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Education / Training Compromise


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

This report covers:

• The truth is slowly revealed
• A lost love
• A new hope
• The anal airgunner
• Lecture me

Today, I’ll talk about something that has harassed me all my life — reality and the need to compromise. At the earliest age, I remember wanting a gun that held infinite bullets (we played cowboys in the early ’50 and we called cartridges bullets back then). The television cowboys never needed to reload. Why should I?

As a pre-teen, I discovered the M1 Garand and its .30-06 cartridge that I was certain could penetrate 10 feet of steel armor! I never actually saw a cartridge outside of a gun magazine; but in pictures, the darned thing looked like a Redstone rocket (a stone-age rocket that existed before the electric light and the internet — look it up) and I just knew there was nothing that could stop it. I read in Classic Comics (always the literary snob) where Frank “Bring ‘Em Back Alive” Buck shot a leopard out of a tree by breaking the branch it was on. And what did he use? A single bullet from a .30-06!

As I eased into my teen years, I bought a gun book by Lucian Cary that I still have today. It showed the awesome .300 Weatherby Magnum that smashed through a big tree, and another one that penetrated a thick sheet of bulletproof glass. Maybe there was something better than a .30-06.

Each of the stages I passed through while growing up opened my eyes a little more to reality. But I remained pretty naive for most of my life. You stick with what works.

In college, I read how Elmer Keith could hit targets at long range with handguns. He stuffed his cartridges (I was reloading by this time and now knew better) with nails and dynamite, and proceeded to make life risky for anything within 400 yards. But Keith had guns I couldn’t get. He shot S&W Triple Locks and customized Colt single-actions that were built to take the stress of his loads. The gun makers were his friends, so S&W gave him a big .357, and Ruger invented the .44 Magnum in his honor. My first-generation Colt SAA could not withstand the same abuse to which he regularly subjected his custom guns.

A lost love
As a youngster, I absolutely loved the shell-shucker Winchester Model 61 slide-action .22 repeater! I got to shoot them several times, but I never could afford one. I settled for an 1890 Winchester pump that did pretty much the same thing, only it did so while looking embarrassingly old-fashioned with its exposed hammer. And the one I could afford had very little finish remaining, plus it wasn’t even a .22 long rifle. It was a .22 Winchester Rimfire (WRF) that cost more per box of 50, yet wasn’t any more powerful. The sweet model 61, on the other hand, took shorts, longs and long rifles in its stride and looked like it was going 100 mph when it was standing still.

But a day finally came when I was able to get a 61! I’d just returned from a 4-year tour in Germany and had a little extra cash. Lo and behold, that was when I discovered that the model 61 struggles to hold all its shots inside an inch at 50 yards! I’d imagined much better, as you may have guessed. No matter, though, because a bitter divorce soon stripped me of all my firearms, reloading equipment and airguns. I didn’t have to look at that LNIB model 61 for very long.

Enough nostalgia. Fast-forward to today and I’ll tell you how things are now. I don’t like compromises, but they seem to pop up everywhere. The M1 Garand, for instance. Sure, it’s an accurate battle rifle, but it’s not really that accurate. Minute-of-soldier for certain, but it’s not for shooting tight groups on paper. Oh, somebody says, what you want is a Garand that’s been worked on! They’ll shoot small groups, alright. Yes, they will, but the better (more accurate) they get, the fussier and less Garand-like they become. When you finally have a Garand that shoots a one-inch group at 100 yards, the darned thing operates reliably with only a few specific loads; and it’s so tight that disassembly for cleaning isn’t recommended. If you doubt me, just ask blog reader Matt61.

There’s a tradeoff between reliability and ultimate accuracy. I’m not talking about the accuracy that lets you hit tin cans at 100 yards. I’m talking about shooting sub-inch 10-shot groups at that distance. When I say reliability, I don’t mean it jams only once in 200 shots. I mean it never jams. I have guns that operate that well, and I’ve had many more that didn’t.

A new hope
While in Germany in the 1970s, I was introduced to the Kartoffel 45. A German hunting acquaintance showed me a 1911 he had found on an abandoned battlefield long after the war ended. It was actually buried in a field and he plowed it up while digging mounds for potatoes — hence the name Kartoffel, which is German for potato. The gun was deeply pitted all over its surface from the rust of many years in the ground. He hammered it apart and cleaned the major parts, plus he replaced everything he could with new parts. The effect was startling. It looked like a gun that might blow up in your hand, yet it functioned like any other Army 1911. Because it was a 1911, all the parts that mattered could be replaced in less than an hour. It could look unserviceable, yet still function perfectly.

Seeing that gun opened my eyes to what’s meant by reliability. I saw the genius of John Browning’s design through the lens of that nearly destroyed, yet perfectly serviceable handgun. When I got back to the States, I knew that a Garand I discovered in a similar pitted condition would also operate just fine. I bought that Garand from a pawn shop that sold it to me with apologies. They felt it was nearly worthless, but I suspected different. When I took it to the range, I was proven right. That old pitted M1 with its rough bore was loose as a goose, yet it never failed to function when fed the military loads for which it was designed.

That told me what’s possible as far as reliability goes, but it said nothing about accuracy. With a lot of additional shooting, I discovered that if I wanted the ultimate in accuracy, I had to give up some reliability. There’s a compromise that balances between the two desired attributes because each one seems to negate the other.

I hate to sound like Captain Obvious, but what you really want is acceptable reliability with an acceptable level of accuracy. And this is where Rainman goes off into a corner, muttering the words to Who’s on first.

Remember years ago when we talked about the stages of an airgunner’s experience? It starts out with the quest for high velocity and ends with self-actualization? Well, I’m older now and have discovered another secret. Live long enough, and your desires start to conform to reality.

What I’m saying is that I now understand why an army would choose a weapon that is extremely reliable but not as accurate as it could be. I appreciate why the Brits revered their SMLE Mk IV. I understand why the Mosin Nagant 91/30 was so long-lived and why the AKM is accepted around the world. It’s because they work, even when they shouldn’t.

I also understand why the United States Marine Corp was so adamant on keeping their 1903 Springfields when the Garand first came out, and why they changed their minds so suddenly after gaining battle experience with the Garand. No battle-ready Garand could hold a candle to a Springfield bolt-action rifle on the target range, but neither could the Springfield keep up with the Garand in war! The Garand was a perfect compromise for its application (at that time — there are better rifles today). The Springfield was very accurate but fell short of the Garand’s firepower. Another compromise.

The anal airgunner
When I worked at AirForce Airguns, one of my friends sent me two standard AirForce reservoirs for his Talon SS and asked me to “balance” them so both would shoot at the same speed when the gun was set to the same power level. He wanted to be able to remove a tank from his gun, attach the other one and continue shooting without changing the power setting.

This was an official request. Obviously, AirForce made the valves in both tanks, and he assumed we would be able to fine-tune them so he could have two tanks that performed exactly the same. He was willing to overlook up to a variance of 10 f.p.s. between tanks. Oh, well — as long as he was reasonable!

I say this with a lot of sarcasm because many of you may be thinking the same thing — if a company makes a valve, surely they can also tune it to do whatever they want? Of course, they can — just as certainly as an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters can write the works of Shakespeare, given enough time.

In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. You can try again and again, and maybe you’ll get two valves to perform the same. Or, maybe, you’ll luck into it on the first try! Better play the lottery if you do! This is why guns that allow you to adjust the airflow, such as the Benjamin Marauder, are so unique. Crosman can’t make all their valves perform the same, but they give you the adjustments to compensate for it.

Okay — lecture me
This is where I will get lectured by some well-meaning readers who know for a fact that it is indeed possible to tune an airgun valve to do exactly what they want. They overlook the 25 hours of time they invest in their project to bring it fruition. In their minds, if it can be done at all, why…it’s possible! Yes, and the United States put several men on the moon in the 1970s, yet they couldn’t do it again today without another costly research program.

Just because a thing has been done once does not mean that it can be repeated. That’s why “The Catch” (referring to Willie Mays remarkable catch of Vic Wertz’s long drive in game one of the 1954 World Series) is so celebrated even today — 60 years later. Or why, when Bob Beaman broke the world long jump record by nearly two feet in the 1968 Olympics, he sailed past the optical scoring device at the end of the sand pit and the jump had to be scored manually.

So something that’s extraordinary can still happen; but when it does, it doesn’t mean the world has changed. The next person to try will probably get the same results everybody else has gotten all along.

My motor has been started by this blog! Can you tell? I just talked to Edith about all the lies and fantasies of gas spring airguns and what Ben Taylor — the Ben in Theoben — taught me about them. Talk about the Emperor’s New Clothes!

Airgunners were lying to themselves about the wonders of the new gas spring technology in the 1990s. Yet, when I started testing my Beeman Crow Magnum and writing about it, a lot of those myths were put to rest. I ended up with egg on my face for more than a year, until Taylor stepped forward and told me I was right. What I learned doesn’t make gas springs any less desirable, but it does reveal that pellets shot from them will not penetrate 10 feet of steel!

Edith said I should write a report about that experience and share it with all of you. Gonna do that next week.

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

162 thoughts on “Compromise”

  1. BB
    Two things came to my mind when I read today’s blog. My dad and the old man that taught me about building engines and drag cars.

    They told me a lot of interesting stories. So it was kind of nice hearing this story today. Its been a long time since I have got to listen to somebody talk about something and I wanted to keep listening and waiting for more.

    And repeating a process. My dad farmed and worked a 40 hr. a week job also. But he always told me just because you run the plow and plant the seeds just like you did last year and the dirt looks the same that you don’t expect this year to be the same as last year or any other year for that fact. It will never be the same. And the years growing up on the farm I see how true his words were.

    And the old man and the race cars. He always told me when you win that drag race and the people come up and ask you about what you have done to your car. Tell them the truth. He said a third of them will question you even if you tell them the truth and how to do it. The other third will try to do what you say and they wont get it. And he said don’t even worry about the last third of people because it really don’t matter what they think anyway because you know what you went through to get where you are. So just keep doing what your doing and most important keep learning.

    But I got to say something about me. I hate compromise. I don’t like to and I don’t want to. But the older I get the more I seem to. And I know more than ever now days that I should accept when a gun gets a 1.500” or more group at 50 yards. But also I know when a gun should get sub 1” groups at 50 yards. So yes that’s when the reality thing steps in.

    Reality. That’s another thing I hate sometimes. But I also like sometimes too. Somethings will surprise you and be better than you thought and other things worse. But don’t tell me something ain’t want you think it should be if you never touched it before. That’s not real.

    And now I just remembered I wanted to go read the yellow forum and see what all the talk is about with the NP2. I think I should do that before I say anything else. See ya. Be back in a bit.

    • I was just over there yesterday. It doesn’t look good to be honest. Crosman posted an open letter about the NP2 and consequently got roundly criticized by most. A few people seemed satisfied with Crosmans response to the issues, but holy smokes how upset can you get about early production problems on a rifle I know that most of them probably didn’t even buy? :::sigh:::

        • The yellow forum is a great resource. They have a plethora of knowledgeable airgunners as members at the ready to answer any question you might have, Mike Driskill is a good example. Unfortunately there seems to be an increasing amount of hacks and pretenders at the ready to demean and dismiss anything or anybody for the sole reason to fuel their fragile egos.

          The trick is to distinguish the knowledgeable folks from the ignoramuses (the flamers are easy enough to spot.) Unfortunately, the increasing contingent of idiots leads me to wonder why I should bother posting at all. However, I am reluctant to let a very ignorant, but small minority to chase me from something I enjoy. So I continue to patronize the website, glean whatever information I can, and call out pretenders when I absolutely have to.

          I don’t say this to defend Crosman or the NP2. I have not sampled one, and am not encouraged by the preliminary reports. To be honest, I am very discouraged by what I have seen so far (even from BB). But I will reserve judgement until I have shot one for myself.

          There was a time when you couldn’t read page 1 of the yellow without reading at least half a dozen posts buzzing about the old NP. Crosman has alot of skin in the game to get the NP2 right. It seems to me they flubbed the roll-out, but are earnestly doing their best to correct mistakes. I would venture to guess that when or if Crosman sorts out the QC of the NP2, most of the doubting Thomas’s will be quietly snapping up these rifles.

          Steve in CT is a good guy, and he runs a good website. To his credit, he gives his members a fair amount of leeway, even if they are turds.

          • SL,

            That’s the right way to view this! Listen to what those who have seen and shot the gun have to say. I may write a lot about it, but I am only one person and I’m only testing one gun. It wasn’t hand-picked, but for some reason I seem to have gotten one without the flaws others are seeing.

            Still, my results haven’t been as good as I had hoped so far. I will press on and continue to test this gun, and next time I will do all the tricks I can think of, to make it perform its best.


            • BB,
              I think you might be better off getting a second NP2 and see if it is a better gun to move forward with. At least you could ask Pyramyd to shoot another gun or two over a chronograph and shadow your testing to see if your gun is a good sample.

              I was encouraged by Crosman’s letter on the Yellow. And, I do understand guys wishing Jennifer had addressed other issues such as lower power than advertised and lackluster accuracy. I would love for Crosman to roll up their sleeves and become determined to deliver what they promised. If they did, the NP2 would be a hit.

              David Enoch

              • David,

                I will tell you now because this will all come out in my report. Crosman has informed me they have sent another NP2 to Pyramyd AIR for me to test.

                Now ask yourself — what do you think? Everybody is going to say this rifle has been cherry-picked for me because they know I’m going to test it and write about it. And I am. And I am going to tell everyone exactly what I am doing — just like I did when Daisy sent me a third 880 to test and it arrived with their velocity and test targets enclosed in the package.

                Can’t get around it. No matter how things turn out, people are going to complain.

                For my part I will continue to test the NP2 I started with and hope to see better results. The velocity is of no concern, because it was way too high to begin with. I was hoping the guns wouldn’t be as hot as Crosman was saying and they weren’t. Their sales department may take some hits on that, but not from me. What I want is an accurate rifle that is easy to cock and smooth shooting.


                • Call me a glutton for punishment but Im still holding my breath for the NP2. Even if I have to wait a while for the bugs in production to get sorted out I still think the platform holds promise. Aside from the trigger I love my NP1 so I cant see the NP2 being a total write off.

                  • Mitchell in Dayton,I second that. Np1 as I said did not turn out good for me,but after BB runs this NP2 threw the mill and hopefully turns out to be a winner,I will give it six months and review the reviews here on PA and other sites and if it is overall 4 1/2 stars then I will consider buying one as a back up to the PCPs and the pumps.If it was to do a inch at 150 Thur 200 feet “and not wonder off!” then I’ll take one please in the 22 cal.This would be my squirrel hunting back up gun and fun to shoot without pumping. does not have to be a hole in hole like my PCPs,just give me one inch and keep the weight down.

                • Sometimes you have a no-win job. I agree that you will be criticized if you switch guns. I know you have integrity and most of those that post here know that too. People who don’t read the blog daily and read only cherry picked quotes on the forums will take this as just another reason that they can’t trust you. I wish that wasn’t the case but I am afraid that is the way it is and will continue to be. Being your friend and a promoter of our sport, that makes me sad. You deserve better than that.

                  The only solution that seems plausible is to test both rifles side by side and report the results.

                    • I don’t see an issue in testing a “factory” gun as long as that’s reported. People trust you, BB, because you tell them the truth as you measure it. As you’ve told us it’s a factory gun, it’s up to us readers to determine our choices with the information you’ve given us.

          • SL
            I believe you just painted a pretty good picture of the yellow.
            It was a place that I stopped at often to learn something. But I never left a comment. I seen real quick how that little game got played.

            And I have a feeling that this is one of those times when that old guy that taught me about race cars was right again. I think I will go with the last 2/3rds of the people and just not really worry about what they think or say.

            Ths is the first time in many many months that I stopped in there. And only because I wanted to see about the talk that was going on with the NP2. And I learned again what I forgot. But no big deal for me there are other places to go and more important places to be. LIife goes on and theres no time to waiste.

            • Gunfun
              How did your day go, no phone calls I hope so you get some real shootin time in and enjoy your new gun. I have to say that up until today I have never cared much for break barrel guns, it just seemed to me that they would not be that accurate or fun to shoot.
              I just got done building my spring compressor and rebuilding my buddies 124, I will have to eat my words as this little 124 has given me a whole new outlook toward break barrels. I know the 124 is a very well engineered and quality gun when I compared it to the two B3s of mine that I just built. They are not even close when it come to the quality of metal and workmanship that’s for sure.
              I did some shooting with the 124 to get the lube spread around inside the piston chamber and get it loosened up with about 20 shots and found I could hit the quarter sized bells hanging around the perimeter of my back stop at 10 meters with open sights and my tired old eyes, I was impressed at how smooth it shoots with no buzzing or twang and just a little back and forth recoil felt. It was actually fun to shot because it is as accurate as my 853 with peep sights and just as easy to aim.

              I did some chrony testing after 20 shots to get it lubed and loosened up, and again I was impressed with 10 shots showing a high of 795.3 and a low of 791.4 fps with crosman pointed premiers from wally world tins. It probably will get better as it is shot more for sure. I am going to see if my buddy wants to part with it cheap, if so I may become a break barrel owner.

              I know what you mean about racing cars and most of the racers don/t have a clue what really works and what doesn’t. Just because what you do makes you go faster does not mean it will work for them. There are just to many variables to deal with when racing so when you find a trick that works for you it has to be capitalized on to stay ahead of the curve. It remind me of a story I read in an old hot rod mag about NASCAR back in the sixties when Smokey Yunick was tuning and racing. His shop was about 3 miles from Daytona super speedway and after he won a race at Daytona because he was able to go 2 to 3 laps longer on fuel than any one else could, they impounded his car and did a complete inspection and did not find anything illegal on his car. He and the tech inspectors got into a heated argument and he decided to just get in his car and leave, the fuel tank was still out of the car sitting on the ground behind it. He got in the car and drove it back to his shop, what the tech inspectors had failed to check was the size and length of fuel line that he had installed under the car. There were no rules in the book that stated the length or size that the fuel line had to be so he had run about 30 feet of 1 inch metal line up down along the frame rails to hold about 4 more gallons than what the tank was allowed to hold. He appealed and was awarded the win and NASCAR promptly amended the rules to include the size and length of fuel line allowed. Ya got to learn to read between the lines some times.

              • buldawg
                They asked me yesterday when I got to work if I would work today. A hot job as usaual for the weekend. They need to ship parts Monday morning.

                So Im at work. All I got to do was look at the HW50 as I walked out the door.

                But your fuel line story reminded me of story that happened a few years back to one of the Pro Stock Mopar teams. They were beating everybody and nobody knew why. They always passed tech inspection.

                But one day there was a exsplosion in the thier pits. They were in the finals and was runnin back to back runs so there was no cool down time.

                What happened is they hid a nitrous bottle in the oil resivoir for the engines dry sump and if I rember right ran the nitrous line in threw the oil pan and up to the bottom the intake ports.

                Well with no cool down time the nitrous bottle heated up and popped. I think they got banned from racing NHRA events.

                And Im glad you like your little springer. And if you can buy it I think I would.

                And I will be off the rest of the weekend and Im making sure I will shoot the 50.

                I have to get it chronyed. So thats #1 on the list tomorrow.

                • Gunfun
                  They used to do that to us at Harley also, they would wait until 2 or 3 hours before are shift would end on Friday and then have an emergency test that needed completed and we would work all weekend. I hope you get overtime like we did, anything over forty hours was time and half and Sundays were double time, holidays were double time and a half. I made good money, but it gets old quick also.

                  That was a good trick with the nitrous, but was also very dangerous as if nitro cars aren’t dangerous enough.

                  Enjoy your time with the HW 50 this weekend and I am going to try and buy the FWB 124. I also want one of those Hatsan AT 44 long QE that BB is reviewing so I got to see which one works out.

                    • buldawg
                      Whats up. Yep another snag in my plan. I wanted to chrony the 50 this morning but they are calling for rain here in Illinois and I think they are right this time because it looks like it outside. Yesterday is my grass cutting day so I got to get it done first today before the rain comes in.

                      And you talk about that Hatsan. I like them and that’s a heck of good price for one. I hope I end up with one at some point in time. Now as far as caliber choice goes that’s a tuff one for me. I will tell you what caliber I like and I think its not going to be the caliber everybody else likes.

                      For me its. 177 cal. for plinking or squirrel or rabbits and pest birds. They just shoot flatter than the other calibers to me anyway. And if I want to get down to business its by far the .25 cal. both of the .25 cal. Marauders (one old style wood stock and one new synthetic stock) I have will knock my 1.5” spinner around about 6 times. The .22 synthetic stock Marauder that my buddy has will knock the spinner around about 4 times and the .177 synthetic stock Marauder will do almost 3 revolutions. And the .177 cal. Talon SS with the factory barrel would do about 3 revolutions. And the 18” .25 cal. barrel would knock the spinner around 6 times also.

                      But the .177 cal. Marauder is a tack driver like I don’t know what. The .25 cal. guns I have shot will shoot good but not like the .177 cal. guns. You don’t have to worry about hold over or under as much with a .177 caliber again this is what I have seen. Other people might have different experiences with their guns. But for me I just haven’t had no good luck with .22 cal. My FX is the best shooting .22 cal. pellet gun that I have ever shot. But it wont do as good as the .177 and .25 cal. Marauders as far as grouping goes. But I did also have a .22 caliber trail Np that shot pretty nice.

                      So I really cant say that I like one caliber best. Because they all have their plus quality’s and their minus quality’s. But if you want knock down power and want to get the pellet a little farther out my choice is .25 cal. out of the 3 standard calibers.

                      If I get the Hatsan which I hope to. It will for sure be a .25 cal. gun.

                      But anyway got to get out there and cut grass so I can get on with the fun stuff. So I will talk to you later.

              • buldawg
                Yes are pay works the same. I sure wouldn’t be there on the weekends if it wasn’t that way. They tryed to make me salary in the past. They said you would then get such and such an hour; but no more overtime if you work the weekends or holidays. Well you know what. I’m still hourly. Ain’t no way I will go salary.

                And I hope you get that spring gun. And I was eyeing this gun but I didn’t think it would have enough power.

                But if I use it just for a plinking gun that I can pick up and pop a few quick shots off before I head out the door to work every day. And have no worry’s of loading magazines or taking time to pump up between shots or having to top off the air reservoir or buddy bottle so they are ready for the next go around. Well that means I get to spend more time doing what I want. Shooting. But here is a gun that I almost got too. And I really think this will be the next break barrel springer that I will get. Look at the price and the features and reviews. I think it would be a good one.


                • Gunfun
                  Good morning, Hope you are enjoying your HW 50 today, at Harley we were salary but exempt which means I got paid a base salary, but was exempt from non overtime clause so anything over forty was overtime. The test analyst, engineers and management were non exempt so they only got paid for 40 hours whether they worked 40 or 60 hours.

                  Yea I really like the 124 so I hope I can get it for a good price because he doesn’t shoot it much which is why the piston seal disintegrated in the first place. He is in his mid seventies so he doesn’t as much as he used to.

                  If I don’t get the 124 I may look into the bronco, but what I really want is the Hatsan AT 44 long QE. There is a shop her in AL about two hours away in Montgomery that sells the Hatsan for 437 bucks which is a sweet price for it. So it will depend on whether he want to sell the 124 or not. Give me your thought on the Hatsan in 22 or 25 cal. I got a bunch of 22 pellets, but I also would like the more power of a 25. what do you think, they are both the same price so that is not a factor.


                  • buldawg
                    Read up above I posted in the wrong place and it was all written on one line. So if you reply just do it at the bottom of all the posts. I will check in later after I get done with the grass cutting. and hopefully I will have the chrony readings for the HW50S. I will reply at the bottom also.

                    • Gunfun
                      Hope you got your grass cut before it started raining, here in AL it rains somewhere just about everyday from June thru August. Just got back from a big car show about 20 miles away and has got me to thinking about building my 78 Datsun pickup 620 into a little hot rod with a V8 and 4 speed in it.

                      Yea I like the 22 cal the best myself because they have a little more power, you are right about the 177 shooting flatter and I had not looked at it that way. The 177 Hatsan at the shop in Montgomery is only 417 bucks so that is even a better deal and I got plenty of 177 pellets also cause that is what my g-kids gun is as well as my 853. I think I would also like the extra power of a 25 would give , but then I got to buy another size of pellets to have so its pretty much down to either 22 or 177. I talked to my buddy that owns the 124 and he is not ready to sell it yet because he has a tree rat infestation to deal with right now and he has had it since 1974 so its got some sentimental value to it for him plus he taught his kids to shoot with it also, it is a sweet little break barrel that’s for sure.

                      Let me know if you get some chrony time in today and what kind of numbers you get. Thanks for your insight on the different calibers as I may just go with the 177 because wally world has a far better assortment of 177 pellets than 22s. talk to you later.

                    • Gunfun
                      I looked from your last post telling me to go to the bottom, but I can’t find your reply anywhere between your last post and the bottom of the blog.

  2. I really loved this report BB. I’ve spent a long time listening to what folks who were older or wiser or more experienced than myself and what they had to say. Many times little anecdotes and nuggets of truth wrapped up in handy one-liners I’ve heard over the years come tumbling out of my mind at opportunistic times reminding me that I might need to step back and reevaluate just what it is I’m trying to accomplish and sometimes more importantly, why? And that goes for many things, not just airguns. Anyhow, looking forward to the follow up report to this one regarding the realities of gas springs and the inherent compromise therein. One last thing, the standard journey an airgunner usually goes through is exactly the path I took up until I discovered the blog here. How many have stood in a big box store gazing at a rifle on the shelf reading the marketing blurb just like I did years ago? Gee whiz, 1000 fps? In an air rifle no less! And then the inevitable friend that just bought one a week earlier will offer up the usual help of “oh man, these things will shoot straight through a stack of 2x4s!”, or the perennial favorite “it sounds just like a .22lr going off!”

  3. G’day BB
    Uncle Ben convinced me to buy my Theoben Eliminator in 20 cal too.
    The magic BC of 20 cal pellets. Unbelievable, actually it was.
    I even bought the pump but never used it after reading your articles years ago.
    JB paste worked a treat. Lovely air rifle still and acts as a Bull Worker as well.
    Cheers Bob

    • Pete,

      I enjoyed writing it. It started out as one thing and somehow changed in midstream into something else, entirely. And then, at the end, it circled back to the original theme and what I wanted to say was said.

      Talking to Edith really helped. I started ranting about my experience with gas spring guns and I unloaded on her. I guess if you silenced the sound track I would have looked like Hitler at the podium.

      And now I get to write the story of my experience with gas spring guns — something I have written about before, but perhaps not as focused as it will be this time.


  4. Sometimes I see things a little different and take it a little different then others and that’s why I tend to keep my opinions here to myself. But here’s simply how I see the gas piston thing so far from Crosman.I did have a bad experience with two I had as I have said here before.Like anybody,I hate to spend money on a false claim and they would simply not shot.End of story.But I looked at Crosman as a parent of a fine off spring of the Marauder,discovery and many more super fine airguns that has brought many many pleasures threw out my life time! From a kid to age 57. I am not on my part going to bash the parent company for turning out such a misfit child that cannot be controlled I just wondered why they would even bother to waste there time and energy to produce something that could give them a black eye to began with? And if it’s all in the name of profit and not reliability then shame on them.But I still love most all there products.there is allot of people bashing this company lately or maybe I’m just taking it all wrong and I get telling it like it is but this also happens with cars,and every thing else produced on planet earth.Even people.I’ve seen parents with three or more kids and even being model parents one would turn out to be a not so good person no matter how hard they tryed to teach them.Same goes for airguns they produced it,payed some well known dude to have his picture on the box and out the door it went into the world. OK didn’t mean to waste everybodys time here on my weird way of seeing things.But my simple point is I have never meant to give Crosman a bad name overall when they have brought me such pleasure and I will never throw the Marauder under the train even if something else comes along in the same price range that will be happening very soon. It is human nature to gripe,complain,fuss when something is not to our satisfaction.that includes me.I have to stop and remind myself sometimes about the good in something rather then the bad.This may not be the place for this on this subject today. But I’d like to say thank you Crosman for the fun you have put in my life.

    • Steve,
      That’s pretty much exactly how I feel. Crosman has done so many things right that you’ve got to appreciate the company–if not every product.

      On the other hand, the company has made some strange choices. It’s almost like there is more than one decision maker in the company determining which guns to proceed with. And I think this may very well be the truth given the size of the company.

      As an example, they’ve made many guns that are wonderful shooters at relatively discounted prices. Great. But, they also have distributed some guns that maybe were profitable, but which were objectively pretty bad at any price.

      My opinion is that they should only sell products they can be proud to put their name on–and most of them they can be proud of. So, it’s a mystery to me why they also sell guns which they must know are going to be harshly reviewed and drag their name down. To be clear, I’m NOT talking about the NP2 here as I’ve never even held one…I am still hoping the NP2 is a winner.


      • Rob 10-4 on that.I know it couldn’t been Crosman.But the other day BB said he knew of one airgun company and he did not say which one of course DID NOT one person who was employed there shoot airguns.BB if I’ve got it wrong here I know I will be corrected.That blew me away! That’s like a car sales person taking a taxi ever were he goes and not having a drivers licence and not driving the cars he or she sales for a living. Wow just when ya think you’ve herd it all.Ya go-ta wonder who had the final word on some products based one very little hands on experience if any when it comes to some of these airguns products that will certainly give um a black eye? Negative news spreads at light speed these days and most of use are ready and waiting to receive it because we have to protect our own billfold at the expense of others bad reviews so why would a company be willing to take a bad rape for a dollar.Could it be that the staff didn’t shot airguns?Who knows nothing much these days surprises me to much anymore.Anyways armchair quarter backing how things should been done is easy but if one is employed at such places he or she is probably out numbered by the hands offers rather then the hands on’rs.

        • Steve,

          I probably exaggerated a little (no, BB, not you!) when I said that no one shoots airguns at that company. The guys on the assembly line probably do — but who listens to them? But at the management level it’s all about golf and cars.


          • BB,Understood and now I put on the tiny bandage to cover my mental wound and start to healing process.Lets just hope one of those line workers will rise up someday and run that company just like many ex McDonald’s workers have rose to become there own franchise owners.

  5. Reminds me of a bit of military humor.


    The Pentagon put out a request for a replacement for the M1 Abrams. It said “We need a new tank capable of outperformimg the old tank in every way. Its armor must be good against all possible threats, its gun should defeat all threats at twice the current capabilities. It should require less maintenance per operating hour, travel at top apeed for extended periods, turn on a dime at high speeds and never break tracks. It should come into service ahead of schedule, below budget and be easy to bring crews to proficiency wirhin 2 months of its adoption. Our only difficult requests are that the tank be invisible and/or capable of flight.”

    • Back in 1981, or early 82, I was privileged to view a requirements document for a computer mainframe replacement. Lockheed Missile Systems Division/USNavy facility (across the street from my location) was seeking to replace the late 60s early 70s era XDS Sigma computers (Sigma mainframes were built using DTL logic chips, not even TTL!).

      Requirements document included such things as:

      The OS shall support stream files*1
      The OS shall support ISAM files*2
      The OS shall support random-accessed files*3

      The OS shall support read-only mode I/O*4
      The OS shall support write-only mode I/O*4
      The OS shall support update mode I/O*5
      The OS shall support scratch mode I/O*6

      There were also some things about file names (31 characters, 8 character optional password, 8 character option “other account”)

      1 no jumping around in the file, pure data, have to read preceding records to reach desired one, but the file blocks could be scattered on the disk
      2 record access by a numeric or text key, the text editor actually used this format as line numbers were the record keys; every so often one would do a renumber to get integer line numbers (inserted lines received decimals). Was also the format used by FORTRAN-IV direct access.
      3 The OS did nothing to interpret the data, no logical records; file had to be pre-allocated AND contiguous blocks on disk — as I/O basically bypassed the OS allocation table and just accessed data based on offset from start of file.

      4 The common INPUT and OUTPUT file modes supported by everything
      5 A record oriented mode in which TWO file positions were maintained. One had to read at least one record before one could write a record. One could read multiple records before performing a write, with the first write replacing the first record of the file, second write the second record, etc. As the name implies, it was meant to allow for things like reading a master record, merging updates to it, and writing it back out — which most OS’s these days require one to do the equivalent of ftell()/fseek() operations to shift position for each record to be processed.
      6 This is the opposite of UPDATE; one had to write records before one could read from the same file.

      I saw those requirements, and immediately knew that there were only two candidates which could be used for the computer replacement: a refurbished Sigma with CP/V, or a Honeywell DPS-8 running CP/6 (Honeywell had bought XDS from Xerox; the CP/6 on DPS-8 was their idea of a migration path for Xerox sites).

  6. I remember reading a story that said when the M-1 came out the Marine “Gunnies” didn’t want it because it was harder to qualify expert with it. They got an extra $5.00 a month for shooting expert and there was no way the were going to loose that five bucks.


      • Yes, it must have been these same characters who purposely dropped their M1 clips into the sand so that the rifle would jam during testing. But on Guadalcanal, the army soldiers had to tie their Garands to themselves at night to keep the Marines from making off with them.


  7. B.B.,

    I feel what you wrote above demonstrates quite well the difference between knowledge and wisdom. When you (and I, and many folks) were young, we had a great deal of knowledge. Ah, to be smart. But as we get older, if we are fortunate, we become more wise. (I am not wise in general, but at least I do have intermittent flashes of wisdom.)

    Compromise allows for something, an airgun, say, that meets a variety of needs. If somebody I work with who did not own or wish to own a bunch of airguns wanted to buy one single air rifle to shoot squirrels and an occasional spinner, I’d probably suggest a Diana 34. It’s no Bronco for ease-of-use, and it’s no 350 or 460 for power. The former is better suited for spinners, the last two better for pesting, but this theoretical person wants ONE gun, not two or more. The 34 is an excellent compromise, I think.

    Compromise is a word favored by the wise. Unfortunately, “compromise” has become a negative word in certain parts of the world, the United States being one of them. Many people equate compromise with weakness and a lack of commitment, a sign of impurity.

    Purists, absolutists, and perfectionists are doomed to a life of misery, frustration, and, by their standards, failure. They live dreaming of an ideal future world that cannot happen and therefore real life passes them by. As Detective Lester Freamon of “The Wire” once said, “You’ve got to have a life, you know, life . . . it’s the [stuff] that happens while you’re waiting for moments that never come.”


  8. You know B.B.–I think most people understand and accept that compromises are universal and necessary. We learn as kids that 50 cents will buy gum or a pop–but not both.

    The real issue is Disappointment.

    Disappointment can be brought on by self-delusion and wishful thinking. This kind of let down teaches us a lesson about ourselves. But disappointment can also be brought on by companies promising the moon and delivering only cheese. Companies that mislead us teach us a lesson about themselves.

    • Rob,

      I hear you, brother.

      But there is also caveat emptor — let the buyer beware. Blogs such as this offer an incredible opportunity for self-education about airguns. I have learned and still learn about what to look for what to avoid, what to seek, what different airguns types offer and do not offer.

      Unless it’s something like a shop broom, let the buyer educate himself as well. And that education includes judging how good a product is likely to be if it is priced well below other similar items.

      I bought a Crosman Comrade AK a while back. It is a OUTRAGEOUSLY FUN to shoot (my wife says she can hear me giggle when I shoot it), but it is the most plasticy gun I have. Then again, it was only $69.99. I did not expect it to be of the quality of an Evanix something. I figure I’ll get a few thousand shots out of it, it’ll break, I’ll fill it with Great Stuff expanding foam, give it a distressed paintjob, superglue a red tip on the muzzle, and sell it as a toy for $5 at one of my neighbors’ garage sales. The art project will be fun, too.

      Satisfaction has a lot to do with expectations.


  9. B.B.

    Great stuff Sir. Can we have MORE articles like these please? I just love them as it gives you a correct perspective of things so that we can be more realistic in our expectations. I also admire your almost brutal honesty in what you have say, even about yourself. That is a very rare trait today. God Bless you!


  10. Sorry B.B. but with all respect I have to disagree with you on one point 😉
    This is a quote from a paper done on the Monkey/Shakespeare analogy:
    “However, for physically meaningful numbers of monkeys typing for physically meaningful lengths of time the results are reversed. If there were as many monkeys as there are atoms in the observable universe typing extremely fast for trillions of times the life of the universe, the probability of the monkeys replicating even a single page of Shakespeare is unfathomably minute”
    Sorry…I just had to 🙂

  11. BB,

    I would not presume to lecture you but one thing I will point out. I do not want “acceptable reliability with an acceptable level of accuracy.” I think that s giving up a bit too much. I really believe that acceptable reliability with excellent accuracy is the goal. I have too many air guns that do exactly that to accept that it’s not possible with a gas spring. Of course I’m reading between the lines and thinking that is what you were referring to in that statement. I could be wrong. To be honest, I have never shot or even held a gas spring gun so I have no idea about their characteristics. Out of curiosity, as things stand today, which gas spring gun would you recommend as being reasonably reliable with very good accuracy?


      • BB
        I was going to lecture you to today. But I was feeling half nice.

        And I got into a argument with myself about if I should lecture you or not. So after that I got my argument fix for the day. So Im good now. 🙂

          • I better answer right now and say I agree before who knows what happens. But its what that Im worried about. Because they never agrees.

            Did I get that right ? 😉

        • Gunfun!,See your going to enjoy the new airgun and I’m keeping up with you on it.Next, back to monkeys.People would envy me if they knew about my monkey pump.Don’t have a fill station here so I got me chip last year and he pumps my low shot count TalonP for me for one banana per tank! So for a bunch of nanner’s I can shoot for hours until I run out of bananas.Then that’s when he starts to throw poop and run me back in the cabin for more nanners.He’s very strong and can pump all day in fact I been thinking about renting him to local gun clubs to the air gunners but only if he wears diapers with duct tape around them so he can’t get his hands back there to throw more poop when they run out of nanners. Monkey business would probably go to the dogs after that.For what its worth if you or me were a monkey, don’t ya think we’d throw poop at humans to? Look what we done to there rain forest.The Indians should have trowed poop to along with there flaming arrows,they may have stood more of a chance.I always said one could rob a bank with just a bugger instead of a gun.I don’t know about anyone else but I’m running lack you know what if some comes at me with a bugger and would probably hand over all the money.Any ways my monkey is well behaved and never no need to spank him sense he’s stronger then me.I’m to old for that.

            • Gunfun1,I think I know the answer to this but gonna ask anyway.I’ve got a few airguns that I will never shoot again “springer’s” and they are just spending unused time in my gun cabinet. Would like to get a new Hawk Sidewinder scope or something like it but would rather trade then buy.Is this acceptable here on this blog? Really don’t want to mess with the Yellow page as I have before getting some calls trying to talk me down and it’s my understanding that is not allowed but it happened anyways. I got the felling the answer is no here is that correct? But on the other hand I believe I’ve read people will say they want to get rid of a item or sell.I’ve gotta leave the cabin for a few hours and I will check for your reply later this evening,thanks.

              • steve
                If I’m reading this right you want a scope and you have some springer’s you want to sell or trade. Right?

                I myself need a Hawke scope for the HW50S. So I don’t have any extra scopes. But I could be interested in the guns. What are they? But I don’t know what you feel about giving out your email address. But if you get it to me maybe we can exchange phone numbers through the email and we can talk.

                I think BB has done something some way before if somebody wanted a email address given to somebody. I may be wrong though. I don’t know what the best way would be?? I guess I could give you mine here. But remember if you give yours out to spell out the word (at) and the word (dot) and use spaces also.

                Let me know what you think.

                • Gunfun1,Just spent time sending this to ya and it did not get threw so here goes again.I have a Beeman R1 .22 cal. I’m the only owner and its very sharp shooter as long as it eats that German wad cutter couldn’t begin to spell it. but its very accurate and its the one that got me all worked up about airguns.Its in very good shape but a small scratches on the forearm.Next is a pistol. Its the 177 cal. RWS Diana P5 Magnum.This is also a very good shooter and believe its spits um out at 700 fps. only thing is it needs the safety fixed.Made in Germany and the safety worn out.How could that be? Anyways its allot of fun even if the safety don’t work just not a kids pistol of course.Got a BSA Sweet .22 39×40 rifle scope in very good shape.Got 3000 rounds 0f .22 cal.14.3 gr.PCP Discovery pellets I’d like to trade for .22 and .25 cal.JSBs

                  • Gunfun,this is a PS,hope It gets in the correct place here and you find it.No I won’t put any info out here because Planet Earth is watching,sorry fellow man but we don’t live in Mayberry here.I’ll ask my son the computer program writer and see if he know how we can trade info out here if you are interested in anything. we’ll just have to think about it and I know of one way but I ain’t gonna ask here unless it is offered,and if anything works out I’ll get ya my phone #.

                    • steve
                      I would love to have the Beeman but Im not that much into .22 cal. And it sounds like that gun has some memory value to it.

                      And I just dont shoot pistols hardly at all.

                      And as far as pellets go I really dont need any and I dont have any to get rid of. I just sold my buddy at work some .22 cal. pellets that work in his gun and Im pretty well set with what I have.

                      Sorry. And oh the scope. Its Hawke scopes for me. I tryed a buch of different ones and the Hawke sidewinders with the 1/2 mil dot reticle is the ones for me.
                      Again sorry steve.

                • Gunfun1,10-4 back in the gun cabinet they go.Ya,it’s ashamed my Mrod don’t like those pellets as well as JSBs. 3000 rds. would keep me pumping along time if I just used them for hunting.Nothing like a JSB and a Mrod. They dance so well with each other.Enjoy your new rifle and watch the Hu and the midity,together they are hard one your gun.Mine would steam up and sweat if I took um out today here in the Ohio valley.Its a soup here!

      • I’m with B.B. on this, because it is a matter of acceptable accuracy and acceptable reliability for a given individual. For some, that might mean a Marksman 1010, others might up their standards to a Red Ryder, others a Steyr Olympic airgun.

        The same goes for those who hunt. B.B. finds the Diana 27 the perfect air rifle, but one cannot kill a buffalo with it. Well . . . one could PERHAPS pull that off using a Predator Polymag at close range if he threaded the shot through the ear canal into the big fella’s cochlea. Talk about a head shot! Three months later the buffalo dies of brain infection.


  12. Am I missing something here? Is it all because of the results of the NP2 testing? Maybe I shouldn’t even comment in today’s blog, because I read very few forums over the Net, so I never know what people is talking about.
    But in general, I learned that nothing this side of paradise is perfect: your job, your boss, your new airgun, your car… you name it. You only find them to be “acceptable” as you grow old because you learn to adjust your expectations to what you perceive as “possible”.
    Or maybe I just got too old and stopped looking for the Holy Grail…

    • Fred,

      Yesssss! Expectations! Well put.

      And as for the Holy Grail, my Holy Grail is whatever glass happens to have my whiskey in it.

      And avoid grail-shaped beacons and do not forget The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.


      • Michael,

        I don’t believe for one minute that you don’t have more than one gun that you consider an all around excellent package. That would just be a matter of very bad luck cause there are plenty of them to go around. Excellency is not a matter of hit and miss. It is planned and only then achieved. By the way, nothing does everything. That’s impossible for one and unrealistic for another. you know that as well as I do.

        I am NOT trying to start an argument. Just trying to make my point and remain optimistic. There are lots of diamonds, not just coal.


  13. Hi BB,

    I just reread part II of the NP2 report and something occurred to me, would the miss alignment of the baffles that you found in part III have had a major impact on the velocity? If time permits, perhaps a retest of the velocity would show an improvement.

    Thanks for a great report on a gun I really want to buy.

  14. B.B.

    Just following the untraditional rifle hold theme 🙂

    I’m right from evening range session. A buddy came with Diana 470. It is his new rifle and it’s waaay hotrodded, unable to collect a decent group even at 25m from soft rest, due to too much kick. I tried to show off, asked him for the rifle and shot some poor groups using both artillery hold and soft rest. However when I changed the hold to “machine gun style” with one hand gently pressing above the buttstock, in front of my face, it suddenly started to “paint” some very decent 5- and 10-shots. I don’t know why I chose this way of holding it, but it just felt right to me. I think the rifle suffers from combination of high power and low center of gravity – and this kind of hold prevents some of its “jump” and sway.
    What is interesting, when its owner copied my hold, he started to make almost same results. So I think the right hold for this very rifle from soft rest is found. So that lifts up another question – don’t you have a feeling that recent generation of springer thumbhole-stocked ubermagnums does not obey good old rules of holding? It’s the second time I meet this. Perhaps the difference is like between subsonic and supersonic aircraft aerodynamics – good for one is bad for another after certain level of power and speed and it appears jump-like, not by some increments. I’ll try to investigate deeper and look for similar guns.


  15. Well, you got me with that early reference to the M1 Garand, and my cameo appearance a few paragraphs later. 🙂

    I will need to give this blog post extra attention when I have time. But I am here now to give everyone fair warning that I am going back to the shooting range tomorrow! The M1 has had its gas system cleaned and flushed with Breakfree. I have greased the rifle with White Lithium grease. I have crimped the rounds. I have mounted a new scope on the Anschutz and centered it on the rifle cross-section. I’ve worked on my follow-through. I’m going out there to re-establish myself. Nothing will go wrong, and I am ready for anything, including any attractive female shooters like last time.

    One more thing. My friend just received her first ever shipment from PA, and she is ecstatic about the Makarov. I’ll have to do a report by proxy.


  16. BB,

    Ha ha ha, I am not lecturing just disagreeing with one point. Thanks for the compliment anyway. The pupil with inferior knowledge can not lecture the teacher with any authority, just argue with and if there is anything I am known for it is arguing. Kind of a pastime with me. LOL. Seriously though, which gas spring would you recommend today?


    • G&G,

      Well, Crosman has made some of the best gas spring guns, but they just don’t sell because they are all reduced power. I think the NP2 will turn out to be a good one, after I figure it out.

      Other than that, only the Gamo Whisper with gas spring — the one put in by Pyramyd AIR, not by Gamo — is the only other gas spring I can recommend. I don’t know whether PA still modifies the Whisper that way or not, but that Vortek gas spring cocked lightly and yet delivered the power it was supposed to.


  17. Got to handle my first NP today. the thumbhole came in very handy!It felt like about 7- 7-1/2 pounds with a AO scope mounted so not too heavy but I couldn’t reach the AO adjustment well enough to adjust while shouldered. Looks like it’ll have to be SWAT style for me. Also checked out a Gamo underlever that caught my eye it was marked CFR & I’ll be researching a little later. I just stopped in to get off my bike for a little while as I rode halfway across town today for exercise. Both guns were marked $299 and are way too loud for my current range setup so I was just browsing but I learned a few things. Still looking forward to that 2400KT, it’s gonna be sweet!


  18. Rob,

    Thanks for your kind words, above, but there are a lot of people who would love to see me fall flat on my face. Many of them don’t even know why they feel that way — they just think I’m trying to lord it over airgunners.

    Back when I started writing about airguns there were a lot of secrets that you couldn’t know until you paid your dues. I exposed some of them and that upset lots of folks. Over time those folks have come to see that I really am not doing this for myself — I just want those new guys to get into this hobby without all the baggage.

    But when I test a gun that was sent to me by a factory, I guarantee that there will be a large cry of , “Foul!” So I have to finish testing this rifle that was sent randomly and hope I can get it to perform as it should.

    I don’t think we will ever see the velocity Crosman advertised for the NP2, but that doesn’t bother me. Many spring guns don’t live up to their velocity numbers.


  19. B.B.,
    In my research of the CFR I mentioned above I found a video review by Rick Eutsler which looked very promising however, he ran into velocity issues toward the end. Any Idea what’s going on with this gun? I was only able to handle the gun, not cock or load or even see the breech in action.The adjustable comb is a nice addition!


  20. Reb,

    My late friend, Mac reviewed the Gamo WHISPER CFR (not just the CFR) while I was in the hospital in 2011.


    The accuracy is mediocre, and Mac was a better rifle shots than me.


    I have tested the straight Whisper

  21. I glad I was not the only one lead astray. I would read the Herter’s catalogs in the late 60’s. I think it was the Herter’s 401 power mag that could slay anything on the planet. (I remember a picture of a grazed leapord).

    I don’t have a Grand, but my heart is with the Springfield 30-06, my uncle gave me (he pasted last year) that he made in gunsmith school after the Korean war as he was using up his G.I. bill. He was some craftsman. Wish I could do work half that good.

  22. Here is some chrony results from the HW50S. I already had about 250 pellets through the gun with these numbers.
    That’s the JSB 10.3’s

    And I went ahead and did the Superdomes that are 8.3 grn.
    They shot at a higher feet per second but they varied all over the place. I have never chronyd a gun with that much variation with Superdomes yet. I’m thinking there must be something different with the barrel on the 50.

    But the chrony results with the JSB’s is telling a story. The report and the spring mechanism was louder with the Superdomes. And more calm with the JSB’s.

    But here is something as I was shooting today. And I was using the JSB’s. My poi started moving up. I had to turn my scope down 3 clicks at the 50 yards that i was testing at. So I chronyed the gun again. The gun raised in fps about 50 fps. but still was consistent in the spread equal to the first group I chronyed.

    So the gun sped up as I shot it. Its got about 500 pellets through it now.

    But just got through eating and going to shoot some more. Oh and the gun can’t compete with my .177 Marauder. But its pretty darn close.

    • Gunfun
      Your post must have got caught in the time warp, it just showed up. It sounds like it may like the heavier pellets right now , but it seems to still be breaking in by the increase in fps as you get more shots thru it.

      Those are still some good numbers, and it may get better with the superdomes as it gets loosened up more. The JSBs may be a little larger in diameter than the superdomes and fit the barrel tighter giving a better seal and consistency on POI.

      I would think a spring gun would have a hard time competing with a PCP easily anyway, but I am still new to spring and PCP guns also and still learning . Sound like you have a good gun with the HW 50.


      • buldawg
        Sorry I didn’t answer back. My brother and his girls stopped by and it was late when they left.

        But I forgot to say something about the Superdomes and the JSB’s. The Superdomes were actually tight loading them. I could feel resistance from when the dome touched all the way till the skirt was in. And when I seated the pellet with my thumb they were at different depths. Some flush and some below flush. So I think the size of the Superdomes was varying and I think they were a little bit tight to the barrel bore size. Some more than others.

        But the JSB’s loaded alot different. I could feel just a slight amount of drag when the dome of the pellet contacted the rifling in the barrel. Then when I pushed them in the resistance stayed the same as when the pellet first contacted the rifling. And when I seated the pellet with my thumb on the JSB’s they all were flush. And it was not hard to seat them. The Superdomes were hard to seat.

        So I’m pretty sure that’s why the fps was consistent with the JSB’s. And why they shot better then the Superdomes. The Super domes shot like they chroneyed. All over the place. And I don’t think the barrel will ever break in enough for the Superdomes to work right. And from what I have seen with my guns is the Superdomes work better with guns that have bolts that seat the pellets. So I guess I could use a pellet seater and see if they get better but I don’t like doing that because its just one more thing I have to carry.

        Hopefully I can get some more time on it today. So I will talk to you later.

        • Gunfun
          I did not expect you to answer back last night as it was late when I posted to you ant way. It sound like I got it backwards with the pellets being tight in the barrel, since you stated that the superdomes were actually a tighter fit than the JSBs/ I just learned something new myself from you ,thanks for the info. yea a pellet seater may help with the superdomes ,but if there is that much of a variance in the fit of the superdomes I doubt you will see much improvement.

          Your question about a company putting seals on the pistons of air guns. I was doing some research into the Hatsan At44 that I am thinking of buying on their site http://www.hatsanusa.com and while looking around I checked out their spring guns and they are making pistons with a Teflon seal at the front and rear of the piston and I believe a rubber seal at the front also. it was very late and I was just scanning thru their site so I cannot remember for sure, but I do know they had Teflon seals for sure. Check it out they looked very nice. I have decided on the AT44 long with out the moderator on it as I am not concerned with the report of the gun and they are about 100 bucks cheaper and the barrel is 3 inches longer than the QE models.

          Keep me updated on the HW.

      • Reb
        So far I really like it. Its definitely different then any other spring gun then I have or had. And nitro piston guns for that fact. Its got some bump to it but not much. And the quality of the gun is great.

        Usually when I have shot the other guns I mentioned except the 54 air king which is smooth (almost like a PCP gun). They will kick or move enough that I cant see the pellet fly through the scope. And when the gun settles its not to many times that I’m still on target with my follow through.

        The HW50S I can see the pellet fly and I’m still on target after the shot with my follow through.

        And the thing with the chrony numbers are lower than what they advertise which if I remember right was supposed to be in the 800’s with a 8.3 pellet which is what the Superdomes are. So it is about what they say and it might get faster. But I think the little lower velocity is whats making the gun a little tamer to shoot. So that’s fine with me.

  23. BB
    I just read your replies from yesterday in the El Gamo part 3 review, unfortunately my buddy is not willing to let the 124 go yet. When he does I asked him to give me first dibs on it and if I pass it up I will let you know so you could get it, but I would not get your hopes up because I don’t think I will let it get away.

    What part of my comments did you consider guest blogging and I am not sure about how to upload pics to the blog also. I did not mean to cross the line or comment incorrectly. If I did let me know what and how so I won’t do it again.

    Yes I was very impressed with the 124 and how well the build turned out. It gave me a new respect for spring guns and I do hope it improves in performance as it gets shot more. I have no real idea of the correct way to utilize the artillery hold correctly, but when I shot the gun I would rest the forearm of the gun on my lead shot filled bag that I got when I had my heart caths done that they used to keep pressure on the entry site and loosely hold the gun at the grip area when shooting. That’s is what I have learned from this blog as to be an artillery hold, I just know it was very easy to hit my targets with the 124 and the trigger has the best feel that I think I have ever shot with which is why it seemed so easy to aim and hit your POI.


  24. That Potato 45 story is really something. Even Glocks can’t claim to survive being buried for 80 years since they haven’t been around that long. Seeking for counterexamples to the law of compromise, I can think of only one–the Mosin 91/30 sniper rifle. There is no beating its reliability even among bolt-actions. You just know that action will feed and extract perfectly until the end of time. And from what I read of the Russian sniper qualifying tests, those guns were essentially MOA. You might say that they are the exception which proves the rule since they were skimmed of a total production of something like 20 million. But even a fraction of that is a considerable number.

    Okay, I’m back from the range. It was a day that began like any other day. I ended up starting with the pistols and ran through about 300 rounds. I didn’t exactly disgrace the name of airgunner, but there was nothing memorable. I got palm-sized groups at 15 yards. And at 25 yards, I salted the target pretty evenly. Most of the weird things happen at the 25 yard line. Why would someone buy an AR-15 with an optical sight then shoot it at the 25 yard line, rested, while bending over it from a standing position? Well, it did look tactical on the sandbags with the spotter calling corrections to the shooter.

    Onto the 50 yard range, and my showdown with the Anschutz. I am here to say that Anschutz is guilty of false advertising. They CLAIM that their rifles can shoot 10 shots into a dime at 50 yards. What they really do is shoot 5 into a pencil eraser diameter. 10 in a dime is a bad outing. Some groups had the bullets landing right on top of each other. But the question was “Could I hold the black?” Yes!! I could…certainly the white inside the outer ring…and maybe a few strays. But I was following through and there was definite improvement. I must say that offhand with the globe sight is extremely challenging. The fact that people can clean a standing target in competition to me is almost unimaginable. At some points, I thought I was seeing things. When the target just filled the sight ring, it looked like it had a happy face.

    There was only one screw-up. While fiddling with the $300 target sight, a tiny piece fell down off the table and jumped into debris. So if a piece of metal of roughly rectangular shape drops from a table surface with velocity equal to one half the gravitational constant times the time falling squared and then bounces depending on how the shape contacted the ground, where do you suppose it would go? I finally found the thing four feet away, right on the edge of where the grass started past the firing line. But this time, I refused to accept responsibility. It’s that gosh-darned German engineering with its fetish for little parts. I went on to mount a scope with Accushot airgun mounts since the expensive German ones weren’t working. The new mounts worked fine. The scope really adds a dimension to this rifle. When I drilled a round right through small number on the target I felt like I had really exerted my will.

    Onto the 100 yard line and my reckoning with the M1. The blistering heat had been replaced by a warm breeze. The firing line was mostly deserted. I had a fine table with a space cut out in the middle for the shooter which made me feel like a pea in a pod. Why didn’t I realize that the range was just lulling me into complacency before it pounced? My first three shots with the M1 went into two inches. Then the rifle began jamming and jamming. Out of four clips, there were two or three jams per clip. These were failures to feed. Even worse, I noticed that some rounds in the magazine had the bullet forced way back into the case. Doesn’t this create life-threatening over-pressure? So every time this happened, I had to eject the clip, inspect the rounds and reload. At least my crimping worked so that I didn’t get powder dumped into the magazine.

    By the end, I was so frustrated that I pulled a B.B. move. When discovering the artillery hold, B.B. got such poor results that he held the spring rifle loosely and got great results. I loaded clips up with the old Greek surplus I was originally using. While it had jammed, it wasn’t as bad as what I was getting. What do you know but 20 rounds fired perfectly. I fired these off standing and actually hit the bottom half of the paper with every shot. It was an iconic moment blazing away with each pull of the trigger that reminded me of how awesome this gun is.

    Now what the heck is going on with the reloads? This makes no sense. The rifle doesn’t work with the exact load down to the 1/20th of a grain developed by the ultimate gunsmith. But it does work with a military load it was not adjusted for which used to jam!? And my ultimate gunsmith retired and is not available to help. One might suggest stocking up on the surplus ammo. But that is not so plentiful. Besides, I just bought hundreds of dollars worth of IMR 4064 and other supplies for this particular load.

    In trying to make sense of this, I read around online and one article from American Rifleman says that if you are getting failures to feed with the bolt closing without chambering a round, it indicates excessive port pressure. I had supposed from another source, that the gun was not getting enough gas, but the opposite could be true. If so, the situation may have been worsened by my crimps which might have given the round an extra pop and creating even more pressure. My gunsmith did not crimp the rounds for his load. So maybe the thing to do is start backing off the powder charge to see what happens. If anyone has advice, I’m all ears.

    While this was going on, I was going accomplishing great things with the scoped Anschutz at 100 yards. I put 10 into less than an inch!! I didn’t think this was really possible with rimfire. Then, I switched to reactive targets. It was most fun creating little avalanches on the berm by hitting the right spot where the earth had eroded away. So with my airgun mounts and scope, I’ve succeeded in turning the $2500 Olympic target rifle into an airgun!


    • Even worse, I noticed that some rounds in the magazine had the bullet forced way back into the case. Doesn’t this create life-threatening over-pressure? So every time this happened, I had to eject the clip, inspect the rounds and reload. At least my crimping worked so that I didn’t get powder dumped into the magazine.

      I’d say your crimping /didn’t/ work if bullets are pushing /into/ the case (which can happen if the recoil moves the rifle back while the cartridges in the magazine stand still — the front of the magazine impacts the nose of the bullet; or if these were rounds you’d cycled through the action by hand, the bullet is hitting somewhere on the breech/chamber and getting pushed back).

      Mil-Surp round probably had a ring of lacquer not only around the primer, but around the case mouth.

      • Actually, the rounds in the magazine were fine. The problem was with the top cartridge that had failed to feed. It was only these that got pushed way back. I’m grateful for small things, at least the round was not forced completely out of the case, spilling powder into my magazine. Still, it’s not ideal. I think the problem is the Lee factory press die which does not require a bullet with a cannelure. The die does a great job, but it physically cannot produce the same results as a cannelured bullet. Another problem is that I have been lubing the inside of cases for the case-resizing step. That lube where the bullet joins the case through tension cannot be helping things. I’ve heard good advice about cleaning the inside of the case neck with alcohol.

        You’re right that my work cannot match the military crimping. The same jams in my M1 had very little effect on them.


  25. Matt,
    It definitely sounds like the maxed out loads didn’t help matters on your M1 and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to start dialing them back a bit. Maybe in micro-batches of 5 rounds or so incrementally lowered in it’s charge. Glad to hear about your luck with the Anschutz! No busty distractions this time?


    • I’m afraid no distractions. And I was going to say in reference to B.B.’s post about self-actualization with airguns that he promised that there would be nymphs at the higher state of development. You can Google him on this. No sign of the nymphs yet.


  26. There is something I was going to ask yesterday but didn’t get back on so I will ask today.

    On spring guns has anybody ever made pistons with rings. Like one or two cast iron rings on them like what is used on the older car engines or moly-rings for that fact instead of the seals or rubber o-rings to seal the power piston to the bore. They have the cast iron one piece rings even that if I remember right was called total seal rings.

    And what about no seals or rings. Some of the better radio controlled airplane and car engines don’t have rings. They are a precise fit.

    But I thought about that the other day and forgot to ask about it.

    • Gunfun
      I think I told you wrong about the Hatsan spring guns having Teflon seals and a rubber seal on the pistons of their spring guns. I just went back and checked on their site and could not find the info I stated. It was an episode of American Airgunner that first aired on 9/11/13 and was reaired on 6/10/14 in which Rossi Moreale toured the Umarex plant in Germany. They reviewed the Walther LGV break barrel rifle and were showing the internals and how it has a very low vibration level. it uses a piston with a green standard type parachute piston seal at the front and right behind it there is what appears to be a white Teflon type O-ring seal and another one at the rear of the piston and the umarex rep stated that the piston assy would spin when fired as the spring would unwind from being compressed. The white seals reminded me of the Teflon seals that GM used in their auto trannies to seal input shafts to clutch drums and so forth, I know you know the seals I am talking about.

      I just reviewed the episode on my DVR recording and it title is Birds and Bowling. If you have dish TV you may be able to find it to watch the episode. They may use that same piston on some of their other spring guns, BB may be able to shed more light on the piston and seal assy from Umarex.


      • If I’m not mistaken, the venerable FWB 300S uses exactly the kind of arrangement you asked about. It has a sliding compression chamber, but the piston itself uses a piston ring almost exactly like a 2 stroke engine. It also has a sort of shock absorber elastomer tip on the end of the piston where a conventional spring gun would have its piston seal. I’m not entirely convinced this design provides increased pressure from superior sealing, but what it can do is provide a longer service life than conventional spring piston seals. I’ve read of some guns being used in clubs for target shooting with 50,000+ shots or more on the original piston ring and still going strong. Some well run in FWB 300S also can exhibit very good shot to shot velocity consistency. In keeping with the theme of this topic, I wish I knew a bit more about what the engineering compromise is with using a piston ring type of arrangement versus a parachute piston as I’m sure there are pros and cons with both designs.

        • My reply was meant for Gunfun1 by the way. Clicked the wrong post. On the topic of model airplane engines that run without rings, I’m also an avid model airplane enthusiast, and I almost exclusively fly planes with actual engines instead of the new breed of electric powered planes. I have as much fun tinkering with the miniature engines as I do building the planes and flying them. The cylinders are made in such a fashion that they have a taper to the cylinder liner, where the cylinder gets progressively tighter towards the top. The piston is also somewhat tapered as well. The idea is, that when the engine gets up to operating temperature, the heat causes the liner to expand somewhat into a nearly perfect straight walled cylinder with the proper clearance between cylinder wall and piston. They are really fascinating engines, running on a mixture of methanol and either synthetic or castor oil blends with a bit of nitromethane thrown in for good measure. The ignition is provided by a glow plug, which is a spark plug type device, but instead of a spark gap, it has a coil of platinum plated wire that when engergized by a battery and heated up, reacts with the methanol in the fuel causing a chemical catalyst reaction similar to the way a cars catalytic convertor works, which the heat from sustains the combustion. Anyhow, sorry for the off topic ramble, but I absolutely love engines, especially tiny model ones.

          • Mitch
            I have flown R/C planes off and on since I was a kid. And did all kinds of flying from small 12” wingspan 1/2a Cox TD.049 engines all the way up to the quicky 500 planes with the Nelson and Rossi engines. Then had some fun fly planes with the .32’s and a pipe on it. And flew the aerobatic planes. Mostly the Extra 300’s. I had them in the small .40 size engine and .90 size planes. But the biggest Extra that I had was a 72” wingspan and it had 1.8 Moki engine on it.

            You wont even believe what I have flown for the last about 7 years. The new electric stuff with the outrunner motors and lipoly battery’s. I fly nothing but the flat foamy’s with around a 36” wingspan. And I do the 3-D flying. Once you learn to fly its hard to stop. I love it. 🙂

            • I have a pretty good collection of flyable Cox engines. Everything from TDs and Medallions all the way to product engines, mostly all .049. Most of the stuff I have now is .40-.60 size, as anything bigger becomes a pain the transport anywhere. I also still fly long wire 72Mhz stuff. It always worked for me I guess. I buy everyone older but serviceable stuff, and a jug of fuel and I’m in the air. Anyways, if you ever wanna play with nitro again, let me know as I’m always trading airplane stuff with people. I’ve got shelfs of engines and kits and the lot. The only real electric stuff I have though is a few geared inrunners and a couple small 1/2A sized outrunners for quick build little ships to toss around for a couple months until the wing snaps in a neck breaking dive or the covering tears off. LOL Glad to know you aren’t just an airgunner but you have the R/C flight bug as well. In all honesty the R/C has taken a backseat to pellet guns for myself lately, but I could see myself getting a couple things in the air before the year is out as well since I’m already pretty well stocked up, I’ve just been waiting for the motivation and weather, you know how life can get I’m sure…. Cheers!

              • Mitch
                I had a collection of RC stuff and sold it all when I got into the electric stuff.

                And like you air guns have been in the #1 spot for a while now. I fly every once in a while when I get the urge. Both hobby’s are fun stuff though. 🙂

        • Mitch that’s exactly what I wanted to know.

          It would seem to have its benefits like you said with a longer lasting operation before it needed service.

          I know that friction is involved with a metal ring. But there has to be some type of friction with a rubber o-ring or other type of plastic seal.

          I would like to know if there was other air gun makers that tryed metal rings with any success.

          And knowing me I’m overlooking something that would make it Not worth while. But it was a thought anyway.

      • buldawg
        Thanks. But I was thinking more like a piston and rings from a car engine with one or two rings. No third oil wiper ring.

        You would think that would guide the piston better and make for a good seal for when the air compresses for the air transfer to make the shot.

        • Gunfun
          What you are talking/wanting is the type of piston ring setup that I had in my 72 Yamaha 175 and my 74 Yamaha 360 mx. it is called a DYKES top piston ring setup in which the top piston ring is an L shaped ring that fits in the ring groove of the piston and the L shape bring the sealing portion of the ring up to be perfectly level with the upper edge of the crown of the piston and then has a normal second ring on the piston. Wiseco made these piston and ring setup in the mid 70s and on from there I would assume for most all dirt bikes. I can only speak for Yamaha’s as that was all I rode, I just wished they had made that setup for my 74 SC 500 that I still have. It is a single cylinder two stroke with only a single ring on the piston and Yamaha was the only one to ever make pistons for this bike most likely because it was only built from the middle of the 73 model year thru the 74 model year. I do not know for sure how many were made or imported to the USA, but it was not a large number that is for sure. It was built to be a Baja 1000 mx bike but was to fast for the pros to ride easily and required a piston and ring change every 6 to 12 hours of operation per the Yamaha manual. I know mine has had well over several hundred hours of use and still does 80 MPH wheelies with just a twist of the throttle, no clutching or bouncing the front end needed/ Top speed is 105 MPH as recorded by the Cocoa Beach PD on the beach one early spring morning with there radar gun.

          If they used the DYKES top piston ring setup in a spring gun it would never wear out and only need periodic lubing. That is what you are wanting for sure.


        • Gunfun
          I left you a reply back to you about the auto type piston rings on a air gun piston, but I believe it is lost in the time warp machine. I will keep it brief in case my first reply comes thru later.

          What you are seeking was developed by Wiseco back in the 70s for two stroke dirt bile’s and is known as a Dykes top piston ring setup. The top ring is L shaped and come up to be even with the top edge of the crown of the piston and uses a normal second ring. That would work but some pressure would still get past the two rings due to the need for a ring gap, it could be much tighter than a car engine because you would not have as much expansion of the ring due to heat in an air gun. I had this type of ring set in my 70s dirt bikes with great success.

          What would be the best is made by Perfect Circle rings ( a division of federal mogul) in which the top ring is basically the same as a conventional ring but has a portion of the upper surface machined away to accept another thin ring much like the oil scraper rings in a car engine that is installed with it gap 180 degrees from the gap of the main top ring thereby creating a gapless top ring design. I have that perfect circle ring setup in my 76 super glide that has been bored from 74 ci to 88 ci and it has 1% leak down numbers.

          If air gun makers would use either ring design they would never wear out and only need periodic lubrication for the life of the gun. We can only wish for such a design to come to be.

          • buldawg
            That’s the ring I’m talking about.
            One of my race car buddy’s built a small block Chevy with a short piston with one compression ring and one oil ring. It was a long rod 350 with the high valve lift Vortec heads and a roller cam. It was in a red 76 Nova with single leaf rear end with a trans-brake and reverse manual valve body. It ran in the upper 10’s.

            It was running 13 and a half to one compression. I wonder what the compression ratio is on a air gun?

        • Gunfun
          The perfect circle “Total Seal” rings have been around for quite a few years and work very well. You can get just about a zero leakdown percentage with that style of rings. My 76 Harley super glide was originally a 74 ci motor with 8 to 1 comp ratio, it is now a 10 to 1 comp ratio motor that will out run every twin cam I have come up against. Most new Harleys top out at about 110 MPH and my shovel is just starting to pull hard at 110 mph and will walk away from twin cammers all day long, they don’t take it very well when a 38 year old skoot leaves them in the dust.

          The Torrington bearings are a flat thrust washer type bearing used in place of the standard brass or plastic thrust washers found in automatic trannies between the clutch drums and planetary gear sets. A standard duty trans used brass and plastic thrust washers, a heavy duty trans or one built to handle 600 hp plus motors will have Torrington bearings in place of the brass and plastic thrust washers, they are basically a flat cage that holds 30 to 60 small round hardened steel rollers to handle the increased thrust loads of a towing vehicle or drag racing trannie with a trans brake and manual valve body. I had a 86 GMC sierra 1500 classic with the heavy duty 350 turbo trans with tow package that had all Torrington bearing in place of the standard brass and plastic washers.
          Torrington bearing are designed to handle forward and backward thrust loads and would not be applicable for any use in an air guns piston designs other than to be placed at the front and rear end of the spring to allow it to rotate more freely during compression and expansion when shooting. but they are not a cheap bearing and would add considerable cost to the guns for very minimal gains.


          • buldawg
            Yep them are definitely ways to use Torrington bearings. We use them at work on some of the equipment. Very good bearings.

            And when I asked about them in the past BB said he has used them in spring guns for just the reason you said. To dampen the rotational movement. If I remember right I think BB said you could use them in some guns. And some you can’t.

        • Gunfun
          The compression ratio of an air gun theoretically would be infinity to 1 because in the ideal gun spring chamber when the piston is at the end of the stroke there would be no volume of air left to compress in the chamber as it should have all been displaced out of the chamber to propel the pellet.
          I believe you can figure the volume of air used to propel pellet by the following formula :
          Radius X Radius X Height X Pi Example is 1 inch bore and 4 inch stroke :
          .5 x .5 x 4 x 3.142 = 3.124 cubic inches of air to propel pellet and then you need to know the velocity that the spring moves to compress that amount of air to push pellet. I am getting in way over my head with the math to figure any farther.

          • buldawg
            I think you mean diameter on your formula. Ain’t that the same formula to figure out the cubic inches of the bore of a engine then multiply it by the number of cylinders you have.

            Like a small block 350 cubic inch Chevy engine. I thought it was diameter x stroke x 3.14 = that cylinders cubic inches then you x that by the number of cylinders the engine has.

            Here is what the stock bore and stroke is for a 350 Chevy. 3.48 stroke and 4.00 bore. So the formula would look like this. 3.48 x 4.00 x 3.14 = 43.7088 then x 8 = 349.6704 and they usually rounded up at the decimal point so it would come out to 350 cubic inches.

            Anyway I know what you mean about the compression and the reason I was thinking about that was. Maybe that’s why some spring guns will kick different because of the heavier or lighter pellet used.

            • Gunfun
              You are correct for the formula to determine the cubic inches of a multi cylinder engine, except it is bore x bore x stroke x pie ( 3.142)/ I googled the formula for volume of a cylinder and it gave me the one I stated as ; radius x radius x height x 3.142 for the volume of air that the air chamber would contain with the piston in the cocked position. Like I say I am no math wiz by any means and I tried the formula for determining the cubic inches of an engine and the numbers just did not seem right to me, but I may be wrong.
              In any event when you fire a spring gun ideally there should be no air space left between the piston and end of the chamber so the compression ratio would be infinity to one. I n a car engine there is always a volume of air space left for combustion to take place in, and it is even smaller in a diesel engine because they ignite the fuel on heat of the compressed air the same as when a spring gun diesels.

              Yes I would say that the recoil is directly related to the weight of the pellets used because it takes more or less energy for the compressing air volume to start the pellet moving and accelerate it o its maximum velocity.

  27. B.B., let’s hear about the other rifles that are better on a battlefield. Since the Garand can take a Scout scope that solves the optics problem. What else is there to improve on? The 30-06 is on the heavy side but still almost interchangeable with the .308 which has found a niche. The only other possible gripe is the lack of a large capacity magazine. However, the Garand is faster to load since the ejection of the clip is done automatically. A large capacity magazine would give an advantage for the duration of the first magazine. But unless the fight is won there, a high capacity magazine might even be at a disadvantage. The film The Thin Red Line has a great evocative scene with the clips pinging out of the M1s and the soldiers reloading at speed. (Warning: Do not see The Thin Red Line in hopes of seeing anything other than fast M1 loading and maybe Nick Nolte having a cow as an overzealous officer. One critic asked what would have happened if the U.S. had invaded Guadalcanal with an army of bad poets. Check out this letter from a girlfriend to a guy at the front: “I could not take the loneliness and have found someone else. Help me to leave you, Jack. Remember all the shining years.”!?!?!? Bwa ha ha.) I guess that you could talk weight and ergonomics but those can be pretty subjective. The M1 certainly handles well.

    I would concede only the AK as a superior battle weapon, but its long-stroke piston and a few other things are virtually copied from the M1.

    As for the subject of compromise, I think it’s time to go Zen on this one which is to say take a radically new perspective. Compromise can be seen as creating possibility as well as closing it off. For example, the “assault rifle” concept was designed as a compromise between a full-power battle rifle and a carbine, and that concept had a lot of success on the Eastern Front where it appeared and ever since. On the other hand, the very achievement of that compromise is for a very specific role on the battlefield. Outside of that environment, it doesn’t do anything particularly well. Another example is the IZH 61, I do believe that there is no other airgun that puts out more rounds, more accurately, at a low price. Got you pcp users with that last one! Of course a Marauder with a scuba tank would shoot better and faster. But on a low budget, I don’t know if there’s anything to beat the IZH 61 as a high volume training tool.


    • Matt,

      The M14 is better than the Garand because it accepts 20-round box magazines and can be topped off anytime. The modern iterations of the M14 are even better. They are lighter, shorter, yet still more powerful than anything else in their category.


      • B.B.
        Two comments and an update on the search for my grandson’s air rifle.

        Concerning compromise of a gun. When I was still trying to find and own the most accurate .45 acp for bullseye, I had a custom .45 made by a gunsmith in Alpine, Texas. It was a long slide, was extremely tight and was absolutely accurate…….for about 30 rounds……and then it jammed and had to be torn down and cleaned to continue shooting. Completely unrealistic for competition shooting and unthinkable for self protection. I did not keep it very long.

        Concerning mistreated and ugly. I bought 2 air rifles in the early 80’s, for my own use and my two children’s. They were both very good marksmen, but not so good at taking care of the guns. The Beeman R7 was left in the Texas gulf coast humidity and the barrel became hopelessly pitted on the outside and the stock scratched and scared from use. It still has the same 4X Beeman scope and is used regularly by my son-in-law, to keep unwanted birds out of their orchid and garden. He would not think about exchanging it for a new model. It is easy to cock and is still extremely accurate for his purposes. Some ugly guns can still really shoot well.

        As you might remember, I asked you and the regular blog readers to suggest a possible air rifle for my 9 year old Grandson. He was coming for a week long visit and had some money to spend (a reward for all A honor roll). He wanted his own air rifle to help his dad keep the unwanted birds out of their fruit orchid. I was prepared to give him my Umarex Fusion which has a 3 X 9 Bug Buster scope. He arrived and we went to the air gun range upstairs and I showed him the Fusion. He politely said that he was not interested in it. He did not want to incur the cost of Co2 power cartridges. He would not even try it.

        He did produce a Pyramyd AIR catalog that he had been studying. His mom and dad have taught him that he must do research on anything before thinking about purchasing it. He showed me 3 air guns that had excellent reviews. Two were assault type rifles and one was a pistol, a Beeman P17. I just happened to have one and showed it to him. His eyes sparkled and he was all smiles. I explained the difference in the P17 and the P3 and told him it was a great pistol but had two negatives. It was a little hard to load (I have big fingers) and it was hard to cock, even for me. I told him that if he could do both and still wanted it, he could have it. He had no trouble loading it (small fingers), but being a little skinny bookworm kid, he sure did have trouble closing the cocking lever (the barrel assy). He finally got it closed by placing the grip and barrel on the floor and putting all of his weight on it. He beamed with pride at his accomplishment. The pistol was light enough and had an excellent trigger and he was in the 10 ring with his first shot. Each time he reloaded and cocked, it got a little easier for him. I made him a cocking platform out of a 1″ X 12″ X 36″ board and covered it with carpet. It went home with him and his Beeman P17. That was the most unlikely conclusion to my grandson’s initial objective, that I could imagine. He was satisfied and happy and I am sure he will enjoy helping his dad keep the birds out of their garden. Thanks to all who made suggestions.

        • Jerry,

          A valuable lesson for all of us: When you can’t cock a gun the traditional way, innovate! I’m sure there are plenty of people who can’t cock the P17 due to age (young AND old) or physical limitations. Why shouldn’t they enjoy shooting, too? Hooray for your grandson for thinking outside the box!


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  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

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  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

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  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

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