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Air Guns What does it take to make you happy?

What does it take to make you happy?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Lookers and shooters
  • Shooters
  • Ergonomics
  • However…
  • No accounting for taste
  • Nice guns
  • Over to you

I’m stepping away from my usual report style today by asking the question, “What does it take to make you happy?” And by that I mean airguns. If you want universal enlightenment and a restored ch’i, that’s the class down the hall. What kind of airgun makes you happy?

Lookers and shooters

I break my airguns down to those I think are beautiful and those that shoot well. For instance, the TX200 Mark III from Air Arms is a wonderful shooter, but it has all the grace of a cattle truck! It’s not pretty. Now, it is possible to stock one with a gorgeous piece of wood that will distract the viewer from the humpbacked profile of the rifle for a long time. But eventually people see the shape of the air tube as it morphs into the barrel and realize it isn’t very stylish. It’s a shooter, not a looker.

On the other hand there are a great number of very attractive spring rifles being made in Europe and the middle east that look wonderful, yet produce groups that are more properly called patterns. These rifles are so attractive, though, that it has become almost sacrilege to mention how they shoot.

Lookers and shooters is how I break them down. And with these categories comes the obvious possibility of an airgun that is neither a looker nor a shooter. A plug-ugly that can’t hit the barn wall when fired inside! I have tested so many of those!

And of course there is also that rarest of rare guns — the one that shoots just as good as it looks. I have owned a few of them over the course of time, but I know better than to expect one that is both beautiful and can shoot. My attitude is always — surprise me.


My preference is for the shooters. Call me strange, but when I shoot I like to hit what I aim at. I don’t mind a 10-meter rifle that looks like it was made from leftover parts. As long as it can shoot, I’m happy. Of course 10-meter airguns may look strange, but when they are held they fit like a glove. That’s called ergonomics.


A gun that fits well cancels a lot of negatives in the looks department for me. It can also create a conflict. For example, several years ago I ran a big test for “Shotgun News” in which I pitted a Crosman Mark I and a Smith & Wesson 78G against a modern Crosman 2240. Now, both the older air pistols look better and feel better than the modern 2240. They both have better sights and improved triggers, yet when the test was over the 2240 outshot the two classic pistols.

Crosman Mark I
Crosman’s Mark I Target Pistol looks great and has wonderful features for an informal target pistol.

S&W 78G
Smith & Wesson’s 78G target pistol is also ergonomic and well-suited to informal target practice.

Crosman 2240
Crosman’s 2240 is a modern air pistol that combines some of the classic attributes in one inexpensive package.

What I’m saying is I prefer the feel, sights and triggers of both the Mark I and the S&W over the 2240, but the plain-Jane 2240 will shoot better than either one of them. Talk about a love-hate relationship!


On the flip side of attractive air rifles, you all know that I like the Beeman R1. I wrote a book about it, for gosh sakes! I think the R1 is one rugged-looking breakbarrel. But if I want to hit something at 50 yards, give me an RWS 34P or a TX200 Mark III any day. However, something about the R1 makes me keep it in my collection. Sometimes I go for looks over accuracy.

Beeman R1 breakbarrel air rifle
The Beeman R1 Supermagnum air rifle has held my attention for many decades.

No accounting for taste

I’m not trying to impose my personal taste on anyone today. There was a time in the 1970s and ’80s when a popular look for a breakbarrel springer was that of an electric guitar. The wood stocks were over-tall with deep forearms, thick profiles and finished with a mirror gloss. When I see one at an airgun show I’m amazed anyone ever bought it, but it was a popular custom look for awhile.

Nice guns

There is one last category for me — the guns I just like. They aren’t particularly attractive and they may not even be the most accurate, but something in their design or operation melts my heart — sort of like an ugly mutt at the pound who just needs love. The Diana model 27 is the poster-child of this category. It’s plain and not especially accurate, but it cocks easily, holds well and has a delightful trigger, once it’s adjusted properly.

Diana 27
The Diana model 27 is an all-time favorite of mine, despite being neither attractive nor especially accurate.

Another one that tugs at my heart is the straight-grip Webley Senior. It’s slow and not too accurate, but I feel like Sherlock Holmes when I shoot it (don’t ask why, I just do).

Webley Senior
Webley Senior straight grip from before WW II is so quirky that I cannot look away!

Over to you

Okay, that’s my take on the airguns I like. And there are certainly many more I did not menion, like my Beeman R8 Tyrolean that is so stunningly accurate. But I’m going to shut up now and let you tell me what kind of airguns you like, and why.

Beeman R8 Tyrolean
I’m nuts about my Beeman R8 Tyrolean that I happen to think is both beautiful and accurate!

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.

80 thoughts on “What does it take to make you happy?”

  1. I lean towards the mk1’s myself.
    I have always been real big on the FEEL of any gun (airguns & powder burners.)
    Say what you want guys, If you don’t like the feel of a gun, you won’t shoot it much.
    In the report between the Mark 1 vs S&W & 2240, I remember you were using a hot rodded Mark 1.
    If you should ever decide to revisit the test with a level playing field of all stock guns, I have a 1st year production Mark 1 that has never been resealed or modded that I will loan you for the test.
    Just private message me under 45 Bravo on most of the airgun boards. (45 Bravo was my MOS).

  2. B.B.

    For scope I want a sub 16 oz. 3-9X35-40 ao, side adjustment preferred, mil-dot or some other range estimating reticle. Etched glass preferred. Under $250-300.
    That would make me happy.


  3. Everyone,

    By the way, I’m up late because I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get a catheter removed. These kidney stones have now cost me 4 trips to the hospital, 2 emergency room visits, 3 operations and two catheters. I hope I never hear of kidney stones again! This last catheter was installed wrong and has been painful since Thursday!


    • How did they manage to install a catheter wrong? It can only go in one way. Worst case scenario that I have seen was that they were in a rush and inflated it prematurely. OUCH!

      Take care BB. May you not need to see the inside of a hospital for a long while.

    • B.B.,

      Wow, I thought you were all done. 🙁 It sounds as if the end is near though. Most important, did they identify which type you had and recommend any dietary changes to help prevent future reoccurrences?

      You might have missed it, but when you were on your rather poorly chosen “vacation”,…. I mentioned that I thought there were 4 types. While not sure, at least 2-3 of those had a direct link to foods.

      An ex, could be cleaned out and 30 days later have them the size of golf balls. Oddly, I do not remember any details about what type or what she ever did, if anything. It was a rough few months though, for her more than me.


  4. I like the shooters that also feel right when you hold them. Comfortable actually.

    Then if they so happen to look good all the better.

    And I don’t like them to be a lot of work when I shoot them. So I guess for me I like a PCP best. Of course when I’m letting my Shoebox do the work. Then it’s kind of a toss up between a springer and a multi-pump.

    But I would have to say that I like the smooth shooting characteristics of the multi-pump over most springers. And of course that springer thats the exception would be a fixed barrel underlever as in the Tx 200.

    The stocks of the guns don’t matter to me as long as the gun feels good when you shoot it. But I will say I like a nice peice of walnut on a gun. And I do like the multicolor laminated wood stocks.

    But all said and done the gun needs to be a shooter. Yes I like a accurate gun.

    • And what was I thinking. Or should I say what wasn’t I thinking.

      Don’t care what the gun looks like. But darn it better have a good trigger.

      To me that falls right in the same category of importance as accuracy does.

  5. Wow, you have your share of misery with those kidney stones ! I hope you have the worst behind you.
    As a relative newbie when it comes to air guns I have one prime concern . Is it fun to shoot ? At my age and health, realistically I will never be a good shot, but I want to have fun trying . One of my favorite air pistols is the Tanfoglio Limited Custom. Sure it is just a bb pistol, but the look, feel, and blow back makes it a fun pistol to shoot.
    I would love to get a Webley Senior. In the meantime I get my jollies from a 22 calibre Webley Tempest. Just seems like a time warp shooting that thing and it is FUN . Thanks for the great post and get well soon.

  6. Interesting question. I have more air guns than I have good sense. At last count the talley was over 60 rifles and pistols. But, which ones are still here because they make me happy? Hmmm. My Haenel 311, not because it’s pretty nor the most accurate, but because it’s just fun to shoot! The Crosman 160 because it’s like owning a ’57 Chevy…it’s the gun I wish I’d have been smart enough to talk my parents into letting me own when I was 12 or so (about 1960). My Marksman model 70 with Rekord trigger…not because it’s the nicest rifle around, although it’s not bad, but because it was my first “big boy” air gun. My .22 Marauder, because with the 4 X 16 UTG scope and folding bipod it’ just looks bad***. Oh, and it’ works pretty good, too. I like my RWS 5G pistol, just because it’s fun to shoot…more fun than the P1. The HW 75 is fun, but it is, after all, just a really expensive high quality plinking gun.

    So, what do these have in common? Good to excellent quality, lots of wood and blued metal with a minimum of plastic, and a high fun quotient. Go ahead and try to quantify that last one!

    St. Louis, MO

  7. What a great question! My mind first went to the several thousand dollars worth of Condors and RWS rifles. Then I realized the most fun I have isn’t punching paper at 100 yards with a Condor or driving tacks with the RWS. What makes me most happy is stomping the woods with my little dog and a steroid Benjamin plinking squirrels. What makes me happy is shooting modded 1322s with my boys in the backyard, burning cheap Wally World Crosman 22 pellets on tin cans and spinners at a hundred feet. What makes me happy is the four of us, wife, kids, and me, lying on our bellies in our PJ’s in the hallway with $30 Red Ryders, shooting plastic army men off a book self lined with cardboard. It’s HARD to hit a little green man when you’re laughing so hard tears are rolling down your face. What makes me happy is planing the next build, serious teenage faces trying to puzzle out how to spend the $120 Christmas check they got from grandma.

    Hmmmmm. Maybe the gun isn’t the most important part of the equation at all!

  8. GF,
    Reminds me of a particular ex-girlfriend that was not only an excellent shooter, but good looking too. She was an excellent shot and had the looks of the regional weather girl on channel four. Could draw a crowd at the range by merely taking the Model 41 out the case and unbuttoning the top button of her blouse.
    …Oh, you meant the the gun itself…
    Well, that’s important too…I guess…

  9. I enjoy shooting different types of air rifles, so I have an older break barrel and a newer break barrel,
    an under-leaver and a side-leaver, a CO2 target rifle with diopter sights, all are .177 so I would like
    to add a .22,. a PCP due to the cost is not on however a Discovery is tempting as is can run on CO2

    • Mercury,

      Maybe you should try a Maximus? You can get it and a hand pump for about $400. On second thought, you had better not. Once you cross to the Dark Side, difficult to return it is.

  10. A great article/topic,

    My jaw about dropped on your comments on the TX200 III. I could not feel more the opposite. Looks great and shoots great. Then the LGU, which I feel the same about, although the wood is not a pretty as the TX’s Walnut, I do like the lines. Then the 92FS which is the nickel and wood version. Most hate the nickel look, but I love it. It is fun to shoot and the accuracy usually exceeds me.

    Interestingly, all 3 were first picks in my looks dept. Looking over the P.A. catalog and the site,…. those 3 always stood out. Luckily about the same time that I was getting back into air guns, I found this blog and learned that considerations of accuracy is something that should also be a serious priority. 😉

    As for a cheaper rifle, the classic lines of the Daisy 880 multi-pumper is hard to beat. Black, white and wood grained plastic, combined with good lines, it is a “looks” winner and has been for years.

    Moving onto the *-ugly,…. that would be the M-rod,….. which happens to be my next purchase. Given the track record and tune options, it was an obvious next choice. As for looks, that will be fixed with the R-Arms kit, which is more of a fit thing than the looks,… but the looks ends up pretty darn good.

    At any rate, that’s my 2 cents.

    • Chris,

      I too had to scratch my head about his TX comments, although his custom stocked R1 is sleek.

      I will likely end up with a Marauder also. Form follows function. I will probably end up dressing it up some also, more likely with a chunk of walnut than some plastic and aluminum but that is why there are so many styles.

  11. BB,

    Ugly?! I think the TX200 MKIII with a walnut stock is drop dead gorgeous! It is probably one of the most beautiful spring piston air rifles in the world! It is the air rifle I dream of owning except I would be afraid to shoot it as I might scratch or ding it!

    With me, I always prefer form to follow function. That is probably why I so love my 1906 BSA. There is nothing there but function. I also really like my Edge, another stripped down to nothing but function.

    Perhaps one day I will end up with a piece of eye candy that can poke a squirrel’s eye out at 50 yards. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 😉

  12. BB
    Best of luck with the stones. After mine was removed I had pains for a week or so, gradually subsiding and then no more. Hospitals have certainly come a long way in pain management since then. Man! Ring for the nurse, yell for the nurse, finally Miss Sarcastic comes in….
    BTW, is there a way to look at a bunch of groups and say this is about the best this gun/pellet can do, or that there’s room for the shooter to improve?
    Thanks, Prayers for you.

    • Fido3030,

      “BTW, is there a way to look at a bunch of groups and say this is about the best this gun/pellet can do, or that there’s room for the shooter to improve?”

      If you shoot 5-shot groups there is always room for improvement. If you shoot 10-shot groups there is very little room for improvement. That’s why I try to shoot 10 shots.


    • Fido3030,

      I believe it was Calnib,…. a stat’s genius,…. that gave all the stats on that quite awhile ago. If I remember,… 30 shots was the ultimate test in one group. If you do your best on each shot,…. that takes care of you. As for the gun and pellets,…… weigh and head sort,…. and you have your answer. Repeat a time or two to confirm.

  13. There really is something to that Feinwerkbau history No.1.. But it is not an air gun…

    There is also a beauty in utility I think. Like a bridge can be pretty while it is just rusty H-beams. The pattern they make is pure utility, but one still has to admire how it gets the job done of holding hundreds of tons up.

    Like the gamo gamatic I have, it just looks weird. But that repeating action and the magazine tube just are cool the way they work. And it hits whatever I point it at, how about that!

    Somehow I always stick with very ugly guns that shoot ridiculously accurate. Guns I have stuck with are a FWB300s I got when I was 14. A nasty looking anschutz 54 that had a wrist break repaired as ugly as it gets. But goodness it shoots clover leaf groups at 100 meters! So I am not messing with it.

    And If you think that is not ugly enough I also own a VZ58 with the beaver barf wood..

    LOL I guess I love ugly guns!

  14. B.B.,

    I agree that there is some difficulty in finding an airgun that has elegant lines and great shooting characteristics. Finding one that also feels “just right” to me was even harder–that is until I purchased an Air Arms Pro Sport (in walnut). Once I managed to figure out the most comfortable way for cocking the gun, it was a joy to shoot. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed any other rifle quite so much. It will be one of the airguns that I never sell or trade, but instead save to pass along to a loved one some day.

      • B.B.,

        Thanks for your kind welcome.

        I can understand your preference for the TX200 over the Pro Sport. They have very different balance points due to the differing locations of the underlevers. I think that I prefer the Pro Sport having more weight toward the rear of the gun, but that is a purely subjective preference on my part.

        Incidentally, my choice to purchase the Pro Sport came after reading your blog report on the rifle. So thank you for your honest–and very helpful–assessment. Your reviews are very much appreciated, and it was great to be able to make an informed purchase.

  15. Airgun beauty is pretty subjective, I think it is difficult to design it into a spring piston gun simply because there has to be a lever and a pivot on display somewhere in the majority of cases.
    There are of course exceptions, for my money the Mk2 BSA Airsporter is the most elegant design in history, with some of the Stutzens being designed with obvious looks on mind, like Tom I’m no fan of the humpbacked look of scope only stocks, the AA Prosport managing to pull it off better than most (a more successful design at UK power levels with the lighter cocking effort), hence most of my rifles having the lower combed “bavarian” style stocks, the MK1/2/3 HW77 being a notably symmetrical design and a pretty gun, especially in a light walnut, certainly much more so than the mechanically identical HW97
    With Co2 there’s much less excuse for being hit with the ugly stick.
    That’s not to say that in some cases the “function before form” doesn’t have it’s own elegance.

  16. It has to be a shooter to keep my interest.

    I’m not into formal target shooting or competitions and my favorite rifles reflect that…

    My FWB124 is my go-to rifle for a walk-about – I think it is perfect for casual plinking and pesting. Its low cocking force makes it an all-day shooter.

    For more serious shooting at longer ranges I defer to my .177 HW100S FAC for targets and my .22 HW100S FSB FAC for hunting and pest control.

    For sniping at small targets and light pest control I will grab my FWB300SU – within its range its accuracy is awesome!

    Different designs, different uses. To me, they are all beautiful in their own way. Puts a smile on my face 🙂

  17. B.B.,

    When it comes to long air guns, I would have to say that my San Anselmo era lefty FWB 124 is the one. I know that it is a model that has historical importance in arigunning and is universally revered, practically legendary. The trigger is set perfect for me and breaks like a thin glass rod. The shot cycle is so smooth and outrageously fast that it is every bit as “hold insensitive” as my TX and any non-springer I have. And it is remarkably accurate, even in my unskilled hands and with every single pellet I’ve ever shot with it. It also shoots with respectable power, even by today’s standards, yet it cocks easily. Because of that and its light weight, it definitely qualifies as an all day shooter.

    My Feinwerkbau 124 puts a smile on my face every time.


  18. Great subject and responses. My favorite all time air pistol is my old FWB Model 80. When I am showing my small collection to others that is the one I leave to the last and when I am down, it is the one I take out of the case and shoot. It just makes me feel good.

    Get well soon.

  19. BB –

    Glad to hear that your kidney stones ordeal is just about over.

    Like, you, I am drawn to airguns that shoot… not just accurately, but consistently. My HW97K, for instance, is extremely accurate, but the POI seems to be a little different from day to day. I call it moody. On the other hand, my HW30S will pinwheel a 10-meter bullseye with the very first shot often enough to make it a real contender in the “one shot game”. Not that I have that many airguns, but my two absolute favorites are CO2 powered. Since I only shoot them indoors, in a temperature controlled environment, their POI hardly ever changes. The rifle in this pair is an old TF79 in .177, scoped with a BSA 3-12 power optic with a fine reticle. It loves the JSB Exact Heavy and will put 10 of them through a hole so small that it will still hold a pellet without letting it fall out. Its pistol partner is a Rohm Twinmaster Action, with a Bushnell Trophy red/green dot sight. At 10-meters, it shoots like a full-on 10-meter pistol. The trigger is too heavy for competition, but the barrel is a good one. I’ll bet that I haven’t changed the sight settings in years. In a few minutes, friends will be showing up at my house to shoot with an IZH46M, an FWB65 and an FWB103. The Twinmaster hangs right there with them.

    – Jim

  20. I would have to go with ergonomic and accurate which is why I’m trying to hang on to the ones I already have because all but my 760 are both and I think I have a fix for it.

  21. Thanks to this place (that would be you B.B.) I’ve managed to acquire guns that are both good looking (IMO) and accurate.
    My Slavia 630. It may be only 500fps but with a Hawke scope it will put 5 pellets in a 3/8 of an inch at 10m and an inch at 25m. Plus it has that traditional European wood and steel airgun look that just looks…right.
    My Avanti 835c. My most used gun because I compete in a local informal club that stages regular competitions. I did polish all the surfaces in the trigger, and with the addition of a good Anschutz rear sight (worth as much as the rifle was new) I’ve won my fair share of 10m competitions against some much higher priced gear.
    Gamo Compact…again, deadly accurate, looks better in my opinion than some of the all out 10m pistols…I’m just not a fan of stuff that looks like it should be in Star Wars (for those that don’t know, one of the laser blasters in Phantom Menace was a tricked out FWB C55). Though I do well with it in our local club…I’m no where’s close to being a good pistol shooter.
    I guess my only gun that I have that I really like to look at and handle, but not shoot is my Crosman Shiloh. I picked it up a couple of years ago from someone I knew who had quite literally had it stored in his basement for the last 20 years. It was in the box and looked new. I replace all the seals and it looks great and it fun to shoot if you can put up with 4″ groups at 10m that are about 6″ and low and to the right (with Gamo lead balls). Once you get the hang of where to aim it’s a little better…except for the shotgun patterning 🙁

  22. Well, this is a good and thoughtful framework for the most difficult of questions. Interesting to hear that the TX200 is not attractive. I had felt something of that myself but it is probably more my disinclination for underlevers. I think the gun looks fine. Otherwise, now that I think about it, my aesthetics are highly unusual if they even make sense at all. I had read about a universal opinion that Savage rifles were ugly. But I think mine looks great. And I don’t see that the Remington 700 or the Winchester 70 rifle look all that much better. They all look like bolt-action rifles. I am also fond of the tactical look which many can’t stand.

    I think part of this is the beauty of utility just the way a Roman gladius and an F-16 look good because they are so effective at what they do. So, why don’t I love the AR rifles which are extremely accurate and very sharp-looking? I suppose the only thing holding me back is all the little parts and complication of design that some call it’s versatility. In design terms, some might call it “dirty” in the sense of having extraneous things not related to its purpose. In that respect, the AK does much better although the first impression of my Dad, as a new shooter, is that it is a “brutish” and ugly weapon. It’s all individual. But I agree that accuracy in a gun redeems just about anything.

    As for higher courses in happiness, remember that Aristotle said that happiness is for pigs. I think this is related to his idea that a unreflected life is not worth living and the state of pure joy (pig-like) is not really compatible with the active intellect. But perhaps he didn’t know how smart pigs are.

    As a related point, as I read my Navy SEAL philosopher, it appears that the SEALs, for all of their toughness and great skills have the same hang-ups as everyone else, especially when they reintegrate into society. And part of this is wondering about what it’s all for. Interesting.


  23. B.B.
    I have a Crosman 1377 that was souped-up by Mountain Air into a 12″ barreled .22 caliber target gun, complete with Schnabel forearm; it is beautiful and accurate.
    I also LOVE my first airgun, a C-model Sheridan from the 70s; with the receiver sight (installed by my Dad’s machinist friend) and some modern JSB pellets, it shoots as good as it looks.
    I also love my 1980s Beeman Webley Tempest, my second one; my first one wasn’t too accurate, but it was OK with a trigger shoe and wooden stocks (I eventually sold it);this second one is an inheritance from my Dad, and has a great (for these guns, anyway) trigger; even with the stock plastic stocks and no trigger shoe, it is much more “shootable” than my first one; it’s not as accurate as my souped-up Crosman pistol, but it’s still pretty accurate for plinking, as well as being quiet enough to shoot in the backyard without anyone knowing I am shooting…very cool. =D
    Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking question.
    take care & God bless,

  24. Something that’s not made-a 12 fpe .177 multi-pump that’s scopeable with a great trigger. Crosman could combine parts from the Discovery and Marauder to make one but it’s probably not marketable. People don’t want to put in that much effort to have a recoilless shot.

    I’ve also decided that I don’t make any springer that shoots over about 600 FPS.

    • Brent
      I have made just the gun you talk about from a 1377 and a Discovery including the Discovery stock.

      And yes I did let Crosman know about it. And yes I told them they should biuld a production model.

      I do believe it will fill a gap that’s needed.

      • BB & Gunfun1,

        I was just thinking about a 1377 with a steel breech, longer barrel, and a discovery stock. But it also needs to have a weaker valve spring make it easier to pump and Marauder trigger. I grew up with Magnum pumpers, not springers 🙂 I would spend money I didn’t have to get one of those at a reasonable price.

        • Brent
          A gen1 Marauder trigger will bolt right onto the 1377 and work just fine. I had made up one of these guns some years back also when my two daughters where young and learning to shoot. I had a gen1 Marauder trigger on it. The only thing is there is not a trigger gaurd on a Marauder trigger assembly. So I made one for the Discovery stock.

          And yep you are correct. They do already have all the parts to biuld the gun in inventory. They would just have to reconfigure a Discovery stock for the 1377.

          And yep done talked to BB and and Crosman about building a production model of the gun I mentioned. Matter of fact I gave Crosman another reminder email today. I would love to see them make that gun.

          Oh and a weeker spring is not needed. The front part of the Discovery stock adapted to the 1377 gives a nice big area to hold onto when pumping. That was one of the first things I noticed I liked about the 1377/Discovery pump gun I made back then and the one I have now.

          • Gunfun1

            You really ought to do a guest blog on this gun. What fps do you get out of it? I don’t think that the 1377 valve has enough capacity to do 800 fps, does it?

            • Brent
              BB has asked me to do guest blogs in the past. I just like talking about things as they come up. Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe a bad thing.

              But anyway about the gun. And remember it has the long Discovery barrel on it. So it actually uses air pretty efficiently. Kind of similar to how pcp’s react to longer barrels. The fps usually goes up with a pcp or pneumatic pump air gun as barrel legnth increases.

              So that said. It’s getting right at 780fps with JSB 10.34’s at 10 pumps. Haven’t chronyed lighter pellets in it yet. I imagine a 8 grn pellet should be up in the low to mid 800 fps range.

              I sent pictures to BB of the gun I made now. I would post pictures of it through photo bucket but it’s kind of a pain in the butt. I almost asked if BB could post the pictures here tonight that I sent him. But I know he’s already got a hundred things to do.

              If your interested in seeing it. Maybe we can connect with a email.

  25. BB,

    For the 10 mtr shooting the FWB C25 with a custom Italian grip and the FWB 300S.

    For the awful looks the Pardini Mod P10 (You just love or hate it).

    For plinking (and exercise) the Sheridan Blue streak with diopter and the Diana 27 (.22) with iron sights.



  26. Most important for me is how the gun feels when I hold it or how I like the mechanism, as long as the gun is acceptably accurate. I love the grips on a S&W78 and it is my favorite of those three. I like the barrel cocking of a BSA Tempest Pistol over a P1. I really like the Webley Tempest and it’s predecessors. I like the way a Diana 27 feels when you grip it around the middle. It is so light and slender. The Diana 27 trigger guard does hurt my ring finger though. I like the light weight and size of a BSA Lightning Supersport over an R9. I like the swivel breech and large exposed hammer of a USFT. That mechanism adds much to my shooting enjoyment.

    I also have always had an affection for guns with rusted and worn finishes that still shoot well. I don’t normally buy them because I consider resale when making purchases but old worn finish guns warm my heart..

    Second to me is out and out accuracy.
    Looks is a distant 3rd.

    David Enoch

  27. BB,

    I’m with you, I like guns that shoot well, or at least as well as me. Like any tool, I want guns that do what they are supposed to, first and foremost. My FX wildcat is one such, it shoots most every pellet I’ve tried pretty well, and some pellets extremely well. But, it’s not exactly a pretty gun. Neither is my Marauder, though, and it shoots pretty well too. Thinking about it, very few tools that I own are pretty. Ok, I have one pocket knife that I assembled that looks really nice, but it’s also a pretty functional tool. But I don’t carry it every day, I have a clunky old multi-tool that lives in my pocket. My dad had a fairly nice old Remington .270 that I hunted with, and scratched and dinged the #$%@#$ out of doing so. After I’d left home and started my own gun collection, he had that rifle re-blued and re-stocked with a really beautiful piece of walnut…and it never left the gun cabinet after that, until I inherited it. Now it lives in my gun cabinet. Too pretty to shoot? Maybe so.

    • BenT,

      Just me,…. I would shoot it. Lay out the pillows and velvet,…. or whatever,…. but if it were me,… I would have to shoot it. Older and wiser,….. you would not treat it as you did before. So,… maybe not.

    • BenT
      You know you can take that gun out and bench rest it at some targets. I know it ain’t the same as out hunting. But I bet it will still bring back some good ole memories.

      And you can put some cloth down to keep it all shiny and knick free.

      I know but darn I would have to shoot it. I still shoot my old Winchester 190 I got when I was 10 years old. And yes it’s still knick free and nice and shiny. That is one gun I will never get rid of. And everytime I pull off the trigger as fast as I can. I can remember back when I was a kid on a warm summer day on the farm. It brings back a memory every shot that goes off.

  28. B.B.,

    In direct response to the question posed in the title,….. length of pull adjustment, comb adjustment and magazines that sit low enough,.. top feed,…. that do not require a ridiculous ring height to clear the magazine.

    In my short time of learning air gunning and air gunning products,…. those are my deductions. Repeaters,…. yes,… I like that. M-rod semi-auto?,…… drool.

    And for those that “tune”,….. tune options. Easy tear down and modding. Parts available at the press of a button.

    Yup,…. that sums it up.

    Good evening all,….. Chris

      • B.B.,

        While I have yet to really explore them, the Crosman line and their custom shop seem to already do that pretty well. Parts seem to swap between different guns, be it older or newer ones. Modular externals are one thing. Short of AR style or a full on competition field target rifle with micro adjustments all over, I am not sure what would work. Though adj. combs seem to be showing up more.

        Modular internals would be a bit trickier. I would picture popping 6 screws off the side of the receiver, drop in a an upgraded trigger assembly, valve assembly, maybe screw in a new barrel and in 15 minutes, you are back up and shooting.

        Bolt on sight rails would be another big improvement. This would give the option of Weaver or 11mm. without having to resort to adapters and risers that push up the scope height.

        We shall see,…. Chris

  29. Love the articles! Hope you feel better soon BB. I absolutely love shooting my prewar Benjamins with the front pump. Something nostalgic about them. They are truly American. Like many of the vintage iron, brass, tin and wood air guns, I wonder about the past history of the previous owner. Looking at the scratches and dents, wear and tear they have, what adventures they gave to some young boy. reading your latest book sparks the imagination and my own memories of my first air gun. Thank you and to all the others that share the same passion.

  30. Lookers or shooters…it is possible to have both. Three air rifles that are both accurate and good lookers:
    Air Arms Prosport
    Weirauch HW97K
    Daystate Huntsman
    The Prosport is a redesigned TX200 and comes with that air rifle’s inherent accuracy minus its wierd looks, try one, you’ll be surprised.

    • Andrewk,

      Welcome to the blog.

      I owned a Pro Sport, but it was never as accurate as either of my TX200s. Also, the Pro Sport adds 10 lbs. of effort to the cocking force required and the fulcrum for the underlever is so far back that you lose significant mechanical advantage.

      The Pro Sport is a copy of Ivan Hancock’s Venom Mach II — a $2000 spring rifle from the middle ’90s.


  31. For me, the novelty of trying out new airguns is fun. There are so many types and styles, both vintage and cutting edge. I have read about airguns from the early Beeman catalogs, to today’s internet. Most of them I have only “rented” for a while. After trying upwards of 40 springers, pumpers, and CO2 guns, I’m trying to get by with just a few, and to learn how to shoot them well. Fit of the stock or grips to my anatomy, and ergnomics have be good for fun. Accuracy isn’t everything, but it has to be accurate enough for the task. As I get older, light weight and easy cocking are important to fun. My most “fun” airguns now are the HW30s, HW75, and Webley Tempest.

  32. Form and function are both important, but I also find execution beautiful. It could be a creative solution to an engineering problem, or perhaps craftsmanship that shows mastery of tools and materials. That’s beautiful in my eyes, outside of appearance and utility.

  33. Hi BB, thanks for the invite….in order of importance, I’d be happy if the gun was

    1. accurate from at least 10m
    2. fairly good quality
    3. the price was under $200
    4. bonus, it’s a good replica of the real steel

    It would be interesting to see a compilation of responses in a later blog!


  34. My go to airgun for many years was my Crosman 2250. I love it’s trigger, and opening the chamber, inserting a pellet and shooting was always a great form of ‘meditation’. I sold it recently because I wanted a custom shop carbine, only to discover that they charge $105 to send the $136 rifle to me here on Maui. Guess I’ll still spring for it. I believe the 14″ bbl looks the best on this gun, although I realize the 18″ bbl would give me an advantage in fps.

    In terms of balance when carrying it, I loved my Daisy 1894. It felt great and using it was the same form of meditation for me. My favorite thing to do with it was to wait until it snowed and the snow crusted over when I lived with my kids in N Oregon. We’d put out soda cans and watch them skitter across the snow when we shot them. I kept that BB gun on a rifle rack as a joke on the used Ford F350 I bought. Until the day someone stoled it. I wonder if the thief thought it was real?

    My go to air pistol is the Walther PPK/S. I love its looks, how relatively inexpensive it is, its blowback and its connection to James Bond, my hero in books and movies when I was a kid. I own both the BB CO2 and the airsoft green air versions and enjoy shooting both. They’re just plain fun.

  35. I’m an old guy and I like the feel of the old stuff. My favorite is my late 40s Benjamin 132 pea shooter. I just like the mechanics of pulling back the slide, carefully placing the .22 into the chamber, locking the cap, giving here a couple pumps, and let her fly……

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