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Education / Training What do you do when…?

What do you do when…?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Scopes move ALL the time
  • The secret to scope movement
  • Scopes move for other reasons
  • The secret to parallax elimination
  • The secret to parallax elimination
  • Open sights are rarely sighted-in
  • The secret to hitting what you shoot at
  • Magazine feeding problems
  • Making bad triggers good
  • Live with it

Today I’m going to talk about some things that never come up as full topics, but do get discussed peripherally a lot! I’m referring to the little things you encounter at the shooting range — the quirks that all guns, both firearms and airguns, bring to the table.

Scopes move ALL the time

I was at the range a couple weeks ago with Bob, my brother-in-law. We were sighting-in his AR-15 and also shooting a Mauser that Otho had. Bob mentioned once that even though he was shooting from a rest, he could never get Otho’s scope to stop moving.

Hollywood has taught the non-shooting public that images seen through rifle scopes are completely still and in sharp focus. Shooters know different. No matter who you are the image in the scope will always move. Just your heartbeat is enough to make it move, though people don’t appreciate that until they become shooters. It’s one reason some people prefer iron sights. The image still moves with them, but you can’t detect it nearly as easily.

The secret to scope movement

The secret to scope movement is to use it to become a better shot. First, hold the rifle so the movement is as small as possible. When shooting off a bag I can keep the movement down to 1/8 inch at 50 yards on most days and if I really try I can cut that in half. I know because I know the sizes of the rings in the bullseye I’m shooting at and I can see the scope’s reticle moving against them. If you watch the reticle very carfully, you will soon learn how to reduce your scope’s movement by a significant amount.

Scopes move for other reasons

On the same day that Bob was seeing movement in his scope, I was seeing movement of a different kind in mine. My movement was caused by parallax. I was shooting my AR-15, which many of you know will put 10 shots into 1/2-inch at 100 yards under ideal conditions. My rifle has a Tasco Custom Shop 8-40X56 scope that I run on 30X. I can see small ants walking on my targets at 100 yards. But on this day I noticed about a quarter-inch of reticle shift, depending on where I placed my head on the A2 stock. That’s with all the parallax dialed out of the scope by the available adjustments. In other words, regardless of what the ads say, there is still some parallax in all scopes.

Tom with AR
The scope on my AR-15 is large and powerful. I discovered that it has some parallax even when properly adjusted.

Before you ask me what parallax is, I probably need to write a report on it for you. For some people it is a most difficult concept to understand. For now just accept that it is at the root of aiming errors with scope sights.

The secret to parallax elimination

To remove all the parallax you have to place your sighting eye in the same place every time. The way to do this is to place your cheek on the stock at the same place — both front and back and also up and down — every time. An A2 stock has no geography (contours) to key on, so it’s best to place a piece of coarse tape at the spot you want your cheek to rest. With other rifles I find places on the contours where my body parts fit, and they tell me where I am, but the military A2 stock has no such features.

Open sights are rarely sighted-in

I mentioned in my last report on the Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver that the open sights had me shooting to the left. It has fixed sights and it has been my experience that very few guns of any type with fixed sights shoot to their point of aim — ever. I learned that many decades ago and nothing I’ve seen since has changed it.

When I was younger it was very common for people with first generation Colt SAAs to both bend and file down the front sight blade to bring the point of impact to the point of aim. But years later I read a huge article in Gun Digest where a man had made a jig with a hydraulic press to bend his entire barrels at the range. I was fascinated by that article and it was what eventually inspired me to write my report on bending airgun barrels.

The secret to hitting what you shoot at

Of course you don’t have to bend the sights or the barrels of your airguns. As long as you know where your guns shoot you can aim off (Kentucky windage) by the right amount to hit what you are shooting at.

Most revolvers with fixed sights, like this Single Action Army, do not shoot to the aim point as they come from the fsctory.

If you get a gun that has fixed sights, remember what I said. Some of them do shoot to the point of aim, but in my experience it is either a coincidence or else you have a gun that has been specially regulated by the factory to do so. Gun writers talk a lot about the regulation of gun sights to the point of aim, but my experience is it is exceedingly rare to find a regulated gun.

Magazine feeding problems

Have you heard the joke where the guy says to the doctor, “Doc, it hurts when I raise my arm like this. What should I do?” And the doctor replies, “Don’t raise your arm like that.!” Well, the cartridge magazines in repeating guns can be like that. I have a Spanish Destroyer, for example, that likes the bolt to be worked slowly and deliberately. Work it fast and the rifle jams every time. I have a Remington 788 bolt action rifle in 30-30 caliber that is a horrible feeder. The 30-30 case is a rimmed cartridge that is best-suited to single shot actions and lever action repeaters. It doesn’t respond well to a stacked box magazine like the 788 has — although a circular magazine like the Savage model 99 rifle and the Mannlicher Shoenauer rifles have works well.

Spanish Destroyer
Spanish Destroyer shoots a 9MM Largo pistol cartridge. It was used by prison guards and police. Though it is a repeater, the cartridge feeding is very rudimentary.

Next time you complain that your repeating  pellet rifle doesn’t always feed smoothly, know that you are in a long line of firearm predecessors. Your choice is to learn the gun’s preferences and apply them, get rid of the gun or modify it so it works better. All three will work, but sometimes modifying an gun is very impractical. I usually keep the ones that shoot accurately and learn how they prefer to be operated. The inaccurate ones don’t stand a chance with me.

Making bad triggers good

I have shot guns with bad triggers — bad by anyone’s definition. Either they were heavy or they had a lot of creep or, worst of all, they had both. Even then, some of those guns were ones I shot a lot because their triggers were so predictable. It is predictability and not lightness or crispness that makes a trigger good. I know I will take a lot of flack for saying that, but that’s how I feel.

I had a Trapdoor Springfield that had a 5 pound trigger, yet it was glass-crisp and completely repeatable. I knew exactly when they gun was going to fire.

The 1873 Trapdoor Springfield with its characteristic breech block open. The trigger is heavy but completely predictable.

You’ll never win a target match with a Trapdoor, unless you are competing against other Trapdoors, but they do have predictable triggers. They can be very positive, after their own fashion.

Live with it

If today’s report sounds like I’m say you need to live with your problems, I guess I am. So many times people come to me wanting to change things that can’t easily be changed. They do it thinking I must know how to make things better. Sometimes I do, but often I have to tell them that a 5-foot-4-inch basketball player is never going to be a center in the NBA. Nor is it feasible to get a safe 6-ounce trigger pull on a Colt Single Action revolver. Sometimes we have to learn our equipment and adapt to how it works.

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.

113 thoughts on “What do you do when…?”

  1. Well that’s funny but there is two things in today’s blog that I just talked about with two different people.

    The first is the reticle wiggle dance I call it. And I’m talking bench resting a gun. I’m not so bad with the reticle moving up and down in relation to the target but I do have the reticle dance from the left and right of my target.

    I have been shooting with a saw horse with 2×4’s attached to give the right shooting height. Then I lay a towel folded in half over the 2×4’s then rest the gun on the towel. Like I said I’m pretty rock solid on the up down reticle movement but the side to side wiggle is there.

    I ordered one of those Monkey bags and its suppose to be here tomorrow. So I’m hoping that the bag layed over the 2×4’s will give me more support. I hope it takes the side to side sway out of the equation. I plan on getting serious with my 25 cal. Marauder I just got a little while back out at some longer distances. (100 yards and plus) Any wiggle out the farther you shoot multiplys how much more you can be off on hitting your target. So I’m looking to try to really steady up my bench rest hold.

    Then the other thing is the Kentucky windage. I was talking with somebody else about that and what I’m talking about kind of helps with trying to hold steady on something. My dad taught me this about the Kentucky windage and it works pretty good.

    If the wind is comming from the left of you and your target then what I do is place my reticle above my target and on the left side of the bullseye. Or if we are talking feild target then I place the retical on the left side of the kill zone hole in the feild target. Then while I’m holding to the left I slowly move down till the cross is where I want it or the mildot. I stop for just a split second then pull the trigger. If it don’t feel right as i m moving down and stop I don’t shoot. I start over and come down and shoot.

    It actually works pretty good that way once you practice it for a bit. And you don’t have to think about your windage hold. You just put your reticle off to the side the wind is blowing from.

    I have really had to deal with that out here at the new house. It’s all open and seems like always some kind of wind blowing. But that has helped me to not have to do the reticle wiggle dance on my target.

  2. Referring to the points made in thearticle, as usual you “put’em allin the ten-ring”. My simple, old-school terminilogy is pretty much the same but not NEARLY as entertaining to read… ” reasearch, then adjust & adapt” in your chosen manner.

  3. BB.
    I agree with you regarding the part were you say PREDICTABILLITY of the trigger is the most important part. My r1/hw80 has a 3 stage trigger. The third stage being a minuscule amount of creep. I know exactly where its at…. and itsverry light. So in this case, its sort of a match trigger.
    But my pure bred target rifles have a superlight trigger. For the smallbore 25m running boar events I adjust the trigger to a point that it is only a 1 stage trigger. The trigger on my fwb 300s is extremely light…. if you just LOOK at it….it alreadt fires. Ive just bought a fwb 600, ive adjusted the trigger a tad heavier than the 300s. Why? Ive only had it for a week. If I get to know the 600 better, then Ill dail down the pull weight. So my point is:
    Know thy trigger

    • Don’t you just love those Feinwerkbau triggers? They were able to design a trigger for a spring piston air rifle that you could adjust to any way you wanted it. It is a shame that litigation prevents us from having such nice triggers on most air rifles today.

      • Yes indeed it is.
        Ofcourse you can adjust some triggers yourself. For instance, I also have a .177 hw 85 with a long barrel. The person at the weihrauch plant who assambled this particular trigger must be a vivid shooter. Its the lightest and most refined weihrauchtrigger Ive ever shot. Theres nothing you can do to it to make it even better. But I get your point.
        Thr fwb 600 shoots 575fps. Its not much…. but its capable of a oneshot crow kill at over 20 meters (headshot). I know that for a fact.
        Everyone should at least own 1 german 10m airrifle. Forget the power…you dont (always) need it. For rabbitcontrol I use my .22 r1/hw80. For corvids, a scoped fwb 300s is my preferred tool.
        Weihrauch should manufacture the hw55 again. Give it a nice hardwood tyrolean stock, powerplant should be 9 footpound, barrellock and that nice extra special matchgrade trigger (with the screw inside the screw).
        Im sure the market is ready to appreciate such a rifle.

        • I have owned a FWB601 and recently rebuilt and sold a FWB300S. I have another pile of parts that hopefully will become another FWB300S in the near future. I also have an AirForce Edge and an Izzy 46M. I do like 10 meter air guns.

          Walther and Air Arms are putting the pressure on Weihrauch. Who knows what the near future may hold.

          • RR,
            They should build a 12fp ssp.
            And for the very near future they should upgrade their QC and their tolerances. For instance, both the hw 85 and the hw 80 have a springguide that is much too small. I have a diana from the early ’60s. Its insides are precision made parts.
            The off the shelf weihrauch springs bend quickly and then break. Ive seen guts from other spring powered brands, they eliminate bending completely. Ive had 3 different hw97k’s….all of them were mellons. My hw85 has a crack in the stock at the pistolgrip. Come on…..its Weihrauch were talking about!!!

            I wrote a letter to H weihrauch sr about a year ago. I was competing in a 10m tournament. It was a fun-only-tournament. So I decided to take my hw 85 and I put a diopter on it and sighted in with r10 match rifle pellets. Each match was 12 shots. To my suprise I shot 116 points out of a maximum of 120 points. I won the springer class tournament and became 3th overall. So I reckoned on a good day, with a 7.5 joule hw 55, a perfect score would be possible. Man, that would be a great advertisement for Weihrauch.
            So I wrote them, and asked if they had an obsolete hw55 lying around that I could buy. But I wanted them to put in the best fitting parts they could produce. I wrote what great advertisement it would be if I won a tournament with a hw55. Ofcourse they did not apply.

            • DJ,
              A 12FPE SSP is not an easy thing to build. You have to compress a considerable amount of air to get that much out of a .177. Perhaps you can remember a few years ago that Webley had built a prototype that they supposedly were going to bring to production, but then they went belly up. On the videos you can see the shooter putting a considerable effort into cocking that thing.

              Right now I am saving up my pennies for a sproinger in .22. It will likely be a Weihrauch although like I said previously, Walther and Air Arms is really giving them a run right now. I hope the new owners of Diana step it up also. The new ones look real nice. I hope the quality will be there.

      • Hi folks,

        the trigger on my FWB300S is amazing and that gun is 42 years old.

        I have replaced the worn parts of the powerplant but I never gave adjusting the trigger the slightest thought. It’s simply perfect. Of course I don’t know whether the previous owner(s) have adjusted it this way or whether it came from the factory like this… but anyway… The Rekord and T06 are poor in comparison (I know they are designed for different things).


        • That is exactly what I was saying. A sproinger does not need to have a trigger that takes 10 pounds of pull and a half mile drag over a gravel road to release it at some time or another. I for one am willing to pay for quality.

      • BB
        I want to let you know Edith is still in our prayers and am glad to read that she has accepted that her recovery and ability to treat herself is now out of her control and has made the decision to let her care givers do that for her and is making it easier for and on her and will hopefully speed up her full recovery.

        I had not been able to post since Monday as I had my wife rushed to the emergency room from a walk in clinic that we went to for her to get her an antibiotic shot for a sinus infection she has been struggling with and while there had some severe chest pains as she does have some heart issues and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. All the tests came back with good result and showing no heart attack or damage but just angina pain which she suffers from at times so all was good news and just got home with her today so she is resting now.

        Just wanted to reiterate that please keep Edith as your number one priority as I know you are and understand the need to occupy your thoughts with work to keep your sanity in this long slow process of her recovery but we all will be and are here to support you with our prayers and truly understand if there is not a new blog every day.

        I very much liked todays blog as you made a lot of good points and gave good advice as I struggle with some of the very issue you have talked about especially in my FT matches that I have come to enjoy and look forward to every month and so far have continued to improve my scores at every match so as I have said on the blog I am only in competition with myself and so far have been winning at every match.

        You and Edith are in our prayers and the lord is there with both of you as are us all.


        • BD,

          Just to alert you, I’ve put you in Friday’s blog this week. This subject of equipment is too important to gloss over. You’ll see what I mean.

          And Edith is getting better, finally. She is now able to tolerate the pain and to sleep at night. The next goal is to get he out of that bed.


          • BB
            I am flattered and speechless as I am now anxious for Friday to get her to see what it is about and know it will be worth the wait.

            I am glad to hear that Edith is doing better and seems to have made it over the hump. Being able to sleep at any time in a hospital is success in itself as they never seem to leave you alone long enough for sleep to occur so yes the next goal is getting her out of the bed and we are all with you both helping hold you up with our prayers and thoughts.

            Time will let it all get better so GOD bless you both and is it Friday yet.


          • Tom, wonderful news that Edith’s pain seems to be lessening enough that the pain medicine she is using is helping her, at last. Hopefully, this is the beginning of her recovery. While the National Institute of Health’s website gives what is apparently an in depth explanation of Guillain-Barre (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gbs/detail_gbs.htm) we can only hope that Edith will respond quickly and recover shortly and not have a lengthy recuperation. I know I speak for everyone on the blog that we’re here for you, Tom, and all you need do is ask should you require anything.


    • Haha, so you followed my advice 🙂 Congratulations.

      I love FWB triggers for their predictability and transparent controls. Turn this 4 times, ease this 3 times, adjust that for half-turn – and voila, another predictable result. From “thought-operated” to “crack a pencil”, from 1 stage to 3.
      Heaviest FWB trigger is my mod. 65, then comes C62 with a long 1 and very short 2 stage – for 50 m with optics, then comes 300S with really “thought-operated” one for 10 m standing.
      And you’re right about the time/trigger weight. The more you know the rifle, the more you understand how it works and more potential you can squeeze out of it. So the more instinctive becomes your control and less “thought” action you need.

      • Yes. I went for the 600.
        Ive by now shot about 400 r10 pellets trough it. With my 300s I can shoot 119/120. On a good day 120/120 (old skool scoring system).
        I didnt manage that with the 600….yet. The 300s has a slow locktime. Since Im a follow-trough-aim shooter, the 300s suits my style. I dont fire when Im at the 10….. I fire COMING IN from 9 to the 10. With the fast 600, I ve gotta adapt my style.
        The 600 recoils too. I had to click down 2 clicks as were the previous owner left it. All the shots went “high”. So it IS hold sensitive.
        The fast locktime even got me thinking. … it caught me a few times during a pulsebeat. So then you score an 8 at 12 o clock. A small amount of recoil is no problem… cos you hold the rifle exactly the same every time.
        The pellets I use belong to the 300s. My gunsmith clamped the fwb in a vice, and then we tried a lots of different batches and headsizes. We only tried 2 brands: rws and h&n.
        After the holidays we ll do some pellettesting with the 600.

  4. Regarding shooting pellets from the Colt SAA BB revolver: I’m surprised you didn’t try a domed pellet. I thought I remember you once stating that a domed pellet with its weight forward was the most accurate from a smoothbore bbl.


    Joe B

    • Joe B,

      Well, I haven’t tried the Nagant BB revolver with pellets yet, so I could try a dome or two with it.

      At 10 meters domes don’t really have any advantage over wadcutters in most airguns, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.



    • Joe B,

      Must have moved huh? It was the Orcas Island, was it not? Washington is a beautifull state, from the pictures.

      Hope all is well with you,……Chris

  5. Nice article. It’s good to be reminded of things that we might have forgot or became a bit fuzzy on.

    As for reticle “wiggle”, somewhere in the back of my mind I always think that I should be 100% rock steady still.
    This “fantasy” never comes true of coarse and I soon realize the “reality” of timing the shot. Some days are better than others. A lot comes down to me doing what I am supposed to do each shot. A couple of poor shots or groups snaps me back to reality and says, “get with it man”. Focus, more shots and finding that automatic rhythm, and things start to come together. Usually.

    If all else fails, throw out some Ferrel cans and start shredding them. Nothing brings back your confidence like shredding some cans ! 😉

    • Chris,

      You aren’t alone in thinking that it is you and not physiology that’s wrong when the scope moves around. That’s why I wrote this report. I hear comments like this at the rifle range sometimes. Shooters who only get to the range a couple times each year are frustrated because they can’t stop the scope from moving. They may even know that it can’t be done but that doesn’t stop the frustration.


      • One of the secrets to holding steady has nothing to do with the gun or technique at all; it’s nutritional.
        Most people are deficient in magnesium either because of poor diet or because our modern food has very little in it.
        Magnesium is a naturally calming mineral and helps muscles relax, reducing twitchiness and allowing fine motor control. It does a host of other great things for the body. Magnesium, zinc and calcium are all three calming minerals. Zinc deficiency is also very common due to rapid depletion from stress, sweating, sweets and alcohol. Zinc hepls calm your mind and allows you to focus mentally on tasks.
        Most people get plenty of calcium but not the others.

        There is a great sports supplement called zma that combines an easily absorbable form of zinc and magnesium with some vitamin b6. I notice far less twitchiness when I’m getting plenty of these minerals, especially the magnesium. This is particularly noticeable at the firing range with my 9mm Glock, which has a laser. The laser dot will really show you how steady or shaky your hold is!!

        When you are calmer, you have better fine motor control, your heart beats less forcefully, and you have better focus, all of which help the art of shooting.
        You can research these minerals independently for yourselves. They have many other deep-reaching, essential functions.

  6. Chuck Norris and Lee Majors are the only ones without wobble.
    For us ordinary people, the principles apply to all positions, be it standing, prone, kneeling or benched. Get your heartbeat down….exit all air…. and shoot between the pulse beat. Yes, a scope magnifies every movement…. but it also makes you aware of the mistakes you make.

    • Chuck Norris wouldn’t have wobble *if* he shot guns.

      What he actually does is throw a bullet in the air and then roundhouse kick the Earth so the target moves towards the bullet.

      Geologists call the effects of this an “earthquake” while meteorologists call it “El Niño”.

      He once “shot” a .177 group size with 10 .50 caliber bullets.

  7. BB,

    great article and thanks for finding the time to do it.

    Those are some more of the things you simply don’t know in the beginning. So guns don’t shoot in a straight line? Not even at 10 meters? So scopes have drift and parallax and stuff? Barrels droop? There are differences between triggers?
    If I had found this blog earlier, it would probably have saved me some bad purchases and frustration 🙂

    Interestingly, the Internet is often more than useless. People on a forum ask for advice and describe what they want to do and people recommend what they have, would like to have or what they heard about from a friend who heard from a friend who once had a colleague who…

    It often goes like this:

    Beginner: “I would like to do target shooting in my living room at a distance of 5 meters. I want to spend up to € 250,- and the gun should be accurate. I live in Germany and I don’t have a gun license. My neighbours are sensitive to noise and one of them is a policeman.

    The replys:

    1: I have a € 25,- airsoft spring pistol that is awesome. Once I almost knocked over a coke can with it!

    2: You need an Anschütz PCP rifle for € 2000. Everything else is basically junk and not even good for hitting the broad side of a barn… from the inside.

    3. The M-16 machine gun is an amazing gun. It has great range and power and is one of the most popular machine guns ever!

    4. The AK-47 is far superior because it’s reliable even if you drop it in the mud or a tank rolls over it and armies, mercenaries and terrorists all over the world love it!

    The discussion then turns into an M-16 vs. AK-47 flamewar that goes on for 15 pages and the newbie rolls his eyes and leaves.

    I’m exaggerating, of course, but not by much.

    I think that’s the good thing about this place. Things are judged for what they are and there are rarely pointless discussions between fans of certain products. Also, you get practical advice that comes from actual experience and not from myths and hearsay…


    • Stephan,

      Oh my gosh! You are right on the money! I couldn’t have said it any better.

      You could write a blog with that style! I’m not kidding.

      I am going to print out your comment and read it to Edith when I see her tonight. She needs a good laugh!


      • Okay, another one for Edith…. but not half as funny as Stephan’s post.
        Its holiday time now and I was asked to jump in for the rifle instructor. It was scheduled a complete afternoon with 16 newbie shooters. The intention was to learn them the basics of standing shooting.This is what people pulled off….even after I instructed them how to shoot a rifle:
        @ all 4 fingers in the triggerguard.
        @ right handed shooter using his left eye
        @ instead of looking THROUGH the big 50mm scope….looking UNDER the scope and trying to aim with the front post.
        And last but not least (yes…this was a woman): she held the shoulderpad ON TOP of her shoulder and her eyes were parralel to the bore line.
        I trew everything over board, and they ended up benchrest shooting.

        • I had a student once, always the one to save a buck or two…
          When tasked to hang the paper target at the 100 yard range (as newbies usually are so as to keep the revered Instructor-San fresh and cheery on a hot day,) proudly returned to the bench after flipping the previous rounds’ target over so the other side could be used.

        • speaking of the right handed shooter, left eye dominate, that is my youngest son. I’ve tried to help him and can not. He can’t shoot left handed. I’ve tired to make him use his right eye, but it just doesn’t work. His best shooting (which isn’t great) comes from right hand/left eye. Short of putting him on shotguns, how do I “fix” this, if I can? I have not let him shoot with a scope/red dot yet. The “Peep” site does help him over the reg. blade rear/front post open site. I guess that “forces” his left eye to be a little “truer” with the rear sight. Any help from anyone please.

          • If he only shoots targets at fixed distances….then there is a solution. For the righthanded shooter with a dominante Left eye….you can buy a rail attachment that allows you to use the left eye. So instead of being on top of the receiver, the diopter is in front of the left eye.
            Cos of this particular set up, you can only shoot at one distance. The diopter and the tunnel are not aligned.

            For any other form of shooting….. I recommend you to either use a scope or teach him to practice shooting lefthanded. If you do…. make sure you teach him at least the 3 Olympic stances. If you train him classically….. he’ll benifit that for the rest of his shooting life

            • B.B.,

              A real “gem” with the link. Good article. Real love there.

              And if I do say so,….with the utmost of respect,……the model in the photo is quite the “hottie”.



        • Dutchjozef,

          Here’s a tip,….new students sign up for the class. Next,..read all articles of BB’s articles, including past ones,…including comments. Practice what you have learned in the mean time. Come back in 6 months for your first class.

          Second thought,….forget that,…..you would not have much of a class. 😉 ( if I am right,…you will have a bunch of wanna be instructors. )


    • Oh my, I seem to hear it in my head! 🙂

      Just to add on how to provoke tons of flame:

      – Throw out that springer, PCP RULEZ, PCP is POWER!

      – Throw out that silly tank and pump, be a self-sufficient shooter, not SCUBA diver!

      – Diana is the King, Gamo is for losers.

      – Weichrauch means business, Air Arms mean just fancy wood.

      – Ditch .22, .25 is The Only True Caliber!

      Whenever I see them I feel there’s a holy war somewhere around and my hand moves to click on the cross in the corner.


  8. CptKlotz-B.B. Great article! THANK YOU BOTH! “It often goes like this.” “The replys:” “I’m exaggerating, of course, but not by much”? “I think that’s the great thing about this place” Things are judged for what they are…… Semper fi!

  9. B.B.

    Excellent blog! There are some simple truths that must be first learned by heart and then understood.

    I’d like to add one more point: “Fitting rifle with a scope does not make you a sniper” 🙂
    Some people are really surprised and embittered that looking through crosshairs doesn’t make them an instant Carlos H. They absolutely refuse to understand that it’s not mouse, not point-and-click. It just helps _you_ to see the target better and thus raises _your_ mistakes to a whole other level.

    Best of regards to Edith


    • Duskwight,

      Well said! That is another lesson that has to be learned, because people just cannot believe that optical technology won’t make them better shooters.

      I might have to write a whole report about this phenomenon, because it extends into every aspect of shooting.

      Well said.


    • Duskwight,

      good point about scopes and becoming a “sniper”…

      There is another thing I have noticed that is somewhat similar:

      Whenever there’s a school shooting or something, there will be reports in the media about how the shooter has been playing violent video games. It is sometimes implied that, apart from making you violent, these games would teach you how to use weapons and actually make you a more skilled shooter.

      I have played many games from the “3D shooter” genre and sometimes I still play them. Now that I’ve been shooting rifles and pistols for a while, I notice that these games are actually *nothing* like actual shooting. The games often require quick reactions (and maybe skillful movement of the mouse) but shooting a gun accurately is totally different and seems to require technique, control and calmness to a much greater extent.

      In the end, the games are still designed to be entertaining and not to replace military training. I suppose a truly realistic “sniper” game would be the most boring thing in the world…


  10. Okay, I know this will sound like bragging, but amongst my shooting buddies (about 10 in all) I am considered the best long range (scoped) shooter. Not bragging because I’ll be the first to admit that I shoot pistol for fun…I suck at it 😉
    I attribute much of my success in scoped shooting to my career as a photographer (a lot of motorsports shooting with long lenses).
    I learned early on the big secrets of long lens photography….a couple of deep breaths, and shooting between breaths. Calming onself to steady the heartbeat.
    All transferred to shooting with a scoped rifle.

      • B.B.,

        To me in every hobby/interest I have, learning and discovery are at least 70% of the fun. Lifelong learners are never bored. That’s why I read this blog every weekday morning, along with my morning coffee — learning early in the morning is impossible without a good strong cup of coffee. I like it the way FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks) likes it: “Black as the sky on a moonless night.”


  11. B.B.
    I second what Kenholz said!
    So you use a piece of course tape to ensure your cheek weld? I would much prefer a nice Tyrollean stock. Thoughts and prayers, fingers crossed for you both too…..

      • Yes it has to fit “just right”. Said by somebody who has never shot a Tyrolean stocked rifle! Do you have any other “tricks” to ensure a consistent cheek weld? In one of the earlier comments somebody mentioned a saw horse and 2×4’s. I believe that what you sit on and how you sit can be just as important!
        Like “length of pull” are there various body metrics that shooters should understand? When I bench rest, I lean forward, thus lowering my head. Is this bad?

      • B.B.,

        I have just one Tyrolean stocked air rifle, but the only headache for me was finding the rare jewel, a Tyrolean FWB 150 LEFT-HANDED! Somewhere a hen is missing a tooth.


  12. Hi All.

    I am a member of a number of airgun forums and never really thought of why 99% of my reading is on this Blog. A couple of today’s comments put that into sharp focus…

    We have a relaxed and easy exchange of information with people from all over the world who have all levels of all skill, knowledge and experience. We have a respectful environment where anyone can ask a question or express an opinion and not worry about being flamed or ridiculed – even if it is not totally on topic. This is a special place!

    My sincere thanks to all of the members and special thanks to Tom and Edith for managing the blog.


    • Vana2
      I will second all you just said as I too visit many air gun forums scouring for any and all info some times with the good responses and sometime ones that you know are just filling you full of nonsense and leading you astray that for people with far less experience with mechanical, hydraulic and air operated systems could be made to cause harm or injury to themselves and/or others.

      I to find my most enjoyable and pleasant forum to get the info I seek with knowledgeable and varied responses from people with all forms of education and experience is right here and have never been made to feel unwelcome or like I was asking a stupid question.

      This is a special place indeed.


  13. B.B.,

    An excellent installment. I like these occasional “omnibus” reports.

    Regarding the reticle that won’t stay still, I feel that if it is extreme, then the magnification is simply too much. I have old and bad eyes, so I benefit from from magnification even at 10 meters, the distance of my basement range. 2X would be ideal. But that is not common, apparently, so I make do with 3X. But the few times I tried 4X or more at a short distance, the reticle danced like the little ball on “Sing Along with Mitch.”

    There, I made a reference that very, very few of us are old enough to know about! I like doing that. It kinda makes being old a membership in an exclusive club.


    • Michael
      I agree with you on the magnification. I always try to use the lowest magnification that I can and still see the target.

      And distance and size of the target makes a difference in what magnification I use. Most of my shooting is done on 6 magnification. And most of the time at 60 yards and in. So it does help take out that reticle wiggle. But longer distances like a 100 yards and a small 12 oz aluminum breaverage can I will probably turn up the magnification to 10.

      And it seems that the sight picture is clear and sharp at the lower magnifications plus you have a bigger feild of veiw. But yes I’m a low magnification shooter. Plus I shoot with both eyes open and the lower magnification seems to work better for me that way.

      • B.B.,

        I am indeed over the half century mark.

        I’ve found for Americans the test is whether they can finish this quote: “Most days Anthony takes his time going home, but not today. Today is Wednesday, . . . and Wednesday is____________”



  14. B.B. et al,

    Someone earlier said everyone should have a 10 meter gun. I have quite a few top of the line rifles but not a designated 10 meter rifle(or pistol). I have been struggling with this mentally with this very idea for about a year. Since I am such an avid target shooter I have frequently thought I should have a 10 meter gun, if for no other reason than to round out my collection. But because I rarely shoot rifle at that range I have been reluctant to spend the money on one. I do shoot pistols at 10 meters frequently however and enjoy it very much. But my thing is that if I had a quality 10 meter rifle I might like that as much as or more than a pistol. Another thing to keep in mind is that I will probably never be able to shoot a pistol one handed. I can do it pretty well but not for very long, only around 10 shots or so. My arm simply gets tired too quickly and of course then becomes quite shaky.

    So I am asking for a little advice. If you were going to own only one 10 meter gun would you suggest a rifle or a pistol? B.B., I’m pretty sure you will say pistol but what do other’s think? I am significantly better with rifles but as I said, I do enjoy pistol very much.

    Also, other than the IZH61 what pistol(s) would you recommend for less than $2,000 or does the IZH61 represent the best value? Which rifle(s) would you suggest for under $2,000? My biggest concern is quality and accuracy as opposed to gun type for the budget stated.

    I am open to suggestions from everyone.


    • G&G,

      I’m with B.B. 100 percent, no question, an FWB 300s.

      If you’re right-handed, they are plentiful and VERY cheap for what they are. Be sure to get one that has just been rebuilt and which has both front and rear sights that are original. (They alone go for half the price of the whole rifle.) Recent rebuilds with the blue seal usually chrony a little over 600 fps, which is reasonably hot for a 10 meter rifle. There’s a guy online who hunts large rabbits with one at 25 or more yards by placing the shot either in the eye or in the ear canal.

      Search FWB +”Jim E.” A great, honest guy who always either has one for sale or will have one very soon.


    • G&G
      One that I was lucky enough to be given and was shooting good when I got it but rebuilt it any way is the Daisy Avanti series of cadet 10 meter single pump air guns as those are what the youth shooters in the CMP are trained on and they shoot at 500 to 550 fps and include a LW barrel.






      All the above rifles are very accurate and come with competition aperture sights included.
      I have an 853 model in a 753 tiger wood striped stock that I have sighted in at our local CMP range and is far more accurate than I am but I manage to hit between the scores of 10.4 to 10.9 with it repeatedly with 10.9 being a perfect shot placing the pellet inside of a .177 inch hole at 10 meters.

      They vary in price but are a very great bargain for the price and will provide years of fun 10 meter shooting as that gun is what I taught my two grandsons to shoot with both at home and at the range. They had to become proficient shooters with the open aperture sights before they were allowed to move up to scopes and the more powerful air guns that I have.

      You cannot go wrong with any of those rifles I have links to .


    • G & G,

      Since you’re open to suggestions on a 10 meter gun I would suggest that you also consider a Walther LGR.

      It’s also a vintage 10 meter gun like the FWB 300 from the same period in time.

      The Walther LGR has a better trigger and is more accurate than a FWB 300. The LGR is also cheaper to rebuild.

      Given the same condition both the FWB300 and LGR have similar value/cost in the used marketplace.

      Although both the FWB300 and LGR are sidecockers, the throw or arc during cocking is longer/wider on the LGR. Never bothered me but it does bother some. Both are easy to scope if that matters to you.


      • Kevin,

        Without question, the LGR is superb. But if one were to own just one classic 10m air rifle?

        I feel the later FWB 300s models had better triggers than the LGR, at least mine are adjusted to be so. As for accuracy, well, even off a bench rest how could a mere mortal tell the difference?

        The LGR is slightly easier to scope than the FWB 300s, but I agree with you that both are quite scope-able. My several FWBs cock at an average of 9.5 pounds, so the cocking issue goes to the FWB, I think.

        As revered as the LGR is, it seems the Feinwerkbau 300s has achieved the quasi-official status as “The Dean of Historic 10m air rifles,” Kinda like the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s David, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Michael Jordan, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Jack Nicklaus, King Lear, Citizen Kane, The Beatles (pop), The Rolling Stones (rock), Led Zeppelin (hard rock), Black Sabbath (heavy metal), Hank Williams (country, male), and Patsy Cline (country, female).


  15. OK so I don’t know how to put this except could someone elaborate on this statement ( If you watch the reticle very carfully, you will soon learn how to reduce your scope’s movement by a significant amount. )

    • Speedbump,

      Welcome to the blog.

      What I meant by that w2as if you watch the reticle you will see what influence4s the gun’s movement. Soon you will learn how to not influence it that much. In other words, by watching the reticle move against the target you will learn instinctively how to stabilize the rifle.


    • Speedbump.

      For me, this was the biggest help…..bench rested, front of gun rested on a rest (no hand), the rear shouldered.

      Next, get on target, start with a 10mag. if you want. 1) Breath heavy in and out,….see what that does as you look at the target. 2) Now calm your breathing. Breath a time or 2 and hold your breath briefly. 3)Now lower the mag. down to 6 or so. Your “wiggle” will be much less.

      All 3 are separate exercises, no shots fired. No aim pressure, no hitting the bull pressure. Just look, (only) look.

      By doing just that, you will see very clearly what breathing, heart rate, hold and rest can do to your steady.

      While it’s just a start, it’s a huge start.


  16. Be careful with the bolt on your Rem. 788. The bolt stop is only a small pin which the bolt will shear if it gets the chance. Finding a new bolt stop can be an issue. We had problems with the bolt stops on our issue 788’s back in the 80’s. Some of the guys just had to slam them open.


    • Paw,

      I need glasses for reading. Distance vision is pretty darn good. Either way, there is (no) way I could scope and use scrip. glasses to look through, the head position is far too extreme. I remove them, or look over them while wearing them.

      Loading pellets is a bit harder if I leave them off, but holding the rifle a little further out when loading helps that. For me anyways, I am leaning towards looking over them for the most part.

      And while I do know either, I would think that if you you, or anyone does look through any part of perscription glasses that has correction built in,…..it would (have) to affect the shot and what you “percieve” to be on target while looking through a scope.


      • Chris USA
        I wear bifocals and shoot wearing my glasses and remember I shoot with both eyes open with no problems.

        I have tryed shooting without my glasses on and don’t like it at all. Hmm. Maybe it’s what you become use to.

        • GF1,

          But,…. do you look through any part of the lenses that have correction? No way I could do bottom,..readers,…( head position all wrong ),and really don’t think I could do top half. Minimal correction on top half, if any.

          It seems for me anyways, that the parralex and reticle focus take care of any vision issues I have.


          • Chris USA
            The only thing I use the bottom part of the lens for is reading and small things up close.

            I do use the upper portion of the prescription when I shoot.

  17. I have a line on a winchester 435. It’s missing sights, are they difficult to come by? Still deciding if I would like to acquire it. It’s a 68 dated rifle. Not asking too much but enough to cause pause. Needs a new red button pad too.

  18. Well, it appears most people recommend a springer for a 10 meter rifle. I am not surprised given the FWB300 leads the list but I really thought a pcp would sit at the top of the list. Maybet my budget dictated that. I think I will take the majority suggestion and go with a FWB300. So now the hunt begins.

    Any suggestions on where to start my search other than the Yellow, which of course I will peruse?

    Thanks to everyone.


    • G&G
      Talk to RidgeRunner. He had two of the 300s. I bought one and could of swore he mentioned selling the other one. I may be wrong about him wanting to sell the second one.

      Well RidgeRunner?

    • G&G,

      Your budget did catch my eye. I stayed out of recommendations, but I agree with you, I think a PCP in that $ ballpark would outdo a springer, of any type. If you have the PCP support equipment already, then I would (strongly) suggest asking your question again with PCP suggestions being the focus. Then,… go from there.


      • Alright,

        Now all have seen the question regarding why not a pcp 10 meter rifle in lieu of a springer. With the FPS of the springer does that make recoil a non issue which you wouldn’t have with a pcp in any event. Or, is the FWB that much more accurate than even any pcp? Or, is the budget too little for pcp’s to be considered?

        Only Bulldawg suggested non springer rifles. Again, are none of those rifles able to compete with a FWB300S?

        I am curious about your replies.


        • G & G,

          Not sure you saw my reply and recommendation.

          The Walther LGR is a SSP (Single Stroke Pneumatic). PCP characteristics but without the hassle of filling equipment. More accurate than the FWB 300.

          BTW, I have owned over 100 ten meter rifles. Mostly vintage.


        • G&G
          I suggest the 300 or even a Diana 54 air King. That way you will no for yourself hands on what a springer will do.

          The 54 is more of a feild target or target gun with more power than a 10 meter gun. But from me knowing the comments you made in the past that you also bench rest competion shoot. And I believe it was out to 25 yards and you were looking into 50 yard shooting also. I think you will be surprised what a 300 or 54 would shoot like.

          But don’t go by what I say. I still believe the best way is to try different guns and see for yourself. If budget is not a big issue then you might end up with a springer that is not as expensive as the pcp guns. That way you can try more out. I know I have. 🙂

    • G&G
      There is also the Crosman challenger 2009 or the Daisy 887 or 888 CO2/PCP guns that are ten meter PCP guns if you do have the support equipment to power them.


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