by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Back in the day
  • Parallax
  • Twist rate and rifling styles
  • Velocity versus accuracy
  • Oh, how far we have come!

I was going to show you a brand new spotting scope today, but something came up that I want to address. I don’t always respond to your comments these days — there are simply too many of them for me to cover. But I at least scan all of them and I read many of them.

Yesterday it dawned on me as I was reading the comments — many of you are ready to take your test to become full-fledged Jedi knights! A few may even go on to become Jedi masters. Well done, my enthusiastic Padawan learners!

Whenever I write about a technical subject I cringe, thinking of all the questions it will bring. That used to be bad, because I had to answer each any every question myself. But that isn’t the case anymore. I have been following conversations between Bulldawg76, GunFun1 and ChrisUSA and I am amazed at the level of expertise being displayed. I remember when each of them first started commenting on the blog, and they don’t seem like the same people anymore.

Back in the day

I remember in 2005 when this blog began, I fielded the typical level of technical questions. That went on for many years. I still get those questions from new readers, and I want to encourage them to write with all their questions because who else are you going to call? But I now see there is an advanced group of readers on the blog who can take the next steps in complexity.


Over the past few days reader Fido3030 has been asking questions about parallax. At first I thought his questions would be basic, but he soon got into an advanced conversation with GunFun1. I stepped in to clarify a couple things, but that conversation was what woke me up to the high level of understanding on this blog.

Twist rate and rifling styles

A couple weeks ago I read a different conversation about twist rates and pellet stability. The readers involved understood a lot more than my readers used to. One of them even referred to my 13-part twist rate report where I tested three different rifling twist rates and their affects on velocity and accuracy at differing distances.

Velocity versus accuracy

Then there was recently a new reader who said that a pellet gets destabilized when it goes supersonic. That used to be the prevailing wisdom, and there still might be a kernel of truth to it, but my 11-part Pellet velocity versus accuracy test that ended in 2011 disproved that assumption. Vibration and not velocity is what affects accuracy the most.

Oh, how far we have come!

I remember years ago having a long conversation with a reader about the two aiming points a scope sight gives you because of the curved trajectory of the falling pellet. He did not like that and asked me question after question until finally, he asked if it was possible to have the scope intersect the trajectory at just a single point. His rationale was that at all other distances — both closer and farther away — his pellet would be below the aim point.

Yes, he was right about that, but his reasoning was similar to the man who wants to drive his car on two wheels to save the rubber on the other two!

Strength in numbers

Tens of thousands of you readers have registered, but behind the scenes are a great many more who have not yet registered. I think it is not unreasonable to think that we may have several times as many who are not registered, but read this blog faithfully every day.

And numbers is the reason I don’t like to answer questions privately. I would rather share the answer with the readers, partly to spread the knowledge but also because my readers often know things I don’t. Having them look at the questions is a good way to ensure a quality answer.

This is now a mature blog with an unparalleled reader base. I will continue to write about the basics, because we get new readers all the time, but you veterans who are now also Jedi can expect some surprises, too!