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Changing from lead shot to steel

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The first lead BB
  • Size matters
  • Advantages of air rifle shot
  • The dawn of steel shot
  • How lead shot tubes work
  • How steel shot tubes work
  • This information is worth millions

The first lead BB

When BB guns were new in the 1880s, they shot lead shotgun shot in the size BB. That’s where the name BB gun comes from. BBs were nominally 0.180-inches in diameter. Nominally means that they were supposed to be about that size and they were sorted by screens to ensure they were all close to that size, but let’s be honest — does it really matter whether a single piece of birdshot in actually 0.180-inches or 0.182-inches? Not to a shotgunner, it doesn’t. Maybe uniform shot gives a more uniform pattern, but there are other factors to consider, as well, and shot uniformity is only one of many things.

Size matters

For a BB gun, however, the size of the shot makes all the difference in the world! A single ball moves through a smooth bore that has to fit closely or power will be lost and accuracy will suffer. If the ball is too large it will stick in the bore. A size difference of just a few thousandths of an inch has a tremendous impact on the functioning of the airgun. So — while the lead BB shot was a good beginning, it was also a drawback that had to be overcome before the BB gun could evolve.

Most manufacturers were aware of the shot size problem, but Daisy soon became large enough to do something about it. Just after the turn of the 20th century they reduced the size of the shot to 0.175-inches and called it air rifle shot. That name was used by them for almost a century, though they are now calling their ammunition BBs like everyone else. They convinced shot makers to make the new air rifle shot that had no application for shotguns. Sure, it could be used, but there was no load data for the odd size and therefore no reason shot makers would make it for anything but air rifles. Making the shot smaller had several obvious advantages and one that was not so obvious.

Advantages of air rifle shot

Smaller shot used less lead, saving money. When the numbers produced run into the millions and billions, even a small difference mounts up! The smaller shot was also lighter, which boosted the velocity of the guns. But it also meant that the mainsprings could be weakened and still produce the same velocity that they got with the BB shot. That was what they did. They weren’t looking for greater velocity; they wanted easier cocking.

The hidden advantage was the fact that the new shot size was proprietary. As long as someone (Daisy) controlled quality (the size of the shot) through acceptance inspections, the problems of BBs getting jammed in the shot tube became a thing of the past. This new lead shot lasted from early in the century until sometime in the 1920s.

The dawn of steel shot

In the middle ’20s, Daisy started receiving returns of shot tubes that were split and filled with steel balls jammed inside. Cass Hough, grandson of Daisy’s founder and later president of the company himself, tracked the problem to Minneapolis, where he discovered the American Ball Company, a maker of ball bearings, was selling their scrap bearings of the appropriate size to local boys. There were three problems with this. First, these balls were not lead and did not work with the shot tubes in the air rifles that were then on the market. I will explain why in a moment The second problem is because they were steel, not only did they not work, they also ruined the breeches of the shot tubes in which they were used. And the third problem was the quality (shot size) standards of American Ball were too low, resulting in steel shot that was both oversized and undersized.

How lead shot tubes work

Shot tubes designed for lead shot have a constriction in their breech that stops the shot from passing through. Until the gun fires and the air tube on the front of the plunger pushes the shot through this constriction, the shot remains in the breech regardless of how the gun is held. As long as the ball is made of lead, this works well.

When the ball is made of steel, though, it doesn’t deform when pushed through the shot tube. So American Ball selected steel balls that were a little smaller than air rifle shot. While they did pass through the constriction most of the time (as long as the shot sizes were consistent), they also hammered the constriction out of the breech over the course of time. Maybe it took 30,000 shots, but kids did shoot their guns that much. Eventually the gun would start shooting two BBs at a time instead of just one. That’s a sure sign that the shot tube has been hammered by steel shot. Also, in some guns the shot would just roll out of the tube when the muzzle was held down. Another sure sign. The fix was simple enough — buy a replacement shot tube from Daisy. But not too many people knew to do that, so many older BB gun shot tubes were destroyed.

How steel shot tubes work

To hold a steel BB in place, Daisy and others relied on a thin wire spring instead of the constriction. The BB was held in the breech mechanically until pushed forward by the air tube. This worked great for the next 55-60 years.

shot tubes
The shot tube for lead balls (right) has a constriction at the breech. It’s inside the tube and doesn’t show up in a photo. The shot tube for steel BBs (left) has a wire spring to hold the BB in place. Either tube will fit all Daisy number 25 guns made since 1913.

Today they use rare earth magnets to hold BBs in place. These were not available back in the late 1920s when the switch was made from lead to steel, but they are very handy today. They work well and don’t wear out as the wire springs sometimes did.

modern shot tube
The rear of a modern Red Ryder shot tube looks like this. This tube fits inside the outer barrel jacket of the gun. An inclined slope feeds the BBs down to the breech, where a powerful magnet holds each one in place for the next shot.

This information is worth millions

I’m sure today’s report seems like a bit of trivia regurgitated by an old man. That’s what old men do. Well, about 16-18 years ago, this old man helped save the Daisy Manufacturing Company from a damaging and very costly lawsuit with some of the information you have read today. The Consumer Product Safety Commission contacted me to question me about what they claimed was an inherent design flaw in most Daisy BB guns. They used gravity to feed the BBs. That last picture of a modern shot tube is one that Daisy sent me to use in our discussions.

The thrust of their lawsuit was that gravity-fed systems were inherently unreliable for feeding ammunition. They wanted me to testify to that in court. If they won they planned to force Daisy to cease production of all their models that are gravity-fed (the Red Ryder?) and pay a large penalty.

I met the lawyer from the CPSC at the field target (DIFTA) range in Maryland and we discussed the Daisy design. He told me a young person had been shot by a BB gun that must have held a BB and then released it suddenly, because the youth shot another kid with what he thought was an empty gun!

He told me they had tried at the CPSC to replicate that type of fault with another Daisy BB gun, but were unsuccessful. But maybe someone like me with experience shooting BB guns would know how common a thing this was?

I told him I had never heard of it happening. I didn’t doubt that it could happen under certain circumstances, but it would be a one-in-a-million occurrence. I then informed him that I saw four serious flaws in the CPSC case.

1. Military firearms have used gravity-feed mechanisms for over a century, starting with the Gatling gun. Gravity feed works. He didn’t know that.

2. The boy who did the shooting should never have pointed a gun of any kind at another person. That is the first rule of safe gun handling and it would be brought out in court. Either the shooter was not trained to handle guns (very likely) or the parents were not supervising him (also likely) or the parents had not taken reasonable precautions to secure the gun when they were not able to supervise its use (also likely). Instead of a gun design flaw, this case was about a family flaw and a lack of training and supervision. Something similar could have happened with a knife, a bow and arrow or matches.

3. One never checks whether a BB gun is loaded by shaking the gun (which the CPSC lawyer told me the shooter had done, and which he also did with his sample BB gun to show me how it was done). That will not work when the gun’s  magazine is spring-loaded and force-fed. The defense attorney could use this information, maybe not with the shooter who was too young to testify, but with one of his parents. And you can forget rehearsing them for the trial. There are hundreds of small details like this that could be asked to demonstrate their lack of knowledge about how BB guns function.

4. The shooter had given the number one excuse why the “accident” happened. He was “sure” the gun was empty. Go back to point number two and read it again. There is no excuse for pointing a gun at someone, and certainly no excuse for firing at them! This excuse is the one that’s always given, “I didn’t know the gun was loaded.” It is such a cliche that a song was written by the same title.

Three months after meeting with the lawyer, I was informed of two things by Daisy’s legal department. First, I was told that lawyer I had spoken to had resigned from the CPSC. And second, the CPSC dropped their lawsuit in return for Daisy adding some safety information to each boxed gun they sold.

Boring or not — this information is valuable!

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.

90 thoughts on “Changing from lead shot to steel”

  1. The significance of today’s article to me is that back in the 1990’s B.B. Was acknowledged as a potential expert witness in airguns.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve read about this monumental story. It’s on many search engines.

    Just underscores and reinforces the quality of information we can expect from this blog. We’re blessed.


  2. “I’m sure today’s report seems like a bit of trivia regurgitated by an old man.”

    Nope; today’s report is valuable information and history from a fellow who is an important part of the industry and hobby. And I really like my little Daisy Red Ryder 75th Anniversary BB gun; never had one as a kid, unfortunately.

  3. Off topic.
    Texas Airgun Show was great. Vendors I talked with were very friendly and took time to really talk to the those at their table. Even bought two more airguns. Does it ever end?
    Got to meet Tom and really enjoyed my discussions with him. Thanks Tom for all you did/do for the airgun community.

  4. Bit off topic…

    Picked up a tin of Crosman Piranha pellets for grins .
    Most have a drop in loose fit . (R9 , S500 ) Not worth the bother unless you have a very tight bore .
    Did not test for accuracy .


  5. BB–Those shot tubes also fit the Daisy 99 target gun (I have 2). When did Daisy introduce the magnetic tubes? Do they make magnetic shot tubes , or do they still make the spring tubes for model 99,s and 25,s ? Ed

    • Ed,

      Those forced feed shot tube fit several models. Daisy still has the Number 25 pump made in China and they use the shot tube, so they are still being made.

      I think the magnetic tubes came in the ’90s, though they could have been earlier. Whenever the Red Ryder changed its design is when they came about.



  6. Allow me to tell of two incidents of gun lawsuits.

    I used to be co-owner of a video production company. We were editing a “day in the life of” video tape showing a young boy who was brain dead from a BB gun shot. Walmart was being sued for selling a BB gun to a family without telling them the dangers of one. The young boy was shot in the head by a playmate. This went back to B.B.’s point that it is the parents responsibility to teach the boy about gun safety, not Walmart’s.

    A second incident that bankrupted a great local trucking company. Heldt Brothers Trucks had been in business for some 40 years and was one of the larger employers in Alice, Texas, my old hometown. One of the drivers took a pistol he thought was broken to work with him. He intended to give it to a friend in hopes he could fix it for him.

    Somehow one of the workers was shot and killed with “the broken pistol”. The lawyers went for the “deep pockets” and sued Heldt Brothers, who had no knowledge of the man bringing the pistol to work. The jury awarded a huge settlement to the family of the man killed. It put the trucking company out of business.

    Jerry in Texas

    • I have an uncle that lost his right index fingertip while cleaning the lint outta the trigger mechanism on a pocket revolver loaded with shorts, he said it didn’t really hurt so bad but it made a heck of a mess all over his bedroom. Apparently one of his favorite cats kept in his lap at a bad time but he loved the cat so much he decided not to sue. 🙂

  7. BB,
    I also enjoyed the show. You put on a great event. This year due to a tight budget I had to go to the show with no money. And, since I didn’t sell anything, All I could do was window shop. Out of all the things for sale on tables, my favorite was the 1884 Quackenbush Bell Target. I drooled over that one.

    The area that we can improve on the most is getting more local attendance. Maybe we can get an article in some of the area papers and fliers put up at area shooting ranges. I should have done more to advertise the show with all the local airgunners on our list. I will try to do that next year.

    I look forward to tomorrow’s blog.

    David Enoch

  8. BB
    Happy Belated Birthday. it sounds as though the air gun show was another great success and having a birthday as well made it even more special although if you are like me you quit counting years ago and its just another day.

    I sure do wish I could have made it this year but the wife’s knee is just not cooperating so no traveling until it does which looks like it will be a whole new knee replacement in the future to accomplish that Uugh.

    I did however have a good weekend myself as well since I bid on and won a FWB 300s match L off gun broker in very nice condition for a reasonable price considering what they sold for new. I have not yet received it to be able to date it but am hoping it is an earlier model but it still has the original target sight and clean looking stock so I am slowly moving into the high end air gun world.


    • Congrats on the 300! I saw a lot of nice guns and looked for one there just to see what it was but didn’t notice one in the place, although I did see a nice 48. Way too big for me for offhand shooting!

      • Reb
        Yea I had been watching for one for awhile and this one is in the right condition and price so had to grab it when I could.

        The 300s is actually one pound heavier than the 48 is at 10.8 pounds so its not a light gun by any means even though it looks small.


      • Reb,

        I have an FWB 300s Junior. It is about 2 1/2 pounds lighter than my 300s Match and my FWB 150 (with tyrolean stock!). All are in left-handed. Very few of the Juniors and 150 Tyros were made in lefty, so two of the three are pretty rare.

        You might keep your eyes peeled for a 300s Junior.


        • I’ll keep my eyes open for anything that resembles a 300! That’s how I wound up with thi QB-88. I’m gonna open the back door in a bit and give it a few more shots.
          It seems to be doing great so far. But the chunk of wood chipped outta the stock where it looks like it got slammed shut makes me cautious.

          • Reb,

            I forgot to mention that the 300s Junior, like all 300s variants, is VERY quiet. Look for one from Jim E. or Pilkguns that has been rebuilt with a blue piston seal.


      • CptKlotz
        No I have no issue with the black grips as the one I bought is a Match L that has the black stippling on the pistol grip area and from the trigger guard forward on the underside of the stock and actually like the look.

        I just would prefer it be an early version of the Match L for its collector value as well as my inherent beliefs that the older stuff is just built better when people actually cared about what they did for work and took pride in the fact that they made it and would be proud to put their name on the product as compared to now where people just go to get the paycheck and truly could care less if they build a quality product or not as they are just considered another warm body by employers in this day and age that can be replaced at anytime without any thought to what years of experience and knowledge bring to the workforce.

        I am old Skool and stuck in the 60s and 70s when a persons word was better than a signed contract and they took very high pride in what they did for a living and were proud to do the very best work possible everyday of their lives.


        • Buldawg
          From the pictures you sent me its the same as the one I have. It’s a match L also. Mine is a 1976.

          When you get it and you can see the serial number maybe yours will be the same year as mine.

          Next week sometime you think you will have it I believe you said. Well let me know when you get it because I want to know what year it is.

          • Gunfun1
            I sent the seller an email this morning if he would send me the serial number so I can date it but have not heard anything yet so I may be able to find out the year before I get it and will let you know if I do as I am curious myself as to it year as well.

            But it is a Match L for sure from the pictures so it may be a 76 also and that would be even better as that was a very good year for me in my life and is the reason for the 76 in my user name as it the year my Bicentennial Staffordshire terrier was born on 7/4/1976.


        • BD,

          I can see where you’re coming from. Many products are getting worse with every generation (air rifle sights are a good example… plastic fiberoptic gimmicks instead of solid metal sights)

          I don’t really think this is an issue with FWB 300 rifles, though. When they ceased making them in 1996, they were still *very* expensive at around 1800 DM (easily the equivalent of 1800 Euros or US$ today). That’s a lot of money for a rifle that was, at that point, basically obsolete.

          I think chances are that if your rifle has been treated well, you’re going to enjoy it *a lot*. My 1973 “standard” model is amazing.


          • CptKlotz
            I tend to agree with you on the 300s as well since they were still made in the time when workers pride was an important part of the companies success or failure and the picture of the one I bought does appear to be well taken care of in its looks but the seller has a comment that he has been told it is fully functional so I am unsure if he has shot it or not but if it needs work I will fix it.

            here is the link to the gun itself on gun broker.



            • That seems to be a nice looking rifle.

              I tried magnifying the image to see the S/N, but it’s impossible 🙂

              The holding pin for the front sight is different from my ’73 300S. Mine has the pin below the sight tunnel, yours has it below the barrel. I’m not sure if that signifies anything.

              The diopter is the original one and seems to be in good shape. It even has the rubber eyepiece that mine is missing.

              That rifle looks well-used but taken good care of. With some maintenance, these things practically last forever 🙂

              • CptKlotz
                I thought the same thing in that it was a very complete example of a 300 and am not at all any type of expert or know the subtle difference between the model years and variations that FWB had throughout the production run of those fine guns.

                I tried to enlarge the photo to read the serial number as well with no luck either and is why I sent an email to the seller asking for that info so I can get a head start on learning about it before it is received.

                I do have several other Diopter style sights like the one on it although they are Daisy Avanti or Gamo peep sights and have the rubber eyepieces for the two with the bigger eye piece and also several front globe sights with insert as well since when I started back into air guns it was at our local CMP range which uses diopter sights exclusively and therefore equipped my four guns with those sights to use at the Olympic 10 Meter range they have with electronic scoring targets.


  9. Interesting topic…

    I always hate it when the legal system is abused to make others pay for the stupidity of people.

    When somebody wants to shoot my airguns, I always tell them about dangers like the FWB300 that has a great but also very light trigger and no safety. If I saw somebody fooling around, that would be the end of the shooting session. I don’t need extra holes in my stuff or somebody’s head.

    I wish people would realize it’s their job to think and not that of the state or companies…


  10. I also don’t like the idea that kids are always “innocent”. If you’re old enough to point a gun, you’re old enough to make amends for your stupid actions.

    • Cpt
      You just hit the nail on the head with your last statement as no one want to be accountable for their actions anymore and believe its the manufacture that is to blame for their stupidity.

      It all started and began the legal precedence when the idiotic lady bought a HOT cup of coffee at McDonalds and proceeded to place it in her crotch while driving and thereby spilling it on herself yet sued McDonalds for it being to HOT when the cup had large plain wording on the cup stating ” Caution HOT ” and it was allowed to make it to court and she was awarded one million dollars for her Stupidity and has been downhill ever since here in the US.

      It is the biggest outright waste of AMERICAN tax dollars there ever was in my opinion as if you are dumb enough to put a HOT cup of coffee in your crotch you deserve to get burned.


            • Reb
              Yea I think she had quite a few missing but then I guess I am just old and pig headed about the stupid actions of what people are really capable of as I have done a lot of dumb things in my life but I always accepted the fact that I was the one at fault and no one else.

              Its still all about common sense and the mere fact that STUPID hurts plain and simple.


      • Yeah, these are moronic lawsuits. I guess it’s a good thing that in this case, BB was there to tell them they’re idiots.

        He probably said it a little more tactfully, but still, if you point the muzzle at people, you are an idiot and you’re giving the shooting sports a bad name.

        Some actual knowledge of history and technology can go a long way to put an end to such nonsense.

        Now that I think about it… Every salt shaker in the supermarket contains a lethal dose of sodium chloride. Shouldn’t they warn me about this danger?

        • CptKlotz
          Its called common sense and that is the one thing that I see very lacking in today society as people just don’t seem to use that large glob of tissue between their ears for much more than a place to hold a hat or grow ridiculous colored crazy hairdos as a form of self expression.

          Yea there’s more than just salt in the grocery store to watch out for nowadays at least here in America since our wonderful FDA seem to believe that its perfectly safe to all the GMO crap in our food and livestock that is banned in 27 other countries in the world yet they let us eat it everyday saying it is not harmful to us. I don’t know about you but when corn can produce it own pesticide to kill the bugs that try to eat it and then produce sterile seeds so that the farmers have to buy new seeds top replant there harvests we have a problem and its our govts form of population control by killing off the weak with poisons in the food they say is safe to eat.

          I agree with SL in remove all warning labels and let mother nature take its course as the idiots will eventually commit their own genocide given enough time.


      • Buldawg,

        Because Stella Liebeck suffered third degree burns, the coffee had to be at least 190 degrees, which was the temperature required of McDonald’s franchisees. Ms. Liebeck required eight days worth of skin graft surgeries. Also, NO tax dollars were spent on “Liebeck vs. McDonalds Restaurants.” The court costs and lawyer fees were paid by the defendant, McDonalds. Finally, Stella Liebeck was not driving. She was a passenger in a car which had no cupholders.

        Happy to set the record straight,


        • Michael
          Thank you for all the detail of the actual case but she was still an IDIOT to put a HOT cup of coffee in her crotch while in a moving vehicle regardless if she was driving or not and in my opinion was not entitled to any money for being STUPID as good old common sense would dictate that a person of reasonable intelligence would not do such a STUPID act.

          But that is the number one problem with this world today as I said before people are not willing to accept responsibilities for their ACTIONS and believe it is companies and manufactures that should be held liable. Just as our STUPID politicians and Illuminati are trying to take our guns away in the guise of preventing violent crime. If we have no guns then violent crime involving guns will skyrocket as criminals do not and will not care if the guns are illegal or not and it will be a field day for them.

          I say that if you make guns illegal because of the actions of criminals since the gun does not get up and pull its own trigger then they need to make all forms of private transportation illegal as well since no vehicle starts itself up and runs into another person killing them yet more people are killed by vehicular homicide than guns ever will, so if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle knowingly being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and kill someone it in my opinion it is premeditated murder just as if you had knowingly pointed a gun at that same person and pulled the trigger. You should receive the exact same sentence as if you had used a gun to kill that person as murder is murder regardless of how it is committed.

          So once again our court system does not hold the people accountable for their ACTIONS but wants to blame those who are not in control or responsible for the IDIOTS ACTIONS. I say bring back public executions and Death row means just that that you are put to death in a timely manner after conviction and 20 plus years is not a timely manner. I for one am not willing to support any person on death row for more than two years tops.



          • Buldawg,

            We agree on a lot of stuff. I share your frustration with people who refuse to admit they did something wrong or stupid, and I agree that it seems to be more and more the case. I’ll add to your comments that the concept of embarrassment or shame at having done something wrong or stupid is quickly fading away, as is the sense that being ignorant is something to correct, something negative. These days it seems being an idiot is OK.

            I will say just one thing about public executions: the practice seems to have alienated ISIS from a lot of folks who otherwise might have supported them. (Hey, I love hotdogs, so the last thing I want to see is how they are made.)

            Just two cents from someone from a state that a) has half its governors go to federal prison (talk about stupid) and b) had 13 death row inmates proven innocent by DNA tests and released (that pesky, irreversible death penalty).


            • Michael
              I agree with all you said in paragraph one and would like to add that I don’t believe that being an idiot is so much ok these days as it is people have become dependent on our bigger idiots in our govt to think for them so that they do not have to be responsible for accepting the blame for their stupidity but rather blame the govt for not making laws or legislation to protect them from themselves.

              The public executions done by ISIS are not a result of due process but plain barbarian brutal terrorism in its finest and those responsible should be eliminated at all cost by our special forces in the most expedient way possible but once again our Muslim sympathizing head idiot in chief will not and is not concerned in the least about their actions as it only serves to reinforce his destroy AMERICA attitude that he is doing everything in his power to accomplish before his term is up.

              I realize that juries and our legal system make mistakes but in cases like the mass shootings that have occurred in the past three to four years where there is no doubt whatsoever that the suspect committed the crime accused of that we the tax payers should not be burdened with them receiving a life sentence and having to support them for the rest of their life when the victims no longer have the luxury to live the life they had so in my opinion it is an eye for an eye and if you take a life by whatever means you do so you thereby forfeit all rights to your life and public executions would be a huge deterrent to criminals if they new they would be hung until dead in public for their crime of the taking of innocent peoples lives.


            • Michael,

              Are you from Illinois by any chance?

              I recall reading a quote in a book many years ago, but it has been too long ago so I will have to paraphrase. “Anyone who enjoys eating hot dogs and has respect for laws, should not watch either one being made” author unknown.


              • Bugbuster,

                Yep, Illinois.

                Four of our last eight governors have ended up doing time, with two of ’em still in the slammer. The very prevalent rumor is that one of the four who didn’t get charged with anything was being looked at very closely by the feds.


                • Michael,

                  Another quote that I recall goes something like this: “One useless man is a disgrace, two or more is called a law firm” or something to that effect.

                  Received an email yesterday shortly after your current reply from Devvy Kidd. The 9th Circuit Court (California) is supposed to hear the case concerning forged government documents by one of your (Illinois) very unremarkable and prominent ex-state senators. Hopefully, he will be convicted and can enjoy the company of your two ex-governors currently in prison. This is supposed to take place on 10/20/15 in San Francisco, I am not holding my breath.


        • And was the auto manufacturer sued for not providing such an important safety feature as cup holders?

          Was the driver sued for hitting the bump that spilled the coffee?

          Was the city sued for Improper road maintenance?


            • Jim
              Even more stupidity if you spill the coffee in a stopped car and myself I do not drink the nasty stuff so if I spill anything in my crotch it would be ice water so I may have to sue for frostbite. Just not sure who I could sue the refrigerator company that makes the ice or the water board that supplies the water.


              • Buldawg,

                I agree that putting a cup between your knees to pull the top off of a coffee to put creamer and sugar in it is indeed stupid. She acted stupidly.

                Was McDonald’s stupid for intentionally serving coffee that was at least 190 degrees Fahrenheit? See, I think that there was more than enough stupid to go around.


                • Michael
                  As I said I don’t drink the crap so I cannot comment on serving it at 190 degrees versus at 90 degrees so have no experienced answer on that except that there was warning instructions on the dup stating it was hot, now should those instruction stated at over a certain temp or not I cannot say either but I do know if it was served to cold then they would be giving away far to much product to make a profit on it.

                  So once again it is not the manufactures or companies fault for the stupidity of the people that purchase their products and all the warning labels or instruction in the world does not fix STUPID and it never will so it is buyer beware and if you aint got no common sense then don’t play with dangerous toys or products period.

                  If we just let mother nature takes her course she will weed out the weak and allow the strong to survive just as it is in the true world of nature and we are the exception to her rules and have corrupted the system by usurping her rules of survival.


                  • Buldawg,

                    You do not drink coffee???? How is it even possible not to drink the elixir of the gods? To quote special Agent Dale Cooper, “Ah, coffee, black as midnight on a moonless night!”


                    • Michael
                      If that’s what the GODs drink then I will stay a mere mortal LOL.

                      I like the smell of coffee grounds and it brewing. but it taste nothing like it smells so if I do drink it its below 0 degrees outside and I cannot get inside and it has more sugar and cream in it than coffee so it might as well be hot chocolate not coffee. I will take a little coffee with my cream and sugar please.

                      I do not like tea either sweet or unsweetened so I guess I am just an odd ball and that’s fine with me as I never tried to conform anyway so I am not about to start now especially being an old grouchy fart.


            • Jim,

              The car was her son or grandson’s car, and it was from the 1980s, so cupholders were not the standard feature they are now. I would not be surprised; however, if cupholders began to appear as standard equipment in part because of this high profile case.

              Incidentally, I’ve always likes your handle as I collect classic typewriters.


              • Michael:

                I agree that there was more than enough stupidity to go around.

                I wonder how many people today realize that the typewriter keyboard that we are all familiar with is called a qwerty keyboard. If I remember correctly, the original typewriter layout was different and that the qwerty layout was developed for the most efficiency when typing.

                I don’t collect typewriters but the old ones are interesting. I believe that the old one we used in typing class in highschool had a “Noah & Sons” manufacturering plate on the bottom. (Also, the keys were not labeled.)


                • Jim
                  I remember those typewriters and never could get past 33 words per minute with any type writer and still cant as I use my index fingers only to type so I am what’s known as a pecker when typing by using one finger at a time. Well maybe in more than just typing LOL

                  I just believe that the coffee lawsuit and countless others should never even make it to a courtroom in the first place and would not if people were made to be held accountable for their actions and not the businesses that provide the goods and services they purchase.

                  We wonder why the cost of everything continues to skyrocket as those payouts for the frivolous lawsuits get past on to the consumer.


                • Jim,

                  The first typewriter, the Sholes and Glidden made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and patented in 1867, actually did have a QWERTY keyboard, although many other makes had all sorts of different layouts until the 1920s. The legend, perhaps true, is that with the Sholes & Glidden QWERTY layout keys were arranged in such a manner to slow quick typists down by making common letter combinations slightly more difficult to key, so that the slug arms would not get jammed up with each other.

                  Certainly true was that the QWERTY top row was in part designed with the word typewriter hidden in that one row, enabling salesman to, with very little practice, be able to type the word in less than one second.

                  German typewriters made for sale in Germany had the Y and Z keys reversed, so they are QWERTZ. Another tidbit is that many turn-of-century models of typewriter had a FULL keyboard. That is, it has no shift keys. Each symbol, each number, each lower case letter, and each upper case letter has its own key.

                  Although the Chinese government denies this, there are at least a couple manual typewriter factories still producing machines to this day, as not all Chinese have access to computers. They are manual because not all Chinese have electricity. Incidentally, today’s Chinese typewriters are of worse quality in the world of typewriters than early Chinese air guns were to air guns. MUCH worse. The last well-made manual machines were manufactured in Brazil.

                  Finally, many typewriter makers also made firearms during WWII, and Remington made both guns and typewriters at various times.


                  • Michael:

                    Thanks for the information on the old typewriters.

                    I have a 1911 in the safe that belonged to my grandfather. It was manufactured by either Rimington Rand or Sperry Rand. I would have to pull it out to see.

                    The family history story was that he won it off of an officer playing poker as enlisted men were not allowed side arms. I have no idea if the story is true.


  11. B.B.,

    Happy belated birthday, sir, 68 isn’t it.

    I have a question. Can a person attend the Pyramyd AIR Cup just to observe but not to compete?



  12. When I think of bb guns, I keep imagining the bb gun wars where kids shot bbs at each other. Eyes certainly were no less valuable then than they are now, and that just seems crazy. When I was very young, my brother accidently ran the muzzle of a cheap toy gun into my eye; the edge was made of a sharp tin. I certainly let everyone know how much that hurt and there was pandemonium. I would think that there would be lawsuits over the many eyes that must have been shot out rather than about the feeding mechanism of a bb gun, but apparently not.

    I just managed to catch up on the posts about Edith. Fascinating. I had wondered about Edith’s mysterious past as part of a German family in deprived circumstances. I might even have asked her to tell more at one point, so I’m glad the story got told. And the pictures were wonderful too. I had seen a couple, like the one where she is shooting with a headband, but not the others. Edith was very self-deprecating about her shooting, but I always suspected that there was more. The story of the rat elimination is interesting on a couple of counts. There is a clear lineage that goes back to Annie Oakley. The story is that at the age of 5, on her own initiative, she took down a family rifle and decapitated a squirrel. Also, I spoke recently to the woman who was planning to trap raccoons and execute them for killing her chickens. Her chickens are now safe with some protective measures around their house, but she still wants to kill the racoons out of pure vengeance. So, we may be getting another airgunner.

    I liked the wedding picture, but too bad the story of the first meeting wasn’t included as well. As I remember from one of Edith’s post, she decided to marry B.B. the first time she laid eyes on him. And I can see why with the reddish blond Gaylord hair! Anyway, hopefully, we will continue to hear more about Edith in future posts.


    • What about all of the air soft skirmishes now? Those plastic bbs are small enough to put an eye out and I’ve been shot by one so I know if your close enough to the muzzle they hurt like the dickens. Yet, these people are shooting each other intentionally.


      • I watched a video of a guy popping one outta his nose that apparently came from a sniper rifle at too close range because they’re not supposed to break the skin.
        I also remember people telling me about freezing paintballs back when that was all the rage, No wonder I never played!

        • You’d never catch me playing any of those sort of reindeer games. The rules are that all “gamers” wear protective GOGGLES, not glasses, and I believe many also wear protective face masks. Pyramyd AIR even sells such masks in their air soft section.


  13. Straps on safety glasses break or stretch or slip off. Glasses can fog. There are a many other reasons that safety glasses wont be in the right place when that unexpected pellet comes along. That is one of the reasons that I am against paint ball and soft air pellet games that involve pointing guns at people (and shooting at them). Ed

    • I just think that when you are in an environment where people are purposely shooting each other that it opens up the possibility of “accidents” not to mention that it could create less than desirable habits.


      • G&G,

        At work, some 10 years ago, several persons were involved in paint ball. Monday usually brought the “usual” showings of welts, broken skin, bruises,….many which lasted (weeks).

        No thanks! Not to mention, creating “bad” habits. Chris

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