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Education / Training Shooting the Rocket Shot target

Shooting the Rocket Shot target

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Rocket Shot target
  • Wind is bad
  • Emplacing the target
  • Loading the can
  • Crosman Super Match pellets
  • Shooting the target
  • Afterward
  • Overall impression

This report took me some time to schedule. I needed to find a safe place to shoot aerial targets with a pellet gun, and I needed good weather. We have had a lot of foul weather in Texas this year, so everything took time to line up. But last Saturday, it did.

Rocket Shot target

You first saw the Rocket Shot target in the Part 1 report on this year’s Malvern airgun show. I bought one with the intention of testing it for you and also putting it into my column in Shotgun News.

Rocket Shot is a spring-loaded soda-can-launcher that throws an empty can about 10-12 feet in the air when the paddle is hit. It sets up easily, loads easily and is more fun to shoot than I imagined. When I watched the company owners shooting the target on their website, it looked easy; but I’m the world’s worst instinct shooter, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy for me.

Wind is bad

I hoped for a day without wind, but in Texas such days are uncommon. There was a mild breeze of 5-10 mph that blew the cans as soon as they came out of the launcher. Aluminum soda cans weigh very little and are pushed by the lightest breeze. When I first set up the target, the cans were moving sideways as they rose and fell, which made them very hard to hit. But after I placed the target with the wind at my back the movement of the cans became irrelevant.

Emplacing the target

The Rocket Shot target is simple to set up. Just jam the attached steel rod into the ground. Our ground was still loose from a lot of rain, so it was easy to push it down.

It works best when it stands straight up and down. Don’t lean it forward or backward relative to the shooter. The paddle is the trigger that launches the can. It has to be straight up and down so it can set itself when the can is loaded. That way, it’ll go off when the paddle is hit with very little energy.

Loading the can

The can is placed on the round launcher at the end of the coiled spring, then pushed straight down until the paddle catches the sear. If the unit isn’t standing straight up and down, this will be difficult or even impossible to do.

Crosman Super Match pellets

I decided to shoot Crosman Super Match pellets. They seemed to be a natural match for the rifle, plus their lower cost is important in this case since we envision shooting a lot of them. As it turned out, they were an ideal choice.

Shooting the target

Once the can’s loaded, you just shoot the steel paddle below the target and the can pops straight up about 10 feet . Ah — but that’s the trick! In fact, that is the ENTIRE point of the Rocket Shot target — an instinct target that sharpens your skills and is also fun. Your first inclination is to use the rifle’s sights to hit the paddle. That’s fine, except there’s no time to use the sights when the can’s moving. You have to aim instinctively to hit the moving can.

I started shooting the Rocket Shot with a Crosman 1077 rifle, which has to be nearly the perfect airgun for this game. It has 12 shots and, although it isn’t semiautomatic like the manufacturer claims, it has a very easy double-action revolver trigger that, once broken in, fires as fast as you pull it. I have my rifle set up with an 88-gram CO2 cartridge, which means I get hundreds of shots before changing cartridges. That turns out to be very important — as I’ll discuss in a bit.

At first, I had a Tasco Pro Point dot sight mounted on the 1077. But an optical sight is useless against a moving target. It not only didn’t help — it was a major hindrance. Off it came, and I started hitting targets almost immediately. Not many, mind you, but enough to keep things interesting.

Instead of shooting just one shot at the moving can, I shot 3 or 4 time on most launches. The 1077’s trigger is so light and fast that it’s not a problem to keep up that kind of pace. That meant I could only shoot at 3 targets before running out of pellets in the 12-shot clip.

By the way, you get a lot of shots from one soda can — even when you hit it. The aluminum is so soft that the pellet punches a clean hole through both sides; and if the rim of the can isn’t hit, you can reuse it many times. You can still recycle it afterward.

My friend, Otho, shot with me and was able to get on target much quicker. He’s a shotgunner who has natural pointing instincts. I think that’s important in this game. I also think the Rocket Shot may help your shotgunning game.

When one shooter was shooting, the other was loading clips and resetting the targets. Edith took all the videos. That made the day progress much faster than we anticipated.

After Otho and I finished with the 1077, I realized just how many shots had been fired. I went though around 20 clips and Otho shot about 8. At 12 pellets per clip, we had both burned through 336 pellets. That’s the beauty of using the large CO2 cylinder. It still had gas in it when we were done. But we weren’t finished shooting. There was still the Gamo PR-776 pellet revolver to try.

The revolver was much harder to hit with, but we were both used to the target from shooting the 1077. I shot another eight 8-shot clips from the revolver, and Otho shot about four; so there’s another 96 pellets downrange. That brings the total pellets fired in this session to 432! We did that in about 45 minutes of shooting, which is the fastest I’ve ever burned through pellets.


After all that shooting, the target is still in perfect condition. I think we hit the launcher 3 or 4 times in the entire session, and all it did was remove a small portion of the graphics. The launcher sustained no damage. The paddle lost paint where it was hit, but nothing more. This appears to be a target that will last for a great many shots.

After being shot at more than 400 times, the Rocket Shot target is still in great shape.

I can’t think of a better gun to shoot this target than the Crosman 1077. It has all the power you need; and because you shoot lead pellets, there’s minimal danger of a ricochet or rebound. Couple the rifle with a large CO2 cartridge like I did, and your main concern will be loading the clips.

Overall impression

If I were an airgun company and saw a target like the Rocket Shot, I would try to get it into my product lineup. As fast as we went through pellets and gas, this target would boost the use of those items significantly. I can see one or more of these at a family picnic. The kids could be drafted into loading clips and resetting the cans in exchange for shooting rights.

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.

148 thoughts on “Shooting the Rocket Shot target”

  1. B.B.,

    I’ve had the Rocket Sot for several weeks and so far have only used it with handguns. I don’t hit it that often either but it is a lot of fun. By the way, mine have it clearly painted on that it is for BB use only. I assumed that was because of the paddles but it sounds like the pellets are not a problem. You said all that happened was paint got shot off.

    Please confirm that for me.


  2. B.B.,

    Watched all the videos.

    Seems clear you’re having too much fun with your job. Are you actually getting paid to do this?

    After reading this I’m seriously considering buying a crosman 1077 and several rocket shot targets. Is there anyone making the 88 gram adapter yet?

    BTW…in your second paragraph the link to “Part I Report on this years Malvern airgun show” doesn’t take me anywhere.


  3. BB
    Gunfun and I just got 1077s and lucked out at found two NOS Air Source adapter for the 1077s. My question is how do you get 336 shots out of one cartridge as we both had bought the 90 gram JB cartridges for paintballs and barely got just over 100 shot out of a cartridge.

    We have since converted then to HPA air and fill them to 1100 psi and shot down to 600 psi and get 60 shots per fill with around 650 fps with no loss in fps with rapid firing as he air does not suffer the same cooling effect as CO2 does.

    We were not ever able to get more than 150 shots on CO2 with the 88/90 gram cartridges and the conversion to HPA was very simple by drilling a hole in the rear of a cartridge and then thread a 90 degree 1/8 pipe fitting into the rear of the cartridge and install a foster fitting in the 90 degree pipe fitting with a check valve in the foster. So now we shoot for free and the POI does not change for the 60 full power shots per fill and you can get more shots but the POI starts to drop.

    interested on how you get the 300 plus shots per cartridge compared to our 150 or less.


    • Buldawg
      All true. I tried three of the JB 90 grm cartridges and same results you got. And same results when converting the 90 grm cartridge to HPA.

      Definitely a nicer shooting 1077 after going to HPA.

      And what’s funny is I have used a redot for that type of shooting with good luck. The red dot is used to hit the paddle. And then the instinct shooting comes into play.

      I guess the reason that it works for me is again even with a red dot sight I shoot with both eyes open. And I do believe the bird hunting with a shotgun in my younger days helps me with my instinct shooting. Plus the can shooting we did with the .22 rimfire guns growing up. Heck I was quick fire shooting steel spinners placed out in different places with my FX Monsoon at my brothers with a scope on the gun and both eyes open. So I think that instinct shooting becomes more easier the more you do it.

      • Gunfun1
        The same on the 1077 with CO2 as compared to HPA as that’s why we converted them to HPA to get more consistent and accurate shots from them.

        I have the TF-90 red dot on mine and I believe it has a large enough field of view to shoot instinct as well and my duck hunting day helped me as well since its all instinct and visualizing were the duck will be when the shot gets to the duck not hoping you have the lead on the duck correct but knowing how your shotgun patterns at what distance and intersect that pattern with the ducks flight angle an speed that make you the hit or miss.


        • Buldawg
          Yes on the duck hunting. It’s a little different duck hunting or pheasant or quail hunting. The birds all fly different.

          I would like to try the Rocket shot with a nice 5 to 10 mph crosswind like BB was talking about above. That could simulate a bird flying kind of.

          And you know I got alot of them ferel cans running around now I will have chance to shoot flying ferel cans with the Rocket Shot.

          • Gunfun1
            Yea the different bird all do fly different and I think the hardest to hit are grouse as they never go straight for more than a foot and are the best dodgers of all birds.

            The rocket can would be neat to have flying feral cans as well as feral ground cans to shoot at.


              • gunfun1
                Not at 35 or 90 bucks as I believe I can make one cheaper than that as that most likely is why PA will not carry them as that’s just way to much money for a soda can launcher in my book anyway.

                I can get one of my grandkids to throw one higher than it launches a can and it would be in more of a true arc as if it were a real bird you were shooting at as that’s what it is supposed to be simulating.

                Just to rich for my wallet.


                  • Gunfun1
                    Still to rich for my blood for what little they do now if they launched them 30 or 40 feet in the air it would be different but only 10 or 12 is not worth it to me.

                    I still think I can build one much cheaper than 35 bucks.


                    • Buldawg
                      I know you could probably biuld something to launch a can cheaper.

                      What I was getting at is that if you just wanted to pick one of the Rocket Shots up that’s done and ready to use it is comparable to other active target systems out there.

                    • BD,

                      Thanks for posting the link to the soda launcher — and it’s ONLY $400 (and you still have to buy the AR15 lower on which to mount the launcher)! The Rocket Shot Target is an amazing bargain in comparison 🙂


                    • Buldawg
                      That is cool. But way to expensive for my blood.

                      I think a pototoe gun designed to launch a full soda can would be cheaper though.

                    • Reb
                      I’m going to get the three for $90.

                      I think I’m going to use them a couple different ways.

                      One way is what they were designed for. Hit the paddle and shoot the can up in the air and hit the can.

                      The other way is on going to set them out in the yard kind of like a mini feild target course at differnt distances for the kids to shoot at. That way they will have a visual along with the sound when they hit the target.

                      Maybe I will load them with flour or some kind of biodegradable confetti. And well even a soda can.

                      So the Rocket Shot could also be a cool reactive target at different distances to get a visual when you hit. So when you hit that paddle out at a hundred yards you see the can fly up in the air.

                  • Gunfun1
                    yea they are cool for a reactive target system I just don’t believe there is 35 buck worth of fun there for me as I would rather have a clay pigeon launcher then a soda can launcher for practicing leading shooting.

                    I just don’t see 35 bucks worth of fun there.


                    • Buldawg
                      Only thing about clay pigeon shooting you got the chunks laying all over the place.

                      At least with the aluminum cans as the target you can recycle them and get money for them. That’s what we do with aluminum cans.

                  • Gu8nfun1
                    Yea the Ar-15 soda can launcher is costly but it launches full can not empties and no I would not buy one but just think of the hurting you could on someone using it like a mortar.

                    just thought it was cool.


                    • Buldawg
                      That’s why I suggested a potatoe gun converted to shoot a (full) can of soda. That would make a thump if you could get the barrel sized right o the can.

                      And a guy at work told me about some great ammo for a potatoe gun that I never thought about. Walnuts while they were still on the tree with the green outer layer on them. Just plug them with the barrel like you do potatoes.

                      And heck you could have double fun with a potatoe gun shooting empty cans out of it also. I bet a potatoe gun would send a empty can pretty high in the air.

            • Hey Buldawg,

              Grouse can be fun.

              Have you ever tried shooting Woodcock in dense alders with a .410? They are a hoot!

              They have a habit of waiting until you almost step on them before flushing and will often wait until you are two feet past them before leaving the ground and then they fly a path like the ball in a pinball machine. It was years before I believed they actually COULD fly in a straight line.. think they could fly circles around a bat.

              Shooting can be fast and furious when you get into a flight of them – results can be humbling. Seen guys that were pleased if they got 3 birds per box of shells.

              Living next to a large beaver flood we flights of them coming through every fall as they are migrating. Haven’t hunted them in years but I always enjoy walking through the alders to watch them flush.


              • Vana2
                Never have hunted Woodcocks but did hunt Grouse in West Virginia with my dad and they are just about the same if not as hard to hit.

                We were hunting one day and had stopped to listen and look around for some grouse and after about two minutes of listening and looking there was one right between my legs that when it flushed first it scared the dickenss out of me and by the time I got three shots off at it, it would duck behind a tree every time the firing pin hit the shell so while there was plenty of bark flying off of trees there was no grouse hitting the ground.

                So I do believe that Grouse are very similar to woodcocks in difficulty of hitting in heavy timber as they know how to use the trees as cover also. but it was a very fun day trying to hit one as I never did get one grounded but emptied a box of shells quite fast as you say and would have been happy with just one.

                I did do a good bit of duck hunting in Florida as kid and blue winged teal are just about as hard and quick as Grouse and Woodcocks to hit in the air as I believe they can also hear the firing pin hit the shell before it actually fires and dodge the shot pattern just about as well as the grouse and woodcock and possibly better since they have no trees to use as cover but just their quick reaction times. Compared to Mallards and other ducks the blue and green winged teals are the hardest to hit for sure.


                • BD

                  Those blue-wings are FAST – especially if they are being shot at!

                  Was never much into the duck hunting – too much sitting and I prefer to be moving around. Jump-shooting woodies and mallards in the small ponds can be fun. Tried duck calling but could only attract crows – guess they were coming over to see what was dying LOL! Gave up on that pretty quick!

                  One thing I noticed with duck hunting was how the birds would flair away just as you were coming up to shoot. Didn’t know why until one fall morning when I was flying a Cessna 150 about 1000 feet over a large marsh – you could easily tell which blinds were occupied by the VERY noticeable flash of the light reflecting off of the gun barrel. I always made a point of taping my barrel after that.


                  • Vana2
                    You are right about that the glare of the guns would spook them but we built our blind right in the path of three flyways with one being head on two us and the other two at 120 angles from either our left or right sides so when they would flair from that flash of the gun barrels it actually gave a broad side shot at them as they had to slow to complete the flair they were sitting ducks ( pun intended) and we would get our daily limit most every day with in two to three hours so it was not a lot of sitting . then it was off to the ponds like you said to jump them by surprise and had great luck at that as well.


      • BB
        I shot two of my JB 90 grm cartridges in one sitting of shooting. No leaks because replaced the o-rings first that Buldawg came up with. And both were brand new cartridges from Wally world in a two pack.

        The way they acted was a nice shot consistency of groups out at 35 yards for a hundred shots roughly then the poi verses poa was gradually dropping of as I shot. By time I was around 150 shots I had to aim almost 3 mildots high at 35 yards to hit the target.

        Did you use the 90 grm JB cartridges or a different brand. Do you think that could be the cause of the lesser shots? Or do you just keep compensating your hold over as the cartridge empties?

      • BB
        I am like GF1 and wonder if the JB cartridges are not filled to an actual 88/90 grams like the package states as I turned the valve off when not in use and also shot two full cartridges from full to empty and only got 100 good shots before the POA started to drop.

        Like I said we have converted ours to HPA air using an empty cartridge and installing a foster fill fitting in the rear of it and only use 1100 psi as at 1200 psi plus the valve starts to loch as the hammer does not have enough energy to overcome the pressure.

        I plan to disassemble mine and see if I can increase the hammer spring tension or add weight to the hammer to use 1500 psi to gain more shot count and a little more velocity. I have read on other blogs that the valve and transfer tube cannot hold up to anything over 1500 psi since the pressure will unseat the transfer tube from the valve or cartridge block.


  4. Reminds me somewhat of my first summer job back in the 60’s.
    I was a “catch boy” in a burlesque show, which was pretty much just what it sounded like. I was required to crouch right inside the procenium, as close as possible without being seen from the audience and catch the discarded costume bits before they hit the floor so they wouldn’t get dirty.
    As you might imagine, it was only a little more fun than Tom and Otho were having with the Rocket Shot
    The “catch boy” job was $40 a week in 1966… And I couldn’t afford to pay penny more.

    • I wonder if it would shoot a water balloon or even just a balloon blown up with air.

      The blown up ballon could be a slow floating target.

      The water balloon could have that explosion effect when it was hit.

      Oh no now I’m thinking a tomatoe would be cool.

      I think I better stop now. 🙂

      • GF1

        Try a ballon tethered to a fishing weight with a 4 foot bright ribbon and a snap-swivel. We used to do this in the sand-pits and let the wind blow the ballon along. Great fun!

        I shot a sealed 5-gallon pail of water with a 12 Ga slug one time – that was very cool! Quite the splash!

        • Vana2
          That sounds like fun with the balloon.

          And yes shotguns and a gallon milk jug with water is fun. Also the .17hmr makes a milk jug with water explode nice.

  5. That *is* cool… Like skeet shooting for airguns.

    I just don’t have a place to shoot it. And I would have to get a repeating rifle. I’m not sure I could pull this off with a pistol 🙂

  6. If one doesn’t have a repeating airgun but you have a buddy to shoot with, you can shoot the paddle while your buddy attempts to shoot the flying target.

    • Siraniko
      That’s what I was thinking too.

      I was going to have my daughters take turn shooting at the paddle to launch the can. Then I would be standing next them to shoot when the can launches.

      That way you wouldn’t need a repeater or semi-auto gun to shot with. You could use your old faithful single shot air gun you already have.

  7. Great use of movie clips here plus your exclamation, “Got It!” coupled with the smiles on your and Otho’s face had me laughing. Loved your explanation of “conserving” the cans for all day use. I smell a new type of Field Target competition in the making.

    Fred DPRoNJ

  8. B.B.,

    You must have the best “triggered” 1077 ever, and I must have the worst. Actually the worst 3, as they are all the same. My guess is that my 1077s’ each have trigger pulls in the neighborhood of 15 pounds. Each has a few hundred rounds through it, but no breaking in seems to have begun as of yet. Accurate, very, but a heck of a finger workout!

    My solution has worked however! Crosman has two slots on the trigger guard to give the owner a head start in sawing the guard off. After getting rid of the trigger guard, I installed a double finger trigger shoe for paintball guns! That effectively cuts the trigger pull by 50 percent. With a trigger pull that heavy plus a safety to apply when one sets it down, it is a rifle that does not need a trigger guard.


    • Dakota,

      Don’t tell them all my secrets!

      Randy was the outlaw at Frontier Village, the amusement park where I was sometimes the deputy marshal. As he can tell you, I only won the gunfights because it was in the script. They timed my quick draw with a calendar.


  9. Totally off topic but some of you may be aware I bought a mint Diana 38 some weeks back and have been having a rare old fight with the accuracy….and I have finally made the breakthrough.
    The best 10 shot group at 16 yards I have got thus far was 1.5″…..some nicer groups inside…but that is essentially meaningless
    The barrel is tight, the stock is tight, the barrel is clean, there isn’t a trace of droop (there are opinions the 38 had a barrel and action that were factory matched for the, then burgeoning, sport of FT, and though I can’t find further evidence…it may explain why this action shoots so flat…if anything a touch high)
    However, it can’t shoot for toffee.
    No pattern to it, it scatters groups that I’m imagining probably, far and wide…I considered shifting scope zero’s, creeping mounts…all sorts.
    But deep seating has sorted the lot out
    Now, D34 (and this is one…with a To1 trigger) have a bevelled breech, this I know, but I can’t find any sign of pellet clipping when I open and close the breech….obviously the initial push does something else, perhaps flaring the exposed pellet lip or something..but definitely destabilising it, because the old ball point trick has put the groups in the half inch range with RWS Superpoints, standing, unsupported, which is within shouting distance of my HW77 and HW35
    The D34 has to have some real questions over it’s best buy status
    This one may not be a drooper, but most are, making fitting an optic a challenge, Diana are aware of this and sell compensatory mounts, but why?…why make life hard?.
    The ball bearing breech detent locks up hard, but the bottom of the pellet dangling out is simply not an acceptable solution, it affects accuracy, it doesn’t seem to in every case, maybe with some looser, shorter skirted pellets it can be overcome with a good finger press, but certainly not with the RWS Hobby and Superpoint or the H&N FTT…..and these are popular pellets
    (And this one is not immediately obvious)
    It is utterly true that the transfer port is more efficient picking up from the centre thsn it is from the offset position the barrel is inline with
    However cutting a dog legged TP from the centre to the offset is significantly less efficient than either position…a UK tuner fills the TP on Diana’s and then drills straight through, he then takes 1.5 inches off the spring to bring the power back down to original levels, making the rifle milder and easier to cock with no further modification…..Diana!…try this in a lunch break one day…it works.
    The screw on scope/diopter mounting needs to be steel, and select a bigger drill from the box for the scope stop pin…this is a no cost solution.
    Make the triggers from aluminium or steel, some people don’t like plastic, some people don’t mind…..but nobody dislikes a metal trigger…why polarise people for less than a dollar.
    Diana 34…best buy?….maybe…but you have to know it’s flaws….and they are many…and they aren’t there on a HW95/R9
    Hopefully Mayers new owners will take heed, because the problems with this rifle are design ones and are mostly almost costless adjustments….heck it must be cheaper to drill a straight TP than one with two corners!

    • Dom,

      I have criticized the 34 as well, mainly because of the cheap plastic front sight and the poor scope rail. A rubber buttcap also wouldn’t hurt (my “Panther” has a fairly hard plastic one).

      It does, however have a metal trigger blade since they introduced the T06. I think the whole trigger is very good.

      It seems my rifle doesn’t seem to droop very much. I shimmed the rear mount a little with duct tape and I can sight in my scope just fine. I am actually on my second barrel since I swapped the original one for a “classic” barrel that accepts a metal front sight and they are both the same in this regard.

      I also don’t have a problem loading pellets. I give them a good push and make sure the barrel isn’t pointing upwards when i close the barrel. That’s it.

      So far, I don’t think any comparable breakbarrel has bettered the performance of the 34 that BB tested (less than half inch groups at 35 yards). That has to count for something.

      From a look and feel point of view, I like the HW35 a little better. It also is a little nicer to shoot.

      But still, I think I might have judged the Diana a little too harshly in the past. It shoots really well, even without a lot of technique, regardless whether it’s the 7.5 joule version that I have or the full power version that I have also shot.

      If GSG can fix the details and keep the accuracy and attractive price, it will be hard to beat.


      • That’s what I find so frustrating about it, the details, they are so minor but have for 3 weeks entirely ruined this rifle for me, this afternoon, at 15 metres I put 25 pellets into 10mm (then lost concentration) standing….that was inconceivable yesterday….I was getting 10 in 60mm….for the want of pushing them in.
        The fact that not all rifles suffer from needing to be deep seated, and it’s utterly vital with mine, that most droop but the amount varies and mine doesn’t at all….suggests to me some QC is well off at parts of production….at complete odds with the part of the line that is responsible for finish.
        This is now a handsome and accurate rifle….provided I have a ball point around…but I very nearly moved it on or relegated it to the back of the cupboard, what a novice would have made of it I don’t know. i suspect I do know actually, this is like new, hardly shot over the years since 1988, and I think I’ve discovered why….no one could make it shoot well enough to enjoy it.
        It’s not good enough to be honest, you buy European so you don’t have to work around QC issues.
        I can see why export models save cash on the open sights, but for home market 7.5 joule you would think they would put the best quality open sights on.
        And I must say, I prefer the 3 bearing TO1 trigger when it’s nicely run in, but the TO6 is sweet.

    • That’s the reason I was wondering what the barrel length was! It sounded awfully long for a Springer.
      I would never encourage someone to cut it in half but I’m wondering which end could be easier to remove all but about 10″ of it.Kudos with the deepseating! I consider that confirmation of my diagnosis.

        • It has been the subject of many discussions in the comments of many blogs.
          I’ll have to ask for some help in guiding you to a good blog on optimal barrel length for spring guns.
          Good luck!

          • Oh right, no I get that bit, I think around 12 to 14 inches has been shown to be optimal depending on calibre and stroke.
            But those are power efficiency issues rather than the accuracy issues I was having, so not really related to deep seating as such.

            There used to be a few outfits in the early days of UK FT specialising in fitting the 7″ barrel from Feinwerkbau pistols on to Feinwerkbau springers…to great effect.

            • Once optimal length has been exceeded what’s leftover only creates drag on the pellet, beginning destabization before the round ever gets out the barrel.
              Is Airgun barrel length important? B.B. weighs in on that blog.

              • No, I don’t think that is entirely correct, once the air has finished propelling it, all you have left is friction, no real reason for destabilisation, in many ways the opposite, having a large charge of air blasting past the pellet as it leaves the muzzle would probably be more disruptive.
                His Weihrauch HW35 Luxus wears a mighty 22″ barrel, and a particularly low power output, accuracy isn’t affected in any significant way….it IS ideal to have the most power efficient barrel length, and TP, and stroke etc etc, because that allows you to run a weaker propelling spring due to the greater efficiency…thus cutting recoil
                This Diana has 19.5 inches of tube, which is on the long side these days, but I just put 25 pellets in about half inch…so the length isn’t creating any accuracy issues.
                The half wit who designed a bevelled breech where a mm of pellet sticks out on the lower edge has caused my problems top to bottom, tucking that in with a ballpoint and the barrel can be 4 ft long for all the target can tell (though it might just roll out at that length lol)

                • I would like to get hold of a shorter 177 barrel for it, preferably screw cut for an air stripper, this barrel would look silly with 4″ of air stripper on it…like a spear 🙂
                  I think the bevel cut breech could be less of an issue with the smaller ammunition

                • Sounds like chamferimg a leader would be the thing to do in that case.
                  I think I still have RDNA’s contact info.
                  I’ll try to get hom explain how his experiment came to fruition and what the outcome was.

  10. That takes reactive targets to a new level. And it also plays to the strength of airguns. Despite the general interest in making airguns more powerful, I think their strength lies in the other direction. More powerful airguns just get you weak firearms. But if you can make low-powered airguns that preserve the shooting experience you can expand your shooting into a lot of new environments. These aerial targets are a case in point. With a firearm, you would literally need miles of open space for shooting safely at that elevation, but with an airgun you have a lot more possibilities. Nice yard by the way.

    B.B., did you try the Lucky McDaniel instinct shooting techniques? His book that you recommended was so interesting. If I had your set-up, that is the first thing I would try. My one opportunity was with a double-barreled shotgun, and I missed cleanly with both barrels. Otherwise, I try to simulate snap shooting on my stationary target at home. That’s an interesting comment about the ineffectiveness of optical sights which I take to mean red dot sights. Weren’t these sights modeled after anti-aircraft sights used on heavy bombers in WWII? Maybe the different scale of the shooting undoes this comparison. Wouldn’t it be easier to try one shot per launch than the three you mention?

    About the only recommendation I would make for improvement would be to change the trigger mechanism. At first, I thought you were shooting the can before it had launched. It reminded me of a scene from a recent film by Bruno, the crazy comic character played by Baron Sacha Cohen. He plays some kind of MidEast strongman running a sprint race. When everyone is lined up, he bolts out of the blocks before the start and then shoots the referee… Anyway, I wonder if there could be some kind of foot operated remote trigger. Isn’t there something like this to raise field targets after they are hit so that you don’t have to walk out to reset them?

    Otherwise, I wonder if there’s a way to vary the challenge. Hitting anything on the fly is difficult, but there should be some way to allow progress. I suppose you could put the launcher at a greater distance. Hitting multiple times on one launch seems like a quantum leap in difficulty. I believe that clay launchers for shotguns have some way of varying the angle of launch. I suppose that could be done with this by sticking it into the ground at different angles, but that would interfere with the trigger mechanism. On the subject of difficulty, a relative of mine was a top turret gunner on a B-17. He said that their training included riding around a track in the bed of a pick-up truck and firing shotguns at clay pigeons launched from the interior!? No doubt that was to teach people how to track targets while in relative motion, but that seems beyond hard. Still, he said that he hit 30/30 clays. But it didn’t ultimately prevent him from getting shot down and taken prisoner. And he says that he identified the plane that got them which must mean that he had his sights on it. But I don’t know how you could produce relative motion for the launcher unless you had a Segway. Anyway, an all-around interesting product.


    • Matt,

      Thank you for having such faith in me. No, I used the B.B. Pelletier method that goes like this –“Keep shooting. Sooner or later you’re going to hit. Film them all and edit out the 87 where you missed. Oh, and use humor to mask your poor shooting skills.”

      Gets ’em every time!


      • Ha ha. Well, I think we established that there is a high correlation between shooting and photography skills. Also, anti-aircraft gunnery seems based on putting up a wall of lead, so maybe you’re on the right track.


  11. B.B.:

    Tossing the can straight up reminds me of the “teal” in sporting clays (the clay is tossed straight up – it is supposed to mimic a teal coming off the water). One the “tricks” that I was taught in sporting clays is to take the bird at the top of its arc when it is basically just sitting there.

    In the videos, the trap (launcher) looks to be mounted perfectly upright so that it is throwing at 90 degrees to the ground. What happens if the stake is placed at an angle? Will it still throw the can?

    I can envision a bank of 3 to 5 of the traps: One mounted at 90 degrees, one tilted left, one tilted right, one tilted away from the shooter, and one tilted towards the shooter. Use a second shooter to trigger the trap so that the first shooter does not know which can will be launched. You would have the air gun version of sporting clays. It would be expensive for an individual but for a club or group, it would be fairly reasonable.

    BTW, have you tried the trap with a pellet machine gun?


    • Reb
      I could imagine that. But the Monsoon is gone.

      Kind of messing with my rimfire guns again. I couldn’t shoot them safely at my old house. I had to drive about 15 miles out to my brothers to shoot the .22 caliber and up firearms. So it was air guns most of the time there.

      But now where I’m at it is unincorperated so that means I can shoot firearms there. And I got the area to do it so been shooting both firearms and air guns. And the .22 rimfire has took the place of my Monsoon and that’s why Buldawg ended up with my Mrod. Plus I got a fair amount of .22 rimfire ammo.

      So that’s why I’m liking this Rocket Shot. It’s perfect for the type of airgun shooting I do. Mostly I like the feild target idea if shooting and I like to mix up the type of targets I have. So the Rocket Shot fits right in.

      • I was kinda wondering if it would still have enough power to activate the compound out there.
        Too bad about the Monsoon & M-rod, but I always loved gunfire too.
        I just don’t have a place to shoot anymore or my 550 woulda been up and running a long time ago,
        Even if I had to buy brand new parts!

        • Reb
          The Monsoon and the Mrods served their purpose well at the old house. But now its time for some firearms again.

          But that don’t mean I’m abandoning my air guns. I love air gun shooting and tuning and modding. They serve their purpose just like the firearms have their trates that suite them.

          But I got them all out every weekend shooting together. It’s just nice to shoot just about whatever I want again without driving somewhere to shoot the big stuff.

          • Yeah, I gotta get outta this town!
            I found a deal on a telescopingp pocket-pole that comes with a spinning reel, baitcaster & flyreel for $25 that’s supposed to be here Friday. I’ll be spending a few nights under the stars watching my lines before much longer. Of course every campsite needs an air gun.

            • Reb
              You know what that sounds fun to. I use to do alot of fishing growing up. Our farm was on the back side of a major lake. So I was always out there fishing. And continued to fish throughout the years.

              The farmer by us has got a lake and pond by his house and said I can fish there whenever I want. So I need to make some time to start doing that this summer to. Just like the old days I’ll strap the fish’n pole on the back rack of the 4 Wheeler and the gun on the front rack. Well almost the same. Use to have a dirt bike when I was a kid. But still should be just as fun. 🙂

  12. Edith
    I know the link to the soda can launcher was 400 bucks and required an AR -15 which I have but it launches full soda can not empty ones so it is basically a portable mortar in essence

    it is expensive but in my opinion no more so that a launcher that only throw empty can 12 feet in the air for 35 bucks as I will never pay that much for one as I said I can build one that would work better for less if I was inclined to do so.

    Just found it to be a neat concept just as the empty can launcher is.


  13. Gunfun1
    Yea clay pigeons would be laying around the yard but they dissolve in water so the rain would eliminate the pieces.

    I don’t drink sodas or beer enough that I would not have any cans to launch and never enough to recycle so it just not a practical option for me as I would have to raid my neighbors trash for the cans to shoot in the launcher.


      • Gunfun1
        yea that would happen or most of them would just save them for me as I could put a five galloon bucket outside and they would fill it up but then it better be a 55 gallon barrel as I got a lot of beer drinker in my neighborhood. LOL


        • Buldawg
          And just think you would be doing the environment good. You could recyle and get money on top of it for your can targets. Nothing like getting paid for your hobby.

          • Gunfun1
            Ah yes that would be good to recycle but I don’t have enough time in a day now as it is so I would have my 8 foot bed of my truck full before I could find the time to go empty it but yea that would most definitely buy a lot of pellets.

            may just have to try that.


            • Buldawg
              We save up our aluminum cans and take and recycle them about once or twice a month. It’s not alot. But if you don’t its like throwing free money away.

              • Gunfun1
                Yea I agree but I would have to find where the recycling center is as I know we have one but have never been there .

                May need to start doing that even if they don’t get shot up as money is money in this day and age,


                • I was averaging $75 a day when I lived in Abilene, just picking up scrap in the alleys. Some days were better than others. I had a couple$300 days and I worked like I wanted to.

              • My patio storage closet has so many boxes & bags of cans I can hardly get in It but hauling them on my bike would take about a dozen trips and be dangerous. I’ve been working on a ride to get them cashed in but all my friends are working throughout the day and school is out so my standby is babysitting.

                • Reb
                  Our recycling center for aluminum can and the scrap metal place are two different locations so the recycling place pays more for cans than the scrap metal place does I believe but not sure so would need to check that out.

                  I have a good bit of scrap metal such as brake rotors and old transmissions that would bring good money and actually bring more if I separate the steel from the aluminum in the trans which I will do this fall as its just way to hot to even think about it now. it is at 98 degrees here today with a heat index of 108 so I am staying inside for today and most of the rest of the week as it is not going to get back to the low 90s or high 80s till this weekend and I can not handle high heat as I get exhausted and out of breath very quickly.

                  I hope you get a ride to get all your scrap metal turned in as you need the money for sure. I will eventually get mine done it just has to cool off outside before I can separate the steel from aluminum because the pay 50 bucks for a complete trans but if separated I can get 100 plus for the aluminum and close to that for the steel by themselves so it worth separating.


  14. Gunfun1
    That’s what I would use to build a soda can launcher is the same design as we have used to launch potatoes only size the barrel for soda cans and it could be for either full or empty cans and could use either compressed air or hair spray as an pressure source to launch them with and it would go way higher than 12 feet and cost much less than 35 bucks.


    • Buldawg
      Yep the potatoe gun would be cool to launch a can.

      But why do you want to shoot the can higher for anyway. That would just give you more time to hit the can.

      I say keep how high the can flys low to make it more challenging.

      • Gunfun1
        I want them to go high so I have time to empty the 12 shot clip into them before they hit the ground or do like Annie Oakley or Bill Hickok would do and keep them in the air with every hit I just need a Monsoon or SMG to hit them hard enough to keep them flying in the air with every hit,


        • Buldawg
          I can see that. But like you mentioned earlier. Just have somebody throw them up in the air. That’s what we did when we was kids.

          We use to shoot the .22 caliber rimfire bird shot at the cans. And the .22 longs was good for that in the semi-autos.

      • You need one of these 2stage 30 gal. Air compressors with the Quick-dump 2.25″ bungs welded into the side like the one I got set to 150psi!
        Lemme know if you’re interested. 🙂

        • Reb
          I already played around with some shop compressor low psi shooting.

          Got pretty good idea about what it will do.

          Take and rig you up a plastic air tube on the end of your old 760 with a low pressure gauge. Pump the gun up 10 times and shoot it with out a pellet or bb.

          Tell me how high the pressure gauge spikes up to on the reading. It will be a lot lower than you think. It does not take much air to push a pellet out of a barrel.

    • We were launching tennis balls and croquet balls outta 8′ lengths of aluminized tubing with oxy/acetyline mixture at a couple of the shops I worked back around Y2K

      • reb
        I have never used OXY/Acetelyne as it way to dangerous as compared to hair spray or carb cleaner as a fuel source for potatoes or ball launchers plus its harder to come by unless you work in a shop that does welding repairs or such.

        When at Harley we had one like you stated with using 175 psi air and a quick dump valve that would launch potatoes 200 plus yards using a 8′ pvc barrel just like you stated above and that all is determined by the volume of the air chamber you use to propel the ammo as we had a 6 inch by 4 foot air chamber pressurized to 175 psi and could dump all that air in less than a second into the 8 foot 2 inch barrel so it worked quite well.

        Just look at what the pumkin chunkin cannons can do with a pumpkin shooting them almost a full mile with compressed air. So I would use PVC pipe and compressed air to make my can launcher and it would be far less than 35 bucks and be variable in its power level as well.


  15. My can launcher is a board on a fulcrum. Stomp foot on the end, the can flys into the air and you shoot it with what ever you have. My friends and I typically use Red Ryders. This is in addition to the shook up can swinging on a string from a tree while we shoot at it from lawn chairs. Still great fun all these years. I see where this would be a lot of fun.

    • It was actually quite simple; crimp off a piece of pipe and anchor it under the rack pointed safely out the door.
      Get the mixture right on the torch, snuff it on a flat surface and replace the unlit torch in touch hole for 1-2 seconds, relight torch and touch off.

    • J.Lee,

      Your comment posted without a problem. I also see that you successfully posted this comment earlier in the day:

      Submitted on 2015/06/24 at 3:18 am
      Thank you for accuracy of this report! As always! I know competition shooters that believe in re-sizing pellets! Pelletgage and re-sizing are not the same and should not be confused or compared to each other! This may change manufacturing of and use of pellets from top to bottom! What about the R 10 pellets etc.? I would think that it would make a difference for hunters as well as competitive shooters in small clubs around the country? I want the best for my bang! Regardless! While entertaining myself or competing and hunting! Semper fi!


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