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Ammo Some common airgun myths: Part 1

Some common airgun myths: Part 1

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

I planned on putting a review of the See All Open Sight here today, but the test went south on me. It was most likely my fault, so I’m not going to publish it until I have a chance to check things. Today’s blog is also written by new blog reader Rob, who responded to my question of what things a new person needed to know about airguns.

ROB: Myth. All pellets are the same. The only differences between the 2-3 different brands available is marketing. Truth. Every airgun is different and will shoot very differently depending on the brand, weight, and shape of pellets fired from it. New guns should always be tested with a variety of pellets.

B.B.: As long as I’ve been an airgunner, I’ve heard that you have to try lots of different pellets in a gun to find the best ones. That’s true for firearms, as well, so why not for airguns?

BUT — and this is a big one! Some pellets are almost always good, while other pellets are most often not so good. The premium pellets you see me use to test airguns — JSB, H&N, Beeman, RWS and certain Crosman pellets — are most often the good ones. I won’t waste my time shooting anything else. The discount store pellets are usually not very good. In fact, I am planning a comparison test between some of the best pellets and some discount store pellets in airguns of known accuracy — to see if what I’ve said holds true.

ROB: Myth. Pointed pellets are best for hunting. Truth. Pointed pellets may pierce an animal, but that might not be the best way to humanely kill it. Projecting power into the animal with domes, hollow points or even target pellets is better, and a heavier weight pellet moving slowly is better than a tiny pellet busting the sound barrier.

B.B.: I learned this years ago. Pointed pellets are never as accurate as good domed pellets. They do penetrate better, but that’s about all. For long-range accuracy, I choose either domes or a few of the new high-tech hollowpoints that are very accurate, like the Predator Polymag and the Beeman Devastator pellets.

ROB: Myth. A pellet or BB gun is a good tool to teach an animal a lesson/run it off. Truth. Most pellet guns today are capable of piercing the skin of an animal at a close distance (and some at long distances), and a sunken pellet will fester…sometimes killing the animal–always punishing it inhumanely. Also, the new airguns (new if you haven’t bought an airgun in 2-3 decades) can be extremely powerful and potentially lethal. When I was a kid, we put on an extra coat and had BB gun wars. That was a bad idea then, and a worse idea now.

B.B.: No argument from me!

ROB: Myth. Oil your gun good (or the reverse, pellet guns last forever…there is no need to maintain them.) I’m guilty of both of these. Truth. Pellgunoil is specifically made for airgun lubrication. Engine oil can hurt it. Too much and not enough oil are equally bad for life and performance. There are still some things I don’t understand about lubrication. There are other oils and greases (lithium and moly grease) that I still know almost nothing about.

B.B.: There’s some truth here, but also some errors. The veteran readers know that I made the same mistake years ago. Pellgunoil is actually made from non-detergent motor oil with additives that preserve o-rings. And, Rob, there are still some things that I don’t know about lubrication, either!

ROB: Myth. There are only 2-3 brands of airguns. Truth. There are dozens and seem to be more every time I look. Wally World may have a gun at a lower cost, but it’s best in the long run to buy from experts who can give advice on all aspects of the gun, including potential scopes and pellets.

B.B.: Amen!

ROB: Myth. You have to spend a fortune to get a straight shooting quality airgun. Truth. Some of the inexpensive guns are the best. That said, you have to pay more to get all metal, wood and a Lothar Walther barrel (a combination I haven’t gotten yet).

B.B.: I think the Beeman P17 and the Air Venturi Bronco speak volumes here.

ROB: Myth. Every barrel should be cleaned. Truth. Some barrels don’t require cleaning at all. Some guns require frequent cleaning.

B.B.: That’s about the size of it.

ROB: Myth. High-power scopes make for better accuracy. Truth. A clear scope makes for the best accuracy…and sometimes taking the scope off and shooting open sites is the best route.

B.B.: In light of some recent test results, I have to agree. Doesn’t mean I’ll give up all my powerful scopes, though!

ROB: Myth. It doesn’t matter where a gun is made. Truth. A good gun could be made anywhere, but the Germans (for example) have the motivation, factories, artisan capabilities and history of making fantastic guns. Other areas of the world are often low-end bidders without devotion to the craft.

B.B. In general, he’s correct but don’t forget the Brits, Swedes, Turks and Americans! There are several countries where good airguns can be made, and often are.

ROB: Myth. Higher speed/greater power is always better. Truth. If you want to blow holes in plywood, greater speed and power are better. However, if you want to hit a target the size of a fly or hunt squirrels at any distance greater than point blank, accuracy is much more important.

B.B.: If you don’t know how I feel about this topic, you are a first-time reader. Accuracy comes before anything except safety.

ROB: Myth. Guns fire as fast as their containers claim. Truth. Airguns rarely fire as fast as the manufacturer brags. When they do, it is because they are a very good brand or because the maker tested the gun with ultra-lite pellets or took advantage of dieseling explosions.

B.B.: This used to be a larger problem than it is today. Some companies persist in overstating their velocity, I admit, but others have gotten on board with honest figures. They know many airgunners have chronographs these days (proportionately far more than firearms shooters), and they’ll be checking. The company that still gets its numbers from intentional oil detonations has been busted by airgunners, but they still sell very well to the unsuspecting public, which is much larger.

ROB: Myth. Airguns are only truly accurate where zeroed. Truth. Airguns point up like cannons and shoot in an arch. That means they are as accurate as they can be at two points on that arch…going up and down (for example, at 15 and 30 yards.)

B.B.: I don’t really understand this one. Because my airguns are accurate at all distances until they go out too far. I think what Rob means is the pellet path intersects the aim point 2 times.

ROB: Myth. “Broken” airguns are throw-aways. Truth. Most can be repaired with simple repairs like oiling or replacing seals or springs.

B.B.: I’ll go even farther than that. I used to do very well by installing CO2 cartridges in CO2 guns I found at flea markets — you know, when they would tell me they never tried the gun because they didn’t have a cartridge. These guns invariably leaked, and I got a big discount. When I got home, I used Pellgunoil and over half of them sealed up again. The Sheridan Supergrade won’t hold air unless you cock it first. Try to pump one up without cocking, and the air just bleeds out. These are a few of the tricks that can be used to negotiate the price down.

Rob: Myth. Airguns are toys and can never be as accurate as firearms. Truth. To my amazement, a great airgun can usually outshoot a good firearm (within the distances they were created to excel; under 10, 20, 50 yards.) I’ve already proven this multiple times shooting with my friends. They were more surprised than I was.

B.B.: Agreed!

This blog was done today out of necessity because I needed a topic quick. But the material presented here is still valuable to new airgunners. I hope others will read this and tell us the things they either learned the hard way or may still not be clear on.

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.

137 thoughts on “Some common airgun myths: Part 1”

  1. Sounds like a tough day in burleson.

    I like this myth vs. truth article. Relevant and understandable.

    In this long list I have only two comments/observations.

    1-I clean the barrel of every airgun that arrives at my home. Bought, bartered or just visiting. I need to take this component out of the accuracy equation.

    2-re: where are accurate airguns made?”……I would add to the list Russian and Czech.


    • Kevin,
      I am sure you are already aware of this but some new readers may not be and that is that a freshly cleaned barrel may not shoot as well as one that has had 10’s or 100’s of shots through it. I have several air rifles and a handful of 22’s that need to have the barrel seasoned or shot in before they start to group well, so they only get cleaned when I see the accuracy starting to drop off.


      • Sam,

        If you go back several years on this blog you will find lots of comments from me about seasoning an airgun barrel after cleaning.

        One of my airgun shooting buddies, marshall, and I did extensive testing with a variety of airguns. In general what we found is that in some cases, not most, group sizes shrunk after seasoning a newly cleaned barrel. In almost all cases poi moved groups until the barrel was seasoned and then group location and sizes remained constant.

        I’m a strong believer in cleaning every barrel in every airgun that arrives at my home. I want this variable out of the equation before I start extensive pellet testing.


        • Just finished the reading the blog and I have to agree on most of the points made by BB and Rob. I grew up out shooting on the multiple islands in the inter-coastal waterways in Cocoa Beach Fl using a Crosman 1400 in .22 cal for my hunting of anything that moved with original sights at the ripe age of 12 and had been taught gun safety and cleaning principles buy my father from the age of 4, but being 12 and having access to a boat with outboard motor I was exploring and hunting to the point that cleaning my gun was not going to happen. I know that the 1400 would drop just about anything I shot with it and was deadly accurate. It actually was a better gun to hunt raccoons with than my 12 ga Remington 1100 as I had far more coons run off after being shot with my shotgun with 6 or 4 shot in it than ever did being shot with my 1400. So I can say this that I agree cleaning the barrel periodically is good I never found that not doing affect my ability the hit what ever critter I sighted in on. Both of those guns are still in my possession and work perfectly after being dropped in the brackish waters of the inter-coastal from a moving boat or walking the shallow water ponds in the island system. Of course after they were dropped in the canals they did get a through dis-assembly and cleaning but that was probably the only times the were cleaned. My parents gave me a curfew of 10.00 clock that I had to be home by on the weekends in the 7th thru 9th grades (middle school years) but they would allow me and my buddies to camp out on the islands every weekend so I would get home from school on Friday about 3pm and load my boat with camping gear and guns, pick up my buddies and be gone until 7 or 8 Sunday night and you can get to any place in Cocoa Beach by boat with the extensive canal system and inter-coastal, so much for a curfew. I miss those good ole days. Kids nowadays just don’t realize what they are missing out on cause of all the technology today.

          • Mike I have told a simmilar story here on the blog about how it was when I grew up.

            The only difference is I grew up on a farm in Illinios.

            Those were the good old days..

  2. Please B.B., tell me you haven’t bamboozled a sheridan sale with that trick? Ttssk ttsssk! Lol, having knowledge of a product is the only way to find steals like that, I love when you can say “Can you believe, they thought it was broken!!” Question= are you saying the pellgunoil is good or or worse off because of its composition? And do I have to buy a See-All open sight to put a second triangle around the point triangle? I thought that was a good idea. I feel somewhat dejected… 🙁

    • Just wait til BB does the blog on the See All Sight. What I found was overly simple.

      And remember I had 2 problems with the sight. I couldn’t get enough up adjustment. And I had problems with vertical strings as my distance increased. The farther out the more spread vertically the pellets would land (point of impact). Side to side or windage as some call it was good for me even from the beginning.

      Now I can actually hold a pretty consistent group at 50 yards. As I posted before. Equal to my red dot sight. I guess to put it simply I feel that I can now use my 1377 to get Starlings inside of 50 yards.

      And I think you might like this RDNA. I think the new See All Sight may just go on one of these.


      Yep its a springer and then I will really see if I can shoot open sighted again. And I got a 40 hr. check with a weekends worth of working overtime coming this payday. 20 hrs of time and a half and 10 hrs. of double time. The things we do for our hobby’s. Well if I dont sleep this weekend away 🙂

        • Ok BB thanks.

          First thing was to get it to shoot a little higher. I ran out of up adjustment on both guns I tryed it on. The .177 cal. Discovery and the 1377 with a .177 cal barrel and breach with the 1399 stock.

          If you look on each side of the sight there is 2 flat head screws that hold the magnify lens in. They take a .050″ allen wrench. I took those out and raised the top of the lens to be even with the top of the black part of the frame. About a 1/16 of a inch I raised it I believe. then I just put the screws in till they contacted the lens and gave them a little snug to hold the lens firmly.

          Maybe other people wont have a issue with the elevation adjust like I did so they might not have to worry about doing this. But it did put me right of the middle of adjustment on the adjusting screw.

          Now here is what really helped me make the sight work. And again this is my result so maybe other people will see something else that I don’t see. But this worked for me.

          And RDNA this kind of relates to what you said about making another triangle on the outside of the original triangle. But it would be pretty hard to do. If you look at the triangle that they printed on the glow material it is only about a.030″ triangle if its even that big. Very small without looking through the magnifying lens that I talked about above.

          So what I did is mounted the sight and adapter on the gun just tight enough to hold it in place but I could slide it forward or backwards on the gun. I then put the gun to my shoulder and held it in place with my cheek resting on the butt stock. I then slide the sight forward until the triangle viewed through the lens looked as if each point of the triangle touched. The top point on the flat surface of the top of the lens then the other 2 points touching the black part of the round frame. Then I locked the the sight and adapter down so it wouldn’t move. I then just kept shouldering the gun then take take it away from my shoulder and repeated over and over til I was satisfied that I could get a quick sight picture like I explained above with the triangle points.

          So the big thing was that I could repeat my line of sight every time with out having to think about it. After that the gun started grouping. And like I said it is equivalent to a red dot sight but without the round circle like your looking through a scope. And I could shoot better groups when I tryed the scope on the gun but not by much.

          So at 50 yards with the See All Sight and the red dot I was getting about a 2 1/2″ group and the scope was getting about a 2 ” group. That said the gun has the capability to hit a starling if needed or a soda can also at the 50 yards if I can do my part of holding steady. I was doing my shooting using a rest so I was able to hold pretty steady.

          Well there’s my See All Sight adventure. But it was fun to do. And I don’t know if it will work for other people. I hope it does.

        • You guys got my interest peaked about this see all sight, I don’t know what type of sight it is your talking about. Is there a link to get an early look at it or do i have to wait. I have recently installed good ole rear peep sights and front globe sights on my 1400, 2289, avanti 853 CMP and g-kids 760 cause that’s what all the rifles have on them at my local CMP range. We go there every Tues and Thurs from 4 to 7pm for open to the public shooting with electronic target scoring systems. You can sight your rifles in to hit the eraser head of a pencil laid on end facing you with there system. You just have to keep your FPS below 600 so as not to destroy there pellet capture systems. They also provide .177 guns and pellets to use free of charge if you don’t have any of your own, they have avanti 853 single stroke, avanti PCP, Crosman challengers and Crosman mar.177 PCP to use. Its the best place I know to sight in your guns for free. So what about this see all sight.

            • Rob
              the CMP stands for Civilian Marksmanship Program which is directed at teaching are youth the proper safety rules of firearms by means of airguns. They are the group that teaches and support our Olympic shooting teams, they are non profit org. that takes old military surplus weapons and refurbishes them and sells them and old surplus ammo that our military would otherwise destroy. The target use a microphone system with 4 microphones one at each corner of the targets that electronically sense where the pellets hit the target. Its a 10 meter regulation range and they hold district and national events there. Google CMP.com or civilian marksmanship program. They have two ranges at this time with one being right in my backyard so to speak here in Anniston Alabama and another one in ohio somewhere. Its the easiest way I know to sight in airguns and it totally free to public two night a week.

              • Thanks for the information Buldawg. I would love to live close to one of those targeting systems. I wonder how long before someone commercializes one?

                FYI, for others looking it up. The website is thecmp.org

                • Rob
                  I will ask who makes the system the CMP uses for target scoring as it may be available for public purchase. Although it is likely not cheap. They also told they are going to be upgrading to a laser operated system in the near future that uses the same principle only with a laser grid instead of microphones. When they upgrade we may be able to buy one of their mic operated systems for cheap, the current system has a monitor right at your shooting table that you can change from 10 meter rifle, 10 meter pistol and several other shooting options, it has a zoom feature so once you get your hits on the black of the bulls-eye you can zoom in to help work your way to getting to dead zero groups at a score of 10.9 which is a perfect center of the bulls-eye ( the eraser head of a pencil I mentioned)
                  If you can hold your groups to a score of 10.0 and above your are placing shots in .250 inch group.

            • Reb
              They are also building a world class sport shooting range behind the Talladega super speedway that should be done by end of 2015 to early 2016. They will have a 100, 300, 600yard rifle range, a 7yd, 15 yd and 25yard pistol range, a shotgun skeet and clay shooting range some other features that can not remember right now. I cannot wait till it opens, its built on a 50 acre site so there will be no issue of ranges being to close to each other. I admit it is enjoyable to have these shooting opportunities so close to home. We also have a world class mountain biking trail system 6 miles from the house that will be done in 2015 with over 85 miles of trails to ride with very easy novice trails to extreme pro grade trails with rock and boulder obstacles and some 1/4 mile to 3/4 mile descents in the 35 to 45 degree range drop and also 3/4 to1 mile ascents that will really test your fortitude and stamina. Right now the ten mile loop is thmost difficult and best time to date is 47 minute start to finish by some pros that have legs the size of gorillas.

                  • Gunfun1
                    Thanks for the link info on see all sight that is a very unique sight that I think would definitely help us older guys with tired eyes. I went to there website and checked it out, they are a little pricey for an open sight at 90 bucks. But I guess when you compare that to a quality scope its not so bad. I have converted my guns to rear peep sight and front globe sights with changeable inserts as that it what all the guns at the CMP range I talk to Rob about. I just scored a brand new set off ebay for 26 bucks shipped that PA sells for like 115 or 120 bucks. I lucked out on acquiring the others four sight sets when I took the new style crosman steel to smith to the hold down screw hole under the bolt moved so it would fit on my 1400 without modifying the 1400s hold down screw location I can put the original barrel back on if decided to although there is no rifling left in that barrel probably due to the fine care I gave the gun in my teen years I told you about in this blog earlier. The new breach coupled with a benji discovery 24 inch barrel gave a great shooting and hard hitting pumper.

                • Hey Buldawg, thanks for the information. Fun wise, looks like you definitely have options in your neck of the woods.

                  Please let me know, when you get a chance, if the range is going to sell off those acoustic targets. I would love to have one…but at the right price. Probably can’t afford the wrong price.


                  • Rob
                    I am not exactly sure when they will make the transition but will definitely find out because like you if they are cheap enough I would like to have one also. I am not sure how well they would work on an outdoor type range like my back yard because those mics have got to be pretty sensitive to pick up on the pellet going thru the paper of the target. I will keep you updated for sure. Did not get to go to range tonight because the weather is like crap with rain and 45 degrees and my old bones just don’t tolerate those two things together.

                  • Hey Rob
                    I went up to the CMP range tonight for some shooting. I asked about when the range would be upgrading the acoustic target systems and if they would be for sale to public. Matt is the head instructor at the range and he said there has been some discussion about the upgrade of the target system but does not any specifics yet, He said it probably would not happen until the shooting sports park I mentioned opens in April of 2015. He did say that they would most likely be for sale to the public, but did not have any idea what the prices would be. I will continue to keep up with in contact with him for when it does happen we will have an opportunity to by them because I would like to have on myself. So keep your fingers crossed and we might get lucky and pick them up cheap as they are gov’t sponsored and non profit outfit. I’ll keep you informed.

          • Mike Im at work and replying from my phone.

            I can post the link when I get home tonight. Or if you go to the top right corner of this page there is a search box.

            Type in See All Sight part 1

            That should take you to BB’s write up about it.

            • Gunfun1
              Thanks for the info and radio website. haven’t had chance to check it out yet but definitely will and see what my doc has to say. Like you I can still the squirrels a good distance away, mine seem to get louder as the day gos on, it isn’t to bad in the morning but by dinner time Like right now at 6pm cst it is very annoying. Hope I can find some help with it I let you know what doc says after I see him Tuesday.

      • Yeah, Ive seen the page in pyramyd catalog for that one, like the stock, 1000 fps in 22, gas ram, good price… definitely an option. Stoeger has a better rep. than umarex I believe. Not a huge fan of some of the attachments, you know what I mean, but that’s just me. Do you know where this ones made?

        • RDNA
          I would like to know where its made also. The gun does interest me alot especially with the sound suppression system on the gun.

          And Me it will probably be in .177 cal. if I get it.

          It says the .177 cal. version shoots lead pellets around 1000 fps (feet per second) and I would bet that would be with around a 8 grn. pellet. I’m thinking if I got one I would go with a 10 grn. pellet to slow the gun down a bit more. I think that would put the gun down to around 900 fps or a little slower which in my opinion should be a sweet spot for that gun.

          • Thats the attachment Im not crazy about, just my opinion so I won’t bore, no pun intended, anyone with that. Does it come with bipod like the picture or are they just showing possibilities? That would be cool. Hopefully those numbers aren’t with alloy, that’s such a scam, alloys are only good in pistols and low/medium powered guns so alloy velocities are so irrelevant besides marketing. Im glad the myths today included that.

  3. BB,
    Saturday, I had the luxury of being able to pull out my BSA for a couple of hours of shooting. I shot ten shot groups of twelve different pellets. Much to my amazement, the best group of the day was with H&N Silver Points. I have never been able to get these things to shoot worth a doodley out of anything.

    I think part of the issue is that with these open sights, I believe I am unconsciously adjusting my sight picture to try and put the pellet where I want, instead of maintaining the same sight picture and adjusting the sights. By time I got to these, I had likely settled down. Still, they turned in a respectable group.

    Now kids, this is not my recommendation that you rush out and buy some of these. I have had this tin of Silver Points for over five years now. I still have about one hundred of them left. I have tried these repeatedly in every airgun of this caliber I have had and they were the second worse pellet in every case with this one exception.

    Would anybody like a tin of Rabbit Magnum II?

  4. Rob nice info. I was going to make a comment the other day when you wrote about this. A pretty open view of airguns. Some things could be said about certain things but that is just a matter of a persons taste. So I say good job.

    And it was kind of nice how BB mixed in with the statement’s made.

    But I would bet that there could be more added to the list if a person really thought about it. Do you have anymore that you forgot Rob?

    • Oh, I have things I forgot! And a dozen things I could remember when I wrote this list out. I actually just thought BB was only asking my ideas for a blog (things that surprised me as I learned more about airguns), or I’d have taken more time to organize and fact check before spouting out truths! 🙂

      Anyway, it worked out pretty well I think. I am very glad BB took the time to insert his comments.

      Please, anyone else. There must have been things that surprised you or that you were shockingly incorrect about. Write them now in the comments section. I know I missed describing a lot of misconceptions…and I don’t want to feel like the only newby!


  5. Thank you BB for this article, I know a few people that I think I will point this way for a read.

    As to the lack of topic:
    Are you going to continue with the Daisy 880?

    It is great weather for it (at least here), it is cold, snowing, and almost zero wind. As the Daisy 880 MSP does not care about temperature for shooting these are near perfect conditions to do some shooting.

    • DavidS,

      Yes I will continue with the 880. When there is a Part 1 like the first report, there will be a Part 2 — usually a velocity report — followed by a Part 3 accuracy report. I plan to do a little more with the 880, so there will be additional parts.


        • just a tiny hint into finding happiness with the 880:

          to prep to fire:
          open bolt, pump x# times,
          ****** point gun strait down, and drop head of pellet into breach,*****
          then close bolt, aim,
          and fire. (this seems to prevent any clipping of the pellet before the the rifling, avoiding the bb port entirely, and making loading easier ~ to me. btw: not my tip, but i can’t find a reference right this second.)

          i am looking forward to 880 part 2 and here’s some things i would like you to consider:

          class: where would similar rifles be found (cheep~ish or any other msp)? how do they compare? (it really looks like the closest and most comparable might be the crosman m4-177, or 1377+1399)

          innovation: what are some of the things daisy does different than crosman? pump tube? pivot linkage? valve? trigger?

          does the pump arm really flex very much? (i cant see it, even on pump 10. is this a “perceived” plastic discrimination? would the engineering-lawyers really do it if it would break?)

          recognition of the ##,###,###’s of daisy’s produced and time tested design (is the 880 older than any current crosman? maybe 760? when did the first 880 come out? what about the c-man 2100?)

          why do shooters abandon the 880 and disappear from our sport before they buy a tx200, styer, raw, or fx, or other?

          this is exactly where the 15 y.o. shooter is, and he’s looking to upgrade. why do they buy a .22lr and not another airgun? do they even need an upgrade? (we all have G.A.S. of course, but more gun needs more range/safety. talk them out of it. you always say velocity isn’t everything….i say everything is comfortable/repeatable accuracy.)

          thanks again for your time,
          rob, the requester of 880’s

          • Rob,

            I don’t usually compare airguns — one to another. I test all of them the same way, or if not, I mention how I tested each one that differs from the norm.

            The readers have to read the reports and make up their own minds.

            As to your other questions, they are too open-ended to give a good answer.

            You need to buy a Blue Book of Airguns. Many of your questions about when and where are answered in that book.


        • I have yet to have the problem of significant condensation in the valve/pressure chamber. And it has been below freezing continuously here for a while. I do not allow the condensation to accumulate (open the valve/pressure chamber every few thousand shots on all of my MSPs).

        • I’m not sure maybe the cold air made the rubber cup harden and not ply-able or maybe the lube or the metal cylinder walls expanded, but less than a minute I go inside the house it starts pumping OK.

  6. B.B.,

    I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on this. A local sporting good store had a display that I thought was disturbing. I went in with the hope of finding a local supply of quality pellets (No dice.) They had a daisy lever action BB gun, the kind that is colorful, in a display of Nerf style “dart guns”.

    Does anyone else find this type of thing alarming? I immediately explained the difference to my children. What is your opinion on this B.B. (and everyone else)? Does this send the message that a BB gun is as much as a toy as the Nerf gun. I also share your opinion of teaching kids it’s O.K. to shoot at someone if you are using the right “tool” in the right situation. What the child will think is the right situation and what you think, as an adult, will always be different. So was I over reacting?

    ATB, Chris Legate

    • I don’t think you were overreacting at all. I think you would be in line having a brief talk with the store manager. He/she may may plead ignorance to setting something designed to put your eye out along side something designed not to put your eye out. If that doesn’t motivate him, remind him of the legal costs should his display be tested in a court of liability.

        • More so a bb gun, I would never let my child play( unsupervised and without teaching them the dos and donts) with anything that I didn’t approve of first especially a nerf gun that can injure someone eye accidents can happen. Its our job as parents to teach and protect. Lawsuits don’t bring life back

          • chris,

            I think parents who shoot guns are generally the ones who make sure their kids respect guns. Parents who don’t shoot guns look at the graphics on the box (which are kid-oriented) and the recommended age on the box and assume that any kid of that age can safely use the gun. It’s the ignorance of the parents that ends up hurting or killing the kids who have been left to their own devices.


        • The nerf guns are made for about 10 and under, while the bb gun is 10 and up with supervision. (Approximately, please don’t tear me up that younger kids sometimes are allowed.) The difference is absolutely a liability and an unaware parent buying a colorful old style lever-action plastic gun next to Nerf products might be a little surprised to hear phwooompPING Or aaaaahhhhhh!!! My ears now pierced, good call in bringing that to the stores attention. Id say its also a little disrespectful to throw a classic Diasy replica in with the Nerf toys.

          • Its a good thing that it takes a strong ten yr old to cock the Red Ryder and if the parent does not pay attention to the bb ammunition they put in their buggy because the Red Ryder does not shoot nerf darts . Be careful also those stores also display Grand Theft Auto in the same display as Poky man video games. I’m just saying

            • Videa games are a whole ‘nother story, GTA is a love child of sadistic human nature and lowered moral standards, but running people over IS alot of fun. Just sayin’.

              • What about the one where a person was picking out some plants in the gardening center and got bit by a cooper head. The point is be cautious at all times especially if it comes with a trigger.

                • Safety First comes above All. There isn’t enough off it when it comes down to air guns, while I don’t want California to set the safety measure for all with the “orange campaign”. But I will say this ,no one will yell you are to careful but everyone will let you know when your careless.

                  • California is a whole nuther country as far as I”m concerned when it comes to influencing laws for the whole U.S. Edith hit the nail on the head, It is the parents responsibility the teach children what is safe and appropriate. Even if you do not like guns you need to teach your children what consequences can come from unsafe use and yes that store was very wrong in their display as if us gun lovers don’t have enough issues to deal with. I would have told the manager just what they were promoting or should I say teaching.

  7. I wish I could go to a pellet rifle “bar”. Like the reel “bars” at the big sporting goods store. Being new to the sport. How do I know what I’ll like if I can not shoot it. Because price usually does not matter if you like and really want something.

  8. And,yes. I had to shoot many different pellet types until I found the most accurate group from my spefic rifle. Which happen to be the equal of the Predator Polymag. Which may not shoot the best in your rifle.

  9. Here’s an overall myth I usually come up against when I tell someone I’m an air gun enthusiast (one reason why I’ve become an “invisible airgunner”): “Oh, you’re into BB guns.” To a huge number of Americans “air gun” equals “BB gun.” I’ll sometimes get a wink and a chuckle followed by, “Don’t shoot your eye out, kid!”

    Of course I do own some BB guns, including a Red Ryder, and some cheap, all-plastic BB guns that I can’t part with because they shoot so incredibly well despite all of the styrene. And yes, every air gun I own is capable of ricocheting and putting someone in the ER.

    But this “Oh, you’re into BB guns” view is not just inaccurate, it is insulting to tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands of Americans who very seriously engage in an interest that involves air guns that are superbly made, sometimes absolutely the most accurate projectile shooters of all at short distances (i.e. 10 meter guns), and these days sometimes capable of taking down large hogs or deer.

    And I mean this as no put-down of vintage BB gun collectors or BB gun plinkerers or BB gun replica collectors, all of whom I respect. But I perceive an attitude in that, “Oh, you’re into BB guns.” To me what is sometimes being said is more like “Oh, you’re ONLY into BB guns. Do you shoot Nerf guns, too?”

    So usually when the subject turns to hobbies and interests, instead of answering directly or honestly, I say something like, “Well, I don’t have the time to have much in the way of hobbies.”


    • Haha, I don’t blame you for fibbing because I’ve heard the exact same line a dozen times at least! Actually very recently that happened. Then it turned out someone else at the table also had a serious interest and the subject suddenly got interesting to about 5 people. So, go ahead, tell and brag a bit. You might be talking to another enthusiast.

    • Michael,

      We get the “BB guns” response unless the person has a Gamo, and then they say they own the most powerful airgun in the world. Then Tom says, “You have a Gamo.” 🙂

      If they give me the BB guns reply, I usually say that I don’t think a BB gun can take a bison, yet there are airguns being made today that take bison, deer and other large game animals. Usually, they think I’m lying or I’m real gullible and have believed an urban legend.


      • Hi Edith, I saw some questions, just to comment on one, I have seen Gamo rifles taking game as large as hogs, and you can see that if you look into YouTube…their most powerful rifle has 1650 FPS and that is only .177 Cal…I heard they are returning with more .22 Cal rifles…technology and quality is on their side I can tell you. Thanks.

    • I have had conversations about air guns with people telling them that I shoot airguns. They go Oh you mean those toy bb guns you see at the chain stores.

      Then I explain no. I shoot 3000 psi precision air guns that you don’t see in the regular department stores. Well of course guess what comes next. Explaining what a 3000 psi air gun is and where I do get them at. For the most part people are amazed and had no idea that a PCP gun existed.

    • Michael
      We got to be careful now because right now airgun are not considered firearms in most states and cities. You never know who you may say something to about airguns being so powerful and accurate. Because it only takes the stroke of a pen to change a law anymore. If you think I’m paranoid of our gov’t using every little excuse they can to take our guns away your right . I will give up my guns (airguns included) when they pry my cold dead fingers from around them.

      • True, many cities and counties have restrictive air gun laws, although mine does not.

        As for states, Illinois is a state that considers anything above.180 (excluding airsoft) to be a firearm. But that state also used to consider any air gun, regardless of caliber, that was capable of velocities above 700 fps. to be firearms, too. Last year or perhaps the year before, that part of their code was changed, so now all .177 airguns, regardless of power, are considered not to be firearms.

        I’m not a firearm enthusiast, so I admit to not following those restrictions beyond headlines that I occasionally see.


  10. As a some what airgun enthusiast it is important to know who makes the gun. Example.. Crosman=China,Spain. Beeman Rseries=Germany, GS=Spain, RS=China. Webley=pre2006 England,post 2006 Turkey. Daisy=China,Brazil,Turkey,Germany.etc..We all have our favorites some we give high praise some not so much, it all comes down to experience.

        • Edith, I was going by the email response I got from Daisy. I asked them the following question: “Concerning made here, is there any Daisy BB guns still made here?? The new ones I bought say China”. They responded with the following: ” Over 90% of the parts of the Daisy AVANTI Champion, model 499, the Medalist CO2 sporter competition rifle, model 888, and the drill rifles are made in the USA”. Maybe the rep. didn’t know. I’m not sure. Bradly

            • Edith, I asked because they had a “Made Here” display at the Arkansas State Capitol. In the display was a Red Ryder and the other four guns they replied about. They said this about the Red Ryder: “The Red Ryder shown is a prototype of one of our limited edition models which was assembled here in Rogers using parts made in the USA and China”. I don’t know about you, but I kind of find a display in a state capitol with the words made here a little miss leading with the Red Ryder. It’s not a “production” model as I’d call it. Just a limited gun. To the normal “BB” gun buyer, they’d perceive this as Red Ryders are made in the USA, by looking at the display. That said, I’m still proud there are still three made here (The drill rifle isn’t a bb gun at all. It’s a shame too. I’ve told Daisy if they would make it fire even just bbs, I’d buy one. One can wish. Thanks, Edith. Bradly

              • Sounds like you were describing the Christmas Edition Red Ryder I bought this year It was probably made in China and they Daisy pulled x amount and refurnished them with select stocks (little nicer grain with walnut stain) oh and metal cocking lever here in the US and left a bunch of marks. Still not bad for $89.

      • Bradly. I’m just throwing in some insight for newbies what to look for when choosing air guns. Some company’s use velocity claims for costumers to see to sell their guns , but its hard to market quality.

          • chris,

            Pyramyd AIR used to indicate the origin of each gun, but they stopped because things became very fuzzy very fast. Guns made in the U.S. were soon being made in China, and we’d find out when the customers would complain that they got a Chinese gun instead of an American-made gun.

            Other times, manufacturers buy some or most of their parts from overseas, and they can’t state their guns are made in America. They CAN say they’re assembled in the U.S., but the guns are mostly made of foreign parts from countries that make whole guns you don’t want to buy.

            Apparently, a lot of people think that every product brought into the Pyramyd AIR warehouse is opened to determine where it was made (and also get a general inspection–which is whole different subject). In some cases, we’ll get guns made in America in the same shipment with the same model now being produced in China. So, they had some left over from their American production and made up the delta with the new batch now being made overseas.

            It’s impossible to keep track of these things, so we don’t.


            • That’s what the 10 for 10$ is for. I think that is such a smart thing pyramyd offers that service, buying sight unseen over the internet is often discouraging to be people placing orders, 10 for 10$ gives weary customers much appreciated reassurance.

              • RDNA,

                The 10 for $10 service is only 10 shots to make sure everything functions in order to shoot. They do not look at the gun and take inventory of the parts in the box or if the stock is scratched or dinged. There are a surprising number of shooters who think the person shooting 10 shots should have seen a scratch or ding somewhere on the gun when handling it. That’s not the case, and it seems to bother people.

                Just because a mechanic drives a car to see what’s wrong with it doesn’t mean he’s also going to comment on a dent in the bumper or a crack/hole in the windshield.

                In reading a book called “The Invisible Gorilla” (recommended to me by one of our regular blog readers), I’ve discovered that people who are highly focused are actually most likely to not see things less-focused people see. So, if you’re focused on the task of cocking, loading & firing a gun 10 times, chances are very slim that you’re going to notice if the gun has a scratch.


                • No yeah, I know that’s all it is, but that’s enough, knowing what your waiting for cycles and fires and is functional out of the box is great. I’ve bought wally worlds that crunched like doritos and the piston was broken and returning it to worry if a replacement will do the same is so deflating, takes all the joy out of a new purchase. I think its great and would never expect scratches or etc. to be a factor in the testing. Things like that are for me to deal with. Some people are disturbingly unrealistic.

  11. I don’t know that the “most airguns can be repaired” statement is really true, unless we’re talking about springers. Crosman is one of the exceptions, as they’re willing to look up and provide parts that aren’t on their web site. Umarex on the other hand, who imports a bunch of different brands and must surely occupy a large segment of the market, are another story. Yes you can order parts for some of their high end lines, like RWS…but try getting parts for a pistol. I speak from experience here. The seal on my 1911 replica failed and it took multiple calls just to get through to someone, who finally told me parts weren’t available but I could send it in for repair. When I pressed further he admitted they would simply replace the gun since they “don’t keep spares for obsolete or discontinued guns.”

    Disco’d? It’s still listed at all the major airgun suppliers’!

    I’d bet it’s more like 50/50.

    • I know if you send a Red Ryder to Daisy, they’ll just send you another (Replace, not repair) for close to the price you could buy a new one for. My 1976 Red Ryder finally gave up it’s seal. When I called Daisy and told them how old it was, they told me no, you’ll want to keep it. They then gave me the # of a guy that repairs them. Yes it cost more, but my 76 is all steel and wood with a “copper” barrel. And since it was my first ever “new” air gun, I wanted to keep it.

    • Domingues,

      welcome to our blog. As to your question – anything is possible but the cost involved to do this safely would be very high. First, a pump gun has a very small reservoir or holding tank as they only fire once in between pumping. Second, they don’t store the high pressure air that PCP’s do (2 – 3,000 or more psi or to you 138 or more BAR). If you were to try, you would have to reinforce or install a different reservoir that would be able to hold this high pressure air safely without fear of explosion.

      Fred DPRoNJ

    • Domingues,

      You posted both of those questions today. And I answered you back on the 2011 posting.

      Yes, it is possible to turn a multi-pumop into a PCP sometimes.

      Look here:


      In the future, you only have to ask a question once on this blog.


  12. Hey BB.,
    Another question. Why do manufacturers produce airguns without open sites? Obviously, it saves them a dollar, but there must be something more to it than that. It’s one of my pet peeves, and I see a lot of complaints about it in the ratings section, so?

        • I don’t wish to put words in Chris’ mouth, but would it break your heart to see a vintage, clean, all original ’69 Corvette have a scoop put in its hood, side exhaust pipes along its body, and a paint job because the new buyer didn’t like the factory color?

          Hey, he owns it, but if that is what he wants, then he should look for a ‘Vette that has already been modified, not a six-footer numbers car. That is to be savored, and enjoyed, but kept by a steward for it to be enjoyed for furture generations.

          FWB 124s are heirloom guns to be passed down for generations.


          • Now I get ya, you don’t mess with a numbers classic, tests written in stone. I usually think of brakes as a nonmodifying attachment, but tapping or scratching up the barrel to add one is no good. Thanks for the clarity

          • Michael
            69 vettes came from the factory with side pipes. It was an option available from 67 thru 70. NO hood scoops but the classic v bulge in the hood. but I agree if it is a numbers matching classic then do not alter it because you just took the price down by several thousands of dollars. My dream car to own is a 1966 Shelby AC cobra SC500. It set a record that was not broken until 2006 by doing 0 to 100 mph and back to 0 in 12 seconds. The car that beat it cost well over one million dollars, in 1966 you could buy a SC500 for 12000 grand at your local ford dealer. Got love Carroll Shelby for his work back then.

        • I really like iron sights aka open sights on air guns. I do have some scooped guns, But I enjoy most springer’s with open sights. I’m sort of a plinker Ill grab a Beeman R1 or my UK Stingray and have a plinking session,I have a knock down squirrel(2inch center} out to 30 yards,and some two litter soda bottles and six inch frying pan out to 175ft. To me accuracy is hitting what I’m aiming at. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against scopes I have a BSA super10 with a Bushnell 6-18×42 a Marauder with a Center point 4-16×42 But I rather buy a riffle with sights. On a sad note I noticed PA went up on price on some guns TX200 for one since Christmas and the 10% does not apply to this item.

          • I agree with you adding a muzzle break or chopping the barrel will take away from its value or appeal, nothing wrong with them coming from factory with break, my Beeman Crow Magmun looks sexy.

            • Chris and RifleDNA,

              The resale value is absolutely important, but I also feel that air guns of the FWB 124 status are vintage pieces that have another value beyond the dollar. They are superb machines in every sense: design, workmanship, materials, and performance.

              I feel we need to keep pristine and near-pristine examples of this type of air gun completely original and well-maintained and well-stored. These should outlast their human owners so that they may be appreciated for what they are by many generations to follow.


  13. GF1

    Today so far, 13/13 starlings agree that it is not a good idea to be in front of my S500C . I hope my hawk is hungry.

    Also found that it suddenly gets louder by a lot at just over 150 BAR.

    Time for a refill.


    • TT
      What power level, fill pressure and pellet did you use?

      And Im sure your little buddy will be dropping in soon.

      And the gun got louder at a certian fill preasure. Maybe thats where the gun is making its peak power.

      • GF1

        Total score 16/16 for the day
        I started below the 200 fill because I had been plinking with it a couple days ago. Had a little over half a fill left. Power at second mark, Exact RS.
        I know the curve . Velocity is a slow drop off . Very quiet when full , but sound comes up towards the end. It’s using more air to get the velocity.
        Started with light crosswind, but it gradually picked up this afternoon to the point that it was a bit iffy for shooting . All shots were elevated angle up into maple trees.


        • TT
          Well it sounds like the gun worked out as you planned.

          And they have been popping in and out by my house. They haven’t been up to their normal routine though for about a week now. I think the last time we talked was when I seen them most.

          Its supposed to be around 60 degrees here Friday (well the last time I checked the weather report) so I’m expecting to see some action. And I was going to ask do you have cornfields close to your house?
          Maybe that’s whats drawing them in already. I just got the woods behind my house.

          But they do tend to attack when I feed the song birds. Or throw the old dog and cat food out.

          So I guess you have been giving your other guns a break since you got that Air Arms PCP then. You like it better than the AirForce gun you got?

          And all I can say is that .177 cal. synthetic stock Marauder I just got kicks butt. Its a shoot’n son of a gun. And I left it a repeater with the magazine this time. My other 2 Marauder rifles have the single shot trays. And I’m getting heck of groups with the magazine in the new synthetic stock Marauder also.

          • GF1

            We have wheat, corn, and soybean fields here. They have been hitting any bare spots in the snow. Extremely hungry. My wife has been tossing out bird food , and some cat food for the starlings. They are still in big flocks , but they will be breaking up soon. Supposed to start warming up well over freezing starting today. The snow will go, and the flocks are going to break up in short order.

            Much better gun than my AF guns any day of the week so far . I still need to get some distance and bench rest time to get the rest figured out.
            At the present time it is only plinked in at 25 yds with a low power setup. I need to check for several things when conditions permit.


    • TT,

      I have a S500 but it doesn’t have the “C” designation. What does that stand for? Mine is significantly louder at the highest power setting (and typically less accurate). I usually put the power in the middle but that’s a guess since it doesn’t have any markings or detent clicks.

      G & G

  14. I read articles stating the “artillery hold” is best for most air rifles. Is this a myth or truth?
    Another question I have is…….Is the pellet out of the barrel before recoil affects the rifle?

    • Jedff,

      Yes, the artillery hold is the best way to hold an air rifle for the best accuracy. Some rifles don’t seem to need it, but most spring rifles certainly do. I wrote an article on the artillery hold here:


      There is a video that goes with the article. I hope you can watch it.

      No, the pellet doesn’t start moving until the rifle has already started to recoil — forward. It doesn’t move until the piston is almost completely stopped moving. The rifle is moving by that time, which is why the artillery hold works so well.


      • B.B.

        Thanks for the video link about the artillery hold. I think I have been holding my air rifles to tight to my shoulder because I didn’t know any better. One question I have is how much variation should I put in the artillery hold for a CO2 powered rifle versus the spring rifle you had in the video? Also, in a standing position, does it matter whether or not my elbows are tight against my torso or slightly held out from my torso?

        • Charles,

          The artillery hold as I describe it in the video is always the best hold for accuracy. Sometimes you can’t do it because of the recoil (of centerfire rifles), but it is always the best hold. So modify it as you see fit.

          In the offhand (standing) position, you adapt to your body style. Generally the tighter the arms are to the torso, the less the muscles have to work and that can aid stability, but do what works for you.


  15. For long-range accuracy, I choose either domes or a few of the new high-tech hollowpoints that are very accurate, like the Predator Polymag and the Beeman Devastator pellets.

    The Predators probably count as pointed pellets, but as the pointed part is a low density polymer the center of mass is probably closer to where it would be in a domed pellet — somewhere near the front “bearing band” of the pellet.

    B.B.: I don’t really understand this one. Because my airguns are accurate at all distances until they go out too far. I think what Rob means is the pellet path intersects the aim point 2 times.

    And that is something that applies to all guns… And is where velocity (if it doesn’t kill repeatable accuracy) helps, as the useable range from first to second zero becomes longer. ChairgunPro comes in useful for this (if one has chronograph velocities to feed the program). as one can define the acceptable “kill zone” (well, it is meant for optimizing hunting situations) and tweak the zero points to maximize the range within the zone.

  16. I decided to zero to about 30yds to have one intersection and hold over on the incoming and outgoing of zero, is this wrong for any reason because it seems slot easier.. ?

      • RDNA
        My average distance is 50 yards or closer. So I zero at 50 yards. Sometimes I will shoot out at a farther distance but not to much.

        I think the main thing is to shoot at different distances and learn were the pellet impacts at that distance. Of course first determine what distance you want to zero at. There is many ways to use a scope.

    • Paper punching normally takes place at a single distance (and 10meters is probably so close one is on the first [ascending] zero).

      For a hunting gun, determining first the size of acceptable error is a factor.

      If your acceptable kill zone is a one-inch diameter circle, you set your zeroes (ascending/first, descending/second) so that the mid-point between them has the pellet 0.5″ above the line of sight.. That gives you a “point blank” range from before the first zero (the point where the pellet is 0.5″ below the line of sight) through first zero, and a bit past second zero where the pellet has dropped 0.5″ below line of sight.

      Between those distances, one aims for the center of the kill zone and does not need to estimate hold-over (or hold-under).

      Hmmm — ChairGunPro4 doesn’t seem to have access to my prior version configuration files so I don’t have “real” numbers…

      Using their sample configuration: .177 8.4gr AA Field pellet at 790fps with a scope 2″ above the bore.

      Using a zero of 38 yards and a 1″ kill diameter gives point blank range of 1.3 to 42.6 yards.

      In contrast, using a “single zero” trajectory, you give up the upper half of the kill zone, and end up with a point blank range of 12.5 to 36 yards.

      • That is very well spoken information, and much appreciated. You should write the next guest blog article… You definitely explain things very clearly. Im gonna hafta re-zero when I get the new scope on, thank you for letting me know, sometimes I think x marks the spot and that’s it but in reality it just doesn’t work like that.

  17. back to bb gun insults for a moment.These old timers around here are to old to change their minds about my airgun shooting.I tell them that two years ago I killed 92 squirrels with my 22 cal.Mrod “PELLET RIFLE”.Then next time I see them a week later they ask “hey Steve did ya get any more squirrels this week with your BB gun? They just don’t grasp it and I stopped caring about what they and most others think about my airguns and what I enjoy.And if you really want to drive the point to um,this is what I ask them.I tell that I can keep up and probably out shot any 22 rim fire at 50 yrds. and under.I get no takers! ME and my boss were shooting last year at paper targets around 33 yrds getting ready for squirrel season.He was shooting the 17 hmr and I was shooting my 22 Mrod.Not bragging but he was so surprised that my pellet rifle most of the time would shoot a tighter group then the 17 hmr.That’s not in no way taking anything away from the 17 cause I have one stainless bull barrel rugger that I am very found of but I swear I never use it anymore ever since the airgun bug bit me>

  18. Ok, got the Benjamin 3120 today. There is very little wear on this gun! Well, till I drove out the roll pins and rivet. Pulled out the pump assembly, now if I could only get a hold of the pump cup??? Tried a shop vac with hose ext. Not enough suction. Any ideas would definitely be appreciated and up for consideration. Now, to look up the number!


    • Reb
      If you mean a benji 312 the pump cup is most likely a hard plastic cup that is held on the end of the rod with a pressed on brass sleeve. You have to press the rod out of the brass sleeve to replace piston cup. Try this link to see if this is what your pump cup looks like. http://www.abairgun.com/IntheShop.htm If this is what it looks like just follow the pictures for removing the pump cup. You can get kits there also although they are a little on high side at 42.50.
      You will need access to a 1 ton or greater arbor press or a hydraulic one, find two hardened washers that are a little thinner than the felt wiper when stacked together and have a ID just larger than the silver colored shaft that you can see when looking directly at the end of the pump cup were the brass sleeve fit on the shaft and then cut a slot out of each washer that will allow the washers two fit in the area around the shaft where the felt wiper is and place them with the slots you 180 degrees from each other giving a means of supporting the washer directly above the felt wiper and below the pump cup then find a punch or some sort of metal drift that is slightly smaller than the ID of the brass sleeve and slowly press the shaft Thur the brass sleeve to replace pump cup just take you have the washers centered around the shaft are pressing straight cause if break the brass sleeve I don’t believe its available. the link has some good pics of the precess only he uses one washer instead of two using two allows you more evenly spread load on the aluminum washer that sits on the backside of shaft and serves to seal the plastic cup to the shaft on the back side. the brass sleeve is what seal the plastic cup on the front side and make sure when you the brass sleeve back on that you get flush with the shaft surface. the valve on Benjamin’s requires a special tool unscrew the pump side as the hammer side is soldered in the pump tube. the two halves seal with a lead washer. I usually leave the valve alone and just try and clean the pump tube and face of valve with clean rags on piece of wooden dowel rod with some brake clean on the rag and then immediately blow dry with compressed air so as not to allow the brake to saturate the valves inside the chamber. And that should get it back to good working order.

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