How a vintage BB shot tube works

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Technology
  • Gravity
  • Shot tube is the true barrel
  • The shot tube
  • What keeps the BB from rolling out the barrel?
  • A spring!
  • That’s all, folks

Today’s report was suggested by a question from reader 45Bravo, who asked, “How does the shot tube retain the BB then, if not by a magnet?” That’s a good question and I know if one person wants to know there are hundreds of others who haven’t asked, but also want to know.


Bear in mind that when the Red Ryder first hit the market around 1939, there were no rare earth magnets. They came along in 1966, and have been advancing ever since. So the question remains — how do the shot tubes of older BB guns work?


They work by gravity. They work by the same principal that the magazine of the first Gatling Gun used, back in the late 1860s. Gravity pulls the cartridges (and the BBs) down, so all that’s needed is a chute to guide the ammunition to the loading/firing mechanism. It’s a little more complex than that, but not much. And it’s all mechanical.

Shot tube is the true barrel

In a vintage Red Ryder like the one I recently tested for you, the shot tube is the actual gun barrel. What looks like the barrel, and what most people refer to as the barrel is a sheet metal jacket that surrounds the shot tube and forms the outside of the BB magazine. It isn’t really a magazine, though. The shot tube performs that function. The barrel jacket is really more of a BB reservoir that stores the BBs until it’s time for gravity and the shot tube to take over.

BB gun magazine 1
The shot tube is inside the barrel jacket. The gun is fired in this drawing.

BB gun magazine 2
BBs are shown in the gun. They are evenly distributed around the shot tube, but I have omitted them so you can still see the tube.

BB gun magazine 3
In this drawing, the gun is shown cocked. The plunger has been withdrawn during cocking, and the air tube backed up far enough to permit one BB to enter the barrel. When the cocking lever was released, the plunger went forward a fraction of an inch, pushing the BB in the barrel up past the opening in the side of the shot tube breech and closing that hole to any additional BBs.

The shot tube

Now that you know what the inside of the BB gun looks like, let’s examine the breech end of the shot tube of a vintage Red Ryder. This is the shot tube from my gun that I reviewed for you recently.

Red Ryder shot tube 1
This view of the shot tube shows the organizing chute the BBs roll down inside the barrel jacket. The barrel jacket itself forms the outside of this chute. The flange at the right side of the picture is wide enough to prevent BBs slipping past, and it is angled to start them rolling down the chute when the gun is cocked. The hole at the breech (arrow) is large enough to admit just one BB when the air tube is completely withdrawn during cocking. When the lever is relaxed, the air tube moves forward a fraction of an inch, preventing a second BB from entering this hole.

What keeps the BB from rolling out the barrel?

Okay, we now understand how BBs are fed by gravity, one at a time , to the breech of the shot tube. But once inside, what prevents them from rolling all the way down the barrel when the muzzle is depressed? That was 45Bravo’s question.

A spring!

On the opposite side of the shot tube breech there is a wire spring whose end is curled and sticks through the breech into the barrel. It protrudes far enough into the barrel to prevent the BB from rolling forward, until the air tube pushes it past during firing. So the loaded BB rests between the end of the air tube and this spring when the gun is cocked.

Red Ryder shot tube 2
The wire spring protrudes into the barrel (arrow) to stop the BB from rolling forward. The other end of the wire at the right does not protrude into the barrel. A simple but effective way of holding the BB until the gun fires.

That’s all, folks

And that is how the shot tube of a vintage BB gun works. Once you understand it you see the necessity of elevating the muzzle of the gun during cocking, but the design of the gun forces a shooter to do that. The gun was too difficult to cock any other way.

We have looked at vintage BB guns from several different viewpoints in this historical series. Today’s report completes the journey into how they work. Thank you, 45Bravo, for posing such an interesting question.

80 thoughts on “How a vintage BB shot tube works

  1. As I say say simple but effective.

    I like it.

    Already can vision how that would work to make a semi-auto well sort of action for a co2 gun.

    A lever that comes back far enough to allow the smart shot lead bb to fall in the tube. The spring to keep it from rolling out of the barrel. The trigger would pull the lever or bolt back and a bb would drop in and then the hammer would fire and hit the valve just like on the Brodax or Python. Only we would use the gravity feed resivoir instead of the clips.

    So you could pull the trigger basically as fast as a smart shot lead bb will fall in the tube. That would be a very easy rifle to configure. It would be like taking the Brodax and putting a stock on it with a longer barrel and then a shroud over the barrel that would be the resivoir. No clip. And the co2 cartridge would still be in the grip when take one side off. It could have a AR type butt stock on it also. The resivoir guide to the barrel opening would need to be made so the gun wouldn’t needed to be tilted up so often. Bet that would be a fun gun.

      • RR
        Yep had one of those.

        But look closer at the pictures of the gun in the link you posted. There is a spring loaded feed pusher that you have to pull back and latch and then shake the gun to load the bb’s in that area. Then you unload and it force feeds the bb’s to the chamber or barrel I should say.

        I picture more like a Marauder looking gun actually. The shroud would be the bb resivoir. The 12 gram co2 cartridge could load in from the bottom of the pistol grip area. It could be a round threaded cap on the bottom that you screwed in to pierce the co2 cartridge and hold it in place.

        The big thing would be that no more shaking the gun to load 30 bb’s in that spring loaded magazine area. The shroud resivoir would always supply the gun by gravity. And you should be able to pull off shots pretty rabidly.

        Just trying to think off a way to have more of a rapid fire gun instead of a single load and cock gun.

        • GF1,

          Personally, I would rather have a mini Gatling Gun that runs off of a small compressor. I have seen them. They are pretty awesome. I have also seen mini mini-guns. They go through a lot of BBs real fast.

          • RR
            Yep I have watched some pretty cool video’s on rapid fire stuff.

            And I can see myself going broke real quick after shooting the Brodax, Python and 1077. And now the m22. Can sure use up ammo quick and co2 at that. And I do intend on getting another Steel Storm. They really use up the ammo fast compared to the other guns I just listed.

            But hey got to have fun some kind of way. Ain’t getting no younger as they say. Better enjoy what you can when you can. Didn’t somebody say we have more toys than we need. I think not. 😉

              • RR
                I like co2 guns but they have not been my top choice in a air gun. But after getting the 1077 back out and shooting co2 in it instead of the HPA I actually like it. It’s a light easy to carry gun with out that 88 gram cartridge and adapter. Then after getting the Brodax and the Python and now the m22 with blowback I’m actually liking the co2 guns.

                And no I haven’t shot a m712. I bet it would be fun though. I may get one of those instead of the Steel Storm. I like the older nostalgic look it has.

                So when you shot it did it have pretty good blowback?

                • GF1,

                  Yes, it has pretty good blowback. The major issue with it is you will empty the magazine in a little over 1 second and it is slow to reload. You need to have six or eight magazines on hand when you take on a pack of feral soda cans. You can shoot it on semi, but it is just not the same.

                  If I ever get another CO2 gun, it will probably be the Steel Force. You complain about reloading the 30 shot reservoir from the 300 reservoir, but all of the others that I have fooled with take much longer and usually hold only 17 or 18.

                  • RR
                    I believe your right. The Steel Force is easy to shoot. Dump 300 bb’s in the resivoir. Pull the spring loaded pusher back and shake 30 bb’s into it then release the spring loaded pusher and shoot away. It takes two co2 cartridges at a time. But I was getting very easy 200 shots out of the two co2 cartridges.

                    So yep it will probably be the Steel Force for me again.

            • GF
              That’s the one. Lots of fun rolling cans. Much more accurate than RRyder. Lots of shots (like around 100) and quiet. I put a wooden bushing in shroud to keep inner barrel centered, but remenber inner barrel must be free to move back and forth during shooting/loading cycle. Trigger pull not great because it does all the loading work.

              • Fido
                Yep I’m getting one for sure. Reminds me of a bb version of a 1077. I didn’t even know they existed believe it or not. Told you I haven’t looked at bb guns until after seeing the light with the smart shot bb’s.

    • GF1,

      You said you wanted to build a gun,…. so build it…… 😉

      On the side,… and off topic,….. tried to shoot through a quarter today at 50 yards with a 25.39 grain JSB. Did not happen despite 4 direct hits. Bent the livin’ heck out of it though. Duct taped to the end of a 6 ft. treated 4×4,…. so yeah,….. that is what you call a solid stop.

      • Chris USA
        One day I hope to build one. All in time as they say.

        And you should try the Barracudas on another one and see what happens. Betcha it will look a lot different than the first one.

    • BB, I was looking at the Crosman AK style Co2 bb rifle on line. I was hoping you might test that item. You mention it in your blog when you were at an airgun show, and Crosman had told you a velocity from that model. But, PA shows 600 fps. And I watched a video from a gent in Norway on youtube called MrRuneRebel, and he tested the velocity it, and it is getting just over 600 fps. Sounds like a pretty potent bb shooter.

  2. Everyone,

    My apologies! When I proofed the report this morning I discovered that the third drawing was wrong. I have corrected it to show that the compression chamber end does not move when the gun is cocked.

    Mea culpa!


  3. Thanks, I hadn’t thought about the spring idea.
    The simplest idea is almost always the best idea..
    Occam’s razor in action.

    A few years ago I refurbished my childhood Daisy 179.
    It also had the small spring for retaining the BB.
    It used a curved single column tube to feed the BB’s into the barrel, being pushed by a flexible nylon “ramrod” driven by a spring.

    That thing is so powerful now,
    It can penetrate a grand total of three, count them, THREE sheets of 20lb copy paper at point blank range!

    Actually, that’s as powerful as that catapult gun ever was.
    It will slightly dent a empty soda can with the muzzle 1 inch from it..

    Thanks for the lesson.


  4. Interesting new product at P.A.,….

    The “Air Bolt” by Air Venturi. It goes (inside) any existing .50 caliber air gun barrel that is at least 23″ long. 1″ groups of 3 at 30 yards. There is about a 10 minute video you can watch.

    Not that many of us have .50 cal. air gun laying around,… but I thought that it was an innovative idea that apparently works well.

    • Chris USA
      I saw that. And everytime I see something about air gun arrow shooting I think Chris USA. 🙂

      Seen a advertisement with those arrows as a addition to the Air Venturi Wing shot air shot gun. Get that gun and you can shoot shot shells or .50 caliber bullets and now arrows. I like these guns that are versatile in shooting multiple types of ammo.

      I was hoping that you would of tryed the arrow shooting with your Mrod. Maybe you can find a already made arrow and adapt it to fit your Mrod barrel with the shroud off. Maybe one of these new arrows and put a sleeve or tube inside it to make it the right inside diameter as your Mrod barrel. I would be interested if it works.

      • GF1,

        That project is on hold for the moment. The easiest would be to get an old barrel and chop the breech end off to about 6″ and then bore the muzzle side out to 5/16″ and then fit it with a 5/16 tube. If you watch the video, the fletch’s are rolled around the shaft. That can not be good for a consistent shot. Regardless, the video speaks for itself. At 30 yards,… 1 group of 3 at 3/4″ and a second group of 3 at 1″.

        Besides, I would prefer to have the air hit the back of the head. What was of interest was to see how they achieved the weight forward ratios. Specially made fronts and rears are the key there. That (has) to be right,…. or at least within a given percent range. 9-18% if I re-call correctly. The heavier the tip, the higher the % needs to be.

        • Chris USA
          Don’t know about easier from what you just explained. But it would be cool if you get it worked out on the Marauder. I guess you should still be able to shoot a pellet through that barrel too with the shroud off. It would be nice if you could switch from pellet to arrow without changing anything. Well if you get back into it you have to let us know.

  5. Rio Olympics 2016: did you guys watch the opening?
    The 10m Air Pistol competition is going on right now as I write this. We Brazilians are supporting our shooter, Felipe Wu. This guy is a winner just by being there! He is one of those arigunners who started his “career” shooting air pistols in his backyard, until he could find sponsors and find a decent place to train and compete. I hope he brings us some medal, but I am so happy to see his name on list anyway.
    Female Air Rifle 10m is finished and Virginia Thrasher (USA) won Gold with 208 points, followed by Du Li (China) with 207 (Silver). Bronze went to Yi Siling with 185.4. Congratulations to Virgina, Du, and Yi!

    • Fred
      Thanks for that info. And thats great he started out just like us other air gunners and worked his way up. And I should be watching that. I definitely like watching that stuff.

      • UPDATE: our shooter, Felipe Wu, received Silver with 202.1 points, just .4 behind the Gold medalist Hoang Xuan Vinh, from Vietnam (202.5 points). Bronze went to Pang Wei (China) with 180.4. Congratulations to Felipe Wu, this is the first Brazilian medal on this edition of the Olympic games, and a very very important victory for the sport in my country.
        For the record, the very first Brazilian Gold medal came from shooting also, in 1920 in Antwerp. Guilherme Paraense had lost his luggage and all his equipment, including his pistol when he arrived for the games in Belgiun. Thanks to the American team, he could borrow a Colt Officer’s revolver and could compete, eventually winning Gold. When he went to return the gun back to the Americans, he was told to keep that gun. Today, this gun is on display at the National Historical Museum in Rio during the Olympics.

    • Fred_BR,

      Hope to catch the re-runs on some channel. Archery is on. The US won the match thus far. Perhaps the shooting sports will be omitted? I could make some inferences there,… but I will refrain from doing so. Different channels seem to be featuring certain venues,… on my limited DirecTV package anyways. Tennis,…. yea right,…. like I really want to see that! 🙁

      Regardless,… you have to admire (one and ALL) for even getting there, no matter the venue.

      • You are absolutely right, Chris… Rio Olympics is being a great challenge, not only for the city but for all competitors as well. We hope for the best and that the games go into history as a huge success, thanks to the excellence of everyone involved.

        • Fred_BR,

          I must apologize,…. I re-read my comment and realized “venue” was not the correct word. (Venue), being the place that the Olympics’ are being held. The last sentence should read,…..” no matter the discipline”.

          Any city that is awarded the Olympics’ has their hands full on multiple levels. I wish all the best.

          I did find some stuff on the internet, but finding anything dedicated to the shooting sports seems to be a bit challenging to find. I did find a few things though.

  6. A quick update.

    Finally unboxed the m22 last night when I got home from work oh and opened up a tin of the smart shot copper coated lead bb’s also. Nice is what I will say so far. The bb’s and the pistol.

    Got to cut grass first though before I shoot it. We had rain yesterday morning. So I couldn’t cut before I went to work and have it out of the way so today could be open.

    But I’ll give a update later when I get to shooting it. If it shoots as good as the pistol and bb’s look it will be a keeper. I hope it does good with the smart shot. I’ll be having more bb guns in the future for sure. I’m hoping. Fingers crossed. 🙂

  7. GF1

    I remember that stuff, you know …’ grass ‘ Used to get it a lot in the cooler months, along with that other thing … a full pond all year, yes, that’s it ! We don’t seem to get that wet stuff anymore, what was is? Oh yes rain ! And for some reason the weather stations keep coloring the area I live in Red !

    On the plus side I can now see where all the bb’s hit the ground !… and all the vehicle wire eating critters have no place to hide !

    • Bob
      All I know is grass cutting keeps me occupied more than I like. It almost needed to be cut twice this week. I think whatever that farmer sprays on his crops drifts over my way.

  8. BB

    Last night I opened the box to check on the condition of one of my engraved BB Colt Peacemakers and noticed that the ‘bluing’ did not seem to be as intense as I remembered it when I got it, house lighting I thought.
    This morning I opened two others to compare the finish and low and behold all of them seem to have faded or changed into a real beautiful black chrome finish with a hint of blue. I remember them having a deep reddish blue tone, almost too much to be true.
    The only thing I ever did with them is wipe them down with a microfiber cloth to remove finger prints after I inspected them once. I never oiled them. They are as issued but they really look nice now.
    What do you think ? Could it be a lack of oil that caused this ( Optical illusion ? ) change. Or was it a, now dry, coating on the pistol that actually caused it to look so deeply rich in the first place? Probably not real bluing, so I’m wondering if I should wipe them down with something other than gun oil to store them. And would oil bring out the deeper blue tone again.

    Anyone else run into this or noticed any change after regular use and oiling of the blued Colt SAA ?
    Like I said they really look nice as is, but a little more blue tone would not hurt if that’s what a coat of oil would do, as with other guns. Mostly curious about the tone change.

      • BB

        OK .. now I gotta’ check out my remanufactured, cased, Auto Ordinance Broom Handle Carbine.
        The new finish is probably not old enough or the same, got it in the 80’s.

        Boy, your Engraved Colt Peacemaker really is a very special pistol, I would never part with it either.
        A long time ago I received a letter from a guy and he really wanted to buy my Colt Woodsman pistol. Seems he was a friend of our local gun dealer who sold it to me.
        Evidently it was his fathers and someone in his family sold it off after he passed away.
        He was a little crushed because he had a lot of fond memories of him and his farther going hunting, and shooting that pistol they carried with them. He always assumed that it would be his some day.
        Well he eventually found me and what could I do? I sold it back to him. After all I could always get another.
        I could not for the life of me find the old leather holster that came with it until years later when I moved. The gun dealer passed on and I had no way to contact him about the holster. If anyone lives in the Santee area of CA and knows this guy, tell him I still have his fathers holster.

        Bob M

    • Joe I have seen pics of different rifles she used and some photos I believe are of this Olympics. The Rifle may be a Feinwerkban model 800, probably has some tweaks.

      • Bob M.,

        Those “tweak’s” would be of most interest. It would be very interesting to know what all the “gadgets” are that are hanging off of a rifle that level,… and what purpose that they are supposed to serve. If one were to dive in quite deep, I suspect that one would find ” one of ” items and things that might show up more commonly in the future.

        • It appears to be a FWB 800Alu.
          As to the tweaks and gadgets.
          The tweaks are probably minimal other than ergonomic to fit her particular hold style, physical build, and personal preferences, as it has to conform to ISSF rules.
          And FWB builds a world class gun.

          The gadgets?
          That’s another story, but even then, only what NEEDS to be on the rifle.

          Fatigue in a match is real, (both mental and physical) and you don’t want unnecessary accoutrements hanging off your rifle.

          Gadgets and tweaks don’t make a shooter.
          You can give a world class shooter a decent trigger, in an accurate gun, with good sights, and their scores will not suffer too much.
          But you give an average shooter a world class gun, and their scores won’t go up much.

          It’s about training, dedication, and mental and physical preparation.
          With just a pinch of good luck..

            • When I lived in Colorado Springs i joined the shooting club at the Olympic Training Center.
              And started shooting Sport Pistol.
              I was there from 1998 until 2005.

              As I met more people there, other diciplines sparked an interest.
              I got to try 3 position rifle (rimfire)
              And air rifle, and air pistol.
              And 25meter rapid fire pistol.

              The airgun and rapid fire pistol events were the most interesting to me. (And more within my equipment price range)

              They all used the same gunsmith locally that worked on the guns (word of mouth advertising)
              And he sold used guns on either consignment, or that the shooters had traded in towards a better gun as their skill levels demanded.

              Everyone was willing to show you how their sport was done, and offer advice and pointers.
              They are great ambassadors to the sport.

              What most people don’t know or understand is most shooters at that level don’t actually shoot as many shots has you would think.

              They spend many hours working on their form, sight picture, and trigger squeeze.
              And DRY FIRING.

              The ratio of actual pellets sent down range is quite low compared to the number of firing cycles on the gun.

  9. BB– Mausers were purple when they came out of the bluing tank. What happened (and still might be happening) to Bobs peacemakers seems to be a gradual process. Sunlight is not the cause.. There might be a chemical in the box material or ink that is causing the change. After reading Bob,s post , I checked my 2 early S&W 586,s. There is no visible change in the color of the blue finish, but they are in plastic cases. Do we have any chemists who are reading this blog? They might have the answer. Ed

  10. BB–Bob M—My 586,s are Umarex co2 pellet pistols, not the firearm. The bluing on my old S&W revolvers ( and other handguns) has not changed. However, the part of the grip on my S&W 41 that contacts the web of my hand has turned grey. This is the result of being shot in many matches in hot weather. I always wiped it down with an oil or silicone rag, after each match to prevent rust. The chemicals in the perspiration on my hand caused the change. Ed

    • Rock,

      I do not normally oil pellets for AirForce guns anymore. But if I’m shooting them over 900 f.p.s., I might be tempted to do so, just to keep the barrel clean. However, I don’t like to shoot pellets too much over 900 f.p.s.


      • Thank you, I had possibly thought that the case as don’t see you mention it very often. Yea I don’t need break sound barrier to enjoy popping some cans or trying get them little holes in my paper. But had seen your comment during Airforce video and wanted make sure.

  11. Well I got some shooting time on the m22 yesterday. And got up and shot it more this morning. Had a little issue yesterday that was messing with me till I found out what was going on. So I wanted to shoot more this morning so I could get some true shots on some paper.

    At first I couldn’t keep my groups hitting in the same place. And the group size would increase then I would get a good group again. Then the group location would change again. I couldn’t get the gun hitting the same for anything. I was wondering if the blowback was messing with me. So I was going over the gun and seeing if anything was loose or something.

    Well something was. The rear sight only adjusts for windage. The front sight is fixed. The rear adjusts left and right by a small area in the right side of the sight. The notch moves on that screw. I took my finger and was able to move it back and forth almost the whole adjustment that was available. So I but just a small drop of blue Loctite on each side of the sight notch. The adjusting screw got harder to turn. But it stays set now.

    So I shot some more. Yep now we’re talking I was thinking to myself. Now the gun was grouping in one spot but hitting low. That was with the heavier smart shot. So I did try some steel bb’s just to see . They raised about 1-1/2″ above the smart shot bb’s. But still hit low. Oh and this is at 15 yards. I did have to file the top of the front sight. It’s dead on now with the smart shot and shoots high with steel bb’s.

    So this morning I wanted to verify if I was still getting groups in the same location. And if the rear sight was staying in place. Yep still tight and the screw is still a little tight.

    And performance wise it does slow down at about the 15th shot if I shoot shots one after another at about one second between shots. It holds 18 bb’s in the spring loaded magazine I guess it’s called. So not bad for a blowback gun. But it compares to groups about like the Brodax did with pellets. About 18 yards before the groups start opening. About 20 yards and a 12 oz can starts getting harder to hit. And that standing using both hands to hold. Not bench resting. So the m22 is comparable to the Brodax but the Python. That’s another story. The Python will shoot out to 20 yards and hit a12 oz can no problem. At 25 yards it starts getting a bit harder to hit a can.

    But one thing I noticed and I guess it’s maybe the blowback causing some of it. But the m22 does slow down but comes right back up to velocity if you wait about 10 second after it slows do on that 15th shot. The revolvers don’t slow up in velocity like m22 does. Well a little but it don’t change point of impact much.

    And forgot it gets 4 magazines of 18 shots before the poi starts dropping. That’s the usable shots. I can get one more magazine of 18 but poi starts dropping rapidly on that one.

    And last the smart shot perform pretty much the same as steel bb’s in the m22. It does shoot bb’s better than the Brodax shot steel bb’s. The Brodax was all over the place with steel bb’s. It definitely likes pellets better than steel bb’s. And I didn’t have the smart shot to try in it before it broke.

    So I can say I’m happy with the m22 and smart shot. And I want to try the smart shot just for the heck of it in my 1077/Discovery conversion pumper. Don’t know how that’s going to go though because the smart shot that I measured can with my Starret micrometer and also calipers measured at .170″-.171″ . So they are on the small side even compared to a steel bb. But the smart are very consistent if you check around them in multiple places. And the same size from one to the next. The steel bb’s I have are all over the place in size and roundness. So I think the smart shot are made nice. But don’t seem to matter in the m22. But I bet the smart shot would be good in a 499 if you can keep them from rolling out the barrel.

    So that’s it I think. If I forgot something I’ll post it later. Time to go shoot again. 🙂

    • Oh did just realize I forgot about the trigger.

      It’s a little different to get use to at first. Once I figured out to not let off as far inbetween shots it works pretty nice. I don’t have anything to measure trigger pull with. But feels comparable to the Brodax or Python.

      Ok back to shoot’n. 🙂

      • PH
        It’s a nice solid little gun. And I mentioned the blow back several times but forgot to say how it feels.

        It’s actually a pretty solid bump when the gun fires. To me it feels stronger than a .22 long rifle rimfire bullet. But definitely not as much of bump as my brother’s 9mm Berretta.

        All in all a fun little gun.

        Oh and if anybody is wondering. I tryed the smart shot in the Discovery breech and barreled 1377. Nope forget it. The smart shot is sloppy loose in the barrel. It rolls right out. I did try a couple shots at a target while holding the barrel up enough to keep the smart shot bb in place. No good at all. I even tryed them in a smooth bore 760 I have. Pellets definitely shoot better in it too than the smart shot. So I think I will use the smart shot in bb guns that are designed strictly for bb use and won’t accept a pellet in their magazine or clip.

        So yep now the smart shot opens up more choices for me anyway. Now I can give the bb guns a second look and see what I might want to try. Definitely glad that H&N started making the smart shot. More expensive to shoot but at least the choice is available now if someone would rather shoot lead instead of steel. I would really like to see if they do good in a 499. They are very precise bb’s. Who knows maybe I will get a 499. 🙂

  12. “Operation Squirrel” update,……. 🙂

    There is no update. 🙁

    I have however,.. come to several conclusions,….
    1) I have lazy squirrels. They would prefer to eat corn, whole ear or shelled,…. off the ground. From the consumption rate,.. me shelling it first, is their preference.
    2) I also seem to have squirrels that “work” the night shift. In 2 days and multiple hours,… I have yet to see one.
    3) They appear to be a high bred “Ninja” squirrel of sorts. Covert. Silent. Unseen. Corn disappears, yet I see no one eating it.

    I even cleared out a sight lane from a bedroom window,.. 25 yards from the site,.. to watch,….. Nothing.

    When heading out to set my targets at the 70,…. I stuck some ears of corn in my back pocket. I shelled one complete, 1 partial and left the other whole,…. right in the middle of the shooting lane. Hours later,… butt getting sore,… I went out to retrieve my targets. On the way back,.. I looked down at the whole ear. In the back of the ear, (opposite side of my shooting position),…. a perfect 1″x1″ hole of kernel’s had been removed. This had occurred (during) my time on the range. My 60-100 was visible in the scope, but I checked the 50 often. Apparently,… not often enough!

    Ninja squirrels,….. no other explanation.

  13. Pingback: How a vintage BB shot tube works | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  14. Pig hunts in Texas,…

    Just watched a 1/2 hr. episode on the Pursuit Channel. I am reminded of the “Buldawg76” that shared some of his pig hunt stories some year+ ago. The dogs,… yea dogs,… pit bulls to be exact,…. do the “hunting”. 4-6 are turned loose. Once they are on the hogs,…. let’s just say that the dogs do NOT let loose. From what I gather from the technique,….. a person must go in,…. pick up the back legs of the hog,…. and then (another) person dispatches the hog with a rather large knife. (no guns?)

    I thought this crude at first. Even Buldawg76 had mentioned that the dogs do not “make it” sometimes. But,… it is what it is. Seeing it on live action made it all real. The dogs by the way,…. had on what appeared to be “bullet proof” vest. For what it is,…. that is good.

    At any rate,… I accepted it for what it is, in that region of the country. Exciting? On the edge? That would be a massive understatement.

    Maybe not for all,.. maybe not for me,…. but reality none the less. If you are open minded,…. it is worth a look.

    • Chris USA
      My wife’s brother lives in Texas and he hunts hogs alot. No dogs though. Just shoots em. He say’s they can be mean suns of a guns.

      We had hogs on the farm as kids. They will charge at you and they don’t care what’s in their way. Dangerous.

    • Chris, USA
      You have to remember that I hunted them back in the 70 before bulletproof vest were common place for civilians to own or put to use readily. That is why some dogs did not survive the hunts and I am glad to see them in use on the dogs now for sure. The wild boar ( Russian boar that were brought in to Florida years ago ) are indeed some of the meanest and difficult to hunt and kill of any prey. The use of dogs and a large knife is actually the humanist ways to kill one since guns cause them in most cases to only be wounded and turn into the hunter or they run off into thick swamps/ brush thickets that are difficult to track them in and die slowly. If they don’t die they suffer for awhile till they regain their strength and recover.

      I was taught to kneel with one knee on their jaw and one on their shoulder while the dogs still held the hog down to enable you to effectively stick the knife in the hogs throat and stir the pot so to speak. I would be leery of pulling the hog away from the dogs by the hind legs since they can kick quite violently and injure a man very badly with one kick. Plus if the Pits are trained correctly they will not let go regardless until you cut off the part the have hold of as their reward for catching the hog. Also its safer to have a dead hog before trying to cut off a leg or ear or what ever they have hold of.

      I was still young and ten foot tall and invincible when I hunted them in the 70s so I certainly would have second thoughts on doing now what I did them without a second thought. 900/1000 pound hogs are nothing to take for granted especially when corned with snarling dogs as they tend to become very vicious and mean fighting for their life.

      To all here just a word that I have been under the weather recently but still reading the blog just not up to responding until now. I am slowly pulling myself back up and getting better everyday.


      • BD76,

        If I recall, you said the hogs were bigger in Florida,.. as in (much) bigger. Perhaps a different breed. The fellow doing the leg holding was a real big guy. The hunting party was quite large, at least 8 guys. They were on those big 4 wheeled ATV’s and the dogs got to ride a lot of the time due to the heat that was present. They always had water at the ready for the dogs and wet them down as well. The “vest” looked to be dog specific,.. like something a Police dog would wear.

        As you described, the brush, trees, bushes was very, very thick. The camera guy was really having a hard time even keeping up and the resulting footage looked like pure mayhem. The last one caught was a big one that tried to hide in a small cave. The hog and 3 dogs were inside, (could not be seen, but heard), and the dog owner had to go in himself and attempt to drag the hog and dogs back out.

        At any rate,…. interesting stuff. Glad to hear that you are on the mend and hope to be hearing more often from you. You will have to update us on your field target venture and how that big event awhile back went that your club hosted.

        Take care,…. Chris

        • Chris,USA
          The hogs we hunted in Florida ranged in size from a few hundred pounds to 900 plus pounds. It is possible that the hogs you saw on the TV show were not Russian boar or even a cross breed of the Russian boar and feral pigs which would result in a somewhat smaller hog. it has been over 40 years since I hunted those boar so I am sure there has been a lot of intermingling of the hogs in the wild.

          The thick brush and thickets are where the hogs prefer to live as it provides cover for them and ample food sources as well. We hunted them in the swamps of the west coast of north central Florida known as the green swamp area where they lived in a cross of heavy brush and swamp land so it was always a difficult but challenging hunt. It made the capture all that more satisfying and rewarding indeed.

          Unfortunately I was not able to attend our Southern open FT match due to my health not cooperating but it was a great turnout from what I have been told and the pics and videos taken by the members that attended. I hated I had to miss it but my vision and balance would go south on me when I stood up so there was no way I could drive to the match much less sight a gun worth a darn. There will always be next year so it is what it is and just glad to be getting better.

          Hope the links above work so you can get a glimpse of the conditions they endured with the heat indexes in the 105 to 115 degree ranges for the weekend.


          • BD76,

            Thank you very much for that!!!! That was as good as being there. What yardage was the long shots? They looked to be 100,… but being a match,…. maybe only 50? Nice job on the videos for whoever shot them.

            • Chris,USA

              The Ft range targets are from 10 to 55 yards so the long shots on the course are 55 max. The Gunslynger tie shootout ( the two videos ) was at 20, 40 and 60 yards so the tie breaker in the video was 60 yards shots.

              I really wanted to be there to shoot in the competitions but it was just not meant to be this year . So will be there for next year for sure.


  15. BB— I just saw the Laurel and Hardy comedy–BRATS. They play a dual role, themselves and their children. The sets have huge furniture and toys to make L&H look like small children. They have a 5 or 6 ft. Daisy bb gun!Yes, Stan shoots Ollie in the butt while trying to shoot a mouse. The film is very funny and has the largest bb gun prop ever made. Ed

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