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Be careful what you say

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

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Edith and I see a lot of things the average person never sees, such as reports about airguns that we cannot pass along. Today, I want to talk about that and give you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Everything I’m about to say is fictitious, unless I say otherwise. But all of it is based on truth.

The following is true. In the 1970s, there were stories in airgun magazines about people shooting the wild goats on Catalina island with .177-caliber FWB 124 rifles. In these stories, they claimed to be killing the goats with head shots. That started a heated discussion among airgunners about whether such behavior was — 1. Possible and 2. Sportsmanlike.

With a knowledge of the anatomy of a goat and with perfect shot placement it is possible to kill one with a .177-caliber air rifle. But it’s not the sporting thing to do. I’ve criticized Gamo for their video ad campaign that shows a .177 spring rifle killing a wild hog. That’s also obviously possible and also equally unsportsmanlike.

Allow me to paint a bigger picture for you. Bubba Sofaspud sees a video on the internet (where everything is true) that shows someone taking a wild pig with a spring-piston air rifle, and he fixes that one fact in his mind. Bubba is not a hunter. Bubba thinks that the way to kill game is to shoot in the direction of a wild animal until you connect. In fact, if he ever does get out into the field, Bubba is inclined to simply shoot in the direction of any sounds he hears in the bushes because he feels certain there’s wild game in there. He believes that a shot anywhere on the body of a game animal will be fatal. And now, thanks to this television ad, he also thinks that a .177-caliber spring-piston air rifle is all it takes to do the job.

If Bubba ever decides to go hunting for real, he’s going to leave a trail of tears and pain behind him. So, when someone sends in a product review to Pyramyd AIR that says such-and-such a spring rifle is capable of killing a whitetail deer, it has to be declined. Yes, from the standpoint of everything being done perfectly, such a thing is possible — but no, it’s not something anyone should ever try to do.

Because there are lots of Bubbas out there, we must be careful of what we say. When we aren’t, it sometimes works against us, as Edith has to decline those gun reviews that have stuff that the Bubbas of the world might latch onto.

Things change over time
Before I became a writer, I never appreciated what goes on with the words I write, but the following is based on multiple events that have happened to me. Edith was present to witness several of them and can back me up on this.

It’s 2012 and I’m standing in the aisles of an airgun show when a guy walks up to me. He has a spiral binder in his hands and a pocket protector full of pens and mechanical pencils. Without any introduction he launches into something like this, “In April of 1996, you wrote that the FWB 124 you tuned for your friend, Mac, had an average muzzle velocity of 881 f.p.s. with Crosman Premier lite pellets. But in September, a year later, you said you couldn’t get Premier lites to go any faster than 790 f.p.s. in the 124 you had just tuned for yourself. According to what you said, you used the same Maccari spring and piston seal in both rifles. Now, just last year, you said that a good 124 should average between 840 and 860 f.p.s. I want to know two things. First, was the gun you worked on in September 1997 somehow flawed, and, second, was Mac’s gun, which clearly exceeded the maximum velocity you said to expect from a 124, a freak or were you just forgetting that it went that fast when you wrote what you did last year?”

This guy has written down what I said in all three articles, and he’s copied the velocities I gave in each case in his spiral notebook! Yes, things like this really do happen to me, and they aren’t isolated instances, either. I can count or one or two each year.

This person is looking at everything I’ve written, without realizing that it was written over a period of 15 years. I don’t know about you, but in the last 15 years I have changed my socks a couple of times — and my mind, too! It’s funny…only these guys can’t see the humor in it. I have to be very careful when I write something because it will come back to haunt me.

One from column A, one from column B…
A person writes a long email that he sends directly to me instead of making a comment on the blog. He uses the address, blogger@pyramydair.com, so I know he reads the blog, or at least is aware of it. He just doesn’t want what he is about to say to be read by anyone but me. It’s the internet version of whispering.

Here is what he wants to know:

“Mr. Gaylord, I read on your blog that the fastest pellet you have ever seen went 1,486 f.p.s.” This is true. It was shot from an AirForce Condor in .177 caliber. “I also read where you said that a heavy bullet, like the 405-grain slug you shoot from your Quackenbush .458 Long Action, generates the greatest muzzle energy of any big bore rifle you own.” Also true. “I entered a 405-grain bullet and the 1,486 f.p.s. top velocity you said you have seen into the Pyramyd AIR energy calculator and got a muzzle energy of 1,986.32 foot-pounds! Are you aware that this is possible? I know that no big bore airguns can do this — yet — but here’s my idea. Could Dennis Quackenbush make a barrel that is 8 feet long and rifle it for the .458 Long-Action he makes? I know it wouldn’t work with the current valve, but what if he made a dump valve that opened and just dumped all the air in the reservoir on one shot? Wouldn’t that work? I am putting my name into a special drawing for a grizzly bear hunt in my state next year, and I would like to be the first hunter to take one with an air rifle. With almost two-thousand foot-pounds of energy behind a 405-grain slug, I bet that bear would turn inside-out. I know such a gun would be very cumbersome to lug around and it certainly would be very muzzle-heavy, but think of the great press this would get for airguns!”


You can’t always take one thing from this gun and another thing from that gun and have them work together. But people do it! Or at least they think about it. And sometimes, one of them with too many dollars and too little sense decides to do something about it!

So, be very careful of what you say.

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.

89 thoughts on “Be careful what you say”

    • Kevin wrote a response which I thought was so telling about the ambiance Tom and Edith have created here.

      “Tom Gaylord is cut from thicker cloth than me since he’s been doing this for decades and still answers these types of questions daily with a smile even on old blogs written years ago. Did you know that?”

      This is such a wonderful place to gather and jaw about airguns. Kind of feel like we’re meeting a local coffee shop to cut the fat. I hooked and keep coming back for more.

  1. This article really hits home with me. On a much lesser scale though.

    I don’t post on many airgun forums anymore. The minor reasons are that when I post about first hand experiences they are frequently questioned/contest/ed by people that don’t have first hand experience and because I get emails years later that ask for more information and input usually from an airgunner that is relatively new and it takes multiple emails to educate and then get to a point that you can communicate.

    The final major reason is the lack of ethical hunting techniques by airgunners that make posts bragging about kills. I’m not squeamish. I grew up on a ranch and guided big game hunts for years. I was 7 or 8 when a breech birth went bad and the calf was stillborn and the mother had to be shot. I helped bury them both the next morning. The lack of hunting skills with many airgunners I refer to is not knowing trajectory, fpe, anatomy, acknowledging personal limitations of accuracy at distance, etc. These posts that are frequent and turn my stomach start out with, “the first shot was high, the next shot was a little left and then…….”

    The zeal for power especially in a springer and questions to achieve ultimate power are my least favorite emails.

    After the twentieth time of answering the same questions on posts made years ago I still have empathy but lack desire. It wasn’t that long ago I had enthusiasm but lacked knowledge. Nonetheless I’m worn out.

    Tom Gaylord is cut from thicker cloth than me since he’s been doing this for decades and still answers these types of questions daily with a smile even on old blogs written years ago. Did you know that?

    ps-The headline wouldn’t be about wrapping a barrel around the airgunners carcass but it would involve the barrel and it still would be a headline. 🙂


  2. Regarding the Google Reader theme, I’d like to recommend Feedly ( http://www.feedly.com ) All you have to do to migrate is go to the website and login with your google account. Then Google Reader ask you permission to sync with Feedly and after a few seconds all your feeds will be there. There’s also an Android client too, and is quite pleasant to use an see. It takes minutes to learn to use, no noticeable learning curve, and you don’t need to do any exporting/importing or whatever esotheric computer geek thing.
    Hope it helps some folks.
    B.B., if you feel uncomfortable with this reply, as if it looks like SPAM, or annoying, delete it right away.

  3. B.B.

    As far as I remember, the 2nd case has some medical term for it – a maniacal wish to find someone’s lying or cheating just for the sake of finding and thus looking good in patient’s own eyes.
    And for the 3rd case – well, in my opinion it’s actually a benefit for our specie when an intellectually disatvantaged or “reality check failed” person removes his genes from our breeding program. We are becoming smarter this way.

    I think that’s one of the drawbacks of position of authority. People hear your words, but they hear it with their own ears (sometimes bypassing brain). Sometimes they tend to use your words to proove their theories – without noticing the context or just randomly taking quotes and mixing them the way they like. So they use your name and experience as a shield or glitter cover to their ignorance.

    My strong guess is those braggers just underestimate the value of life and don’t understand that it’s not fun, it’s killing. In old times hunters asked a dead animal to forgive them for taking its life – because they needed animal’s meat or fur to sustain their own. So maybe the approach Tom described some time ago would work – making them skin and eat what they kill.

    And yes, posts like “I put a motorbike front fork spring into my springer and it doesn’t shoot any better, what’s wrong with the rifle?” provoke me to answer – “Your age or mental condition or both, dude”. Well I’m trying to be polite and just say “Lurk more”.


  4. Stupid people–proof that the creator does indeed have a sense of humor.

    I’ve stopped reading most of the airgun forums I belong to. Or at the least, don’t even open the “caution graphic” threads. It pains me to see airgunners bragging about picking off “tree rats” and “birds” at the bird feeder. Now, I don’t have any problem at all with hunters; hunters being those that eat what they kill. But people who shoot baited squirrels and birds just for the “fun” of it, really get to me. There is no dearth of posts of people bragging about their kills. But the people who show off photos of a dozen squirrels lined up all with perfect head shots–good for you, you’re a good “shot”, now what are you going to do with them? Throw them in the trash? Over the fence? Neighbors lawn?

      • If it’s not a game animal but a pest (rats, mice), put carcasses where buzzards, crows and other carrion eaters will find them. We did that when we lived in Maryland. Any little critter we dispatched…inside or outside…was tossed into the empty field across the street.


    • Totally agree. You kill it you eat it.
      Moose hunting is popular in Canada (where I am) and you’ll sometimes see a head less carcass left to rot in the woods or the hunter proudly displaying the moose head on his car or truck but without the rest of the body (I don’t think it fits in the trunk). A moose is a LOT of meat that’s going to waste just to get your trophy.


  5. I haven’t wrote much…because I’ve been pretty busy. I have only done a little hunting with airguns lately…..now I get a better deal trading my .22LR ammo instead of rabbits for walleyes and deer meat. I did send in for my carry and conceal permit, I’ve been looking at a Glock 27 .40 cal., but that’s about it for me.


      • You must have squirreled away a hefty supply of powder because that has gone missing from the shelves.

        What really amazed me the last time I was at a gunstore was the enormous wait list of people for the gun range. So people are not stockpiling the ammo but shooting it off which only leads them to buy more. This may go on for awhile.


    • AJ

      It has been a long long time since I last saw a post from you. You were one of the regulars when I first found this wonderful blog. I miss your comments and it is good to see you here again.

      • Thanks for the email SL – I lost my father to cancer a while back and my wife was ill a couple of times. My wife is doing fine now. I haven’t been out shooting much and my old job was taking its toll, so I found a new job. Luckily I did, they ended up downsizing at my old job and I would have would have lost my position. They are only running at 1/4 capacity now and that may soon be cut in half.


  6. I saw that video of the wild hog shot. I don’t buy it myself, but even if it’s possible, it’s plain stupid: everyone I know that have hunted hogs say if the first shot doesn’t kill them, they’re going to be raging mad. The blackpowder hunters always carry a pistol backup too.
    A question: breaking in my springer, is it common to have the rifle suddenly shift it’s preference in pellets? Tried multiple loads, and when my JSB’s arrived, I took them out and they out-performed the others. Few days later, they go all over the place, but a previous pellet that had OK results began grouping as good as the JSB’s when they first arrived. I pushed a few cleaning pellets through, but it still prefers the “older” pellets. It’s not bad, but I wonder about the sudden change. What do you think?

    • Jp,

      I would love to be able to give you a one-liner pat answer and have it turn out to be right, but frankly, Scarlett, I just don’t know. I’m tempted to say clean the barrel with JB Bore Paste and see what happens. The Lothar Walther barrel in my Talon SS that I showed in yesterday’s blog finally had to be cleaned that way. When I first tested it at 25 yards I got one-inch groups with JSB RS pellets, and I knew that wasn’t right. But after cleaning, it went right back to where it had always been. And that rifle must have 10K shots through it (with the factory barrel) by now.


    • Jp,

      Clean your bore with B.B.’s jb bore paste technique. Take the bore out of the equation.

      In my experience during a break in of a new springer pellet preference can change. Shot yesterday with a friend that has about a thousand pellets through a new HW50 in .177 cal. Early on that gun only shot premiers out of the cardboard box well. I found this out after doing some stock work on his gun and then shooting 15-20 different pellets in that gun over a year ago. Now that gun shoots air arms falcon pellets best. Go figure.


  7. BB, off topic. But I finally did it. I’ve entered the world of pcp. Yes, on the cheap end (Disco). But I’ve had so much trouble with my Nitro Venom (scopes just don’t keep their zero – tried 3 brands). Got the .22 version. Early on you returned comments suggesting to me to quit being cheap. OK, you were right (although, I still didn’t go Marauder, or even better yet Talon, etc.). Still, this feels like cheating…is it? While the trigger is still bad, compared to the springer triggers on Crosman guns, it is a delight. And absolutely no recoil/feedback – you almost feel like you didn’t shoot it. The target just goes “whump”! And get this, I’m using one of the scopes that my Nitro Venom kept knocking out of zero. Yet I will say that with a springer when you were shooting well you really felt good about yourself. Now I feel like my job is simply to hold the gun in the general direction and let it do its thing, kind of like hunting with my dog…he’s the star and I’m just there to bag the bird/rabbit. And the Disco is LIGHT. Feels like it could be 2 or 3 pounds lighter than the Nitro Venom. And no more artillery hold. I can clamp down on this thing and “whump”. Holy crap. Wife doesn’t know about it yet, but as soon as she balances the checkbook I’m a dead man, but one of my goals was to shoot a pcp before I died. Check.

    • SE MN,

      congratulations on your arrival to the Dark Side. However I must warn you that you will graduate to a Marauder eventually. It’s a sickness – I know. As for the Disco trigger, if you go to the Yellow Forum or just do a google, you will find some very simple and inexpensive fixes for that trigger – you can even buy a kit for it for under $20 I believe. Now instead of concentrating on how you hold the rifle, you can start concentrating on trajectories and air management. Is this a great hobby?

      Fred DPRoNJ

      • Worse than that. What I really would like is one of those Airforce Condors, fully decked out. Not only would my wife kill me, she’d cut me up into little pieces and dispose of my remains at a shopping mall.

        • I see it’s too late – you have a full blown case of Dark Side Airgunitis and there is no known cure. You can only treat the symptoms. Start looking for a decent used Condor and take your time . With that purchase, you will also appreciate a high pressure SCUBA tank so you don’t have to pump to 2800 psi or so :). My congratulations. Welcome to our club of sick and diseased individuals.

          Fred DPRoNJ

    • se mn airgunner,

      You’re thinking WAY too much! Load, shoot, enjoy. Repeat…often.

      Cheating? Is it cheating for a person to get surgery to fix something that’s been painful his whole life? Or should he just enjoy his pain-free existence and be grateful for it?

      Since the first airguns were pneumatics, that means the springers were the ones that came in and basically ruined accuracy. When you shoot your Discovery, you’re just returning to your airgunning roots. This is what it was meant to be. This is the right thing.

      Good luck with explaining this to your wife. Perhaps, you could do some pre-emptive work in that arena. Show her the Talon SS on Pyramyd Air’s site and tell her you really want to buy that gun but you know it’s way too expensive. Then, show her the Marauder…and the same explanation. Tell her there are guns costing even more. Then, show her the much cheaper Discovery WITHOUT the pump. Explain how much it would cost to use a scuba tank and how inconvenient it would be to get it filled (and it would be an ongoing expense). Then, show her the logical choice…a compromise you’re willing to make even though you really wanted the other guns: Disco with a pump. And you didn’t even have to buy a scope because you used one you’ve already got.

      It’s not unusual for sales people to use this type of comparative trickery to get customers to accept something that they might think is too expensive. I hope this works for you and keeps you out of the doghouse 🙂


      • Oh, Edith….I’ve been in the doghouse since I slipped that ring on her finger over 20 years ago. And, when it comes to money, she won’t fall for such arguments. When she spends money, like on new drapes it’s “for the house” or “for the family” but when i spend money its unnecessary and “only for me”. I tried to tell her about how I protect her garden from rabbits and gophers but she says “that’s what traps are for”. I’ve learned it is simply better “to do” and ask for forgiveness later than to ask up front, get shut down, do it anyways and then REALLY have her get mad!!! As you can see, I’m a real catch. 🙂

        • Tell her you won it!
          My father in law has been using that excuse for years and it did work the first few times.

          PA is giving 100$ gift cards every month say you won a 500$ one or you won the package for finding a clever name for it (they also do that on facebook, you name the bundle package and if they pick yours you win one).

          Good luck!


    • se mn airgunner,

      I went in the same way as you, back in the 1990s. And my discoveries (experiences, not guns) were very similar.

      What you will find is, there is life after a PCP. You will still shoot springers — just not the cheap ones.

      In fact, I will show you a great one on Monday.


    • I bought a used disco and love it. The previous owner added a kit to adjust the hammer to lighter settings, that way you can shoot a lot of rounds at slower speeds at targets. I would love to own a more expensive PCP, but the disco is all I really need.


  8. Mr. Gaylord,

    Once again I feel compelled to comment and thank you for Edith’s and your time (for it has to be a great deal of time) and patience and willingness to share your knowledge with us all.

    I do agree. Ignorant as I am at air gunning, I have been involved in hunting and shoot all my life and I see some of these comments and think, “They’re kidding, right. Please say they are kidding.”. I start to make an angry reply and then catch myself, “Wait I have been way to ready to except something before.”. Then I think, no I need to let the more educated and better informed reply. 🙂

    Thank you both again,


    • Howdy Chris, AMEN! Mr. B.B., Ms. Edith & the Gang, read every word ya’ll write & feel honored just ta be able ta soak up the wealth of knowledge, experience & willingness ta help each other. 35+ years in broadcasting, taught me at least one thing, just because I say it, does not mean they heard it. Example: when I was “spinin’ the hits” for an Oldies station if I had someone in studio with me & Roy Orbison’s, Pretty Woman came up, I’d tell my guest, “watch this”, then intro the song w/”He liked the movie so much he wrote a song about it”. Pull off my cans & sure enough every single time the phones would light up with calls letting me know that I was very wrong, as the movie came out long after the song…that’s why I used ta call them, bless their hearts, “The Great Unwashed”. Thanx ya’ll. Have a great weekend, shoot/ride safe.

      • Not sure why, so just roll w/me on this one. Suddenly felt compelled ta share one of my favorite ridin’ t-shirts. Picture a hairy, scary, greasy biker wearin’ a t that reads: “Didnt work today, voices said, stay home & clean the guns…

  9. I don’t know how many of you have been reading the ridiculous news stories about children being expelled from schools due to crazy zero-tolerance rules when it comes to guns.

    Here’s a wonderful story that I think you will enjoy reading 🙂


      • Every time I try to nibble a pastry into a gun sillouette I end up disarmed! First it’s a rifle……then a carbine,then a buntline…….derringer……disarmed! I’m terrible at this……but I keep trying! LOL

    • Those army man cupcakes look good!
      I made a cake with my wife last year for our son with a tractor and a dump truck with broken chocolate pieces as rocks it looked very good and those cupcakes are giving me some good ideas for this year.


    • Here’s cupcake pc before the term was invented. In second grade this kid brought in a box of 15 cupcakes from his mother to have the class help celebrate his birthday. Trouble is the class was much larger. The room was a suite type design and when you combined them all there were something like 30 or 40 kids. The group of teachers supervising this couldn’t figure out how to divide 15 cupcakes into that number of kids. Heaven forbid that any kid would go without and be neglected. How the teachers scratched their collective heads. They even asked the kids for ideas!? In the end, since they couldn’t figure out a solution, they gave all the cupcakes back to the kid and told him to take them back home. Naturally, this was very upsetting and left him crying, and everyone else was embarrassed.

      You have to give credit to our teachers for the work they do day in and day out, but some of them are real yoyos. Even then I was dumbfounded at their behavior and thought they were nuts.


  10. I have not bought a PCP yet, but did I miss a good deal on a scuba tank? At a garage sale last w/e. 40$ for a used tank, she says it works fine. Is that a good price?

    • Gene…

      You need to be careful of scuba tanks.
      They require periodic testing. You can’t get them refilled unless they are current.
      There are other problems too…
      You have to find some place that will fill them. Contrary to popular belief, you will not always find numerous paintball shops, fire departments, and scuba shops in your area that will fall all over themselves to fill for you. You also have to find a place to get them tested when time runs out on the hydro test certification.


      • thanks. Glad I passed on the deal. The testing may cost too much. And, I don’t need one yet. Speaking of testing. Fulton county Georgia, which Atlanta is in, had a real racket. All fire extinguishers in a business had to be tested yearly. Yes yearly. And the test was about what a new extinguisher sold for. I bet I had 6 of those things at one time.

        • gene,
          There are five expenses for owning a scuba tank: New Tank cost, $150-$200, Air fills run about $5, annual visual inspection, call your local dive shop, maybe $10-@25, five year hydrostatic test, call dive shop, maybe $40, and hoses to connect to your air gun, call PyramydAir.

          No reputable dive shop will fill your tank if the inspections are not done.

          Most important: these costs averaged over the life of your airguns will be pennies per day or less.

          The date of the last hydro test must be stamped INTO the side of the tank. Be sure to check that. Hydro testing probably won’t be more than $40 every 5 years but, like I say, check with your dive shop.

          $80 for a tank ($40+$40) is a very good price.

    I too am not much of a hunter, though I am not at all against legitimate hunting.
    Every year when I was young my father would go out and shoot either a deer or a moose for the freezer, still occasionally get a hankering for moose meat chili!
    Or he’d spend an afternoon at his friends who had ranches or farms who were having problems with horses breaking legs in gopher hole…with his Remington 700 heavy barrel 22-250 those gophers didn’t stand much of a chance.
    Me…he took me a couple of times but all I could see was Bambi and those two little Disney Chipmunks Chip ‘n Dale.
    I’ve had a thought…if only we could do the same as the trout fisherman do…catch and release.
    My (harebrained) idea is some sort of paintball gun that would be accurate to within a couple of inches at 100yds, would mark the animal with paint but not hurt them.
    What do you think?

      • Edith…
        Our sherriffs department used to have a deal on road killed deer. You could sign up on a list to take a road kill. The driver got first choice. After that, they went down the list to see if anyone wanted it.
        They may still have the same deal. Have not been paying attention.

        I know that most road kills happen at night….and I have been guzzling beer all day. Not a good time to show up to see if I want a deer.


        • I saw one that was getting picked up on Monday by the road workers, you would not have wanted that thing, believe me.
          It probably was hit early this winter during a snow fall and was burried in snow and slush for most of the winter and with it now melting, it was exposed so they picked it up, it was missing some pieces where the crows had eaten lunch and looked bad, ewww.
          But hey that meat has been generously salted by the road workers all winter…


      • Don’t get me wrong Edith…I undertand your point entirely.
        In fact where I live we are having a huge problem with coyotes. They’ve decimated the rabbit/hare population which of course is the food of choice for so much wildlife.
        So they’re thinking of putting a substantial bounty on coyotes.
        Gotta admit…the though of making $150 (or more) is appealling on two levels….$$$…and ensuring that our population of eagles/wildcats/etc is protected.
        But if I myself shot one…all I’d see is poor old Wiley E Coyote lying in the field ;-(

  12. Crosman had a vid where you could see the animal getting hit and running away with the hunter claiming a “clean kill”.
    They were smart enough to pull the plug and remove it from their website and youtube after getting some complaints.
    I’m not against hunting at all and I think hunting is better for the animal than farming them as they can live a nicer life where there not fed some crap and won’t be shocked with eletrical probes and electric fences but I think there’s a way to be ethical about hunting.
    For hunting as for most things, education is the key.


  13. Sitting here with a friend today arguing Sumatra .25 cal vs. Airforce Condor .25 cal. He thinks the sumatra is much better than my airforce condor. I think my condor is a better gun. Just watched a you tube video of a side by side comparison where both were more or less equal with the condor shooting a slightly tighter group. He still likes his sumatra and I still prefer my condor. I guess each should be happy with his own gun.

  14. True. I kind of regret getting my buddy into airgunning a bit. He tends to be a rather undisciplined hunter and always hunting for a bigger caliber more powerful airgun to go after a mouse or a rat. If he can’t hit a pin and drive it into a concrete block from 30 feet away he calls the gun junk and trades it off for the “next best thing”. I tend to buy a gun, fire it some then it goes in a rack and brought out on occasion to be used again. I also am a very disciplined hunter with set rules about what I hunt, what caliber I use to hunt it and how to do the job. He’s kind of like the puppy you hope will be a credible bird dog someday. He runs wild with the gun making more noise than a busted chainsaw shooting at turtles, birds, dragonflies, and whatever else. I find my prey, lock in on it and wait for the right time to strike. With my condor I’m always doing something more to it to trick it out and make it better. My buddy was mad at his brand new gun last time we shot a target challenge and I won. He doesn’t get that I’ve had a gun in my hands since I was old enough to shoulder one properly, am militarily trained for it and spent good money on the best gun I could get then tricked it out to be a true nail driver.

      • I might try that. But if I do I know he’ll fall in love with my gun and beg me to sell it to him. That happened with my custom Discovery, Gamo Shadow Express, and Big Cat. Then he traded them for junk. My big fear is he’ll pester me to death for my best gun.

  15. BB,I saw a gun like the one in today’s blog:it’s in the PA catalog on the next to the last two pages.I don’t think that squirrel is going to make it.I wonder how many sections there are in the cleaning rod for for that barrel.–What is the feasibility of buying a tank for a Discovery air rifle and after it’s initial fill,keeping it topped up with a Hill pump?The Hill pump has a fairly good filter on it and can easily pressurize the tank above the gun pressure.This way I could enjoy shooting with family and friends and not have to mess with pumping for a while.Also I could pump in the cool of the evening and shoot up a storm in the heat of the day.The tanks hold quite a volume of air but I could pump the tank in sessions.Am I bucking the idiot list again with this one?-Tin Can Man-

    • TCM,

      I have a small air tank for my disco that I top off. It’s a lotta work, and much easier to refill the gun when it starts falling of the curve. I save the tank for outings when I want a few more fills, but not the hassle of carrying a pump.


  16. I enjoy hunting small game and eating them. I call hunting “ultimate free range farming”. I do feed barn cats sometimes with unwanted critters from time to time. In town I live trap unwanted pests….although according to law, unless they are a protected species, they must be killed if the owner wants them removed from their property.

    Sometimes I do go out and just track and observe animals for fun and then shoot then with my camera.

  17. that is about as close to the truth as can be said b.b. i see some who think “its a gun i can kill any game” and just set n shake my head and wonder how deep the gene pool runs. i got in a heated arguement with a fellow who was gonna kill medium sized animals with a diana 34 in 177 . i said go try elephants first and if 1 dont charge you i will let you use my holland and holland in 500 gibbs to down it .

  18. I’m not used to the blog format and this seems to be terribly off-topic… so please forgive me if I’m goofing up.

    Basic question: Are there any airsoft pistols accurate enough for basement plinking?

    Looking back over about 50 years of shooting (starting with a Marksman BB / pellet / dart pistol) I’m realizing that the most gun fun I’ve had is socially knocking things down – plastic army men, pop cans, steel plates, etc. Now my “kids” (25, 21, and 17) and I occasionally get to the range to shoot falling plates with handguns, but I’d like something similar without the drive and with less ammo expense.

    I only have about 20 feet to work with in my basement. I think I want semi-auto or revolver.

    I’ve read BB’s blog about reasonably accurate air pistols, e.g., the S&W 586. They sound great, but creating a fun, variable, clean, safe, interesting target system for pellets at short range is relatively complex.

    What would solve all my problems would be an airsoft pistol capable of consistent 1″ precision at 15 or so feet. Alas, the airsoft reviews don’t really think of accuracy the same way that airgun reviews do.

    Any ideas or applicable experience?

    • Yes. I just tested this gun:


      …and it did a 9-shot group of 1 1/8″ at about 20′, which certainly translates into 1″ or less at 15′

      There are others, too… the WE guns are capable of comparable accuracy, but ya gotta use good BB’s. Speaking of BB’s…. this gun does slightly better, but it shoots steel BB’s:


      The better revolvers should have comparable accuracy, but I haven’t tested them.

    • Also, I recommend CO2 for basement shooting. Green gas is more expensive (and harder to find). Propane is interchangeable with green gas but stinks when used indoors.

    • Tim,

      Most airsoft pistols I have tested will exceed your accuracy criterion. They will keep their BBs in an inch at 25 feet — even the $10 springers, if they have Hop Up.

      The thing to make is a deep BB trap with light (denim) fabric toward the rear, so none of the BBs bounce back out, because they can make a mess if they scatter around the floor.


      • Thanks, Vince and B.B.,

        I guess my airsoft accuracy (precision, actually) expectations had been set too low; the only airsoft pistols I’ve shot much were ones I bought in (literally) a back alley in Tokyo, somewhere in Akihabara, 15 or 20 years ago. A friend and I used to make the trip on business about six times a year, and found a shop that had spring pistols for about US $5 equivalent. We’d buy them at the beginning of the week, shoot them for the week we were there (I’m guessing the Imperial Hotel maids weren’t sad when we left!), and then toss them – not wanting the potential for luggage issues.

        Anyway, those pistols were basically on target about two out of three shots, but the other third would go off at a goofy angle. Plinking was still entertaining, but it had a random element that I’d like to eliminate.

        Glad to know I can expect better!


  19. A friend’s son just returned from Afghanistan. He bought a new 9 mm pistol but there was no ammo to be found to give it a try. I sold him a box this morning (At Normal Cost). The shelves are still bare around here. A large outdoor store said the delivery of ammo is speeding up. But, it is still selling out as soon as it hits the shelves. I’m happy to say that they are charging normal prices and limiting the amount purchased.


    • Mike,

      I have noticed the price of ARs and AKs has leveled off and is now on the decline, again. Reloading components are still hard to come by, but it is possible to get them if you shop and are patient.

      As for loaded ammo, the secret seems to be to know when the store receive their shipments and be present to buy some.


      • I was just at Bass Pro Shop and they have a lot of ammo. Now the real answer is you aren’t shooting the right gun. Of course, the popular stuff is gone, but there is still WMR, .17, 7mm, Federal .22 LR, etc. – a lot of the lesser used calibers. Time to buy more guns!

  20. The price of being a celebrity… William Shatner once appeared on a talk show where he said fans would come and ask him what he said to the Klingon in such and such an episode. He had no idea. But at B.B. doesn’t have a fan like Kathy Bates in the film misery to keep him imprisoned while he churns out writing. And when she sees the slightest discrepancy from earlier work says, “No, this isn’t worthy of your talent,” and burns it. Maybe, Edith could try this as a prank.

    john, the only shredding I’ve seen with a firearm was in Terminator 2 when Arnold was fighting the T-1000 which was made out of some kind of molten metal. When the T-1000 is chasing them in a semi, Arnold leaps out of his car, boards the semi, and takes up a position crouched on the hood pointing his full-auto M16 through the windshield. When he pulls the trigger, the fur does fly, but it does stop the T1000 for very long.

    Mike, on the subject of double-action revolver triggers, what would you say is a reasonable weight? I was a little surprised at the weight of the double-action trigger on my soon to be acquired SW 686. But it wasn’t so much as the ten pounds on Jerry Miculek’s revolver trigger. I’ve read that this weight is necessary to slow down his super-fast trigger finger enough for the gun to reset. There’s a man with a big, strong finger.

    Speaking of Jerry, I just saw a video of him doing one of those final definitive comparisons between an AR and an AK. He shot both of a bench and achieved a 2.5 inch 5 shot group with the AR. It was a completely stock AR with ammo that approximated the GI issue. This is almost exactly B.B.’s estimate of the grouping of a standard AR. 2.5 inches for Jerry Miculek would be 3 inches, at least, for anyone else. Otherwise, his test was less than satisfying. He did 5 shot rapid fire strings from both rifles. But when he went up to the targets of dazzling white paper, you could hardly see the holes. And he didn’t say how big the groups were. They actually looked very similar. For the 100 yard bench test, he estimated the AR group at 2.5 inches just by sight, but he didn’t even try to estimate the AK group which was a little larger. At no point did he take out a measuring device! It just goes to show that a well-run test is not a common thing.


  21. B.B.

    I have some observations that might be useful to you for your oiled pellet test…

    I was fooling around with a low power PCP in the basement yesterday. I wanted to check out a couple more pellets for shooting outdoors to see if they would be good candidates for more testing (if it ever gets warm here). I want to see what is going to be the best if I jack up the power a little more, but am not going to waste time if they shotgun in the basement.

    I shot all of them oiled. The groups tightened much faster when all the pellets were oiled than they do when shot dry switching from one kind to another. Looked like it only took one or two shots, while it takes somewhere between 10 and 20 when shooting them dry. This may not be just a case of bore conditioning alone. Bouncing the valve a time or two may be needed to get things settled in as well when changing pellets.


  22. Titus Groan, thanks for your comments about archery. So, you have actually shot arrows at 90 meters? I saw the finals of the 2008 Olympics between a Urkrainian and a guy from South Korea shooting at that distance and it was amazing. The South Korean lost when he shot an 8!!!

    I salute your Jaws of the Subconscious achieved over a whole shooting session. It is much more fleeting with me. Yes, the big paradox is achieving the highest performance by not caring. How to do this? Maybe that’s why people resort to Zen and the sound of one hand clapping and such things. There must be a key to guide one through the mysterious landscape and combine effort and non-effort. Victor’s killer method of working the wobble area against the steady trigger squeeze is working for me amazingly well, but even with this method there is plenty of room for growth. With the harder triggers, I found myself paralyzed by the moving sight and holding the gun shaking for up to 10 seconds. In response, I’ve developed the 6 second Tube of Inevitability and it seems to help.


    • With a heavy trigger pull, a progressive squeeze works well. Your pressure on the trigger gets stronger as you squeeze. Press…..Press…Press.Press,Press.


    • Matt61,

      Study precisely how the hard trigger squeeze pulls your sights out of alignment, assuming that’s what’s happening. This is when you very likely need to focus your attention on your grip. This is also when some find it necessary to apply putty to their grip. The most important issue though is that this struggle with the heavier trigger doesn’t cause you to learn bad habits.


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