What’s possible?

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

Today, I just have to address all the discussions in the comments we’ve been having regarding the cost of production (of airguns) and why some companies can or cannot build certain guns. Let me begin with the Benjamin Discovery, whose story is a wonderful lesson of what’s possible.

History of the Benjamin Discovery
In 2006, Crosman held a conference with all the airgun writers. The four of us (Stop laughing! I’m telling the truth, here!) were flown to upstate New York and initially presented with Crosman’s corporate goals and objectives. We were then shown things that were soon to be launched. Finally, they asked us to tell them what we thought airgunners wanted. We sat in what they call their War Room (a boardroom with many of their products on the walls) and told them things we thought they should make — or at least consider making.

As we were telling them our thoughts, an idea began forming in my brain. Crosman could build a PCP! And the way I imagined it, they could build it cheap enough that it could retail for for under $200 at that time. But I knew my idea wasn’t fully developed yet, and also that it was an order of magnitude greater than the ideas we were discussing in the room.

I kept quiet about this idea in the meeting, but later I privately asked the advice of one of Crosman’s trusted contractors — a person I had known for many years and whose honesty I trusted. I told him that I had a world-beater idea and asked whether Crosman was an honorable company, or would they take my idea and shut me out of all that followed? He told me they were very honorable, but they were also businessmen — so I should at least have a non-disclosure agreement in place before any talking started. I later learned that it is Crosman policy to always have such an agreement in place before they talk to anyone — as it is with all honest companies.

Months passed as I started initial discussions with the company. Finally, when the non-disclosure agreement was in place and they thought I might be on to something, they brought me back to make my full presentation. I won’t bore you with the Powerpoint presentation, but that’s exactly how I did it. My idea broke down to the following points:

1. A PCP gun to sell for under $200 could be made from one of their existing CO2 guns.
2. It should be sold with a hand pump, a tin of pellets and full instructions.
3. The price of the set should be under $300.
4. MOST IMPORTANTLY: It should operate on 1,800 psi air pressure.

Now, I have to give the credit for the low air pressure operation to Tim McMurray and Larry Durham because they’re the ones who made it work in the USFT. I knew it would work because I owned a USFT rifle that was working on 1,600 psi and getting 950 f.p.s. with .177 Beeman Kodiaks.

I knew that older airgunners would resist the need to fill the rifle from a hand pump, so the lower operating air pressure was key to its success. Pumping to 1,800 psi is easy. When you pass 2,300 psi, it starts getting difficult.

Crosman listened to the presentation, and I think they were surprised by how passionate I was about the packaging of the gun, the low air pressure and some other things that didn’t deal directly with the actual gun. I guess they thought I would come in and try to tell them how to build an airgun, but I knew they already knew how to do that very well. What I was telling them was how it had to work, and how it had to be presented to the marketplace. I don’t guess too many people from off the street come to them that way.

CEO Ken D’Arcy then leveled with me. He told me they had tried to get into PCP guns years before. He was surprised when I then told him why that venture hadn’t worked. It was before he came to Crosman, but not before I started writing about airguns. They tried marketing British-made Logun rifles, and it backfired. Buyers knew where the guns were made; and instead of buying them from Crosman, they were buying them directly from the UK to save money. But more than that — and this is the real reason it failed — Crosman knew NOTHING about PCP guns, and everyone knew it. So, when support (parts, maintenance, operating information) was needed, how good would it be? That was the real problem that killed the Crosman/Logun deal.

By making a PCP right there in their New York plant, they would be forced to get their hands dirty and learn all the intricacies of precharged pneumatics…and that would make them a better company in turn. That fact, plus my complete marketing plan, was why this project would succeed where the other one had failed — or at least that’s what I believed.

They brought me back a couple weeks later, and I was prepared to demonstrate my idea to them. I’d made a pigtail air hose adapter with a built-in regulator that dropped 3,000 psi pressure from a scuba tank to 800 psi. It was set up to connect with their AT392T pellet rifle reservoir and turn it into a PCP right on the spot. The AS392T used 88-gram AirSource tanks, which my adapter mimicked. But Crosman had gone me one better. Ed Schultz, their production manager and also a real airgun enthusiast, had prototyped two 2260 rifles with stronger air reservoirs and special valves to run on 2,000 psi air. He built them both (one in .177 and the other in .22) in about one week and had astounded himself and the entire Crosman management team by producing decent shot strings and great velocities! The .177 got close to 1,000 f.p.s. with lead pellets, and the .22 was just under 800 f.p.s.

Benjamin Discovery demonstration air hose
This is all that remains of my demonstration hose and regulator for the Benjamin AS392T rifle. I sold the regulator, yoke and AirSource adapter at an airgun show years ago. The black end attaches to an AirSource port.

Before I could unpack my kludgy air hose, Ed burst into the room with one of his prototypes and several spreadsheets showing the performance he was getting. Everyone there — Ken D’Arcy, Bob Hampton (Crosman’s marketing VP at the time) and Ed Schultz — knew they were going to build this gun before I arrived.

The second meeting evolved into this: Should we really build this basic gun, or should we add a better trigger, shrouded barrel and better barrel?

I argued that they should build the basic rifle first. I wanted to call it the Benjamin 8020, because it represented 80 percent of the features of a European PCP for 20 percent of the money. I also wanted to put my name on the gun; because if they were going to really build it the way we were talking, I knew it was going to be a success.

I was pleased that Ed had selected the 2260 as the prototype instead of the AS392T that I’d recommended. It was far easier to modify, plus it was a cheaper base gun and had everything I wanted in this project.

I told them if they would just stick to the basic gun, it would get their production capability spun up and still be simple enough that it wouldn’t give them any insurmountable manufacturing problems. Then, Ken D’Arcy asked me the million-dollar question. Did I seriously believe that if they built this gun the way we were now envisioning it, could they sell 1,000 units in the first year?

When he asked me that, things got very serious because I was putting my reputation on the line. So, I gave him an answer couched with stipulations. IF they built it this way, and IF they packaged it the way I’d specified, and IF they marketed it the way we’d discussed and IF they held the retail price point to not more than such-and-such, then I said I thought they could sell TWO thousand rifles in the first year.

This all happened in February. They worked on the gun all that year. I worked with them testing prototypes, drafting the owner’s manual and on the website animations that showed how to fill the gun. I had wanted to make a short DVD of a teenaged girl filling the rifle with the hand pump, so we could silence all those old guys who say pumping airguns is for the birds and too hard, but we settled for an animation.

The rifle was launched at the next year’s SHOT Show, and it really did surprise the marketplace. Naturally, Cabela’s and Wal-Mart didn’t understand it — but hard-core airgunners did, and they gave it a try. They started talking among themselves, and the rest is history. I have no way of knowing the exact number of rifles that sold in the first year, but it was more than my prediction of 2,000 guns.

The lesson
The object here is that Crosman was in the right frame of mind to enter the PCP market when I took my idea to them. My idea wasn’t for a gun — it was for a package and a presentation that I knew the U.S. airgun market was ready to receive. In our discussions, I told them that if they did this project the way we discussed, and if they followed it with their upgraded gun a year later (the rifle that became the Benjamin Marauder), they would own the PCP market within 5 years. Ken D’Arcy and Bob Hampton both left Crosman in the years that followed; but before they left, they agreed that this project was a complete success.

What made it a success was the commitment that Crosman gave to the project. Had they faltered or had they had a steering committee overseeing the project, making useless contributions that derailed the effort, it could have gone the other way just as easily. Had the marketing department decided at some point that the Discovery was a cash cow and they needed $25 more profit from it, they could have destroyed all that we’d worked to build. But they didn’t. They stayed the course, and today they’re in the catbird seat as one of the power players in the precharged pneumatic airgun world.

As crazy as this is going to sound, we also discussed turning the Crosman Challenger 10-meter rifle from a CO2 gun to a PCP at the same time we were talking about the Discovery project. Ed Schultz even confided in me that they were going to be interested in big bores at some point, so when Lloyd Sikes showed me his radical new valve….Well, that’s another story.

The problem
People are the biggest impediment to success in any industry — or anywhere else, for that matter. You can have a wonderful, successful and powerful company; but if their marketing manager has other interests and if he’s the one traveling to China to make the selections and talk to the factory, you’re only going to get products that are as good as he asks for. If he doesn’t know the market, you’re going to get garbage because he can’t tell the difference. Would you go to a 5-star restaurant and let a 4-year-old order for you? NO! Mommy or daddy need to reel in the child and take control. In fact, 4-year-olds probably don’t belong in 5-star restaurants. And by the same reasoning, people who’ve just graduated from business school don’t belong on management steering committees that select the key features for a new airgun.

Another problem — and a solution
Managers who don’t know their market are another huge problem. That marketing manager who goes to China and brings back the wrong airguns is acting in good faith. He may not be an airgunner or even a shooter (though he certainly should be!), but he makes his selections based on what he sees in the marketplace.

Speed sells and everyone knows it. I’ll not deny that it really does sell. But — and this is key to understanding how this all works — WHO does it sell to? Does it sell to the 24-year-old kid with his ball cap on backwards and his baggy drawers hanging too low? Because if that’s who you’re watching — he’s not your main customer. His shallow pockets have holes in the bottoms and he has the attention span of a fruit fly. If you’re going to sell to him, everything has to be below a certain price point and has to be named something exotic — something like Extreme, or some jumble of numbers and letters. XZ7 or Zombie Revenge are a couple good model names for this guy.

On the other hand, the people who regularly spend hundreds of dollars a year on their hobby are the ones you want to please. They are the ones who will keep buying from you when the rest of the market goes slack. But what if you already have a pretty good handle on those people? Where do you get more people just like them? I’ll tell you.

When I started writing about airguns in 1994, there weren’t over 10,000 serious airgunners in the United States. When I started Airgun Illustrated magazine in 2003, we estimated there were 15,000 to 45,000 serious airgunners.

Today, I would estimate there are no less than 50,000 and probably closer to 100,000 serious airgunnners in this country. And I’m not including the youth shooters on teams in this number, because they don’t buy airguns, for the most part.

However, there were over 5 MILLION serious firearms shooters back in 1994 — and today I would not be surprised if that number was three times as much! NRA membership surpassed 4 million recently and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it top 5 million very soon.

So, I’ll ask again: Where can you get new airgun customers who like to shoot and are willing to spend money to do it?

Now, what do you think might attract a firearm shooter to buy an airgun? And I’m not taking about a Daisy Red Ryder for the grandkids. Please don’t try to answer this with a single answer because that’s what all those failed marketing managers are doing.

The reasons people want to shoot airguns today, or should want to, are numerous and complex. A 21-year-old woman in Oregon who wants to get her concealed carry permit has one reason for wanting an airgun (training), and a 73-year-old man in Maine who is living on a fixed income has another (economy). David “Hawke” Hunter in Lubbock wants to drop prairie dogs without endangering the nearby oilfield workers, but Sally Primrose lives in a two-bedroom condo in Pasadena and wants to shoot targets indoors without alarming her next-door neighbor, with whom she shares a common wall. NASA wants to remove woodpeckers from the sides of launch vehicles where they’re damaging the insulation (a true story), while the city of Spokane wants to eradicate pigeons under nets they throw over trees on downtown streets at 3 a.m. to keep from alarming the residents (also a true story).

Folks, the marketplace has burst wide open, and buyers with money are looking for what “They ought to make.” It’s necessary to reach out to these customers and inform them that there are airguns that can put 10 pellets into an inch at 100 yards, serve as a good training tool for a sidearm or drop a wild hog humanely.

Two things need to happen. The makers need to make the kinds of airguns shooters want to buy, and then they need to inform the shooters that such guns do exist. We need to do better on both accounts.

90 thoughts on “What’s possible?

  1. Hi Tom, looks like you have a tremendous amount of knowledge on air guns! My father in law was just given an air cane and I’m trying to help him figure out how it works. We know it requires a pump and would like to know where to get one, but a brief description of how it is charged with air would be a huge help. This thing is fascinating!

    Please help us out here if you can..

    Best regards,

    Matt & George



    • Matt,

      I did answer you on the air cane blog link, but because I want to share the answer with all my readers, I’m also posting it here.

      MG,

      The air is stored in the top part of the cane, usually. There is a valve inside that lets the air enter but not escape. The pump forces it is, then the valve seals the reservoir.

      Dennis Quackenbush makes pumps for vintage air canes. Visit his website at quackenbushairguns.com

      Some people convert their canes to run on CO2, since the pressures are similar to those developed by the vintage pumps. You can talk to Dennis about the possibility of that work.

      Please contact me in the future on the current blog

      /blog//

      You don’t have to stay on topic here. Just come in and ask your questions.

      If you can put some photos of your cane up on the internet on a photo site, I will look at it and may be able to tell you more.

      B.B.


  2. B.B.,
    I’ve been saying for decades that I wish all of my problems were technical. They are not. And, yes, management, marketing, and engineering are often at odds with each other. I’ve worked in companies were engineers were afraid to talk about either progress or some knew prototype, because someone upstairs would go half-cocked and promise something half-backed to customers. Everyone suffers when these types of mistakes are made.
    Victor


  3. B.B.

    Some news on my plans.
    I finally got my sights on excellent-condition FWB 300 and plan to acquire it in February. Study it and use data for simpler recoil-compensating rifle with magnum power output for field target and benchrest competition – in mid-future.
    This Saturday I will try once again to shoot DWR in its current state for groups to check for repeatability and pure performance in its current state. I’m fininshing a list of reworks and changes to prototype to make it a lighter and more technological. First of all will be a new main lever – simpler and _longer_ to make cocking easier.
    I plan to cut even more metal off my concept – at least 1 kg – and get rid of traditional stock, as I feel that “panels” concept and alloy grip and buttstock will have better weight performance. This is near-future.
    Far-future – a vision of improved DWR third model.

    duskwight


    • duskwight,

      I was wondering what had happened to you. Perhaps buried under a snowdrift on some lonely Moscow street?

      But no, you are hard at it as always. Trying to get the coking effort down (don’t those gas pistons really fight back?) and get the weight down.

      It’s nice to know that you are still working on this baby. Can’t wait to see more results!

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        No, no way to find a _lonely_ street in this 15-million people personal hell…
        Just went hunting wolves for 5 days – we’ve got 8 day holidays in New Year, so one must waste his time some interesting way – that’s prescribed by the Party! 🙂

        duskwight


    • Duskwight, I can’t go reading the entire backlog of holiday blogs, especially with a mountain of email facing me at work. Can you give me the quick summary of your testing of the Duskcombe that I assume has taken place?

      As for wolf hunting, that reminds me of the passage from My Antonia with where a Russian wedding party is returning home on a snowy night when it encounters a super-pack of hundreds of ravenous wolves. They run down every sleigh in the party starting from the rear. For each, they attack the horses and the whole thing goes down in a screaming tangle. And finally, there is only one left containing the newly marrieds…

      Matt61


      • Matt,

        Trouble with wolves is right in the name of B.B.’s entry – what’s possible? 🙂 They never assemble in super-packs more than 40 even for great hunts and usually live and hunt in packs of 8-12. And they are smart enough to never cross man, especially when there are more than 4-5 persons together. Well, of course, they can eat a lonely wanderer (assuming it’s late XIX forest winter road), but the wedding train? Ok, maybe those were special Яussian wolves that do not afraid neither home bears nor Holy Vodka-filled AK-47 🙂 Anyway, I love people writing wild stuff about Яussian customs and realities.

        All right, tests. Tests showed that prototype is heavy, bulky, very uncomfortable to cock and never to be tested with a broken scope, wiggling barrel and wrong-sized bolts 🙂 However it works perfectly from the side of the mechanics and produces 228 m/s with heavy Premiers, also making 16 mm groups @ 25 m with wadcutter pellets. On Saturday I plan to test it once more, to check for stability and with a new scope, and to complete the list of reworks for an improved version. All in all – I achieved what I wanted with this one, so it’s time to think on.

        duskwight


  4. Another true story. The Dept of Agriculture and DOW have full time “hit men” in their employ. These guys are the ones who kill pigeons and skunks in the middle of downtown and eradicate marmots from earth dam faces to prevent undermining of the dam. I escorted one and his weapon of choice was an AA 410. Having tried the FX’s, Loguns, and the like, he chose the 410 for its simplicity, accuracy, quietness and reliability in the field. Not too many of those guys around, but more than you would suspect. You want to keep them happy too…

    /Dave


    • /Dave,

      When I worked at AirForce I often communicated with DOA people. They bought hundreds of Talon SS rifles for pigeon eradication under bridges around the U.S.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        I really enjoyed today’s blog. It was very interesting. Now the serious question. How does one find a job with NASA, the Dept of Ag or a DOT to eradicate pidgeons? Seems like a great career after I’m done with this one! 🙂 Not serious – just kidding.

        Fred DPRoNJ



        • matt,

          Just ask any dairy rancher what he thinks of pigeons. They sit above the grain cribs and eat the corn, then poop on it. Yes, they are filthy birds, but no more so than a lot of others, like grackles, etc.

          B.B.


      • I wish I could get a Talon SS in Michigan but the politicians had their way and put yet another law on the books restricting the sale of any air rifle with a shrouded barrel so if I want one I need to find a gun dealer willing to get one for me. That’s like trying to find a United States Medal of Honor in Russia. .


  5. B.B.

    I wonder how many airgunners we COULD have if times had not changed so much.

    I grew up on a farm. We had barns, livestock, feedlots, and grain storage. Perfect vermin habitat. Most farm boys had airguns. The rimfires and shotguns came soon after.
    There was not much to do after the farm chores and homework were done. So…something was needed to fill in the time.

    Now there are fewer active farmers. Farmers farm much larger areas than before. They can’t get by with the small farms of the old days. Many farm houses are occupied by people who don’t farm. A lot of old buildings have been torn down because they are not used . Livestock is handled mostly by the large producers who do it as their sole source of income. The small time guys are out.
    Much woods has been cleared to open more farming ground. A lot of wildlife habitat gone. That hurts hunting.

    So what do kids who live on farms do now ? Not much related to shooting.

    City kids ? Nearly every town has ordinances against shooting almost anything. I can see the reason for that. Collateral damage. City kids used to just hang around with each other and get into trouble even without airguns. They still do.

    So we don’t start out as young as we used to. Then again, how much trouble could a kid get into with a mega-magnum if he could cock it ? Maybe airguns should be rated like some kinds of toys…5 and up, 10 and up, 16 and up, 21 and up ?

    twotalon


    • A couple thoughts. I come from a similar background as TT and I have two boys now who are on the edge of getting started in hunting. The upstate NY area I live in has fewer farms as TT mentioned and they are bigger where hunting for vermin is not allowed around buildings like it once was. Security and liabilty are the reasons . Mostly when you talk about hunting here it is all deer and turkey. Small game is not on the agenda. There is little small game habitat . I am an odd ball here in so much as I hunt squirrels. It also looks like we may be entering a time when airguns will really fill the gap between our RF’s for hunting and recreation. Time to lose the tacti-cool look and plastic. As far as guns go ,I’d like to see a MSP platform updated . Bigger cal , like .25 and affordable PCP that we could fix ourselves and cast bullets for .


      • Robert..

        We have scattered patches of woods around here. Most of it has been logged a long time ago, so the best environment for tree rats is gone. Wrong kinds of trees. Trees not old enough for dens, and are not nut producers.
        If you can find a woods that supports a good squirrel population, it is doubtful that you can get permission to hunt it.

        The ever increasing coyote population does some (a lot) damage to the other small game too. It’s not just habitat loss.

        twotalon


        • TT : The coyotes have also decimated the rabbits here as well as the grouse , even though the cover is suitable. The only I thing I like about the increase in the coyote population is that they eat possums. Permission to hunt is a big issue . “TrophyDeer” hunters have killed a lot of permissions for folks of limited means who want to hunt small game . The deer season is nearly three months long here. I like to eat venison so I hunt for meat. Not a popular notion with many of those folks ,but one that actually helps their trophy hunting as the doe to buck ratio is about 8 to one in some places. I’m also good at it and I am lucky to have my own place to hunt them, but it’s getting very hard to pay for that privilege.Taxes are very high and the gap between allowing pay to hunt and securing the necessary liability insurance has gotten narrower and many farms with ace rage are doing leases. So dad and the kids get squeezed out. I find that between the anti’s and deer leases it’s almost impossible to trap canines, and the cost of fuel. Being able to hunt the smaller 5-10 acre woodlots is the only possibility and if you can overcome our current game law of the setback rule of 500 ft from a dwelling there are some possibilities for coyote hunting and other small game. That is where air guns come in. Their limited range and lack of noise is the advantage. For hunting airguns in the east, that is where that market lies. A single shot muzzle loading ( has to load from the muzzle here) air rifle with a removable res would be good here so we could hunt with them in the muzzle loading season instead of a traditional BP version. Like a Lewis and Clark gun but with an inline look would maybe be an option.


          • Didn’t know that yotes ate possums. They don’t seem to care for coons and chucks. They have pretty well done in the foxes. We have more eagles now. They were not here in my younger years. They even give the crows and buzzards competition for road kills.
            We are getting to have some wild turkey which we didn’t have in the past. Very few pheasant. Most are farmed and released. They are dumb as dirt and usually become road kill or food for something in very short order. The quail are still gone. A blizzard got them a long time ago.
            A lot of deer.

            Land owners are lawyer shy about giving permission. Some of the hunters (groundhog and deer) give hunters a bad rep.

            The whole thing makes it sound like we are neighbors.

            twotalon


            • Around by me they loke the woodchucks just fine. Coyotes routinely clean up my traps for me at the woorchuck holes which is fine with me as long as they don’t drag my traps into the next county.


  6. BB,
    Airgun companies do target “the people who regularly spend hundreds of dollars a year on their hobby” as well as the zombie-hunting scraggly bearded types. I think what they are missing is the huge crossover market of average firearms owners. Just slapping a name on a cheap, poorly designed airgun doesn’t work for long, since even if people buy it they will feel even more strongly that airguns are just a waste of time or toys. If they get something that works well, they are hooked and will tell their friends. You had the right idea with the Discovery — entry level airgun needs to have useful performance and not cost more than the run-of-the-mill .22s from big firearms makers. There is no reason to spend $250 on something that is “cheap” or won’t be useful for very long. Nor, I think, do most people want to pay for (esp. initially) what “serious airgunners” seem to love, e.g. 50lb. postmodern stocks and extra-fine polish, to go with what have got to be the most persnickety trigger requirements in the world. Normal users want a tool that works. It seems like Diana 34 sells pretty well (and the new scope mount looks like they pay attention to feedback, at least occasionally) although “serious airgunners” don’t seem to like it, and I bet the Discovery is still selling steadily. I think the makers ought to give up on the cheesy “uspsale” idea inherent in crippled and often downright defective entry level models and deliver some actual value, keeping in mind that most of the huge potential market is not going to be “educated” (at least until they have a positive experience), but they will know the difference between a Popsicle and poop on a stick.


  7. ^^BG nailed it.
    I don’t have the insight into the airgun marketplace like you do Tom, but I can tell you the firearms owners I’ve tried to convert are very put off by the lack of quality first, and price second.
    And I have yet to meet ONE that is willing to deal with the absurdity of shooting a springer-people these days shoot for FUN, no one wants to have to learn special techniques to simply plink in the backyard. Also, in today’s tight economy, people want things that will last-With very few exceptions, airguns (particularly pistols) are limited-use, disposable items. It’s difficult to drop $200 on a pistol that is irrepairable due to the failure of a .10 cent seal.
    For example, I’ve been lusting over the Umarex 1911 clone, but when I finally had enough cash to buy it I couldn’t do it-not when the local big box store had Sig’s 1911-22 for only a little more. .22lr is not that much more expensive than high end pellets, and even though I’ve got to drive a bit to be able to use it, in the end I own a quality piece that will last over hundreds of thousands of rounds and can be passed down for future generations to enjoy.
    I know this will rub many the wrong way, but IMHO if airgun manufacturers want to survive and prosper they are going to have to get over their fixation with finicky single shot rifles and start building quality, repairable semi-automatics, (NOT bolt action “repeaters”) styled either realistically or “tacti-cool.”


    • Wish we could edit these…replying to my own post is like talking to myself!

      Anyway I just saw Crosmans 2013 offerings, and while it may be true they read this blog it certainly appears they don’t pay a darn bit of attention to it!
      I can see the 760-dressed-as-a-SCAR selling well enough, but a break barrel M4177? That is completely the OPPOSITE direction they should have gone in. Talk about epic failures.
      I think Crosman products are mostly great value for the money but, as with the rest of the airgunning community, they are squarely mired in the past. Aside from the Rogue the Marauder is their most ‘relevant’ offering-but good luck selling a gun with no sights to a powder burner. (exactly why I won’t buy one)


    • You can tell your friends that they won’t need to pay anywhere near the same costs for ammo or everything involved in loading up and traveling to a shooting range. They can shoot all they want in their own home without bothering to clean the gun.

      Matt61


      • matt,
        Very true and you can say if you’re shooting inside your own home you’re not bothering anyone else, either (other than family and they’re not going to turn you in, are they? hmmm…)
        -Chuckj


  8. Tom, look what you have set in motion. The Marauder. The pcp pistols from Crossman all came out of this idea of yours. It may not have happened at Crossman if not for you.


    • Larry,

      Thanks. I’d like to take some credit for that, but really, Crosman was poised to do all of it. They just didn’t know where to start. All I did was convince them to start small and build their internal production capability while they also made a name for themselves in the market.

      They have surprised me at every turn with innovative new designs.

      And Ray and Hans Apelles are responsible for the new pistols. The good thing is that Crosman listened!

      B.B.


  9. BB,
    Can I throw out an idea? How about a Crosman 200040 (2240 PCP operating at 2000 psi).
    There is still hole in the market for a compact PCP pistol with two or three extra screw on reservoirs giving 10 shots each.

    David Enoch



      • The Crosman 2240 is already a favorite of air gunners. It is also the basis of a lot of custom creations, some of them even being big bores. My idea would be to use removable HPA reservoirs ( like the CZ 200 or match pistols) instead of trying to put a big enough reservoir on the pistol to get a lot of shots. If these reservoirs could be 2000 psi reservoirs they would be very easy to fill with a hand pump. If the pistol could be sold with 3 reservoirs you could get a decent amount of shots between pumping and carrying a couple extra reservoirs in your pocket or on a custom belt pouch would be very workable. This is the pistol equivalent of the Discovery.


        • I’m doing something like that now as an experiment after a customer blew the guts out of a custom rifle I made him. I’m beefing up the valve retainer screws to 3 screws instead of 1. I’m hoping that will give my pistol the capacity to hold 2000 psi instead of 1200-1500 psi without shooting the guts out the back of the gun. I’m going for power instead of lots of shots so I’m putting in a power adjuster and boss max flow valve to get as much air behind the pellet as I can. My goal is to get at least 900 fps in .22 like the Evanix Hunting Master without the massive price. I figure 2000 psi should give me about 10 shots. Then we’ll discuss making it pretty once I got something that shoots without blasting the shooter with parts.


        • One way they can make your idea work is make a screw on HPA chamber that screws into a shortened pistol body tube and make it mate up to a modified co2 valve unit. That would take the strain off the internal parts that I’m trying to defeat in my pcp design. The valve used has to have a way to open a one way valve and let in a shot of air to the modified co2 valve or a way to open the valve like a co2 powerlet when it is seated. That might be easiest to do with a spring loaded valve that opens with the pressure of screwing in the cylinder and closes when the cylinder is unscrewed. That would be easiest and cheapest to do.


    • Intriguing… and could be a design that could also apply to rifles…

      Working out the air feed system will be the tricky part. The AirForce designs were feasible as the tank is a straight line with the bore and striker, but all the other PCPs use an under-barrel reservoir with an air system that makes two 90deg bends.

      CO2 style “puncturing” to open a reservoir is probably not suitable. CO2 has a somewhat limited rate of evaporation and lower overall pressure, so the second or two in the puncturing doesn’t lose much content. But relying on a purely pressurized air canister being opened while being screwed into a receiver is likely to have too much by-blow.

      Perhaps fitting a screw on the back face of the receiver that has to be backed out before removing the reservoir (some sort of safety latch?) and which also, when screwed inwards, opens the reservoir valve.

      Since these smaller reservoirs (what is the limit, something like 1.5″ diameter, 12 inches long?) shouldn’t need periodic hydrostatic testing (unlike the AirForce tanks) there is a second savings…

      Guess we are looking at the design of a multi-use airgun receiver:
      Pellet feed (magazine/single shot) bolt;
      tuning controls a la the Marauder;
      trigger group as with the Silhouette 2nd model…

      … designed to be fitted to a pistol frame (shorter barrel, shorter reservoirs) and to a rifle stock (long barrel — shroud should be a model variation so it would be easy to obtain in jurisdictions like MI — the pistol would be difficult under any consideration; longer reservoir tubes)

      Build a whole system out of the basic receiver/trigger.


  10. I’m ok with the trial balloons crashing like the B40, sounds like they could not keep the price south of 50% of a real AA. I do wonder though why they cannot work with their Chinese partners to use a trigger in the B19 variants that does not require an aftermarket fix for 10+ years.


  11. Tom,
    I wish I had something constructive to offer but I don’t. I can give you two comments I’ve gotten from my firearm friends. Both comments have been mentioned before by others on this blog who have heard the same thing. But I feel these are the biggest obstacles to overcome.

    1. “I can buy a real gun for less that that thing.”
    This comment came after that person bought a $90 springer from a big box sporting goods store. He came over to my place to shoot it and I shot my Marauder. He was very disappointed with his gun after he saw my results compared to his, plus I couldn’t get him to take the artillery hold concept seriously because many of his shots were good without it. He did not want to spend money for more accuracy.

    2. “I like the sound and feel of a real gun.”
    I hear from just about every firearm owner.

    All of the above would rather spend their resources shooting 100-300 yds at the range rather than 10m in their house even if their spouses would let them. They see no practical value in that. They see no value in taking an air gun instead of a firearm to the range. If they have to go to a range they might as well take a firearm.

    -Chuckj


    • Chuck,

      I am the last guy to ram airguns down anyone’s throat. If a guy likes firearms for their sound or recoil — so be it. I can’t change that, nor do I want to.

      What I want to do is what you have done — show them what exists. At least now they know.

      Someday it’s going to dawn on some of them that a trip to the range involves time getting ready, travel time, time at the range, travel time back home and extensive gun cleaning time. With an airgun they can cut that time by 80 percent.

      I see people are still buying manufactured cartridges for their ARs and AKs. Then they leave the brass for people like me to pick up. I don’t want them to change what they are doing, either! 😉

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        One other issue with a firearm is transporting it to a range. Seems every state, county, and city has different laws for transporting. Some allow it to be visible, some hidden. Local in the Seattle area 2 different laws in a 25 mile radius for transportation. One is the firearm cannot be in reach of the occupants of the vehicle. Now that can be difficult in my Jeep Liberty with 3 people in the vehicle. Another one that the firearm has to be unloaded and the ammo not with the fire arm. So pistol in the trunk and ammo in the glove box. Have an older vehicle and get pulled over for a lamp out on your license plate, well if the firearm isn’t being properly transported by the local law? You could be in jail and lose your firearm permanently. That is why I am going for my concealed carry permit just to not be worried about these laws for transporting a firearm. I remember in Guns and Ammo back in the late 80’s about this happening to hunters from the Southeast traveling to the Northeast. They had the guns in the window racks per their state requirements. However they got pulled over and arrested in another state for the display. Locally with airguns this will not happen since it isn’t a firearm according to the law.


        • Jeff…

          It can be more than guns…
          Anything that could be used as a weapon had better not be concealed in a vehicle here (passenger compartment). That could be just about anything.
          The hunting regs specify how a hunting weapon can be transported. They give you enough ways that it is not much of a problem. Just don’t have a lug wrench that is not in plain view in the passenger compartment.

          twotalon


          • Just don’t have a lug wrench that is not in plain view in the passenger compartment.

            That’s got to play hob with old Jeep Cherokee ownership… The jack and lug wrench are stowed under the rear seat. If no one is in the rear seat it just takes pulling on a small loop-tab to flip the seat up and gain access to the contents under there.


        • Jeffrey K,

          I guess living in Texas for the past 10 years has made me forget there are places like you describe. All we do here is put the guns in the car. Since it is legal to carry a loaded gun in your car in Texas (the castle doctrine), I just don’t worry, or even think about it.

          B.B.


          • B.B., yes, living in Texas can spoil you. Texas takes a lot of criticism, the majority of it by persons who don’t live here. There have been changes though. Whether law or not, no one in their right mind would leave any firearm in the window rack of their pickup truck. When I was a teenager there were folks who left them in the rack 24/7. Hard to imagine now. ~Ken


            • If you did that now it wouldn’t be there very long and if you lock your doors i expect your back window of your truck won’t be there either. With new gun control laws they are planning on passing CCW permit or not they could end up controlling you further with a jail sentence for improperly secured firearms. I hear that is likely to be a new crime as well as additional to whatever crime your stolen firearm might be used to commit. So watch what you do with your guns.



                • I am keeping my ear to the rails after the Sandy Hook thing and really listening to what our politicians are saying. I’m hearing assault weapons ban, specifically the AR and bushmaster series, as well as hearing some rumors of new laws punishing improper storage of weapons especially if they get stolen and used in a crime. It looks like that one is going to be one of their showpiece laws. I don’t see how they can enforce it though if the gun owner has been killed with his own weapon before the crime….(that is an embarrassing way to die.) One thing it appears they will not be banning is the home built “assault weapon” which is even during the last weapons ban, never regulated in any way.

                  When I tell people what I am hearing coming from the white house to my ears it amazes me that they all want to shoot the messenger as if all this is my fault. Of course with the NRA and other pro-gun groups out there working real hard to kill this legislation I’ll be surprised if it passes.


      • “Someday it’s going to dawn on some of them that a trip to the range involves time getting ready, travel time, time at the range, travel time back home and extensive gun cleaning time. With an airgun they can cut that time by 80 percent.”

        That time savings depends on the local ordinances where you live. If you live in an area where airguns are not considered firearms, then that may be true. However I can’t shoot an airgun where I live because in the city I live in airguns are considered a firearm for the purposes of the ordinance banning the discharge of firearms. So that means I have to drive out to the family farm in the boonies regardless of what I want to shoot. As a result, the difference between shooting an airgun and a firearm is much less. These are rough ballparks and not everything mentioned below may apply to every shooter, but it illustrates the counterpoint.

        Ex Airgun:
        Corral cat in bedroom so I can carry stuff to the car – 20 minutes
        Carry airgun and ammunition to car – 10 minutes
        Drive to family farm – 30 minutes
        shoot – 30 minutes (I don’t shoot very long when I have to pump up a pumper on a 90+ degree day)
        Drive home – 30 minutes
        Put cat back in bedroom – 10 minutes
        carry airgun and ammunition in and put away – 10 minutes
        Total Time: 2 hrs. 20 minutes

        Ex. Firearm:
        Corral cat in bedroom so I can carry stuff to the car – 20 minutes
        Carry gun and ammunition to car – 10 minutes
        Drive to family farm – 30 minutes
        Shoot – 30 minutes (firearms ammo is expensive)
        Clean gun – 1 hr (probably less but lets be pessimistic)
        Drive home – 30 minutes
        Put cat back in bedroom – 10 minutes
        Carry gun and ammunition in and put away – 10 minutes
        Total Time: 3 hrs 20 minutes

        Math was never my strongest suit, but something tells me that is not an 80% time savings. If I’m not mistaken its more like a 30% time savings (140 minutes/200 minutes = .7 or 70% and 100%-70% = 30%).


        • With modern non-corrosive ammo, you don’t have to clean your gun each time you shoot it. Unless it gets wet or is really humid, just wipe down the outside and your are good to go. That would save a bit of time on some trips. You don’t change oil on your car or truck each time you drive it……..do you? 🙂

          Mike


          • You never fired a marlin 60 or AR then I take it? Both of those guns need to be spotless and well oiled or you will be clearing more jams than you will be putting rounds in a target. I am constantly cleaning mine for that reason.


            • Bought a used Marlin 60 (1982 production) from a local place. Put several dozen rounds through it (Federal Bulk Pack) with no malfunctions of any sort before taking it down to clean it. To say it was “dirty” on the inside is an understatement…

              The Bushmaster AR15 I bought last year has about 500-600 rounds through it, mostly Wolf which is know to be dirty as well as cheap. No cleaning yet, and still cycles and fires faultlessly…


              • U.S. army weapons expert and army C.A.T. team I worked extensively with the M-16 A1 M-16A2 and M-4 in combat conditions. Guys would get sand or dirt in the thing especially in the desert where sand and dirt gets in places you never knew you had. The things would always need cleaning or we’d get stoppages and blockages that could prove fatal to the operator. It’s not so much the barrel being dirty that is the issue. It’s getting crap packed in the action that is the problem. Take your bushmaster out sometime, throw it in a pond, dig it out, roll it in mud, then dry it off in sand and tell me how it fires. Do the same thing with an AK and it will keep right on going.

                As for my marlin 60, nobody can quite figure out why it sometimes slams spent brass into the action so bad that the gun requires disassembly to clear the jam. It’s not a military weapon so not exactly one I am all that familiar with as far as mechanics but I got the basics down fairly easy. One day I suppose I’ll need to take it into a shop with the thing totally jammed and let them figure it out since I’m way too busy with other builds with a weapons ban looming.


                • Well, yes, the AR isn’t nearly as insensitive to foreign matter as other designs. But how well it tolerates being thrown in a pond and rolled through the mud has nothing to do with Mike’s comment. It does not have to be cleaned after every trip to the range in order to operate reliably.

                  I suspect that you have a specific problem with your Marlin… the gun seems to have an excellent reputation for reliability.


                  • I guess there are different standards that we hold ourselves to in our guns. Me being a military man I put my guns through more of the elements than someone that simply goes to the range.

                    As for my Marlin 60, eventually I suppose I’ll get it serviced. I heard that there are Marlin 60’s that will happily eat any ammo you feed it and Marlin 60’s that are outright “anti-gun” and just recuse to spit rounds out. Mine seems to be my “anti-gun” gun.


        • J,
          Here’s my scenerio:
          1. Put cat in bedroom (10 min)
          2. walk down stairs (1 minute)
          3. Clip new target to 10m pellet trap (5 seconds)
          4. count out 20 pellets (15 seconds)
          5. pick up air gun (5 seconds)
          6. load (5 seconds)
          7. shoot til I want to quit (30 minutes)
          8. Lay gun down (1 second)
          9. go open the bedroom door to let the cat out (2 minutes)

          Total time: 43 min, 31 seconds of which 30 minutes of that is actual shooting. That’s why I like airguns.

          Actually it’s 12 minutes less because I don’t have the cat.

          -Chuckj


    • Chuck,

      Your friends may eventually come around when they have a squirrel nesting in their attic. What will they use to get rid of it? Only an airgun will ensure they don’t blow a hole in the roof.

      What about a rabid raccoon coming into the backyard?

      Coyotes are making their way into suburbia and are eating cats and dogs and are a threat to children playing outside.

      If it’s an urban area, good luck shooting your firearms. Get an airgun & pop the dangerous or nuisance critters before they bite or attack someone.

      Airguns fill a niche. Always have, always will. Sometimes, you just need the right circumstances to open the eyes of naysayers.

      Edith


      • “If it’s an urban area, good luck shooting your firearms. Get an airgun & pop the dangerous or nuisance critters before they bite or attack someone.”
        Edith, if you do that in my city you would probably wind up going to jail. As I just mentioned in my previous comment, some cities/towns/villages (in fact I would guess a very large number of cities/towns/villages) consider an airgun to be a firearm for the purposes of their local ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms inside the city/town/village limits.


        • J…..
          That definition of “firearm” can be just about “all inclusive”. We got into it one day about that “firearm” definition as it could be applied in a town just a few miles up the road from here. “Anything that launches any kind of projectile by any means”. Think about how that could be applied.

          twotalon



            • Fred

              No surprise there about the “peoples republic of…”

              I have heard that in some towns, the stores won’t even sell toy guns (firing or not) . Anything that looks like a gun (of ANY kind) is tabboo.

              Silly as all crap, ain’t it ? A kid can’t have a squirt gun, but the punks who don’t care about the law can get anything.

              twotalon


        • J,

          So what do you do when you see a coyote dragging your toddler by the arm? You scream? You shout? This is a real situation that actually happened. Coyotes pick off the small, young, weak and helpless because that’s how they survive. I guess I’d be willing to go to jail for shooting a coyote dragging off a child (mine or someone else’s) rather than go to the child’s funeral.

          Edith


          • “So what do you do when you see a coyote dragging your toddler by the arm? You scream? You shout? This is a real situation that actually happened. Coyotes pick off the small, young, weak and helpless because that’s how they survive. I guess I’d be willing to go to jail for shooting a coyote dragging off a child (mine or someone else’s) rather than go to the child’s funeral.”

            Edith,

            [joking]Can’t be sure, but I would suggest you beat the coyote to death with a shovel or hit it with the business end of a half ax. [/joking]

            In all seriousness though, I imagine in the situation you described (a coyote attacking a child) the police would agree you were justified breaking the ordinance if you shot a firearm or an airgun to kill that coyote since you were protecting a human. My point was simply that you can’t just assume that its legal to shoot an airgun where you live, even if you’re trying to do something about nuisance squirrels. Or the raccoon that keeps knocking over your trash can. Or the never to be sufficiently damned oppossum that’s decided it likes living in your basement. Incidentally those last examples are the reason why when people on Yahoo Answers who say they live in a city ask about getting rid of squirrels, raccoons, opposums, etc… that are causing problems I normally point them towards some kind of trap (either a box trap if they want to be humane or a conibear if they just want whatever it is dead).

            “That definition of “firearm” can be just about “all inclusive”. We got into it one day about that “firearm” definition as it could be applied in a town just a few miles up the road from here. “Anything that launches any kind of projectile by any means”. Think about how that could be applied.”

            twotalon,

            Believe me I have thought about how that overly broad definition of what constitutes a firearm could be applied, though I’m thinking more about the overly broad definition in my city. That is why anytime I want to shoot I have to spend the 2.5 hours it takes to go and shoot at my parents farm in the boonies instead of shooting my Daisy 880 (or my Red Ryder for that matter) in my backyard.

            However the fact it may be ridiculous doesn’t change the fact that a lot of cities anymore are becoming more inclusive in what they consider a firearm because people do stupid stuff with things that fire projectiles. So cities are responding so it doesn’t matter if they do stupid stuff with a 12 pounder Napolean, a shotgun, an airgun, a Walmart brand Jr. Achery set, a sling-shot, an airsoft gun, a roofer’s nailgun, or the pitching machine from the little league field the police can deal with it. And so while airguns (particularly low-powered airguns) may be well suited to urban shooting, you have to consider local laws before you encourage someone to shoot in his/her backyward these days. It is a sad but true fact of modern life.


          • Edith more so here in the Seattle area where the coyote isn’t the only issue. Try a cougar trying to dine on your dog or cat. In one case the ladies cat came thru the pet door like a shoot. Then the cougar shoved his big head thru the pet door. Lucky for her it wasn’t for a large dog or the cougar may have had appetizer and main course! Or a black bear that decides your garbage can smells fairly good. They had to trap one last year that almost got to the Pike Place market.



    • Chuck,

      I came from the firearms world, and when I stopped shooting (for decades) I missed it a great deal. Eventually I got a couple pneumatics, but I loved shooting so much that I shot until I got blisters. Then I found this blog and learned about springer’s. I’ve been lucky with what I’ve bought. With one exception, they are all accurate. I have one that is hard to cock, but that doesn’t phase me at all. I love its accuracy at longer distances.

      The need to use the “artillery hold” is a big deal for a lot of firearm owners. Too many just want something that is easy to use, and they don’t want to have to do research. First of all, they don’t know that some special technique is required. Second, they wouldn’t know where to go to learn about it. And, yes, a lot of macho types want to “experience” the big bang. But when I go to the range, i don’t see hardly anyone shooting for precision. I wonder how many shooters have a clue about what their firearm can do. I see guys with high power rifles shooting 4 inch groups at 50 yards.

      I think that airguns are of greater interest to those of us want want to see what we can get from a gun in turns of accuracy and distance. There aren’t too many firearm ranges that go beyond a150 yards in my area, and yet firearms can shoot accurately out to 300+ yards (even AR’s).

      But the big deal about airguns is that they can be very accurate, let you shoot out to 50 yards, and do it for cheap. Most will do a fine job out to 25 yards, even at under $150. Most of us here like to see what our airguns can do, so we shoot for groups. But even a so-so airgun will reliably hit cans out to 25 yards (or some other reactive target). When you read reviews, probably half of all customers are people who like to plink (including appliances).

      Probably most airgun buyers are getting their first airgun at Walmart. Trouble is, no one there knows anything about their products. One employee told me that Walmart prefers to have non-expert sales clerks. So here’s what you end up with:

      1. Customers buying the worst gun on the shelf because it’s the cheapest, but shoots as fast as the others (speed often being equal to price as a consideration).
      2. They don’t know how important pellet selection is, and even airgun manufacturers dare not advise them properly.
      3. No one is going to tell them about technique. NO ONE.
      4. No one is going to advise them about safe shooting, including how to create a safe backyard range with the right pellet trap.
      5. No one is going to say anything about local laws, so everything is left to assumption.

      However, with a firearm much more is automatically understood. You know you can’t shoot it in your back yard, so most (almost all) know to take it to the range. And your average buyer doesn’t know that their firearm is picky about ammo, especially rimfire – they just buy what is cheapest (e.g., bulk).

      So the big issue is education. Stores won’t provide it, nor will airgun manufacturers. So what does this say about the airgun industry? They aren’t spearheading their own cause, other than effectively “peddling” their wares. Outfits like PA aren’t enough. There’s huge void in terms of education and direction. It’s like the airgun world needs it’s own NRA type of organization that is easily accessible. It MUST be accessible (i.e., friendly) to newbies. It would also be nice if it were to provide things like organized activities.

      Victor


      • Victor,

        I had a little experience with firearms before getting involved with airguns. Several observations based on my experience.

        Even firearm and rimfire shooters can benefit from the artillery hold if they seek ultimate accuracy from their guns. A typical centerfire shooter is content with 6″ groups at 100 yards since that’s the size of his kill zone in the field. Many of my old hunting friends now own airguns since they had fun shooting mine. Like me, they had no idea what accuracy a quality airgun was capable of. Being able to shoot in their basement or backyard was also appealing. Cheap cost of pellets and teaching their kids how to shoot without going to a range were other reasons these guys bought their first airgun as an adult.

        I think there’s enough information on the web today that the “airgun industry” doesn’t feel compelled to provide more education. If an airgun buyer wants information about a certain model of airgun there are many first hand reviews and most are unbiased. If an airgun owner wants to learn how to shoot more accurately there’s a wealth of information. If you want or need to work on your airgun that information is out there too. If you don’t want to work on your gun there are many qualified tuners all over the country including dealers that can perform the work. Pyramyd Air is to be commended for providing this blog so they’re doing their part.

        In this same vein, I don’t expect automobile manufacturers or their dealers to educate folks on how to drive or how to repair their vehicles.

        kevin


        • Kevin,

          Regarding how airgun shooting applies to firearms, a buddy of mine set a World Record in international center-fire by pretending that he was just shooting an airgun. True story.

          I often visit the “gun” section of Walmart and observe people who are either considering to buy, or buying an airgun. Sometimes it’s for themselves, and sometimes it’s for their kids. In every case they don’t have a clue about what they’re doing, and neither do the sales clerks.

          Before I found this blog I had visited a couple local stores that sold break-barrels. I had never seen a break-barrel before so I was completely clueless. Trouble was, every sales clerk that I dealt with was equally clueless. For years I just left those airguns alone.

          Some parents that I’ve spoken with in Walmart thought that these high powered break-barrels were appropriate for their 8 to 10 year old kids. Some thought that they would be fun for killing birds around their homes, having no clue about potential safety hazards.

          My point is that I’ll be there are a million potential buyers out there who aren’t going to research the products. And companies like Crosman and Gamo are going to make a large share of their profits from people like this. I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be. I wouldn’t compare automobiles with airguns, for several reasons.

          I totally agree with you about PA and this blog. This is the best blog that I’ve ever seen. I don’t think there is another place where I can learn so much about so many things. I truly am a novice compared to most people here.

          Victor


  12. Once again, Mr. Gaylord, a very well written and thought out post. Can NOT thank you enough for you efforts in, “Keeping things real.”, within the airgun community. I am a direct result of your efforts. Without you helping Crosman develop, first the Discovery, then the Marauder, I would not be air-gunning today. I was drooling over all those PCP air files and knowing as the father of a single-income family with three sons, I could never have afforded one of those air rifles. Just a side note. I am a Marauder owner only because most of my use would be in the back yard and the quieter Marauder, was the way to go. I looked long and hard at the Discovery, but in the end I spent the extra.

    Once again sir you are a credit to the airgun community and I thank you for you tireless efforts.

    A.T.B. – Chris



    • Sal,

      If that is what he means, I don’t know if they will be interested. I’m not saying they wouldn’t, but it competes with the other pistols you mentioned.

      However, if they could keep the price way down and not have to do a lot of costly stuff, it might be possible.

      How many people would want one? I mean the 2240 is so cheap. What benefit would this gun have?

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Since the only PCP in 22 caliber showing in their line up is the Marauder. If you look at the Marauder rifle compared to the Discovery the main difference that leaps out is the repeater drum of the Marauder. For a person looking to start into PCP then a lower price point may help. With their current Crosman model PCP pistol, your into the cost point of the Marauder. Also it is only a .177 to the Marauder’s 22 caliber.

        Jeff



        • One other thought is that since this is the model the custom shop works with, they could also go up to a custom option of 25 caliber. That would be a lot easier to shoot the rats and squirrels in the attic. A very good platform that they can build up however they want. As our company engineers say, the cost between base model and top of the line using the same platform was 50 dollars, however the profit margin was 70 times higher. So bottom line is the profit margin to a company, that is what pays the bills.



      • BB,
        Airgunners are trying to get away from C02. I like C02 myself but most airgunners don’t these days. The other point is to make a compact PCP pistol. I can’t think of any PCP pistols as compact as a 2240. Personally, I think the pistol with two extra reservoirs would sell well at $300. Another reason for the 2240 platform is that this could be another gun for shoppers to use the Crosman Custom Shop to spruce up.

        David Enoch


  13. I have a lot of respect for Crosman. They’re number one in my book for listening to what airgunners want and trying to provide airgun solutions at an entry level price point. Tough combination.

    It seems to me that Crosmans pcp introductions (especially the Discovery and Marauder) have not only added thousands of new airgunners to our hobby but have made airgun addicts out of thousands of airgunners that only owned a bad springer before buying a Discovery or Marauder. Kudos to Crosman.

    Crosman has most airgun bases covered between their springers, CO2 guns, pcp’s, gas rams/gas springs, pistols, rifles, big bores, etc.

    Here’s where they’re missing a big market segment IMHO……..Limited offerings by their custom shop. The 2300/2400 offerings are great. The multiple options for barrels, muzzles, grips, triggers, etc. are wonderful. Wish Crosman would make other models available for customization by their custom shop.

    Here’s my suggestion. Use the Marauder pistol as a platform. Offer the fully adjustable challenger stock as an option (you only need to drill a hole in the challenger stock for the gauge and make a slot for the barrel band and the marauder pistol drops in). Offer the option to put the marauder rifle trigger group on the marauder pistol since this is a better trigger and fits in the challenger stock without modification. Offer a altruis regulator as an option since this will double the shot count. Offer a green mountain barrel and/or lothar walther barrel as options. Now you’ve got a carbine that has fantastic features at a price point no one can touch.

    kevin


    • I totally agree with you but I think they could do a little better detuning airguns and shipping to custom shop items to Canada otherwise they’re pretty darn good in my book too.

      Now about that P-Rod in the Challenger stock… you’re making me drool here.

      J-F


  14. BB,

    Would you say the airgun market would be better served if shooters replaced their velocity expectations for accuracy? I mean, if “accuracy” could sell more airguns than “muzzle velocity”, what would be the trend in terms of product development? What features you think would be present that can’t be found on today’s rifles?


    • Fred,

      RE: “Would you say the airgun market would be better served if shooters replaced their velocity expectations for accuracy?”

      Of course. But it will never happen in the USA. Velocity and price point are the priorities for the majority of airgunners in the USA in my opinion. Don’t think the power craze will ever change.

      kevin


    • Fred,

      That would be fine but it can’t be done. As someone pointed out this morning, “Tacti-cool” is the name of the game today and to hell with accuracy. AR-15 types get excited about MOA accuracy and when they don’t get it they reduce the number of shots in the group until they do.

      But velocity — now, that’s a man’s game! It’s obvious that your rifle is full of testosterone when the chronograph says so. Who care where the pellets go after they leave the muzzle. They get there really fast!

      But accuracy is a poor second to velocity. Do you have any idea of how many takes they shoot on “reality” shooting shows just to get the bullet going to the right place? Can’t nobody shoot that well, nowadays.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        I vote for banning the chronos! The shooter must prove that he/she deserves the right to know the velocity of their airguns only after proving that he/she has achieved decent accuracy with their individual rifles…

        Kevin,

        That doesn’t happen only in the US… around here, I have seen lots of people selling perfectly good rifles right after passing them through the chrono, because they faced the fact that their airguns are not shooting 1000fps…even after spending twice the price of the original rifle to get it tuned for more velocity.

        My answer to these people is: get a .22 LR!


  15. In my case my airguns are “working guns”. I need them to be capable of taking out a groundhog or muskrat I am tasked with getting rid of. But I also need them to be capable of target shooting without making more noise than my AK47. I get bored once in a while sitting there waiting for my target to appear so it becomes “field target” time with prairie chuck targets staked out at various distances. You can never have too much practice. In winter the quiet gun becomes required so I can shoot inside and stay sharp for spring. So a lower powered gun that’s quiet becomes important. I don’t want to kil the neighbor’s cat through an adjoining wall when a too powerful gun blasts through my trap, the wall and the cat! So I end up with several new guns per year. One must keep current with technology. This year I finally got a gas spring gun. The TR77 is a fine gun but it definitely has a stinky trigger! I’m swapping it out for a GRT3. I hope it helps. Sometimes I buy a gun and find it totally sucks. As is the case of my Savage Arms Enforcer and TF6. Those sit in a rack and collect dust. To date I figure I must have around 75 guns. Most I don’t fire often because I don’t have that kind of time. But seeing a room that is rack after rack full of guns is impressive.


  16. Just returned from my trip. Happy New Year to all. I’m that much poorer for all the missed blogs.

    I did get the Enfield fixed and ran 80 rounds through it. Fantastic rifle. Sadly my shooting technique deserted me at the critical time. Something about the relatively hard trigger and the recoil of the 180 gr. load had me flinching and not following through. When I held it together, the rifle was doing about 2-3 MOA with iron sights which I’m happy with. Mike, I’m convinced about the 150 gr. load now. Anyway, I would recommend this rifle to anyone. It’s a great weapon for about every reason you can give, almost on a level with my M1 Garand. And if you need any advice on adjusting the feed lips for the magazine, you know who to ask…

    A bigger success was that with my Savage 10F, I finally managed to hit the silhouettes past 100 yards. It turns out the problem was simple. I had been shooting at small hanging plates of about 4 inches diameter at over 200 yards. Once I focused on the larger plates a foot or so in diameter, things improved. Lowering your standards will increase success every time. I was even hitting the plate at 300 yards with regularity. Hah, what power. I begin to see the fascination with power. I’m not interested in the flash and bang. But exerting your will over the great distance is almost god-like. Looking over the range, I saw that except for a couple of Tubb 2000 rifles, a few .22 rimfires, and a surplus rifle, just about every other rifle out there on the packed range was an AR-15 variant. I wonder if that is other people’s experience.

    While swimming off Waikiki, I also had an epiphany. My stroke finally came together and I was moving like Michael Phelps, at least relative to my earlier self, not the man himself. What does this have to do with anything? I’ve been working at the mystery of the the swimming stroke for over 20 years in monomaniacal fashion. The 130,000 airgun rounds I’ve fired in the last five years in pursuit of shooting is a drop in the bucket by comparison. Could this mean that years or decades in the future, there will be some similar moment when everything comes together with shooting and I reach some new level? The big secret in swimming was nothing new. It was just a combination of the fundamentals in just the right way. I had passed over the right sequence any number of times and come very close or found and lost it again. But everything finally popped into place. A similar breakthrough in shooting will be something to hope for.

    I also had a brief stay on the island of Lanai, recently purchased by the head of the Oracle software company, in a hotel that is rated as eighth best in the world. Some of the drinks in their bar go for hundreds of dollars. The secret was getting a local discount and eating MRE’s on the hotel room floor. By a proper application of focus, much can be accomplished… The MRE’s were not bad although I think the cheese and vegetable omelet would have been improved if I had cooked it properly in the little bag that came with it. There was an option to shoot airguns! I was all excited until I saw that the price, including an instructor, was $60. I wasn’t about to pay that for something I do at home every day. But foolishly I forgot to ask what kind of airguns they were using. I couldn’t tell from the picture. I was distracted by the wonders of 3-D archery which seems to be a growing sport. You shoot at styrofoam reproductions of animals. There is a very satisfying thunk when you hit the target, and I begin to appreciate the joys of field target.

    Matt61


  17. BB,I thought I remembered you at a shot show firing a Rogue in .357 @ 200 yards.That’s the rifle I’ve been waiting for and after all this time I still don’t see it available.The trend seems to be to put the .357 barrels on guns with lots of electronics so they can be fired semi and automatic.I don’t want that.I want it to be accurate at those longer distances,to work well in the hot or cold ,and to be quiet.I must be the odd man out here,but I want to shoot what would be the pellet gun equivalent to the longer shots like the Europeans used to do each year in competitions.Like you told us about.T H A T would be exciting to me.How can I move in that direction?-Tin Can Man-


  18. It has been several years now, but some time ago I reading one of the outdoors magazines. There was an article written by an avid shooter. He had suffered an injury. When he tried to fired a fire arm it hurt. He developed a flinch. Whether it was a rehab specialist or just a good friend, I can’t remember, but someone persuaded him to pick up an airgun. He was able to practice and to stop flinching. The article was quite positive about the benefits of shooting an airgun as and adjunct to firearm. ~Ken




  19. Very interesting thoughts BB. I liked your point about not selling Crosman a gun but an idea. Its the same story as with other products, e.g. Apple/Sony, one a huge success the other (which should also be a huge success) on a slippery slope. The difference? One sells user experience the other gadgets. A PCP is a user experience and needs to be sold as such.


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