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Gas attack

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

Today, blog reader Vince continues the saga of converting a steel spring rifle to use a gas spring. We last read about this project in Part 2 of I’ve got gas, where he showed us the pitfalls of making such a conversion to a Gamo breakbarrel. Let’s see how he does the second time around with a Crosman rifle.

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by Vince

Back when I tried reworking the Crosman gas spring retainer, I discovered that drilling a straight and properly located hole on a round surface is a bit, well… tedious. And hard to do, at least without the proper drilling jig.

Of course, it would be very expedient to use the spring tube itself as a jig. After all, it’s perfect — as long as I can keep from damaging it, that is — because all the holes are obviously already in the right places. Put the retainer in place, pop in the pin and go at it through the existing bolt hole.

Two minor problems became apparent. First, the hole is too large to properly guide a 1/4-inch bit. Second, the edges of the bit might damage the existing hole in the spring tube. But both problems have an obvious, simple and cheap solution: a bushing.

Bushing for under $1.00 from McMaster-Carr.

I got mine from McMaster-Carr (part #2868T44) for less than 70 cents. If you’re feeling rich, you can probably get an equivalent at Home Depot for about $3.00. The important thing is that it has a 1/4-inch inside diameter, a 5/16-inch outside diameter, and that it be made from brass, bronze or steel. Plastic probably isn’t a good idea.

The process is simple — and THIS time I’m doing it on a Crosman rifle instead of a Gamo. No particular reason, I just wanted to show that it works on the Crosman platform as well. Specifically, this is a Crosman Sierra Pro, but mechanically it’s the same as the other Quest variants.

Crosman action
It looks like a Gamo, talks like a Gamo…

I ran into a bit of a problem sliding out the piston — it seems that the scope stop screw that I identified in this picture was binding the piston. Backing it out one turn solves the problem. As expected, the threaded hole in the Crosman gas spring retainer doesn’t align with the one in the spring tube — just like the Gamo.

The Nitro-Piston gas spring retainer…

…and why it doesn’t work.

So, what we’re gonna do is turn it 90 degrees and drill a hole on the other side.

This is where we have to drill.

See that little ledge sticking into the hole? I’m going to grind it out of the way:

after grinding
Ground a flat spot, just in case.

In retrospect, though, this step may have been unnecessary.

Setting up the jig is about as straightforward as it gets. After installing the gas spring retainer and securing it with the retaining pin, I place the bushing in the hole in the spring tube and start drilling. The steel is pretty soft, so it’s not that difficult.

The bushing sits in the hole and is the jig for drilling. Simple!

But I only drill about half way and for a very good reason. If I keep going like this, I’ll hit something I don’t want to hit. Not a water or gas main, but that retaining pin is very definitely in the path of that drill bit. The solution is to slide the pin almost all the way out (but still engaging the retainer on one side); so when the bit breaks through, the pin won’t be damaged. Drilling the rest of the way thus proves uneventful.

retaining pin out
Don’t want to drill through that pin.

Next comes the tapping — M8x1.25 inches, which is very close to 5/16-inch NC. If you don’t have a metric tap, get one. Do NOT try to make the SAE size work. You’ll regret it if you do! But my old and worn tap steadfastly refuses to start because it wants something a tiny bit bigger than 1/4 inch, so I have to bore out the hole to 17/64 inches. That makes all the difference, and a few minutes later I have a properly tapped hole.

Just a smidgen bigger…

…before I can tap the hole.

A quick test-fit shows that everything goes together just as it should.

test fit

As for the rest of the work, it’s a simple matter of cleaning everything out, lubrication and assembly. If you recall, the gas spring got scratched up from rubbing on the piston in my Gamo 220, so I colored those scratches with a Sharpie. That way, if I wind up with more rubbing in the same place, it’ll be readily apparent.

After a good cleaning, everything goes back together just as I described for the Gamo. But don’t forget that little disc that goes into the retainer.

plate in retainer
I suspect this may be important.

One thing I sort of glossed over last time is how to get that pin installed. Since the gas spring has all of about 1/8 inch of preload, the pin can be started using a screwdriver to pry the retainer into place.

pin install1
Prying the retainer to start the pin.

That’s good for getting the pin started. But you won’t be able to get it the rest of the way through because that spring is still pushing the retainer rearward, and the itty-bit of slop in the whole thing means that the holes won’t quite line up on the other side of the tube.

The solution is easy enough. Once it’s started, tap the pin in until it gets to that point. Then, lay the action on its side with the protruding pin downward, and push down on the spring tube while tapping the retainer with a hammer or mallet. The impact of the hammer will make the retainer jump forward just enough to momentarily line up the holes and allow the pin to start coming through. Three or four taps ought to be enough.

pin install2
Tapping the retainer allows the pin to slide home.

The only minor difference between this Crosman gun and the Gamo is the endcap, which on the Crosman slides inside the tube. It’s a little different from the one that comes installed on the springer:

end caps
The gas spring endcap is on the left, the original on the right.

The gas spring version just slides into the rear after it’s all together, and we’re done!

all done
Don’t forget to tighten the scope stop screw.

The action reinstalls in the stock with no mismatched screw holes.

Shooting it demonstrates the same sort of changes in behavior as with the Gamo I converted, only more so — and less so — all at the same time. For one thing, it runs a little hotter than it did in the Gamo. With the same RWS Basic pellets, it did the following:

991 f.p.s.
997 f.p.s.
1014 f.p.s.
1005 f.p.s.
990 f.p.s.
1007 f.p.s.
992 f.p.s.
1002 f.p.s.
1004 f.p.s.
994 f.p.s.

That’s an average of just about 1000 f.p.s., or 15.5 foot-pounds of energy. This represents an improvement of just about 100 f.p.s. over the original Crosman powerplant.

Firing behavior and feel, however, wasn’t as vastly different as it was in the Gamo. The Crosman “sproings” a fair bit less than its Spanish forebearer (the rear guide tends to be a tighter fit); and with a tarred spring, the smoothness of the firing cycle is pretty close to that of the gas spring.

After I returned the Crosman to its original configuration, I was able to examine the gas spring for any damage. Oddly enough, there was some scratching again but nowhere near as bad as the last time and only on the front 1 inch of the cylinder. So, it’s not related to the centering of the gas spring at all. I suspect the end of the cocking link may have been rubbing it.

I remember a while ago a reader asked about the specs of the gas spring, in particular its pressure. I decided to measure that using my high-precision bathroom scale (!) and a Chinese hydraulic press. This was a quick and dirty way to get a ballpark figure. The pressure was almost constant as it was compressed but not quite. It did creep up just a bit, starting at about 130 lbs. and ending in the vicinity of 150. Overall length of the spring is 10.25 inches with a cylinder diameter of 0.715 inches.

And that pretty much wraps up my gas attack. Exactly where does that leave us?

Well, we’ve shown that the gas spring conversion is certainly doable. It’s not as straightforward as I would have liked — buy a few parts and stick ’em in — but it’s not beyond the realm of the average handyman. The gas spring itself pretty much lives up to its reputation… smoother, somewhat harder to cock for a somewhat elevated power level. The big mechanical advantages — no coils to break, no degradation from being cocked for long periods of time — are already well-known. The main subjective advantage, the smoothness of the firing cycle, all depends on how bad was it to start with. In a 10-year-old Gamo, the improvement is likely to be rather spectacular (especially in an untuned gun), but if the rifle is already a smooth shooter, less is going to be gained. I guess it just comes down to personal preference — whether it’s worth $50 and a couple hours of your time is up to you.

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

38 thoughts on “Gas attack”

  1. Today I brought my Beeman springer rifle to try once again to get some kind of a group from it. It’s a rifle I got from Pyramid a few years back. It was known as something like the Beeman takedown rifle. The barrel is held in place by a set screw and it came with a case and the ever present super cheapo 4×15 scope. Currently I have a Leapers red and green dot scope on it. The dot is no where near round. It has little spikes and wings coming off it, which makes it very hard to get any precise aiming done. I had got the occasional decent group from this rifle when I had a different scope on it, but most groups were wildly inconsistent. I was pretty sure that the gun seemed to like Crosman Premier wadcutters, so I grabbed some of those, some Gamo Match and Crosman Premier hollow point pellets to try one more time.
    The difference this time is that I watched the video with our own Tom Gaylord on using the artillery hold on spring piston air rifles. I was shooting from a rather rude picnic table/rest setup at about 20 feet. I shot nine 3-shot groups (didn’t want to push my luck). Some were pretty crappy and like an inch with a flyer or two. I ran a clean patch down the barrel and tried some more. I rested the forward stock, at the balance point, on my loose open left palm. I tried to keep it loose at the back end too and do a nice trigger squeeze. The gun has a nasty trigger, so that was a tall order. Anyway, I got two groups I consider decent. One, with the Crosman Premier hollow points that work quite well in many of my pellet shooters, came in at a nice, round 3/8″ group. My best was with the same brand, but shooting the Premier wadcutters. This one came in with a nice, tight triangle of 3/16″!! I will take that one with this gun any day!!

    Now I have a bit more scope adjusting to do, but maybe that video sunk into my thick skull a bit and I learned something??

    Thanks, Tom.

    Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

    • Jon,

      Every time that happens I smile. I used to have the same problem, but that was at a time when there weren’t as many powerful springers around. The artillery hold resulted from an experiment of mine in which I tried to answer the question, “How bad can it get?” The rest is history.


      • Yes, I seem to be making progress. I had just stowed the Beeman away due to frustration. When I was 14 I was able to take handloads that I made (with my Dad’s supervision), and my Tradewinds/Husky .243 rifle and 3×9 scope and shoot groups you could cover with a dime at 100 yards. My Dad was very proud, though many other true bench resters can shot to 0.0″ center to center, for a 14 year old teen ager that wasn’t bad.
        My CO2 and mutli pump pellet rifles are easy to get good groups using the same techniques as that old .243. But springers!!
        The Beeman is an inexpensive one that looks the same as their new Guardian model, so it’s maybe a 500-550 fps model. I’ll probably get the astigmatic dot scope and try another scope on it. We’ll see. The trigger is terrible. I still want that Air Venturi Bronco. Since I shoot at home on my acre of land I’d prefer to not get a magnum springer due to noise and difficulty of shooting with accuracy for me.

        Take care, Jon

        • Jon

          A good habit to start when you are shooting a springer is to check the tightness of the stock screws before you start your shooting session. Nothing will fly straight if they are loose. On a lower powered springer like yours they will be less likely to loosen (lower power usually means less vibration), but they still need to be checked occasionally. Also on your gun I would check the barrel clamping set screw at the same time. HAPPY SHOOTING!

          David H.

    • Bob,

      Texas is good anytime! This state used to be a separate republic (it’s own separate country) until the U.S. annexed it. There is a move afoot to separate from the union once again.

      The problem is, people move here from other states where there are problems, like California, but then they vote to elect people who will make this state more like the one they left. We have lost out state capitol, Austin, already, and we are in danger of losing the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex.

      Texas is more than just a state — it’s a state of mind. Vermont’s state motto is “Don’t tread on me” but they forgot that decades ago. Texas hasn’t forgotten, yet.

      Okay, rant is over. I’m myself again.


      • I think I’d just be happy if the government did away with the “winner takes all” state electoral votes system… I watched as some of the county-by-county results were colored in on the maps and by surface area saw lots of republican terrain… Then comes in Detroit/Lansing and now the whole state becomes a democrat enclave for the electoral college? When one or two cities control a whole state’s votes something is wrong.

        Either do away with the electoral college (modern communications are fast enough that we don’t really need the concept of selecting people to go somewhere to really vote for us) or make it proportional by district result — and then let the candidates spend a few weeks preaching to the electors to see if they may change sides…

        • I think the winner-take-all effect of the electoral college was a result of the two party system. When people have party affiliations, the electoral votes are automatic. However, the original idea of electing people who would make your choices for you based on their judgment doesn’t sound a lot better.


            • The Electoral College initially was intended to be a “safety release valve” in case the voters “got it wrong.” The founding fathers believed in democracy — MOSTLY. There still was a worry that the unwashed masses might screw up, but the electors, typically wealthier, more educated, and politically connected folks, could “correct” an election outcome if neccessary.

              Soon, however, the country and the system proved to be reliable. Andrew Jackson was elected, but the country didn’t erupt into drunken anarchy. Everything was just fine.

              After that the Electoral College has been invulnerable because to get rid of it would take a two-thirds vote of the 50 states, and states with small populations would never allow it. Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Hawaii, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico all have proportionally more leverage in the Electoral College than big population states, because the number of electors is determined by the number of House members AND senators (and even Hawaii has two of those) Big population states like California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey each has no more senators than, say Vermont or New Hampshire. This causes a mathematical inequality among the 50 states in the Electoral College.

              Furthermore, the Electoral College benefits the two national parties, both Democratic and Republican alike. The Electoral College makes it virtually impossible for a third party to form that will have any realistic chance at the national level. The Electoral College is what really prevents us from ever having a three-party system.

              For example, a Democratic Party (liberal), Republican Party (moderate), and Tea Party (conservative) all duking it out (and compromising through coalitions to get big stuff done) can never happen as long as there is an Electoral College.

              The Electoral College is an elitist antique. The U.S. should have a popular vote presidential election that has nothing to do with congressional districts or senate seats. Count all of the votes in the country, and the candidate that has the most votes wins, whether it is among two finalists or three.

              That is REAL democracy: one citizen, one vote. As it is, a Texas (big population state) voter for president has a vote that is worth only about 30 percent as much as the vote of a citizen of Rhode Island (small population state). Do away with the Electoral College, and every American’s vote will be worth as much and no more than the vote of any other American.

              States’ rights and power is guaranteed through state governments and representation in The Congress. The Presidency is a federal branch. The federal voting public ought to be able to decide that election.


      • I find it weird to see a state that wants to leave the union like our province wanted to leave Canada a few years ago.
        If a vote is ever held on that and it goes anything like it did here be prepared for the feds to cheat, lie and steal in order to keep the state. We had busses full of people with Canadian flags in the streets here telling us that we we’re not patriots and didn’t love our country because we wanted to leave Canada.

        When you think about it gun issues are just a small portion of what is actually done by the governement in place yet it affects a lot of people in a very strong way just like the language seems to be such a big issue here yet it’s not that big when compared to the huge amount of issues that have to be dealt with over the year.


        • J-F,

          As far as I understand it, Texas has reserved the right to withdraw from the United States and retained its right when it joined the Union. I’m sure the federal gov’t has some tricks up its sleeve. I guarantee you that Texans have a lot up their sleeves, too 🙂

          The federal gov’t wants us to pay higher taxes. In Texas, the politicians want to return excess money in the treasury to the taxpayers (BTW, we have no state income tax). Life is good here.

          I can’t say enough good things about this state. I’ve lived many places, and this is the finest place I’ve ever experienced. They leave you alone to pursue life, liberty and happiness.


          • I just took a look at houses for sale in your region… WOW the lot is a little bit smaller but the house is almost double the size for the same price my house is worth!
            Makes me think about moving, the warmth, all the guns I can buy, no more rust on the cars a good, well paid job and money left in my pocket.
            And a quick look on craiglist also brings up a few nice vehicules for cheap.


            • J-F,

              Most people who move to this part of Texas have the reverse of sticker shock when it comes to housing. A woman I used to work with moved here from Seattle, where she had a condo. She sold the condo and had enough money to buy 2 houses here—with cash—and still had money left over.

              We didn’t have that much difference when we moved here, but we still think we made out like bandits. Our house in Maryland was a fixer-upper cottage (and we poured money into it to renovate it for those 22 years!) of just 1100 square feet. Our Texas house is 2x the size, and we bought it for a lot less than what our house in Maryland was worth.

              While there are places in the U.S. that may have less expensive housing than North Central Texas, I’m betting they aren’t as gun-friendly (and they probably have state income tax, too) and don’t have jobs that go wanting because there’s no one to fill the spot.

              What’s the temp in your part of Canada? It’s going to be about 70-73 degrees all week long in our area. Pretty nice for February 🙂


              • Housing isn’t too bad here, Vancouver (which is really close to Seattle) is much worst, it has NOTHING affordable in or close to the city.

                Today is nice “warm” day, it should be around 18 but it should be dipping to -22 tonight for a high of 3 degrees thursday… all in Farenheit of course. We should be somewhere between 10 and 15 during the day at this time of year.

                When talking to my wife about it yesterday she made the usual gun fearing comment we hear all the time here, that maybe there would be a shooting at our kids school so I quickly reminded her that we had 3 school shootings in our province since the 80’s despite our tough (dumb and innefective) gun laws. None happened with kids as young as in Sandy Hook and none as deadly but still it’s 3 events where some wacko took guns to school 🙁

                We’ll probably never move to Texas because my inlaws aren’t big on travels and we’d rarely see them but I must admit I am tempted.


        • J-F,

          I can understand the sentiments of the “fed up” Americans (and Canadians, too, for that matter) who would like to see their State or Provence leave the country. I can understand why the South felt the need to leave the Union.

          But the analogy ends there. The North had placed the South in an untenable position, where Federal trade policy would have destroyed the Southern agrarian economic base. History proves this was true: the South suffered for a hundred years after the war in a depressed economic condition.

          But the forces prying this country apart today are not regional in nature. They are philosophical, based on disagreement over the proper role of government, aggravated by politicians pitting the economic interests of social classes against each other. There is no neat Mason-Dixon Line this time.

          I live in Nebraska, and own a piece of it. I also used to live in Texas and Mississippi, and still own a part of the latter. In my opinion, all three are great places to live. The people of Texas in particular have a great positive attitude toward their state.

          But leaving the country in disgust is not the answer. Not by the state, nor by the individual. This is my country, and I’ll be damned if I will let anyone run me out of it. We need to be true to our oaths, and stand up for what we believe in, no matter what. It is more important to be on the right side than to be on the winning side. The defenders of the Alamo proved that. Anyone trying to take our country from us will be facing a thousand Alamos.


          • I’m not trying to say if it’s right (or not) but I can understand being fed up with the elected people no mather who they are or on which side they’re on. You have 2 sides we have 3 main parties and there’s just no way everyone is going to agree on a decision and there’s only so much deception you can take before you want to leave, either alone (like Edith and Tom when they left Maryland) or as a group when the whole state wants to move in another direction.

            Humans adapt to change but I think we need/seek that change.
            It wasn’t that long ago that we roamed around and never were sedentary so I think we seek change else were. Rather than move to a new environnement and being sedentary we want the environnement to move and change for us.


  2. A terrible tragedy has befallen on our country and aspiring sharpshooters everywhere this past weekend. Former Navy Seal team 3 member, and author of the excellent book “American Sniper” Chris Kyle was murdered on Saturday. A recipient of two Silver Stars and five Bronze stars for valor, this man protected America’s best in Iraq and earned a bounty on his head from Iraqi insurgents for being the most lethal sniper in U.S. history.

    Retiring after 10 years of service, he helped found a nonprofit organization to help veterans deal with emotional and physical trauma. He and his friend Chad Littlefield were gunned down at a shooting range by a veteran whom they were attempting to help overcome his PTSD. The POS, Eddie Routh was a corporal in the Marines for 4 years.

    It is overwhelming to me that these waste of flesh psychos always seem to take out the heroes and the innocents. Routh should get 20 years — in the electric chair. Luckily the crime occurred in Texas, so he may actually get what is coming to him. To add insult to injury, while researching the story I inadvertently read posts from the great unwashed who were celebrating this hero’s death, plus the idiot anti-gun lobby will probably use this as ammunition for their cause. Please take a moment to pray for Chris Kyle, Chad Littlefield and their families. God bless them all.

    You can read the full story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/us/chris-kyle-american-sniper-author-reported-killed.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&

    • It is a terrible loss ,especially since Chris Kyle leaves two small children behind who had just begun to know their father.
      Last nite CNN ‘s resident assshat Piers Morgan did a show from Texas on guns , and tried to work Kyle’s and Littlefield’s murders into his on going attack on our second amendment rights. Ted Nugent and the the other guests did a very good job of defending ownership of weapons for personal protection.

    • Yes, I read about this. Appalling. Some have said that profoundly disturbed people like the PTSD sufferer should not have been taken to a shooting range with ready access to guns. On the other hand, Chris Kyle had had great success taking other victims out on hunting trips. The idea is to use a skill set that the guys are familiar with and rebuild a sense of cameraderie. I read about another Navy Seal sniper, Howard Wasdin, who was in the dumps after being disabled in Mogadishu, and a hunting trip was a great restorative for him.

      All-around tragic.


      • Matt61,

        My brother law, of over 45 years suffered severe PTSD from the Vietnam War, where he served at least 4 tours during the late 60’s. Something changes in a person, making them dangerous, if not suicidal. You would never know this from meeting and knowing him in a casual setting. He seems like the most mild and pleasant person on the planet. But my sister has seen what he is capable of. When threatened, he goes beyond rage, and is utterly fearless. We all know this is abnormal psychology. The only hint of his problem is the fact that he hates being around anything that goes bang. It took decades for him to ever talk about the ugliness that he witnessed and experienced. It’s pretty bad. He was a young teenager when he was drafted and forced to endure this.

        I grew up in communities where a large percentage of teenagers died in that war, and countless others would eventually commit suicide years later. That is why I firmly believe that war MUST be a last resort.

        The son of a friend of mine died in Iraq in the most heartbreaking way. He was killed by one of his own on the day that he shipped all of his belongings home to his parents. They opened up his packages believing that it was all finally over. He survived literally hundreds of missions, but couldn’t survive one of his own. Even worse, the Marines tried to cover the whole thing up. But as my friend is a journalist, so he had connections and was able to uncover the truth.


  3. Another well written and enjoyable blog there Vince. it’s good to show the air gunner who only uses and loves his rifle that he too can work on it, and it’s normal to hit a snag now and again and a couple of rethinks are called for. A simple and sometimes longer than expected search through google will on most occasions show them how a lot of this is safely done, and forum groups and members will only be to happy to help with any snags.

    I love your writing style, it’s witty easily understandable and well illustrated. I’d like to see some more of your ideas and tests on this blog. may you all have a totally spiffing day


    Warmest regards, wing commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

  4. Great write up as usual, Vince! Your pictures are definitely a great help too! Makes me want to convert something or other to a has spring myself. Now…. If I can just get some time…


  5. Vince, I’m full of admiration. You are like the people whom one gets referred to after multiple referrals for technical help who actually understands what’s going on.

    Wulfraed, hm, okay a good explanation for the time being about your uncanny knowledge. 🙂 Do you know if Diane Feinstein during her time as mayor pursued any initiatives against the people who seemed determined to run around naked in SF? It looks like the city is finally cracking down on them.

    Victor, how interesting that focus on the sights is connected to follow-through. I hadn’t thought of that, and it does resurrect a question my Dad had: Just what is follow-through? David Tubb says that it is calling your shots. However, that is at the moment of the shot and isn’t really following through beyond it. And when the shot goes off, the sights will move no matter what. So if you are really focused on the sights, you’re going to move too. On the other hand, the target does not move. So, it has been my practice to shift to the target and focus on it while the sights jump and settle. Seems to work, but maybe there is a better way.

    Titus Groan, I have a writing model for you who is one of my favorites: Ulysses S. Grant. It turns out that as one of the all-time great soldiers, most of his business was conducted through writing. He woke up and read all the various reports. Then, he spent approximately a half-day in non-stop writing of orders that were telegraphed as necessary all over the continent. No time for rewriting and fussing. But it was said that Grant’s orders were so clearly written that no one had to read them a second time even in the middle of a battle. Now there is a standard of communication. The consequences can be great. It is said that Napoleon may have lost the battle of Waterloo because one of his orderlies who generally took his dictation was injured, so he had to write an order himself and his handwriting was almost illegible. This isn’t the same thing as writing style, but it’s all about communication. A more relevant example is Civil War general Ambrose Burnside. Part of his debacle at Fredericksburg was caused by his habit of writing extremely confusing orders, although probably nothing could have saved that battle for the Union.

    Grant’s writing is collected in his lengthy memoirs written in the last stages of cancer (with almost no rewriting), and it contains a lot of his original orders. Some examples from the memoirs. About his decision to attend West Point:

    “My father told me that I would go to West Point. I said I wouldn’t. He told me that he guessed I would. And I guessed I would too.”

    Grant was an indifferent student who did not study at all and placed about midway in the ranking, but he was an outstanding horseman who set some record for jumping that stood for a quarter of a century. Summarizing what must have been a long day of horsebreaking while he was campaigning as a lieutenant in the Mexican War, he writes.

    “I was given horse that nobody could succeed in breaking. We had some disagreements at first about which way we would go and whether we would go at all, but by the end of the day, we were in perfect agreement. And he proved to be an excellent mount.”

    When the the Union soldiers began to fire cannon to celebrate Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Grant stopped it with an order that read: “The rebels are our countrymen again, and the best way to celebrate is to abstain from all demonstrations.”

    Finally, Grant’s nickname of “Unconditional Surrender” was derived from an order he wrote at Fort Donelson. When Confederate general PGT Beauregard wrote asking for terms, Grant replied, “No terms except for immediate and unconditional surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.” Ha ha. I love this. No room for misunderstanding there.


    • Matt61,

      Follow-through is more than just calling shots, but calling shots is an important element of following-through. As I had mentioned elsewhere, we did specific exercises where only the coach had a spotting scope, while the shooter had to “call his shots” to the coach, who would verify what the shooter thinks he/she saw.

      Follow-through provides several benefits including the following:
      1. Calling your shots at the instance that the shot went off.
      Of interest are things like, did you see the sights mis-align before the shot went off?
      2. Verification of your whole bodies aim, including grip, and natural point of aim.
      After the shot went off, where did your aim go?
      Are your sights still aligned?
      Is your gun still pointing exactly where it was before you took the shot?
      (i.e., was your NPA good? Did it return exactly where you thought it should?)
      3. No flinching. Following-through solves the flinching problem.
      For many, the most important reason for following-through is to simply avoid flinching.
      4. I’m sure that others can think of other good reasons to follow-through.

      Following-through is the best tool for learning from your mistakes. It’s also great for verification of your NPA (natural point of aim). More subtle, and opposite of learning from your mistakes is visually and mentally capturing the perfect shot. You really want to capture that perfect shot so that it’s more than just an abstraction. You want to remember how it looked and felt. That’s what you want to repeat. If you never capture that perfect shot, then great performance becomes more illusive.


      • One last thing regarding follow-through, or more specifically not following-through.

        People have a tendency to stop concentrating, or even drop the gun, a milli-second before the shot goes off. Novice shooters, like a whole bunch of “gun experts” on utube, damn near break their necks to peek through their spotting scope after pulling the trigger. You can always tell who knows what they are doing by their follow-through (or lack of).

        I sometimes think that the best time to use a spotting scope is just before you start to prepare for your next shot. At this point, your only using your spotting scope to verify that everything is as you expect before taking the next shot. If you need to adjust your sights, for example, then it’s best that you do it with a clear head.

  6. This is totally off topic, but I think it serves to show what we see, can be interpreted quite easily by our mind. At first, it looks like a jumble of letters and numbers. Just try to read through. It will be worth it.

    7H15 M3554G3
    53RV35 7O PR0V3
    H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N
    D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
    1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
    1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
    17 WA5 H4RD BU7
    N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
    Y0UR M1ND 1S
    R34D1NG 17
    W17H 0U7 3V3N
    7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
    B3 PROUD! 0NLY
    C3R741N P30PL3 C4N
    R3AD 7H15.

    Caio Titus

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