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Education / Training How technology helps and hurts

How technology helps and hurts

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Technology
  • When I was a boy
  • Golf drivers
  • Better golf balls
  • New cars
  • Hand(s) guns
  • Sights
  • Today’s message


I’m departing from my usual test reporting today because I want to address a topic that I believe affects all shooters. The topic is technology. Technology has changed the way we shoot, though a lot of people who are new to shooting aren’t aware of it. Like kids with cell phones have no clue what telephones were like before, so new shooters lack all grasp of the fundamentals.

When I was a boy

When I was a kid in the 1950s the world seemed to move too slow. There never seemed to be any new advances in anything. Cars were the same; television was the same — things were what they had always had been. That observation was incorrect, of course, but my limited experience didn’t allow me to see the big picture.

But the 1950s were actually a time when things moved at a slower pace than they do today. I remember when Dr. Salk perfected his vaccine for polio — it was all anyone was talking about for months. I remember seeing people, especially kids, stricken by polio. They would have to live in iron lung machines for the rest of their lives and I remember thinking what a wonderful thing Dr. Salk had done for mankind. But, if something similar were to happen today we would get over it in a week and start looking for version 2.0 — the improved vaccine that also cures cancer. Technology is on the fast track today, and it certainly ripples over into our hobbies.

Golf drivers

Let’s start with the game of golf. I’m not a golfer, so I can comment as an outsider. I see discussions all the time about the new mega-drivers that allow even poor golfers to smash their balls hundreds of yards farther than ever before. They talk about hybrid drivers with larger faces, centers of gravity that have been moved for improved drive angle and different face treatments to put the ideal spin on the ball for a longer straighter flight. I also see that the ads for golf clubs target all the duffers — playing on their beliefs that longer drives will somehow improve their overall game. That seems to equate to airgunners and f.p.s. to me. What do you think?

Better golf balls

What about those new golf balls? They are talking about hard balls that offer improved flight versus softer balls that give you more “bite” on the green. It seems there is a tradeoff between the ball flying farther and still having optimum control when it’s on the ground. Man, that is exactly the same thing as talking about pellets! Airgunners discuss the benefits of domed pellets versus hollowpoints all day long. “This hollowpoint turns inside-out within the first 5 inches of penetration.” “Yes, but if you can’t hit the target, the expansion doesn’t matter!” And so on…

New cars

I was talking to my brother-in-law, Bob, about this technology phenomenon and he brought up new cars. How their technology helps drivers do better. I remember when a manual transmission was favored over an automatic because it gave the driver more control over the car. But today there are 6-speed automatics that can out-perform most good drivers with a manual shift. New cars also have improved vision (backup video in the dash); collision avoidance radar; even the ability to parallel park on some top models. But at the end of the day, a new car with all its fancy gizmos does not turn the driver into Bob Bondurant. You still have to learn to drive — just as you still have to learn to shoot.

Hand(s) guns

When I was at Media Day at the SHOT Show last week, I noticed that I was alone, out of hundreds of shooters, because I held the handguns I shot with just one hand. Every man I watched that day would pick up a handgun and immediately go into a two-hand stance. Let’s add women shooters into the mix as well, because all of them did the same thing. I, alone, held the handguns with just one hand. Yet I outshot most of the other shooters. At one range the S&W representative who was helping me remarked that he thought I really knew how to shoot. All the other shooters on that range had been blasting with a new S&W .22 target pistol at a 12-inch Shoot-N-C bull positioned about 10 yards away. When I came to the line I told the rep. I was going to shoot at one of the one-inch pasters that were scattered around the outside of the target, so I could see where my shots went. My first shot went a little high and to the left, but the next four removed the paster. The other shooters seemed pleased just to hit anywhere on the 14-inch by 14-inch target paper.

Don’t think I’m tooting my own horn here. I am doing that, but only to illustrate a point. That point is that all the fancy sights, light triggers and free-floated barrels in the world cannot take you past a certain fundamental level of proficiency. The isosceles triangle you assume with two hands may make the gun hold steadier for you, but if you never progress beyond that point you will never master the handgun. For you it will always be a hands-gun — meaning two hands rather than one! Mind you I am talking about shooting a target pistol now, not a defense weapon.

This is why I never answer straight when people ask me how much a lightweight trigger adds to the accuracy potential of a certain airgun. For me the trigger doesn’t affect the accuracy until it becomes so harsh that it causes me to throw my shots wide.


What about our penchant to scope every long gun and even many of the handguns we shoot? People just don’t seem to respect open sights today. And yet the number one complaint I read about airgun technology today has something to do with optical sights. They are too hard to mount. They don’t hold their zero. Why are there two aim points when I use a scope and so on. The one thing most people seem to have trouble with (a scope) is the very thing they think is the universal answer to better shooting. If that isn’t irony, I don’t know what is!

Today’s message

Here is my message today. Yes, technology has made vast improvements in airguns over the past few decades, but in the end it still comes down to whether or not you can shoot. You will never learn to shoot well if you use technology as a crutch.

You are in a pastime that allows you nearly unlimited private time with your airguns. It’s not like golf, where there are green fees and tee times and putting foursomes together. Take the time you have to become better acquainted with these airguns that we all enjoy so much!

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.

68 thoughts on “How technology helps and hurts”

  1. Great stuff B.B. I received a new Winchester 1894 takedown model in 30-30 for Christmas. My shooting buddy had a hard time with me putting on a peep sight and not a scope on it. (besides detracting from what a takedown rifle is all about)
    He had never (at least in the last 50 years) shot open sights on a rifle. Scopes are better but sometimes I think it’s good to get back to the basics.
    I’m loving your new book “BB guns remembered” (also a Christmas present) I’m reliving my youth or what I wished it had been.

    • And I mean Amen to today’s blog.

      No other words. The end.

      Shoot and learn. What works at one point in life could work later on. But also what is new can over pass what was. Put both together then what can happen.

      I’m thankful for what has been and what we have.

  2. Your hitting home with me!? I use to live in your or the world of high tech? But! Not any more! The BIG cities and technology is great to a limit? There are a lot of small towns in America! And most don’t know what an airgun, pellet gun, PCP, HPA and CO2 are! They do know BB gun, shotgun,twenty-two and Deer Rifle even though it may only be a twenty-two with a scope? I now live in a rural area that was a POST before Indian Territory, then and now? Really not a lot different! TV is a Big deal and Broadband was a Big deal till satellite! Without my own satellite I have no communication! Most play ball? Softball,baseball and basketball! They hunt and fish and drive pickup trucks? I’ve seen more Browning Shotguns from Belgium and rifle’s that are collectors guns and they still reload and shoot and don’t replace! They live in a time capsule? At least that is what I thought till I started thinking about when I was growing up in the forties and fifties and realized how lucky I was to enjoy a rural community that didn’t care what was going in the Big City technology and across the country! Oh! Yeah I had the tee times and went through golf deal for many years in the bigger cities, but no tee time if you want to play golf? Got to find a golf course? Just make sure that the course is open or just show up and sit down have a glass of tea or a coke? Visiting is more important than playing the game of golf. No range to go shoot (guns) either! If you don’t have land to shoot on you got to lease some land or make some friends that will give you access to hunt shoot practice whatever! No Big box stores either! Most locals still having a hard time scratching out a living! We all do take trips and go to gun shows in the Big cities and take trips once in awhile and still happy to return to this life! GOD BLESS AMERICA! Semper Fi!

    • You are pretty eloquent for a Grunt. 😉

      I am a landlocked Squid and I live in Boonie, USA myself. I try to live by the philosophy of “Just because you can, does not mean you should”.

  3. Great article. As I have said in the past,…some of your best articles are the ones that do not deal with any airgun in particular. A timely article as well,.. as I am sure from the SHOT show that you saw new, after new, the next big “things” or “gadgets” that insures (read: Guarantees) better shooting. A good reminder to all.

  4. LOL! The world has been dragging me kicking and screaming into the modern technological age! Yes I have a cell phone, but it is a flip phone. My laptop does not have a touch screen and the keyboard does not detach. I look at all of the modern bells and whistles on autos today as things to go wrong and wonder why they do not take all of the money they put into those bells and whistles and make the basic vehicle better.

    What is my favorite air rifle? My 1906 BSA. In it’s day it was a technological leap forward for airguns. Lincoln Jefferies was a genius. Every modern spring piston air rifle and pistol can trace it’s geneology back to one of his designs. Yes, there have been advances with modern sproingers, but the basics are still in there and most of those touted advances are just the bells and whistles.

    • Man, you hit the bullseye with that comment, RR. I still like manual transmissions because they have less to go wrong (no solenoids, just one clutch, etc.).

      But I sure do like these “newfangled” PCP air rifles 🙂 If you like springers that much, I have a Gamo Shadow I’ll sell you…

      • BenT

        I also agree with you and RR. Like you, I still drive a manual transmission vehicle because I prefer the manual transmission. I scoff at those people who want cars that parallel park themselves. If someone can’t parallel park the car, they shouldn’t be driving a car!

        My cell phone is low-feature 2G flip-phone without all the newest bells and whistles. Unfortunately AT&T has told me if I don’t upgrade to a 3G or 4G phone by December 2016, my 2G phone will stop working with the AT&T network. I’d kick and scream at them if I thought it would do any good!

      • BenT,

        No thanks. Although Gamo has come a long way with there sproingers, they are not quite there yet. If Gamo and Crosman would figure out how to make a decent trigger, I would give them another look. I used to have a CFX and I upgraded the trigger, but it still wasn’t a Rekord or Air Arms.

  5. B.B.

    Interesting ramblings….I am a child of the 60’s have have a different take on things. My brother and I would go visit our grandmother in the Big City. We would go up to her apartment building roof, at night, and identify cars by their tail lights as they went around a famous traffic circle. This is when Detroit would change the styling every year! We had Mercury, Gemini, and then finally Apollo. Space was going to change the world!
    Other than a whole bunch more people on the planet, not much has changed.
    Same conclusion, just a different way of arriving at it!

    P.S. I do not own a cell phone. NSA does not need to know where I am.

  6. Technology is like a double edged sword. It has both good and bad effects. I like my cellphone because I can even use it to adjust my hearing aids but hate it when I am in the middle of a conversation and then realize I am talking to nobody because the call was dropped.

    I can make some observations in regards to golf as I took up the sport in 1979. It is a somewhat unique sport as you are in reality not competing directly against another golfer but against the course. Kind of like target shooting with an airgun or firearm. I must admit that I am a very poor golfer. I have taken group lessons. Private lessons. Video lessons. Bought the latest and greatest equipment and golf balls. In over 30 years of trying to play the game, I still stink. Break a 100? Are you kidding! My way of keeping score was to count how many golf balls I lost versus how many I found in the woods or fished out of the water. While I live in a golf course community, I dropped my membership a few years ago as I thought it was dumb to pay monthly dues so as not to have fun.

    I guess the answer is to use technology if it helps you and you enjoy using it. Without email and the internet, we would not have the pleasure of reading your blog each day.


  7. Technology help or hurt.

    This is so spot on. The problem is it requires introspection and honest self analysis to be relevant.

    Golfers are a great analogy to most shooters. I was an avid golfer for years. I played 3-5 times a week and practiced obsessively because I’m not a natural athlete, am very competitive and hated the game if I played poorly.

    Many golfers think that the newest clubs, shoes, balls, range finders, etc. will miraculously turn them into a scratch golfer. I regularly played with many golfers that had this attitude and I hit balls on the range next to them with their latest shiny clubs. The only problem was that they still had their old swings that were filled with flaws.

    You can’t buy a golf game and you can’t buy a gun that will make you a good shot. Good equipment helps but many times it merely masks or minimizes the individuals flaws that if addressed would make him/her great.


      • B.B.,

        Thanks. You’re too kind.

        I’d like to add one thing to my comment since this is a topic I’m passionate about and it dovetails with what you’ve already said.

        Still using the golf analogy for shooting sports, a golfer that wishes to improve would be well served by practicing with a blade rather than a cavity backed club. Not because a blade is old technology and unforgiving but because you learn so much more from the feedback the club provides while hitting each ball. An incorrectly hit ball with a blade will resonate to the fillings in your teeth and provide incentive for correcting your grip and/or swing immediately.

        A shooter that wants to improve their shooting should be shooting with good iron sights on a single shot since this is the quickest way to perfect most of the basics in shooting.

        I don’t care how long you’ve been playing golf or shooting it pays to regularly revisit the basics.

        It never ceases to amaze me when I see photo’s of airgunners collection of guns and not one of their many guns in the picture has open sights. When asked why they don’t have a gun with irons they usually reply, “I just never learned how to shoot one well consistently.” That tells me they don’t fully grasp the basics of shooting and will never attain their full potential. Rant over.


  8. Mr. Gaylord:
    Your coaching side is starting to show. 🙂 And I bet the next thing you’re going say is practice, practice practice, followed by keep and maintain your shooter’s log so your practice is is remembered and can be replicated.
    Thanks coach. And congratulations on your award at shot show.
    William Schooley
    Pistol & Rifle Coach
    Ventrue Crew 357
    Chelsea, MI

  9. B.B.,

    Today’s report of yours was one of those (and there are a lot of them) that had me nodding my head up and down every few seconds. Bob Bondurant is probably in his 80s, if he is still living,but in any kind of auto race he would beat me, today, even if he were behind the wheel of a stock AMC Pacer and I were driving a 911.

    I am happy whenever I occasionally see latest technology unable to equal the performance of antique technology. Solid state circuits still do not sound as good to the human ear as do vacuum tube circuits. And yes, my entire audio system path after the CD transport + DA converters is transistor and IC free. Even my CD and turntable step-up preamps and my open reel Revox deck have tube circuits. (Yes, I have a vacuum tube CD player.)

    Your sports analogies are excellent and as the British would say, spot-on. Sometimes technological advances can change a sport to its detriment. Long ago Jackie Stewart stated that the increase in speed of Indy cars made the sport too unsafe and that actual top SPEED in Indy racing should be regulated, as technology was making the cars faster than the driver’s skill could handle.

    John McEnroe commentated that tennis had gone from the third most watched TV sport in the U.S. to not even on the list because the large-head, synthetic rackets had changed the sport from exciting serve-and-volley points to dull serve-and-winner points. Mac said the way to save tennis from a slow death was to force a return to wood rackets with hitting surface area limits.

    I enjoy new technologies far more often than I am bothered by them, but I have never viewed them as an answer to most problems.


    • Michael,

      This is the first I heard of a vacuum tube CD player and turntable, but a quick search reveals more than just McIntosh amplifiers (the brand I have known of for many years).

      I may not obtain a system like yours, but you have given me something to look into. The only question I have is this, does the CD sound as good as vinyl through a tube system?


      • Ken,

        CDs do not sound as good as vinyl or as good as tape at 15 ips; however, a high end DA converter helps a bit (pun unintended), and an all-tube signal path from there on smooths out a CD to a degree that is dramatic, not subtle, when good speakers are at the end of the chain. I have typical age-related hearing loss, and it is still obvious to me. CDs through an all-tube path sound better than vinyl through an all solid state path, no question, just as Tom Gaylord shooting a Daisy 179 will be more accurate than me with a Steyr PCP Olympic air pistol.

        The tubes come into play whenever amplification of an audio signal is required. Obviously my preamp and monoblock power amps are all-tube, but so are the output sections of my source gear. The output section of my reel-to-reel (“open reel”) deck, because it is from the mid 1960s, is all-tube. Turntables and CD transports are simply motorized machines for rotating a disc. The tubes come into play when their VERY low level signals are stepped-up (preamplified enough so that they can go to a preamplifier) by small tube amplifiers. It is the same idea as multi-stage HPA compressors for SCUBA or SCBA. So I have a custom-made, small, stereo tube amplifier between my turntable and preamp. I have a similar device, made about 12 or so years ago by a company called Jolida, between my CD digital-to-analog converter unit, which must be at least partly solid state as it converts the digital signal from the CD transport into an analog signal similar to that which record and tape players create.

        But in my basement is an all-in-one CD player from the late 1990s, also by Jolida, which has tubes glowing in the back. It has an on-board DA converter. I goes to an all-tube integrated amplifier. That’s the system I listen to when I’m puttering.


        • I build tube amps and used to write for some of the high-end magazines. The best sounding amps I’ve built have three components: input transformer, triode tube, output transformer. Filament and bias voltages provided by batteries. This is a 1920’s topology but they didn’t realize how good it was because they didn’t have good music sources or speakers. By the time they did push-pull had caught on and the race for power. Sound familiar?

          • Fido3030,

            The race for lower power was a trend in the 1990s, when single-ended, low power triode power amps became the rage, 2 watts per channel from one 300B tube for each channel. Of course, this made horn-loaded and horn speakers the rage, too. There is still quite a following for systems like that. Vocals, small combo jazz, and chamber music sound amazing on those setups. The midrange is absolutely magical.

            The very best and most expensive guitar amplifiers are all-tube and all point-to-point wired or at the very least hand-wired on non-printed turret boards, with all tubes, switches, pots, and jacks chassis mounted.


            • Yes and they were easy to repair! Here’s something I wrote about in Audioxpress: If you reduce the filament voltage of a single-ended filamentary triode, you reach a point where distortion approaches zero. Lower than that and it rises abruptly and stripping can occur. Something a hobiest who has the right instruments can do that the OEM’s can’t. Something you might want to play with but not for guitar amps that ripple the wallpaper!

    • Michael,

      Jackie Stewart was more prophetic than he knew. Check out the reports of the cancelled 2001 Champ Car race at Texas Motor Speedway. Champ Car was still using turbocharged engines that year. Those engines were so powerful and fast that 21 out of 25 drivers were experiencing dizziness while driving at speed on the track. The race was cancelled just hours before the start because it was deemed unsafe for the drivers to race.

    • Michael,

      Bondurant is still alive and kicking. I mainly know this because I recently happened across a movie that it sounds like you may like: “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman.” Contains a lot of material on Bondurant’s influence on Newman’s success in racing.

      It’s a good thing that Sir Jackie and some others had the courage to speak out about basic safety in racing. I don’t agree on the idea of regulating speeds at Indy, but if it weren’t for Stewart’s political efforts, and the technical work of folks like Steve Olvey and Sid Watkins, who knows how many we’d have lost by now?


    • michael,
      if they were to reintroduce the wooden rackets, Johnny Mac would probably join the ATP again as a professional player. I bet he’d whoooop most current players in a best of 3 match. Mac’s skills and FEEEEL are out of this wolrd. His strokes are so natural, efficient and precise. Yeah, he couldnt keep up with Lendle, Becker, Edberg,Agassi, Courier, Sampras and the rest….. but his style and toutch are unmatched.

      • Dutchjozef,

        I still sometimes watch McEnroe in his prime, he was just incredible. For me the man was Borg. Wow. Borg’s footwork and use of spin were unreal. And he had endless endurance.


  10. B.B., as I understand what you have written and what I believe is that advances in technology can be good, even very good. But advances have a history and it is worth it to remember this and not disparage what came before, something I have heard often enough in my years. Also, in many cases, technology is supposed to supplement and not replace a persons senses and responses. Many of us will be up the creek when the lights go out.

    As for tooting your own horn regarding handgun shooting, I know you spent diligent hours improving your 10 meter skills, as well as some long range shooting with a handgun. I want to offer a few links. Two are your own writings and two I expect you can identify with.

    Parts 1 and 2 are linked from part 3.

    Col. Bonsal was like your Zen teacher taking you on the fast path to satori. The video is helpful regarding the .45 ACP.

    This one is about shooting long. Here they are using a few pistols to demonstrate. Next to the second picture down is the sentence, “A lot depends upon you, the man behind the gun.”

    Lastly, an article about shooting long range with single action revolvers:

    You have consistently spurred me to learn more and to learn what is not only possible, but reasonable.


  11. Technology is exciting and scary at the same time.

    I work on a computer doing “high-tech” all day but my personal time is spent doing basic things, making stuff with my own hands.

    Agree with you totally BB – If you don’t have the basics… you don’t got it! Doesn’t matter what you are doing, technology won’t save you.

    My Father (trained in Europe in the 30’s) taught me to work with tools – machines were not permitted until proficiency with hand tools was demonstrated.

    One challenging project I had to do for him was to make a pair of dice (square in all directions and the same size) from a round bar of aluminum using only a hacksaw, file, callipers, square and a hand drill. Don’t remember how many I attempted before I was done but I must have gone through 3 feet of aluminum bar before I got it right. Learned a skill doing that! THEN, I was allowed to use the milling machine for my project. 🙂

    One thing that I appreciate about technology is the precision of the rifles we have available – I know if the pellet doesn’t go where I want then its ME that needs to work on my basics (again).


    • Hank, when I read, “… machines were not permitted until proficiency with hand tools was demonstrated.” I was reminded of something Don Lancaster wrote. He said no one should be allowed to use an assembler to program until they had manually achieved several thousand lines of code by hand.

      I didn’t do that (I am no coder, either) but I have no doubt about what one would learn doing as Lancaster dictated.

      This wikipedia page may have issues but it does give a quick bio of Don and has links to other material.


  12. Very fun article, B.B.

    It does seem like more folks are missing out on enjoying iron sights as time goes by. A few weeks ago, my wife’s uncle and I were out with the M1 rifle and M2 carbine. We ran into some nice fellas with some very nicely scoped black rifles. The four of us had an absolute hoot vaporizing unbroken clays collected from the skeet ranges. I don’t want to brag or nothin’, but the Garand with its terrific peep sights did just fine alongside the optics-equipped rifles. Every one of us had a great time, but I think we all know who maybe had just a little more fun.

    I’ve also shot one or two Field Target matches with my Walther LGR and its peeps, and I will do it again. You might think that FT would be maddening without a lot of magnification, but I enjoy the heck out of it with peeps. You just need to be Zen about shooting scores commensurate with your equipment, as all FT shooters really should be.

    BTW, I’ve learned something that I’m sure is old news to everybody else here: the Garand is a GREAT plinking rifle. With a nice repeating PCP or rimfire or AR, somebody still has to “work” to refill magazines. With the M1’s enbloc clips costing ~$0, and especially with surplus ammo pre-loaded in enbloc clips, you never need to stop! At least until you hit your third or fourth mortgage paying for the .30-06.


  13. Well, this is all-around fascinating. I once told a cousin about new golf technology which was to construct club faces out of some kind of anti-tank metal that would send the ball a lot farther. The cousin was a member of a golf club and he said that that had been around for awhile and there were regulations against it. The fact is that this question is old enough to be addressed by Ralph Waldo Emerson himself, the philosophical sage of American self-reliance. I believe it was the essay, “Self-Reliance,” where he lays out technology as a kind of zero sum game. What we gain in technology, we lose in innate ability. Take the case of a primitive Pacific Islander, he says, and give him a direct blow with a heavy axe. This would kill your civilized white man, but your islander recovers in a few days. Well, I think I would still take the position of the civilized man rather than the ability to withstand axe blows….

    B.B., you sound like a guy I was shooting next to at the 7 yard pistol range recently. He was shooting out pasters with his 1911. Most of the 7 yard shooters I snicker at, but not this guy. And I was not doing that great on my first outing with my CZ 75 and the green laser was a disappointment. So, let’s get down to it with the one-handed grip. Sure, you can shoot well with it, better than a lot of people can with two hands. But why go for the inherently less supported position? When I shoot my Daisy 747, it feels like I am way out there in the breeze. Surely, the reason for the one-handed grip is not the semantics of handgun. Perhaps The Revenant provides the answer. There was such a lot of pulling out of handguns for a sudden shot, it makes me think that the handgun evolved for a rapid draw where accuracy was not that important, not with the technology that they had then. So, the question is, why make things more difficult with the one-handed grip when there is unlimited challenge with the two-handed? Partial support for this and for your stance as well comes from FBI guru, Robert Tauber, who says that one handed pistol shooting is essential for tactical use. He also adds that for stability, you want a slightly bent elbow to provide muscular and structural stability together. So, this is the same is the diamond isosceles stance.

    I’m not sure if technology is incapable of replacing shooting skill based on some recent developments. Apparently, Taiya Kyle outshot some champion shooter using the new Trackpoint technology. She wasn’t in the same class as the other guy in her innate skill, but she did win. What is to prevent shooting skills from going the way of the longbow or even the techniques of the cool medieval broadsword that I bought which have been largely forgotten because of guns?

    Incidentally, I didn’t realize that the Unabomber carried out his campaign as a resistance to technology. Given that he was supposed to be a such a genius, I tried reading his manifesto but got bored within the first couple of pages. It is highly alarmist but not very original. So, his genius is fairly restricted to mathematics. He claimed to be completely baffled by women and seemed to have the idea that there was a book you could read to figure them out. On this subject, people who knew him said that he sounded like he was 12 years old. Where technology fell on his spectrum of ability is hard to say except somewhere in the middle.

    Reb, I never saw The Gangs of New York. In part, the previews I saw of a street fight where Daniel Day Lewis is laying about with butcher knives grossed me out. I did, however, read the book that the movie was based on which was a documentary of gangsters of the period. The historical figure that Lewis’s character was based on, Bill “The Butcher” Poole, was apparently one very fearsome person. He was an artist with a knife and could throw a butcher knife with accuracy through inches of wood and was a very tough brawler. I believe he was finally shot. New York City was an extremely tough place in the 19th century. One thing that surprised me is that the police were not armed with guns. They seemed to enforce the law by beating people up with their nightsticks. It was very personalized combat with the criminals which generally seemed to work but not always.


  14. Well decided to take the rest of the week off. Thank goodness for vacation days. But we are having a warm spell this week. Suppose to be in the 60’s by the weekend.

    And of course I’m out shooting. And was trying out the hand rested on the scope some more today. Yep its working for me.

    But also got out the 1077 that I converted to a pcp from a 88 grm Co2 cartridge. How about a1200 psi fill and 50 shots sound. Yep a under a 100 dollar pcp. Hows that for old and new technology combined. I had a red dot sight on it all the way up to about a half year or so ago. Then decided it was time to go back to some open sight shooting like I did when I was a kid with the .22 rimfire semi-autos. Got aluminum can spinners set out at 15, 25 and 35 yards (2 at each distance). Was shooting standing unsupported. Was fast shooting. Basically taking one shot at each can and repeating back to the first can at 15 yards and out to the other cans till the clip was empty. (12 shots) Not one miss I can proudly say. Definitely brings back the memories of when I was a kid. And kind of tuff with my eye sight now verses when I was a kid. But glad I can still do it.

    Yep I will be enjoying some air gun shooting the next 4 days. I promise. 🙂

  15. Tom,

    Your message for today is spot on.

    Too many times people rely on technology with no understanding of the fundamentals, not just in shooting but in all aspects of life. I taught my daughter to shoot using open sights and made sure she understood the fundamentals of not only safety but of ballistics, sighting in, maintenance, and every other aspect that I could think of. She also understands the need for understanding the fundamentals of whatever she is doing. I don’t believe that we teach fundamentals enough any more.

    She is out of college now and lives 5 hours away so we don’t get to shoot much together. The last time we were at the range, she popped the scope off my powder burner rifle (quick disconnect) and out shot me with the iron sights to my scoped shooting. I’m pretty much limited to scoped shooting now because of eyesight (can’t see the open sights and the target at the same time).


    • Jim
      I was just about to update my reply when I read yours.

      The 1077 is one of the guns my daughters learned on. Along with a 760. They both learned open sights when they started shooting around 7 years old. Then whent to red dot sights then scopes.

      But what I was going to say is one is 15 and the other is 18. Well they both just got home and the oldest says hey that’s the gun I learned to shoot with. I said yep. She always wants to take some shots when I’m out shooting. So she did some standing shots with the 1077 with the open sights and hit everything she was shooting at. Then she sat down at my bench rest and shot the modded FWB 300 that shoots at the higher velocity with a scope. She was hitting the aluminum cans out at 60 and 70 yards as well as the other targets. She is a natural when it comes to shooting. The younger daughter can shoot too. But she has to work at when she shoots. The oldest one is real good with figuring Kentucky windage to. Heck I know adults to this day that have trouble with that. And that’s something that you do with scopes or open sights.

      And I know what you mean. They both give old dad a run for his money. I’m just glad they both wanted to learn to shoot. The kids nowdays like their computer stuff the most it seems.

      • GF1,

        Like your daughter, my daughter is a natural when it comes to shooting. I’m glad that she likes to shoot with her old man, whether its airguns or powder burners. Mostly lately, its been airguns in the back yard when she gets a chance to come home. I too have a 1077 that I leave unscoped for her to shoot when she is home. She can usually out shoot me using the 1077 with me using a scoped 2400KT, at least when we get pass 20 yards. It’s fun to set up the Air Venturi wonder wheel at about 25 yards. At least I can usually beat her on the moving target.

        I taught her to shoot with a single shot 22RF with open sights.


        • Jim
          Sure never thought when I was a kid the most fun I would have is shooting with my own kids. My dad was pretty involved with me shooting as I was growing up. Now I think I can relate to what he thought back then now that I shoot with my daughters. Definitely thankful for that.

          And once they learned all the safety things and techniques with the air guns they both took turns shooting the semi-auto .22 rimfire rifle. I think the next thing on the list for them to learn is going to be a shotgun. We got a perfect place to throw clays. And who knows what next.

        • Jim/GF1: It’s almost eerie how so many of the women in my life, including my wife, are excellent shooters. Yet they’re almost completely uninterested in shooting. What a tease.

          There’s a great t-shirt, I think at Champion’s Choice or Creedmoor. It reads “Shoot Like A Girl… If You Can.”


          • Jan
            I do know what you mean. It seems they can get into a more relaxed or comfortable hold.

            You know how women will carry their younger kids on their hip and side. They kind of kick their hip out. Well that’s how my oldest daughter holds her gun when she’s standing. She shoots right handed. So she will do that with her hip and rest her left arm and elbow on her hip and side and trigger hand and arm with locked down towards her right side. It’s almost like she leans her upper body back some. She doesn’t not move when she’s taking a shot. Reminds me of watching the standing 10 m shooters.

            And they say women have a quicker reaction then men also. So I wonder if that helps them get the trigger pulled at the precise time better.

            And I have to agree with that shirt. 🙂

      • GF1,

        That is cool stuff! 😉 I can see you being a young mans, (think dating), best friend and his worst nightmare. After said Daughter stomps his butt and you offer to “show him a thing or two”,…..he is distracted and you get to check out the latest “suitor”. Very clever. Of course, if he shows no interest in guns at all,…that is an automatic disqualification! 😉

        I don’t envy you. Well,…ok,…sometimes I do, (shooting time, collection and skills).

        • Chris USA
          Well you know what you got to do. It’s all up to you.

          Spend as much time shooting as you can and that works two fold. Then you get the skills. And I think your already on your way with a nice collection of guns. But you do know you need one more. A pcp. 😉

  16. Great article today, with many interesting comments. BB, your one handed pistol shooting with open sights is kind of like me making a cw “morse code” ham radio contact with my old tube type ham radio gear . I worked hard learning the code and now it is a skill that new ham radio operators do not have to learn .
    Reading your blogs and tests of new and old guns has made me aware of target type shooting. I like to see the results on paper of how well the weapon and shooter can do . Shooting my Webley Tempest is similar making a old fashioned morse code contact with my old radio. Have fun .

  17. K7uqshooter, Yes I agree! My quote was a re quote from RR! Giving RR a little credit also! B-I-L I agree,Yogi, NSA knows where to find you! I think their are a lot of Champion shooters tuned in on this blog! They don’t want to toot their own horns? Semper fi!

  18. Haven’t been able to spend as much time on the Blog as I’d like lately but a couple thoughts here…
    An ancient Chinese curse/blessing states “May you live in interesting times.” We certainly do, and as B.B. points out modern technology can be both a good or bad thing.
    One of the down sides is cheaper manufacturing processes that allow a product to be made with cheaper and less material (internal plastic ribbing on stocks or other parts is a good example.)
    On the good side, grabbing a new package of Crosman Premiers for my old Crosman 2200 and being amazed at these new pellets’ quality was one of the things that made me take a second look at airgunning after a 30-year hiatus. Scope quality and the variety of airguns available today has really improved in that time. We really do live in “interesting times”!

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