by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- I started out young
- My first new BB gun
- A real BB gun
- Fanner 50
- Old blue and white
- First pellet gun
- Second pellet gun
I started out young
Little boys in the 1950s wanted to be cowboys or astronauts. We didn’t use the word astronaut then, we called them spacemen, and spacemen were what we wanted to be when we didn’t want to be cowboys. Oh, and lest I forget, we also wanted to be soldiers.
I do remember wanting guns with infinite ammo loaded in them so I never had to stop to reload. Hollywood said that was possible, but reality clashed with that view every time.
Some kids were into dressing up in cowboy clothes and wearing fake leather quick-draw holster rigs with a pair of matching nickel-plated cap pistols. I had the holsters and cap pistols, but what I liked more than anything was shooting at things and actually hitting them. I was an airgunner in training.
My earliest recollection of an airgun was my father’s Benjamin model 107 pistol. He kept it in a green cardboard box and the nickel plate made it shiny silver in color. It had a pump rod that extended from the front and I think I saw him shoot it outside one time. As I recall, he put the pump rod end against a tree and pressed inward on the gun to pump.
My father passed away when I was 9 and I inherited that pistol. Then I tried to shoot it for the first time. It took forever to pump it and the best I could do at the age of 9 was three pump strokes. I found a couple darts in the box, so I shot those to begin with. The pistol wasn’t very powerful and I bet those darts were traveling under 200 f.p.s. They stuck in a dart board pretty well, but the pistol didn’t give me much satisfaction. I wanted a BB gun!
My next door neighbor had an old Daisy that was probably a 102. I remember it didn’t have a forearm. It shot to the left, but Duane knew how far to aim off and he was pretty accurate with that rusty old gun. I wanted one just like it, but not that many kids owned BB guns in my neighborhood.
My first new BB gun
Then came a watershed day — a day that separated all that had gone before from all that was to come. My mother finally relented and bought me a BB gun! At least that is what it said on the box. It was a Kruger (looked like a Luger) single shot BB gun that you loaded through the muzzle. Then you pulled back a knob on the breech and slid one or more paper caps into a slot. The theory was when the breech slammed shut it would set off the cap(s) and the resulting explosion would send the BB hurtling downrange with accuracy and power. That was the theory.
In practice, the caps exploded about one time in 5. Since you never knew when that would happen, you didn’t concentrate on the trigger-pull or breathing very much. It was more of a guessing game, as in “I wonder if this will be the time?” One time I saw the BB come out and drop into the water in a concrete pond in our yard. It was going slower than if I had thrown it.
No, the Kruger, made by Wamo (also spelled Wham-o) was not a successful BB gun. Maybe that’s why I own several of them today. They are the train-wrecks of the airgun world — the Yugos, if you will! If you are interested, you can read more about the Kruger here.
After the Kruger was behind me I dug out that old Benjamin pistol and shot it some more with pellets. It still wasn’t powerful.
A real BB gun
I was getting older, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had a paper route by this time and money was available. So, when one of my sister’s boyfriends said he owned a Daisy pump gun (a number 25) for sale I jumped at the chance to own it for $5. A Daisy pump was the Holy Grail of BB guns. Everybody knew they were the most powerful BB guns of all. Why, they could sometimes shoot through one side of a tin can! In those days cans were made from steel plate. I would lord it over Duane like he never imagined.
And lord it I did! For the first few days I had that gun Duane couldn’t say anything without me reminding him who was the fairest in the land. My Daisy pump put Duane’s pitiful old rusty lever action to shame. It was more accurate, more powerful (we got cans and proved it) and in much better condition than his old gun. I was king of the neighborhood!
Then came a horrible day — a day of learning that made me the airgun writer I am today. My pump gun started shooting slowly like the Kruger! Then it got worse than the Kruger. And the payback for all the bragging was swift and sure. In fear and desperation I started disassembling the gun. To do what I don’t know. I got just far enough that I couldn’t put it back together and then sadly announced that my glory days were over. Duane started in on me with ruthless abandon. He shot his BB gun in my yard — a thing kids normally had to ask permission to do — just to let me know he still had a BB gun that worked.
Finally, I cracked under the pressure. I couldn’t take it anymore. I put all the parts of my pump gun into a grocery bag and sold them to another kid for a quarter and a .50 caliber BMG bullet. He took the bag home and a week later he returned to show me the gun was assembled and working perfectly. “My dad put it together for me,” he told me. I didn’t have a dad at the time, so there was no place to get that kind of help.
“My dad says you’re a dope for not knowing that you have to oil these guns to keep the power up.” Duane was quick to validate his statement and little Tommy sucked his head back inside his turtle shell to ride it out. You have to oil a BB gun. Okay, I won’t forget that. And, I still had a very nice .50 BMG bullet!
I now made a brief excursion into CO2 pellet guns, buying a Crosman Single Action 6 — because it was all I could afford. I wanted to buy the Crosman model 600 or even the Webley Senior, but both were priced out of my reach, so it was the SA-6 or nothing. It was a .22 caliber revolver that used CO2 to propel expensive lead pellets. The CO2 cartridges of the day were capped with bottlecaps and leaked horribly. But I could carry that gun in a real cowboy holster and draw it and fan it rapidly — just like the real cowboys did on TV.
At any rate, I thought I was the bee’s knees. We would say cool today. We actually said cool back in 1958, but I was a dork, and dorks always talked different so the bullies would be able to spot us. Anyway, I was convinced this gun was the one, so I went hunting with a buddy. We went into the woods behind Isley’s ice cream parlor and started our trek. We walked for a long time before we saw anything, but then a rabbit jumped out of the weeds and took off running. After he was gone I drew my revolver and fanned off six quick shots in the general direction he had departed. I might even have hit one of the footprints he had made moments before!
My friend was impressed by this awesome display of raw firepower, but when nothing could be found he started laughing at me. He called me Fanner 50, after a popular cap gun that was advertised on TV in those days, and the SA-6 quietly retired to its box. Hey, the CO2 cartridges leaked — don’t forget.
Old blue and white
I needed another BB gun. This time there would be no mistakes. No vintage guns for me — no, sir! I was buying new this time. I walked to Eddie’s — the local cross between a convenience store and a general store in Stow, Ohio. They always had several Daisys on display. Except when I had cash in my pocket, of course.
What did I find for sale in my price range? An Air Force Rocket Command BB gun that was painted medium blue and had a pure white buttstock and forearm. But it was new and it was a BB gun — two of my most important criteria. Until I got it home.
Then Duane saw it and screamed, “You got a girl’s gun! Ha, ha, ha!” After that Old Blue and White didn’t see daylight very much. It had a hole for oil on the side of the barrel, but I didn’t have to oil it. Because I didn’t shoot it.
First pellet gun
My mother remarried and we moved from Stow to Sharon Center, to a place with three acres. Our house was located on the town circle — as close to the center of town as it was possible to get — and yet we still had acreage out back. I could have a firearm at last! And I did. I had a .22 single shot, a Colt Army Special in .38 Special and a 12 gauge single shot shotgun. I also had no job and no money to buy ammo, so I didn’t shoot for different reasons than before, but the result was the same.
Then I got a pellet rifle as a present — birthday or Christmas, I forget. It was a .177 from Precise Imports Corporation (PIC), and I still remember the name on the tube. It was a Slavia! The model has slipped my memory, but it was either a 618 or the next size up. I shot it a lot and learned that it wasn’t that accurate, plus it buzzed when shot. Boy, could the me of today ever help the kid me of the early 1960s with his first pellet rifle!
That pretty much ended my flirtation with airguns for awhile.
Second pellet gun
In 1975 I was a first lieutenant in the Army, serving in Erlangen, Germany. I had a wife and a young son and absolutely no extra money to spend. However, in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a walled tourist city, I discovered and bought a Diana model 10 target pistol. I also bought 5000 pellets and a steel trap that hung on the wall. This was a 10 meter pistol that sparked my return to airguns after about a 10-year layoff, and this time I stayed with it. The gun was accurate and I also knew how to shoot — thanks to some coaching from a former squadron commander a few years earlier.
The accuracy of that one target pistol erased all the negative feelings of my youth and made me a dedicated airgunner from that point on. Twenty years later I started The Airgun Letter and began to write about airguns.
Your experiences are probably a lot different than mine. How did you come to airguns?
120 thoughts on “When I was a kid”
You had more going on than any of the kids in our neighborhood!
B.B., Like your story! A good start or preview to another book? No doubt? I’m familiar with Stow, Ohio and Germany and some other places you’ve been! I’m little older than you! But! I think I might like this story! In line of history of airguns! I think many of our stories will be similar! Thank you for bringing back some really good memories Semper fi!
Thanks BB I enjoyed the article
I was not allowed airguns as a kid by my parents even though my father was a crack shot with a pistol, something he never talked about, we visited a local fair when I was in my teens and they had a shooting booth with a Smith and Western .22 pistol with silencer and the target was five small led blocks small as a match box side, my father knocked them all over to win a prize.
The nearest I got to an airgun was a double barrel pop gun that broke open like a real shot gun to cock the action.
My uncle had a small dairy farm and trading store out in the country and I spent a holiday with my cousins when I was about 15 and joy of joys they had air rifles , two Gecado (Diana) a model 50 underleaver and a 27. We had lots of fun shooting trying to hit wild hares and some birds that bobbed their heads up and down,
The next time I fired an air rifle was in about 1978 when I had a problem with starlings trying to nest under the eaves of the house and a friend gave me a well used Diana 25 which I still have, this did the job with its open sights.
Then the bad news all air rifles in South Africa required a firearms licence, so the next new air rifle purchased was a BSA Mercury in 1981 which had been so long in the gunsmiths that its box was missing and I had to apply for a firearms licence before I could take delivery and try out my new pride and joy.
Then good news in about 2002 air rifles no longer required a firearms licence so the collection grew
Isn’t it iontresting that we grew up in different continents, yet had similar childhood stories about airguns?
My first BB gun was a Daisy Targeteer with the plastic spinner target I got when I was about five!!! My next was a Red Ryder (probably first variation) a few years later. I had to put the butt on the ground and pull up on the lever to cock it. Eventually the stock became loose and I didn’t know how to fix it. I still have the Targeteer and sorely miss the Red Ryder!!! I got into firearms and I think my next airgun was the .177 version of the Targeteer I bought while in the Army. I used to go out on the desert and throw up tin cans to shoot at them. There was a search of the barracks and my Targeteer was found. I got an Article 15 and two weeks of extra duty for having a BB gun in the Army! I almost laughed when I got it but for once common sense prevailed!
Since then I’ve had LOTS of guns of all types but I keep coming back to BB guns. They’re just fun!
Don’t feel bad. I was caught with an unregistered .22 mini revolver in my van and was up for a court martial. They dropped the charges after I was thoroughly frightened, but it cost me my career.
Wow – had it not been for that .22 mini-revolver costing you your career in the military, there is a pretty good chance that this blog and all you have helped us learn may never have been.
It sure is interesting when we find those potential “turning points” in our lives . . . . and thinks again for all this great info!
You know — that’s a very good way to look at it. I’m glad it turned out this way, too.
Man, the military is pretty darn strict! A little revolver!
I’d tell the story of my 1st cousin once removed being convicted of self-injury and malingering during Korea, but I might wish to put that one in a book of MINE! :^) I have to be more careful, especially with the really great stories, like that one!
Military loss, our gain!
If you think about it, and you do not have to real hard,..it would be a (good) idea to have pellet guns and indoor ranges at all barracks. You, above all,…have paralleled the similarities between firearms and pellet guns so well.
I agree. I wanted to do that when I was a company commander, but I lacked the information of what I needed and how to make it all happen.
What’s your good mate Duane up to these days?
Good to hear from you, mate. I haven’t seen Duane in 55 years. I suppose he’s still the same, if older.
Man I don’t even know where to start. I think I will just say for now that growing up out on the farm and running with my buddies out shooting firearms and air guns was some pretty good times.
We would be out from sun up to sun down plinking and hunting as we called it for who knows what. We always had pest problems on the farm. So that was our hunting we did. It mostly consisted of pest birds. But there was some rodents as well as certain snakes.
One of the fun things we did. Well I thought it was anyway back then. We would have to go pick the bad vegetables and such off the plants. We would put them in a metal galvanized 2-1/2 gallon bucket I believe it was. Then the fun started .we would place the bad vegetables out on the feild and ontop of logs or in the fork of a tree branch. We would probably have 50 of the bad vegetables placed everywhere out in front of us. We would draw a line in the dirt with a stick. You couldn’t go past that line.
Then it was all on after that. We all ( about 4 or 5 of us)would stand on the line and open up on the bad vegetables with whatever we had and what ever ones we picked to shoot at. All you would here was hey thats the one I was shooting at. Or cool we both hit that one at the same time. Then somebody would say did you just see that one pop when he hit it. Then you would hear no I didn’t see it im trying to hit one of of the dang things. Then everybody would laugh and keep shooting. Or sometimes we would take turns shooting. You never knew how it would be from time to time.
But we would do that kind of stuff all day long. Day after day. We would shoot at dirt clods when the feilds got plowed. The corn cobs even.
And the funny thing about all of that when we was fun shooting we used open sights, stood up or kneeled. Sometimes even sat on the ground with or legs crossed. I even remember us laying on our bellies in the grass or dirt shooting at stuff
It was mostly pump air guns for me when I was out running around like that at I’m guessing around 8 – 10 years old. I think I remember having a bb gun when I was maybe a year younger. I like 7 years old. Then I got my Winchester 190 semi auto rimfire .22 at around 10 years old. So it was a mix of air guns and the rimfire gun and shot guns. Got to shoot my dad’s 30-06 when I turned a teenager.
Just too many fun days back then is what I can say best. Maybe more things will pop into my mind before the weekends over.
Excellent Friday blog BB.
Great article I really enjoy these types of stories. My first BB gun was a Red Ryder that I received for Christmas when I was eight. But I grew up shooting my father’s Crosman 160 since I was six. My father had some great classic airguns when I was a kid, Daisy Red Ryder, Benjamin 132, Benjamin 347, and the aforementioned 160. To a kid that 160 was great, I still have it and everytime I pick it up it reminds me of my youth and my father.
You were lucky to live in a family where shooting was considered good. It wasn’t in mine. All my exploits came at the end of a long campaign of mine to get guns. My story sounds like I shot a lot, but those were just the high points. Mostly I say around scheming how to get a gun at all.
Scheming how to get a gun at all. That reminds of a certain young boy who wanted a Red Ryder for Christmas!
I came to airguns late. I vaguely remember having a cap pistol as a child in the late sixties. It didn’t shoot BBs, just made noise. Guns weren’t a part of my family, so I lived most of my life without them. Then in the early 2000s while I was living in Decatur, IL, I started receiving all these catalogs from a mail-order company selling knives and swords. The catalogs also had listings for the old Crosman 357 pellet revolver. I thought it might be kind of neat to shoot one of those Crosman revolvers, but I really didn’t know where and how to do it safely. The restrictive IL laws were also an issue. Fast-forward to 2012, and I’m living in St. Louis, MO where the gun laws are more “liberal” and much less restrictive. I’d bought several knives and swords from that mail-order catalog along the way, but that Crosman 357 revolver kept drawing my attention. My house has a big finished basement, and I began to see a way to set up a shooting range down there. In May 2012 I finally bought my first two airguns: the Crosman 357 and the Beretta PX4 Storm. I also bought a Crosman pellet trap which I put in a plastic “ready-to-assemble” cabinet which I lined with cardboard and paper so that if I missed the trap the pellet would at least hit paper and cardboard and not ricochet. Buying those airguns was the best recreational decision I ever made. Now if I could just retire so that I could spend more time enjoying this hobby!
Also ordered your new book the other day can’t wait till it arrives. Are you going to be attending the airgun show at Finlay Ohio this year? Maybe a book signing? Can’t wait till your revised R1 book is released.
No, I won’t be at Findlay this year. Now that I’m alone I have to board the cats any time I want to travel. That stresses them a lot, so I want to keep it down. I will attend SHOT and maybe the NRA show in Louisville, but that’s about it.
Wow…what a flood of memories you brought back BB. I think we were born about 2 days apart?(8-31-47) I had the complete silver dual Roy Rogers cap gun outfit…shot my first BB gun, my cousins, in Cleveland when I was on my annual one week summer vacation visit from Brooklyn NY. I was among the poor unfortunate ‘slum dwellers’ in the family. About 10 years old we shot a blue jay. It fell to the ground still alive. We didn’t expect that or to even hit it. Carried it home and my uncle handed us a hatchet and said “Chop it’s head off … NOW !” … We never shot at birds any more…..A few years later on vacation in upstate NY it dawned on me that here I could just walk into a store and buy one. Enter my first, a Spittin Image 1894 Daisy. Still have it, and 3 variations now. I could never take it out of our apartment in Brooklyn or get to buy another until I was married and stationed in Florida during my third year of Naval service when it hit me. There I was able to actually own a ‘Real gun’ ! Enter a Plainsman BB pistol, Crosman Mark I and a real Ruger Mark I. They held me for many years until I came down with my Air Gun addiction, especially after retiring to the country on a few acres with a dirt road….
Wow! We were born just 2 days apart! I was the poor relation in my family, as well. I even had the same twin Roy Rogers rig you had — got it for my 5th birthday. Somewhere on this planet there is a picture of me with that rig on that day.
I didn’t live in Brooklyn, though. Living in Ohio, I was one of those “weird” midwesterners you New York folks talked about.
I was drawn to guns because they were forbidden when I was younger. That sort of patterened me, I guess.
Glad to hear I’m not alone.
I still have ‘my’ 50 cal bullet and one my dad gave me with a bullet shaped cigarette lighter installed in it. A WWII souvenir. Now I absolutely have to look for ‘my’ Cowboy pic !
I have always had a fascination for anything that would shoot a projectile.
Even when I was 7 years old making my elastic-powered “cloths-peg guns” accuracy was the goal and I spent hours practicing. The grounds keeper at the local park would watch me practice and the moment I went hunting he would confiscate my “weapon”. Undaunted, I would go and make another improved one and start the cycle all over. We moved away and 10-12 years later I was visiting in that area and during a walk in the park I met the same grounds keeper. He presented me with a box full of my home-made “guns” and we had a real good laugh about it. Wish I would have kept them.
My first “gun” was a toy rifle that had plastic bullets that were pressed into spring-cartridges and loaded into a revolving cylinder. It had minute-of-a-toy-solider accuracy at 10 feet – I thought it was awesome.
My first real rifle was a Slavia 618 I bought with money made by cutting lawns. I remember handing over $10 for the rifle and 4 orange boxes of pellets. The 2000 pellets lasted me a whole day! Then I was back to cutting lawns to get money for more pellets. Two days ago I was testing a lighting arrangement I made for my Chrony with that same rifle and it is still averaging 360 fps.
I started off plinking and small game hunting with pellet rifles, home made sling-shots and bows & arrows. Been the whole route… rimfire, shotguns, centerfire, compound and crossbows. Now, 50 years later I am back to pellet rifles, home made sling-shots and bows & arrows.
My wife says that I am in my second childhood; I strongly disagree, I am still in my first and clinging to it desperately. 🙂
Thanks B.B.! Lots of memories with this blog.
Thanks for sharing! I alway thought of you as the “Man with the Million Trigger Pull Finger”. I never thought that you would have started so auspiciously……
That friend’s Dad who put your gun back together again, I would have hung out with him!
I had a under lever something, that after cocking we would stick the muzzle in some dirt and use the clod of dirt as a projectile. Depending on the dirt, it might fly 15-20 feet.
A few years ago someone asked me if I still possessed the first gun I ever owned. I proudly responded “Yes! It is a Daisy 880!”
As it turns out, I’ve been wrong all these years. My mother passed in spring of ’14 and while I was visiting her during those final weeks, we combed through thousands of old photographs she had taken over the decades. It was awesome looking through those old photos, but one particular image caught my attention. It was a Christmas morning, sometime in the late 1970’s…..and there I was with my brother and sister….and I was proudly holding a Daisy lever action BB gun! The memories instantly rushed back in a flood. That was my first gun and I had completely forgot about it!
I forget the exact model. It had a wood stock and forearm so I might have been a model 95 or 99. Anyway, that following year I remember shooting anything and everything with that lever-action Daisy. Then the day came when the kid across the street acquired a Crosman 760. I had seen those and other airguns in the catalogs, but I had never seen or shot one in person. Variable power and the ability to shoot BBs and pellets? Suddenly, my little ol’ lever action became puny in comparison to my neighbor’s powerful 760.
During those days I received $5 a week for my allowance and I saved up that year and purchased a Daisy 880. I also purchased the 4x scope to go with it! I remember the kid across the street was really impressed with my new Daisy and how much easier the pump arm leverage worked versus his 760. Even though my new air rifle would shoot pellets, I primarily shot BBs. Oh, the memories!
Flashback to me sitting on the couch with my mother, looking at that old Christmas photo. What ever happened to that gun? I know the 880 was a much better rifle, and once I acquired that multi-pumper I shot it exclusively, but how could I have completely forgotten about that old lever action? I asked mom if she knew where it was. She didn’t. I searched her garage and then tore through her attic. I found a boatload of my old toys, but that Daisy was nowhere to be found. My sister told me that our grandmother had some of our stuff, so I searched through attic, too. After mom passed, I returned home and searched my own place with no luck. That Daisy must have got lost, stolen or simply disappeared somewhere along the way. I wrote that old girl off.
Well, this past summer I was driving up a country road and I was approaching a house which was having a yard sale. As I got closer and closer to the house, I noticed there was a young boy behind the tables of stuff on his front lawn. As I passed the house, I saw what was on the table and a sign that read “TOY SALE”. With that quick glance of that young boy and his toys for sale, I suddenly recalled what happened with those old Daisy of mine. I mean, I suddenly visualized the image in my memory like it had happened just yesterday. I had sold that gun at a yard sale. Me and my two best friends set up a “toy sale” one summer afternoon and we sold a lot of the games and toys we no longer wanted. I remember this old guy (he was probably only middle-aged, but at age 11, that guy was old) picking up my old Daisy, inspecting it and then opening his wallet to give me a $10 bill which was my asking price.
Had I not been running late for an event, I would have stopped at that boy’s toy sale. Not so much to see what he had to sell, but to thank him for solving a mental mystery that had been gnawing at me for over a year. It’s funny how memories can be so easily triggered into action.
Thanks for today’s article, BB. Good memories all around.
Dan Wesson Fan,
As I recall, Lucy charged a nickel for curbside psychiatric help. This is much better.
True, but Lucy was much cheaper!
My first airgun was a Daisy 1894 BB gun. It wasn’t very powerful but it was fairly accurate for a BB gun. I really learned to shoot with it. I shot it to junk. It hangs in my garage to this day. My next was a Marksman air pistol. I learned to shoot it well. I remember one day I shot it with some friends. I was surprised that they couldn’t hit anything with it. That showed what practice can do. Next was a Sheridan Blue Streak. That gun was a jet fighter compared to the biplane of the old Daisy. I was really hard on the local pest birds and red squirrels with it. I still have it, It’s been resealed twice and is still going strong. Years later I got my Diana 52 in .177. It was the first of many more airguns. Now my firearms………well that’s another story.
My first experience with an air gun was not to be able to shoot it, or even hold it, or even regularly SEE it! It was my grandpa’s 1913 (bought new when he was a boy) Daisy Model 25. It was in a canvas bag leaned up against a rafter in my grandparent’s summer cottage open upstairs. I had been told what was in that bag, and I had even been shown it once or twice, but it wasn’t until a few years after my grandpa died and my grandma sold the cottage that my dad took it out of its canvas bag and placed it in my hands. I was still only 9 or 10, so I wasn’t allowed to shoot it — we lived in a suburban house with a small yard and close neighbors, and it would be a little too powerful for outdoor or indoor shooting. I still have that 1913 Daisy.
But my dad bought a used but in truly mint condition Marksman all-metal 1911 copy that shot pellets singly and was a BB repeater. We rarely used pellets in it, but my dad would take me out to an rural area and we would walk along Milwaukee Rd. train tracks and plink at tin cans and bottles that littered the area with BBs. With BBs that pistol (which I also still have and cherish even more than the Daisy 25) was VERY accurate at 12 feet or less. I could consistently shoot flies off of barbed wire with it.
My memories of those walks along the train tracks with that pistol and my dad are among the fondest memories of my childhood. If not for those times, I am confident I would not have become an airgunner in my adulthood. To me air guns are probably a subconscious attempt to fill a void, the huge hole left by my dad’s death.
My adult airgunning began when I went into a pawn shop to look at guitars, something I used to do regularly for my other hobby, vintage guitar collecting. I saw a pistol in a glass case, not the firearm case, that was strange looking and priced at $25. Later I learned it was (and is, for yep, I still have that one, too) a Beeman Webley Hurricane with factory scope and scope mount. The shop owner said, “It’s some kind of English pellet gun. Been here too long, so I’ll let you have it for $15 if you can figure out how to shoot it.”
That’s how I became an avid airgunner.
You realize with your stories you are helping me write the next reminiscing book?
Hah! I’ll still relate stories, but before I do each time I’ll have to decide whether or not that might find its way into a book by me. (See above for my response to your mini revolver experience.)
Howdy Mr. BB,
“At any rate, I thought I was the bee’s knees. We would say cool today. We actually said cool back in 1958, but I was a dork, and dorks always talked different so the bullies would be able to spot us.”
You, sir are a master wordsmith! 35 years of spinnin’ the hits & crackin’ the mic to keep ’em laughin’, no matter what was goin’ on behind the curtain, I feel you. You are a stud. Guess you can add MasterWordStudSmith to your long list of titles. Thanx for another gem & all you do for us.
I feel like I should be kneeling and let you tap me on both shoulders with a sword when you talk like that. 😉
Tom, when I started reading today’s blog, I thought it was going to be a teaser from your book. I have a copy but have only had time to read the first couple of stories, which I greatly enjoyed. I’m looking forward to having the time to sit down and read the rest of the book.
I guess I was lucky. I grew up on a farm in Louisiana. At that time, the nearest neighbor was almost half a mile away. Shooting was a regular pastime. BTW, my mother was the best shot in the family.
My father taught me gun safety at an early age, around 5, and let me have one of my brother’s old BB guns. I have no idea of the make or model and have only vague memories of the gun itself but have vivid memories of playing with it. It was break barrel to cock, then let a BB roll down the barrel from the muzzle to load it. It may have been all metal construction and color was all dark. When I got it was mostly rust. Its range was about 10 feet, if I lobbed the shot. If it was pointed even slightly down, the BB would roll out of the barrel. The front sight was a toothpick stuck in the hole where the front original sight may have been. I don’t remember a rear sight. I would shoot it for hours on the back patio. I would set up a card board box as a backstop and lob BBs at the green soldiers. I could hit a soldier and not even knock it over at times. Then I would retrieve the BBs and do it all over again. I remember BBs coming in little clear plastic packages – maybe 50 BBs in a pack. I could make a pack of BBs last for days before losing all of them. I can remember being very upset when it finally stopped working.
I know that I gave a very vague description of the gun, but does anyone have an idea of the make or model? Thanks.
How about the Daisy 160?
That might have been a Daisy model 38.
Reb & Tom:
Thank you for your responses.
I looked at the pictures on the internet and found Tom’s blog on the model 38
I believe it may have been the model 38. From what I can tell online the Model 160 was made from 1965 to 1974. I would have had this gun before 1965 so I don’t believe it was the Model 160. The model 38 fits the time frame for it to have been my brother’s gun. He was born in 1944 and the model 38 was made from 1938-1941 and 1948-1952. I don’t remember is cocking like the model 38 in Tom’s blog but my memory of the gun is very vague. I rember it cocking more like the model 160. Was there an earlier verison of the model 160? I believe my brother said that it was not new when he got it.
I forgot that I reported on the 38, or I would have posted a link.
Do you know for a fact that it was new when your brother got it? I’m thinking maybe it was a Daisy Model C:
My brother said it was used when he got it. I’ll add the Model C to my list of possibles.
I spent a couple of hours Saturday going through the box of old photos and didn’t find any of me with that old BB gun. I guess I’ll never know for sure what that gun was. I didn’t realize that there were that many different break barrel BB guns!
Thanks everyone for the help.
I’ve got a 160 I found in the bottom of that trashcan, the stock is burnt toast and it’s missing some internals I’m sure. It’s a cool little gun I’d like to get going so I can see what it does but not sure it would be worth the effort. Anybody else had dealings with one?
It wouldn’t happen to have a piece of toothpick where the front sight should be, does it?
The sight on mine appears to be a bead on top of a post.
I tried looking through the barrel to see if it was rifled but there was something partially blocking it so I pushed a pellet through it and met minimal resistance
All that really told me is that a small cocoon was the blockage and it’s probably a smoothbore.
It looks like the barrel liner could be brass and felt very smooth. I’m afraid to take it apart because the stock will probably crumble.
Anybody have any idea where I might find a schematic?
I’m almost happy with it being a smoothbore because it would make a perfect dartgun.
Might be an easy stock to whittle.. 🙂 I have a bunch of cherry in perfect two piece buttstock size blanks. Theyre not dry yet though.
You just May wind up with the job! I’ll have to take pictures before I mess with it very much because it’s not easy to find much material on it.
I had already considered having you knock that part out for me. So I guess it’s time to send you some pictures and see what you think. It actually looks like it would be ridiculously easy.
Is your email address still the same?
That would not only make it a display model but also a keeper.
I just sent you a email with 4 pictures, please say you got it because it was almost too easy.
If not I May need your number so I can text them.
Not two pieces to make a buttstock, but butt and foregrip two piece shotgun furniture sized.
It looks like one piece about 2’x4-5″ tall and about 1.5″ wide would be plenty.
It’s a one piece design.
I sent pics to your email.
I replied to your email, that should be incredibly easy to cut out, could even make it pretty nice.
I just wanna knock the rust off the metal, straighten the rear sight and get it shooting for now but feel like the stock won’t even make a decent pattern once it’s taken apart so I’m working on a way to send the whole thing.
Keep in touch because it would probably be best to send it after the holiday season.
Whenever you want to, and I think that’s a good idea, leave it together to see the most of it before and while taking it off in case theres things that go to dust, and with the gun itself I can form around it and fit perfectly. I got high hopes for that old gun!
I got my first bb gun for my tenth birthday. It was a Daisy Model 95, which was the same as a Red Ryder, but not called that. It had a plastic stock and forearm.
It had a pretty stiff spring. I would put the stock between my legs, and brace it against my right thigh. I shot it so much that my arms hurt the first few days.
My family lived on a farm that was located on an oiled dirt road that served as the city limits boundary. My friends lived in the neighborhood across the road, in town. They could not shoot their bb guns there, but were welcome to shoot them at my place.
Much of the time we spent shooting sparrows. We would also shoot mice that showed themselves in daylight. We learned the limits of bb guns. We learned they had little effect on pigeons or rabbits. There was a very large brown rabbit on the farm that I thought was a jackrabbit (before I learned what a jackrabbit actually looked like).
I stalked that thing for weeks before shooting it. The rabbit just ran off. I was very disappointed.
Some of my friends had Daisys they called “Red Ryders” but looked a lot different than regular Red Ryders. The were long and slim lever action guns. Another friend had a Model 25. I was very impressed by both the gun and his shooting skills. I once saw him kill a sparrow as it flew past. I finally got a Model 25 last year: a 1960 model “wall hanger” that I rebuilt to good shooting condition. I can’t blame you, B.B., for not being able to reassemble yours. I had to go to the Internet and Daisy for exploded drawings.
I shot that Model 95 until the stock broke at the top where it meets the receiver. The idea that I could buy replacement parts never occurred to me, so I threw it away. What a shame.
My next airgun came along in 2003. It was a cheap break-barrel Beeman from a big box store. I shot it until the mainspring broke, and there appears no way to disassemble it. But it got me going again. A couple 880’s, an 856, a $100 break-barrel Crosman…then on to the next level.
I loved to shoot reactive targets. I would get in trouble for shooting old radio tubes in the garden. We used Federal bb’s in little cardboard tubes. We always opened them by biting the ends, like we had seen Civil War soldiers doing in the movies. When the tubes were empty, we would use them for targets. My favorite sport was to float them in puddles and sink them. I was a good shot because I practiced almost daily.
JimQ, I’d bet it was a Diana 15 also sold as a Hy-Score 808. I think the way to load them is to break the barrel and stick the BB in the hole of the leather seal on the transfer port. Be careful it doesn’t go theough the hole!
This gun has the barrel seal on the frame instead of on the barrel, if that sounds like yours. Diana 16 was similar but had a full wood stock. Also sold by Hy-Score, Winchester and Daisy, maybe more. All 16’s were smoothbore; some 15’s were smooth, some rifled. Hope this helps. Fido
The Diana model 15 fits with my memory. I’ll add it to the list of possibles. Unless I can find an old picture of me with the gun, I’ll probably never know for sure.
Reb, I have a couple of similar Diana 15’s Not as accurate or powerful as a Crosman 760. Fun with darts though. Try JG Airguns for parts.
Thanks for the information on parts!
I really have no idea what all may be missing but I figure if I can make it shoot then it would be timely to look for a stock.
I did the best I could with their website, which was an email requesting any information about the gun they could offer.
I left my email address and it’s down to waiting unless someone can post a phone number which I looked for but couldn’t find anywhere.
Off topic, I want to say thanks Tom for making me want to buy a 499 BB gun. After reading all your blogs about and or mentioning it I received mine earlier this week. This thing is great. More accurate than some pellet rifles at the 10 yards I am shooting it at. Also received a P-08 blowback pistol in the same shipment, pop can accurate at the same distance and ultra realistic. I find that my 499 likes Umarex BB’s better than the Avanti’s. Thanks again for helping me spend some money.
That’s what I’m here for — to facilitate. 😉
You really hit a hot spot for everyone!
I am about the age as you(1949) but was born on the farm in eastern Wyo. my first “kill ” was at the age of 5. My uncle had cut out the silhouette of shotgun and made them into rubberband guns for my cousin and I .They were beautiful! A genuine wood stock ( a piece of1in. x 6in. pine) and it shot a bullet! After 5 or 6 shots of hitting the little bunnies and watching them run off I just threw my gun at it and I killed it! My first meal provided for the family! 2 yrs. later my dad held the front end of his Remington .270 and I aimed it and killed my first deer ! After that it was powder burners mostly with a few unremembered airguns thrown in the mix. It wasn’t until about 6 or 7 months ago that I dug out the 2 10 yr. old Gamo’s I had bought new and started seriously practicing to shoot straight and consistently. With a springer it was a challenge but now I am firmly hooked!
I had never used the internet till now and I am amazed at how much info is available out there! This site and its people and all the other sources that I found are a dream ( that I didn’t even know I had) come true.
Thanks, BB, and all of the rest of you out there. I am having more fun than I have ever had!
We are all here to have fun, fun, fun until her father withdraws her keys to the Thunderbird!
Oh, thanks for the ear-worm!
Two can play that game: “She’s my little deuce coupe — you don’t know what I got.”
Maybe fourteen years ago, and for about four years, Brian Wilson lived a half mile away (as the crow flies, anyway) from me.
Oh, and no, I’m not rich. I just live in a middle-class neighborhood that has a multi-millionaire neighborhood next to it.
Does she also have a competition clutch with a 4 on the floor? 😉
My first BB gun was a Daisy Golden 750 with a plastic stock and forearm. we lived on my uncle’s farm and had an English Sparrow problem and I wanted to do my part to help. My dad was a good shot and would shoot sparrows out of the tree tops with his scoped Remington 500A. I remember him cussing at the gun because it wouldn’t shoot 22 shorts without jamming.
I learn about the ricocheting properties of BB’s the hard way. I drew a bullseye on the side of the barn with white chalk and let her gly,hitting the bullseye and bouncing back to hit me square in the middle of my forehead.
I was really let down when I started seeing the looping trajectory of my bb’s going nowhere near the birds I was shooting at. My brother, being the baby of the family and being very spoiled in my estimation, got a Diana 16 for his first air gun. when we moved to town, I would “borrow” get to go bird hunting on the outskirts of town with friends and would shoot at them but never seem to hit one. I wondered why this was happening until I happened to look down the barrel when I was cocking it one day and saw no
rifling. Hornswoggled by a smooth bore again.
I don’t remember why, but my dad bought a Crosman 1400 in 22 caliber and put a scope on it. Accurate, & I remember this gun having a really good trigger on it. I was really ignorant about multi pumps and when it wouldn’t hold air anymore I put wood putty on all the metal cracks trying to keep the air in. Wish I knew then what I know now. I’d still have it.
I caught my first solid ricochet through a 1200 pistol off a telephone pole and just below my right eye in the middle of a Kansas winter.
I don’t mean to pry but just how do you conjure up money for a target pistol, 5000 rounds, and a steel trap when you don’t have it? I think everyone would like to know that trick. Could it be like some family acquaintances who just admitted that they are under $58,000 of credit card debt? There’s a ball and chain for life.
Coincidentally, I have been reviewing old Clint Eastwood movies, and I find that I have no memory of A Few Dollars More. From a few YouTube clips, Clint seems to be in a complicated rivalry with Lee Van Cleef. I wonder if I am being cliche when I say that they just do not seem to have actors of that skill and stature now. As special effects technology has increased, the acting seems to have declined. On the other hand, some aspects of the film look very dated. One never sees Clint go through the cumbersome process of loading his six shooter, except, somewhat implausibly, at the end of A Fistful of Dollars, with a kind of speed reload. And there’s a scene in which Lee Van Cleef, standing at a distance from Clint and utilizing some kind of pistol carbine, shoots Clint’s hat off his head and keeps it airborne directly overhead with successive shots. That don’t commend itself to reason.
I’ve heard the story about your friend’s Dad fixing your broken airgun and gloating about it. Every time I hear this story, it gets less palatable. Is this supposed to be rough, tough upbringing to make men out of boys? It sounds more like training boys to be usurers. Maybe this is something from an earlier time. A culture critic has noted that in the early representations of Uncle Sam in the 19th century, he does not look benign but “raw and whip mean.” And if you watch the old Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner cartoons, most of what goes on there is endless cheating and exploiting of other people. Could it be that the real cowboy era was an extremely tough and unforgiving environment? In Huckleberry Finn, Huck paddles up to a man on the Mississippi River and has this dialogue.
Huck: Mister, is that town Cairo, Illinois?
Man: Cairo? You must be a blame fool.
Huck: What town is it mister?
Man: If you want to know, go find out. But if you stay here bothering me for another minute, you’ll get something you won’t like.
Nowadays, a parent would probably sue the parent of your friend for child abuse which I think is an overreaction. Anyway, you turned into the Godfather of Airguns, so everything worked out in the end.
You’ve never been married, have you? A good wife who manages money well is a treasure.
The “trick” is to not max out the credit cards, so when you do want to stretch, you can.
Live within your means also. And, if your “means” are lean, work hard to offset the difference. That works good in youth and young adult. The older ya’ get,…well,…lets just say that I hope you figured it out “along the way”. Of course, “Life” has it’s own way of throwing a “wrench” into the works.
Paper route, fixing and selling bikes and fixing and selling mowers. Later,….all the O.T. I could work. In retrospect, we were lucky to have what we did. Both Mom and Dad are good $ managers, but Mom really pulled it off. But, if we wanted something,…we had to work for it……outside the household income.
A good hard learned/earned lesson.
Whatever gave you that idea? 🙂 As a matter of fact, you’re right. As Clubber Lang says in Rocky III: “I live alone. I train alone.”
The fact is that my money management has been okay, at least with respect to the collection that I’ve painstakingly built up. But the housekeeping leaves something to be desired. Actually my indoor gun range and mancave is perfectly organized for its function, but various females just can’t seem to appreciate that.
Huck Finn is still the reigning champ of “challenges” to school librarians and high school English teachers by parents. The “N” word is used by villainous characters throughout, but they are VILLAINOUS. Huck uses it casually and out of ignorance until he gradually grows to respect and bond with Jim. Jim becomes a human being in Huck’s eyes, and he stops using the word.
Of the three “Man with No Name” films the middle one, “For a Few Dollars More,” is by consensus the weakling of the three. I like them all to varying degrees, but the real gem by far is the extended cut (best watch it in two sittings) of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” An entire new subplot is included which serves to develop the character Tuco. As Blondie convalesces at a Mission, Tuco reunites with his long lost brother, the Mission’s priest, and the two have a long conversation regarding the two different life paths each has taken.
Yes, curious to see what will happen to Huck Finn. It is considered one of the greatest American classics no question. But at a time when racist terminology cannot be tolerated even in a historical reference, it’s hard to see what will happen to that book. While there are plenty of terrible people in the novel, one of the sadder aspects of the racism it depicts is that otherwise decent people have these attitudes and don’t think twice about them. Aunt Sally is one example. As for the connection between Huck’s racist language and his relationship with Jim, I hadn’t thought about it and suspect you’re right. But this change certainly doesn’t happen right away.
I haven’t seen that uncut version of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but Tuco’s long conversation sounds a little out of character compared to the one line of his that I do remember: Don’t talk. Shoot.
Blondie and Tuco (don’t remember for Van Cleef’s character) had Colt 1851 Navy revolvers, so they could have pocketfuls of pre-loaded cylinders and swap them out as fast as the speedloaders of today. Even Remingtons with their top strap were capable of this technique. In this one respect these revolvers were more effective than the Colt SAA in gunfights with many shots fired. With the SAA the only solution is to carry two or three loaded guns, as a couple of the characters do in High Noon. Empty SAA one — drop it. Empty SAA two — holster it. Empty SAA three, take cover and get reloading!
Van Cleef’s carbine in For a Few Dollars More might have been a Colt or LeMat.
I’m not familiar with that model of gun, but is it really that quick to change out cylinders? I hope it is faster than changing out the cylinder of my Ruger Single Six which is not a fast process as at all. Much faster would have been one of those break open revolvers of the kind used in 3:10 to Yuma. Was it a Colt Schofield.
As far as dropping your guns when empty, that seems kind of expensive even given the differing gun prices of the time. Even today, people don’t discard M1A magazines because of their expense, so I can’t ever think of disposing of the whole gun.
The Colt 1851 Navy can have a cylinder swap accomplished in a couple seconds, I would imagine, especially if the shooter has practiced it. Extra pre-loaded cylinders are essentially speedloaders for those guns.
As for dropping the first empty Colt SAA when it is empty, drawing the second one and holstering it when empty, and drawing the third one and reloading it when it is empty, what other options are there to dropping the empty 1st Colt to the ground and drawing the second one? The gun is expensive, but so is getting killed.
I used a boot heel to drive the wedges in and out but I wanted mine tight enough to keep the cylinder gap at a minimum. With some break- in I’m sure it could be accomplished by hand but it would probably leave s lot wider gap from the cylinder to the forcing cone increasing powder blast and lead shaving risk as well as that of a chainfire, my life’s already rough enough so none of that stuff for me.
I’ll take the Remington, Thanks!
What a great story. I was going through some of my stepmoms pictures a couple of weeks ago and came across one of me at Christmas I think I was nine. The package was still wrapped but the grin on my face was ear to ear. I already knew it was a Benjamin 312. We had picked it up at Western Auto for I think 12 dollars. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I spent more time with that 312 than I did with any thing else for the next eight or nine years. I had to lean it against a tree to pump it at first but after a lot of pinched fingers and learning the right rhythm I finally was able to pump it up. It was a tack driver with the Benjamin or Herters pellets I think they were both made by Benjamin. I eventually made a scope mount using lots of JB weld and scrap parts from my dad. It had a crosman 4x scope all metal no plastic in those days. I gave that gun more abuse than it should have but is survived everything I gave it. I left it with my dad when I got married and he used it to kill vermin attacking the chickens and rabbits he raised. At about 90 years old he started to drive around by brail and ran into the old 312 leaning against a cabinet in the garage. It broke the stock in half and the barrel came lose and was never the same after that. I tried to fix it but it was never accurate after that.
I bought a like new 312 at a show about four years ago that was sold for parts. It looked like it had never been shot. It was missing quite a few parts but I had those from my old 312. I think it was manufactured with a bent barrel about 2 inched from the front sight. I have tried to straiten the barrel whenever I get up the nerve and finally have it where I can sight it in, I put a peep sight on it but had to make an offset pad to sit the sight on. The rear sight sits just on the left edge of the barrel. With 10 pumps I got an average of 680 fps from it, but I don’t think it will ever be accurate. I get about 2 inch groups at 20 yards. I was in an old hardware store a month ago and they had eight cans of the 250 Benjamin HC pellets. They still had the old price of $2.34 on them. I don’t know why but I only bought 2 cans. Anyway I tried them in the salvaged 312 but they were no better than any of the other pellets I tried.
B.B. Keep up the old stories they are the best and bring back some great memories.
Those old Crosman barrels were a lottery item. Either they grouped or they didn’t. And the unitized construction of the 312 makes barrel replacement nearly impossible.
I only have one clear memory of BB guns as a kid. Some of you said you were the poor ones in the family. I was from rural South Carolina and my entire family was poor so hardly anyone had much of anything. But I do remember a couple of us laying on the ground and shooting at a kite with BB guns until the thing finally came down. I also vaguely remember shooting dirt clods.
My true experience with airguns began a little more than two years ago at age 61. However, I dove in fast and furious. I have quite a collection now and as some of you remember I shoot bench rest competitively now. But, the first gun I bought was the Gamo PT-85 pistol. Should have kept it for posterity but I didn’t.
I do owe a debt of gratitude to B.B. and this blog for helping foster my interest. It’s been a great ride so far.
A little bit of ‘Funny’ from the old Brooklyn “Slum dweller”…..One day one of my slightly left leaning daughters, in her 40’s said to me…”Dad, I don’t know any grown men who still play with airguns anymore.” With my usual bit of sarcasm I replied, ” Well….do you know any grown men who are financially independent, debt free, retired home owners with a million dollars in the bank?”
With a bewildered look she replied, “Well….no?”. … ” There you have it ” I replied…. “They’re just not ready for it yet ! ” …..” Daaad !! ”
Speaking of rubber band guns we kids in Brooklyn had them but we secured the band under the front of our wooden ‘pistols’ and shot little squares of old linoleum we slid under the pulled back band like a sling shot. I think we all knew subconsciously not to shoot at each other with those. We kept them in our scooters made with a wooden milk crate mounted to a 2X4 with a clamp on roller skate half nailed in front and back and of course we nailed bottle caps all over them for ‘looks’ and of course, well you know…..armor plating ! They were fast as hell on all that pavement !!
Great article/story for a weekend blog! My story of youth airguns is not nearly as memorable as the afore mentioned tales. It was an 1894 Spittin’ Image, Octagon barrel and gold receiver. Wore it out in one summer, moved and the next airgun was an 880? multi-pump. On the 1894,….it was a “golden” Christmas to say the least. Bikes, lawn mowers and engines were the main interest. All that interest in mechanics paid off in tinkering with airguns.
To add to other’s comments,….this was the first airgun site I found when I got back into them many years later. What a find!
Thank you B.B.,…this site and your writings have been a great gift to re-live a lost youth and an endearing hobby for years to come. Chris
My first bb gun shooting was probably in boy scouts, at the jamborees shooting bows and arrows as well, but I dont remember it. I remember being taught to aim and safety with his old diasy. It was a long time til I had more, I didnt go to my grandparents a lot, and, like you Tom, my father and mother separated when I was three. My mother did whatever it was she did and played musical husbands, leaving me to find the hidden patches of woods and swamps between the long rows of 6 family houses in the habitually “mill town” residencies. There were woods to be found, and I found them, but that was all I obtained, never aware I could have pursued using or owning a bb gun, things were much deeper and much more confusing then typical childish whims. The quiet of the woods and a primordial self sufficiency were the portal to something in my self I knew would not change, wherever it was I’d be next. I moved annually. By the time things became a home and family they were not mine in anyway, and black sheep were blacker still. Before the really hard studying of psychedelic void exploration, I did do sports and had one close friend. He had just a father and no mother. His father was carpet layer that kept red eyes and huge gold colored cj7 jeep and bought bb pistols and crossbows and took us to fairs where we ate hotsauce till we drooled like spigot. We shot the marksman pistol a little bit, but girls and skateboards and hacky sack took priority. Then just the girls and work. I left school and home very early and started working, never thinking much about airguns until I lived with my first wife. In that apartment I could see about 45 yards to a stop sign that I plinked with a crosman 357 co2 pellet pistol. Things changed as frequently as ever though, and it wasnt until 3 years later I started buying some pump rifles, airmaster and 760 and powerlines, etc. The airmaster lasted awhile, and the chase for squirrels has continued since that one showed what accuracy can do. After that I had a few co2 pistols off and on, and then I happened on a walther talon magnum with metal spring and a leapers illuminated 3-9x. I let both go at a yardsale when I sold a pumper I had and the guy asked if I had any others. Of course, the cash box was getting full and thinking about another hundred in it was enough to send it on its way. I couldn’t shoot it at the house, so told myself it was ok. Every since then I’ve been getting, tuning, and trading off springers. I haven’t gone back to any multi pumps, and was actually just about to to go the way of accuracy again while I saved up for something, and wouldn’t know, I get blessed with a 177 marauder, which is putting any weight jsb into the same hole at 15 yards. Got my 13s monsters in today… 🙂 im happy 🙂
I did supe up the 1377, and rabbited with the trail np pistol, but otherwise its been about 4 years of springers. Im in a whole new ball field with the marauder and would suggest one to anybody, it covers so many aspects desirable to satisfied pellet shooting, for a start I cant think anything would be better.
Great BB gun memories blogged here. i was a child during WWII. I am sure I had a wooden rubber band pistol. After the war had a Roy Rogers cap pistol and holster. Got first BB rifle when i was around 11. It was a Daisy, but not sure of the model. Fun targets were Mom’s clothes pins, When I was lucky enough to hit them they would spin like crazy on the clothes line. Other targets were wooden matches stuck in potatoes and flies on our barn walls. Thank goodness I still have both of my eyes as no safety glasses for ricochets ! Great reading BB.
I don’t know if you remember me but I’m the guy that asked about 10-Meter pistols and prompted your recent blog on the FWB C2. Well I finally found a club in my area that has a group of guys that shoot 10m air pistol every week. I’m going to shoot with them on Monday, I can’t wait!!! I’ve also been shooting in a postal league as well. So I got the Gamo Compact we talked about and it shoots pretty well. I decided I wanted to move up to a true nice 10m match pistol, like we discussed. Well I found a FWB P30 that’s in new unused condition! The seller bought it brand new from a Beeman dealer and never used it. He said he’s kept it up though and he chrono’d it for me and its healthy as can be. It was a little more than I wanted to spend for my first serious 10m match pistol but I couldn’t pass it up, the thing is new in the box!! It comes with extra goodies too. I also wanted to thank you. If it wasn’t for you and your blog I wouldn’t have got into 10m air pistol like I am. Thanks again Tom. Your blog is much appreciated! Now I just gotta figure out how I’m gonna fill my P30.
I DO remember you! And I am glad to hear that you finally found a 10-meter club to shoot with. Now your hobby will grow fast.
I have the pistol I recommended to you and have been reporting on it.
Your P30 was a longtime dream of mine — as was the P34 and the P44 that followed it. I don’t have one yet, but someday…
Shooting was always acceptable in my family. My dad gave me a Daisy Model 1894 one day. It wasn’t my birthday, and it wasn’t Christmas – he just thought the time was right. I wore it out, got it repaired, and wore it out again. Those 1894’s must have been unbelievably finicky. On that first day my dad spent an hour “getting the bugs worked out” before I got a turn.
BB, Geezer, etc—- Re my early colt 1911 A1 with a single trigger– I found a similar pistol for sale on gunsamerica. The blue carry case and the Colt pellets are the same as mine, but the unfired pistol is nickel finished and has a double trigger. The info states that these early pistols were made ( under license by Colt) by RWS before the umarex purchase. My pistol and the unfired pistol in the picture also has 3 screws on each side of the frame. BB why? If you want to see what I found, go to https://www.gunsamerica.com/967961411/COLT-1911-A1-Nickel-finish-177-Pellet-co2-Pi… Ed
That link just takes you to Guns America.
Yes, RWS did export the 1911A1, The Walther CP88 and a couple other CO2 pistols before Umarex came along. That must be what you have. As for the tree screws, I have no idea.
Our family also routinely went to the range to shoot a wide variety of firearms my dad was steadily accumulating through his job as a journeyman gunsmith well before I was in school which is what made me want my own so bad. Since I never attended kindergarten it makes it more difficult to pin an age on it but let’s say 4 or 5.
I remember my mother getting knocked on her butt by a 10ga double so dad apparently didn’t cover all the bases but we all had fun and everyone survived.
My first airgun was also a plastic stocked Daisy that I saved money from my chores and other odd jobs for. I remember it had a barrel band and held 1000 shots. I had the band off a few times but don’t recall if it was metal or plastic.
BB– that website is what is on the bottom of the page that I printed. I tried the following and got the blog. Colt 1911-A1-Nickel Finish . 177 Pellet Co2 Pistol, Original Ed
I grew up lucky. Lots of acerage with a Harwood forest full of fox squirrels out the back door.
My first was a red Ryder which always disappointed and I didn’t oil it either. Luckily I still have it. My dad was a Ralfie so me and my bro got red ryders for christmas in 74 or 75 . No squirrels with that gun. Later a Crosman multipump760? Lots of power but the plastic barrel bent when it fell.
Many years later and the R1 book led me to get a bsa supersport and I now have a nice collection of euro springers!
Plastic barrel on a Crosman 760?
Yeah I know help me out can’t remember what the model was it was plastic stocked and plastic barrel 177 bb and pellet gun
The current 880 has a plastic just about everything excepting it’s barrel, valve and shroud with the barrel locator/ front sight but 760’s have a solid one piece metal barrel barrel that really won’t bend from falling over unless it at least got stepped on or run over or do it intentionally with the aid of a vise, I have seen 880’s with barrels bent like a taco but only from being severely abused however never a 760 near that bad.
They were pretty solid guns until they started making the receivers outta plastic.
Got some stuff done and decided to get some shooting in but by the third shot heard a knock on the door(blastit!) It was my neighbor but not there to complain about the noise of my spinners just not feeling well so I invited her in to help keep an eye on her because she was feeling so bad she was ready flip the emergency buzzer if she got laid down and still felt bad. I closed the house up until she left about 15 minutes ago and went out to check the mail and now it’s cold so I wound up with a total of 8 shots in for the week due to waiting for upper management to be out of the property.I may tough it out again before 10:00 but it’s only getting colder the longer I wait.
Final update on the on the 92FS pellet pistol:
On the 6th. Co2 and it is doing fine in both double and single. Original chrony was 429 avg. and today was around 384. That may be 2 diff. pellets, so that may be the difference. Not bad after 3,000+ shots.
As B.B. has noted multiple times, shooting Co2 too quickly will result in fps loss from shot to shot. 15 seconds between shots were -8,-10,-9,-3,-10,-8,-4. 1 minute between shots were -1,-4,-4,+2,+1,-9,+14 from the previous shot.
Before, the pistol started having issues and finally the cocking and firing mech. just locked up. I tore into it over the course of 3 days. There is 84 parts total including the valve guts and I had every one of those 84 parts laying
out. Careful study did not show any obvious issues. A clean and re-lube with Moly and it is now working. I had 3-4 jams on the second clip and the mech. felt and sounded a bit different. Things soon smoothed out and settled back in and now the operation is very consistent.
I am pretty good with mechanical and precision things but this really pushed my limits and patience. All I can say for anyone contemplating doing a same or similar tear-down,…..hang on!
Reb, there was no noticeable fps difference between single and double firing.
I figured the 92 fs was a better gun than my 1008 was since it has a metal frame and although the two do seem to share some characteristics the difference is apparent to me in consistent velocity between single and double action operations.I have no chrony readings to go by but it was obvious just from the report.
As I recall the 1008 didn’t have a flat mainspring tucked inside the grip like most firearms but rather a coiled spring pulling the hammer forward and anchored somewhere forward of the trigger assembly.
Nonetheless, good job getting it all back together and functioning properly!
Well,…I sent you a nice reply only to have it “evaporate” into thin air.
Short version,…..I am glad it is done and working and will get ‘er some good pellets on the next PA order.
She must have got tired of me feeding her “Wally’s” offerings. Chris
I started washing my pellets after getting to the bottom of a few tins and noticing a lot of flash that had broken off through the process of digging out the pellets one by one. I tried just dumping them into a rag and rolling them back and forth first but still had flakes until I started washing and reliving them.
Seems to work well for pellets with less stringent QC standards and also offers the opportunity for individual inspection.
Washing and re-lubing is not something I hear much about,….least not here anyways. I have never tried it. Do you think it makes any difference? What’s the “lube” recipe? Or,…is that a “top secret” secret? 😉
By the way,….while having the 92 down I looked at the barrel and wondered it was dirty. I did the 45 degree flashlight bit ( works good when you can actually get to the breech) and decided to put a Q-tip brand Q-tip down the barrel since I had some laying out for lube application. It was dirty. I think I heard that once before but do not remember. Looked better after. At any rate, shove the one end in with solvent followed be the other dry end and you got a cheap and easy quick clean.
I’ve used many a Q-tip loaded from the breech to clean the barrels of my pump guns back in the day.they’re flexible enough to fit in just about anything and do the job cost effectively.
If you search “lubing pellets you’ll probably find quite a few articles on it by B.B.
It was a hot topic for a while. I just didn’t want mine oxidizing from removing the factory layer and mostly used a silicone oil meant for paintballs
I remember reading a few. As I remember, it did not make much difference. I would lean toward a Teflon or Graphite dip and dry method if I was going to try something. Not sure if anything like that exist. It would be kind of hard to get either of those soluble in a thin and quick drying solution.
I didn’t want anything that might collect dust or debris and that’s why I settled on the silicone oil
I put them back in the tin and cut a couple pads from paper towels to hold any excess.
I pulled out my McMaster Carr catalog. It’s got Teflon and Graphite quick dry sprays. All kinds of stuff. I swear, you could build anything from the stuff you can order in there.
I may try it someday. You would still have the press fit of the pellet into the rifling, but it would have less friction. Boost the fps? No doubt, someone more resourceful than me has already tried it. I would love to hear about that.
There has been talk about lubing a pellet in the past. People have mixed feelings about it. If you should or shouldn’t. How often, how much or even some drops in a barrel.
What I myself have seen when I tryed it in the past is it will leave a paste type residue in the barrel. Maybe to much oil I’m guessing. Have you heard of the term (lead dust collector) or LDC for short. In other words a nice name for a silencer. Well if you take one off a gun it will have a lead powder in it.
You know what I have mentioned to you before. I put a few drops of oil in a barrel and shoot the pellet gun. I believe that helps clean that dust out and restore accuracy. But also to much lube can file up the barrel. And I’m referencing what happens to a file when you file metal. The teeth load up. So that’s my thinking about lubing a pellet or barrel.
Some lube sometimes is good but like anything. To much could possibly be not good either. I guess it boils down to personal preference like most things do.
It’s a pretty decent day outside here as long as you’re not riding a bicycle.
I woke up without any cigarettes and fixed that about 10:30 fighting a swirling 20mph breeze the whole way and had the back door open for over an hour. Still got quite a bit to do before inspection but I’ll be squeezing in some range time somehow today.
Been setting up the range to stop more pellets before they hit the fence.
A long-delayed range report! I finally got to try out my CZ 75 SP-01. And the result? Mildly disappointing. I was told that this gun cancels recoil, and that is not true as it recoils like other guns. The main cause of concern, though, was the trigger. While dry-firing, it seemed okay, but shooting revealed its shortcomings. It has a very long and creepy trigger. And if the ideal is to break like a glass rod, this one broke like one of those pool noodles. I seemed poised to release the shot, and it wouldn’t break. This seriously interfered with accuracy which was okay, but not outstanding. I will admit that I was distracted by the big stud next to me who was shooting inhumanly small groups at the 7 yard line. I have snickered at other people before, especially those who like to shoot at this short distance, but not this guy. The green laser was a disaster. Gunfun1, do you remember my concern that people would see my laser? I could hardly see the darn thing even at 7 yards on an overcast day, and the accuracy was unimpressive. I suppose they must be only for low-light shooting. Anyway, they don’t seem to work for me. And on top of everything, the curve of the trigger blade was starting to hurt my finger after 100 shots. Is it possible to swap out trigger blades for different shapes?
The contrast between the CZ 75 and the 1911 became very clear at the range. I had my doubts about whether the 1911 was still number one, but never believe it! Something about that old-fashioned angular look just lines up everything with the target. Truly a gun of genius.
The other big news was another gun of genius, the Mauser 98K which I really wrung out for the first time. I had heard reports about 1 MOA with this rifle, but the best I could do was 4-6MOA at 50 to 100 yards. That was with surplus Romanian ammo from the 70s. But I suspect that the sights were the limiting factor. The pointed front sight doesn’t go well with a bull. There isn’t a precise sight picture for a 6 o clock hold and when you poke the tip into the bull, you don’t get a precise picture there either. I had heard reports about how the sound of 8mm round had a unique resonance that was not hard on the ears. I wasn’t going to try this without ear protection, but it sounded to me like a giant pop, like I was holding a big pop gun. The recoil wasn’t bad either.
There was one matter of concern. On a couple of occasions, I felt gas blasting over my face upon discharge. Make sure to where your eye protection. I don’t get this. I thought that if worse came to worse, the Mauser was one of the strongest and safest actions in existence that would vent gas away from the shooter. Could the surplus ammo be the problem? It was locked in airtight containers and looks brand-new. Could the cause be a pierced primer. I know that Communist bloc production standards were not always of the highest. I suppose the next thing to do would be to test other commercial loads.
Anyway, the gun really transformed in offhand. The groups didn’t get any larger than rested! I shot something like a 6 or 7 inch offhand group at 100 yards! And this happened several times. In part, the weapon really comes alive in offhand. I don’t think the gun looks aesthetic and didn’t appreciate all the curves. But when held offhand, it feels sleek and jaguar-like and, notwithstanding the weight, like a real carbine. And while the bolt is not as smooth and fast as a Lee-Enfield, it has a pleasing solid smoothness. If there’s such a thing as bolt authority, this rifle has got it. Possibly the sight picture was responsible too. While the sights are not that precise, it is fun to poke them quickly into whatever target. And also I remember the advice of a Delta Force operator I’m reading who says that rested shooting disrupts the natural recoil cycle of most firearms. He says that apart from sighting and load testing, all tactical shooting should be done offhand. I’m not in tactical training, but I am coming to the belief that rested shooting is very limiting. Offhand is much more fun and challenging. Possibly all the tens of thousands of rounds shooting offhand with my airguns has ruined me for any other kind of shooting.
In any case, it is funny how guns only come alive when you shoot them. The M1 Garand has the steady, sustained cycle of its long stroke piston. The Mauser has a sleek jaguar-like handling a smooth authoritative lock-up. The guns of genius have a kind of design and operational coherence. You definitely want to fire a Mauser 98K as part of your shooting experience.
You got to get a real good green laser. The one I have is a NC Star. Got it through Pyramyd Air probably around 6 or so years ago.
It’s extremely good. I can see it in the day time on a sun shiny day easy out to 150 yards. (shining on a dark object)
But only one problem. I tryed to buy another one just a little while back at the local gun shop. It had the exact same part number, looked exactly the same and came with the same assecories. But no kind of way performed any where near to how the older one performs.
It’s like what your talking about. I’m lucky if I can see it at 15 yards on a overcast day. To me that one is like a toy.
If I could find another one like the old one I got at Pyramyd Air I would buy a few. I payed $59 dollars for it as well as the new one from the gun shop. All I can say is two totally different lasers.
And you know what they say. You can’t hit what you can’t see. Well same how you going to hit something if you can’t see your aim point. You got to find you a good laser then I think you will be surprised.
I’m sure the government has intervened and placed tighter restrictions on what’s available to the general public once again.
I thought that too. They probably toned it down.
I know we talked about the types of lazers that are available in the past here on the blog. And I do believe the old one I have would cost alot more nowdays.
We’re not necessarily paying for the technology but clearance from the restrictions which makes it yet another tax.
Matt61– If you are getting a gas blow back, the gas has to be coming from a crack or hole in the primer or cartridge case. Did you inspect the rounds ( for cracks, defects) before loading them? Did you inspect them after firing ? If so, what did you see? Ed
I was finally able to put a few rounds through the 2240 today without concern for accuracy or sighting in and it kept ALL the pellets on the spinners so it’s time for that HIPac.
I don’t trust doing it through this phone so I’ll try getting on the computer in the office tomorrow and get one ordered.
Late to the party as usual!
I’m fascinated by the fact that so many different manf and models existed back then. I was a BB gun kind of kid in the late 60’s –early 70’s. I only knew of Crossman pump 760 and a few Daisy models. Living in a major city Philly, shooting guns of any type was not a daily occurrence. But my father bought the Crossman pump we shot in the garage and the following Xmas I received a Daisy Winchester looking rifle with shiney brass side plates. Uncertain of the model? But the Daisy springer was no match for the 760. A few years later at age 13 I bought a Crossman 1377 .22 cal. This I could sneak it outside and shoot rats down at the dump along the high speed RR lines. It was deadly. I killed a few rats but had to be perfectly quiet and wait for them to appear. Plinking at cans and bottles made me a good shot.
Air guns became non-existent to me until one day in 2005 I saw the Gamo models in a sporting goods store. I became hooked again!
That Daisy was the model 1894. Read about it here: