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Education / Training If I could keep just one…

If I could keep just one…

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

This report covers:

• Silly exercise
• What’s the point?
• Airguns I like
• My one airgun
• Firearms
• See where this is going?
• My one firearm
• What this tells me
• How my life has changed

…what would it be? Not long ago, blog reader Kevin asked me this question and I promised to get back to him with an answer. Today, I’m keeping that promise, although I’m not at all positive that in a year my answer won’t be different.

Kevin asked what airgun and what firearm I would keep. There were no other guidelines beyond the number one — of each. This isn’t the first time he’s asked a question like this. Earlier this year, he asked me what guns I enjoyed shooting, and I wrote a blog titled What would B.B. shoot?

Here is what he asked me this time.

Some of us have gone through difficult financial times, some of us are going through difficult financial times and some of us will go through difficult financial times in the future.
For this reason I’m very interested to hear what the ONE airgun is that you would keep and the ONE firearm is that you would keep while you would endure a financial crisis.
This is not a “WHAT GUNS I KEPT AND WHY” this is a ONE airgun and ONE firearm question.

This is such a silly exercise — don’t you think? At least it is until you try to form an answer. Because to do that, you have to think about all the airguns and firearms you own, as well as the ones you have owned in the past — and I suppose you can throw in any you might like to own but never have. Once you have all of them in front of you, it’s time to weed through the mass and see what comes out the other side.

What’s the point?
There is no point to this. Nobody is ever going to be confronted with this decision in quite this way, so why bother thinking about it? Well, it does force you to think about things at a fundamental level — a sort of giant who-do-you-love-and-why game. And Edith and I did actually go through it — not once but twice.

Airgun first
Because I write about airguns, you probably think it’s harder for me to pick a single airgun, but it’s not. It’s actually much easier. When all the facade of accuracy, power and performance is stripped away and I’m no longer thinking about survival on a desert island or how many pellets I can carry in a backpack, the choice of a single airgun becomes simple. I shoot airguns for fun, when all is said and done.

Shooting for fun means I don’t have to justify an airgun based on its power, long-range accuracy, nostalgia, value or anything beyond how much fun I derive from shooting it. That narrows it down a lot, but not to a single gun. I suppose there are at least a dozen, but probably more like 25 nice airguns that I really enjoy shooting.

Airguns I like
For example, I like to shoot my Beeman R8. It isn’t powerful, but at 25 yards I know I can put a pellet within a quarter-inch of the aim point every time. The trigger is light and crisp, and the Burris 4.5-14×32 scope is so clear and sharp that the rifle is a delight to shoot. But it’s not my one airgun!

I also really like my Crosman Mark I target pistol that holds so well and has such a beautiful trigger. But it’s not my one airgun, either.

My one airgun
The one airgun I would keep, after having to get rid of all others, is my little .22-caliber Diana model 27. It’s not really powerful enough to hunt with, but that’s not why I’m keeping it. I’m keeping it because it’s simple and accurate, light and easy to cock. It’s an all-day airgun that I just enjoy shooting very much.

Diana model 27 breakbarrel air rifle
The Diana model 27 — this one badged as a Hy-Score 807 — is my favorite airgun. It isn’t powerful, but it’s light, accurate and has a great trigger. That’s all I need.

I’ve owned several Diana 27s over the years. The first one was a rust bucket that I bought for $18 in a pawnshop in Radcliff, Kentucky, while stationed at Ft. Knox in the late 1970s. It looked terrible. You needed a tetanus shot just to hold it! But it shot like a dream, cocked smoothly and was accurate. I fell in love with it and the love has endured.

The second .22-caliber Diana 27 I ever owned is the one shown in the above picture. I bought it from the late Richard Schmidt at the Winston-Salem airgun show (the forerunner of the Roanoke show) in 1993. I paid $110 for it, which was way too much; but for some reason, they all went for way too much back then — and they still do today.

I pulled that rifle apart and lube-tuned it for my Airgun Letter and learned how to assemble the squirrel-cage of parts that Diana calls a ball-bearing trigger. I later pulled the gun apart a second time and tuned it, again, for a different magazine article. Since then, it’s never been apart. That was more than a decade ago.

Some time in the late 1990s, I wrote an article about how to adjust the ball-bearing trigger. Diana triggers can be adjusted very fine if you know what you’re doing; and, oddly enough, all you need is the owner’s manual to learn how. Or you can just read the blog I wrote about it.

Every time I chronograph this rifle, I’m reminded of just how weak it is (under 500 f.p.s.). But that doesn’t matter. I don’t shoot airguns for their power — that would be futile. I shoot them for fun, and the Diana 27 has more fun per pound than any other airgun I know of. When I worked on the Bronco project, the Diana 27 was my inspiration.

The third Diana 27 I owned was a Winchester model 427. It’s now owned by one of our readers. Why did I sell it? Because I didn’t need two perfect airguns.

Don’t think that I don’t love many of my airguns a lot, because I really do. My Air Arms TX200 Mark III gives me immense joy, and of course I love my Whiscombe JW75. But the last airgun I’ll sell is the Diana 27.

What was far more difficult was to choose from all my firearms. I have been quite blessed at this time of my life to own some of the finest firearms that exist. My Wilson Combat CQB is especially dear to me, not only because of what a wonderful shooter it is, but also because it was a very special gift from Edith. I have a Dillon press permanently set up to reload .45 ACP ammo, and I cast all my own bullets for the round. While the rest of the world pays inflated prices for ammunition, I’m set to reload tens of thousands of rounds at less than a nickel a round. I can’t shoot .22 rimfire as cheaply as I can shoot this pistol. But it isn’t the one firearm I would keep.

Speaking of gifts, the readers of this blog gave me a Single Action Army revolver that means the world to me. I remember coming home from the hospital several years ago and seeing that revolver for the first time. I wasn’t strong enough to hold it up to shoot, and my eyes would need another year to regain their strength, but I got out to the range with that revolver just as soon as I could. Every time I look at it, I think of you blog readers.

I shoot that handgun several times a year, and it always makes me smile when I do. The gun has an authentic fire blue finish that Colt put on their guns during the 19th century, and mine looks brand new. It’s a gorgeous handgun, but it’s not the firearm I would keep.

Single Action
The single-action revolver I received from the readers of this blog is one of my favorite firearms. It shoots as nice as it looks.

I could go on and on with this thought process. Certainly, I would keep the Ballard. I certainly would not! While it’s intriguing and a beautiful rifle, there’s nothing practical about a Ballard built in 1876. The one firearm I keep has to be practical.

The Ballard rifle is beautiful and accurate, but it isn’t the all-around firearm I need.

What about a nice .22 rimfire? I certainly own several of them, and lots of various kinds of ammo that would last me a long time — no? No. A .22 rimfire is not universal enough for me. Since I reload, I can turn almost any firearm into a .22 rimfire if I want to. What I need is a firearm that can be something more than a rimfire if the occasion calls.

See where this is going?
I am heading for a firearm that is as universal as it can be. Through reloading, it can be made to plink or pop squirrels, but it can also kill a grizzly bear if needed.

It has to be reliable, so complex is out and simple is in. That eliminates all semiautomatics.

It has to be accurate; but in my gun collection, there are no inaccurate arms. I just don’t keep them. On the same note, I don’t need my universal firearm to be suited for target use, so super-accurate guns with big scopes are also out. In fact, the scopes would eliminate the guns all by themselves.

My one firearm
The one firearm I would keep if all the others had to go would be my 1903A3 Springfield. It has a rugged bolt-action that has been proven over more than a century, and this one has adjustable peep sights that maximize the potential for accuracy. I’ve shot 5-shot groups under 2 inches at 100 yards, so the accuracy is all that I need.

When I reload, I have a choice of 5 lead bullets I can cast to produce everything from a .32 automatic up to a full-blown .30-06, if I need it. The cheapest rounds I make cost around 5 cents, and the most expensive costs under 50 cents. That’s so much better than anything I can buy; but if I do buy, this caliber is certainly ubiquitous throughout most of the civilized world.

I have around a thousand empty cartridges; and with my reduced loads I’ll get several hundred firings from each of them. And with reduced loads, I can use pistol powders and primers. So, ammunition will never be a problem.

O3A3 Springfield
The O3A3 Springfield is a plain-jane rifle, but it’s everything I need if I can only have one.

I got this rifle from my friend, Mac, but that’s not why I’m keeping it. He sold it because it kicks pretty hard. But I discovered the secret. Soldiers wore field jackets and coats in the field, and the short pull of their rifles was compensated for by the thick clothing. When I shoot this rifle with powerful loads, I always wear a heavy jacket. The rest of the time a t-shirt is all I need. I can hit a pop can at 100 yards every time with my reloads, shooting from a prone or supported position.

What does this tell me?
Kevin forced me to look at my shooting from a very practical standpoint today. It wasn’t sentimentality that helped me decide. And it wasn’t value or beauty. It was utility.

I hope I never have to make a choice like this, because it would break my heart to say goodbye to many of my airguns and firearms. But now I know the two I would keep under any circumstance.

How the blog changed my life
Kevin’s question prompted me to do more than just think about guns. This blog has had a major impact on my life. And from the comments many of you make, I believe it’s also impacted your lives.

If you want to help me better understand my readers, I invite you to send me an email telling me the impact that this blog has had on your life. Pyramyd AIR has created a special temporary email address for this. I’ll be the only person to get these emails, and we’re not going to generate any lists from the addresses.

My plan is to publish one or more blog reports with the more interesting comments. If you want, I will use your real name or blog handle; but you can be anonymous, too. I won’t use your name or handle unless you give me written permission to do so.

This email address will be live for only a few weeks. We have tens of thousands of readers worldwide. Even if you’ve never commented on the blog, you can email me your message if you like. If you’re reading this blog after July 2014, email submissions will no longer be forwarded to me, and you may get an auto-reply email stating that or your email might bounce back to you.

This could be interesting. I have no idea what will happen.

191 thoughts on “If I could keep just one…”

  1. B.B.,

    You gave a lot of thought to this and shared your mental journey. Much appreciated.

    Hope I’m never forced to make these decisions either but it does put my priorities regarding guns and the traits I seek in better focus.


  2. B.B.
    You SAA reminds me how bad I want a Remington New Army model, preferably in stainless. Black powder fever hit me kinda young I suppose, my first one was a CVA.36 Navy replica purchased new at 19 years of age and playing with the loads was my favorite part but the way the wedge threw things off made it a challenge for target purposes and the loads relatively weak. My next one was a Dragoon replica that I used primarily as a paper weight for my mail on my headboard. The hand spring was broken which enabled me to get it for $40. At that time I was way too busy working to get a chance to ever shoot it but it was real easy to get my money back. That won’t happen again! If I ever do get a replica of the New Army model, It won’t be going anywhere.


    • LOL! When I was eighteen I bought a Perdosoli 1851 Navy Colt. I had no idea about black powder and I am lucky I did not blow my fool head off. I literally wore it out. It is hanging on the wall next to the fireplace.

        • It is not worth it. If I should decide to get back into it, I would rather have an Army or more likely a flintlock. I am seriously considering building a Virginia rifle.

          • That would be an awesome long term project To leave set up in a safe spot where you can spend an hour here & there without having to take out & put away a buncha stuff every time you want to tinker on it.Like that old motorcycle in the corner of the shop

        • It was black powder, but I had no idea about what to load, so it was fill the cylinder and cram down the dry ball. I am certain that was a bit more of a load than I should have put in there. On occasion I had more than one cylinder fire off.

          • I have a Uberti 1858 Remington, it’s a good choice. Probably the best C&B revolver of the time. A cylinder full of powder with a ball seated isn’t an overload. It is a full charge though. Tight No. 10 caps and lube over the ball will get rid of the chain fires.


            • Mike,

              I always liked the Remington over the Colt Army. I had both (the Remington was a real Navy model) and the Colt shot loose, while the Remington didn’t.

              I shot the Colt out to 300 yards with round balls after reading “Sixguns” by Keith. Didn’t learn until years later that it was impossible.


            • You are right ,you cannot get too much powder in the chambers to compromise safety. Also try the wonder wads over the ball/conicals instead of grease. If you really want to see how good a cap &ball revolver is , look for a Ruger Old Army. I have tried them all, and the Ruger is the only one worth owning if performance and accuracy is what your after.

              • Being as young as I was I learned real quick that overloading with F appeared to be impossible,I guess I did my homework and erred on the side of caution when I bought my powder and always used the grease to prevent chain-fires but with the amount of powder I spilled I’m still lucky never to have had one!
                When I let my step Father shoot it he had propped the barrel on his other arm and his finger on the trigger before I could stop him.The result was his whole forearm had no hair left and a little darker and splotchier pigmentation.Code brown,If you will.


                  • Yeah, it burned slow enough to keep the chamber pressure low, for beginner purposes.Never thought It would last so long! I had to get more caps & balls but never ran outta powder. I guess It was too hard to find a good place to shoot it.No indoor ranges wanted me. same with the Dragoon or I definitely would had plenty of fun with that Monster.

            • My first gun was a Remington New Model Army replica. I am happy to have this gun still sitting in my gun vault, although I have to confess I haven’t shot it in a while. I think it is still the most beautiful revolver ever designed. It was my first, but it would not be my last gun,…

            • Lube the ball? What’s that?

              Like I said, I did not know anything about black powder way back then and the available sources of information was almost nil.

              • RR,

                You need to get a Dixie Gun Works catalog. There is so much good information in there about shooting blackpowder guns!

                In the olden days it was common to wipe some grease over the top of the cylinder after it was loaded. That prevented chain fires that you experienced.

                The Colt Army cylinder has a funnel-shaped chamber that swages the ball when it is rammed in on top of the powder. I never used grease in my Army (until I found out about it) and I never had a chain fire.

                Remington chambers are bored straight, I believe, and are more susceptible to chain-fires.


                  • Back in the late 1970’s, my hunting pardner and I carried our 1858’s during deer season. We would drop candle wax on the side of the caps to seal them. Even if they stayed loaded for months, all six cylinders would fire no problem. BTW, the gun was carried with the hammer down in the notch BETWEEN the cylinders.


                • I know a lot more now than I did 40 years ago. I have been giving some thought of getting back into black powder. If I do, it will likely be flintlock. A .62 caliber Virginia long rifle would be nice.

                  • A quick search just rendered a.50 Hawken Kit complete with double set trigger,28″ barrel, hooked breech(for easy cleaning) , click adjustable rear sight & easy to read instructions for a little over $300.
                    I’m on it!


                  • It wouldn’t be right to post a link because it’s a sale ad but you can get longer versions at muzzle loaders .com $200-$300 really nice kits however my preference is the shorter & lighter Hawken style. throw in a rem. new Army & I’d be setfor BP!

              • Ridge runner,
                I know what you mean It was a lot harder to get information on such things back in the day.I spent most of my library time in the reference section whether school or public library but you have to remember it when you are there. Nowadays you only have to kick someone off Candy Crush long enough to look it up:) .


  3. BB, You mention complexity when it comes to firearms and that ruled out semi-autos. If we constrain the topic to handguns, would not a revolver mechanically be more complex? I would trust the reliability of a direct blowback style semi-auto to that of the complex timing mechanism of a revolver any day!

    • Chris,

      This is an example of all the though that has to be given. A double action revolver is more complex than a semiautomatic pistol, but a Colt-style SAA is simpler and less prone to breakage.

      Good thinking!


      • Really? I thought all revolvers as opposed to semiautos were absolutely reliable. It appears there is a distinction. But it’s hard to see my SW 686 ever failing me. It’s built like a tank.


        • Matt,
          I’ve experienced hand spring problems in 2 revolvers(the hand being the part that advances to the next cylinder),Not a deal breaker as one can manually advance it, but debilitating.As a matter of fact I believe this to be the reason for” Billy the Kid” needing both hands to shoot his. Both the guns I had this problem with were very used replicas & the steel very hard & brittle( not good spring material!)so I wouldn’t expect this problem to be as prevalent in modern arms.


    • My brothers German Sig p239 we were shooting clip after clip through runs so positive and solid we said after that we could not ever imagine it having a failure, and I doubt it will. It is simple and heavy duty LE bug gun, its not terribly accurate, but for its purpose it is perfect all around. For an everyday carry I would want something a little more accurate but for discreet carry and nightstand room to room I would recommend it. Otherwise Im looking for a reliable semi auto shotgun for the house and a full size 1911 for carry, can’t get simpler than that.

  4. I just bought a HW97K. I have the Sheridan I bought in 1977. There are others where I have invested considerable effort in modifications. Like you and your Diana, my last to go would be the Slavia 631, and for the same reasons.

  5. B.B.,

    Re: “sending an email about the impact that this blog has had on your life.”

    Is there a limit on the number of pages this testimonial can be?


  6. My one airgun is an easy answer. That would be my Airforce Condor. I value power and accuracy. I also like the fact it’s so much more than just an airgun. It can be configured any way I want it.

    The powder burner is a bit tougher. Do I go with my legendary never fails to fire AK47 that has such a colorful history? Or do I go with my custom AR15 that shares ammo commonality with it’s military cousins in this time where we are in a post constitutional time with a lawless government that no longer represents us or our will. I really strongly suspect at some point the protests going on in D.C. that no news station is covering might turn into a hot revolution at which time it will be handy to be able to scavenge ammo from bodies. And then there is my 1911 that I’m still working on. Easy to conceal, easy to whip out and draw down on a criminal and if need be deliver a message in the form of a .45 acp? I don’t think I could make that choice.

    • Watch it, you’re telling your age. When I was in the Navy, we were still using the M-14. I never could get a liking for the Mattelomatic, but a good AK would be nice. Good handgun choice though.

      • There’s no shame in not being young anymore. My military days are long past now but I still think tactically when looking at what is best to have with me not if but when SHTF happens. I’m always thinking what artillery can I bring with me. What is the best for what I might encounter.

  7. I feel much the same way.
    The one airgun (out of a current stable of 12) would be my Slavia 630 with Hawke airmax scope.
    It is just a real nice gun to shoot, and as you’ve stated that’s the only reason I shoot airguns.
    My firearms are another matter…I would want my 1911 for self defense (though I truly hope it never gets used for this purpose).
    I would want one of my rimfires (likely the Savage WMR) to put meat in the pot if needed and the shotgun for the same reason.
    I know that when I was a working photographer I never felt comfortable without at least two camera bodes and a passel of lenses…’cause they all do a particular job.
    Now that I only do photography for fun I have no issue with my one camera body and one lens.
    I guess that in reality for most of us airguns are for relaxation and fun…whereas firearms can be working tools. And no professional only has one tool of his profession.

  8. This business about only one gun is a not uncommon question and evokes some funny answers like: “I abhor the thought but….” B.B.’s answers are a little surprising but very sensible and interesting too. So, who would have thought the Diana 27 would win out over all. As for the single-action revolver, Edith said that shooting was about the only thing that brightened you up in the hospital, so we figured a gun would be good medicine. 🙂 For one firearm, people think general purpose, and that usually leads to some kind of Scout gun. But it seems like military guns are overlooked since they are designed for all sorts of conditions. And it stands to reason that the products of the best minds when manufacturing techniques were at the height would be very hard to beat. Also it appears that the Springfield 03 has all the versatility that one wants but in the reloading, not just the firearm design. I’ve heard that nothing beats the 30-06 for flexibility. Interesting about the short length of pull and the solution. The heavy clothing solution makes sense and is better than one guy’s video of his Mosin-Nagant: “Them Russians must have mighty short arms!” But what about the Marines in the Pacific with their Springfields and M1s? I guess they had other things to worry about. I like the criteria of fun too which is the overriding principle for me. So sad that in the acrimonious debate on gun rights that people seem to have forgotten that the things are incredibly fun.

    RidgeRunner, I’ve finally had time to give your videos proper attention. Any 600 yard shooting is impressive and is certainly further than 230 yards. BUT, this appears to be a purpose built gun that is more like an artillery piece with its 36 inch barrel and its gigantic immobile air supply. As such it also comes under one of our long-standing categories of turning an airgun into a firearm. With its solid bullet and virtually unlimited and immobile air supply this device doesn’t so much expand airgun capabilities as reproduce firearms. It also looked like the guy was bombarding the targets as much as aiming although I will say that his misses were fairly consistent, so he wasn’t spraying the target. Anyway, it is an impressive achievement all around.

    But what is so astonishing about the 230 yard shooting is that it was done with a production airgun and a diablo pellet. To perform at that distance with these restrictions is really amazing.

    B.B., interesting idea about how the blog has changed my life. A lot. This will require some thought.


  9. If I could have only one airgun, it would be the Herman Weirauch HW50S Stainless in .22. This stainless steel spring piston air rifle with a synthetic finish stock is excellent in terms of simplicity, accuracy, precision, reliability, ergonomics, weather resistance and flexibility of use. You can have fun with it hunting, plinking, or just plain enjoying the ownership of a fine piece of German engineering. In other words, a “keeper”.

  10. B.B., that is a hard question. For the air gun, I’m thinking a Pump Benjamin 392 22 cal due to the fact I could shoot indoors with it or pump her up for hunting short range game with it.
    The powder burner is also hard for me. I think I too like a single action center fire, but it would not be the Colt as I think the Ruger Blackhawk is a little better/more reliable in my opinion (and several gun smiths). I’d want the Blawkhawk convertible in .357/9mm, just because of the availability of 9mm ammo world wide. That said, I have to wonder if a 12 or 20 ga shot gun wouldn’t be better. One thing I can say, You are right. Makes you think and it’s a very hard choice.

      • They are nice. I have an old “Three Screw” Blackhawk in .357 wt. a 6 1/2 barrel. I use it when we have a shoot off in our Cowboy Action Matches. It will hit the “Rabbit” target at 100 yds. if I do my part. I need to show about 1/4 of the front sight above the notch to do this. The load uses a 158 gr. round nose bullet and 4.5 grains of Unique. These are in .38 Special cases.


  11. B.B., when you say 5 cents a round, I assume you are talking about making them from old stock? When I look at today’s prices of powder, primers and lead bars, I just don’t see how to net it down to 5 cents. That’s $2.50 per box of 50. Thanks, Bradly

    • Braqdly,

      I cast my own bullets. Primers cost 3.5-4 cents each and I allow a penny for powder. I shoot 5.1 grains of Titegroup, so there are potentially 1,372 rounds in one pound of powder. At $25/lb. that’s 1.4 cents a shot, so it’s close.


  12. I answered this a little while back when Kevin asked.

    My answer was my .177 synthetic stock Marauder mostly because its so easy to shoot and the gun hits no matter what. Scary actually how well it performs.

    But today I have to change my mind if we are talking about the one gun I would keep no matter what. I have went through some tuff financial times in the past and I did have to get rid of some things that I didn’t want to get rid of. But the gun that is still with me is the Winchester model 190 semi-automatic .22 cal. rimfire rifle. The reason I have it still has nothing to do with how it shoots or how nice the wood is or what the bluing is like. Because all those things are average on the gun and not because of the age it is. In that respect the gun is in excellent condition.

    The reason I still have it was because it was my first firearm I got. My dad gave it to my for a Christmas present when I was around 10 years old. So that is the reason I still have that gun. And yep it will never go. Well not till I go if you know what I mean.

    And Matt61 and RR I have always liked the idea of long range shooting.

    I think all the stuff that was done to the gun that was shooting at the 600 yards is cool. And I also like the Idea of a production gun and the diablo pellets shooting out to the 200 yards or so distance. I my self would fit more into the second group of long distance shooting. I want to shoot out to the 100 to 200 yard range with production air gun stuff. And I don’t know if I would say when we mess around shooting the longer shots that we are worried about getting consistent groups. But just the idea of hitting a milk jug or 2 litre soda bottle at that distance is fine with me.

    And I think you could scale it down to like 50 or 60 yards and put a ping pong ball out in your shooting area. Then take one of those 1377 pistols and convert it into one of those long barrel rifles I talked about that I built. And put the See All sight on it like I got on my 1377 and use 3 or 4 pumps at that distances and you could come up with about the same affect as what the other guns are achieving at the longer distances. And try that with different weight pellets and see what happens. Give it a try. Its fun. But got to go. Got to go finish cutting the grass. 🙂

    • Gunfun
      Hey bro. Bet you thought I got lost in Memphis for two weeks. It has been a rough two weeks that’s for sure. All went well in Memphis with the wife’s uncle ( got a ticket for disregard of stop sign, that stinks cause I did stop, cop had to meet quota) but when I got home found that the hard drive in my 2 month old Dell PC crashed and would not work, so they finally got out here to replace it Thursday. Lost last two months worth of info, luckily I had backup made when swap from old PC to new PC so all was not lost, but enough to make me very mad at Dell as they said that data recovery is not part of the warranty. Going to take old one to see if can recover data before I send it back to Dell.

      Got PC backup and running now. How do you like your FD PCP. How far have you got tuning it and getting set to your liking. Did you swap out the barrels or are you keeping it .177 for now. I have got mine just how I want it for now on my backyard range and will be going to sight it out to 50 yards very soon with my 3-9/40 AO scope on it. let me know about your new toy and how you like it


      • buldawg whats up. Sounds like you got my kind of luck. And I guess things are going better for you all now I hope.

        But I have been waiting for you to get back so I can give you a update. First off the rifle looked nice and feels nice holding it. But I have good and bad news about it.

        First the good. I was filling to 1500 psi and I shot it and it was ridiculous loud. And the thing was shooting the 10.3 JSB’s at around 1100 fps. I backed the striker spring adjustment out all the way and could only get it to slow down to the upper 900’s. So I cut off about 4 coils on the spring if I remember right. Then I could get the gun to slow way down. Its set at about 800 fps with the 10.3’s right now. And also the gun got much better with how loud it is after I slowed it down.

        As for as how the gun performed was ok to me. It was holding around a bit over 1 inch groups. And I was getting about 30 shots per fill.

        But now the bad news. I shot the gun on the first fill. Filled it up to 1500 psi the second time around just like the first time. I shot it down to the end of the fill with my 30 shots which ended up leaving the gun at about 600 psi. I set the gun down on the table and was getting ready to fill it and air started coming out the barrel and emptied the air all out. And it was slow not a fast discharge.

        I have had this happen before on guns with this type of design were the striker rests on the air valve plunger. When the air pressure gets to low to keep the valve held closed it will let the air leak out through the transfer port and out the barrel. Usually you can cock the bolt and that takes the pressure off the valve because you pull the striker back when the gun is cocked. Then the gun will fill up with air again. Then your back in business. Well not this time. Still leaking out the barrel as I was trying to fill.

        So I stopped. Time to take it apart and look at the air valve. It was easy to take apart actually too. But anyway got the valve out and unscrewed the body and took the spring and plunger out. Guess what happened. They used some type of yellow rubber/plastic type seal that was crimped into the brass part of the plunger. The seal was half ate away on one side only. So I think the striker is putting side force on the plunger rod when its hitting it.

        And I already have something in mind to fix it. I have a old Benjamin Discovery air valve that looks like it will work when you put them side by side. The diameter and length is the same. the transfer port hole and the bottom screw hole that holds the valve in place is also in the same location and the Disco valve has the side screw holes in it. Then I could drill the side of the receiver and have 3 screws holding the valve in place. And the transfer port hole in the Disco valve is a smaller diameter than the other valve. The only thing that I see that’s different is that the plunger rod sticking out of the front of the valve is about a 1/4 of a inch shorter and it is a bigger diameter than the original valve that came with the gun. So I will have to make a little extension that presses onto the plunger rod. If that works out I’m going to keep it .177 cal. because the gun was shooting really nice where I had it set up.

        Will see how it works out. Don’t now how soon that will be that I can get to it though. And I just might buy a rifle from Mike with out a barrel. He said he will sell them that way for a real reasonable price. So I may do that and put this barrel on it and keep this gun for a parts gun. But let me know how your gun does when you get the scope on it and do your 50 yard testing.

        • Gunfun
          Things are getting better now, just not happy with Dell at all. Glad to hear you got your gun and like it I also like the feel of in your hands. Sorry to hear about the valve seat being damaged did mike offer to send you a new valve or did you ask him. You said he sell guns without barrels so I would think he would replace the valve. If he can’t or won’t replace the valve for you I know you get a complete valve assy from archer airguns or parts of the valve assy pretty cheap as the valve assy is the same one that is used in the QB78/79 guns and I have seen them listed on his site. The disco valve would probably work better if you get the piece to lengthen the stem because remember me telling you that the valve stem was a bit smaller than the hole in the valve body and that it allowed the valve to cock slightly in the body and to help stop/correct that I made a spring hat to place in the front half of the body to keep spring centered and help center stem. If you can make the disco valve work you could make the stem a tighter fit to the rear body and prevent the valve from being able to cock slightly. If you figure out a extension for the disco valve let me know because I have some new crosman 13XX/22XX valves that I would like to swap out for the valve in my PCP to make stem fit tighter and allow for smaller diameter spring to be used in valve as my crosman valves have a stepped brass end which would provide for better air flow around valve head and out port. Let me know what you come up with. I have my scope sighted in for my backyard range at approx. 12 yards so hopefully it won’t need much change for 50 yards. I would like to have it at dead zero at 40 yards so then I can compensate up or down for between 30 to 50 yards. as needed. Talk to you later

          • buldawg
            I never asked Mike to replace the valve. I kinda new that I was taking a chance when I got the gun. I figured if the gun worked out and it was a PCP gun that only cost a hundred bucks well then that was great. If it didn’t work out I would try to fix it. If it couldn’t be fixed I would be on my way to another adventure.

            But I have already tested the Disco valve at low pressure (600 psi) with the one screw holding the valve in place and with a temporary stem extension on the air valve. The gun held air and shot so that means I need to make a better stem extension and drill the receiver for the side screws and I should be back in the ball game. Will see. But I think it will work out.

            • Gunfun
              I don’t if there is enough metal on the hammer block that sit between the valve assy and the hammer to be able to machine it down to allow the hammer to strike the valve stem without using the extension, but if does that would allow you to have more adjustment range for the hammer spring to keep the fps down where you want them and not risk having the stem extension come loose or fail and damage something else. Just a thought on how to solve the short stem issue.
              Glad that you got it back shooting. The guns are very easy disassemble and work on in my opinion as compared to some others. Hope it goes well on your tuning.

              • buldawg
                The stem has to be the same legnth. If Im looking at it right the striker pin that allows the bolt to cock the striker will also limit the strikers forward motion.

                • Gunfun
                  That’s correct I did not think about that when I asked about machining the hammer block down to allow it to let the stem protrude for the hammer to hit it. When I machined .080″ off my hammer block there was only .020″ between the hammer pin and the end of the slot in receiver. With out having my gun apart in front of me I don’t know if it would be possible to lengthen the hammer pin slot enough to allow you to machine down the hammer block enough and you also need to see if the screw hole for securing the hammer block in the receiver would allow you to remove enough also. most likely thinking more about it the easiest route would be to lengthen the stem of the valve.
                  I haven’t looked that close at the valve and stem to know whether you could press the stem out of the disco valve head and make a longer stem to press back in its place. I think it would be difficult to make an extension for the disco stem that would stay on and hold up to repeated blows from the hammer for any length of time. You might call crosman tech and see if they have any valves or can give you dimensions for some of the valves for older guns that might have a stem close to the length of the FD PCP stem, it seems to me that a crosman 600 or maybe the 180s had a longer stem than the discos and 13XX/22XX guns do. It can’t hurt to ask. Let me know what you come up with. Getting ready to start on the machining of my AR lower this week so hopefully will be putting it together next weekend or week, can’t wait to get it done.

                  • buldawg
                    Already got the stem done. Was actually working on it as we have been talking here.

                    I took a piece of thin wall steel tubing from a brake line or maybe it was small fuel line tubing. Cut it to leg nth and soldered it on. Then I filled the rest of the hole up with solder. I’m putting it back in the gun right now so I can see if it will with stand the 600 psi behind it when the striker hits it. If it does then I will drill the receiver and get all 3 bolts holding the valve in that the Disco valve uses and try raising the fill pressure. Then see if it will hold up. I don’t think I will get to the drilling today though. If it moves on the stem then I will make something out of a solid piece of steel at work. Will see.

                    • Gunfun
                      Sound like you have it worked out pretty well. I think you will find that if the sleeve you used is an old brake line or fuel tubing it probably won’t hold up to the hammer hitting it. I don’t think it will move because you have it soldered on good but brake line or fuel line is not a hardened metal and the repeated blows from the hammer will likely start to mushroom the end of the stem. You will soon know after a few shooting sessions. let me know.

  13. If I had to choose, it would be hard for me to decide between my Smith&Wesson Model 28 and my Rossi Puma lever action rifle. I like them both on their own, but I love them as a pair, shooting the same caliber and completing each other so nicely. But, since this is a one-gun-only question, I think I would stay with the Rossi, because of its added range and accuracy over the revolver.
    Now for the airgun… geez, that’s a hard one. I think I would probably choose my Gamo Stutzen .22. It is a rifle I like so much, and it really feels good in my hands, that I would really hate to see that rifle going away.
    I see you guys mentioning economical reasons for choosing the “last gun”, but these exercises are good to keep things in perspective. We don’t have a lot of guns because we need them, we do because we want them.

  14. Tough choice. I guess it would be my 1975 version Blue Streak and my Ruger Mini 14 ( Ranch Rifle). That’s the practical version of my choices. Be nice to keep a pistol too.

  15. I’m a bit surprised at your Springfield choice. Hope you can work that bolt REAL fast during the zombie apocolypse!

    I wouldn’t be any better off. While I’d sure hate to let any of them go the most practical for me is a Thompson Contender. Run out of .45-70s? Swap barrels and take ’em out with .45LC. Or .357mag. Or 9mm luger or any number of over a dozen different barrel/caliber configurations.
    Airguns are a bit tougher, but I guess I’d have to choose the most accurate. In my modest collection that would be the Beeman P3.

    • Multiple calibers is a great idea in a bug out gun, no matter what you come across you can pretty much shoot it. It would be a bad case to come across a cache of 9mm and be carrying only a 45 or vice versa.

  16. Hello BB, and Fellow Airgunners
    What a wonderful subject you chose for the weekend edition of the Airgun Blog. I don’t own any fire arms at this time however that is not to say I wouldn’t like to. I think I will give that category a pass as I would need to give a lot of thought, and googling to come up with something worth while. There was one rifle I remember my uncle owning which he used every fall for hunting deer. It was chambered in 7mm with bolt action and twin set triggers. For the life of me I don’t recall who made it, but I believe he purchased it new in the 40’s. I recall accompanying him to the range when I was 14 or so when he went to sight it in for for the upcoming deer season. I was over the moon when he asked if I wanted to take a couple of shots. He instructed me on the workings of the two triggers, and where I thought the gun was kind of freaky before, the scope smacked my eye with barely a touch of the firing trigger. I sported a black eye for a week or so, but I have never forgotten how smooth and easy the gun was to shoot with the two trigger system. I believe one of his hunting buddies became the new owner when he passed away 10 years ago from complications brought on from diabetes.
    As for air guns, that is difficult for a different reason. I own 14 Weihrauch’s, and a Tau 200 co2 powered 10 meter target rifle. Each gun has it’s own particular charm, and I enjoy shooting them all in a rotating fashion. However, if it came down to just one, I would choose my latest accusation. It is the latest incarnation of the venerable HW77K. With it’s ambidextrous stock and chambered in .22 cal, It looks quite similar to the HW97 with the added benefit of open sights should one prefer using over a scope. With my older eyes, I mounted a Hawke 6.5x20x42 scope based on your recommendation of the same model you have in 4.5x14x42. Being of lower power in compliance with Canada’s fire arm laws, I am still able to achieve 1/2 in. groups at 25 meters using JSB 13.43 Exact pellets. Again based on an observation of your results with this pellet. This choice may change by weeks end, as I intend on shooting the HW98 for the next couple of days. It is currently shooting .177 pellets, however I have obtained a ,20 cal shrouded barrel for it a month or so back. I thought the HW98 only came in .177 and ,22 calibers, but I do possess a Weihrauch factory .20 cal. barrel with the HW98 .20 cal stamped into the breech.
    As for explaining the impact this blog has had not only on my shooting, but on my life, that will take a bit more time and soul searching. I’m glad your giving us a couple of weeks to formulate our replies. It will be fun and even educational reading everyones impact this blog has had on their lives.

  17. GF1

    What you been up to ?

    We have some contractors working here , and I have been missing out on some good shooting weather.

    Still working with the S500 . Something not right . Have some things to try.
    Can change the way I rest it, change the scope, test for corkscrewing. Maybe even pull off the barrel band. Just running a bit looser than I want . A couple unexpected POI changes.
    Almost feels like a bad scope.
    Have plugged a bunch more starlings and 3 or 4 chucks with it, but at close range.


    • twotalon,

      I have a AA S500 also and it is the least accurate of three Air Arms I own. I am also having trouble with the POI shifting on me. Not much but enough to be irritating. I am very interested in your progress with solving this problem. Please keep me posted.


      • G&G,
        What is the other 2 Air Arms that you own? How tight of a group can your other Air Arms rifle shoot?
        Did you try locking your rifle into a vise then shoot groups with several different ammo?

        • Joe,

          I do not have a vise. I’m not sure that it could help me solve the problem of shifting POI anyway. My other two Air Arms are a TX200 and a S400 MPR FT. The S400 is my most accurate. I rarely group much more than 1/2″ at 40 yds. with ten shots.


      • G&G,
        What is the other 2 Air Arms that you own? How tight of a group can your other Air Arms rifle shoot?
        Did you try locking your rifle into a vise then shoot groups with several different ammo?

        • I do not consider this as a viable option for testing .
          My best accuracy seems to be with 16 and 18 Gr Exacts , and Baracuda match. Just about a tie.
          I think I may have a combination of two or more problems.


      • Joe

        I have not swapped scopes yet, but it might be the next step. There are some other things I want to test also. I want to verify what is repeatable and what is not. I need to know exactly what to expect under certain conditions .

        Testing for corkscrewing (spiral pellet path) is in order . It does hurt grouping, but may not be obvious on groups at closer ranges . They may look perfectly normal but not as tight as you would like. The groups start looking a bit funny at longer ranges .
        The best way to look for this is to shoot at multiple distances to see if pellet drop looks about right, and POI changes in a vertical line. If the groups keep landing in the wrong places compared to what they should be doing, then it is throwing corkscrews.


        • Twotalon,

          Corkscrewing sounded like your pellet is wobbling instead of spinning about its axis, and its significant at longer range. I suspect that the pellet is either (1) under spin, or (2) pellet diameter don’t match the rifle bore diameter, or (3) the rifle bore distort the pellet such that when pellet exit the muzzle, the pellet is not balance as it spin, thus wobbles, or (4) a combination of 1, 2, and 3. Please let me know what you discover, thanks!


          • Joe

            I have had a couple of bad corkscrewers . The only distance I could hit anything was at the zero range .
            Both had bad crowns . A recrown fixed both. Both were LW barrels.


            • twotalon,
              What!? Did you say Lothar Walther barrels had bad crowns?
              How can this be? I thought LW barrels are up there with the best.
              I need to know because I am looking for a good .177 cal airgun barrel.

                  • Joe…

                    I am going to love doing this….
                    The corkscrew barrels were from AirForce . I also got a bad one from AA….a T200. Rough bore.
                    Another bad one from HW . Rough bore.
                    A bad one from Crosman. Overbored so large that no rifling was visible.

                    You name it and I will get a bad one .


              • If you’ve ever watched Teds HO, he tests alot of high end guns and its all in slow mo. One video I was watching showed a gun that sent the pellets swirlin when he had the pressure too high. It was really cool to watch, anything airguns + slow motion = cool!! And it teaches you so much about how they fly.

    • TT sorry it took me a bit to get back to ya.

      I finished cutting the grass and long story short. I got a call from my brother. And the call involved chickens and coyotes. And when I got there it also involved air guns and other guns.

      Hold on! Before any body gets any ideas that we were taking the coyotes with air guns not quite. The air guns were for other purposes.

      Anyway back to the important stuff. We talked a bit ago about your gun that’s .22 cal. and my Monsoon that’s also .22 cal. and we talked about the fill pressure. And it seems that both guns like the 3000 psi fill I guess. And I think we were both using the same pellets if I remember right. Well that happened today with my buddy’s gun. And we thought the scope was the problem. And I have had this problem with other .22 cal guns. But not as noticeable with my .177 or .25 cal. guns. (yes I know you would think it would show up more in the bigger .25 cal. round; but not so in my case) The gun was changing POI in windage as the pressure changed in the gun. Only a little bit in elevation.

      My buddy at work just got his .22 cal. synthetic stock Marauder during the week. He uses the same scopes as me. This one.

      And we use these pellets.

      I thought that the scope wasn’t parallel to to the barrel as with the other calibers that I talked about it happening to but more noticable in .22 cal.

      But it was the pressure changing that was affecting the POI in windage more than elevation. I thought we were only going to get 20 shots per fill out of this gun instead of the 30 shots per fill in the other cal. guns.

      So we started messing with fill pressure and the gun ended up liking 3200 psi. by my little Benjamin buddy bottle gage. I took my .22 Monsoon up to that fill pressure and it loves it also. My groups definitely tightened up. I haven’t chronyed the Monsoon yet but I’m thinking the .22 cal. pellet likes the little higher velocity for some reason verses the other calibers I mentioned.

      And I have heard that the .20 cal. pellets react differently to velocity than other pellets. I have never owned a .20 cal pellet gun so I don’t know for sure.

      Anyway that’s what we did today. And I guess I will have to try the metal mags now that you said that about the starlings.
      But wait a minute. Didn’t you say the metal mags were for some more serious stuff? And do the starlings still go pop when you hit them in the chest like other pellets do? Or do they just go right on through?

        • TT
          So do you think the metal mags are worth the money then. If I remember right you wanted the metal mags for the ground hogs so the point would dig in on the head shots and not allow the pellet to glance off like regular pellets can do.

          You didn’t get to try them on a ground hog then yet. Well let me know what happens with them if you get a chance at one.

          • GF1

            They shoot a lot better in the S500 than Polymags do . Not quite as good as 16 gr Exacts . Only tested to 25 yds so far .

            I want to try one on a full grown chuck, but that is one of those things that is going to take time.

            Was just out shooting in the wind . Almost a waste of time . It is quite a bit warmer today than usual . did not seem to have any effect on the rifle. Group position moved with the wind, but held vertical . Must not be too temperature sensitive.


            • TT
              I think next time I make a order I’m going to get a tin of the .177 and .22 cal. metal mags and give them a try. And I wish they would make them in .25 cal. That’s the gun I really want to use them in.

          • GF1

            Also, I changed how I rested the 500 today. Was shooting at 35 which is where I want the zero. I had been resting on sandbags directly, and with the front bag close to the end of the stock . Today, I moved the front bag back to a position where I would probably hold it, and padded the bag with a pair of padded gloves. Saw nothing different on the target, other than the way the wind was pulling the groups to the side.

            Just one more bit of information learned. Drift pretty well matched what chairgun predicts.


  18. Since I’m not overly concerned about revolutions or zombie attacks,, my choices would not be influenced by either of them. My “collection” is quite limited,, and in my lifetime,, I have never sold a gun of any kind, once I owned it. I have lost one air rifle,, had one hand gun stolen,, and given away, to friends or relatives, a few more. The thought that I would every find it necessary to get rid of the few I have seems far fetched,, as the whole lot, sold, wouldn’t pay off the house,, or the car, for that matter.

    But,,I guess I’d be forced to keep my Daisy 880, and my Winchester Model 70 that my wife bought for me shortly after we married. The first because it’s versatile,, able to shoot pellets or BBs,, has enough power to kill a rabbit or squirrel, and I can supply it’s propellant very easily. The Winchester,, because it was a gift from my wife. The fact that it is accurate probably helps, too.

  19. I’ve faced these decisions before sadly.
    It always came down to my 1377 carbine
    due to it’s accuracy and versatility.
    My firearm of choice is my Taurus .357.
    I also have a safe queen that I hope is never going
    to leave me,it’s a Navy Arms Italian made
    O/U 12 gauge that was a very special gift
    purchased for me in 1982.It has the vented
    ribbed Bbl. and scroll engraved nickel breach.
    Full choke on top and improved cylinder on bottom,
    It’s a bird hunter special with the ~ goddess w/bow and
    bird dogs and game birds~emblem on the butt pad.
    I really love that shotty lol.

  20. I just have to put my own 2-cent in. My last airgun to go will be my FWB 600. The cocking mechanism is simple because their is no ratchet mechanism. It is the easiest single stroke pneumatic air rifle to cock compare to all those that can shoot over 520 fps. The trigger is very nice and it shoots much better than me. I made a custom wood stock so that it is slimmer and weight a little less. With its match peep sights, I don’t need a scope. I can easy hit a small target at 25 yards. Every time I cock the gun, I smile. When I squeezed off a shot, I smile again.

  21. Well, accuracy is pretty much the only thing for me and I like shooting at all distances from 20 yds. to 100 yds. That being the case I have to go with a pcp. For me that would be my Daystate Airwolf MCT. It is incredibly accurate. I mean unbelievably accurate. And quiet, attractive(although not nearly my favorite looks wise) with lots of shots per fill.

    However, if I have the scenario described right getting air tanks filled might be a problem. So then I’m going with a springer. Like many of you I will go with my most practical one. Nothing fancy about it and if I miss my target I know it was me and not the gun. That rifle is the Weihrauch HW30S. A pleasure to shoot. I love it.

  22. I have experienced this scenario where I had to make a choice. For me, it was a personal defence weapon a browning hi-power. I think that there is a bigger chance of the sky falling on our heads (asteroid) than zombie apocalypse or revolution. Yet there is a host of people who seem intent of depriving other’s of life, limb and possessions. The biggest threat to projectile launching devices seems to be legislation, where choices may be forced upon us.

  23. I have engaged in the real life version of this game, so my choices are “actual”. While my collection of air rifles paled to those of the big guns here, still over 50 was a sizable amount to box up and drive to the UPS store. The winner was a used .20 caliber R7 that was not tuned or a particularly rare version, but was accurate, quiet, smooth, and strangely powerful. Oh, and it has that famous trigger I prefer.

    The firearm category is a bit more complex as I allowed a rifle, shotgun, and handgun to remain. Don’t think I could sleep at night with just one of the three. Anyway, the shotgun is an old Winchester 12 gauge pump with worn walnut furniture. It makes that oh so sweet sound, with no failure to feed or fire. The rifle is the Ruger 10/22 that my dear wife nearly killed me with 25 years ago, so it has to be lucky. Lastly, the handgun is a stainless steel Smith and Wesson J frame in .357 / 38 with a 4” barrel. Why? Seems the greatest compliment you can give a semi- auto is that it is as reliable as a revolver, so…

    I have since added a couple more pieces, but have decided less really is more, as I now actually shoot and enjoy everything I own. Before I was like a kid with too many toys.

        • I was helping a neighbor move when I spotted what appeared to be a model 12 standing in the corner behind the front door at the ranch’s bunkhouse.When I asked if it was a 12 the reply was “No,16” I asked for permission to inspect and to my surprise the engraving said Sweet Sixteen.I had heard of this gun but never seen or handled one.I seemed to be the exact same gun as my 16 guage model 12! Are they basically the same gun? I couldn’t compare them side by side for mine is long gone.The one that got away! OUCH!


            • Yeah Mike, I looked at the Browning and that ain’t what I had in my hands but the engraving job on this model 12 in 16 guage was 1st rate! In 16 guage the model 12 is the perfect size for me, my first was in 12 guage and pumping was a bit of a stretch.


              • You are right. The engraving was probably custom then. The 16 ga Model 12 is one of my favorite shotguns. I have one with me each fall when we hunt pheasants in South Dakota. As the old boys said, “Carries like a 20, hits like a 12”.


                • If I ever get my hands on another one It’ll never go into pawn! Those guys loved to see my collection come through the door.Thought I needed the money.Never again!


                  • Reb
                    I know what you mean about sweet sixteen shotguns. I don’t have a browning model 12, but do own one of my grandfathers Winchester model 24 16 ga double barrel that is just like you stated carries like a 20 and hits like a 12. I have several old guns from my grandfather and father that I can say I would have to be living on the streets and hungry for weeks before I would even consider selling any of them. It is just not worth any amount of money that I could get for them to let them escape my hands. I would go back to fixing cars or bikes in the freezing snow and wind before they would be sold.
                    It is going to be sporadic for awhile for me to be able to respond to any one here on this blog because my new computer that had a hard drive crash 2 weeks ago, got replaced this past Thursday by dell under warranty just crashed again last night so I boxed it back up and took it back to wallyworld and got a refund, so back to shopping for a new PC. I am using my wife’s right now but don’t have access to my email thru hers because it will make mine all ,messed up when I get a new PC back up and going so I will just be checking for replies thru this blog until I get the PC replaced.

  24. B.B.,

    This is one of the best reports you have “filed” yet, and I have read most of them multiple times! Therefore, thank you Kevin. Your question turned out to be an excellent one. In my business it would be called an excellent prompt.

    B.B., I had silently and correctly guessed — as I suspect most of we regulars did — what your one-and-one-only airgun would be, the venerable Diana 27. (Why you haven’t named her “Princess” by now is a mystery to me. Like all great swords, all great guns should be named. Well, it is kinda tacky, perhaps.) I confess to having no idea regarding the firearm, although the few guesses I had were wrong: M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Ballard, Colt 1911A1, Makarov.

    Regarding one’s choices, the criteria for making it says a lot about a person. You shoot airguns not for food or sport hunting; you shoot them primarily for fun, so your airgun criterion was fun, which you broke down to the sub-criteria that make an airgun fun for you. Anyone who has read this blog for even just one year has learned that amopng other things you value accuracy, simplicity of design, a predictable trigger, and an honest build quality. Those very same things are what make an airgun fun to me as well. I love shooting my older version R8, my Bronco, and my Daisy 499 for the same reasons.

    But as a non-powder-burner, I was completely clueless, and perhaps because of that also very curious as to what you would choose as your “one-and-only-if-you-had-to” firearm. When you promised Kevin that you would think about it and write a report answering his question, I even put a tiny yellow post-it on my computer monitor: “Tom Gaylord’s favorite airgun: Diana 27? Firearm: ???”

    I now feel the need to read up on the 1903A3 Springfield. I’d heard of Springfield bolt-actions of course. Everyone has. But I know nothing about them, for now. You “nut-shelled” why they are great above, but I have an obsessive need to dig and learn.

    Thank you for yet another great report.


    • Michael,

      You deserve an answer.

      Getting rid of my firearms means getting rid of my M1 Carbine — a rifle I dearly love. But as a firearm, it is quite low on the utility ladder, being both a weak cartridge and having mediocre accuracy (but good for a Carbine).

      The 03A3 Springfield is rugged, reliable, powerful, and because I reload, extremely flexible. It also has great adjustable peep sights. I own many other rifles with some of those attributes, but not another one has them all.

      Springfields are legendary but no more than Mosin Nagants, SMLEs, Garands — all of which were passed over in its favor. I kept the one rifle that was as close to universal as any I own.


      • I am composing my e-mail as to what the blog means to me. Sorry to change the subject, but I am stuck again.

        I received my Chrony and have it set up and working. My only PCP rifle is the Marauder w/synthetic stock in .177. I am really anxious to find a good setting for it before taking it out to the 50 yd. range.

        I had adjusted the metering screw 1 turn from bottom. I haven’t adjusted anything else, yet. I shot the first shot thru the Chrony and clocked 800 FPS. I then removed the stock and was going to adjust the metering screw all the way in to see what I would get and the jam set screw was not in place. I obviously forgot to replace it when I adjusted before. I went ahead and screwed it down all the way and got a shot of 400 FPS. That sounded about right. I adjusted the screw out to the point where it was when I received the Marauder and it is still clocking in the low 400’s. I ran the metering screw out 2 1/2 turns and it is still in the low 400’s.

        Thinking it might now be a Chrony problem, I put a shot thru it with my old HW77 and it clocked 827 FPS, so I have to believe the problem is with the Marauder. Does the jam set screw have to be in place for the metering to work properly?

        Obviously, I now need a replacement jam set screw and might as well get another metering screw for a spare. Can you tell me the quickest way to get them? Pyramyd AIR or Crossman?

        The older I get, the harder the learning curve on new things for me. Sorry to be such a pest.

        • Jerry,

          The jam screw does not have to be in the gun for the other screw to work properly. But the other screw does have to be threaded correctly in it hole.

          Back it out and try again.

          I would call Crosman for the replacement jam screw.


          • It appears the rifle is firing at 400 FPS with the metering screw all the way in and anywhere in between bottom and all the way out. The metering screw has no tension at all and screws down freely until it hits bottom. I guess a valve is stuck.

            Do you have a suggestion on how to reach someone with knowledge of the Marauder at Crosman?

            • If this “metering screw” is the one on the side of the receiver (requiring stock removal as I recall); then it only controls air flow between the firing valve and the barrel port. There is nothing under it that would cause “tension” (no spring, gasket, whatever — it just restricts the size of the port the air can flow through).

              The striker pre-load has a screw that it compresses. Stroke length adjustment may also affect a spring. Light pre-load and short stroke would be like bouncing a pencil off the desk from an inch up. Longer stroke length would be bouncing it from four inches. More pre-load would be replacing the pencil with a rubber mallet {Very loose description}.

              If the air-flow screw is having minimal effect I’d suspect the striker adjustments to be off — such they the puff of air they are releasing is too small to be affected by a flow adjustment.

              • Thank you for your input, Wulfraed. The odd thing is that I had just gotten my “Chrony” and set it up. The first shot I fired was with the “metering screw” 1 turn back from all the way in. The velocity measured about 800 FPS, which was about what I figured it would be. Next, I screwed the metering screw to the bottom and fired a shot and it registered about 400 FPS, which was what I expected. But, when I backed that screw out to 1 7/8 turns, which was where it was when I received the new Marauder, the velocity was still about 400 FPS. Then, no matter where I set the metering screw, the velocity remained about 400 FPS. I assumed something was stuck and was preventing the adjustment of velocity.


                  • B.B.
                    I don’t think so. The metering screw will screw down until it hits bottom and then will tighten up. It also will come all of the way out. I inspected the threads and saw no sign of them being stripped.

                    I have had the rifle for slightly more than 30 days, but will see if P.A. will swap it out for another. If not, I will call Crosman and talk to their tech dept.

                    How hard is it to change out the whole valve if that is what it takes?

                    I just sent my “what the blog means to me” e-mail in. I’ll bet you are getting some great ones.

  25. Really good question. Even better are the thoughtful answers and reasoning behind them.
    One has to define a (probable) scenario for that development. The thinking mostly feels to be driven by finances, but there can be venue issues also (like say moving to Chicago, or a overly restrictive Home Owners Association.) It’s possible to be in an area that purely limits how many projectile launching devices one may have. Or living in California where merely having a plastic stock with a pistol-grip as opposed to a wooden one counts against you.
    A large percentage on the blog feel a strong emotional attachment to a particular piece, while many require nothing but pure practicality, and, I think, most want both at the same time.
    And then what are the plans to use it? Target shooting in the garage? Hunting squirrels? Hunting Grizzly? Something really pretty and smells good?
    All of the above are excellent reasons for a particular selection but they can also be excellent explanations for big mistakes. Feel free to disagree but most of us have learned life lessons that perhaps may not have been made if we’d been less seduced by tail-fins, blazing speed, a really good dancer, or a push-up bra. (I plead guilty to all of the above:)
    Point here is, I’m glad to see the thought going into the question and it’s best to have a plan.
    My choice? I’m lucky to have the selection and while my particular pet is my Python (which has a trick or two to it,) I’d have to pick the 1911 (which has even more tricks to it.)
    Now I’m not one of the (often self-appointed) gurus of the 1911 but I really appreciate the versatility of it. Not only is it at least as accurate as anything else I own but it shoots at least four different commonly available cartridges, just by switching a few parts around. In no case does the conversion take more than 5 minutes, usually less than 1. Makes stockpiling ammo a lot easier, should it become necessary. (.45 ACP/.38 Super/ 9mmP/ 22LR, in case you’re wondering.) It also is in the (now kinda’ rare) Colt matte-nickel finish which means it could live in a pretty humid environment without converting to the “Ball-O-Rust” finish.
    It’s also well known the enormous array of accessories available that allow making it into about anything you could want, limited only by your imagination. (Keep imagining, there’s always room in the market for something new.)
    And the best part? This was the pistol that belonged to my Dad, so it even has the emotional attachment and all the bases are covered.
    The Python is tempting because, after owning it for decades, I shoot it well, it’s Rightly-Reliable, and it can host a number of different cartridges suitable for nearly all occasions, including home-made black-powder ones (in a pinch.) It even has the ability to share ammunition with some carbines and the aforementioned 1911.
    I don’t own enough airguns to really have the luxury of selection but if there’s a long-haul in the parameters, a springer is probably the best choice. Air is still free, at least so far, but this does not necessarily include even a hand pump, much less scuba tanks and various arcane hoses and pneumatic fittings. Somewhere in my past history I can recall a saying that went sort of like this, “You don’t really own anything that you can’t carry on your back at a dead-run.” Of course this depends on your anticipated future but almost anyone living anywhere on this planet, you know, the one with earthquakes, massive forest-fires, gigantic mud-slides, civil-insurrections, tidal-waves, plus a few things we haven’t even thought of yet, knows this type of possibility is far from impossible.
    I’ve an Air Arms Pro Sport, as pretty a springer as could be made and, just as an observation, one of the reasons for choosing it was a pretty hefty cocking requirement. In other words, I wanted something that was going to give this (now) aging body a bit of a workout. Popping off 50 or more pellets in a session will definitely tone up those upper body muscles.

  26. BB
    The question of one airgun and one firearm is indeed a very difficult and almost unthinkable decision process to have to go through. I have had some rough financial times in the past as well as dealing with one at this present time. I can say for sure that I would sell everything else that I have acquired or hoarded probably being a better term as I have a lot of trouble throwing items away. I have amassed quite a large collection of auto and motorcycle parts and vehicles through the years that could be sold to support me for years to come ( as I may have to start doing). I can say that the one airgun I would never sell no matter what would be my 1968 Crosman Model 1400 22 cal pump gun, for two reasons. 1) It has stood the test of time and use/abuse that I put it through in my early years of shooting/hunting in the brackish waters and islands of Cocoa Beach FL and still shoots as good today as it did 45 years ago ( I have resealed it and replaced the barrel, it really did not need resealed, but the barrel did need replaced as there was no rifling left in it from the years of abuse that I put it through. 2) Most importantly it was my first airgun and has a very special place in my heart and does not need anything but pellets and elbow grease to shoot indoors for fun or outdoors for hunting/survival as I did with it growing up.

    The answer to what fire arm is far more difficult to answer. I can say that my guns air or powder burners would be the very last things that I own to be sold because I consider them as a necessity for survival of any kind. I can not single it down to a single firearm because I feel that you would need at least 2 or three for surviving any type of disaster. The three firearms that I would never sell are. 1) 1970 Remington model 1100 12 GA shotgun. 2) 1977 Smith&Wesson Model 29 44 magnum revolver (Dirty Harry special) 3) 1978 Ruger 44 magnum semi auto carbine tube fed. the reasoning for the 44 pistol and carbine is I only need one round for both guns and they are capable for many varied needs.


    • Buldawg,
      good to see ya back in the mix. Good story about the 1400 I’about to go through a 140 and the barrel is pretty rough. How much for a new barrel?


      • Reb
        I could not find a new barrel for the 1400 so what I did was by a Benjamin discovery 24″ barrel and steel 22 cal breach from crosman and took the breach to my gunsmith with the original barrel and had him machine breach to match the original barrels mounting screw hole position so that I did not alter the 1400s original design and would allow the original barrel to be put back on the gun. The original barrels riffling was non existent when I resealed it and looked like a shotgun barrel. The mounting hole in the new steel breach is only about 1/4 inch off from the 1400/140 mounting hole in air tube so having the breach machined to match the 1400/140 air tube mounting hole was easily done and only cost me 30 bucks and allow me to keep the 1400 in it original condition but with a 4 inch longer barrel and bolt action loading instead of a sliding breach door. The front barrel band will have to be replaced with a metal one from an old 760. I found one on ebay pretty cheap as well as the rebuild kit also.
        let me know if you cant find the kit on ebay and I can send you a link to your email address or go to jgairguns.biz as they have all the parts to rebuild also just not in kit form and are a little more expensive. the barrel and breach from crosman I think was 85 bucks with shipping if I remember right. Just call them and they will let you know and shipping is only 4 bucks regardless of order amount,don’t order online because shipping is 10 or 12 bucks that way Call them.


        • Buldawg,
          Thanks for the heads up on ordering online, I know when I called for a replacement valve for my 392 they told me $4 shipping but not about online shipping so I would’ve gotten very confused about the difference.
          It’s not my gun so we’ll see how the old one shoots first,just collecting all the info I can before diving in. I guess a disco barrel might be the saving grace for my 760SS in case the oversized pellets aren’t enough to get a group.


          • Reb
            Glad to help out. let me know how it works out and what route you take. I know like the 24 inch barrel in place of the stock 20 inch one as it is more accurate then I remember in the old days and definitely has more power with the extra 4 inches. the parts and mods to the breach added up to more than the gun is probably worth but it is not going to be sold any way and I wanted it back to new condition so I can get another 45 years out of it. I have a spare rebuild kit and valve assy for it so it is good for me to pass down in the family.


            • It’s kinda hard to say with this guy.He thinks it’s worth a pot o’gold but when it comes time to order parts? I know he wants it shooting and I can fix it but how well does he want it to shoot and how much can I do? I’m gonna give my left hand about one more month or so to Rehab while I get a work station set up and then hopefully It’s back to working on guns.


              • Reb
                I know what you mean about some people and how they think about their guns. I to work on air guns for some extra money while waiting for my SSD to get approved. They want the guns fixed and think it can be done for pennies, I use the tactic of offering them a modest price for their gun if I would like to own it myself and most of the time they come to the realization that in order to keep their prize jewel and have work like new again they have to spend some money to get that accomplished. It does not always work and I am not always interested in buying their guns, but if it is one I would like to own and can get it cheap enough to warrant what it would cost me to repair then its worth making the offer, sometimes I end up with a nice gun I can put a few dollars in to keep or be able to resell at a decent profit. I hope your rehab on your left hand goes good and you get your work station together so you can continue to work on and enjoy fixing guns. I know it is something that keeps my time occupied and my mind off my health issues. I can’t do work on cars anymore easily so airguns fill that slot very well. There’s always a good feeling when you resurrect an airgun for someone and see the glimmer in their eyes when they shoot it again and experience that feeling like when they first bought it, and most of the time I can make small tweaks to it to make it even better than it was new. Good luck with your rehab and if your customer does not want to fix his 140 try my trick of offering to buy it, I know if I could get another 1400/140 at a cheap non working price I would jump on it and spend the money to fix it because they don’t make them like that anymore.

                • Buldawg,
                  He thought it was a Benji Until I saw it and told him it was “a Crosman 140, 1st variant with a sliding breech cover” and showed him it’s intricacies.You shoulda witnessed the snap to attention! It wasn’t pumping air-at all.I went back home and brought a couple of guns and my Mac1 secret sauce, lubed it up everywhere and told him to leave it standing upright overnight. I came back a couple of days later and the thing was moving plenty of air, but straight through the transfer port. He had to attend an outta town funeral and while he was gone his son brought it over for me to finish up as a surprise for when he got back, further inspection showed that the quad seal is blown.I was trying to finish a rack & pinion job so I’d have the $45 for a kit when I stroked out on the job.The hard part is already done! I’m gonna get ahold of him today to see I f he’s ready to take the plunge and if so whether he may have a place to work on it.Now I’ve added 2 broken ribs from an uncontrolled fall into an end table & really limited as to what I can do but I wanna shoot it just as bad, if not worse than he does.I told him that no matter what, it would never be worth much over $100 so we already have that understanding and after I diagnosed his QB-36 he gave it to me, so I’m good to go & ready to roll!
                  Whatta worldwattaworldwuttawurl…


                  • Reb
                    You can’t get a better deal than that. it was kind of the same for me when I took my new crosman steel breach and barrel to my gunsmith to have the breach mounting hole moved and deepen the port on the barrel about .020″ to hold the transfer port tube in place better. He gave me an old pellet gun that had been sitting in his shed for a couple years and had a good bit of mildew on the wood stock and some very light rust on the metal, it was a Daisy Avanti 853 cadet training air gun. I took it home and cleaned the mildew off the stock, cleaned the rust off the metal with some steel wool and cold blued it back to looking good, lubed it up and let it sit overnight and shot it the next day. It is no powerhouse but is deadly accurate at 10 meters with groups in the 1/4 to 1/2 range. he gave it to me because he had tried to clean it up and make it shoot and in the process it fired and put a hole in his toolbox so he said he would never work on a pellet gun again. I paid him 30 bucks for his machining services and in return he gave me a 200 dollar pellet gun, I think I got the better of the deal that day.
                    You said the quad seal is blown, do you know you can use refrigerator ice maker plastic tubing to replace the quad seal with it is 1/32 of an inch larger in diameter and cost about 15 cents a foot at your local hardware shop. I use it on all my crosman pumpers, but I have the seat in the valve port and barrel port deepened by .020 inches to hold it in place better and cut it to .050′ inches longer than the space between barrel and valve port seats and have never had a problem with it blowing out and I pump my 1400 to 20 and 25 pumps quite often. If it will pump up and hold air overnight I would mot be in a rush to reseal it as the pump piston is likely a hard plastic cup and the valve has orings on it that probably just got dry. If you do want to reseal it and don’t know how to get the piston cup seal off as it has to be pressed off the shaft and pressed back on go to Pilkguns.com and he has a picture slide show of how to make a tool from old washers and pressing it off and on.

                    • Awesome a Free 853! I got my 953 for free too but only after it had been runover by a garbage truck, I don’t think a 853 woulda come outta that so well.It’s a good thing it has a good home now. “Just so everyone knows I’m always willing to take a free gun!”


                    • Blown was bad terminology from the looks of the rest of the gun probably dry-rotted & cracked.The front end feels sealed.I hope it is, or I’d be getting into a mess that’ll tie me up longer than I need to be.I got my own projects too. I’ve still gotta Benji 3120 laying in pieces, that still needs more attention and my 392 needs an exhaust valve.


  27. We’ve discovered that the address for you to tell Tom how this blog has changed your life is not working. Your message will bounce back to you. I’ve sent an email to the IT department but have not yet heard back from them that it’s fixed. We’ll let you know when it’s working. Sorry for the delay, but I was told several weeks ago that it was functional and ready. Don’t know what happened.


  28. Checking in later that same day, I continue to find it interesting the thoughtful discussion continues. Seems a lot of folk wouldn’t really want to retain only an airgun other than as a 4th or 5th choice behind a 22LR, but would rather select a pair, or a trio of firearms. Typically, this would be a centerfire rifle, a shotgun, and a centerfire handgun, with a .22LR/Airgun as an alternative option. (For me, with my alternate needs, it would be instead of the centerfire rifle… but that’s just my environment talking.)
    I note B.B. would prefer his 30-06 over his M1 Carbine, but this is likely due a lot more to where he lives rather than one living in a built up urban area. As it happens, I do live in an urban area, and for me, an M1 carbine is close to ideal; Powerful enough with close to the same energy at a 100 yards as a .357 magnum at the muzzle of a revolver, way more accurate than said revolver, and accurate enough for potential urban encounters. (Likely you’d have no business engaging a target in an urban scenario anyway, beyond 100 yards/meters, be it man or beast.) Carbine rounds are small and light enough that you can carry many more than 30-06 rounds, and did I mention the potential for much greater fire-power than a 1903A3 if things were to develop that way? And there’s the somewhat unlikely possibility of encountering a Grizz in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    (But we did have an extremely deserving individual killed by a Tiger a couple of years ago, and a Mountain Lion hit by a car less than a mile from my house even more recently. Whatever it is, never, never think it can’t happen to you.)
    B.B.’s 1903A3 does have one interesting talent that maybe/could be important—It’s at least 70 years old with a fixed five-round magazine and could never be attacked in a court of law (I think/hope) as an “assault rifle.” I’m not joking.
    I admire B.B.’s choice. I’ve a pre WWI (1909) 1903, but I’ve never been able to shoot it well. Rather frustrating, mostly due to “pushing 70 eyes” trying to make sights designed for a 19-year old work well. The A3 had much more usable sights than the over-engineered 1909 version, but still it’s me, not the rifle.
    Point being, one must tailor the item at hand to ones circumstances.

  29. When it comes to firearms the choice is clear for me, I only have one.The Remington 550-1.Talk about versatility!I’ll need a bucket full of parts to get it up & blowin’ again but I’ve had it for over 20 years.If it’s any .22 rimfire other than WMR It’s good to go, with CBshorts the only noises come from cycling of the action and POI, and it’ll hold over 20 at a time! I’ve shot everything I could come up with trying to get this thing to jam! Of course after having to hand fit a new firing pin and all other accoutrements that a curious kid can easily dismantle without proper supervision I’m sure I’ll get my fair share!$50 to fix a $50 rifleSMH!



    • Reb makes a good point, one that I’d forgotten about, and that is…conceivably, quiet is good…real good. Whether you’re merely trying to keep your neighbors happy by not raising a ruckus in your garage at 3AM when you take it in your head to practice, or you’re trying not to alert the zombies, ghouls, or the local bandit gang while you’re potting tonight’s wabbit stew, quiet is good.
      There have been a number of .22’s chambered and mechanically optimized for .22 shorts over the years; It seems to me the petite little Browning take-down was one, and both Winchester and Remington had .22 short (fully functioning) pump rifles. Also take-downs, as I recall, and they held a lot of cartridges.
      Bet if you looked around, you could find one.
      While they’re not silent, (unless you’re my Dad, who thought they were totally silent, but if you took the batteries out of his hearing-aids, he just thought they were. Close enough.)
      And they’re legal.

  30. If it were to come down to it, it would be what I inherited from my Dad that I would keep. Pure sentimental value really.

    Given a chance to keep a second airgun it would probably be the FWB-602. The HW-77 would be a close second but I couldn’t give up the trigger, the stock that feels made for me and the accuracy of the 602. Admittedly I sometimes find the 602’s accuracy frustrating as I know the rifle is much more capable than I am!

    Even if I fall into some real financial difficulties the money I would get selling the little airgun collection I have would be unlikely to make a real difference. I imagine the whole lot would fetch maybe $1500 at most. This would barely manage a months rent in a cheap apartment in my city so I may as well keep them come what may!

    • nowhere,
      The FWB 602 is very nice gun. The reasons I didn’t buy one is because (1) it is hard to cock, (2) it has a complex and noisy cocking ratchet mechanism. I purchased the FWB 600 instead, and yes the trigger on the 602 is better than my 600, but I can’t take advantage of it.

  31. GF1

    I swapped scopes on the S500 and tried it again. If there was any improvement, it was not worth mentioning.
    Looks like a 25 yd rifle at best. Grouping ran around 5/8″ at best for 10 shots.
    Does not live up to the hype on the other forums.


      • GF1

        Tried all the good stuff. I doubt that stooping to trash pellets is going to work.

        If I could just get the barrel out and have a look at the inlead and crown .


        • TT
          That would definitely be something to look at. And that makes me remember something we talked about before when you were still testing inside if I remember right.

          We talked about how the pellets touched as they passed through the the o-ring when the bolt probe pushes the pellet past. I know that when that o-ring starts to get some wear on it on my Monsoon the accuracy starts to go away. I have replaced it twice now since I had. Once because of me but this last time about a week ago I saw the accuracy going away. I even tryed cleaning the barrel first. And I thought maybe something messed up the crown at the muzzle end. Everything looked ok. So I did the o-ring and the accuracy came back.

          But also just curious what are the other people saying they are getting in group sizes. And I think you are close to double the size of what your group should be at 25yards. Maybe I’m wrong with that thought. What do you think the gun should be grouping like?

          • GF1

            I replaced the breech O-ring already. That’s not it.
            I think I will pull it back out so I can chamber a pellet and be able to push them back out with a rod and have a look and a feel.

            There is a thread on the 510 on the current page of “the yellow” you can look at. I don’t think you would dare to say anything less about the 4XX or 5XX there.

            I might stoop to trying to free the shroud with a butane torch and a strap wrench, but the barrel will probably be stuck in the receiver anyway.

            I would like to see consistent groups around 1/4″ at 25. The way it is, I have at least two HW springers that could eat this thing up.


            • TT
              I think I would try pushing the pellet back out and looking at it. That should tell you a story. Maybe your barrel wants a pellet with a bigger head diameter. That’s what I was meaning about not having found the right pellet yet.

              And that sounds like a cruel thing to do to your gun. But I guess if it comes to getting the shroud off that sounds like that would be the best way. Solvents would be not good at all. And I for sure would have the action out of the stock. Even with trying the heat.

              But I would go to a hobby shop and get one of the heat guns that are like a blow dryer but get much hotter. They are used for tightening the plastic film covering that you cover the airplanes with after you build one. They are also hot enough to shrink the plastic heat shrink pieces that are used for electrical connections.

            • TT
              Well this sure is a interesting problem your gun is having. When you push the pellet let me know what you see. But I got to go. Getting ready to go to my brothers with the kids to shoot.

              I got my phone with me so I should see if you leave me a reply. I’m curious to see what you find. So let me know.

  32. one airgun? toss up TalonP or Mrod 22 cal.As Gunfun said it is scary how dead eye the Mrod is! and silent to.But the 25 cal.TalonP in the 24” barrel id also a nail driver if ya know how to dance with it.It will take down about anything in this area with a head shot.It will shot clean Thur a gas stove oven door using H-R 31 grain.And has a life time warranty.As much as I love my Mrod,I did just drop around $100.00 repair because of leaking air after two years of use.So if it was my only gun I’d been in trouble if I had to depend on it.But it always will be the gun I know Will drill a hole in a hole and know guessing games.It would be my No#1 choice if the O rings had not have failed me.So TalonP with a 22 cal. and the 25 cal. is my choice and with the aircraft aluminum body saves weight and if it rains on it not to big a deal just wipe it down and keep going.

    • Glad to hear the talonp made someones list as that’ll be my next airgun. How much larger of a tank can go on it? Like to get about 20-25 good shots if possible for plinking and maybe ten full power for in the field. Can the stock tank get this do you know?

  33. Even after reading all of the choices, I would try to stick with my originals. AA S410E in .22 for everything from small game to targets and my Winchester 94ae in .44 Rem mag for all else. 16″ barrel makes it quick handling, and it’ll knock down just about anything on this continent depending on the load. Plus, I have the most reloading supplies already for it since that was the first caliber I started reloading for…

    I don’t have any guns that I just flat don’t like, so the rest of my small collection would really be painful to lose. But I’ve lived through it before so I suppose I’d live through it again….


  34. One more comment for the “If I could have only one” question for this weekend.
    A.) Make sure whatever your airgun choice is: Figure out how long you’re likely going to be doing this, then figure out how many spare parts, or replacement seals you’re likely to need. Put those down on the order form after doubling the amount.
    B.) Contemplate what would happen if, say while cleaning or dismantling the triggergroup, a crucial ball-bearing, spring, or somesuch decides to make a break for it…and succeeds. Is it crucial to the operation of your beast? (Inevitably, the answer is, “YES!”) Is it difficult, and/or slow, and/or expensive, and/or impossible to replace? (Didn’t used to be back when you bought it, but now… “YES!” again.) And as before, put those items down on the order form after doubling the quantity.
    C.) When you get your package, carefully LABEL each and every item so both you and your heirs will know what those things are and what they’re for when they’re actually needed some years from now.
    D:) Most of the above is equally applicable to airguns or firearms.
    E. In the case of firearms, run down to the local Wal-Mart and price say, a box of factory .44 Magnum cartridges. “@#$%^&” is what you’re going to say, especially if you haven’t done that lately. Congratulations, you just learned why…If you don’t already know, …you want to LEARN TO RELOAD.
    It’s entirely possible for a beginner to obtain a new, reloading hand press for under 50 buckaroos. You’ll still have to buy some other impedimentia and the components themselves, but you should make the investment back in two or three sessions, maybe even one. Don’t forget to pop for the RELOADING MANUAL. Please DO follow the directions.
    F:) In the case of airguns, researching the box price of .44 Magnums also taught you the reason for priority shooting of your airgun. 1250 Crosman Premiers in .177 may sound like a lot, especially considering the relative volume of likely .44 magnum discharges, but the Premiers are not going to last as long as you think. (Pyramyd’s “4 for 1” really is a good deal.)
    Order at least twice as much as you think you’ll need for the next (however many) years.
    Now review your order…and contemplate that most likely, they’re never going to be cheaper than they are right now.
    You might want to double your order yet again.

    • Good suggestions, especially learning to reload. My brother is just starting to burn 9mms and 223s and is already feeling the crunch, buying cheap bag deals so he can pop enough to make the trip to the range worth it. The 9s not as bad because you just don’t shoot as many.

      • Reloading, aside from the ability to custom make rounds to your personal preferences (or more likely, to your piece’s personal preferences,) also reduces your costs to a fraction of what they were previously. Think the price per-piece of TP from Bed, Bath, & Beyond vs the Bale from Costco. Let’s face it, unless you’re planning on drastically reducing your poopage signature, you’re gonna use it, best to stock up now…it’s just one of those things you don’t want to run out of. Think ahead. Save your brass starting now.
        Saying it rivals 22LR is somewhat optimistic, but it still sure beats what the retail stores charge for loaded (fill in the blank.)
        I forgot to mention in the “stocking up” part to load up on should include CO2, if that’s what you’re using. Pyramyd will sell you 50 CO2 cartridges for around 50 cents each. For at least what I have, that’s about 50 good shots per which also beats the bejabers out of pricing on even bag center-fire stuff.

        • It is exactly the same as rolling your own cigarettes, trying to quit, but in the meantime, buying tobacco in bulk and the filter tubes and assembling them yourself comes out to a dollar per pack or less. Smoking cigarettes is a smelly, unhealthy addiction and you bet your nostrils I wish I never had, but at least Im not paying ten bucks a day, though its probably less healthy so cheap….

  35. One airgun and one firearm? Even Dante’s version of Hell stopped before descending to that terrifying level.

    I do love the mental exercise, though, and have even given the matter some thought previously. However, my “one firearm” must be one rifle and one pistol; the fundamental functions of each are completely different, and because they complement each other to provide a singular system, they warrant an answer apiece.

    As well, I am operating in the box that “just one” means not just the gun, but the support system that goes with it: reloading, stocked spare parts, adjustment tools, and availability of further support from the market.

    For me, the airgun would probably be one I don’t yet own: an AirForce Escape, probably the SS, and probably (initially) in .22 caliber. I just think this would let me do anything that I would ask an airgun to do. The platform seems nearly infinitely extensible and tweakable, and I think I’ve now had enough of an introduction to airgunnery that this choice would not be a mistake. (If I were supplying a noob with his “one”, it would instead be the aperture-sighted Air Venturi Bronco that has helped me to “get it”; I very much sympathize with B.B.’s thinking in re keeping the 27 over all else, and it is only my slavish devotion to practicality that would keep me from going the same way myself.)

    The rifle would be my Steyr Scout (.308 Winchester), no question. Partly this is because the rifle itself was designed to do anything one might ask a rifle to do–that is its purpose. Partly it is because I know just exactly what I can do with that gun, and confidence is nearly the game entire with an instrument that might be used to either feed or fight. (Incidentally, confidence also blows the fun factor up considerably. 🙂

    The pistol would be the lightly customized 1911 that I wear so much of the time. I know how far away I can make lifesaving hits with this piece, and I know how fast and sure I can make close ones too. If necessary–I do live in bear country, after all–I could press it into critter service by understanding its limitations, and it will serve me well for any handgun game I might choose to play. And again, pleasant and fun.

    This exercise can be permuted in a thousand ways, of course, and depending on the exact permutation, my answers might be different even from day to day. But for the “one” permutation, for me at least, the firearm choices have been consistent and firm for nearly a generation now, so I doubt they’ll change any time soon. And with the help of B.B. and this “commentariat”, I have a hunch that the AirForce platform may well represent the long-term answer on the airgun side.

    Thanks for the exercise, B.B. 🙂

    • Oh, and B.B., you may be amused to know that I share your fondness for the 03 Springfield. I am having my grandfather’s 03 worked up as a “Springfield Scout” (hopefully to be done this summer), and once completed, it will represent essentially the same functional niche as the Steyr does. (I’ll be happy to share pictures when that happens.)

      And as much as I do love my Steyr, the 03 does have a couple of nice advantages. Controlled feed is one of the few points on the Steyr I think were missed, and of course the ’06 does have the ability to handle 200-grain bullets, which is something I will take advantage of up here. 🙂

  36. One other thing: please do keep reminding us on the “what I get from the blog” request. I absolutely will get around to doing that, but it may not be this week.

  37. Jerry,

    Something fundamentally wrong then. Almost seems like the jam screw is the one you are turning and the limiter screw stays down all the time. Are you sure you are turning the jam screw?

    Return the rifle to PA.

    The valve is too complex to remove.


    • B.B.

      It sounds to me like the lock screw was mistaken for the adjustment screw, and the the first adjustment down simply turned the real adjustment screw down and it is staying there. The lock screw turned the adjustment screw with it . Remember ? The lock screw was not there ?

      I suggest removing the screw and having a look to see if there is another one down there in the hole.


      • TT
        I believe your right about the adjusting set screw and the locking set screw on Jerry’s Marauder.

        And one more thing for you TT. My buddy came over this morning with his synthetic stock .22 Marauder. Its still having that side to side shift on the poi like your gun is having.

        We messed withe the striker stroke adj. and the spring tension adj. and that transfer port set screw.

        Got the set screw at one and a half turns out from bottomed out for the transfer port. The striker is 5 turns in as well as the spring adj. So now the striker has less stroke but a little more spring preasure and the transfer port has less flow now.

        We filled to 3000 psi and the chronyed the gun. Its pretty consistant 875 fps with a down hill curve to 820 fps with the 15.8 JSB’s. The gun is shooting more constintant and not using as much air per fill now. The only thing I see now is the gun will throw about 2 or 3 flyers per 30 shots wich is what the gun will get cosistantly now.

        And that gun is adjusted different then my .177 and .25 cal. Marauders.

        • GF1

          This is something to take particular note of …..and I mean it !!!!!!

          IF you see something ONCE…..you had better be careful of jumping to conclusions.

          Make note of it, but do NOT make it a fact or law. You get fooled doing that. You have to see the same thing over and over FIRST !


          I have seen the side to side thing happen. Also in other directions.
          Something I did with the S500 is to lube the barrel band. It has O-tings. I smeared sillycone grease on the shroud and worked the band around on it to get the rings slippery instead of dry. If something wants to move, it can do it easier, and not suddenly….no pressure build up.

          I don’t know if it did any good. Things that happen unexpectedly are hard to pin down.
          Time will tell.

          Gremlins are a pain. Can do without them. Beware of temperature changes, if you are shooting in the sun. Remember …????? I did some tests last year about that. ????

          • TT
            Funny thing about the heat my 2 Marauders are doing fine but his .22 Maruder has been a pain in the you know what.

            He just txted me and said his is doing better now that we adjusted it. And yes his gun was getting the side to side poi diferences from the first fill of the gun.

            And yes I hate gremlins too.

            • GF1

              Something first…

              Run the curve out on the chrono first. Set your limits on the spread and look at the curve . It needs to be good and realistic…not some of these outrageous spreads that you see on some websites.
              This stuff can bite you bad.


          • TT
            Funny thing about the heat my 2 Marauders are doing fine but his .22 Maruder has been a pain in the you know what.

            He just txted me and said his is doing better now that we adjusted it. And yes his gun was getting the side to side poi diferences from the first fill of the gun.

            And yes I hate gremlins too. I think my phone has them today.

            • GF1

              Something is always the cause. Some times more than one thing at a time . I REALLY hate combo problems. We had it in electronics too. The best you can do is work through it without overlooking anything, and without jumping to conclusions.
              I like it simple and predictable.
              This winter on a day when the wind came up too much for plugging starlings with the T200, I pulled out the 97K, cocked and loaded, and dropped the first one dead. Then pulled out the .22 R9 and did the same with the next one. Then one of the R7s….dead starling. Shot 5 more with the R7 before calling it quits.
              No warm up shots. no misses . DOA. I can count on these guns. They had been sitting without being shot for weeks or months. This is what I like.


              • TT
                Thats what I like about my .177 and .25 cal. Marauder rifles. Is point and aim and that object is getting hit. No warm up shot. No firing the gun once to bounce the valve. Just load a pellet and shoot and hit.

                Thats what I want in a air gun. And to me that should be do-able with a air gun. If not that gun has to get figured out. Just me Im picky that way.

                    • Gunfun
                      How did your fix on the FDAR PCP valve work out, did it shoot good or did you have more problems. I shot mine some yesterday in the back yard with my g-kids and two time after shooting it I heard a small air leak coming from the muzzle end of barrel, recocked it and shot it and air leak stopped. This happened twice on one fill, then after shooting it down till it was off the curve and refilling it, it never happened again in the next three fills. I hope my valve is not starting to fail like yours. going to keep shooting it till it fails completely. I will only be able to respond thru this blog for awhile because my Dell PC that they just replaced the hard drive in crashed again last night, so I boxed it up and took it back to wallyworld for a refund. So its back to shopping for a new PC and getting it all back up and running. I won’t have any email till I get the new PC, so I will be checking this blog for replies till the new PC is bought.

        • GF1

          Trying to get straight for the moment. Been a bad day.
          A side to side can come from a lot of places. Happens a lot in springers from hold problems, but is more freaky in PCP guns. Have no answer if the scope is about on center, and another scope has been tried. Barrel band and shroud guns may inflict their own problems. Barrel vibration alone could be swinging the muzzle left and right at the pellet exit time. A bad bore or crown , maybe out of round could do it.
          I hate this stuff.


        • GF1

          Here is one you will not find very often…..AF guns…

          Abrupt poi change …something moved…
          Pressure builds up between the aluminum frame and the steel trigger plate until temperature change causes something to move. How I found that is quite a story.


      • Two Talon
        You hit the jack pot. The brass screw I was think was the velocity metering screw was the JAM SCREW that I thought I had misplaced. It was there all the time. I removed it and there was the velocity metering screw, right where it was supposed to be and it was all the way in which was producing the 400 FPS velocity.

        I had already got approval to send it back in exchange for another one and man you saved me a lot of time and headaches and Pyramyd AIR some money for the cost of the exchange.

        I am forever grateful for your help and for B.B.’s help.

        Jerry in Texas

    • Two Talon hit the jack pot. The brass screw I was thinking was the velocity metering screw was the JAM SCREW that I thought I had misplaced. It was there all the time. I removed it and there was the velocity metering screw, right where it was supposed to be and it was all the way in which was producing the 400 FPS velocity.

      I had already gotten approval to send it back in exchange for another one and man you saved me a lot of time and headaches and Pyramyd AIR some money for the cost of the exchange.

      I am forever grateful for your’s and Two Talon’s help.

      • Jerry..

        The only thing that I could think of otherwise is that you got too close to the chrono. You get absurdly low readings when you do that, but there would have to be a change if you were really adjusting the right screw.

        I smelled this one a mile away.


  38. buldawg
    I didn’t a chance to mess with it any more. But yes that’s how mine was acting.

    If it does come time for you to take the valve out you will see what I mean about the type of material they use for the the head of the stem that seals up against the seat. And the valve is easy to take apart. It unscrews in the middle.

    Hopefully I will get to mess with it some more this week. My buddy’s on the way over right now so we can see if that .22 cal. Syn. stock Marauder is behaving right before we go to work. Its supposed to a real calm day outside So that will be good to see if that side side to side poi problem is gone for sure now.

    Talk to you later.

    • Gunfun
      Did some more shooting today and when I went to refill it to 2000 psi right after I took the fill line off the guns foster it started to leak out the barrel, I cocked it and fired it without a pellet in it and the leak stopped. topped it back to 2000 psi and kept shooting till that fill ran out. I will probably tear it down to check the valve seat material to see if it is degrading like yours did. I hope it isn’t and it just the valve cocking to the side due to excess clearance between the stem and hole of rear valve body. Let me know when you shoot yours some to see if your stem repair holds up because I may have to do the same thing with one of the valves I have for my 2289. Just remember my PC crashed again so I am checking the blog from Wife’s PC and don’t have my email working on hers. Looking for new HP all in one PC from wallyworld, they have what I want on line but it is out of stock right now so I will keeping checking for it to come back into stock. keep me updated on how your valve repair hold up.

    • Gunfun
      Did some more shooting today and when I went to refill it to 2000 psi right after I took the fill line off the guns foster it started to leak out the barrel, I cocked it and fired it without a pellet in it and the leak stopped. topped it back to 2000 psi and kept shooting till that fill ran out. I will probably tear it down to check the valve seat material to see if it is degrading like yours did. I hope it isn’t and it just the valve cocking to the side due to excess clearance between the stem and hole of rear valve body. Let me know when you shoot yours some to see if your stem repair holds up because I may have to do the same thing with one of the valves I have for my 2289. Just remember my PC crashed again so I am checking the blog from Wife’s PC and don’t have my email working on hers. Looking for new HP all in one PC from wallyworld, they have what I want on line but it is out of stock right now so I will keeping checking for it to come back into stock. keep me updated on how your valve repair hold up.

  39. Dear BB. I met you at several of the Damascus MD airgun shows that you organized. I really miss those shows and wish you were still in the area.
    I bought a Diana 27 new-in-box ant a gun show–“new old stock”. It is accurate but the barrel droop is so severe that I cant zero the gun in at 10 m with a B-square adjustable mount and a Bushnell Trophy 6-18 x 40 AO TGT scope. I can use it with the stock open sights, but I prefer aperture sights or scopes. How expensive would it be to repair the barrel droop? Than ks, Dr.J.

  40. Hi,

    Where can I get the seals and springs for a Benjamin 132 .177 cal air pistol? I would like to resurrect a !950 model unit?
    If anyone knows, kindly post an answer.

  41. Hi,

    If anyone out there is interested in collecting a Model 132 in good condition, I am available to sell one, with all original paperwork parts list and box. May need new seals from long storage.

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