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Ammo VZ 47 — after the war

VZ 47 — after the war

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier


The VZ47 is a large military trainer.

A history of airguns

VZ 35 — another airgun trainer

This report covers:

  • The rifle
  • Cost controls
  • Finish
  • Loading
  • Cocking
  • Power
  • No bayonet lug
  • Overall impression

We started the week with a report on the Hammerli Trainer. We’ll end it with a look at the VZ-47. This ball-firing spring piston air rifle is a later version of the VZ 35 that we looked at in December. That’s why I put the link to that report at the top of this one. You might say the 47 is an updated model 35, only the updates were mostly ways to reduce the cost to manufacture.

The rifle

Like the VZ35, the VZ47 is a very large air rifle. Most people seeing one for the first time would think it is a firearm. It weighs 8.5 lbs. and has the same rugged look as a 98K Mauser that it’s meant to copy. All you see on the outside is wood and steel, as this is indeed an old-school military trainer.

Cost controls

If you look at a VZ47 by itself, it would look like a high-class throwback to earlier times. Of course it was manufactured in the 1940s, so that look is authentic. If you compare it to the earlier VZ35, however, the places where costs were cut begin to emerge.


While the materials are steel and wood, the steel is plate whereever it can be, rather than machined parts, and the metal is blued to just above matte. Many of the VZ35 parts are blued to a high luster, in comparison. The rear sight is blued on the 47, rather than being left in the white, as it is on the 35.

VZ47 rear sight
The VZ47 rear sight is blued. In this photo the loading port is open (right).

VZ35 rear sight
VZ35 rear sight is finished in Arsenal Bright (left in the white).


Like the 35, the 47 shoots 4.4mm lead balls through a rifled barrel. It is a repeater that operates on the Daisy BB gun principal (bolt starts the ball down the bore, then the air blast accelerates it). The rifle loads in the same placeas the 35, but the cover of the loading port or hopper has been simplified. Instead of a fancy spring-loaded cover, the 47 uses a folded sheet metal cover that just slides back to reveal the loading port. It holds about 20 balls in all.

VZ47 loading port
The 47 loading port cover is slid back (to the left) to open the port for loading.


The VZ47 cocks exactly like the VZ35. Rotate the bolt handle straight up where it interfaces with another part of a longer lever, then pull back. The bolt is pivoted at its base and rocks inside the action, pulling the powerful mainspring into fill compression. The mechanism is simplified from that of the 35, but it does exactly the same thing, and is just as hard to cock.

VZ47 bolt
Rotate the bolt handle straight up and it locks with the bottom half of the cocking lever. Then pull back to cock the rifle.


This rifle will propel a 7.7-grain lead ball to around 425 f.p.s., so it’s pretty potent. You expect that from the size and weight of the rifle, and especially after you cock it just one time!


Both the VZ 35 and the VZ 47 are equally accurate. At 5 meters you can expect all the balls to go into 1/2-inch. And it holds out to 10 meters where an inch or a little more can be expected. The sights are graduated to 25 meters, but that would be for hitting gallon milk jugs.

No bayonet lug

The first thing that caught my eye with the 47 was the lack of a bayonet lug. The 35 has one and it works! But putting a bayonet on an air rifle is silly, so I guess the makers left it off as another cost-saving step. I say it’s silly because you don’t want to use the bayonet in practice when it’s mounted on an airgun! Rifles that get used for bayonet practice get beaten up pretty bad. No army I know of uses service rifles for bayonet practice. They have a cache of older rifles that don’t get maintained, and these they reserve just for the bayonet course. The Brits even wrapped the wooden stocks with wire to keep them from shattering and injuring soldiers. And that is also why nobody uses an M16 on the bayonet course. The plastic stocks just can’t take it — any more than the wooden stocks of the past.

VZ47 no lug
The VZ47 has a stacking bar but no bayonet lug.

Overall impression

I owned a VZ35 when I bought the VZ47, which gave me a unique chance to compare them. If you never saw a VZ35, the VZ47 would impress you a lot, I think. But comparing them always leaves the 47 in second place. The 35 is just finished so much better and its parts are so much more solid than those of the 47.

I bought the VZ47 from Compasseco, who sold hundreds of them for $260 each. The owner contacted me before buying the guns and asked what I thought. I told her it was a slam-dunk. I said that she would sell out and want to buy more. Of course at the time we talked she thought the retail would be about $150.

The price went up, as these things sometimes do, and she had the rifles for a couple years in all. But sell they did and when it was over I’m sure she would have liked to get more.

I’ve read that about 60,000 VZ47s were made, and my serial number was over 20,000, so that did ring true. So there are plenty of them in the world. People just don’t sell them that often, I guess.

Performance-wise, it’s a draw between the 47 and 35. My 47 was fresh when I bought it and my 35 was a bit tired from years of use, so I refurbished the powerplant and brought it back. When I finished they both shot about the same.

I have seen a couple 47s at airgun shows, but the 35s outnumber them. Maybe some enterprising European airgunner will start selling them here. How about it, Carel?

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.

132 thoughts on “VZ 47 — after the war”

    • Good Afternoon? Your post time stamp says 6:21 AM. I think you need to get some sleep.

      As for me, I took the day off and slept in late. I am watching it snow and once it is deep enough I am going to break out my snow shoes and go play.

      I would certainly enjoy the opportunity to play with a 35 and a 47. As far as buying one, I would have to go with the 35.

        • BB,

          I just took a step outside and it looks like I have about 14 inches of “sunshine” to shovel and I do not think it is done yet. I cannot wait to see what prize DOT has left me at the end of my driveway. Kathy and I will probably put on our snow shoes and take a walk to the store today. 😉

          • RR
            We just got our first snow of the year Tuesday. About 6″. They called the kids school off. Why I don’t know. But it was still snowing pretty good Wednesday. Anyway ole dad had to take a snow day from work too.

            Yep snow 4 wheel’n and sledding. We got a nice big, big hill in our front yard that goes down in a valley. Fun stuff.

            But also snow is fun to shoot in. Very good to find your holds at different distances if the snow is right. A wet snow will show your pellet hole perfectly. A dry powder snow will just blow up snow dust.

            Thats what I’m getting ready to do today is some snow shooting. But got to have some good sunglasses on our you’ll be snow blind in 10 minutes if the sun is out shining on the snow. Suppose to be warm today too. Up in the high 30’s. Least it won’t be a high of 13 degrees like last weekend. But here I go. 🙂

          • Reb
            13 degrees last week was cold. At night when it was close to zero was ridiculous.That was cold.

            It’s amazing how the birds and animals survive is all I can say.

            • I figure that’s what my pet scorpion was trying to get away from when he imbedded himself into my hallway carpet.
              Learned something new about them, apparently they regurgitate digestive fluid on the dead prey and then lap the whole mess up.
              Think I’ll name him Ralph

              • Reb
                Well lets hope he likes that name.

                I would hate to see what happens if he don’t. Keep your little buddy happy ok. 😉

                And I been out making mashed potatoes. Seems to me the .25 Marauder is the champ so far. Well sort of. There’s nothing left when that .25 caliber chunk of lead hits. Not even hollow points. Who would of thought. 🙂

    • Giood evening everyone! Sorry bout the late start but I’m probably good for a couple hours.
      I had a couple ideas to bounce around after reading this report a couple times.
      Anyone else in?
      Not sure how much longer I can keep it up though.

  1. Hey guys! If these old trainers really rock your boat, you had better put on your life vests!

    Diana will be marketing a version of their 460 dressed like a 98K under the Mauser label! I just saw a picture of it over at Hard Air Magazine!

    • Went and looked at this. Looks good but not great. Only difference is the stock and sights. Still is cool though. Wonder what the price will be considering a 460 is already pretty pricey.

      • Scott,

        I recently acquired a Diana 46E, the predecessor to the 460.


        These are very well made air rifles. Yes, they are more expensive than what you can pick up at Wally World, but there is really no comparison.

        Would I buy this Diana? Probably not, especially since I have the 46E. I am more likely to buy a TX200 or an HW95 or a Walther LGV or LGU. However, Diana does have their Diana Exclusive offer where you can contact them and you can have an upgraded stock made to your tastes and wallet size for any of their air rifles. It would definitely look sweet with a nicely figured walnut stock wrapped around it. Cha-ching!

        • I wasn’t trying to come off as a cheapskate, just saying that a regular 460 sells for $550.00 already. Add in a custom stock and sights, you do the math. Somebody is really going to have to want one to drop that kind of money. You have good choices on your list of wants. I own both of the Walthers you list and a AA Pro Sport. I am not a stranger to paying the price if I want something. I own Dianas,(34, 350, and a 48) all good rifles but not on the overall fit/finish as a HW, Walther, or AA for the price. My opinion others will have theirs and I respect that.

          • Scott,

            You have some very nice ones their. Most of us here seem willing to drop the bucks for what we want. That “Mauser” is going to have a small following. Like I said, if I could order it with a walnut stock and retrofit a tang sight to it, I could see that in my “collection” and then only because the air rifle itself would be a quality air rifle.

            The sad part is I AM a cheapskate. I intend to have only about four or five air rifles and one or two air pistols in my “collection” when I am done. That means I will pick up one more nice sproinger and a nice PCP. I will also be getting rid of one or two “decent” rifles that I have now. I would not mind adding one more pistol to the “collection” to go with my 46M. Perhaps an older Webley, or if I can find one, a Lincoln Jefferies.

            • When I started out in airguns as an adult I bought some lower end rifles. As I progressed on my ‘journey of discovery’ I moved onto higher quality. I also would like to pair down my collection. I need to move most of my lower end guns to a new home. I only have three wants still on my list, Diana 54 .22, HW30S, and a high end pcp. I have a Mrod and Condor SS already but I would like a high end European rifle.

    • RR
      That is cool news. So maybe the air gun company’s are reading BB’s blog.

      And I still want a Mosin Nagant pcp air gun. In at least .25 caliber. I really hope somebody out there is listening.

      • G&G,

        Or you could put it in the but stock, but either way it would limit your shot count.

        I have to say I find it growing on me more and more. With a decent walnut stock and a flip up tang sight, it would be awesome.

      • G&G
        With you 100% on everything you just said.

        Totaly like the Diana underlever Mauser. And would love to see it in a pcp. Especially .25 caliber. But other calibers would be cool too.

        Let’s just hope a pcp version comes next. At least one of the air gun manufacturer’s out there should be able come up with something. You would think anyway.

  2. BB– I have seen several wire wrapped Lee-Enfields over the years. Some of them had the British rifle grenade launcher attached. The books that I have read state that the wire wrapping was to strengthen the rifle for grenade launching . However, once the rifle grenade became obsolete, the Brits may have found a new use for those rifles, ie bayonet trainers. What does our army use on the bayonet course ?Do they use old M1 rifles, or do they have a special trainer? Ed

      • Kevin,

        Thanks for the info on the Leatherwood. I have seen the small one mounted on an air rifle. It does sound like the long one would not be suitable. I would contact them about the parallax distance before I was to drop those kind of bucks on a scope.

        As for the mounts, I would be making those myself so as to compensate for “droop”. I was thinking of machining them from mild steel and then case hardening them.

      • B.B.
        In Basic we used our regular M-14’s. (1965). I broke the stock on mine on the bayonet course. The sergeant said he would give me a 3 day pass except we were so close to the end.

        • Fido3030,

          Sounds familiar, basic training Fort Dix New jersey, February 1966, transported there by train, haven’t been on one since. I am pretty sure we used our individual, as issued M-14’s also. I definitely recall some of the wooden stocks breaking at the wrist, usually during the vertical butt stroke maneuver. I also recall a pacifist, who had been drafted, who would shout LOVE with each stroke and somehow even managed to mount the bayonet backwards on the rifle, not an easy task.


  3. BB
    I like both of the trainers. But that cocking ring on the 35 is cool. And as you say the little extra they put into the 35 makes it my choice over the 47. But by all means I like both guns alot.

    And got into the conversation yesterday about bb guns and airsoft guns. That made me think. Does the Shot Show have air soft guns there? And if they do have you by chance seen anything new in air soft that is interesting?

      • BB
        I thought it would be. You know quite a while back you did a blog on airsoft guns and mechanism and how you worked on them at some point in time.

        Is there anybody else from Pyramyd AIR at the show that is covering the air soft guns by chance? If so can you point us blog readers that are interested in the right direction to get some air soft info.

            • GF1,

              The other day you asked for some PCP ideas (for me),…..I have spent some good time on it.

              The AA S 510 Ultimate Sporter FAC in .22 or .25 fits the bill pretty well.

              The M-rod with tact. mods. in same cals. would be another option. Similar to what BB did.

              Checked out Daystate and FX again and visited Crosman, Baker and Leapers and looked over BB’s latest M-rod articles again.

              So,….that’s where I am at. Still looking. I will say, as I have said before, other sites are no where as easy to use as P.A.’s is.

              • Chris USA
                Yep good choices. But keep in mind what you pay for one that is a good shooter verses on that is also a good shooter but you got to add additional cost to make it more what you want.

                Probably the best thing would be read reviews about the guns that people do. That way you can see the good reviews and the not good ones. But you also have to use common sense because there are some reviews that just ain’t quite right if you know what I mean. I think that’s what you did when you got the Tx though. So you know what to watch for.

                I’m going to email you a link to a guy that reviews alot of different air guns. He mostly does high end guns. But he also has the Marauders in there too.

                I could probably post it here because its not direct competition with PA. But ypu know how that goes. So watch for my email.

                • GF1,

                  Thanks for the help. I do not remember many….if any bad reviews on the TX,….but yes,…I know what you mean. I think I was just too new and asked lot’s of questions,….not a bad thing. 🙂 Will keep an eye out. Chris

                  • Chris USA
                    You should have it now.

                    Just scroll down the page and you will see recent blogs.

                    And the side bar on the left also has most recent and archives.

                    Email me and let me know what you think.

                    • GF1,

                      It’s all good. There is so much out there! The only concern with boutique shops or specialty shops is will they be around in a few years? I think I want to stick to something with a proven record and some years in business. But hey,….they all started out at one time or another huh? 😉

                      The AF line looks good too but seems to lack on LOP, cheek and butt adj. of any kind. (Talon, Escape, etc.) Good power and way different looks, but still good in a modern way.

                  • Chris USA
                    I will say this. PA is my choice air gun supplier.

                    But they don’t offer everything that’s out there. There is so much more.

                    And what do you mean about boutique shops? Explain what you mean.

                    And that link I emailed you has nothing to do with selling air guns. It would be BB’s blog that it would be in competion with. Actually BB himself. The guy does a lot of hunting reviews with high end guns. I guess I will post it. Matter of fact it has been posted in the past. So here it goes.


                    • At least it wasn’t a link to AGD that was posted above.

                      But I asked this question before. Just by some chance ain’t AGD associated with PA.

                      I do believe I remember right that AGD got sold some years back.

                    • GF1,

                      You are right. I looked up some of the guns reviewed which led me to other sites.

                      As for speciality shops, there are some that are clearly newer start ups. Nothing specific but I think you know what I mean. New spins on stuff that is already out there with some tweaks thrown in. I think you can relate to that? 😉 Mr. Modder!

                      And yes,…Pyramid Air is #1 in my book as well !!! Just looking to plop down some serious bucks and want to cover ALL the bases.

                      Catch me at the bottom. Chris

          • Yeah, once I got pellet guns, I turned into a snob and never paid any attention to the airsoft. That may change with me using my airsoft 1911 around the house to practice a new tactical training book that I’m reading.


              • The title is Rattenkrieg by Rob Tauber, the FBI agent. With the professional techniques and my airsoft pistol, everything is set for me to be a legend in my own mind as Clint Eastwood says.


                • Matt61
                  And I believe you will be.

                  And we did have fun with the basement air soft range we had set up at the other house.

                  Don’t police train with air soft guns?

                  • GF1,

                    A few law enforcement departments are experimenting with airsoft guns for training. But simunitions are the rule today. Airsoft offers a lot of advantages over simunitions, with the principal one being safety.

                    I haven’t addressed the difference between airsoft and simunitions in detail in this blog, but I did write a little about them in 2006.


                    Perhaps it’s time to go back and look at the advancements in both fields and see where we stand today.


                    • BB
                      I just read the link you posted.

                      That’s what I was talking about. And that sounds like a very good blog about the difference of the two types of training and yes the advancement’s too.

                      I’ll be waiting for that blog.

          • B.B.,

            Mmmmmm? I suppose that P.A. has some good data on interest in either category. My guess, and only a guess,.. the air soft shooters are a little more into the “fun” factor and not so much as the “accuracy” factor.

            But yes,.. the loading, cycling, feeding, shot cycling, etc. would be of interest. Tie that in with pellet or bb rifles (or pistols) and I think that you would have an interesting article.

            Some are battery operated,….are they not? Mmmmm,…. electronics in an airgun,…now THAT is interesting! ( note: while looking at PCP’s,…some did have a fill pressure and shot count LCD readout. So yea,….that is up and coming too. Not like I had to tell you that. 😉

            • Chris USA
              Air soft guns can be accurate. There is fast shoot competiion that you shoot a course that has been set up for air soft guns.

              Kind of like the 3 gun competion.

              Search “3 gun competion” and see what you come up with. Then search for “air soft gun competion”.

              It’s easier to set up a air soft course indoors because of the projectile back stops than it is for firearms. Plus you don’t have to worry about noise like from firearms.

              And electronics in air guns. Check out the semi-auto Evanix Speed pcp. It’s action is operated by a battery.

  4. Nice article as trainers are cool pieces of history. Who actually used the VZ35 and VZ47 to train their troopers? How does it compare to other trainer models such as the Anschutz made Hakim for the Egyptian military?

  5. Dear BB,

    Your interesting article has made me remember a point that has intrigued me long before with other similar mechanisms: how does the loading system prevent more than one lead ball feeding at the same time?

    Thank you for your attention!


  6. BB,
    Maybe a bayonet lug would have been handy if they’d made a rubber practice bayonet for the practice rifle. Something with a big suction-cup on the end. But then you’d have to modify the rifle with a spring-loaded pop-out flag that said, “Blooey” on it and it’d be straight down-hill from there.
    In any case, today is the day for those East and Mid-West to hunker-down for the blizzard, bundle-up and enjoy the morning Mocha, while we on the West coast do the same awaiting the winds and Pacific storms of El Nino. Sort of like a blizzard but more liquid. Don’t have to shovel the walk like a blizzard though, mostly because the front walk washed away at 3:00 AM early this morning. Here, we have our Mocha and watch the wind-blown mail-boxes tumble down the streets. (Not the little ones like on your house, no, like the big ones on the street corner. Noisy when they do that, too. I used to say that mail-box thing as a joke, until the first time I saw it really happen.)

  7. Thank you very much again, BB. Your explanation is very clear. You have answered exactly the point that I was concerned with, i. e. the balls rolling down the barrel in the case of steel ones, or in the case of lead ones going a bit forward, may be stopping in the breech side of the barrel, but anyway leaving room for a second one. You see, it was not an “innocent” question, but I wanted to try to adapt a feeding system for plinking with my 2260 using .22 lead balls. If I can progress with it, I will make you know.



    • My Benjamin 3120 is a 88 round .22 roundball multi pump pneumatic and has a hollow bolt probe which also has a loading port for the shot to drop through on top and another transfer port on bottom, really cool and efficient design!

        • It’s the gun I tore down just before I had a bad stroke, it was still all there but it’s got a different safety than the 312 so I boxed up all the parts and saving up to ship it to Buldawg for resurrection.
          I got a few shots with it before I tore it down and it’s a fun little gun!

          • Reb,

            Yes, it does look like a fun little gun. You send that thing to Buldawg and your going to have to give very specific instructions to not mod. or tune it. Otherwise,….you may get it back shooting 30g. pellets at 1000fps. 😉 Really though,..I am sure he would do you a fine job.

            What all kind of work does it need that you do not want to do yourself? You seem like you handle most anything.

              • Reb,

                It sounds as if you know what you are looking at. Never been inside older airguns. I do find them all fascinating and like to figure out what does what and maybe try to improve on it. A soldered valve sounds like that may take a little bit extra expertise.

    • Vasili
      I’ve had good luck with a Daist 880 feeding lead BB’s through the magazine. H&N .179’s are very accurate. I also carry a couple of lead BB’s in my fingers for a fast reload when hunting with my 2260.

      • That is encouraging; I had thought that lead balls would not be accurate enough for anything else than plinking. I use my 2260 mostly for target shooting and plinking, and when I seldom use it for dispatching small pests in a friend’s little farm, I had always relied on 14.3 gr Crosman pointed or, for a bit more punch, 15.9 gr JSB pellets (rarely, given that here these are quite expensive).



      • Fido3030,

        Update, the 3-n-1 with PTFE is working fine. The thinner oil seems to work better than the Pellgun oil. Thinner, while still getting the benefit of the oil on the bb’s.. Eventual gumming seems to not be an issue as I have shot 100+ shots with no issues.

        I did try the clear sheet protectors for cleaner bb punches. Did not work. I would say that there was some “shattering effect” to the plastic on side by side shots. Vana2 recommended cereal box cardboard. I don’t eat it, (prefer to cook), so I will need to look for something similar to try.

        The 499 trigger and latch sear/rod with moly. really surprises me each time I pick it up after a few days off. Huge difference.

        One other thing I noted,….the Red Ryder will put a cleaner hole than the 499. The RR is a higher fps gun,…so,….fps seems to factor into clean holes. But, the Red Ryder looks like a mini shotgun pattern in comparison to the 499.

        At any rate, that what has been going on in my bb shooting world. Chris

          • Reb,

            There is no helping it. It is,.. what it is. It would probably make a real fine aluminum can shooter at 10ft. though. But yea,…the peeps could not hurt. On the 499, I imagine there may be more cost in the metal front globe and metal inserts, than the rear peep, which is all plastic.

            • Right now all they’re using is an open notch adjustable for elevation, no windage adjustments Front or rear.
              This and a little more attention to detail and QC and it just could revive the BB gun. It was nice to see the Marlin Cowboy but otherwise it’s all about the pistols.

          • REB
            They put the same peep sight they use on the 499 on the old 99. It had a nice sling too. Trouble is it didn’t shoot better than a Red Ryder except with hand selected barrels. It must have been really frustrating for a lot of kids. Then Daisy listened and came out with the great 499.
            I think there are features about the 499 that make it so accurate besides the barrel. I think not having the air tube nakes a big difference.probably other features too. I’d love to talk with the designer. Although it might be proprietary Daisy knowledge.

        • CHRIS USA
          I’m going to try the 3 in 1. The Umarex have a coating of a light oil. Maybe that’s part of why they’re so accurate. They’re about the only BB that doesn’t shoot better with Pellgun oil.
          I think they restrict the velocity on 499’s because they want to control the bounce back and wear on the temporary target backings they use in gyms etc. for competition. Daisy holds down the velocity on the 845 target version of tge 840 for that reason.
          I think we’re adding to the knowledge base of smoothbore shooting little by little.

  8. Hm, if they are trying to reproduce the Mauser 98K, I wonder if they have achieved the fine ergonomics of that rifle. I was so impressed with the way it came alive offhand. From the pics, I doubt that the trainer has equaled it. So, more tantalizing details on how they used the airgun trainers. Either small groups close in or milk jugs at 25 yards.

    As for bayonet training, I have seen a video of a soldier doing a buttstroke with an AR on a bayonet course. But I think it might have been an earlier version like the A2 that might have been more robust. No way could you do that with the M4. In fact, my Delta Force author says that if you slam the butt too hard on the ground you can break the buffer and disable the gun. The AR has its strengths, but I think that is ridiculous for a combat weapon.

    Now, I’m deep into an authority on tactical pistol shooting. (The Delta Force author was for carbines.) The new author is a former Marine who joined the FBI and helped form the HRT. In doing so, he has spent a career training with the best special forces in the world. Always learn from the best is my motto. Delta Force author, Lee Haney said that the top FBI men were most impressive, and this guy must be one. He had an interesting anecdote about the reliability of the 1911. He said the FBI imported several bags of sand from Iraq which is supposed to be especially fine. Then, they loaded dummy rounds into several match-conditioned 1911s and Glocks, put them into the sandbags, and created the mother of all sandstorms by shaking the bags for 30 seconds. Then, they tried to work the slides. All the 1911s cycled, but not a single Glock. After great effort and a period of time, they got one of three Glocks to cycle but not the others. As an owner of a 1911, I can’t help but be pleased, but there are a million reliability tests out there.

    From a different source comes more practical advice. The general wisdom seems to be that the Isosceles triangle stance is the best pistol stance. However, there is supposed to be something superior, according to some world class competitor, called the diamond stance. It’s exactly the same as the Isosceles except that as seen from above, the arms make a diamond rather than a triangle. This is done by relaxing the elbows slightly from full extension and rotating them slightly outward. This constitutes a slight break from the wisdom that a bone-supported position is better than a muscle-supported position. The problem with locked elbows is that apparently, it creates extra muzzle flip. The rigid structure has an action-reaction effect according to Newton’s Third Law that actually intensifies recoil.

    What you want instead is combined muscle and bone support done in the right amount. This may actually not be that new since even in prone rifle shooting, you are supposed to have some body tension and not be completely relaxed. Anyway, I’m a big fan of the diamon technique since I was doing it unconsciously before. I thought I was being lazy, but it’s nice to think I anticipated the great discovery…


    • You will find that the Isosceles stance is far from the best. Few use it today. It’s too ridged and isn’t a stable platform to deal with recoil. While a good 1911 is great, many need work out of the box. When we changed from revolvers to Glocks, we took them out of the box and shot them. They all worked. If I had to take a new gun out of a box and use it to defend my life, it would be a Glock. The Michigan Stage Police just changed from SIG’s to Glocks. More and more law enforcement uses them.


      • What stances are better? My understanding is that the various Weaver stances have been displaced in action pistol competition by the Isosceles. There is a fair amount of criticism of the Weaver styles.

        As for reliability, I’ve never been convinced by the kind of gun tests that are fairly common in gun reports about how a certain gun worked perfectly with all different kinds of ammunition. That’s what they are supposed to do. A better test would have adverse conditions like the sandbag test. On the other hand, there are plenty of tests of Glocks under ridiculous conditions of being buried in mud, frozen, thrown out of airplanes and more. Maybe there is something about fine sand that is an Achilles heel for the Glock. Or maybe this test was too small to be meaningful. I don’t know.


  9. Still got the Powermaster 66 torn down and would like to believe I’ll be on it later again.
    Learned a few things about it’s design and found the true purpose for that hole in the top of it’s metal receiver: There’s a grub screw to adjust breech tension on the sliding bolt!
    I’ve already roughed-in all the right parts and last time I shot it the trigger was fantastic.
    We’ll see what happens

  10. Thanks Reb, I didn’t know that Benjamin. I will have to search for some images because though I know about hollow bolt probes, I can hardly imagine one with that opening for the lead balls. Not that I will be able to reproduce it, but it is quite interesting by itself. With the tools I have and know how to use, I guess that a very probable solution would be to rely on gravity and orientation as BB has pointed; with more time to think and to experiment, the most I could achieve would be some kind of spring loaded little ball partially exposed, just about one lead ball diameter in front of the bolt, to prevent the round from rolling to the breech end of the barrel.



    • Not really sure how to describe it but the bolt lock into the breech is positive and feels like pressing the round into the rifling, it had about a dozen rounds stacked in the barrel, forcing a teardown.

      • Reb,

        Was that the barrel that you were going to heat up in the oven to try and get the barrel to expand? Or am I thinking of something else? Did ya’ get them out? If you did, how? I could see that tapping/hammering the lead balls would just deform them and force them to expand tighter to the barrel. That would be a real tuff problem to over-come.

        • Actually,the lead balls ramped right out once I got the bolt probe outta the way 🙂
          The 102 that you’re recalling is still in need of a shot tube as well as a couple others.
          If I could just get some of those old parts!
          More to come later! 🙂

          • Reb,

            Well, if you make it back to the same show you were at last year,…you may just score some more good deals. Now that you are a seasoned vet of the air gun show circuit, you will know just what to look for and be able to spot real good deals. I like the idea that getting a table gets you in the door before the rest of the crowd. But,…what do they do with the tables if you are only getting one to get in early and have nothing to sell? Maybe it’s a BYOT party? (Bring You Own Table)

  11. Trigger Stops,….

    For those wishing they had a trigger stop,…for pull through,….on there favorite air rifle,…..I did it on a TX 200 and Walther LGU. Hands down,…LOVE it! Quite simple and easy. Drill and tap through the back of the trigger guard, a 4-40 or 6-32 screw and a bit of plastic tubing for a “lock” washer and you are good to go. 1/32″-1/16″ till a dead stop. There is a few other tips, but that is basically it.

    Wish I would have done it this Summer. Winter locked now. ;(

      • GF1,

        Well,….you are the only one. In basic learning, it is said to follow through on the trigger pull till it stops, and then hold it. Depending on the over travel in any particular gun, this can be a little or a lot. The trigger stop fixes that. In simplest terms, it is one less thing that you have to remember, think about or do. When it is set at 1/32″ to 1/16″ past sear break,…it becomes automatic and allows for perfect follow through on each shot with regards to trigger pull.

        How’s is that for an answer? Really, the difference is huge. And, since no one asked,….what are the additional tips? Lay gun on side, un-cocked, safety off. Cut a piece of cardboard that will lay across the trigger guard and lay on both the front and rear (sides) of the guard. Put masking tape on the (sides) of the guard at the front and rear. Pull trigger back to the end of stage 2 and hold. Lay cardboard on guard to mimic the screw and find the “perfect” spot that you want the screw to hit the trigger blade. Make 2 marks, 1 on the front (side) and 1 at the rear (side). Remove trigger guard.

        Those 2 marks are the same angle that you (MUST) hold with your drill. Drill straight in all aspects. Be sure use the correct sized drill bit for the tap/screw size you have selected. I used a hand drill and a vice with padded jaws to hold the trigger guard.

        I picked up several lengths of screws at a local Mom and Pop hardware, 3/8″ to 5/8″. 6-32 or 4-40. Instead of washers and lock washers and nuts, I opted for small weed eater gas line tubing and cut that to the correct length to act as a lock, (put between the trigger guard and the head of the screw).

        Keep the screw length as short as possible so as not to have too much sticking out the back. Why? You will not be able to reinstall the rear screw on the trigger guard.

        Easy and quick. I spent less than 1 hour with both rifles. Well worth it in my opinion and looks good as well.

  12. On the subject of bayonets, the difficulty of the AR/M4 style is not just in the fragility of the stock but in the whole shape. Namely, what makes it ergonomic for portability with all of the grips and extensions works against it for the variety of movements for bayonet techniques, many of which are recognizable from much older traditions of stick fighting. With a staff, you want variety of movements. That you can get from the M1 design. Not only is the stock robust, but to me the rifle balances beautifully and would be easy to swing around–much moreso than the M14 with its extended magazine. With an AR type rifle about all you can do is point it or drop it onto it’s tactical sling to transition to your pistol.

    If one wanted to know which gun is optimized for a bayonet, I think you would have to end up with the oft-maligned Mosin-Nagant. For bayonet fighting, there is every reason to want more length, and no reason to want less. And it’s not just about the extra reach to stab the opponent. I was watching a video of Russian women soldiers in WWII practicing bayonet techniques with their rifles, something that the Russians stressed. It looked a little incongruous with the long skirts. But the techniques were beautiful, and the soldiers were not unhot as a matter of fact.

    Still, if the pistol is rated low in a military environment and regarded as a means to get to a rifle, then the bayonet would rank even lower. So, there’s probably a reason for the modern designs.


  13. Matt61– Read Testing the War Weapons by Tim Mullins. He is a combat veteran who used his bayonet in combat. He has interesting opinions re bayonet fighting. He favors knife bayonets over spike bayonets (like the Russian MN.) Because of their use as knives, and because you cant slash with a spike. The exception would be if the enemy is wearing heavy winter clothing. The spike might be able to out penetrate a knife blade bayonet. Even in the American civil war, (the Yankee- American war, according to my southern friends), medical records show that bayonet wounds were scarce, less than 2% of all wounds. Of course these records are based on the wounded soldiers who survived long enough to get to the hospital. Ed

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