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Education / Training Teach me to shoot: Part 10

Teach me to shoot: Part 10

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack starts teaching Jill’s friend, Jamell, how to shoot.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • Getting started
  • Wants to hunt
  • Field trip
  • Watch the crowd
  • Etiquette lives!
  • High art
  • They do a deal — sort of
  • Diana the huntress
  • Big girl, big rifle
  • Next time at the range

I told you that I had promised Jill I would teach her friend, Jamell, how to shoot. Of course Jamell already knows how to shoot on several levels. She met Jill at a Babes with Bullets camp, where both of them took the Beginner Handgun course. So she not only knows how to shoot, she is also a recent graduate of one of the best training courses in the U.S. My job was to fill in the blanks that weren’t covered at the camp; subjects Jamell has never been formally taught.

Getting started

We met at Jill’s apartment and talked awhile. I found out she knew most of what I’d taught Jill, except for the part about firearms etiquette. Just like Jill, she wasn’t even aware it existed. So I covered everything. Things like never pick up a gun that’s not yours unless you ask permission first. That’s fundamental, yet I see people do it at every gun show. And, from that one simple rule flow many other rules that are obvious when you understand the first one. Things like always ask permission to examine the gun after you have picked it up. That’s permission to open the bolt or pop out the cylinder or rack the slide — basically anything you need to do to see whether the gun is loaded. If you don’t know how a gun works, always ask the owner to show you before handling it. Not only are some guns unique in their operation, a particular gun may have a problem that has to be address as it is handled.

When one person hands a gun to another person, the second person examines the gun to see whether it is loaded, even though the person who just handed it to them just finished doing the same thing. People who aren’t shooters think this is either redundant or insulting to the first person. Jill understood it because surgeons often do similar things. Jamell was surprised to learn it, but she saw how it would help lower gun “accidents.” It’s my contention that there are very few accidents with guns. people used that term to cover for the mistakes they make in proper handling.

Wants to hunt

Jamell told me the reason she wants to learn to shoot a rifle is she wants to hunt. She knows what she did with her father was just plinking at targets of opportunity and now it is time to get serious. Hunting is a common theme among women coming into shooting today. After defense it probably ranks as the second most popular reason to learn to shoot.

Field trip

Rather than just talk, I decided to take both Jamell and Jill on a little field trip after our initial discussion. One of the largest gun shows in our area of the country was running this Saturday, so we all loaded into Jill’s car and went there. Surprise number one happened at the door, when Jill flashed her NRA life member card and got a discount off admission. I didn’t know she had joined yet.

Watch the crowd

I told both Jill and Jamell to watch the people at the show and try to spot any safety infractions or incidents where firearms etiquette was not being observed. It soon became obvious that this was going to be a daunting task, as they both saw numerous infractions right away. My ribs became sore from their elbows during the first 15 minutes of the show. So we decided to watch the show for awhile, then gather someplace out of the crowd where we could talk about what we’d seen.

Jamell noticed that most of the dealers were very safe in their handing of guns, but their customers were a mixture of both safe and sorry. She finally realized she could spot the people who weren’t going to be safe by how they dressed and by their age. I told her that was profiling and she responded, “So? If it works, why wouldn’t everyone do it?” Why not, indeed?

In fact, all the older dealers did just that! I told both of them to watch how those dealers dealt with their young male customers — especially the ones who were dressed in, shall we say, pop garb. That’s cargo pants belted below the waist with cuffs dragging the floor, tee-shirts with skulls on them and baseball caps on backwards. When they went back to observing, both of them saw what I meant. Many of those boys were picking up handguns (always semiautomatics) from the tables without asking, pointing them at their friends with their fingers on the triggers. A few even turned the guns on their side, gangsta-style. In one instance it was actually embarrassing because all the handguns were held together with the same rubber-sheathed steel cable. When the guy picked up one gun rapidly, he sent several others tumbling out of their boxes and crashing into each other. The dealer actually said, “These aren’t toys, son!”

This lesson was so powerful and these kinds of customers so prevalent that I had to direct both ladies’ attention toward something else, to keep them from being overwhelmed. I asked them each to watch an older small dealer as he dealt with a single customer. We all went in different directions and agreed to meet again in 30 minutes.

Etiquette lives!

When we were back together, both women had lots to tell. Both had seen a couple of the small private dealers talk to just one customer and they saw the firearms etiquette I had been talking about. Jill was impressed by what she saw. She told me she thought I had been overstating the etiquette points, but these guys were doing just as I explained. Jamell had seen something similar, but she also saw something else — something that was to going change the entire direction of her training.

High art

She had visited the table of a man who makes muzzleloading rifles, and she watched him show them to a customer. “Those rifles he makes are works of art! After the customer left I stepped up and asked the dealer to show them to me. When I picked one up I was amazed by the natural way they felt. That’s the kind of rifle I want to learn to shoot!”

Oh boy, was this unexpected! Jamell is a sculptor, so she has an eye for beauty, and being female only strengthens that. But I have never before seen a woman respond to any firearm so strongly. Even Jill, who now loves to shoot, just thinks of the guns as a means to an end. For Jamell, the Pennsylvania rifle is an end all unto itself!

She took us both back to this maker’s table and I had to admit she was right. His rifles were gorgeous. They were also quite expensive. The one Jamell liked best was a .45-caliber flintlock done in the Lancaster style. The barrel was 48 inches long and the rifle stood nearly 6 feet high. Jamell is tall, so it didn’t look that large in her hands, but the pull, which was 14 inches, was too short for her. That rifle had a $6,000 pricetag on it, so this was way outside of any box I might have envisioned.

The stock was honey-colored curly maple with figure all the way to both ends of the stock and it was covered in bas-relief carvings and German silver shapes. It had a full stock that stopped about a half-inch short of the muzzle. We were all impressed when the dealer slid one of the carved metal pieces out from the bottom of the ornate cheekpiece and it turned out to be the handle of a fine wire flashole pick. He told us all flintlock shooters carry such a pick in their possibles bag to periodically clean out the flashole, but his were built right into the stocks of his rifles!

They do a deal — sort of

The maker liked the way Jamell appreciated his work. As artists, they were kindred spirits, and the two of them talked for a long time. When he learned that she is a sculptor he asked her if she could make something for him. The upshot of the meeting was he promised to build a rifle to fit her and she promised to show him her portfolio of animal sculptures. They decided to wait to talk about the price for the rifle until after they knew all that was going to happen.

She talked about that rifle all the way back to Jill’s apartment. She said she didn’t even care about shooting it — she just wanted to hold it and look at it. OMG! I just made a gun nut! Well, that would help me with her training. We set up an appointment for me to come to her studio one evening during the coming week, where I would start her with the Daisy 499, just as I had Jill. But, because of what happened at the gun show, I also brought a surprise.

Diana the huntress

I started her training with the Daisy 499 in exactly the same way as Jill. We were never going to shoot handguns, though, so I had also brought along my Diana 66 breakbarrel target rifle. While it can’t compare to the beauty of that long flintlock rifle she’s having made, there’s a fundamental beauty to how well it is built. Jamell saw it right away and I actually had to insist that she start with the 499. She really wanted to shoot that Diana! Well, Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt, which is the primary reason Jamell wants to learn to shoot a rifle in the first place. So I shortened the 499 lesson to just 2 targets and got her started shooting the pellet rifle.

She has 10 meters in her studio if a door to the supply room is opened. We placed my UTG BB/pellet trap on a shelf in that room and used a studio light to light it. We started with the 499, and then when it was time for the pellet rifle we just backed up.

Big girl, big rifle

Jamell is big-boned and strong. She has to be, to be a sculptor. So holding the Diana 66 offhand is no problem for her, once I showed her the correct way to do it. Like shooting a handgun with one hand, there is also a right way to hold a rifle offhand so that the skeleton takes most of the weight. It does help a lot, but there are limits, too. I don’t think Jill could ever adapt to the Diana 66 that weighs 11 pounds, but it worked very well for Jamell.

The offhand rifle stance is something like the handgun stance, in that the placement of the feet determines where the upper body naturally wants to point. Jamell is right-handed, so she turned to the right for the rifle. That’s the opposite of how you would turn for a handgun.  And for a rifle the turn is even farther than it is for a handgun — almost a fiull 90 degrees. The rifle comes across the chest, almost touching it. Not quite but it’s close.

The elbow of her left upper arm rests against her rib cage to support the weight of the rifle. She doesn’t have as much meat on her ribcage as I do, but she does have some muscle on her upper arms. Some women and young children have to throw the hips out to the left to help align that arm, but Jamell doesn’t.

The rifle rests on either the flat of the palm, the knuckles of a closed fist or on the tips of the off hand fingers. Which one depends on the length of the shooter’s arm Jamell used her fingertips. When she was in position I showed her that the weight of the big rifle was entirely supported by her off hand. The buttpad on the 66 is deeply curved and held the butt to her shoulder. It’s actually against the top of the right bicep, next to where the arm joins the shoulder.

Next time at the range

Her first 5 shots netted a 39. She shot another 3 targets and never got above a 37 after that. Obviously practice was what she needed, so I left her the rifle, pellets, safety glasses and trap. But I already knew enough. She is ready to shoot a firearm at the range. And because she wants to shoot a muzzleloader, I will take my Dixie Gun Works Po Boy percussion rifle to the range for the next session. True she wants to shoot a flintlock, but I don’t own one. A percussion gun is the next best thing. The Po Boy is a muzzle loader on which she can learn most of the techniques.

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.

67 thoughts on “Teach me to shoot: Part 10”

  1. Tom,

    When you finish this series of blogs, you need to flesh it out a little and turn it into a novel.

    I’ve really enjoyed this series and learned a lot from it.



  2. I have 2 PO Boy rifles. One is a Dixie, but the other may have been made from a kit. Both rifles have flint and percussion locks. They can only be cocked and fired, by activating the set trigger first. I do not recommend starting a beginner with a set trigger. If the po boy that you are going to use can be cocked and fired with the forward trigger unset, use it. When I use the flint locks, I put a few grains of fffg or ffffg ahead of pyrodex. I get good ignition, and quite a few shots, before I have to stop and clean the barrel. Ed

    • Ed,

      I’m sorry about that, but the Po Boy is the only muzzleloader Jack owns. If he lived closer I would loan him my Thompson Center Hawken that can be fired with either trigger.

      Can the Po Boy trigger be dry-fired without cocking the hammer? All the set triggers I have seen can be. That’s a good way to learn how to use them.

      Jamell is no dummy. I bet Jack can teach her to use the set trigger safely. She’s going to have to use it with her new flintlock.


  3. Yea, some modern guns may be more “ergonomic”, but they sure don’t FEEL the same, or “hang” the way a long rifle does.

    Although, my absolute favorite percussion gun was a .32 Seneca squirrel rifle.
    Small, light, shouldered well, no recoil, very accurate, you know, a muzzle loading version of an R9.
    (I am normally not a springer guy, but do I appreciate a quality, smooth shooting, accurate rifle.)

  4. I am most definitely with Jamell. There is something about a long rifle that just calls out to me.

    My 1906 BSA called out to me when I saw it at the show. I had to take it home with me. There are air rifles that can shoot better than it, but not very many spring piston air rifles with open sights. And it looks good while you are doing it.

    If you think about it, mastering a flintlock is to the firearm world what mastering a spring piston air rifle is to the air rifle world. To be able to properly hold and aim the flintlock and follow through with the shot can be quite difficult. To many the length seems quite awkward. To achieve the proper stance, not flinch at the flash and maintain your sight during the hesitation between the flash and the ignition can be most challenging.

    Y’all can have your Mattelomatics, I am going to the range with Jamell. To each his own I guess.

    • RR,

      I think Jamell has a lot of airgunner in her. She likes things for what they are — not just what they can do. She and the gun maker are about to do a huge deal, because she is an expert animal sculptor and he has been wanting something very specific.


  5. B.B. This is a great way to showcase the importance of etiquette. Just like anything else, without a mentor, people are at a loss to understand their own ignorance. I recently joined my local conservation club and had my range orientation meeting. I was really hoping that part of that meeting would consist of not only some gun etiquette, but range etiquette as well. Much of what I think I know is from observation, and that’s only as good as the people I’ve observed.

    • Levans,

      Thank you for your comment. I struggled how to cover the same topic a second time and not bore everyone, and the gun show idea hit me. And, while they were at the show I remembered a show where I met a maker of flintlock rifles (that I couldn’t afford) and was very taken with them. Since Jamell is an artist, I figured she would like them.

      See how much conversation we are having about flintlocks today? What you don’t know is my brother-in-law (B-I-L on the blog) has asked me a question that I really want to post on the blog. Apparently there is a LOT of interest in flintlocks today!

      I also had Yvette Hicks of AirForce over at my house this past Tuesday evening, and I put my new Taurus .32 Magnum snub-nosed revolver in her hands. It fit her perfectly (her hands are the model for Jill’s hands) and she was easily able to fire the gun double action. Now, I need to find a guinea pig student to let me teach to shoot. If it goes as well as I believe it will, I’m turning this series into a pamphlet!


  6. BB–Yes, my po boys locks can be dry fired without cocking the trigger. Ridge runner– I have seen the comment ” if you can shoot a flintlock, you can shoot anything” , but I dont remember the source. It may have been in more than one book or article. Ed

    • Doc
      Maybe that little longer barrel is helping the shot curve along with the different valve they say it has.

      They said they never tore it apart. So it will be interesting to see if the valve is actually different or that little bit of added barrel length is what’s helping.

      Anyway that was some interesting info about the Maximus.

  7. Remind me never to go to a gun show. Regardless of the precautions I take, there’s nothing I can do about the behavior of someone else, and it seems like there are a lot of careless people out there. Are the show dealers as obnoxious as many gun store staff I’ve dealt with?

    I like Jammell’s idea of enjoying the look, feel, and ownership of a gun. But I get this feeling with old surplus rifles, not $6,000 guns! Show her the movie Revenant and see if she still likes flintlocks after seeing those guys fumble with loading while arrows whistle around them.

    Punching Holes, you are truly the voice of temptation with your HW30S. What is your course of fire at 5 yards?


    • Matt61

      Well my indoor range is a huge compromise for me first of all. It is mainly for my pistols but I have used my hw30s indoor now because it’s my “go to”

      Often when Im indoors shooting I am very stressed and my shooting isn’t my best. I shoot the hw to calm me down for whatever reason I’m upset, if I choose to shoot that is. I usually shoot offhand or in an awkward sitting position. I can’t get into a really good resting position. The lighting isn’t the best either. But nonetheless I am able to shoot ragged holes all day. I only shoot one or two 10 shot groups maybe more depending on how fast I fatigue. I don’t care what the groups measure because just seeing a round ragged hole makes me happy when I’m down. Usually 3/4 is the largest and I’ve had a few 3/8 center to center. My rested 10meter groups are usually about the same. The smallest is an honest 7/16. I err on the large side when measuring. I only have about 600-700 shots through. I haven’t been shooting as much paper. I’m just enjoying knocking down targets and setting them back up.

      My home made pellet trap is more than up to the task and I shoot at the 10m air rifle targets. Having 5 on a page is a huge plus for me.

      I’m not trying to sell you on one. (OK maybe just a little 😉 ) but if your looking to relax ur form and just flat out shoot then this one is for you. If you enjoy rimfire sized long guns this one is for you. If you want to challenge yourself at relatively short distances this one is for you. I shoot plastic army men and empty C02 cartridges. I was “playing” with my youngest brother and “erased an enemy threat” (Army man) from 15+ yds and he couldn’t believe it. I am shooting with open sights. I can see why it’s hard to pick one of these up used. It will be the last one I ever sell if it came down to it.

      This all may weigh heavy on you. I struggled with the up front price for a long time. I only regret that I didn’t buy it sooner. Like I was telling GF1 my other rifles are collecting dust. Including the Diana 36, 45 and my benji 392. I can barely look them in the eye! They are so jealous! The main advantages of a pcp won’t be realized against this gun under 20yds. At least with my skill level. I hope this is what you we’re asking for. 🙂 I sure to get long winded on certain topics. 😉

      • P.H.,

        Oppps,..see below,

        Yea,… being in the “mood” and not too tired is paramount to good groups as well. Hence,… why I usually only shoot on weekends. The 499 and the 92FS are my indoor weekday “go to’s”.

        • Chris USA

          I meant to ask earlier how do u like that 92FS? I really like the look of it. I always wanted a “real one” I would like to have a pair, one pellet one 9mm.

          • PH,

            I like it a lot. Very heavy and solid. Mine is the nickel with wood grips. After about 3000 shots, the trigger and safety began to “jam”. I did a 100% tear down, very tuff, and found nothing. I cleaned and re-lubed everything in all the right spots. Works perfect. Just did a 1/2″ 8 shot group at 24′ rested last night. Oh yea, I have it lasered with the laser that is made for it. Much better than open sights, for me anyways.

            Get that Talon SS up and running (and outfitted) first.

  8. Punchin Holes,

    You are hooked,…. so bad! 😉 Check out (adjustable) plastic saw horses. Top them off with some plywood. Indoors and/or out. Being comfortable when bench shooting is paramount and will improve your groups. Being more upright is better than being all “hunkered” down and too low. Use garden knee pads or stadium seat pads to adjust seat height if needed. Work with it,… you will be glad you did.

    Bottom line, there should be little,.. to 0% effort,.. in bringing the gun,.. POA,.. to target/bull.

    • Chris USA

      you know I do have a stadium chair just laying around. Its the kind with a back and adjustable buckles. I also think I can find a couple cheap belts that come with cheap Walmart khacki shorts to strap my legs with. I have seen a couple techniques used by field target shooters that I think I can adapt to fit me.

      Yeah I have a shopping cart with 8tins of premium pellets, peep sight and silicone oil waiting for me to finalize… Id say I’ve been bitten pretty hard… lol

      • P.H.,

        “strap my legs”,….. Huh!!!??? Sorry,… I “draw the line” there. 😉 But,…. whatever works for you. 🙂

        A “refinement” on my previous statement,…. when resting the gun to shoot, shoulder the rifle, if you have to adjust left or right, move the rest, or the rifle, until you can come up or down on the target with minimal side to side adjustment. That input, up or down and side to side, will affect your aim. Body, neck, back, etc. comfort is important as well. Lower back rest helps, as it gives you something to “push” against and steady yourself more.

        Like I said,… play with it and see what works for you. Totally natural, totally relaxed,… that is the goal.

        • Chris USA

          LOL. Yeah I’m wore out and not writing as well as I should… yeah I think I’m getting my sight picture more consistent. need more work. I def agree on comfort and adjusting to make the rifle point naturally. Between this cool teach me to shoot series and other comments that have given pointers (could have been from years ago as I frequent the archives) I have enough to focus on. Learning it is different from execution though. 😉

    • Chris USA
      You done any standing free hand shooting yet with your pistols or rifles?

      I been practicing with my Brodax. Actually shooting better than I imagined I would.

      Definitely different than bench resting.

      • GF1,

        No I have not, not much. B.B.’s article on pistol shooting, off hand, one hand,… do have me interested in giving it a try.

        By the way, got the M-rod action supported so as the air tube is supported the same as the factory stock.

        More on that this weekend,…. plus,… still have to “give it a go”. Will do an (exact) repeat of the 70 yard test I did last weekend. We shall see.

          • GF1,

            Let’s wait and see if it works at all. There is not much to show.

            Since you don’t have an RAI stock, it will be difficult to relay what I mean.

            On the synthetic stock, the action is supported from the front of the air gauge, and fully to the rear, (but) is mostly from the bottom. From there, the air tube floats. The RAI supports the action and the air tube (fully) and is done at the point of the air tube that is just under the fattest portion of the tube OD.

            I raised the action by placing some small c or u shaped plastic “channel” over the top edges at the stock. I can now take a piece of paper and slide it between the stock and the air tube from the front, all the way to the air gauge, (same as the synthetic stock).

            It will address the expansion/contraction issues that you spoke of the air tube and the aluminum stock, (if there is any) and to whatever unknown degree.

            It did raise the action up of course, and with it, the trigger. Maybe 1/8″ to 3/16″, 1/4″ at most. So, I will have to see how that feels, but so far, so good.

            Catch me on the weekend blog.

            • Chris USA
              Sounds like it will work. Only problem I see that could happen is the screws loosening if expansion or contraction is happening. I guess keep checking while you shoot.

              And just out of curiosity let me know if you have to re-zero the scope.

              • GF1,

                Most likely not as the scope never came off. The only thing that would change is that the scope will sit a bit higher off the comb. And, as you know, there is only 1 screw holding the entire action into the stock. I am not sure I really care for that, or understand the reason for it. Is that typical of other PCP’s?

                • Chris USA
                  Yes some guns actions is held in the stock by one screw. The pcp guns just because of what we are talking about. It lets the air tube or resivoir float in the stock. But it’s usually a snug fit at the breech area and back. And that’s usually where the mounting screw is at.

                  And yes a scopes zero can change when you take a action out of the stock and put it back in. That’s why I mentioned let me know what happens. And not sure a 100% why but I have seen it happen.

                  But give a update on what happens.

                  • GF1,

                    Will do. Also plan on “warming up” the gun outside for at least a half hour, maybe more. I always shoot in the shade, but that does not negate the temperature difference if it is 70 degrees inside and 90-95 outside. We shall see.

                    By the way, (in general),….. if you are shooting on a very humid and hot day, or in the rain,…. does your hold overs change? I would think that you may need more due to higher air density.

                    • Chris USA
                      Yes my POI changes in different weather conditions. Sometimes more hold over or less hold over is needed

                    • Chris,

                      Warm air is LESS dense than cool air. The humidity doesn’t affect the density as mush as you think. And warm air, being less dense, holds less moisture than cool air, so warm air is relatively more humid than cool air because there is less of it to hold the moisture.


      • GF1

        I know you directed that to Chris but I have definitely been shooting one handed pistols. I find the p17 sights to be perfectly spaced for the length of my arm.

        I also had my new 2240 out practicing with it. It really lays a thunk on soda cans. I also discovered what I’m sure a lot of boys do. Shooting the pellets backwards at short range really blisters a soda can open!

        Does anybody know if it is bad to shoot a pellet skirt first? It seems to chamber easily enough using the bolt?

        • PH
          I’m not a pistol shooter but have shot some firearm pistols and I got the Brodax pistol and steel clips to shoot pellets through it. I always thought I was a one handed pistol shooter but I found I’m a much better shot with two hands.

          And ouch you just made my ears hurt. I know people have talked about shooting pellets backwards. But not me. They go in my gun the right way. Matter of fact when I find a pellet that shoots good I don’t even like to switch to another pellet in that gun. Probably just me but I don’t like to even do that. So backwards pellets to me is not good.

          • GF1

            Yeah it was like a train wreck I couldn’t look away from, please excuse the expression. I shot three like that. I couldn’t bring myself to do any more and checked the bore afterwards with my naked eye. In my experience stuff like that always comes back to haunt me.

            I feel the same about pairing pellets with AG’s. I have been shooting superdomes in the hw and I’m only shooting them till they’re gone. Probably won’t buy more. I’m getting more falcons and some different h&ns, along with some Rws chamber oil. I figure another full tin and finish the superdomes and I’ll be broken in.

            • Did it when I was much younger. Devastating terminal effect on soap compared to regular pellet. Never did use it on a live subject though. Accuracy good enough at 10 meters. No detrimental effect to barrel as far as we could tell. We also did an experiment with a backward .22 pellet with a BB pressed in the skirt. They separated soon after firing, striking about 2″ apart from the target with no accuracy.

              • Siraniko

                Thanks for the info. I’m glad that I most likely didn’t cause any damage. I had a pellet flip around and chambered it and just went with it. I recovered one pellet and the sight was quite impressive from an expansion standpoint.

                • PH
                  You should put JSB 8.4 and 10.34’s on your list of pellets to try too. I have good luck with those two pellets in multiple guns.

                  And if you guys are impressed with the mushroom effect when a pellet hits this works pretty good.

                  Get a air gun that can shoot a JSB 10.34 grain .177 caliber pellet at around 900 fps. Or a .22 caliber air gun that can shoot a 15.89 JSB pellet at 900 fps. Or a .25 caliber air gun that can shoot a 33.95 JSB pellet at 900 or so fps.

                  You will be surprised at how flat the pellets are at 50 yards hitting a steel spinner. What I’m saying is get a air gun that is making some horsepower with a heavy pellet and I think you won’t ever think about loading a pellet backwards again. Oh and I should mention that the pellets are much more accurate when shot facing the correct direction. 😉

        • Same here, I know it wasn’t directed at me,
          but I have been shooting a 5 meter postal match on the GTA forum.
          I am using a 1966 Crosman Mark 2, that’s mostly stock with minor things done to improve the efficiency, and accuracy.

          I am staying in the neighborhood of 144-145 points out of a possible 150.
          One handed, open sights.

          The Crosman Mark series Are great guns,
          Like the muzzle loader, they are a thing of beauty, and they just feel right..

            • Yes I have, but only in other diciplines.

              I used to shoot IPSC and PPC competition back in the 80’s-early 90’s.
              And wasn’t too shabby.

              In 1997 I moved to Colorado Springs and joined the shooting club at the Olympic training center, shooting sport pistol (one handed .22 rimfire) there I got to meet a lot of great shooters, and got into 10meter air pistol.

              I bought a gamo compact, and thought it was the bees knees, until a friend loaned me a old FWB 65, while old technology, I loved the sledge recoil system, and the feel.

              Then I picked up a Crosman Skanaker, and did better.
              I wanted a “real” 10meter gun, but with raising kids, it wasn’t in the budget.
              But I picked up a used IZH46 (not the M model) and never looked back.

              I know long story, but short version:
              Yes I have tried shooting 2 handed.
              To me, it’s best used where you are shooting for minute of bad guy quickly, or center mass on targets where you have to engage multiple targets quickly.

              1 handed shooting is for accuracy, and for me at least, it’s relaxing.
              You can’t shoot well one handed if you have a lot of things on your mind.

              Above all, shooting one handed or two handed, you have to concentrate on the front sight, not just look at it, but focus intently on it.

              • 45Bravo
                Thanks for all that info. I believe you just made me realize why I’m preferring the two handed pistol shooting verses one handed.

                It’s the type of pistol shooting I like to do. I like the more tactical and self defense type shooting. And don’t get me wrong I’m a paper puncher and can killer too. But I kind of like that fast thinking kind of get on target quick shooting then move rapidly to the next target.

                I’m just finally getting more use to the Brodax. But I will definitely be setting cans out at different locations this weekend and trying to get my fast acquisition sighting under control. If I get myself under control there then I may just set up some cardboard bad guy silhouettes and let some pellets fly. Hopefully it will help when I finally get me a fire shooting pistol or at least somewhat more familiar with the pistol situation. Fun stuff for sure. 🙂

                • Cool, there is nothing wrong with that, the same as a manual transmission vs automatic, they both get you down the road.
                  Are you shooting single action or double action?

                  Try this if you want to. I don’t know how far the trigger on the Broadax pulls on double action before the hammer falls.
                  But in shooting double action revolvers in competition, we did this for a cheap and easy advantage.

                  Glue a pencil eraser to the back of the trigger guard, where the trigger will hit it when pulled, squeeze the trigger double action, if it hits the eraser but you can’t make the hammer fall, trim some of the eraser thickness down.
                  Repeat until you get it where you like it.

                  The idea is to be able to pull the trigger quickly until it hits the rubber stop, then it just takes a little more force to compress the rubber enough to make the hammer fall.

                  With practice, it is faster than single action, and more accurate that double action only.

                  I don’t condone this on a defensive arm, but to get back on a target fast, with minimal movement, and maximum accuracy, it’s great.

                  • 45Bravo
                    Now that’s what I’m talking about. I like it.

                    I have been mostly shooting bench rest with it single action. But have been trying to improve my groups shooting double action. And I have at that because I have become more familiar with the trigger.

                    And I have did some random free hand shooting in single and double action at one target. But not enough to account for anything.

                    But my goal is fast acquisition multiple targets shooting. And I want to be able to shoot good double action so when change over to a fire arm pistol. So I’m definitely going to try your eraser modification this weekend. I really like that idea. And as it goes I don’t shoot pistol so the double action modifying ain’t even clicking in the brain yet for what could be done.

                    Like I just mentioned thanks for the info. Excited to try it out this weekend. And I think that could fall under one of those simple but effective mods.

  9. I’m posting this question from my brother-in-law, Bob, who goes by the handle B-I-L here.

    I have always been curious about something with flintlock firearms but did not want to ask on your blog. If you put powder on the flash pan to “fire” the gun, does that mean you cannot use it in a heavy rain or snow? I would think you might be able to fire one time but reloading would be impossible. Wet powder does not go “bang”. Taking this one step further, one cannot hunt or do battle if it is raining! All flintlock battles had to be fought in clear weather. An army with bows and arrows should be able to defeat a flintlock equipped army. Native Americans should only have attacked the colonists during a rainstorm. Am I missing something here?


    • Here is what I told Bob,

      Yes, everything you said is correct. That’s where the phrase, “Keep your powder dry” comes from. There are “tricks” to deal with the problem, too.

      I see a LOT of interest in the operation of flintlock firearms on this blog. I’m thinking of finding a way to incorporate something about them for you in the future.


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