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Education / Training See you in September…

See you in September…

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

“Have a wonderful summer.”

Great words, but not when they’re in my high school graduation yearbook. We were all going our separate ways. Some of us were going to southeast Asia and might never come back. Others were going on to colleges to become doctors, lawyers, nuclear physicists and accountants. A couple went to Hollywood and were never heard from again and at least one went on to win several Super Bowls and become a household name — actually two names. I went to high school with Larry Csonka in Stow, Ohio, and Craig Morton in Campbell, California.

So, why didn’t they write, “Since I’m never going to see you again, have a nice life.”? I’ll tell you why — because people don’t know how to say goodbye. So now, 48 years later, I have someone wishing me a perpetual good summer of 1965. I was never quite sure about what that meant, either. Was it just the one summer, or were all of them implied?

Know what else people aren’t good at? Visualization. Like what to pack for a vacation. Oh, the old swimsuit is easy enough, but what about taking an airgun?

Well, gee, I did just get a .50-caliber Dragon Claw. Wouldn’t that be neat to have along at Yellowstone?

Not unless your fantasy is to be the focus of a SWAT team attack! Unless you’re vacationing at a rifle range or somewhere very remote, a big bore airgun is not ideal. Nor is anything that requires a large support base such as scuba tanks, hand pumps, CO2 cartridges and ancillary stuff like that.

While you’re at it, leave your 4-foot gun bags and hard cases at home with the aquarium and the garden tractor. The last thing you want or need on a vacation is a lot of baggage.

My pick for you is the Beeman P17 single-stroke pistol and as many tins of pellets as you think you’ll need. Or, if you don’t like Chinese airguns, spend the money and buy the German-made Beeman P3 that it was modeled after. Both guns are quiet, accurate, have adjustable sights, great triggers and are very portable. Sure, they’re single-shots, but that’s part of their attraction — they slow you down and make you pay attention to what you’re doing.

Oh, you don’t absolutely have to stick with a single-stroke pistol if you don’t want to. A nice pneumatic like the Crosman 1377C or the .22-caliber 1322 would be fine. They’re larger pistols, but still self-contained, requiring only pellets for fun.

If you want a springer, might I suggest the Browning Buck Mark? It’s reasonably accurate, easy to cock and the price shouldn’t break the bank. If it does, you aren’t going on a vacation; you’re just staying home from work.

What about a rifle?
For an air rifle, I recommend the Diana 27; but since none of you were far-sighted enough to get one back when I was touting them, now you have to live with what’s available. Well, that was why the Air Venturi Bronco was created — for all those who should have bought Diana 27s but never got around to it. For a lot less money than a Diana 27 costs, you can get a brand-new Bronco and have the same fun with it. It’s a little larger and heavier, but just as accurate, just as easy to cock and quite the little all-day plinker.

I could go on and on with this — recommending multi-pumps and other springers, but that’s not the point of today’s blog. The point is that when you’re on vacation, take along something simple and fun to shoot. It doesn’t need to be your most powerful or most accurate airgun — just one that you like to shoot.

And travel light. Vacations are not the time to stress about air supplies or where to buy more CO2. They’re times when you want to be free and unencumbered by stuff, so you can have some fun.

And, one more thing. You guys all say that I’m an enabler who spends your discretionary money faster than your wives and girlfriends can account for it. But did you notice that the guns I chose for today were mostly inexpensive? You don’t have to spend a lot of money on an airgun to have fun with it. A $40 P17 or a $45 Buck Mark should certainly be affordable. And that was my criterion for selection — good airguns at good prices.

Keep things simple when you’re away from home and your support base. If you have to buy pellets from a discount store, even the cheapest ones should shoot okay in the guns I’ve recommended. In fact — that gives me a great idea for another report. I will test inexpensive pellets like you’d find in a discount store (and Pyramyd AIR sells these, too) against the best pellets I can buy.

Yeah! I like that!

Oh, and have a wonderful summer….

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.

98 thoughts on “See you in September…”

  1. Interesting topic. I don’t go on vacation but spend my “vacation time” at our second home in the mountains that is less than 2 hours from my city home. That’s where many airguns are since that’s where I have the most time to shoot.

    ps-had no idea bb knew craig morton. he was a bronco hero in colorado in the 70’s. big, big deal. he even had a good steak restaurant unlike many sports stars that have opened restaurants. last i heard he was back in california. lost track of him.


    • Kevin,

      It’s stranger than that! When I moved to Aurora and met Edith, we went to the same church as Craig. Used to see him in our pew on Sunday after a game. He always moved slowly, because I guess he was hurting a lot.


      • I think it was Mario Andretti who said it was easy to spot the pilots from the rest of the staff when arriving at the track, because racers all had a limp.


  2. BB,
    You scared me — I thought you were “graduating” :)!

    Speaking of discount pellets, the Crosman Field Points (come in milk cartons containing ~1250 pellets from PA) are good for plinking in the P17, and, more importantly, they load very easily, which is appreciated as my fingers are too big and stiff to do much fancy work in the space the P17 allots for loading. I think the P17 is one of the best deal in airguns, at home or away.

    I like the idea of testing “cheap” pellets against the gold standards. Some of the cheap ones shoot pretty well in certain applications, and the way prices are getting these days, no need to throw more money at a problem than it requires. Maybe shoot both types of pellets out of a modest air rifle and/or pistol, then do the same for something higher priced and known accurate, to see if the pellet or the platform makes more difference. Should be interesting.

  3. B.B.,

    I can really appreciate this one. I grew up shooting airguns on vacation at the lake (Table Rock). I still vacation at the same resort and always take a few airguns of course. The range is short so we only use lower powered guns. Plus there are neighbors who might not see the fun in an Condor at 12 yards!

    Back in the day we had Dad’s LP53 and a Daisy 717 which we got at the factory not too far from the lake. I would add the 717 to the list of unbelievably accurate and enjoyable short range airguns. I never could shoot the Walther well. Maybe hit the lake from the shore:) I still have both airguns and wonderful memories of shooting them with Dad and our guests at the lake.

    This year I plan on taking the Winchester 425 I picked up in Roanoke last year. You know the one. I don’t like to shoot it much because it is so nice and unused but the vacation is it’s perfect place.

    Last year I took my 1701P. It got lots of attention but the pump DID take up a lot of precious space. I can only take so many airguns so the added baggage (literally) of the pump does matter.

    I always take my P17 and usually an R7. My girlfriend brings her Bronco. I guess I have been hanging around here a while.

    Nice subject,
    Mark N

  4. It is good that you are recommending cheaper airguns to take on vacation. This is because the TSA has a habit of stealing whatever they can get their filthy little mitts on. I would hesitate to risk even my P17 for fear that those pirates in rent-a-cop uniforms would get their hands on it.

    Vacation is a concept that is vaguely familiar, but somewhat elusive to my memory. I know I took part in the ritual at one time or another, but it has been a long while. Expendable income has been in short supply as of late.

      • A Haenel 100 sounds about right for a submarine a few hundred feet under the surface.

        Take an errant shot with a Walther or Luger, and that could ruin the whole voyage completely!


        • B.B.,

          Actually, I can envision Jurgen Prochnow, the skipper in das Boot, standing up behind the officers’ mess table and picking off a piece of lint on the political officer’s collar from seven feet with a Tell model II — now THAT would be impressive!


      • Wasn’t there a submarine movie (was it U57…) where there was shooting inside the submarine and the rounds bounced all over the place? I’ve heard they do that in tanks. I would think there would be regulations against shooting inside subs.


        • I’ve actually been aboard a WWII German U-Boat, when I was a child.

          The Museum of Science and Industry on the lakefront in Chicago had one. Every single bit of space was used inside, much of it for the electrical and hydraulic systems of the ship. If a gun were shot off in any direction, the odds of it hitting and damaging something very important would be very high. And yes, ricochets would be an issue. Furthermore, the pressure on the hull when a sub is hundreds of feet deep is extraordinary. I wouldn’t want to be in there with somebody shooting.

          There were two or three men per bunk. When one sailor’s shift started, he’s get up, and the sailor whose shift ended got to use the bunk. Bunks were rarely unoccupied.

          Das Boot (in German with subtitles) just might be the greatest war film of them all, and that is saying one heckuva lot!


              • That’s a nice sub. Can you visit everything inside?
                I loved touring the inside of the ship, it must have been one hell of a stink hole in that thing, after cleaning and repainting everything inside it the smell of oil and diesel from the engine room still reached every part of the sub but the engine room was a whole other level of stink. When you’re inside the engine room it’s almost like standing inside an engine.
                The hole the cooks had to squeeze in to retrieve the food from the freezers and fridges under the deck was so small, it’s hard to believe some people actually were able to go in and out of there.

                While we visited the sub the audio guide (it was really well made) they told us when the RCMP went on a mission to get some drug smugglers, they followed them for a few days and waited for them to be deep enough in Canadian waters to surface. The guys we’re so surprised, not only didn’t they fire a shot, they all tought they we’re going to sink the boat and all jumped in the 45 degrees water, the interception mission became a rescue mission as they would all have died of hypotermia pretty quickly.

                Cool stuff. I’m gonna go back when the kids are older.


        • Matt,

          I don’t know a lot about subs, but I was an Armor officer (a tanker) for 12 years and can tell you with certainty that there is no room in a tank to shoot anything. In the M60A1s that I worked with for most of my career, there were several M3A1 submachine guns held by clips to the interior bulkheads. These weapons were not assigned to anyone — one of the very rare times that ever happens. If you had to get out of the tank, whoever wanted could grab one of these and use it to fight. It isn’t a glamorous weapon, so all it was used for was to spray down the outside of the tank before you disembarked.

          In a tank, each crewman has a station with less room to move than a fighter pilot typically has in his cockpit. Only the loader has any room at all, and even that is measured in inches in all directions. The tank commander of an M60A1 stands or sits in his spot and when seated his feet are at the back of the gunner, who has the least room of any crewman. The driver sits in a semi-reclining position and if his chair did not adjust up and down, would have no room at all.

          Tanks look huge on the outside, but they are thick with armor, ammo storage (where each round is a yard long), fuel storage, optics, fire controls, radios and the main gun and machine guns.

          And that is an American tank. Soviet tanks like the T55 have far less room and their crewmen actually have height restrictions.


        • Let us ignore “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (the series)… I’d swear that every other episode someone shoots out the “ballast control computer”…

      • B.B.,

        Music is such an enjoyable and powerful element of my life. I must say that throughout high school, shooting occupied my mind and time like nothing else. I don’t have much in the way of memories, or interest, that could be derived from my high school itself.


        • I don’t have great memories of high school either. I wonder if this is a general phenomenon except for sports stars and popular people.

          In roaming around YouTube, I find myself going back in time to listen to music, really no later than the 80s. The stuff today is truly abominable as far as I’m concerned, visually and musically. The current generation’s allotment of talent must be hiding.


          • If you like rock give Jack White/The White Stripes, Wolfmother and a lot of Dave Grohl/Foo Fighters a listen.
            I was born in ’76 and mostly listen to stuff made before I was born.


          • Matt61,

            I’ve describe my high school before. It really was a worse case example in almost every way. An interesting observation that some of us who graduated from that school made is that people who graduated at the top tended to not do so well in the real world. A lot of us who were at the bottom did remarkably well. “Top athlete” in my school, were destined for failure in college because they were spoiled so badly, pretty much like our “academic stars”. The top athletes in my high school were spoiled bullies who would beat up anyone who tackled them during practice. When they got into a college program they would quit almost right away because they weren’t use to being hit so hard.

            In my high school being “the best” was usually the classic case of being a big fish in a little pond. Once they entered a lake, they were faced with people who had a real fire in their belly, and were bigger, tougher, smarter, and were truly hungry for success. My school didn’t encourage real ambition, and the closer you were to the school, the more unrealistic your perspective of the world was. The rest of us lowly students just saw things as they were, with no illusions.


  5. I always take staycations. Wednesday evening I was sitting on the front porch with the wife and the dog and decided to pull out my Izzy and plink for a bit. Yea, keep it simple. That is why I have actually been considering another sproinger.

    Now if I really want to get away some, I go to my friend’s cabin up on the mountain. It is less than an hour away and I can pack a lot of gear in my fourwheeldrivesportscarwithabigtrunkintheback.

    • I keep an old Marksman 2004 (Same gun as the P17) in my truck. It’s the only airgun I will risk getting stolen. I can’t say I love the P17, my old Marksman 2004, or even a P3. I always feel like I am about to pinch my fingers when I cock one. But, they are lightweight, accurate, don’t rust, and with the exception of the P3, cheap. I wish I could settle on a rifle to keep in the truck too but I don’t have any that fit the bill. For a rifle I would want a mid power springer in a compact format. Something like my C1 but I am not about to leave my C1 in the truck.

      David Enoch

      • David,

        You just provided me with a goal. What you want is a small, lightweight, inexpensive and accurate plinking spring gun. Is that right?

        The Diana 27 is all of those things except inexpensive, and as long as we are at it, why does it need to be as large as it is?

        People sometimes ask me where I get all my ideas. This is where.



  6. On the subject of inexpensive pellets: I would like to request testing the H&N Excite Econ Pellets, .177 Cal, 7.48 Grains, Wadcutter, /product/h-n-excite-econ-pellets-177-cal-7-48-grains-wadcutter-500ct?p=1059#refId=850c816bff99d955a9924f0105ad9827

    I picked up 4 tins of these $5.25 for 500 pellets on my last PA order, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to try them out.

  7. Afternoon Tom

    Do you know anything about this (Sharp Tiger Multi-pump pneumatic) air rifle: http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/99590946/Sharp_Tiger_Pump_Air_Gun_Mahogany_4_5mm_Includes_Silencer_Free_Pellets.html
    It looks quite handsome with the mahogany stock and costs the equivalent of about $190 here in South Africa. Other rifles in this price class include the Norica Dragon, Gamo CFX & Socom 1000, Hasan Striker and the Webley & Scott Value Max; just to put the price into perspective for you US guys.


    • Vasco,

      You asked if I know anything. I know a lot, so here goes. Sharp used to be a wonderful multi-pump, when it was made is Japan. But then the company moved to Indonesia and the quality went out the window. I have owned both Japanese and Indonesian Sharps.

      The Indonesian guns have barrels with spotty accuracy. One will be good and the next will not. That is Asian quality control at work. The Japanese won’t build them that way, but every other Asian country will, and that includes Korea, who make the second-best Asian guns.

      The Asians have access to the best hardwoods in the world. They make the stocks for most of the finest UK airguns, so the look of this gun doesn’t surprise me.

      You may get a good one or you may not. It is always a gamble.


    • Vasco,

      I can tell you that (Sharp) Tiger is based from Sharp Innova platform. The notable differences is alum receiver (ABS on Innova) and trigger mechanism.

      Like Innova, more pumps means heavier trigger pull. But mostly you’ll only need 3-5 pumps (450-600 fps with 8.3gr superdome if memory serves me right) for all your purpose and at that pumps, trigger pull is not really that heavy.

      It’s recoiless due to dump valve system, very easy to maintain with common o-ring set, scopable, lightweight, and quiet even without moderator. Barrel replacement a bit tricky but doable with torch and super glue.

      It is very popular rifle in my country. Accuracy is superb, but a lemon barrel is not uncommon though. From about 10 rifles I’ve handled personally (friend’s and mine), 2 of them got the barrel replaced.

      I’d say you can expect one ragged, ciggarette butt size hole group at 20m with good scope, bench rested. At least that’s my informal lemon-a-meter.

  8. I agree completely with the idea of taking less expensive guns on vacation. I’ve lost too many things over the years while on vacation. I’d cry if my TX200 disappeared.

    As for me I will likely take something like a couple of my favorite action pistols and probably my 1077. In other words “Fun Guns”.

    Speaking of action pistols. In one of your reports from this years Shot Show you seemed to show some enthusiasm over the new Umarex P.08. Have you had a chance to look at this gun now that it’s available?

  9. As an afterthought, I realize my gun selections are all CO2 powered. But since I’m not getting on a plane this year I can take all of the cartridges I need in our car.

  10. This morning I read far enough to figure out that the subject was airguns to take on vacation. Then I had to walk to another room. I immediately said I would take a Diana 27 or Slavia 630 and a Webley Tempest.

    We go to Cuchara, Colorado every summer for a week and stay in a house that is up at 10,000 feet. I take airguns with me there. What works best for me up there are C02 rifles and springer or C02 pistols. I take rifles such as QB78s and Crosman 180s and pistols such as my BSA Scorpion, Tempest, or a Crosman Mark 1. I take a couple 24 count boxes of C02, pellets, simple tools, my tripod rest, a range finder, and spinner targets.

    David Enoch

  11. Off topic question: what rings would you suggest for mounting a 4×12 scope on a R9 and getting maximum accuracy ?
    Are the more expensive rings more accurately aligned than the low priced rings ?
    Are 1 piece rings more accurately aligned than 2 piece rings ?
    Do rings with stop pins make the thin holes in the R9 receiver oval ?
    Do BKL rings squeeze so hard that the thin R9 tube becomes oval ?
    Do 1 piece rings slip less or oval the stop holes less ?
    Do widely placed 2 piece rings prevent the scope from moving better if it’s bumped ?

    • John…

      You also better worry about if the rifle is a drooper too. I went through fits with one of my R9s to get droop, mount movement, and scope movement in the mount fixed.


    • John,

      You have a lot of questions about scope rings.

      Alignment is better than you think and never perfect. The cost of the rings doesn’t matter. I have seen $500 rings that didn’t line up, and, yes, they do exist. Edith has also seen them. A guy who used to shoot field target with us had them. His scope was mounted five inches above the bore, on riser blocks that came with the mounts.

      Leapers $10 rings line up as well as the best of them.

      One-piece rings are extremely inflexible when it comes to scope positioning. I avoid them most of the time.

      Funny you should mention the R9 spring tube, because I once crushed one with a set of BKL scope mounts. Those were the old BKL company, not the same one that makes BKL mounts today. The R9 tube is so thin that when I tightened the base clamps, I could feel the mainspring forcing its way past the scope tube where the clamps pinched it too tight. When the mounts were removed, everything returned to normal.

      The holes in the R9 tube should hold, but it’s probably best if you use mounts that have wide base pins rather than narrow ones. The former B-Square rings (that used to be made in America) and Sportsmatch rings are the best for this.

      The height of the scope over the rifle has zero influence of the rifle’s potential accuracy. It can affect cant, so if you use high mounts, consider that.


    • John,

      I’ve had great luck with the 2 piece Leapers Accushot rings. A pain to mount with all of the screws, but they don’t move even on my Izh 513m .22 which is a 17-19 ft/lbs magnum springer, very light and therefore kicks very hard! Plus, they’re cheap!


  12. I was lucky enough to get a p17 that hasn’t needed a rebuild due to bad deburring during mfg. It gives me a sore finger from loading it, by it’s acceptably accurate and has a nice trigger! My only real gripe with it is that the safety is on the wrong side for me (I’m right handed), so it’s a 2 hand operation to shoot it…

    Crosman Destroyers are available at my local wally-world and they shoot pretty well in several of my .177’s.

    What’s a “vacation”? Some sort of ancient ritual that better men from better times practiced?


    • /Dave,

      For the price, you can’t beat Crosman Destroyers. They aren’t the best on any of my rifles, but they are far from being the worse. They truly are “good enough” in every sense of the word. If I want to shoot the best groups possible with a particular gun, I won’t use them. But if I want to shoot well, then they usually don’t disappoint. They have been among the most consistent pellet across my air-rifles. And again, for the price you just can’t beat them.


      • They’re not always in stock, but every time I see them I pick up a few tins, or just clean off the shelf.They are exactly as you described… Not the best, but good and very consistent. And cheap! I like cheap!

    • /Dave,
      My P17 has more shots than most of the reviews (where they have problems) seem to have trouble in, so I’m hopeful. I really like the trigger, too, but they must vary quite a bit, because some people don’t like them at all. The safety works well when I shoot left handed, but I’m predominantly right handed…

      The Destroyers do seem pretty good, but I’ve not tested them a lot. They look REALLY COOL, though, and sometimes, that is all that is needed, esp. at the price :).

  13. Normally I don’t like old guns, but today I’m excited about a gun older than me. Around the time I was born my dad gave one of my uncles a bolt action .22 rifle. I never knew about it. Today I learned that my uncle has given me that gun. The reason this excites me so much is this is the only thing I have of my dad’s. I have no idea if he is alive or where he is. He was just gone when I was a small boy. In fact that’s one of the very few things that exist that proves that I came from somewhere. I didn’t just appear one fine day. The reason this is so important to me is I was hit by a car in 2003. I don’t remember most of my life. Everything from 18 on back and some even more recent memories is just a fragment of memory here, a remembered feeling there, but no clear images. So there are people out there that know more about me than I do. I’m hoping if I can collect enough of my past however distant, however insignificant it might help me regain all those lost memories. I remember my army days, I remember guarding the 1996 Olympic games and even some of the Olympians I got to meet. I remember my daughters’ faces, but cannot recal what my ex-wife looked like. Other than that I have been rebuilding my life since 2003. Now a small piece of my past is reaching out to me and it is a welcome thing.

    • John, no matter how I pretend I cannot really understand what it is like to be you. What I can do is commend for how you are dealing with your situation and wish you every success in rebuilding your memories and knowledge. Best to you. ~Ken

      • I realize I might never ever get all my memories back since the day I was hit by a car was no doubt the very worst day anybody in the world could possibly have and live through it….well kind of live through it anyway. That day I took the absolute limit of what a human body could endure in physical abuse. But it’s over and all I can do is bather up whatever pieces I can and live with it. So I’m always happy when a piece of my past finds me especially if it’s a piece I never knew about. Today I get to see my dad’s rifle for the first time in my life. It’s exciting to me to see something belonging to a family member I cannot remember that had a direct part in my existing. So that is the 2nd thing I inherited from him. The first thing I was born with. I am a carbon copy of my dad in just about every way possible. My mom says I even have some of his same habits and even some of his same hobbies. Is that weird or what? What I seemed to get from my mom’s side of the family is that stubborn refusal to die.

    • Howdy John, if ya can’t remember what you’re ex’s face looks like, ya can borrow onea mine. Got 6 ta choose from…or wuz it 7!?! KenHo, doin’ the speed limit yet? Thanx ya’ll, have a great weekend & shoot/ride safe

      • I’ll pass on that. My ex-wife is one memory I really do not want back. I have enough scars to remind me of her and to remind me never ever to get married again. In my case, very bad idea. Likely the #1 bad idea I ever had.

      • Beaz, I am doing reasonably well. Had a good time yesterday with our support staff organization. Won top prize for bowling, both team an individual. That was a surprise; my top score was 145 which tells me there were no leaguers in the bunch. Played Laser Tag for the first time. That was fun and informed me how my fitness level has deteriorated. Definitely need to make each shot count, and quickly. I still need some Lyrica to keep the radiculopathy at bay. The neurosurgeon offered to go in again, from the posterior side of the cervical spine. It took me a year to feel like I was reasonably recouped from the anterior surgery, so I begged off for now. Even so, when I ran out of Lyrica the situation proved to not be as bad as before surgery, but still very distracting. My only concern is to keep obtaining Lyrica and to take as little as is needed. Aside from that, you are my favorite rogue and I would like to ride with you (but the wife will never consent). Thanks for asking. Ride safe; enjoy the wind. ~Ken

        • KenHo, boy howdy, I’m w/ya there pal! At my advanced age, I need lotsa lycra ta keep everything where it used ta be. Got that furniture movin’ problem, where yer chest moves into yer drawers?!?
          Doc sez it’s terminal.

    • You sound like Jason Bourne. The man with no memory but with extensive gun skills. Not remembering your ex-wife’s face sounds like a benevolent Providence.

      I was hit by a car in the first grade. Totally my fault. I got it into my head that the cars were like bulls that I could dodge like a matador, breaking from cover and darting across the street just in time. It just took one guy breaking the speed limit. What I remember was the most incredible sense of impact before I went flying through the air. The force was incomprehensible. It was my moment in the NFL. But I just got a broken collar bone out of it.


      • I got much worse than a broken collar bone out of it. I ended up with a double concussion, one side of my jaw broken, the other dislocated, lost a few teeth, several broken ribs….i got hit hard enough to shatter the windshield of that car with my body. it was a distracted driver who ran a stop light while I was crossing the street. all I remember of it is the car was white. I don’t remember who it was but I remember a woman’s voice. Just about the rest of that day I do not remember. I did come out of a coma 6 days later even though I wasn’t expected to live from my injuries plus antifreeze poisoning courtesy of my wife. It’s the head trauma that cost me a good part of my memories. Sometimes I find a small shred here or there. But it’s a little thing. Maybe just an old remembered feeling or a shattered ghost of a memory that I don’t quite have the entire story anymore. But strong memories, things that are ultimately important to me, I seem to have held on to.

        The gun thing is nothing more than an ability I have always had to see how things work and how to put things together. That same ability helps me to be good with a gun. That plus I learned to shoot at a young age and I have rarely been away from behind a gun ever since. My wife hated that but it was simply impossible to keep me from getting some target practice even if it was with a cheap crosman 1077. But she would not let me keep things like my AK-47 which she destroyed. My airguns were my one guilty pleasure. Now that I am free of her my airgun collecting knows no bounds. In fact I’ve also managed to put together a nice collection of powder burners, but airguns remain my main thing.

  14. I tend to like mt co2 pistols for away guns. My px4 is one I’ve taken a liking to recently since I like a pistol with recoil. It feels more real to me than something like my H&K USP which feels very much like a plastic toy to me. I also like my Dan Wesson revolver with the 2 1/2 inch barrel. Looks and feels very real except no recoil. Bit of a pain to shoot since it needs to reload every 6 shots but that’s part of the charm. I don’t really go on vacation since I don’t have a car but I do target shoot at home just for fun.

    • John, I have a Gamo PT-85 and an Umerex Walther CP99 Compact. I don’t know what it is about the blowback that just feels right, but I understand we are not the only ones. My poor Crosman 3576 hasn’t seen much action lately. I think I need to correct that this weekend, though. Happy shooting. ~Ken

      • I’m going to the range today. I’m doing a bit of experimentation on my condor today. We all know the condor makes quite a bit of racket. I’m going to be seeing just how quiet I can get that beast to be today. I have a host of things to try from barrel sizes and barrel shrouds to rubber bands. This might be a good future blog for B.B. to look at. “How to make a noisy gun quiet”.

          • That is a possibility. The weather is nice today and I could bring my camera. My data won’t be all that scientific but I’d do my best based on what I hear. I don’t have any fancy sound meters or 1692 dimes laying around but my blog wouldn’t necessarily be about accuracy. Just making the gun quiet.

            Why not? I could show off “The Magnificent Marvelous Mad Madam Mim”. I’ll get back with you on that a bit later and see what I can come up with.

          • I had a great range day today and got all kinds of good raw data on how to make a noisy gun as quiet as possible today along with some interesting pictures of my dad’s old Remington 514 bolt action .22. Very primitive gun but in very good shape for as old as it is. Interestingly, I couldn’t find a serial number on it anywhere so it must be much older than I am. Any time you want that guest blog, let me know. I have quite a bit of interesting data.

                • John, I expect Edith will be able to work out the details with you. I just want to mention that there is usually a text editor available no matter what operating system or device you are using these days. Usually, a text editor come with your computing device (or can be obtained freely). There are even text editors for Iphones and Android phones (although I find typing into a phone to be something to avoid for the most part). I look forward to reading your blog report. ~Ken

                  • Thanks. I already got it worked out and it’s ready for whenever B.B. decides to use it. I was able to give some fairly decent pics too. It will definitely be something different.

          • Oh, also that old remington 514 must be a good luck charm. First thing I did after I had the bolt oiled and working is took out a rather big opossum. One perfect head shot from 35 yards. Not bad for an old .22 bolt action. Unusual to see one in daylight but I got pictures of it to prove I got it.

  15. While I’ve not taken an airgun on vacation, I once bought an airgun while on a long trip with my wife. She was helping setup a new branch in Utah, while I was working at the hotel. We were out of town for a month, and I needed to shoot something, so I bought a Crosman GP to take out to public lands. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a shooting outing as much as I did this. There were lots of hard targets left by other shooters, and I had the whole desert all to myself. The gun was accurate, shot hard, and I was in the mood BIG-TIME.

    Correction, I did take several air-rifles on a trip to Laughlin. Across the river in Bullhead City, there are public lands that people use to plink. From the debris, I can tell that most people take firearms, but I’ve never actually seen anyone out there shooting. So again, I had the whole desert all to myself.

    Here’s something that some of you may not have considered. Buy the packets with small target bulls, like the red and black ones that are between a inch to maybe 3 inches. When driving through the desert, I find lots of boards and other objects that you can past these smaller targets on. Sometimes all you need are a few rock to hold up the boards. Very convenient.


    • Victor,

      The desert pubic lands are so awesome! And there is always something interesting to shoot at.

      It is a cliche’ about the desert cartoon with the cattle skull. But you really do find things like that.

      One time I found, miles from anywhere, a bowling pin someone had used for a target.

      Once I found a small stone knife made of flint. It was still sharp.


      • Les,

        Yes, you do find some interesting things out in the desert. I have a favorite spot, so I maintain the area, even though others don’t. Every trip I take extra garbage bags to clean up others trash because I know that park rangers really do patrol the area’s. The reason this is so important is that the amount of available land for shooting is shrinking, and the primary reason for this shrinkage is irresponsible shooters who shoot at glass objects, or leave trash, including things like TV’s.

        On the other hand, others like me leave useful things that can be used by everyone, including things to hang targets on. When they built the Clark County public range, much of it’s justification was irresponsible shooters who abused public lands, which may be about half of the people who go out to shoot.

        When I bought my son his first air-rifle, I took him out to the desert to a spot that looked safe enough. A deputy came by and asked that we leave, even though it was legal. He explained to me that too many shooters tend to shoot over hills where others might be (shooting). This deputy was very polite, and was only looking out for the safety of me and my son. He then told me that he’d prefer that I shoot in my back yard, even if it were illegal.

        I prefer to shoot in the desert because I find it safer than some ranges, and a more pleasant and fun experience than other ranges. The first time I went to the Clark County range, the line officers were overbearing and even rude. I’ve been around shooting ranges as a competitor for enough years to know full well how to be safe, but at the Clark County range I was treated like a 3rd grade moron. BIG TURN OFF, so I’ll never go back there again. I’m sure they believe that they have to be that way because of a lot of shooters that use the range, but I certainly don’t need to be treated like an idiot.

        My personal range is much better run, and infinitely more fun.


  16. Just put eyes on the Umarex Steel Force CO2 BB Gun. That looks like a bb gun I can get excited about. Looks to be what everybody was wishing the Crosman M4-177 was. I’m diggin’ the tactical look guns they got coming out. This is kind of what I wish they’d be doing with the springers and co2 guns.

  17. B.B.,

    I think I recall your comments or posts about the Taurus 1911. I recall that you found it to be a good value.

    I have a friend who is interested in one and remembered my comments to him about your impressions. I would like to send him a link to that discussion but I cannot find it.

    Any help appreciated,
    Mark N

  18. So what was Larry Csonka like? I just remember him as a name from my early years. And I think he did a guest appearance on the Six Million Dollar Man (a laughable sum for today’s Defense Department). I’ve never encountered a professional athlete. My brother was once playing pick up basketball with a football player from Hawaii who had a brief stint in the NFL. His name was Faliniko Noga. My brother came face to face with Noga as he landed from a rebound, and my brother, looking into his eyes, said he looked insane.

    But I can go you better than Larry Csonka. While working at a nursing home in Illinois, I came across a resident who ran a cafeteria that served none other than Red Grange himself, The Galloping Ghost. Naturally, I was eager to hear all about him. But she just said that he was a husky guy, not very big, and that he didn’t say a lot.

    There was another resident who was a cook in the army in WWI! He was 101 years old when I met him and another great instance of living history. But as in the other instance, I was sort of dropped at the threshold of treasures. He extolled the virtues of army beans, but when I asked him what was so great about them, he got kind of unprintable and vague, although still complimentary. Then, he shifted to describing his post-war years in the South where he did quite a bit of hunting. I asked him about that, and it appeared that raccoons were his favorite prey. His method apparently was to let his dogs chase the raccoon into a tree–hence the saying, “tree’d like a coon.” Then, our resident imitated the call of the dogs to signal their catch. Ooooooo. Ooooooo. That was pretty much the end of the story and where I left our resident.

    Anyone see the story about the new smart rifle being sold by a Texas company for $22,000? We may be dinosaurs with all of our lore of shooting technique. The smart feature is some very sophisticated ballistic calculator plugged into the scope that can compensate for all sorts of variables. That’s a familiar route, but what really sets this apart is the trigger which will only release when there is a very high probability of taking a good shot. But the problem for me is how the shooter is supposed to know just when this is. Without him knowing this, the trigger does no good unless you are supposed to keep it depressed all the time. And nothing about the rifle seems to account for follow through and position and the other things that go into a good shot.

    In other news, I may have found a new recruit for airgunning. A friend of mine said that a mouse invaded his home and drove his wife to distraction. They finally got it with glue paper. I didn’t suppose they discarded the trap with the mouse alive, so I asked how the execution was performed. With a brick. Ugh. Airguns all the way.

    BG_Farmer, your concerns about the old blog are exactly those that I wrote about for my library book (which is supposed to come out in the fall). The price of all this electronic information dumped conveniently in your lap is lack of permanence. Since this technology is provided by companies who work for profit (unlike your benevolent library), they can and will pull the plug whenever it’s in their interest to do so. Thus what looks like an increase in information may actually be an impoverishment on a larger scale as records are permanently lost. So, don’t count out your library.

    In fact, why not support your library in the following way. I’m hoping to come on strong with the final project in my GIS class and, like an Assyrian king, trample on my foes like a wild bull (so they say in their engravings). What I hope to do is map the micro-environments necessary to Giant Sequoias which can only grow in small pockets where things are just right. Anyone knowing anything about this, please fill me in. It’s way off topic, but I wouldn’t put it past you all…


    • Matt,

      I said I went to school with Csonka and Morton. I didn’t know either of them. Both were in classes ahead of me.

      I heard a lot of talk about Csonka in the halls between classes. Apparently people knew what a star he was, even at the time. I never was even aware of Morton until I read that he went to the same high school as me. TI read that less than 10 years ago. I did see him in church many times, though, whenever the Broncos were in town.


  19. Todays report is why I like take down rifles so much.
    I used to bring a few pistols and a rifle or two but it would end up taking too much space and not getting used much. That’s where the HW45/P1 came in with the used shoulder stock I was able to get it’s perfect for me, accurate, quiet and a ton of fun to shoot.
    Now that being said, it’s perfect for ME. It’s so nice I don’t want to let everyone shoot it, I wouldn’t want someone dry firing it while I’m not paying attention.
    But I’ll be buying the Browning Buckmark for that reason exactly, if I like it I might even get a second one and make a “dueling” kit.
    I was hoping to get the Trail NP pistol but I don’t think it will happen this year.

    But what is even better while on vacation is SHOPPING, I have to visit gun stores on vacation, you never what you might find, a nice pistol on sale, a new hard case, pellets on clearance?

    I’m trying to find a floating target to use on vacation. I don’t have a lot of place around the cottage but I can shoot as far as I want towards the water without hitting anything (the other side is over 20 miles away).


  20. Kids are out of school now.End of this week wife and kids going to Texas to visit her Mom and Brother for a couple of weeks.I’m off work for 10 days starting Friday of this coming week.Staying home this time cause still have obligations to fill.But I guarantee any free time I get I will be shooting.Although I will miss going because we usually hunt the wild hogs when I go.Before they moved to Texas I use to hunt with her Brother all the time(that’s how I met my wife was through him).This will be the first time in I think in about the last 5 years that I wont be making it.So kinda bummed and happy at the same time.

  21. I’m thinking of getting a Beeman P17. I want something inexpensive, good quality, accurate and easy to take with me where ever I go. The P17 really sounds great. In spite of all the complaints about poor quality control etc., I am still interested in this P3 replica – for just around $40.

    I’m aware that a lot of people have problems with air leaks within the first 100 to 500 shots – or even right out of the packaging. I’ve seen several videos and reviews giving advise that the first thing to do before shooting any pellets is remove the piston… check air hole in the tube for any burrs… coat piston with white lithium grease. etc…

    My questions –

    1) how necessary is all of that initially – will preventive measures like this really save some headaches later?

    2) Is this the “norm” for the P17 or do most P17 owners have really good luck and most of what I hear are the problems rather than the success stories.

    Sorry for beating a dead horse on this topic, but I like to thoroughly investigate all of my purchases and this is the best place to get great advice.


    • Hi Jeff. This is an old post and very of us monitor the older blog articles. You can find the new one at the top right corner of this page. The blog is published every day of the week even on holidays.

      Now for the P17… I bought 2 of them. The first one lasted maybe a dozen shots before the seals let go on the closing stroke and breaking the housing when it slamed shut.
      The second one hasn’t been open yet and is still going strong. So it CAN happen but I wouldn’t take it on camping trip for example because I’m risking the pistol giving up on me during the trip and leaving me with nothing to shoot until I can repair it at home.

      The deburring/repairs shouldn’t be hard but until it’s done I wouldn’t call it a reliable gun.
      Once it’s done I’dve heard of hundreds if thousands of shots so it’s really up to you.


      Ps welcome to the blog 😉

    • Jeff,

      The norm is the P17 works fine without any problems. The complaints you have read are from the few who have either had a problem with their gun, or in some cases they did things they thought were proactive but actually created problems that didn’t exist.

      Weihrauch thinks so much of the P17 that they repair them under waranty in Europe, because people think they have something to do with production of the gun.


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