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The influence of shooting galleries

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

  • The 15th century
  • Why?
  • Gallery guns were weak
  • Airguns and galleries
  • Different ammo
  • Repeaters
  • What killed the airgun?
  • Feltman

Shooting galleries have been a major influence in the shooting sports for close to a century and a half, and airguns have had their day in galleries. Reb, our most outspoken reader, once ran a traveling shooting gallery that featured the popular “Shoot out the Red Star” game. I’ll discuss that at the end of the report, but right now I’m going back to the beginning of shooting galleries.

The 15th century

And, who can really say when that was? We know from documents and from tapestries that shooting events were popular in Europe in the 1400s. But those were sporting events that came and went — they weren’t the galleries I am discussing today. The crossbows and guns that were used at those events belonged to the shooters. They were not rented by the gallery to the general public.

The first public gallery

The first shooting gallery I can document opened right after the American Civil War — around the year 1866. That probably means that galleries existed long before that time, but I can find no documentation of them. All I find are organized shooting events not that dissimilar from the earliest contests mentioned before.

Archery as a social pastime probably predates the shooting galleries by many years. I don’t consider archery to be the same as a shooting gallery, but if you do then my dates are way too late.


I have read that galleries prospered and grew right after the Civil War because American men had recently been forced to learn to shoot. This is mostly talking about men from the northern states, because the southern men were generally very familiar with shooting when the Civil War began.

But an entire generation of (northern) men became used to the idea of shooting and found it both challenging and rewarding. They wanted to share what they had learned with the women in their lives for several different social reasons (it was fun, it showcased the male ability to shoot, etc.).

Gallery guns were weak

These gallery guns I’m describing were very weak, compared to regular firearms. In the 1840s people discovered that the priming charge from a percussion cap, alone, could propel a small lead ball with enough accuracy to make things interesting at close range. The noise made when the cap fired was small compared to a firearm discharge. The smoke from the gunpowder (black powder) of the day was not as prevalent when just a percussion cap was used. These two very important things — lower noise and less smoke — made shooting indoors viable for the first time.

Shortly following the discovery of the indoor use of the percussion cap, several key things happened in short order. First, percussion caps were shaped more conveniently (they got a rim and soon became known as rimfire) for handling and loading. Second, breechloading mechanisms were becoming more popular, making the loading of guns easier for those who were unfamiliar with firearms. Finally the percussion caps received a captive bullet (lead ball) in their end, creating the first self-contained cartridge. All of these things played into the birth of the public shooting gallery. In 1856 the firm of Smith & Wesson patented the cartridge known today as the .22 short — a cartridge that lasted in shooting galleries for as long as they operated.

Airguns and galleries

It wasn’t long before airguns came into the galleries. The earliest guns that were capable of withstanding repeated use and abuse from many different hands came about in the 1850s. By the late 1860s, when the galleries really took off there were gallery airguns to go with them. I have already done two parts of a report on a gallery airgun I own that was made in the late 1860s by David Lurch of New York. We can know the approximate date of manufacture by the address stamped into the barrel.

David Lurch gun
David Lurch gallery gun was made around 1866.

David Lurch gun mechanism
David Lurch gallery gun uses a geared crank to pull a toothed piston rod back to compress two volute mainsprings.

David Lurch gun address
The address on the barrel pins down the date of manufacture.

Different ammo

Some of these early gallery airguns shot darts and others shot clay pellets that operated reactive targets or left a splat on a painted surface. Very few were powerful enough to shoot lead balls, and lead pellets were not yet fully developed. Their calibers ranged from .25 up to over .30, with .28 being a common size.


There were even repeating gallery airguns. They had to be cocked for every shot, but had many projectiles in a magazine — as many as 56 rounds in the cylinder of a Bunge airgun.

What killed the airgun?

Airgun shooting galleries never died completely. We ran one at Frontier Village, aΒ western-themed amusement park in San Jose, California, where I worked in the 1960s. We had either 10 or 12 guns tethered to a source of air and we loaded them with lead balls of about .22 caliber. Our gallery was about 20 feet deep and 20 feet wide and all the targets, both moving and still, were painted with a non-drying lead paint. That showed the splatter of the balls the best. We repainted the targets every few days, depending on traffic.

Frontier Village shooting gallery
Shooting gallery at Frontier Village, San Jose, California.

Cost was the main reason we ran airguns instead of firearms. We collected the spent lead balls, shipped them back to the ammo supplier who credited us for the lead when they cast new ammunition. Maintenance was a second good feature. Airguns never need cleaning the way firearms do. We saved many manhours by not having to clean our guns.

Airgun galleries still exist in some places in Europe and the UK. But in the U.S. the rise in popularity of the rimfire cartridge, plus the invention of slide-action rifles made the slower airgun seem less thrilling in comparison. However, there was one exception. Remember the red star?


There is an airgun that looks like an oversized Thompson sub-machinegun. It runs on shop air and shoots 100 number 2 lead shot in what appears to be a fully automatic mode. The distance it shoots is very limited — the gallery that uses it is housed inside a trailer and the range is measured in a few feet. The object is to obliterate a red star on a paper target, which is almost impossible to do.

Feltman red star
The Feltman gallery gun was used to shoot out the red star.

These guns have been operating for many decades at carnivals and local fairs, where they offer stuffed animal prizes for success. The fun is in the shooting, because almost no one ever succeeds in shooting the star completely away.

One of the makers of the guns over the years was Feltman, a name that sort of stuck with the gun.

I will now defer to Reb, who has operated this game around the country. Take it away, Reb.

240 thoughts on “The influence of shooting galleries”

  1. How about it REB? I shot at those stars for years and grew up shooting shorts with my father in shooting galleries around the country and very few overseas! Never got the star? But! Argued many times over the red star! The operator always found a little red? Went back to the shorts and the rim fire galleries! Semper fi!

    • I was sleeping and only up right now because I woke up with acid reflux.
      I appreciate B.B.’s honorable mention!
      I’ll probably work in some computer time when the office opens in the morning. I’ve already talked about almost every aspect of the Feltmans I’m familiar with in different comments. If anyone has any specific questions I’ll do my best to answer them but for now it’s bedtime as soon as my throat stops burning.

        • The only maintenance they required was to fill the airchuck with Marvel Mystery Oil at the beginning of the evening.
          The rate of fire was adjustable, but that was off limits for me. I did adjust the regulator from 130psi to 150 which raised the volume of the game and attracted more attention.
          The biggest job was reloading the shot tubes and fluffing the Teddy bears..

            • They’re very intricate with adjustable spring tension all over the receiver block which is a single piece of milled aluminum billet.
              If you ever see one for under $700 jump on it! That’s under half price of a new one.

              • Reb
                That’ll be good. The links I mean. Well and the beer. πŸ™‚

                I just got through putting some scopes back on my two .22 caliber rimfire rifles. Getting ready to sight them in right now.

                The JSB 33.95 pellets are suppose to be here today as well as the bi-pod to try with the scope mount. But the only place that had the rings I wanted so I could leave my rings on the scope and just add the one for the bi-pod are on back order. Got them through Optics planet. So kind of bummed about that. Was wanting to test that out this weekend.

                Oh well the rim fires will keep me busy for a while.

                  • Reb
                    I watched the video you posted below. Pretty cool. Wish I knew what was inside though.

                    And I have to say those Stoeger bi-pods are nice. Hopefully if my idea works mounting them on a tri mount picatinny scope ring from the scope.

                    If it does then there will be more use for the Stoeger bi-pods. About the only thing can be used on now is the Stoeger side mount rails that are on some Stoeger guns. You can hang them off the side of a Armada rail to I guess.

                    And could you see somebody hanging them off the side of a side mount picatinny adapter for something like a pistol. Now that would be a unique way to use a bi-pod.

                    Oh and the JSB 33.95’s are shooting pretty much the same groups and using the same hold overs as the Barracudas in my .25 Marauder. Been only shooting them for about a hour now. But they told their story pretty quick.

                    • Somewhere there’s a video of a guy rebuilding one that may show more.
                      IF I can find it shortly I’ll just have enough time to post it before the office closes for the day.

                  • Reb
                    Oh ok.

                    And it’s not that hard. Once you search something. Just touch and hold in the address bar. Then hit the copy symbal when it pops up. Usually looks like a piece of paper on a clip board.

                    Then come back to the blog. Touch your phone screen after last word. Then touch again and it should say paste. So touch again and you should see the link come up.

                    That’s how I do it anyway.

                    • I’ll try to get it down this weekend.
                      Just put my best silver tongue to work trying to get the key to the community room but it takes a $100 deposit regardless of how smooth you can talk and Kelly’s getting ready to do some boot scooting’.

  2. I had seen comments about targets used at shooting galleries and have in fact just completed my version of
    a Chinaman target used in such about 1910/30 so was very glad to at last read about their history.

    We used to have air rifle shooting at some of the fairs in my youth (1950) but only at paper targets.
    So also looking forward to Reb`s comments

  3. When I was young, my dad was on the parish police reserves, and always worked the fair when it came to town.
    He would give me some cash, and a pocket full of tickets, and I was on my own while he worked.
    All the cash went in the shooting game, eventually, since I was there every night, the guy running the game allowed me to work there, I didn’t work for cash, just the chance to shoot when no one was on the line paying to shoot.
    Man, I wish I had a dollar for every 100 round tube of shot I fired from the Feldmans over the years,
    The tickets my dad gave me, was spent watching the guys riding the Indian scouts on the “wall of death” (who remembers that?)

    • 45Bravo,

      Ahh — the Wall of Death! I remember seeing it, but I was never allowed to climb up and watch the show. I was always too little, my mother told me. My sisters got to, though. I did hear the loud exhaust of what sounded like an unmuffled bike, though.


      • One of the riders had a nasty wipeout during their California pursuit chase in Des Moines Iowa and was gone for about a month, when he did return he was wearing a halo and his head was the size of a watermelon.
        The club(California Hell Riders) used the admission fees to pay for his bills. Who says bikers aren’t good guys?

    • 45Bravo,

      You mention parish police. It was at the fair in Jennings, LA. that I got to shoot at the red star. I also got to shoot pump action .22 rim fire.
      I was never once able to shoot at the fair in Beaumont, TX but it was there that I watched guys ride the “Wall of Death”. I don’t know if the bikes were Indian or Harley, but they were big and they were loud.

      The “wall” was celebrated in a song written and composed by someone I expect Sir Nigel is familiar with, Richard Thompson. There are many videos available; REM did a very credible cover. I offer this one with Richard and Nanci Griffith

      I must offer one other, for the video and photos of long ago rides. The bikes shown are not the big ones but the stunts are more daring than I ever was:

      And now I long to go to the fair, one with the “wall” and the “star”


  4. I remember the shooting galleries at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. There were two and both had semi auto .22 short rifles similar to the Browning rifle as the fed through a tubular magazine and had bottom ejection. They were poorly maintained as they constantly jammed and I kept burning myself from the emptier ejecting from the bottom of the receiver. But I had a lot of fun and must have burnt up s roll of quarters between both galleries. Maybe I should have told Dad to stop off at Frontier Village on the way back home.

    • Fishmonger,

      Santa Cruz! I spent my teenaged years there! I remember the large hall with the penny arcade and I remember body surfing on the beach.

      Do you remember Santa’s Village in the hills on the road from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz? We Frontier Village employees (when I was in collage) would go there and taunt the elves. We saw them as kids who were beneath us because we were cowboys and cowgirls.


      • B.B.

        Scott’s Valley, of course I remember Santa’s Village! I think I have bad memories of the elves just as some kids are terrified of circus clowns. I also think I must have missed the high noon showdown between the marshal (you, that is) and the bad guy at Frontier Village. Probably spent too much time at the trout pond.

          • Anyone who had enough money and time could play. They may have called it a pond but they were usually just a cheap plastic kiddie pool and the water was so clear you were looking them in the eye.
            Kinda weird, everyone wants the biggest ones so they’re way overpressured.
            It looked like the only way to get a bite was to anger them with the bait.

          • Gunfun1

            The trout pond was for the kids, especially the ones who tired of the Western theme (except me). I don’t recall what was used for bait, but what the heck, dad was footing the bill anyway. They were fairly easy to catch and it made us seem like real anglers.

        • Fishmonger,

          When Frontier Village was sold in the 1980s, they drained the trout pond and sold all the fish back to their suppler. They found one old trout that was 24 inhes long at the bottom of the pond. He had apparently been there since the park opened in the 1960s and just got bigger each passing year.


          • BB
            What was the bait? I don’t know that’s why I’m ask’n.

            But it sounds like a way cool pond.

            My dad made one by the house at our old farm. And I don’t mean one out away naturally. He dug it out. Had fish and maintained it.

            They weren’t trout. But still it was work to get the balance right.

            Bwt that trout pond was cool.

          • B.B.

            The trout were supplied by Mt. Lassen Trout farm in Paynes Creek, CA. They are still operating and supplies our fish market with red meat trout. There is also a book published by the Images of America series dedicated to the history of Frontier Village complete with photos. Maybe you’re featured in that too!

    • Oh Yes!…I grew up in El Santa Cruz. Used to be a great place for a kid. Walked from our house across the river on the train trestle bridge to the boardwalk. Spent MANY hours at the Boardwalk…knew all the vender’s and was a fixture on the Roller Coaster!…where TED would turn his head and let me ride it until I was tired. And the Penny Arcade was the best. You could stay there all day on a dollar. Salt Water Toffee was my favorite place to hang out. Surfed “Steamer” when I got old enough. Still have some green glass from the Coke a Cola plant that burned down. Yes, there will never be those kinds of days for kids any longer. And they don’t have a clue on what they missed

      • BoardwalkRick,

        Welcome to the blog.

        I used to hang out at the saltwater taffy place, too. It smelled so great.

        When I was in college my buddies and I would buy a gallon of A&W root beer and bury it in the sand on the beach. Then we body surfed for hours and ate hot dogs from the pier while we drank that jug.! I loved Santa Cruz!


  5. Got laid down for about an hour and back up again with heartburn and coughing so much I’m on the verge of puking, guess I’ll be talking to the Doctor about all these NSAIDs they have me on next time I’m in there.

  6. Very nice on the D. Lurch gallery gun. Good old world craftsmanship. Wood looks to be burl. Octagon barrel. Ornate trigger guard. Cool spring and internal mechanisms. Metal butt plate. Lots to appreciate there.

    Hope you get to feeling better Reb. Looking forwards to hearing about some more of your first hand experience.

    • Ridge, same here. No matter how well I thought I did, he’d find some tiny sliver of red! I’m not same no one ever won, but I know I personally have never seen anyone win that game.

      • RR, BB, Doc

        But that didn’t even matter to me. I still had fun shooting.

        And I know I mentioned this before on the blog I payed the guy off to get a Teddy bear for my girlfriend back then. Which of course is my wife to this day. And two kids, 3 dogs and a cat later.

        And I got to thank my wife right now for putting up with me for all these years with all my hobbies that I’ve had.

        And all these years until a little while back I thought she never new about me paying that guy off at the Feltman booth. She asked me. Remember when you asked me why I winked at the guy behind the booth.

        She always knew!

      • Some of my shooters were so good that we had to limit them to one prize per day!
        Of course they had paid their dues in order to get that good but it’s just like any other business and must be profitable or else go extinct.

  7. BB,

    So when are we going to hear “the rest of the story” about your gallery gun?

    Just like my BSA, if it belonged to me, I would have to shoot it. I think this is where my biggest passion in airgunning is. I so enjoy the “antique” air rifles. If I had the equipment and the skills, I would want to build air rifles like my BSA or the open lock…

    I guess I will just have to continue to pick up some of these old beauties and get them working again.

  8. The Feltmans and the red-star game – boy does that ever bring back memories!

    I’d spend all of my Fair cash, food cash and even my bus ticket cash trying to take out that red star – never did it – and would end up walking home hungry and determined to do better next time.

    Could care less about the stuffed animals – taking out a red star would be good for major bragging rights! For the money I spent on that game it would have been a lot cheaper just to go out and buy a couple of stuffed animals! LOL!

    I used to try to shoot out a circle around the star but the accuracy was not there and there were never enough balls in the tube to do the job, there was always a bit of red left. Think I just realized why I am adamant in my feelings that only accurate rifles/pistols are interesting – I used to get real frustrated with the Feltmans.

    The attendant made a mistake of forgetting his can of pop on the range once and my friend emptied a whole tube into it – what a mess!

  9. I was born in 59 but I don’t remember ever seeing a shooting gallery. I am more fascinated by the galleries than the guns. As BB knows, I have a lot of Steel Plinkers targets, a Caldwell Shooting Gallery, Field Targets, and a lot of other steel targets. I would love to have an old shooting gallery. The first or second year I went to the Little Rock airgun show around 2000 there was an old shooting gallery for sale. It was about 6′ wide and 3′ high. I had no idea what they were worth and didn’t consider buying it. I wish I could go back and buy it. I would love to have that on the wall of my office.

    David Enoch

    • I was at Little Rock in about ’96. I believe Deggler had that contract then, I was standing in line to get a Show shirt which was about $20 and required to work on the grounds.
      I picked up a 9mm slug and showed the other people in line while saving”Looks like a rough neighborhood!”.
      It definitely was too!

    • Doug FNC
      Truthfully. Get you a .22 Marauder and see.

      Of course I would do more research before I would put that much money out on something that could be not what I expected.

      It’s your choice. And notice I’m trying to be diplomatic here.

  10. Vana2, you have the right idea.
    Once the star gets hit it will leave a tip on the target that is usually too small to see at the 10′ our range was and even worse the paper bends enough to hide it behind.
    The accuracy problem is due to the size of shot used.
    We kept all winning targets mounted on a wall as proof it could be accomplished and had a large cowbell that we range loudly as the prize exchanged hands to draw attention and spectators.

  11. I will also point out that the difficulty of the shooting star game is adjustable in that there’s different size stars and even target thickness as well as shot size. Most people will choose to show off their skills by aiming directly at the star and then enjoy the full auto experience which is basically giving your money away. We also had skateboards available to choose from.

    • Reb
      I was the guy aiming center mass of the star and enjoying.

      Didn’t matter to me what the rest of the world was doing. That was the days when I was young , no worries and had a good paying job.

      Fun was the name of the game. πŸ™‚

  12. B.B. (or anyone that knows), off subject, did the Benjamin NP2 ever get it’s issues resolved? I know the one BB shot at the “shot show” a while back was great, Then when he tested it, not so much. I so want to like it, but…. Also now I see they have a NP2 Summit, Phoenix and Shockley rifle. Are these the same basic platform with just different stocks? Or are any of them made “better” than the others? Thanks,

    • Doc,

      Same air rifle, different stocks, etc.

      If Crosman had improved the trigger, etc., you may be sure we all would have heard about it. I have looked at that Summit and have finally been tempted by a Crosman sproinger, but I know I will have to fix the trigger just to be able to stand to shoot it. Also, I have to pay for a scope that I do not want.

      You have to keep in mind that Crosman’s primary customers are the purchasing agents at Wally World, etc. All they are looking at is cost per unit, not how well it works.

      Yes, these issues can be fixed, but that requires engineering time, interruption of production to implement the changes, lost profit on excess obsolete parts, etc.

      The only way Crosman will fix the issues is if no one buys the air rifles that need fixing. Why do you think they bring out all these different models? “Hey, Crosman just brought out a new air rifle!”

      • B.B. & Ridge, Thank You. That was what I was thinking. Of the models listed, I like the Summit the best, just because it is listed as weighing about a pound less. Oh how I wish Crosman would “follow through” with what could be a great product!
        Thanks, Doc

        • Doc,

          All is not totally lost. If you find that you just cannot resist and end up buying one, contact these people and get one of their triggers for it.


          The first air rifle I bought was a Gamo CFX. I had been reading about it and knew of it’s lousy trigger and had already learned about these guys. The day after I bought the CFX, I ordered a GRT-III for it. It was a cinch to drop in and made a tremendous difference. No, it did not turn it into a Rekord, but it was definitely worth the investment.

          I have been sorely tempted to buy a Summit and fix it, but I know for just a few dollars more, about what the new trigger is going to cost, I can buy an HW95 with a Rekord trigger and know I am going to be much happier all the way around.

        • Oops, Sorry Doc, I was wrong. The Summit is $200 with throw away scope and the trigger is about $32. The HW95 is $300 and does not have a scope, but it does have some decent sights (read not glowy thingy).

  13. I actually started out with a game that featured a Gat pistol and plastic baseball fitted with a rubber cork, the object was to knock over or off 3 plastic glasses which was very easy to adjust difficulty.

      • The one I ran could very well have been the only one in the country, it was a one-off. It was my first game and nobody else wanted to run it because it didn’t make much money and had to be explained to every customer but when I got some officially licensed Batmans and my joint was the only way to get one.
        I spanked all the dart games and finally got the boss’s attention but not in a good way. He dissed me in front of about 50 customers so I let them know the game was shut down while we had a meeting in his office.
        As soon as he closed the door he grabbed my arm and tried to throw me on the couch but I stepped up on the arm and turned it around on him by warning him while readying my stance. About an hour later I had his respect and we came to an understanding.
        He never tried to manhandled me again because he realized I almost took his head off behind closed doors!
        You know what they say about dynamite and small packages.

  14. B.B.,

    This report sure brings back memories for me, although my parents thought I was just slightly too young (perhaps they were right) to be a participant. But I remember the local carnivals and county fair midways having shooting galleries with their air hoses coming from shop compressors rumbling behind the tent, ABTs and Feltmans on oarlock-like swivels out front. The compressors were loud enough to drown out the sound of the airguns as I remember, but watching young men trying to win cheap (but cool looking!) stuffed animals for their dates was exhilarating and pretty exotic for me. I even remember a particular shooting arcade where one of the (no doubt unobtainable) top prizes was a CO2 BB pistol! I think for three straight years that same game with that same carnival arrived with that same un-winnable air pistol sitting in the same spot, collecting the dust of hundreds of midwest towns. It had to be a Daisy 100, Daisy 200, or Crosman 454, definitely a Woodsman-esque model.

    I have sometimes thought that an excellent collection would consist of a Diana 30, ABT long gun and pistol, Feltman, and MacGlashan, all in the garage with a carny gallery set up with stuffed dolls, a compressor, and the whole schmear.


  15. Everyone,

    I didn’t mention it in this report, but the company that owns AirForce Airguns purchased the last 50 Feltman guns and the rights to the Feltman patents. One of my jobs at AirForce was packaging each of those 50 guns with a walnut plaque, 25 lbs. of shot (Winchester still makes it) and several other items to each purchaser of the final guns.

    I will ask John McCaslin is he has more information about the guns that I can share with you sometime.


  16. In an attempt to dispel One rumor I’ll tell everyone that we were subject to on the spot routine inspection by any state inspectors and IF someone brought a cop they would dump the shot tubes and count out as many as 150 shot depending on shot size.
    When we were forced to use Steel BB’s only 99 would fit but they were very accurate, inversely #2 would fit the 150 or so but sprayed all over.
    Some people would raise so much hell the operator would give them a prize anyway just to “Squash the Beef” which wasn’t my style and got me in trouble many times.

    • Reb,

      I got a Wonder Wheel and a couple of the knockdowns for Christmas. The Wonder Wheel is FUN. With a little practice you can keep it moving. Also, placed quartering into a stiff breeze it will spin on its on. I’m using a 2400KT or a 1377 so only about 5 FPE. It’s holding up well and no mechanical problems. On occasion the 6 o’clock target will not flip all the way up when hit. It is intended for 177 under 600 FPS according to the box. The metal is fairly thin so I suspect that a high FPE gun would take it apart. However, used as intended, I would highly recommend it. Assembly instructions are not very good but assembly is intuitive.

      The two knockdowns (rat on a stick and running rat) work well, have variable spacers to size the kill zone, and are easy to reset. I was surprised that I could reset the rat on the stick with my 2400. I have not had any problems with either target. Mechanically they are great. Both are rated for 22 FPE (FT limit is 20 FPE rifles, if I remember right). The rat on the run is string reset. The reset works great. The string comes wrapped around a piece of plastic that it did not like (it was too small for the amount of string). I replaced it with one cut from a scrap piece of 1/8″ plywood. My only problem with the knockdowns is lack of time to shoot them. I wish that Air Venturi would come out with more of these with different faces to add more variety. I would like to get six or eight different ones to set up a small FT range.

      Reb, hope this helps,


  17. Reb,

    Glad to see you are feeling better. Even though you may have thought that you shared all there is in the past, spread out over comments, over the years,….(I think you shared some really cool “behind the scenes” stuff). Can not say I ever did the Red Star gallery. Grew up in a very small town, yet the fairgrounds was only about a 1/2 mile up the road.

    I did however help the carnival crew set up rides for a few bucks on the hour. Never was scared of earning an easy buck or two. Being a small town kid with small kid dreams, the “carney” life held quite the appeal. Looking back,…that would take a special kind of person,…..a bit of Gypsy blood perhaps….. πŸ˜‰

    Nice job on the comments,….Chris

    • Those were the good ole days! I was 22 and invincible when I started and spent the next five years pulling about 25,000 a year all while learning how to effectively deal with total strangers.

      • Reb
        And you got paid for doing what people spend bunches and bunches of money on to go to college today.

        Yep there were lessons learned back then that no money can pay for today.

  18. Saw a person with the “shoot out the star game” ONCE. He very slowly shot a circle around the star. Barely had enough shots. Operator argued with him about it. Patron said, it did not say in the rules that was not allowed. Had enough customers around that he decided he did not want to argue and gave the guy his prize.
    Made a bunch of cash after that as many more people tried the same thing.
    I do believe they were using BB’s or similar as all the shot was collected into a trough. The operator then loaded the shot tube from the trough when you paid. He also showed you it was full.

    Silver Eagle

  19. There were plenty of other ranges out there too!
    My Gunball was one, there was also a paintball range with both stationary targets and a guy dressed as Saddam Hussein wearing hockey pads under the uniform.
    My personal favorite was the .25 cal. red dot in which you get 3 .22 shorts to eliminate all the red.
    I also ran a Crossbow shoot and got really good with one during the slow times.

      • Never seen a Crossbow shoot? It was another star but the object of this one was to put the bolt inside without touching the outline. I got DQ’d for a week over not giving a prize to a loser that went bawlin’ to the lot man. That old Italian told me to get off the lot before he sent the Goon-squad my way.

        • Reb
          The Goon squad. Sorry but had to laugh. Ain’t heard that in years.

          Well of course you know I seen a crossbow shoot. Never seen that game though. Bet that had to be later in time.

          Remember I was in my teens in the early 70’s

  20. BB
    You ever use snow to check your POA to POI?

    I know you mentioned you lived up north east if I remember right.

    Surely you got to shoot in the snow haven’t you?

    Wonder how many southern boys ever done that before. Add in some Kentucky windage and a shooter that knows his gun and I would say that’s a hard combination to beat.

    But thank God we are united we stand now.

  21. PCP question:

    Looking at supply compressors for a Shoebox. A quick check of a big box home supply site showed 2, and more. The output on 1 was 4 cu. ft. @ 40 psi. and the other at 2.6 cu. ft. at 90 psi. Both will max. at 150. Both have tanks. Around 130$.

    Shoebox says that it req. 125 psi and 2-3 cu. ft. per minute.

    Would either of the above work for a Shoebox?

    Out and about today, so it will be afternoon before I am back,….Thanks for any replies. Chris

      • B.B.,

        Thanks for the quick reply. I figured that maybe if the tank could be kept at 150 and the output at 125, that the compressor would maintain the tank/feed pressure at 125.

        That is where the tank (could) offset the lower fill rate, or so I thought/wondered. Wrong? By the way, I really, really like the Omega like you got. For a Freedom 8 and a supply comp., it is already in the ballpark of an Omega.

        Thanks, Chris

    • Chris,

      Are you getting ready to cross over to the Dark Side?

      Other than getting your name wrong, BB is right. Sorta. You could use those air compressors, but what will happen is it will take longer to fill your tank, etc. and your first stage compressor will be running a lot more trying to keep up with demand. I am not sure, but there may also be the possibility of damaging the Shoebox because of such.

      Don’t try to go cheap, you will regret it. Also, get some good moisture filters to put inline between the first compressor and the Shoebox. You are going to want that air to be as clean and as dry as is possible. I use a Hill pump with a moisture filter on the intake and it has a moisture trap in the base where you bleed off the pressure. I always have moisture come out there.

      Whenever I do finally break down and go with a compressor, I am certain I will end up over engineering it, but I am also certain I will not have any issues.

      • R.R.

        Yes I am. Just doing my “homework” as they say. All a bit daunting. I did figure that maybe the supply comp. would run more, but I for sure did not want to under supply the Shoebox. Like you, I would filter to the max. Unless I hear diff., it looks like a step-up in supply comp. category is in order. The Omega is looking better all the time the more the Shoebox and supply air cost goes up.

        Leaning hard on a .25 M-rod with the R.A.I. kit.

        • Chris,

          What I would do if I were you is get the rifle I want and get a good hand pump. Believe me, you will learn a lot more about a PCP by going slow.

          While you are getting used to your rifle, there will be several new compressor options that will give you a broader choice when you’re ready.


          • B.B.,

            Thanks again for the response. If there is one thing you could have said,….”there will be,…several new compressors and broader choices”,…..would have been it. One thing I surely hate is to get something, and then something newer, better and cheaper comes out right after. After all, we are not talking chump change, even good hand pumps. Yes, better, newer, cheaper happens all the time,…but this is one purchase that I would not care to ever hit the “repeat” button on. Know what I mean?

            Kind of got me putting on the brakes.

            I do not know if you can give details, probably not since you often have the inside track, or e-mail me. I really have my heart set on a full auto. Easy, more enjoyable, gauges, auto on/off on some, auto moisture dump on some, self contained,.. on some.

            As for the going slow and learning more, I do take things slow, sometimes too slow and tend to be meticulous in my set-ups and studies. So, I am not sure what there is to gain there other than burning a few calories, which is not bad, but as I said to R.R., I am a pretty whooped pup by weeks end.

            Thanks again and thanks for any additional info. (if possible). Chris

            • Chris,

              I already gave you some of the details of one new compressor. The one from Xisico. That said, I just know the compressor industry is scrambling right now to get a piece of what they perceive to be a burgeoning airgun market. I can feel it.

              Yes, I saw new compressors at the show, but they aren’t really new. They are old-school Italian jobs that require too much maintenance and cost too much. But seeing them tells me what’s happening behind the scenes.

              At this time the Omega is still the best buy on the market. Don’t put off buying a rifle because you are waiting for the best new technology. That could take years to sort out.


              • B.B.,

                Thanks,…I feel much better. I thought that something was (very) near release that would be a game changer. Plus, as with many things new, there is always “bugs” to be worked out. The Shoebox has evolved in that way and that has taken awhile. I do like the tried and proven when spending that kind of coin.

                Still scratching my head on the Xisico. A hand fed auto pump? If the afore mentioned compressors would have a hard time keeping up, I don’t see how a hand pump would. It must work, but the “how” eludes me. No doubt, a race is on. As Vana2 eluded to, the biggest barrier to PCP’s is the air source.

                Thanks again,…. the search for info. and getting set up is back on. Chris

                P.S., Your M-rod does have adj. comb does it not? I know it has pull and cast on/off, but was not sure on the comb height adj. without reviewing my notes/your articles.

        • Chris,

          BB is right. Take it slow. The Marauder is a superb PCP to learn soooo much from. I have been seriously considering one myself. They are so tunable. I was thinking of a .22 and tuning it down to 2000 PSI operating pressure.

          I also strongly recommend you start with a hand pump, unless you are physically incapable of doing such. Yes, if you do a lot of shooting, you will do a lot of pumping. Is that really a bad thing? When you look down, can you see your toes? πŸ˜‰

          I use a Hill pump. I do not have a compressor and I am in no rush for such. Like I have said previously, do not go cheap. You want one that has a good warranty and one that you can get rebuild kits for.

          As far as compressors go, if you do not have a “shop”, the self contained units like the Omega are great. For someone who has a small shop and/or a garage and need an air compressor for various things, the Shoebox is a nice little addition.

          Of course, once you get a compressor, you will need a bottle, etc.


          • R,R.,

            I think your reply went to GF1, if so, sorry,…see below. Ask GF1 on the M-rod .22. He might have, has had, some opinions on that. Based on what is being said on what is already out there. I would like the extra FP# at impact, so that is why I was considering the .25. I got plenty of .22 pellets though, so it (was) real tempting to go .22.

    • Chris USA
      I use a small Husky shop compressor for the first stage for my Shoebox. It’s rated at 2.8 @ 90 psi. And max pressure is 155 psi.

      When I hook the gun up or a buddy bottle to the Shoebox I turn the shop compressor on and turn the knob to 90 psi then the compressor will come on and top itself to 155 psi. I can usually fill my Marauder and my Talon SS before the shop compressor turns back on to top itself off to the 155 psi. When I fill a buddy bottle it takes around 40 minutes to fill it to 4500 psi. My shop compressor will turn on 2 times and top itself to 155 psi when filling the buddy bottle.

      The trick to keep your shop compressor from running all the time is to use a long big inside diameter hose to the Shoebox. Mine is 20′ long and 1.250″ diameter and the hose is orange colored not the normal dull red color. What that does is allows more volume of air available for the Shoebox. And get you a good in line dryer or moisture seperater. You can decide what you want to do there. But for sure get one in line from the shop compressor to the Shoebox. You can find them at the normal supply stores.

      And remember I save the most important for last. Definitely make double sure that the shop compressor you get is a oiless compressor. The only oil you should use to lube the o-rings and gun fittings and such should be silicone oil. The RWS silicone oil is what I use. You can put just one drop on the Shoebox piston rods and in your connections every two or three days of use if your just filling guns. The Shoebox only runs for a short time filling guns so not much lube is needed. Matter of fact too much is not good it will make other problems that I can tell you about later. But the main thing is a oiless shop compressor and no petroleum based oil in the Shoebox or guns or buddy bottles.

      Oh and remember the other day I mentioned you should just get you a hand pump to start with. And it’s good to have a hand pump around even if you get a Shoebox. There will be a time you need to do maintainance on the Shoebox or the belt could break and you have to wait for them to ship you a new belt. Well if you ain’t got a hand pump for back up that gun is down for the count until your part shows up.

      Just thought I would let you know how I use my Shoebox.

      • R.R.,

        Cute comment. I could add to the “toes” joke, but not here. I am perfectly capable, but work, and I mean hard hands on work,….I am a pretty whooped pup by weeks end. You can call that lazy, and that is ok. B.B. said I would learn more with a hand pump and taking it slow. I am pretty darn thorough and slow in my studies and research, so I am not sure what there is to gain. The end result is a full tank or gun. And yes,…if I went hand pump,…it would be a good one.

        GF1 did say you could go direct to a gun from the shoebox, but yes, a tank would be nice and is a serious consideration. Plus he had a few twist on the less than ideal supply compressors. You got to admit, he shoots a bunch.

        • Chris,

          Yes, you can go straight from the compressor, but a pump and a tank are more portable. You are not going to want to go back and forth to the compressor and wait for it to slowly fill your rifle during a shooting session. The hand pump can be bad enough. With the tank you have your air refill right there and it is very quick and easy.

          As for that Xisico thing, it appears to be based on an HPA Booster that Mike Eustler reviewed a while back. Here is a link to his video.


          I have also been hearing rumors of a complete compressor unit in the Shoebox price range to hit the market this year.

          There is a lot of stuff going on in the airgun world nowadays.

          • R.R.,

            Very, very good links! A (must see) for any PCP owner I would say. Thank you very much.

            You may be right about the Xisico being like this. Both links saved. As long as a person could pull the parts together, it looks as if it would VERY worthwhile.

      • GF1,

        Notes will be made. 1.250″ ????? Is that ID or OD? Makes sense though. Yes on the dryers. Ok on the oiless. That was what I was looking at. I do not have a shop compressor, nor really need one. I got one of those 300psi, plug in the cig. lighter and that will do a flat in about 20 minutes just fine as long as the bead has not broke. I keep good rubber on and never used it, but, several people at work have used it.

        • Chris USA
          The 1.250″ is the outside diameter. I believe I ordered it out of a Grainger catalog at work. We use it on a big air powered industrial shop vac.that’s about 10′ long and 3 or so feet in diameter and its on wheels.

          But it needs more air volume to work correct. So that’s how I got the idea for my Shoebox air supply.

          And once you do get the shop compressor its kind of nice for blowing parts off when you work on things. I think you will be happy if you get it. I even use it to blow the leaves and grass off the sidewalk and driveway. Definitely worth the money spent.

  22. All,

    Looking to make my first air rifle(s) purchase. I’ve been catching up with the blog whilst waiting for my Canadian PAL to be issued (Reading articles from 2005 to 2010, so only 5 more years to go!), so I have a few ideas. My rough requirements are:

    1 – Vermin control; from squirrels to racoons. We live in an old farm house and our attic has played host to all this year, which started this journey.
    2 – It needs to be mouse-fart quiet so I can practice in the basement after the kids are in bed. I need lots of practice!
    3 – It needs to be legal/available in Canada. For example the Marauder can’t be sold in Canada unless the silencing baffles are removed – boo!
    4 – I’m going to have to be lefty by default (blind in my right eye), so I’ll be shooting with my weaker hand.
    4 – The minister of finance (my lovely wife) needs to approve the cost. I think that I could swing a budget of $800 but she sees airguns sold for $100 in Walmart, so any decent gun is going to be an up-hill struggle.

    Oh and I guess the unspoken requirement is that it has to appeal to my fickle nature; I’m sorry BB I just don’t like the looks of the Talon or the Crosman 392.

    Requirements 1 and 2 are completely opposed in the land of more-crazy-than-you silencer laws; the only way I will get quiet is with low power, so I figure that I need two rifles. My thoughts had been to get something like the Crosman 1077 for indoor practice and then a better built springer for the main gun, oh how I wish the TX200 was in budget.

    The problem I see with that idea is that I’m mixing a springer and a CO2 gun; my “lessons” with the Crosman are likely not going to be applicable to a springer, or are they?

    • TA,

      Welcome to the blog.

      You have been bitten by the gun and now you want to get into airguns at year three. That is possible.

      What you also want is everything. That is where it gets harder. Maybe it would be best to start with one gun and go from there?

      Too bad you don’t like the Talon SS (not the Talon, which isn’t quiet). It would be ideal for your needs, plus it has adjustable power so you could have the best of all worlds.

      I would concentrate on getting a nice left-hand TX200 and making it your all-purpose rifle.


      • B.B.,

        Thanks for replying and sorry for the slow response. It was my youngest daughter’s birthday over the weekend and we had family come visit. I’ve not been able to get back to a computer since for longer than 5 minutes … and it takes me forever to word a response.

        Would you believe I actually found this blog because I had originally started researching the Talon SS? I had decided that I needed a specific tool for a job, and found that the Talon SS was the answer; despite not agreeing with it’s looks (actually, I do like the looks of the Talon/Condor series until you get to the bottle reservoir, to my personal opinion it just breaks the lines of the rifle) – the adjustable power and quiet nature of the gun fit my needs perfectly.

        Thanks to you and this blog, I found an Aladdin’s cave of information, and a whole new world of unexplored opportunity … unfortunately thanks to you, I’ve also fallen for about 100+ different guns most of which I know that I have no hope of owning!

        I do though have a second line of defence for not choosing the Talon, it probably should have been my first too; I learned that the Talon SS isn’t available in Canada (or at least I can’t find anyone that will sell it). The “silencer” element of the rifle classifies it as a prohibited weapon in Canada, which means that it is a non-starter.

        I shall have to consider my options; I could focus on the TX but there is sometimes a south-paw tax on left handed guns. Unfortunately, every seller is out of stock of the left handed models right now so I can’t quickly check what the price would be. The last I was able to check, I was looking at close to a thousand dollars, which just wouldn’t fly with Mrs TA.

        If only Pyramyd were able to ship to Canada …

        • T.A.,

          As GF1 said, please come back and keep us all posted. You mentioned Talon SS and that you had a budget. You do realize that the Talon is a PCP? As in, it needs a high pressure air source. That would a hand pump at minimum. Or perhaps a HPA air tank rented from a dive shop.

          Good luck getting something. All those Canada laws are crazy. I have the TX, left, .22, with a spring mod. kit and the LGU, .22 also. Like GF1 said, it will give the TX a run for it’s money. Matter of fact, it was once his. Both very nice and both come tuned to the Europe and Canadian lower fpe laws.

          Good luck, Chris

    • TA
      Can I suggest something also. First I like the idea of the 1077 for downstairs practice. I have one. They are fun and accurate guns and have moderate power. And they are fairly quiet. I think that’s a good choice.

      But the other gun. I have to say that I encounter the same situations that you described in your farm house. I volunteer and do pest control for the city I live in. So I encounter some pretty crazy situations. But air guns is what I use. And if it is in a barn or attic of a house I use a Crosman 760. I know, I know another cheap gun. But really it’s perfect for that job. I have a Tasco red dot pro on it and I use the heavier weight JSB Exact .177 caliber pellets that weigh 10.34 grains.

      What is nice about that gun is I can get on target real quick with the red dot and not have to worry about getting the sights all lined up and in focus. And here’s the reason I like that gun the most for doing the pest eliminating. You can pump it up from 2-10 pums depending on how much power you need for the location your in and the type of pest your dealing with. Oh and they are easy to maneuver with because they don’t weigh much. Now I do also have other more powerful airguns I have with me to when they call. But that 760 is great if your pesting indoors.

      Maybe if you got a 1077 and the Crosman 760 you will have enough money left over to get you a dream gun then like the AirArms Tx 200. Let me tell you won’t be disappointed if you get a Tx. I have one in .177 caliber and absalutly love it. It shoots good, is quiet, makes good power. And fit and finnish is wonderful.

      Oh and one thing about me I totally like quiet air guns. I live in the country with nobody around. But quiet is number one priority for me. And let us know what you end up getting. And I know you will enjoy a air gun if you get one.

      • GF1,

        Thanks for the reply, the 760 is definitely something to consider. Though it’s listed as a 495fps with alloy pellets here; I assume that with a .177 shot placement becomes more important and that it would be squirrel sized targets as a max?

        I will try to keep checking in with a more up to date blog with my progress/choices; my mission though is to actually catch up with the latest blog by reading them all!

        Hopefully one day I’ll not be a Theoretical Airgunner any more.

        • TA
          Here’s a link on the 760. I believe it’s 600 with lead pellets and 625 with bb’s. I shoot lead pellets and they shoot pretty well at what the guns listed at.

          Maybe Canada gets the lower velocity guns? Maybe some of the other regular Canadian guys can answer that.

          But I have used my 760 to eliminate sqerrial size pests out to 35 yards with no problem.

          And don’t take this the wrong way. Don’t be a arm chair shooter just reading all the old blogs. Get you a air gun and have some fun shooting.

          And definatly keep in touch and make some comments about if you got a air gun and what kind. I’m sure everybody will be interested in hearing.

    • T.A.,

      As B.B. said,…Welcome. And congratulations on reading 5 years worth of blogs! You are way ahead of me there and I am sure you have learned a lot already. Good advice here and good people. As for the “critter” issue, even the Wally offerings will do at that (close) of range. A laser sight was good advice for that situation.

      As for down the road, and longer distance,… yea,…you will want something better.

      “Minister of Finance”,….. πŸ˜‰ very cute. I’ll leave that one to you! If she were to learn what you know,.. she might “up” the air gun budget,…a bit. Just sayin’. πŸ™‚

  23. 880 Bamboo BBQ skewer test,

    Got the 880,.. (S) ?,.. not sure what the “S” is for. First shot was not a bb. It was not a pellet. It was a bamboo BBQ skewer. 12″ and it went through corrugated box card board at 10′ with about 4″ penetration. It was a (very slight) press fit,…. not a drop down to breech. 10 pumps. Landed about 3″ left but spot on elevation……

    Looking like a fun little “experiment”. Bottom line,….it worked. Just all about the fine tuning from here on out. Oh yea,…the arrow test with shroud chop is in the future,…but shhhhhh!,……”it” does not know it yet,…. πŸ˜‰

    • Chris USA
      Did you ever search the blow gun ammo that is available now days like I mentioned the other day.

      They have wood darts available for them. Also metal rods and and even hard plastic stun darts. The stun darts will bend the front side of a standing can to touch the back side and knock it flying 5′ at 15 yards with a blow gun.

      If you check it out I think you could come up with a idea to adapt the ammo to your air gun. Or get ideas to make some ammo.

      • GF1,

        The quick search I did only showed the ones, (the only ones), that P.A. sells. Odd looking little puppies. I did a quick weigh of the 12″ skewer….( 60 grains ! ). I will do some more searching today. Oh yeah, I did find one video of a guy shooting stuff with Q-tip homemade darts. Looks as if he found hollow stemmed ones and put some cut wire in them. Kept one end on.

        As for the arrow/bolt, when the shroud comes off, an arrow or bolt will weigh quite a bit more I would think. I just got it for playing around and fun. Should be interesting.

        • Chris USA
          Now maybe you should experiment with cutting about a inch at a time off the BBQ skewer.

          Maybe you need to find the right legnth and weight to get it more accurate.

          Or it could be just the opposite. Maybe a longer legnth skewer or something similar in a longer legnth.

          • GF1,

            I did look some stuff up today. You are reading my mind as a gradual cut down was the direction I was going. I will try to get a 3″ group with 5 say, at 24′ and work from there. Some brazing or TIG sticks would be another option. A smaller rod with a bit of tape wrap on the tail end might prove quite effective, or well enough anyways. Unless I go really short, muzzle load will the method used.

            • Chris USA
              You mentioned 60 grn.

              I was thinking maybe cut the skewer in half at 6″ long and end up somewhere around 30 grn. If it works out that way. But also it might loose stability the shorter you get.

              And just think what a coat hanger could do. Say maybe 8″ long and wrap some tape around the backside for sealing. Or maybe it would work better with the tape up front but back say maybe a inch to leave the coat hanger exsposed a little.

              But sounds like a fun little project. Let me know what you try and how it goes.

              • GF1,

                Target made and sticks selected. Sorting is good for the closest fit. They do vary a little bit, as you would expect. Plus, some had obvious little defects. Gave ’em a quick sanding. The one I shot yesterday was sticking about 1/2″ out the barrel. I will rod these back to breech.

                Ever try the trigger stop yet? I really like mine. Will keep you (all) posted.

                • Chris USA
                  No I don’t want to do the trigger stops till I test the .25 Marauder, .22 Talon SS and Tx with the scope mounted bi-pods.

                  I don’t want to make changes to the guns. I know how their shooting now. So I don’t want to do anything different to the guns right now till the bi-pod test is done.

                  After the bi-pod test then I can try individual changes to the guns and test to see what difference those changes make. One step at a time to show true results in relation to the change that was made is the way I see it.

    • Cool! My main complaint about the current 880 is how weak the joint of the stock/receiver is. Keep your other hand on the receiver while pumping and you should be OK as long as you don’t drop it or step on it.
      Sounds like fun! They’re very accurate and a well lubed has good power.

      • Reb,

        Thanks for the tip. As for how the shroud attaches, it has that one way tab at the muzzle like the Red Ryder. The tab, muzzle cap and front sight are all one pc. The shroud has a definite taper as well. Also, about 8″ back from the muzzle, the seam is welded. From there to the muzzle is an open seam. If I cut the shroud, it will be ahead of that welded area. I could just get the cap out and shoot it that way and epoxy the front sight back on after some mods. The end of the barrel would be unsupported at that point, which may not be all bad. It would make it tuff to get an accurate OD reading on the barrel though, for arrows/bolts, since it stops about 3/4″ in from the end.

        I got it for just playing around, fun and experimenting. A nice little platform that.

      • B.B.,

        Yes, I discovered that this AM when I went to the Blue Book. Why did I go to the Blue Book? I had an 880 as a kid and did not remember all the plastic on the pump handle and receiver. Was I nuts? Blue Book to the rescue. Yes, they were metal at one time. That is also when I discovered the “S” notation.

        As a side note, this is also the first time I have handled a scope of that price level in many years. It sure does make me appreciate the Leapers and Hawkes and the quality mounts! For what I got it for, it will do just fine though.

  24. Reb and all of you old air gunners, off topic here, but very informative, That acid reflux that woke you up may be caused by “Chronic Dehydration” almost did me in after I retired. Drinking coffee all morning and sipping on beer the rest of the day and night for a year or so. Causes a total of ’13 symptoms’, usually only associated with aging. Check it out on the internet. It eventually leads to a serotonin depletion resulting in anxiety and depression. Took me months to reverse everything but now I’m totally pill free at 68. I even found a way to reverse white hair !
    Doctors never look for it…years to create it, being short of water daily, months to cure it. It’s not just being thirsty or not. Every bodily function is eventually negatively affected or modified trying to conserve water to survive and function. Enough said. Sad thing is, you really do not enjoy life and shooting.
    I read someplace that gallery guns were modified to prevent accuracy?

    • Bob M.,

      Good comments on all the above. Yes on hydration. White hair?….. you got me there. I got it, full head and down to belt. Does not bother me at all, but interested in what you have to say on the topic.

      • Chris, I cold spend a lot of time here describing how I found and cured almost every aging problem, but it’s an airgun blog so I’ll try to keep it short, Most of the big ‘prescription’ ones disappeared with hydration and certain exercises and life style changes over time.
        I accidently discovered a short grip improvement routine tried on pilots by scientists for better stick control and, after testing, it’s ‘side effects’ over time were lower cholesterol and blood pressure! (2 of the 13) I was looking for anything that would help me return to ‘Normal’. In my case it also reversed my white hairs. I suspect it somehow ‘wakes up’ your human growth hormone. It’s a simple procedure centered on isometrics. If Tom permits I can get deeper. Not sure how to manage off blog communications here.

        • Bob M.,

          Thanks for the reply. Your are right, too much for here. As for the gray hair,…I am ok with it. Just thought you had a quick fix. Best of luck on continued good health. Chris

          • That’s easy…Just jump in your time machine go back and pick different parents ! Hard to fight those nasty little genes.
            When I was in my late 30’s I was called the “Silver Fox” by a certain woman because of my premature gray on the side of my head and of course it slowly spread all over. By my 60’s it was going from gray to white and started popping out on the back of my hands and spreading up my arms. I read the article about this procedure to increase hand strength because I was getting tired of hurting myself doing car repairs and property maintenance and it claimed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both on the rise. My daughter gave me a ‘yellow foam banana’ to squeeze she received from work to prevent carpels tunnel in wrists. I combined the grip exercise with it. I have modified the exercise and can’t remember it exactly..something like this, open and close your hands fairly tight about 10 times, short rest then tighten up your hands as hard as you can and hold it for about 20 seconds. Your whole upper body should be shaking by the end. Another short rest followed by another ten light grips to loosen up. Perhaps 3 times a week to start, I do it every other day now. As time passed I noticed the white hairs fading away from my hands and arms, I also started to do this intense exercise using my arms in every position possible, one fighting the other pushing and pulling, hardening up my chest shoulders and back. Eventually my white hair faded back to my dirty blond color all over my chest, eyebrows, head and beard, as well as my arms. So what else could explain this? I do get complacent and I think some gray comes and goes but not the snow white !
            Unfortunately the hair is still thinning and the age spots are still blooming. That foam banana is crushed but I have no problem holding the heaviest rifles with one hand !…Just have to be careful which way I lean with it…bad lower back. Perhaps I can use that time machine to go back in the service and not fall off a helicopter and crush stuff.

            • Bob,

              And now I will return the favor.

              That bad back can perhaps be fixed permanently. I have a twisted spine that causes a facet (ball on a lumbar vertebra) to press against a nerve. Was in traction for a month and on Naprosyn for 20 years. Then my wife, Edith, found the video “Callanetics” for me. Callan Pinkney was a ballerina who travelled Africa with a backpack for 10 years and destroyed her back. She was in a wheelchair when she remembered her ballet warmup exercises.

              To cut to the chase, my back was out and I was crawling to the bathroom on my hands and knees when the video came in. I tried it the first time — could do about 30 percent of the exercises at first. But I got up and started walking afterward and I haven’t taken a Naprosyn for almost 20 years. Back has never gone out again!


              • B.B.,

                Callan Pinckney has 8 different dvd’s on Callanetics. Which one do you recommend?

                Is this the “yoga” you referred to in recent comments that has resulted in your dramatic weight loss and increase in flexibility?


                • Kevin,

                  The original Callanetics is the only one I know. It must say original in the name now, I guess.

                  The yoga I do is called Yoga for Regular Guys (YRG). The founder is Diamond Dallas Page, so they call it DDP Yoga, also.

                  I suppose it has something to do with my weight loss, but since I’ve been doing it for two years and the weight (32 pounds today) has come off since Edith passed away last July, I have to think that it’s mostly me cooking for myself.


                  • B.B.,

                    Sorry to be such a pest.

                    One of my New Years Resolutions was to spend an hour each day exercising. The rec center worked for awhile but is too packed with people at the times I can make it. My exercise bike is too boring. Your endorsement of Callanetics and YRG has opened a door for me.

                    You look great in the photo’s at SHOT. Your commitment to these two programs (along with being a lousy cook) and seeing the results has motivated me to explore. I’m already a lousy cook so I’ve got that part down.

                    Do you think the right DVD would be Beginning Callanetics or Super Callanetics?



                    • Kevin,

                      They may have reformatted what is in the videos. I would go with Beginning, because I doubt you will be able to do all the exercises for several months. Ballet dancers are very strong! πŸ˜‰


    • Bob
      I had to have a upper endoscopy done when I was in my early 30’s. Had acid reflux and problems swallowing. Basically the food didn’t want to make it to my stomach.

      They found polyps and that flapper valve deal that is at at the end of your esophagus and the begining of your stomach. You know the one that’s suppose to let food in your stomach but not back in your esophagus. Well it was tore or something.

      They had to go in and repair the valve and they cut the polyps out.

      They had me on tagement before hand with no good luck. All I know is when they did the operation I gained I bet 20 pounds afterwards. I was definitely feeling good after that.

      Here is something to read. Oh and they put me to sleep when they did it. In the description of how they tell about it your awake.


        • Makes sense!
          My brain is under reconstruction due to the damage done by countless strokes. Maybe it’s about time to start slammin’ 2 glasses before each meal like they made us do at Lackland again?

      • I had an upper and lower GI and told the doc he was joining the Star Trek Crew…Going places where no man has ever gone before…broke them up ! Obviously there are other causes for stomach problems, like Abdominal Distension and GERD. Mine was caused by dehydration failing to sort of neutralize stomach acid and permit it to hang around too long.
        I imagine a lot of people are dehydrated to some extent and unaware of the harm being done. Mine was helped along by a blood pressure “Water Pill” I was taking without drinking all the additional water required.

      • Sure can and any body else who wants to know my story. Can you put your email address on this blog or a phone number?
        I have learned that your New Job after retirement is maintaining your health. It’s full time and not easy..Most people just want a pill to cover up the problem and continue their bad habits and I think doctors know this as well. It’s really hard fighting off old age and changing behaviors. It actually involves a commitment to a new lifestyle.

    • Bob,

      If there were prizes involved the gallery guns or the targets were “gaffed” which means made to function in a way not originally designed. The man on the street would say “rigged.”

      If the gallery was just for the fun of shooting no modifications were made to anything.


      • BB
        Does having alot of comments on the blog agrivate the matter too?

        I guess what I’m asking is. If there wasn’t as many coments; say like only 40. Would the long links not take up as much space?

        Does that make sense or is it because of something else. I ain’t no computer geek. So not sure.

          • Reb
            This is just a guess. But I think it’s when let’s say you Google search something and a whole page comes up. Then if a person post a link for the whole page of subjects.

            I think what needs done is scan through that page then pick one of the subject links. Click on it and after it opens copy and paste that address bar.

            That way only one distinct link can be posted. But again just a guess. There may be limmits on how much data can be posted on a particular report BB is doing.

            Hopefully BB has some better info for us all.

      • Is it the link itself or trying to be sure it’s not contaminated with viruses?
        If I knew why it would help me understand what’s OK and what’s not.
        It’s been a while since I’ve shared any links at all.

      • I have one more I’d like to share where I looked up Chronic dehydration after talking to Bob.
        It gave me a much better understanding of how the body prioritizes water rationing when dehydration begins. My big misunderstanding is that my urine is clear and instead of chronic constipation I flip from it to diarrhea which could be due to low serotonin levels.

  25. 880 BBQ skewer test,…update

    Tried 12″ at 10 pumps and 24′. 12″ group, and I use that loosely. Next, 12″, 24′, 5 pumps. ‘Bout same. Next, 6″, 24′, 10 pumps, ’bout same. Conclusion,…..the wood skewers have too much variation in profile. The 6″ did penetrate 3″ into two 1/8″ rubber mats, so the power is there. 12″ is 60 grains.

    Next?,…. coat hanger, wire, cut 2″, sharpened, tape wrap at rear, also 30 grains. Will sharpen some at work tomorrow and report back. By the way,….. it was a REAL blast! πŸ™‚

  26. I just setup a long range target. There’s a swirling breeze of about 10mph and range estimated @ 65-70 yds and the target is only 1″ so I don’t really expect to hit it but I’m ready to see what happens way out there with these Monsters outta my 2400kt.

      • That’s what this is all about.
        I took one shot earlier at a telephone pole and heard the strike but closer inspection revealed no evidence. I was aiming about 10′ up the pole thinking a 3′ drop should put it where I could see it but I lost the pellet in flight, that shot was closer to 90-100yds.

        • Reb
          Put you a aluminum can on the ground out at 60 yards. That way you should see the pellet hit the dirt or grass around the can. Then you can adjust your hold.

          I take a 2×4 about 8″ long and hammer a nail in the flat side and leave the nail head sticking out of the wood about a inch or so. And I try to find a nail with a small diameter head. Maybe like a 1/16″-1/8″ diameter. I set the wood on the ground and take hold of the can from the top with my hand over the top. If you take and give the bottom of the can a quick hit on the nail head it will poke right through the bottom of the can. So now you have a good can holder.

          Or you can take a old coat hanger and cut a peice out of it about 4″ longer than the can. Stick the coat hanger in the ground and turn the can upside down and place the opening from where you drink from on the coat hanger in the ground. That holds the can in place pretty good.

          But at least that way you should see where you pellets hitting to adjust your hold.

  27. Chris USA
    Maybe when you wrap some tape around the end of the coat hanger wire the 880’s rifled barrel will help them be more accurate. Or could hurt the accuracy with them spinning.

    Blow guns are usually smooth bore. It would be nice if you had a smooth bore Crosman 760 to compare the results to the rifled barrel 880.

    That could be a eye opener there. Especially if you taped the ends of the coat hanger wire so the tape could engage the 880 rifling. Or if the taped end coat hanger wire is better in a smooth bore.

    You got to get you a 760 to complete this test now. Seriously. But you keep spending your pcp money you know. πŸ™‚

    • GF1,

      Very, very cute! No,…. I will not get a 760. Besides, it’s for arrow/bolt testing anyways. Just having some fun before I get there. As for the PCP budget,… I don’t think that 37$ “dented” it too bad. All considered, that (might) be penny on the dollar.

      Will keep all posted,…. Chris

          • Reb
            What I’m thinking about is maybe that new Crosman/Benjamin Pioneer air bow is a (smooth bore). I don’t think it has a rifled barrel. But I could be wrong. Haven’t held one in my hand to know. Matter of fact I believe there might not be a outer barrel but a tube that the arrow slips over. Then the outer shroud that no way touches the arrow.

            And also FX has a arrow shooting gun. I know they have their smooth twist barrels but I believe they also may be a tube that a hollow arrow slips over on their arrow shooting gun.

            I still believe if your shooting a long dart or a solid end arrow out of a barrel it should be a smooth bore. Again like how a blow gun is designed.

            • I figure you’re probably right about the Pioneer being smoothbore.
              If the didn’t allow for a projectile inside the barrel they screwed the whole original idea.
              Keep an eye out for a second model with a rifled barrel that feeds bbs or pellets.

              • Reb
                I don’t think it has a barrel that the arrow goes into. I believe it is a tube the hollow arrow slides over.

                And I doubt there will be one that fires bb’s. And think about it. Look at the Benjamin Bulldog. It’s close to the same gun as the Pioneer.

                I could see Crosman getting on the ball and offering the Bulldog in a small bore .177, .22 and .25 caliber model though. I would be interested in one in .25 caliber for sure. I just don’t like how the fps falls of so rapidly on the big bore Bulldog right now. I’m thinking the small bore calibers would be more efficient.

            • GF1,

              That’s the idea, shaft over barrel,…so the twist will not matter. Then again, there might be a bit of air “twist” imparted by the rifling? A vortex? Ok,…maybe that is going too far….. πŸ˜‰

              • Chris USA
                Maybe there is some slow mo videoes out there of Fx’s arrow shooting gun and the Pioneer.

                Then we can see if there is some arrow spin going on.

                I don’t think darts spin as they fly from a smooth bore blow gun though. I doubt there is a natural spin that happens on a dart.

                  • Reb
                    I wonder what a broad head would do out of a Pioneer.

                    Every one I have seen when searching info about them. The Pioneer arrow has been pointed tips.

                    I would like to see how the Pioneer would shoot with a flat wadcutter type tip or even a hollow point tip.

                    Even an oversized round ball tip. Like a 1/2″ diameter. Could you imagine what that energy transfer would be like. That would break bones.

                    • GF1,

                      The broadhead on an arrow needs to be carefully aligned to the shaft or it causes erratic flight. The higher the velocity the more pronounced the effect.

      • What I Do really like about the way your approaching this experience this gun could be launching a variety of projectiles,including BB’s and pellets in one basic layout. But your plastic pumplevered 880 will probably be trying to pop back open before you reach it’s full potential.
        I had to hold the last one I tuned

          • Reb,

            How many pumps was that? I do not plan to go past 10. Plus, the arrows should do better, Just have to figure out what the ideal # of pumps will be, plus arrow weight, plus length….. πŸ™‚

            BTW,… good job on the comments this weekend! Chris

          • I didn’t have a problem feeding steel BB’s on mine but in order to still shoot pellets I would have had to epoxy the barrel in place.
            I’m not done with this Powermaster 66 yet so I may build a custom length shroud for it and find some arrows that’ll fit over it’s barrel.

              • Think I misunderstood what you meant and didn’t realize you’d asked a question til now.. The problem was tight pellets would unseat the barrel. That’s when I ended the project and reassembled bot rifles.
                This Powermaster. 66 is a much more stable platform,due to all the metal. Only problem I anticipate is the OD is bigger than an 880 barrel so finding the correct ID shafts may be challenging but I’ve built plenty of rockets.
                Hey,there’s an idea!
                Line some Netflix darts with those bolt covers so the end won’t blow out and try them at 20′ .

                • Reb,

                  Yea, the barrel, the actual barrel, might be too thin as a stand alone item, un-supported at the muzzle. Never had one down, so I can’t say. A lot of the high end PCP’s have stand alone barrels, but the OD, the walls, may be thicker.

  28. My only experience with an airgun gallery and my first experience with airguns was at a kind of amusement park in New Zealand. I missed every single target. Right afterwards, the owner stepped up and shot ever target that I had missed. Maybe this was a show of superiority or to assure other customers that his gear worked. Maybe that experience played a role in my motivation for airguns. I can attest that galleries are not dead as my indoor 5 yard range gets plenty of use, and I wouldn’t mind a rematch with the gallery owner now.

    I’m not sure about that point that Southerners were vastly more knowledgeable than Northerners about guns during the Civil War era. Some data shows that the Northern soldiers were overwhelmingly rural which means they must have known something about guns. The Southern skill with guns may have been partly propaganda about themselves as superior fighting men. Also, you would think that by the end of the war, enough Northern men had had a chance to learn how to shoot. They might even have been sick of it, but perhaps not. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the rise in the commercial interest of tactical style guns coincides with having been at war since almost the beginning of the century.

    I had quite a range day yesterday. It started the previous evening when I realized that I had not figured out how to open my case of Russian 7.62X54R surplus sniper ammo that I bought a couple years ago and was planning to use. The wooden box looked to be secured with screws that took a flathead screwdriver. It worked fine except where the notch had been rubbed smooth, but I finally wrestled the box open. Inside were two huge spam cans with no opener!? Thankfully, I had saved one from another box, but it didn’t work too well. I schlepped my way around the can complaining bitterly. But right at the end, I developed a kind of circular motion which made the work very quick. Never underestimate your archetypal Russian peasant soldier. He’s got me beat in a lot of ways. Inside, the rounds were in these little paper bags, secured with staples, which seem to have been a favorite of the Soviet era. On the other hand, the paper is very durable and almost waterproof. For a little diversion you can watch a YouTube video of a bearded shooter using these little bags of ammo and doing a strange imitation of Mr. Rogers from Hell. “Hey, boys and girls, look at these little paper bags,” he says, leering at the camera through a big beard…

    I also lay awake the night before grappling with hubris. The day was to be another test of accuracy of my Saiga AK. With the 100 million AKs in existence and in continual use for 70 years, what could I possibly add to reports on the AK? Then, the answer came to me. I bet not many shooters have fired 100,000 shots through an IZH 61. It’s been known for a considerable time that the AK is not an accurate gun. U.S. Army reports from Vietnam where they got hold of it say that the gun’s accuracy remained “stubbornly mediocre” despite all their attempts to improve it. But what if the gun was not monolithically inaccurate but only because of what Jerry Miculek calls the “violent action” of its long stroke piston? The cure for that would be extra follow-through honed by airgun shooting, especially the IZH 61 which feels remarkably similar and was made at the same factory. I might be uniquely trained to illuminate this feature of the AK’s accuracy if it exists…

    The day turned out to be a day worthy of Slinging Lead’s loudest laughter. I’ll reverse custom by starting with the good news. I warmed up with archery and firing that 60 pound longbow seemed to me like strumming a giant harp with its booming resonance. I was on target at 20 yards. I also was surprised that my arrows from both my 30 pound recurve and my longbow at that distance were mostly bouncing off the target which was made of burlap stuffed into some kind of nylon plasticized bag. I wouldn’t have done much against the French knights at Agincourt, but I was treating it all as meditation. I also believe I have figured out why the skeletons of archers from this era have enormously oversized left arms. When extended, the longbow applied force at a slight angle to my extended arm. The angle was small but the force was so great that it hurt like hell.

    Then, it was on to the pistol range. My CZ 75 SP-01 re-established itself, shooting almost as well as my 1911 and somewhat better than my Smith and Wesson 686. I had figured out the trigger of the gun so that it wasn’t really an impediment. However, the magazine requires you to slide the rounds in from the side rather than pressing them straight down and the feed lips turned my fingers into hamburger.

    Finally, I took the Saiga and my Mosin sniper rifle out to the 100 yard range. The groups with the AK were not encouraging. From the grid on the targets, five shot groups were in the three and four inch range. I got down to my last magazine of Hornady SST ammo, and then it happened. Five shots were well under 2 inches and four were inside one inch. Our statistical discussion might suggest that this was a fluke. But I know better because the Jaws of the Subconscious were working for that final group. In other words, I was finally following through. I was reproducing just what I did with the IZH 61, so you could say that I called the group. And later upon inspecting the target, I found another group that was under 2 MOA. And this was with my trusty BugBuster scope. Given a high quality scope, handloads, and a decent shooting point (I was contorted around a mis-sized concrete table), the results could be even better. So, my results suggest that the secret to shooting an AK accurately is to fire 100,000 shots with an airgun.

    As for the Mosin, this was a chance to test my surplus sniper ammo and re-establish myself from the poor technique I used the last time I shot this gun. Given how well my surplus 8mm worked in my Mauser 98K, I was hoping for great things. I did get some lovely sight pictures, and I am enamored of the Redfield sighting targets with red diamond targets of various sizes superimposed on a grid of one inch squares. The diamonds work well with just about any kind of reticle except for the ring target sights designed for a bull. The pointed post of my Russian scope nestled right in there. One hears a lot about the shooter-gun interface as the next frontier. But perhaps there is a whole field in the reticle target interface. Just as psychology has proven that yellow is the most visible color, perhaps they could find which colors and shapes make for the best sight picture when combining reticle and target.

    As for what kind of shooting I did on the target, here is where the bad news begins. I found at the beginning of my session that my spotting scope no longer worked. I seem to remember it falling from a height on my last range trip, but never bothered to check. The view through the scope is completely dark and there is a clanking sound when shaken. I got by with the Bug Buster for shorter ranges but not the 100 yard range. It may not have mattered since I wasn’t on paper anyway. Looking back, I cannot figure out my error. The rifle had been sighted in at 100 yards with commercial ammo. You would think it would be roughly the same with different ammo. But I tried numbers of shots at the center of the bull, the four corners, and the four faces of the target, and didn’t get a single hole. So, after all that and 20 rounds of ammo, I had nothing to show.

    It gets worse. My AK story assumes the shape of a Greek tragedy when the hero is cut down in his moment of glory. I might have figured out a new way to damage the AK. Fueled partly by frustration at my Mosin and exhiliration at my rested performance with the AK, I went through 40 rounds of Tulammo fairly quickly with my two 10 round magazines. But then I noticed on a couple occasions that when I removed my range-required plastic chamber flag, I had to use a lot of force. Looking closer, I found to my horror that the end of the chamber flag had melted inside the barrel. Plastic in the chamber or the barrel could cause an obstruction and perhaps dangerous overpressures. It doesn’t take much. And this happened just with 10 round magazines. How do people manage with 30 round versions.

    Back home, I scrubbed the bore for 15 minutes with copper-fouling solution, then ran a brass brush 35 times through the barrel. Looking at the barrel from both ends with a light source, I couldn’t see any deposits. So what do you think? Can I assume that I removed any plastic deposits? Is it possible that I might have missed something with my visual inspection? If so, would whatever is there by shot clear with more firing? Or could it cause dangerous overpressures that could blow up the gun and me too? Is it worth it to have a gunsmith check it? This involves considerable hassle and expense in my situation, but I don’t want to risk danger from the firearm. Is there some other tool I could use to check the bore myself like a bore light and a magnifying glass? So frustrating to have this happen just when I got such good results from the AK, but I want to take every precaution.

    With all this, I can’t help but appreciate the fire and forget convenience of airguns. I just shoot them and put them away.


    • Thank you, Matt, for a good laugh, when you wondered out loud how folks manage AK heat when using 30-round magazines. You conjured this hilarious image of “other” worldwide AK users – pajama-clad dorks at backwoods terrorist training camps, tribal militiamen, etc…. all carefully employing their empty chamber indicators.


  29. Matt61
    I have to reply about the civil war soldiers. I’m betting that none of them wanted to be there. But also probably had no choice but to be there.

    I wonder how many of them remembered things they done as kids out in the feilds playing as we say about kids. Playing. Was it really playing or was we learning. Learning how to what? Hide from the kids you were playing with and all of sudden surprise them from out of nowhere. Learning how to sneak up on the animal you were hunting. Or what to do to make a shot count and make it easier to make that shot. Learn how to use your surroundings to hide and how to use them to see where your gun hit.

    We was doing a lot more as kids than we really knew. We was learning to survive.

    And survive. Well how many people really show a person how to do their job. They may show some of it. But I’ll bet they keep some details secret.

    What do you think them soldiers and bar room gallery shooters did. They kept secrets and passed them along. But to only certain people they chose. Just like going to a bar to play pool. You surely don’t want to show your opponent all your tricks. Matter of fact you make it look like you don’t know what your doing.

    I will say yes them Soldeirs and gentleman in the bars new very well what they were doing. They had to. To survive not only for them but their family and the things they owned.

    Kind of sound like today’s world?

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