

    I loved this one. I’m a big fan of those lever action rifles, I may be a little young to have seen all those western series but I guess I made up for it watching all those old spaghetti westerns and John Wayne movies that are often older than me.


  2. You’ve got to be kidding!

    I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I am interested in accuracy first, metal and bluing second. I don’t care for plastic on my guns. I’ve also said that I like to plink with airguns which to me means offhand, open sights fun shooting at spoons bought at thrift stores suspended by copper wire on my 100 foot tall pine trees branches at 20 yards. No one ever asked what guns I like to plink with. Well….here it is:

    My walther 53 and ERMA ELG are my favorite plinking guns. The ERMA reminds me so much of my favorite open sight lever action firearms (winchester 94 in 30-30 and the browning bl22) that it rekindles so many memories with those firearms while I shoot in my backyard (wish the throw was as short as the bl22).

    Regardless of the throw when you pick up an ERMA ELG it feels like you’re heading towards your horse to put the gun in the scabbard and getting ready for a adventure on the mountain during big game season. It has the heft, look and build of a quality gun. I’m convinced these are all the reasons that you don’t see these airguns for sale often. No one talks about the ERMA but no one will sell their ERMA!

    This is a surprise article that made me smile since the ERMA seems out of place amongst my many powerful, scoped, vintage airguns but it will be among the last I ever get rid of.


    • Kevin: Off topic firearms observation. You mention the 94 Winchester lever action. In one of the counties I trap , you can use a rifle for deer instead of a slug gun. This season I was carrying one of the tube magazine 1980’s vintage Ruger .44 mag autoloaders in case I ran into a buck while running the short trapline I had out.Short and light, but useless as a working gun for folks that have to do other stuff when not actually hunting. I learned / actually re-learned just how noisy ,and what a pain in the butt un-loading the Ruger’s chamber could be when tending to my gear. Never again! There is a very good reason that the 94 is the premier woods rifle still. Bet you had one as a second gun in your guiding days.

      • Robert From Arcade,

        How very perceptive of you.

        Yes, my winchester 94 went everywhere with me. In the last 10 years I only guided for the 3 rifle seasons in Colorado. Filling Elk tags mostly. Some trophy buck hunters. My primary gun was a .300 Weatherby with an old 4-12 redfield with accurange. That scope has never moved in 50 years.

        The 94 was for tracking wounded elk in black timber. Many folks look at pictures of our big sky mountains and don’t realize we have big stands of timber that even a good horse can’t navigate. Men on foot have to pick their way through these dense, dark elk retreats that are laden with fallen timber. I’d find and finish off these wounded animals but it was the idiot that shot them initially that had to haul them out. Sometimes a steak at a time.


        • Kevin: I ‘m glad you rode the horse out and let the idiot carry the elk. Funny how people picture places in their minds that they’ve never been to. Years ago my mother’s best friend who was from Texas ,came to vist. My folks took her sight seeing . She commented that if you flattened NY out ,it would be as big as Texas. She also had the perception that we lived in one gigantic metropolis from border to border. There are more cows in my home county than people. The longest shot I ever took at a deer was maybe 75 yards. The closest was about 10 feet. The last one I shot with a “real deer rifle” (.308) was about 35 feet away. You couldn’t even SEE a horse if it’s 25 yards away in some of the stuff we hunt in.

  3. Hello B.B. and Fellow Airgun Aficionados. Well, we sure have Kevin to thank for this wonderful blog on the Erma ELG 10. This is the first time I have seen or read about this beautiful gun as well. In the early 60’s, I was the proud owner of a Daisy 1894 BB gun. I loved that gun, and because I got it for Christmas, I did all of my shooting at 20 feet in the basement. At first I drew paper targets I taped on to a box. I moved on to plastic army men, and finally steel Matchbox toys. Yes, the bb’s ricocheted, but that was half the fun then. It’s a wonder I did’t shoot my eye out. Back to the Erma. Of coarse I had no idea these were being made. I wasn’t evan into airguns at that time. I was doing my ‘hippie’ phase by this time. Well, as you can see. this sure brought back the memories. And it is interesting to know that an airgun of this caliber was being built then. I didn’t think a lever action could produce over 600fps. Back then in Canada, we could own any gun we desired. I think these old blogs are most informative and fun too. I would like to see more from time to time as well. Thanks for digging this one up B.B.
    Caio Titus

    • You shot at 60’s era matchbox cars! I think… I’m about… to faint.
      I have a lot of diecast cars and like a lot of things older was better, I do have a few from the 60’s that were my dads or my uncles car but never tought about shooting them LOL.


  4. B.B., when I first saw the picture of the ELG 10, I thought it definitely looked like the Daisy Model 1894, but somehow better; you provided enough photographs to convince me (even without having similar photos of the 1894 for comparison and contrast). This is the first I have heard of this rifle, or even of Erma; at least I don’t remember it (the $300.00 price tag might be part of the reason; I can consider that now but not in the late ’70s). I do like it, based on what I have seen and read here.

    Looking at the retracted compression chamber photo reminds me of my sad lack of knowledge some time in the ’90s. I bought an Industry Brand B3-1 underlever for $14.00 from an Army/Navy Surplus store. I shot it a bit but I didn’t understand what I needed to do to keep it working (I have read about your experience trying what others recommended you do and how that turned out and I wish I knew then what I know now). The leather seal at the front of the compression chamber wasn’t lubricated and it started coming apart. Somewhere I have a file with photos showing how one person replaced the leather seal with a synthetic one. I don’t know where the stock went but I still have most of the power plant and barrel and trigger. It is beyond repair, only a rusted shell of its former self. I doubt it would have become a great shooter, but I lament that I didn’t keep it in the best condition it could be in.

    I only recently learned that my Crosman model 3100 is a Cometa 100 with a leather piston seal. I hope a bit of lubing will help it. If not, I have your how-to on making a leather piston seal. I do need to build a spring compressor. I managed without one when I had the little El Gamo, but I won’t try that again.

    The good news is that my 12 foot marksmanship with the 3576 and the PT-85 blowback has improved quite a bit. The bad news is that both guns are shooting below the POA. I can correct this on the 3576 by adjusting the rear sights. I don’t know what to do with the PT-85 since the sights are not adjustable. I shot a very nice group earlier in the evening (please don’t laugh; I’m talking one hole that fits inside the circle of a dime, compared to multiple holes inches apart when I started). The auto cocking of the PT-85 does make for shooting more pellets in less time but the 3576 is not feeling lonely.

    And that’s the news from Lake Wobegon. ~Ken

    • Hey Ken…..Happy new year.You mentioned the PT 85 started shooting below your point of aim.A few minuites later I remembered something from quite some time ago…..I actually had a PT 80 that I enjoyed shooting.It functioned well for a while.Then it started acting funny,so I bought another one which also worked well and then did the same thing.At the time I just moved on to other hobbies,then I got much more “into” airguns.LOL! I got curious after a couple years of them sitting and examined them both closely to try to figure out what went wrong since they still held gas & fired.It turns out that both came up missing the seal that directs the gas to the back of the pellet upon firing.I don’t own a PT85 nor have I ever seen one,but your symptom could be just that.Open the gun as if you are loading it,and look inside at the rear where the Co2 must hit the pellet.It will be pretty obvious if the seal is gone.Unfortunately the seal has a cyllindrical shape,not an easy to find O-ring.I hope yours is still there. -Frank

      • Frank, thanks for the information. I will certainly take a close look at the seals. It is this kind of situation that makes me want better tools for diagnosing and fixing problems. ~Ken

    • Ken: You could also try lighter pellets in the fixed sight gun. Some CO2 pistols will shoot about three inches high at ten yards with lighter pellets, with a six oclock hold.

      • Robert, thanks for the tip. I don’t want to discount anything. At the distance I am able to shoot right now the Gamo PBA pellets were no different than the 7.9 grain lead pellets. When I am able to back up some more, I may find there is a distinct difference. In fact, I now that I have been given some clues I definitely expect. I know B.B. just offered something consequential. I will respond to his post now.

    • Ken,

      When I have a handgun that shoots low and I don’t want to cut down the front sight I do what Elmer Keith advises in his book, “Sixguns.” Hold the front sight up higher than level in the rear sight. Keith went so far as to have two lines of different colored metals inlaid in his front sights, so he could do this with precision. One was gold and the other was platinum, I believe. He shot game at hundreds of yeards with sights like this, so you should be able to do it, as well.

      Maybe I will do a blog about this?


      • B.B., sometimes I just can’t see the trees for the forest; duh! I am shooting at 12 feet. I realize now that the POI when the three dots are lined up evenly will be at some particular distance when shooting pellets of a certain weight. If I understand correctly, I will have to aim with the front dot higher for shorter distances. I won’t be concerned about longer distances until I find where the POI is when shooting with the three dots aligned evenly. Thank you for helping me see the light. ~Ken

    • The bad news is that both guns are shooting below the POA.

      How far below? Or, to be more precise — are the shooting lower than the bore to sight distance. That would indicate, to me, a serious condition (for a fixed sight gun) as it implies the trajectory never “rises” into the sight line.

      A difference that is within the bore-sight height would imply the projectile is likely still on the “rise” to first zero (isn’t the standard for BB guns 16 feet (5meters). For pellet pistols of plinking grade, I’d expect 33 feet (10meters). Between first and second zero, the projectile should be above the sight line — with a 10meter zero, I’d expect that to be second (descending) zero; the 5meter BB zero could be first zero (I have trouble visualizing even a BB pistol to be so wimpy that the BB has to be arched above the line of site at around 5 feet in order to descend to the target at 16 feet)… Even an AirSoft of any reasonable power should be on the ascent at that short a distance.

      • Talking to meself, seems

        Perverting ChairGunPro (using a “scope height” of 0.5 inches to roughly match the front sight height of my CP99, which produced 330fps with a fresh cartridge, with (hmmm, my spreadsheet says the RWS Superdomes used were 7.7gr, but CGP’s database says 8.3gr)…

        Second (descending) zero at 11 yards (33 feet), first (ascending) zero is at ~8 feet. Peak is 1/3″ above sight line at 21 feet.

        Assuming a 15 foot (5yard) zero, the trajectory is osculating (no first/second zero, just a kiss — the zero is the trajectory peak).

        In either case, the projectile is never below (that is, greater than) the “0.5 inch” “scope height” difference.

      • Wulfraed, you are helping me see a few more trees in this forest; at least, some trees that need examination. I am shooting from 12 feet (I can shoot farther from dining area to end of long hall, but only if I take some great precautions; it’s complicated :).

        However, I am 5’9” and my highest target circle is about 14″ above the floor. I don’t know that this makes much difference at 12′ but I think it is worth my while to experiment with this. What B.B. pointed out about the front sight is also worthy of experimentation. It seems to me that all of the things mentioned are variables that are quite worthy of attention. Now that my groups have shrunk some, I can actually believe I am testing these variables and not just making meaningless changes.

        I will be interested how the POI picture looks as I move back more. I will want the bull circle to be same height as my shoulders and then to learn what the two reasonable zero POA are. I don’t know if this is making sense, but I can tell you it means I intend to try some things and carefully note what the results are. Thanks for your input.

        Right now I wish I had a chronograph or even some of the “ballistic putty” I had long ago. This is for diagnostic purposes with comparison to published data. Right now, I don’t think it is necessary, considering how many other things I can try first. ~Ken

  5. Thanks B.B. and of course Kevin for his wonderful suggestion, this was simply a most wonderful article both written and photographed. When i saw the first picture my eyes nearly popped out, “OH sweet Lord, its a Webley ELG 110!”, as they were made for Webley by the German company Erma in the UK. I first come across one of these last year for sale on Gunstar which is a pretty reputable gun sale site when i was looking for a decent 2nd hand PCP, and was instantly fascinated by the rifle and its £500 asking price. so i decide to search the net for info which there was very little of, all i found were a few pictures the fact it was made in Germany by Erma(their only venture into air rifles, and a little forum chat on it about fps, and how jolly well splendid they were.
    Now thanks to your article i have had all the question i wanted answered, now satisfactorily answered and more besides. This is the sort of article i like to read giving me all the practical information on the rifle with better hints of information you would normally answer in later parts. Seeing how it cocked i always wondered where the piston was and what kind, and with the aid of some very detailed pictures it’s helped me understand the Erma’s interior and cocking linkage more clearly than i could of hoped for.
    I do see a few for sale here and there, but people want serious money for them and i would truly treasure an Erma if i ever get to own one. I could buy a co2 gun similar to this, but I’m not a great fan of co2 even though i have a1077 and 2240 in my collection and they are fun, i really per fer quality built guns with a little history to them. ‘You gets what you pays for’ would say it best . Thanks again for reprinting this superb article and will without a doubt look forward to seeing more in the future, go on Tom and Edith treat yourselves to a holiday.
    TTFN best regards wing commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

    • Sir Nigel,

      Thank YOU for telling us that this gun was made for Webley! I didn’t know that!. And five hundred pounds! I guess the price really has risen.


  6. The ELG 10 was too soon for it’s own good. Now that the American airgun market is starting to wake up, one of this quality might have a chance of surviving. Of course that is if you can keep the Marketeers and Six Sigmas away from it.

  7. Great article! Thank-you for posting it ,and Kevin for suggesting these blasts from the past.I remember this airgun ,and somewhere around here I have a old catalog with one advertised. RR is right. One of these would sell today if you could keep the price around $300, and keep the tacti-cool folks and power mongers , out of the designers chairs. Off-topic, but If I remember correctly , Erma also made a .22 RF lever action in the past and I remember thinking that the latter .22 RF made by Ithaca was a lot like it. The current Henry .22 RF is very much like both of them. Beeman at one time,used to sell Erma firearms also .

    • Robert,

      Erma also made one heck o0f a fine .22 that was styled to look like an M1 Carbine. Iver Johnson sold it under their name here in the U.S. I had one and it was great, but I did eventually let it go.

      In other news, I was out at the range yesterday, sighting in my Ruger 10-22 because Dennis Quackenbush is sending me something he wants me to try on it. I usually keep a 20-inch bull barrel on it, which is a solid half-inch 10-shot performer with good ammo. The factory barrel that I just installed has always been a 1.5-inch barrel.

      Yesterday, with cheap Remington Yellow Jacket ammo I put 9 of 10 into 1.5-inch with the factory barrel. Shot 10 opened the group to about one inch. What a revelation that was! This gun can really shoot!

      Maybe sometime I will blog it, because the work I have had done to it is both affordable and still possible to obtain. It was all done by Connecticut Precision Chambering, and they are still in business.


      • Tom; I seem to remember that the Remington Viper in my 10-22 (same as the Yellow Jackets but not HP) was accurate in the factory barrel. I don’t have a custom barrel for mine.I’d like to see you blog your results. I’ve been trying to aquire samples of all the brands of 38grHP and 40 gr solid bullet sub-sonic .22 RF brands I can find (which lately has become nearly impossible). I want to test them in my target gun, a rebarrelled Winchester low wall with the Fecker 16X scope. I’m particularily interested in the CCI “Quite” loads. I have 3 kinds so far, plus the CCI “Quite ” rounds. Also, I’ve heard that the newer Remington golden bullet .22’s bullets are supposedly different than the old style? Have to check that out as well. My Winchester put ten CCI pistol match into a .226 group last time out. Very accurate despite the external hammer, and slower lock time.

            • Thanks , even a blind squirrel gets lucky sometimes. Best group I ever remember shooting with anything. 50 yards, sitting on my butt , off my sweat shirt laid atop a chunk of 6×6, on a table for a rest , my left hand as always, under the forearm. Must have held my mouth just right that one time. That CCI pistol match is a good substitute for green tag or Wolf target in a lot of .22 rifles. Just disregard the pistol part on the label.

              • Robert,
                That’s impressive. I like the sound of that rifle, too. The Golden Bullet is subject to much speculation and much hatred on the internet, but it is one of the better choices in my old Glenfield 60 (it prefers high-velocity hollowpoints), and I’ve never had any trouble with it, for a bulk ammo (I wish I could say the same for the much loved Federal). I was shooting “the worst ammo ever made” and it shot pretty well, so either I’m lucky or the Internet is not completely trustworthy. The GB’s have a pretty good reputation locally among the older shooters, who tend to plink regularly and not read the internet a lot. All that is to say, the only way to find out what is going on with it is to buy a box!

                • BG, “…much hatred on the Internet.” It’s pandemic. This has been the state of affairs in the Linux/Windows arena for years, a lot of vitriol (especially from the Windows fans; of course, I am biased). ~Ken

                  • Ken,
                    My workstation runs Scientific Linux 6.3 — the best Linux yet, even though I have some concerns about some other things they are doing at CERN :). I have data storage running ancient (pre-1997?) Linux distributions — whatever was stable stayed on there.

                    Play computer (technically, my wife’s, on which I”m writing this) runs WinXP, the last MS product that I understand at least to some degree. I don’t even have a Windows DDK that would work anymore, and I’m dubious about my compilers.

                    • BG, I have heard good things about Scientific Linux. I have been running Suse (no matter which letters are upper case) since version 8.2 then continued with OpenSuse when the time came. Do you ever connect to I don’t get to spend as much time there as I used to; as on this blog there is an interesting group of regulars and irregulars. The other main site I visit is I’m glad you will get this in you inbox because I don’t think it will be readable here on the blog.
                      Windows 2000 was the first Windows worth paying for and Windows 7 may be the last, but yes, there is still a die hard group who play their games on a PC rather than (or in addition to) there PS 3 or whatever. Oddly, this group didn’t tend to get into many arguments; I think they were too busy playing the games. It was and is others who seem to just want to pick a fight who jump in. Recently, there was a post about OpenOffice vs. LibriOffice on Linux. A group of MS Office users had to jump in and ridicule both office suites and Linux; I can only wonder what they are afraid of. I used to be a distribution junkie but I have had to slow down a bit. I may have to install Scientific Linux on something now that you have endorsed it. I can’t remember what it is based on (assuming it is based on any prior distribution). I’ll head over to distrowatch and check it out. Thanks for writing. ~Ken

                    • Oops! BG, I misspelled LibreOffice; that happens because I confuse that spelling of Libre with the Libri of, which has audiobooks read by volunteers. There are many classics as well as some others there (and livbrivox is on the up and up, and as with the Gutenberg Project if any mistakes are made regarding ownership they remove it pronto, but I don’t think they make many mistakes). ~Ken

                  • Ken, Scientific Linux is based on RHEL, a la CentOS. It’s maintained by some very nice folks at FermiLab and CERN (when they’re not busy creating doomsday black holes).

                    I run a thousand-odd SL systems, but not a single one of ’em can run ChairGun! Or ARMA!!!


                    • Fantastic, Jan! You must be running quite an operation. I thought I remembered Scientific Linux being one of the RHEL downstream derivitives (I was thinking cousin of CentOS and I can’t think of the name of the one out of Israel that has some extra programming done one it, but it is also based on RHEL). Well, you mentioned Chairgun and ARMA. I don’t have them but I do have a couple of Windows progs related to ballistics. I tried to do a quick install with Crossover Linux 11.01; no quick and easy this time around. I have had success with a few different things, none of them related to guns of any kind. Anyway, I’m glad to hear from fellow Linux users (or any of the *BSDs for that matter) A thousand!!! Wow!! ~Ken

                • BG : I remember when the first Remington golden bullets came out. They were packed in plastic boxes like the CCIs. I thought that was important because it prevented the cartridges from getting bent and the bullets damaged. Big accuracy cancelers in my opinion. Maybe the bulk packages are a bad thing. I personally don’t believe all the Internet drivel, This is the only blog I participate in.
                  The rifle I have was originally bought for the scope , it is butt ugly, especially as to the stock. Maybe someday I will re-stock it.

                  • Robert,
                    I agree that bulk is not ideal for best accuracy, but I’m not sure it causes that much trouble. I had a lot of Federal Automatch (AM22) in the 350 shot bulk pack that shot nice groups (<0.5"/5 shot groups at 50 yards) very consistently out of my Savage. Obviously that is not the best accuracy one can get from that rifle, but it is very serviceable and more than adequate for squirrels and the like :). Ironically, I got tired of spilling (or worrying about spilling) the boxes on trips to the range, so I loaded them into CCI cases for the trip, just dump out 50 and fill up the case — made it easy to keep track of where I was in or between groups.

                    That rifle still sounds good — take it to a range and shoot for money; its appearance will take folks unawares and teach them a lesson about judging a book by its cover :)!

      • I put 9 of 10 into 1.5-inch with the factory barrel. Shot 10 opened the group to about one inch

        Pardon? A 1.5″ group that /opened/ to 1.0″?

        Did you mean a 0.5″…

        • Wulfraed,

          No, I meant 0.75-inches. I don’t know why it came out that way.

          Anyway, I have since measured that group and the 9 were really in 0.882-inches and number 10 opened it to 1.032-inches.


  8. Kevin…

    Thank you for giving Tom the idea of pulling one out of the mothballs. It will give him some time to work on something else.

    B.B. …

    Thanks for finding something that looks like it was built right .


  9. Just a comment on how reading through all the comments aid and improve the blog article. Being at work and not having my Blue Book within easy reach, I was going to ask you, BB, where this rifle was made. That question and more have been completely answered by a number of the folks here. Neat rifle, photos are good inspite of your warnings and very educational. Now all I need to do is come across one in a garage sale for $50! 🙂

    Fred DPRoNJ

  10. How hard is it to make a good airgun? Why aren’t those good quality airguns being made anymore?
    Noooo instead we get stuck with Hatsan springers that group like shotguns and Cometa that have a scope stop that scope stops don’t fit in.
    Why do older airguns often seem to have better build quality?


    • J-F,

      I think it’s easy to make good-quality airguns. Isn’t that what AirForce, Weihrauch & Air Arms do? Also Daystate, FX, Anschutz & Steyr. Look at the prices of those guns. That’s what good quality costs.

      Few are willing to fork over the necessary spondulicks for such quality, so guns are made by others in much larger quantiies to fill the hands of people who lack the funds to buy the better guns.


      • I’m not sure I agree with you Edith, those are all “expensive” airguns. How about those inexpensive ones?
        The Hatsans AT-44 PCP (I think the BT-65 are too expensive), the Discovery, the Bronco, the 2240 to name a few. It CAN be done on a budget. Why is it so hard?


  11. O.M.G.! Bless you my sons, Kev for the idea & Mr. B.B. for goin’ w/the flow. My dads ’94 30-30 was the rifle I was allowed to carry when I got my first “big game” huntin’ license & went out stalkin’ lions & tigers & bears, oh my (hey, I was 12yo). Got my first 2 white tails w/it. Don’t think I actually hit ’em, pretty sure they died laughin’ at my silly li’l self tryin’ ta shoot a gun as big as I was at that time & the funniest case of buck fever ever. By the time I got ta use it, that sweet li’l guy had put more dinners on the table than any grocery store. No deal tryin’ ta get Dad ta part w/it, had been given to him for christmas by his dad. So I started lookin’ elsewhere & just a couple years ago found a much later model in as new condition that I got for 4 game tix! Currently buildin’ a mantle over the fireplace, ok, a large western style mirror, but I do live in the desert, not much call for an indoor fireplace & this is MY story, where he’ll sit with my .45lc wheel gun ready for any wild injun/zombie attacks. Bottom line, Erma, #3 on my airgun “gotta have it” list. Thanx ya’ll, shoot/ride safe & have a great weekend.

  12. Ahhh… Erma! Knew almost nothing about them until a month ago when I snagged an EM-1 Carbine at a gun show. ‘Cause I LIKE .22 replicas of bigger caliber guns, and it appears that the EM-1 Carbine is the only M1 Carbine-ish gun legal in NJ. Even the .22 cal, 10-round Chiappa M1 Carbine is illegal – despite plastic sights and the fact that it is functionally identical to a Ruger 10-22 (except, perhaps, for reliabilty).

  13. B.B., I searched for something comparable to the ELG 10. I didn’t find anything. The closest I came, aside from the Daisy model 1894 are these two.
    The Marlin Cowboy BB gun, which is a smooth bore BB gun; spring piston and smooth bore like the Daisy.

    The Walther Lever Action, which is CO2 powered. You blogged about this one before:


    It seems the ELG 10 is truly unique. ~Ken

  14. I attempted to connect to the Erma web site,, but I got the “You don’t have permission to access / on this server.” message.

    When I attempt to connect to from home I get a similar message (although I can connect from campus). Yes, I am at work; it is very slow for me right now but by the middle of next week I will have no time to lollygag; I refer to it as the “lunch blue plate special”. ~Ken

    • That rags me too. I get the no permission message for AA Classifieds while not hooked up to wireless (on 3 or 4g connections on my phone), but I can get Gunbroker. Go figure….


      • Dave, AA may be checking for connection speed. I knew of this years ago, but this may be the culprit. Whether it has anything to do with the number of simultaneous connections I don’t know. ~Ken

      • Wulfraed, I don’t know who might be running the Website. Perhaps no one but the administrator is allowed. I get a lot of broken links that give me the “can’t be found” message but this Erma message suggests there is still a server to return its message. I don’t know. ~Ken

          • Wulfraed, you are so right! The command you have in mind is whois. I don’t know if Windows 7 has it although it might. MS did ad the whoami command (used withing the cmd command line environment). However, I do have whois here on my trusty Linux machine.
            Plugging in this, “whois yeilds the following:

            Status: connect
            Changed: 2011-05-05T13:38:10+02:00

            Type: PERSON
            Name: Werner Kaltofen
            Organisation: Neue Medien Muennich GmbH
            Address: Hauptstrasse 68
            PostalCode: 02742
            City: Friedersdorf
            CountryCode: DE
            Phone: +49 35872 35310
            Fax: +49 35872 35330
            Changed: 2007-10-09T21:15:45+02:00

            So, it looks like Werner Kaltofen owns the server. I got a bit more information using the ping command.
            I typed in, “ping and received the following:
            64 bytes from (

            Now, typing in, “whois”, yields:
            owner-id: WK10227
            owner-name: Werner Kaltofen
            owner-address: Hauptstrasse 68
            owner-pcode: 02742
            owner-city: Friedersdorf
            owner-country: DE
            owner-phone: +49 35872 35310
            owner-fax: +49 35872 35330

            So we know the server is there and who is is registered to. Beyond that (or assuming he would respond to a question by e-mail) it is anybody’s guess what the server is being used for, if anything.


  15. If someone else posted this already, I apologize. But did anyone else see the irony in one of BB’s opening statements of simply fixing spelling and GRAMMER? I think it is grammar. HA! I tease because I love, BB. Happy weekend!!

      • “You know, I thought about that as I typed it. Then I forgot about it”

        My working memory is maybe good for 5 seconds. If I lose focus, unless there is something from without that pulls me back, it may be an hour, a day or a month before I discover what I “forgot”. Once that happens, I remember, but again it is something from without that clues me in. Things like driving or holding a rifle to aim and shoot qualify as external cues that insure I don’t forget what I am doing at the moment. Thinking I’ll remember that web address for a couple of minutes doesn’t qualify if it isn’t one I have typed in enough to make it stick. ~Ken

  16. Thanks for that article, BB! Good read! I’d never heard of an Erma air gun before. I still want my old Daisy 1894, though…

    Congrats, Brett! Now, get some safety glasses and open that off-eye while shooting! 🙂


  17. B.B., I wrote to you about some things but I think I had one of those senior moments and lost it without sending it. You mentioned the problem with the scope that came with the Titan. I also had that problem. My solution was to adjust the objective via the method you have written about in the past. I may wrongly believe that this did something, however I was able to get a focused image at 10 yards. I had the same issue with the scope that came with the Powerline 1000. It has the zoom feature but it didn’t help much until I performed the same objective tuning on it. What I wrote earlier is that you may not want to perform the “tuning” on a scope you are sending back to Crosman.
    I also wrote of my CenterPoint Adventure Class 4-16x40mm AO. Probably a bit of overkill but it satisfies the adolescent in me. The claim that it was torture tested on spring airguns was an influence in the purchase. ~Ken

  18. B.B., anyone,

    Where is the best online source to find a Daisy M1894 bb gun? And what would be a good price for a shooter rather than a collector item? I had two of them (and others) when I was teaching my sons and daughters to shoot, and I miss having one again.

  19. Funny…when I saw the Erma I thought it looked more like a Savage 99 than a Winchester. Thank you, B.B. for introducing me to another M94 clone I never knew existed.

    In the ’90s we had 40 acres at 4,000′ and a Ford F350 truck. The truck came with a gun rack across the rear window and I kept one of my Daisy 1894s on it just for fun. I had inherited my dad’s Winchester 94 in .30-30 back then too but no way was I going to risk having it stolen by carting it out in the open in the truck.

    I loved my dad’s thirty-thirty as well as the Daisys. I loved carrying them and feeling the perfect balance of them in my hand.

  20. I have to comment about the pictures of the ERMA ELG 10 in todays article.

    Many folks complimented the photo’s like goatboy that told us about webley’s involvement with ERMA’s only foray into the airgun market.

    What I like most about the photo’s is that they’re in black and white. Black and white photos just seem appropriate when accompanying an article about a fine vintage airgun.


    • Kevin,

      The B&W photos are an interesting story. When I started THe Airgun Letter, I didn’t know how to take good photos of guns — period. I bought dozens of books about product photography, but they were all about artsy-fartsy looking photos that had way too much contrast to see any detail. They would spend a whole chapter telling you how to use glycerin to look like water droplets and how a silver reflector would show off a model’s skin better than a white reflector, but they never told me how to shoot a product to show detail.

      I quickly learned that B&W film was better than color for showing detail, and if I overexposed the shot, more detail would come through.

      Eventually a camera guy told me to always start with an exposure of F8 at 125th second (or something like that) to get a good exposure. I had to learn the particular performance of my Nikon FM2 camera, and once I did, plus adding several lenses that helped me get closer to the subject, I finally fingered it all out. And of course that was when digital cameras came out, and I made the transition.

      Before digital, though, I also bought several medium format cameras, the largest of which was a Minolta RB67. They allowed me to take larger negatives or slides, so I could show the detail better. They also had magnifiers on the focal glass so I could examine the focus more critically before taking the shot.

      But with a digital camera costing under $200 today I can take even better photos than I could with the thousands of dollars of analog camera stuff I used to use. And I get to see the results right now, instead of taking three exposers per shot and waiting several days for the store to develop my film before I could see the results.

      This was both when and also how I met Mac. He came out to shoot field target at our club and I talked him into coming out Monday evenings to shoot 10-meter pistol also. We got to talking about film and how to take shots and he began to give me an education on light and how it works with a camera. That information still works for me today, though with digital I have to apply it differently sometimes.

      The Erma photos were taken when I had learned how to take good B&W photos, but had not yet made the transition to color slides. And I Photoshopped them somewhat for this article.

      That was another problem we had. We would get the images they way we wanted them and then the printer would over-ink the pages and ruin all our work. That was what lead us to buy a production printer so we could print our own newsletters and eventually out own Airgun Revue magazine. Had to fork out for a Perfect Binder for the latter.


      • Tom,

        Way, way over my head.

        I’ve never been a good photographer. Most of my early shots included parts of my face or shirt and were blurry and out of focus. That’s when a friend suggested that I turn the camera around and face the lens towards the subject.

        Nowadays you’ve got to learn how to take good photos of guns if you’re going to sell a gun for what it’s worth. Not sure gun sellers realize what bad photo’s or no photo’s cost them when they sell their guns.

        You and Edith gave me some tips on this blog years ago. You even did a blog about photographing guns which included the tip of using a good flashlight to paint the gun in light. A technique I still use.

        It wasn’t until I started taking pictures of my guns to sell/trade that I appreciated how good your photo’s really are. Yes, digital cameras have made it cheaper to shoot good pictures and photoshop enables me to fix some screw ups in my pictures but you still have to know how to shoot a good picture to begin with. I’m still learning.


        • Kevin,

          I’m still learning too. There are some shots that are still very difficult for m, but with digital cameras I can muck around for many shots until one comes out useful.

          And I say, “Amen” to your comment about people who take poor pictures or offer no pictures when trying to sell a gun. The guy who sells best is the one who shows all the warts and draws your attention to them in the text. He’s a guy I can trust. People are very fond of using the “… this website won’t let me upload my pictures” excuse, when what they really should say is, “All I know how to do it fowrard the photos my phone takes to an email address.”


          • If you don’t have one… Find a (Kodak) Grey Card…

            Set it at the subject (gun) position, under the lighting in use… (so, automatic flash exposure is out — use various fixed hot lights)

            Expand (zoom) the camera so the card fills the frame; read the exposure recommended by the camera. Set the camera manually to that exposure and take a test shot (does mean having a camera with full manual control).

            If the test shot needs adjustment, figure out how much adjustment is needed for the lighting to work — then in the future, meter the card again, and tweak the metered result by the adjustment… Should get you a good starting point.

            Of course, if you want to really be in control… Do NOT evaluate the image on the camera display or computer (unless the computer monitor has been calibrated to some standard — mine is set [rudimentary — I don’t have a hardware calibrator so its the “squint at alternating lines of black and R {G or B}” while adjusting gamma so the alternating black&full blends in with the surrounding half intensity block]).

            Use a histogram (most cameras have it).
            |\_____ is underexposed
            _____/| is overexposed
            /——-\ is a wide gamut/contrast image
            __/-\__ is a narrow gamut/contrast image
            /\___/\ is an image with no mid-tones
            /\_____ is a low-key image with all detail (black cat in coal bin)
            _____/\ is high-key (polar bear in snow storm)

            As long as you don’t have the |\ or /| ends (which indicate that data was clipped outside the range of the camera format) you can use image editing programs to tweak the mid-tones (gamma) (stretching, say _____/\, to look like __/—\)

            • Wulfraed,

              I’ve read your comment on taking pictures twice. I don’t understand half of it.

              I need to research kodak grey cards. I have no idea what you mean by, “read the exposure recommended by the camera.” My camera I use for taking photos of guns has a histogram but never learned how to use it since my attempts at setting everything on the camera manually has had disastrous results.


              • Theoretically, the world averages out to an 18% grey tone. Camera meters are designed for that, and will specify an exposure that makes the average of the light reflecting off the scene produce that grey. Which is why white on white (or black on black) seldom comes out correctly — the camera sees a very light (dark) scene as goes: overexposed, reduce exposure (underexposed, increase exposure)… Both white on white and black on black thereby come out as grey on grey.

                A grey card represents that expected grey level (though I’ve seen various recommendations for using them — either flat on to the camera, or angled 1/3 of the way to the main light source). When you fill the frame with the card and press down the shutter button partway, the camera should meter the card and display the shutter and aperture it would use (in automatic mode) — those values can then be transferred to the camera in manual mode, the card removed, and the subject shot…

                The more expensive route is to obtain an incident type light meter (these are the ones with the white “ping pong ball” sensor). Where the camera is measuring the light reflected off the subject (and hence biased by the W/W, B/B combinations), an incident meter is held at the subject position and aimed at the camera (great for studio or close shots outdoors, but not as effective if trying to expose for the shade in the forest while standing in the razed corn field on a sunny day). The dome creates an 18% grey from the light falling onto the subject, and is not affected by the subject coloration. And I’m not kidding about the “more expensive” — something like a mid-level Sekonic meter will cost more than many folks P&S digital cameras. A Sekonic L-358 still goes for $309; and should one want to do the forest, a 1deg spot reflected light attachment is $199.

                As for the histogram — try to visualize my ASCII-Art as smooth curves on the display. Anytime you have a lot of pixels at one end or the other (especially if they pile up on the end itself so that there is no “down curve”) you have data outside the exposure range — either reduce exposure (move the peak to the left) or increase exposure (move to the right). If the peaks are at both ends your only hope is to add auxiliary light to the shadows, or block some light from the bright areas.

                If the subject is one of those high/low-key cases, you want to bias the peak of the curve into the appropriate side. On its own, the camera will make both W/W and B/B look like:
                ___/\___ (middle grey). Apply +1 or +2 (aka 2x or 4x) exposure compensation to make W/W
                _____/\_ or ______/\ and apply -1 or -2 (aka 1/2x or 1/4x) compensation to make B/B
                _/\_____ or /\______

                Anything with a narrow /\ is a low-contrast scene. You can post process in a photo editor to increase the contrast by changing the end-points and stretching the middle (Photoshop LEVELS control — slide the [input] black slider to where the left side starts climbing, slide the white slider to where the right side starts climbing; those points then become the left/right end points when stretched. You may not want to go to the full extreme… You can reduce contrast by leaving the [input] sliders alone and moving the [output] end points)

                And that opens the doors to all sorts of “perversions”. Like “screen” and “multiply”. If you are used to thinking of RGB colors as running 0..255, multiply doesn’t make any sense. If you see the RGB primaries as running a range from 0.0 to 1.0, then multiply is understandable. Makes for rather dramatic landscapes if you duplicate the image as a second layer, set the layer to “screen”. What you get is: areas that are full intensity (1.0) don’t change — 1.0 * 1.0 => 1.0. But areas that were, say, half intensity (0.5) become: 0.5 * 0.5 => 0.25 quarter intensity (and 0.1 intensity becomes 0.01 intensity). The brights stay bright, but the darks become more dark. (I don’t know how to describe screen mathematically, but it goes the other way).

                • Wulfraed,

                  Thanks for taking the time to type that extensive comment.

                  I’m going to copy and paste this and use it as a guide to revisit taking pictures in manual mode with my antique Leica Digilux. That camera has 1,000+ functions that I never took the time to learn but you’ve given me a jumping off point. I’ve used the auto mode almost exclusively and accepted what it gave me. Now maybe I can take it to the next level. Thanks.

                  I’m familiar with the “levels” portion of photoshop since I use it regularly in adjusting lighting but like the camera there are 1,000+ functions in photoshop I never took the time to learn either.


        • kevin…

          Photography is much easier now than it used to be. No film to buy, no paying and waiting for processing and prints. You do that stuff (film) for a while, and you learn to think about what the camera sees before taking the shot.

          I seldom do a good job, and I know it before pressing the button. I use enough light to get something that can be viewed half way decently. That’s about it. I can do a lot better if I wanted to go to the trouble.
          I usually doctor the shots a little with the computer software to make up for some of the worse pics.

          Lighting is my worst enemy. Not enough light, or not enough where I want it. Too much contrast. I sleaze it and get by with auto and the flash off. I could stand to get some lighting rigs of some kind, and some different color and brightness intensity backdrops.

          Some of the worst you see are done with a flash, with a cell phone with built in cam, out of focus distance (badly), or just plain too dark. A combination of some of the above is even worse.


            • kev…

              Macro can be tough. You get close enough to take the pic, and the camera gets in the way of the light.

              One thing to think about is always how much light the camera sees. Where is it metering the exposure ? What will the average be ? Lighting really can screw you up.

              Keeping focus is rough too. You have almost zero error allowed. Working with an extremely short depth of field when working close is a bear.


            • Kevin..

              Here’s one…

              Obvious problems…
              Lighting from the left side throwing shadows. Depth of field extremely short. Focus is on the coin.

              Need better light, and run with a smaller aperture to increase depth of field.

              You can still see what needs to be seen this way, but is not optimum. Tripod is necessary when working this close and with a very slow shutter. Manual focus is about necessary. I use self timer in these situations so that I am not touching the camera when it takes the pic.


              • If doing bad photography studies…


                I need to point out that, in Program mode, Canon’s flash exposure system assumes the flash is providing the main light — all other modes assume the flash is a fill light and will adjust the rest of the exposure based on ambient background lighting (which killed me at last fall’s wedding when I was using aperture priority for a shallower depth of field, and ended up with exposures running 1/30s or longer)


                And example of the long shutter when using flash and aperture priority… I pulled the pen out before the shutter closed! No, that is not a cloudy sky below the ISS with a super size pen nib flying by — the background is a 12×12 inch marble floor tile. The retake:


                And more difficulties with macro shooting…


                Note: when doing “macro” with the flash, I’m using a shoe mount flash aimed forward, with a bounce hood. Normally you’d use this with the flash aimed up, so the hood would bounce the light forward; with the flash in “normal” position, the hood just extends beyond the end of my macro lens, and bounced the light down from the side (top) onto the subject.

                • Wulfraed,

                  On my Canons, this behavior depends on whether you’ve enabled “slow synchro” or not. With slow synchro turned on, you get the fill-flash effect you describe, with the shot metered pretty much as if the flash weren’t firing. With it off, you get the flash-based exposure. Doesn’t apply in modes like M and Tv where you’re controlling the shutter.


              • twotalon,

                That’s a good macro picture by my standards. You’re very critical of your own work.

                I use a tripod and the timer on the camera for macro work. Absolute necessity for a hack like me. Thanks for all your tips. Between you and Wulfraed I’ve got some direction now and testing to do with the camera.


                • kev…

                  Wulfread knows more than I do. You just need to experiment to see what you get. Put some thought into it and see how close it comes out.
                  It gets to the point that the first thing you think about is how to get what you want. I used a manual camera (old Yashika) for long enough that I stopped using the meter. Then one day I tried to and found that the meter had quit working.

                  I don’t know what you are using. Some will do more than others. I find that a camera that is too automatic is a handicap.

                  As long as it only takes time (no film) then you should get the hang of it. Keep it out of full auto mode so you will have some control.


                  • Well… I started with an Agfa Karat rangefinder (the camera is older than I am — used to be my father’s).

                    NO meter, no “clicks” on shutter or aperture dials — fully variable from 1s to 1/300s (! don’t try to use Tri-X in sunlight) and f2.8-16.

                    Exposures were based on reading dials in a copy of the Kodak Master Photoguide. Rotate dial to put ASA [or Kodak film type] under the + describing the shooting condition, read shutter/aperture pairs on the other side. After some time you learn to correlate “Sunny-16″* to lesser conditions. The book also had dials for using flash bulbs or electronic flashes (rated in beam-candle-power-seconds), and for studio hot lights.

                    * Sunny-16
                    On clear sunny day, set the aperture to f16, set the shutter to 1/ASA (now 1/ISO) [or to any combination that is equivalent: f11 and 1/(ISO*2)]
                    Light overcast with distinct shadows, keep the 1/ISO but drop to f11
                    Overcast with no shadows, drop to f8
                    Downright stormy, or subject in the shaded side of sunlit building, drop to f5.6

  21. Just had another scout around the net for info on Elma ELG 10. It was also known as the Webley Ranger and apparently they seem to be going for more like £650 in the UK second hand in near mint condition not the previous £500 i mentioned earlier,what a difference a year makes in the price of a vintage airgun. The amount of images of the Erma to be found on Google image has nearly doubled now they have the photographs from this article, pretty elusive rifle, don’t you think?
    best wishes wing commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

    • /Dave

      No, no! A thousand times, no!

      At the last Roanoke Hakims in nice condition (like the one you linked to) were asking $400. I think the guy is $200 overpriced.


      • That’s what I thought you said before, but I couldn’t remember for sure… I wasn’t planning on buying it, but was trying to get a feel for what they’re worth in case I run across one someday (and actually have the money for it at the same time…). Thanks for the quick reply and warning, BB!


  22. Ken Holmz and Jan,
    Starting anew — my comments were getting too marginal :). Jan is right on about CERN and Scientific Linux, not to mention the doomsday blackholes :). Some of the stuff I need only runs reliably (and certifiably) on RHEL or a close derivative. I ran RHEL for a long time, but don’t really need technical support, so I switched to Centos during the 5 series, and just upgraded to SL 6.3 recently.

    I started playing with Linux with Yggsdrasil and Slackware (I wonder if the packages are worth anything these days ?). I had read about Linux on the Usenet a bit earlier and had worked with SCO Linux for a job which turned me on to the idea of Unix on a PC, so I wanted a (more affordable) Unix-like system at home. The early Linuxes were decent systems for command line use, and I remember setting the systems up for e-mail and dialing up BBS’s, etc. Of course in those days, you often had to re-compile the kernel for naughty hardware or for special application (I remember a gateway server required several changes to get it working). Later, Suse and Redhat, esp., were big upgrades esp. in terms of the installation and the GUI, though I also played with Debian, etc. Around 2000, I switched my main system to Linux, to be free as possible of Windows at least at home. It was probably Redhat 7.2 (although 5.2? was also quite good) that was the tipping point (7.2 was very stable for me) and I’ve stuck with later RHEL and variants more or less (NO Fedora, one try was enough) ever since. Suse was a front runner for a long time and some of the older machines still run ancient Suse versions, but it got weird on me at some point. I can’t remember what the problem was anymore, maybe the ReiserFS or early Secure stuff? Incidentally, I worked in computer graphics exclusively in the mid to late nineties and remember helping some of the developers of X-servers — at first they sometimes had trouble even getting the time of day much less technical data on chipsets (which aren’t always straightforward if you have technical data). There was some amazing talent that contributed their time — they did a better job supporting legacy chipsets than makers did most of the time.

    All that time, though, Windows was still quite important, first because much of what I did was targeted at Windows PC’s. I have had as many of them as Linux PC’s. I loved NT 3.51 and NT4.0 (probably the longest running Windows for me outside Windows 3.1) mainly for the OpenGL support, then Win2000 just got bloated and user friendly, and it wasn’t clear at whom they targeted it, but it was pretty good for everyday stuff. Windows 95 worked OK, but it couldn’t live up to the hype they gave it! I think we ran 98 a little too, but it wasn’t really an upgrade. After that, XP is the only one that is worth much to me, though I expect I’ll have another version whether I want it or not when my wife’s machine needs upgrading :). Regarding the gamers, they were a mixed blessing, as they drove the market, sometimes they drove it crazy. I got stuck in a 3D group (1995?) because nobody wanted to do that kind of thing, but we quickly had our hands full and people who turned up their nose at 3D wanted in :). I’ve still not completely forgiven MS for Direct3D and what they did to OpenGL.

    And don’t forget OS/2! I love OS’s: there’s even more, not to mention excursions away from the x86 architecture, but they are all fun, at least for a whirl, but I’m sticking with Linux until I finish my own OS, after I finish the hardware design :).

    I haven’t played around with virtual machines for a while, but I’m sure there is a way to run Chairgun! Or write your own version, its pretty simple, and you can spend the rest of your life supporting it for free!

    • BG_Farmer,

      I always wanted to hear more of your story. SGI, right? I’d love to hear how you got from there to bg_farming. Perhaps over some Kentucky distillates someday.

      I’m an OS fetishist myself. SGI plays a key role, as it was on old Indigo boxes in ’91 when the ‘nix bug bit me real bad. I could play with the old IRIX GL demos all day. I love NT also. 3.51 was a fantastic vintage that served me very well, but I think 4.0 was its real coming of age. It was good to move away from the naive, textbook microkernel. I regret never having the chance to run NT on MIPS, though I did unleash a single Alpha running NT4 for an engineer with hardcore Pro-E needs. Awesome. I could drone on much longer, but will try to be polite.

      Chairgun is just great. Saves bunches of time dialing in a new scope/gun/ammo combo, and gets you right to the plinking!


      • Jan, I am envious of both you and BG. However, I can’t say I am overly disappointed in my own experiences. RedHat had an Alpha based version and I really wanted to install it but that was not to be. When Compaq bought Digital I expected they would kill the Alpha; I guess that was an easy call.

        I say to you as I said to BG, good computing and good shooting. ~Ken

      • One is born a farmer though he may lower himself to other tasks for money at times :). As long as you can drink the local rockgut (legal of course) give me a yell when you are passing through and I’ll fill you in (you might be bored, but the distillates should help). Sorry, not SGI, mostly PC graphics chipsets — SGI was a goal at one point (and a beautiful, trim blue Indigo was part of that), but they plummeted pretty fast. I didn’t think you droned on — you were talking one of my favorite languages. I remember non-x86 machines running NT 4.0 VERY credibly, but it seems like the “healthy competition” (not to mention behemoth marketing and budgets) b/t mainly Intel and AMD made x86 unstoppable. Funny, as it has to be one of the most cobbled together architecture/instruction sets imaginable; add PC stuff (memory holes, slow as next week I/O, the list goes on) and it is a miracle just running a browser. But logic and reality are only loosely coupled (sort of a lame callback to CERN, sorry)!

    • BG, I just wrote a long desultory narrative of my computer experiences, beginning in the Fall of 1983 when I got the computer bug; this edited version will be much shorter. I knew little about them although in 1977 had had played with the one Radio Shack made available. My wife knew more than I so she showed me how to type load to load Luner Lander from the cassette and to type run to execute the program. My first computer was an Apple IIe and I have no regrets about that. All of my first PCs were hand me downs from work or friends. I too played with DIP switches and jumpers. My first Linux install was RedHat 5.2 on a i386 that couldn’t handle a GUI. Still I was thrilled to have it running and elated when I was able to hook up the the RedHat update server and have it do its magic. I started running my personal PC with RedHat 6; my last RedHat was version 8. Then I installed SuSE 8.2 and it has been some version of that ever since. I purchased the boxed SuSE until I started running openSuse (up to v12.1 currently). I used to rush to update to the next version but these days I don’t mind being on the trailing edge. My first Internet experiences were all text only. Before the World Wide Web was given to all of us, I was using Gopher, Telnet and FTP, then obtained an e-mail account.

      I agree with you completely about running Windows in a virtual machine. When I started my current job in 2007 the computer I was to use came with Windows XP Home, so no connecting to domains. Things were more lax back then. I installed Linux on that PC and installed VMWare Player on Linux. I had a Windows 2000 update that belonged to the college. I had to install Windows Me first, but I quickly wiped that out with the Win2K. So, for two years I ran Windows inside a virtual machine. I called in Windows in a Window. I have XP that I qualified to have as part of my position and I run that at home with Virtual Box because I am having no luck installing VMWare Player on my P4 (yes, I am that far behind the leading edge). Even though I downloaded the *Player for x86 it still complains that I don’t have x64 capability. I haven’t figured this one out yet.

      I have installed the *BSDs, Solaris and QNX (among others), just for my personal learning and enjoyment. I still manage to make my way through dependency hell on occasion, but I want to install something in particular so “so be it”. Opensuse 12.1 comes with an opensource replacement for java but it was not working for me. I decided to download the original from I needed javascript which didn’t come automatically so I searched and found a javascript for RedHat. I also install applications from packman. Linux has come a very long way, even since my RH 5.2 days. If I recommend a Linux distribution to someone I usually recommend Mint because it comes with codecs and other things a lot of the distros don’t. I can’t expect everyone to be willing or able to get the applications and codecs they need for multimedia, especially.

      I learned some things about programming, but I fail as a programmer. I always check “advanced user” when some site is asking me to rate myself. I am glad to find a couple of Linux aficionados on the blog.

      Good computing and good shooting to you. ~Ken

    • BG, I meant to tell you two other things:
      1) I enjoyed reading your historical narrative
      2) I lament that although I did play with OS2 Warp 3, I never got to play with Warp 4. I understand that, while OS2 didn’t get much space on the desktop banks used it for years.

      Time to hit the sack. Cheers. ~Ken

      • Worked for Itty Bitty Machine as a software engineer (technical sales). This was in the days when computer viruses were becoming problematic and anti-virus protection was just starting. The gist was that Warp had no viruses since it was a very uncommon OS.

        • Herb, I remember the era well. A decade before I was hired full time I took some computer related classes at the college. I had Central Point Antivirus that I carried with me on a floppy. The floppy was locked and I used it to scan every PC I sat down at. I believe it detected and cleaned at least one virus every time I used it.

          I suspect the powers that be at banks chose OS2 with security issues in mind. ~Ken

      • Ken,
        I enjoyed connecting with fellow Linux users also. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81 that really taught me all I ever needed to know :)! Join Jan and me for a big old bottle of rockgut, and I’m sure we will all have some tales to tell :). Interesting that OS/2 benefited in a niche from its resounding lack of popularity. We called it SlowS2, as did a large number of technicians and engineers at IBM! Even when we had a machine that ran Warp reasonably fast, it would be blisteringly faster in Windows :)!

        PS. I need to correct “SCO Linux” to “SCO Unix”. Also, I forgot one of my favorite, though short-lived distributions: Caldera!

        • BG, I well remember the Sinclair line. Although I had my IIe and two magazine that were primary, I also bought magazine that were more eclectic in content. I wanted a Sinclair QL, primarily because it was powered by a Motorola 68008 microprocessor. I suppose this was as much my inability to purchase a Lisa. I referred to the 68000 series as true 32. Sadly, I am blocking on when Intel arrived with a true 32 bit processor (by this I mean that programmers didn’t have to concern themselves with segments in their coding, at least not until they tried to jump a goto or gosub past the 32 bit limitation). I can’t remember if any of the i386 processors made it or if we had to wait for Pentiums.
          I know a lot of people cut their computing teeth on ZX systems. ~Ken

          • Per Wikipedia, the 386 was the first in the series with a flat memory model.

            Though really — if programs had remained text based the odds are that the segmented model wouldn’t have become any real hindrance. 64kB for program, 64kB for stack, 64kB for data, and another 64kB for extra stuff… If the code fit within the 64kB segment, the OS could load the code on any 16-byte boundary without having to adjust addresses — just set the segment registers to identify the proper boundary. Closest thing to PDP-11 program-counter-relative addressing (PIC — position independent code), without needing the ALU to compute program-counter + relative-offset at run-time.

        • That sounds good, BG. I’ll tell you all about how, a few years before Al Gore invented the Internet, got on via a 1-800 number and learned a lot about gopher, telnet and ftp. Those were the days 🙂 In fact that first afternoon when I accidentally took the on ramp to the Internet I stayed up 24 hours exploring the world and many more hours after than for a couple of years. Again, I just treated it as though I was playing Adventure (all one fascinating text adventure).
          I will stop now; I am not trying to turn B.B.s blog into a computing forum; it was just too easy to bring it up. I am glad to have you and Jan as my Linux partners. I’ll even give a nod to RMS and admit that GNU had a lot to do with the success of Linux. Of course, there are now many others to thank. ~Ken

        • Sure it wasn’t SCO Xenix? As I recall, they did take over Xenix from M$

          I recall an early report in some magazine (80-Micro?) commenting on some report about how “UNIX” was on some 70000 machines at that time (around 1981)… But the real breakdown was probably around 10000 BSD, 10000 ATT/Bell, and 50000 Radio Shack Model 12’s running Xenix…

      • Ken,
        One more thing about Scientific Linux. I has codecs that RHEL (or Centos for that matter) won’t include. I like to listen to talk radio shows and podcasts, etc. while I am doing other stuff, and it works for that out of the “box”, which is pretty trivial but made me happy.

        • BG, now you’ve done it. I will have to download and install Scientific Linux, not so much for myself although I may end up using it for myself. I didn’t know SL came with the codecs. Being an RPM person and still having an affection for RH I may be recommending SL well as Mint. If I have each set up on something to show interested persons, so much the better. ~Ken

  23. B.B., it pleases me to tell you some more about my pistol shooting progress. I have adjusted the rear sights on the 3576; I just need to keep practicing. In behavioral psychology learning to reach a specific behavioral goal (e.g., hitting the bull’s center) is called successive approximation. Practice that gets you closer to the goal is good practice and that is the kind I want to do.

    With the PT-85 there is just a little room below the front sight dot where I can paint a thin gold or silver bar. For now discovered that, at the distance I am shooting, I can hold the front dot centered between the two rear dots and resting on the invisible line across the top of the two rear dots.

    It looks like that gold or silver bar under the front dot will rest parallel to the two rear dots. I think this will be easier on my eye than keeping the front dot balanced in the air as it is now. At any rate, sighting as I have just described has me shooting 8 shots into the 2″ circle, seven making one hole just left and a little down from center and one over to the lower left.

    I am pleased to report progress. ~Ken

  24. Last unsolicited response for today (CST). I am decidedly more accurate with the PT-85. I am definitely tired and my last group of 16 was a full 2.5 inches. I have more difficulty with the 3576; I definitely need to stick to single action shooting (I tried a bit of double action and I find it difficult and disappointing). In single action I will need to treat it as if I were practicing for 10mm competition. I will have to take more time with each shot. The act of cocking the hammer throws me off, not as badly as shooting double action, but I just have to take more time to settle and get back on target. ~Ken

  25. Everybody,

    Kevin and others have been having a discussion about photographing gun details. Would you like a primer on how to take successful photos of your airguns?


    • B.B.

      Let’s see how you do it. I want to see your professional redneck lighting system….little LED lights duct taped to your shoulders and cowboy hat.


    • Step one: remove all the clutter so you can lay-out a white sheet for backdrop

      In contrast to

      in which one can see that the white-balance was not matched between the shots (based upon the color of the background wall)… And the background is blatantly a stucco Faraday cage construction building.

      {Pity: the CP99 has a “modern” standard accessory rail — but the nightstand P99 uses a proprietary rail and accessories are no longer available}

      • Wulfraed,

        Are you saying a white background/white sheet backdrop is easier to take close up photos of guns with than the beige in your photo’s? I’ve had trouble with a white background in auto exposure since the light bouncing off the white background seems to blow out (underexpose?) the subject (gun). Are you saying your picture of that CP99 wasn’t good?

        When you talk about the white-balance being matched it seems I’m destined to learn about manual settings on the camera or accept these issues.


        • Remember that grey card I mentioned (or that expensive incident light meter)?

          You see what the camera would choose for the light falling onto the grey card (you have zoomed in to fill the frame). You then set the camera manually to the specified exposure (or an equivalent: up the shutter, lower the aperture).

          When I ran those pistol photos I wasn’t concerned about producing images for review/ or selling; I just wanted a set of snapshots to send my father (I ran a shot of everything that day — the P99 does not have a magazine in it as I was too lazy to unload the magazine itself, and I was outside my apartment).

          Ideally, the back wall should look the same tone in both images. I suspect the CP99 green frame vs the P99 black influenced the white balance. The grey card can also be used to set a manual white balance — useful if using fixed lighting. The method varies by camera, many require something like filling the frame with the grey card (a neutral white piece of paper can also be used — the “greyness” is not the point so much as the tonal quality) — take a picture (which is why white paper can be used; auto exposure will try to make that paper look like the grey card). You then tell the camera to use the “white balance” of that image (what that means is that the camera will look at the image and compute what tweaks would be needed to ensure it is neutral grey — then applies those tweaks to subsequent shots).

          Using a white backdrop and metering with grey card or incident meter makes it much easier to clip the gun (maybe a transparent background web image) to just gun and immediate shadow. And less need to worry about depth of field.

          This is another place one can do in-camera tricks. If you use a sheet of orange paper and set the white balance to that paper, subsequent shots will take on a blue tinge… Or the converse — blue paper/orange images.

          In the days of film, color film was sold as “daylight” or “tungsten” (where tungsten meant photo-floods, not house-hold lights… Household is cool 2700degK, maybe reaching 3000degK. Photo-floods were 3200-3400degK). “Daylight” film added some orange to counter the bluish outdoor light. Tungsten film added blue.

          Digital cameras assume the scene (as with exposure) maps to an average neutral tint. If the average RGB is not coming in neutral, automatic white balance will shift the tones to make the average neutral. This can be fooled when the scene is predominantly NOT neutral grey. It is also why using colored filters on a camera while in AWB mode isn’t effective — the camera will see the filter tint and adjust to get rid of it. If using a colored filter, set the white balance to some preset (most cameras have sunlight, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent, and electronic flash presets)

          FYI: those shots were done with a lens at 70mm (112mm on a 35mm film or full-frame SLR); ISO 400, shutter 1/250s, and aperture f10 for the CP99 and f11 for the P99 — the CP99 was shot 13 minutes later, with the sun lower on the horizon [probably one contributor to the white balance change]. Program mode, with fill flash.

  26. BB,
    I forgot to comment on the topic of the blog. Maybe I will buy a vintage airgun if I can find one of these in desperate enough condition that I won’t feel bad about using it; it has almost everything I like. I think the topic was well received by all — it was as good the second time around as the first even — I suspect — for those who had seen it before, and the extra-busy comment section was a wonderful example of all the wonderful and truly diverse people you attract with this blog. The “atmosphere” around it is pure magic and joy many times, which I know is because that is what you and Edith cherish in your hearts. Thanks again for all the work you both do. You have created something much more than an airgun sales blog!

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