Home Blog  
Optics The cobbler’s children have no shoes!

The cobbler’s children have no shoes!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • B.B. needs help!
  • What about my Diana 27?
  • Ten yards
  • We have lost 95 percent of shooters!
  • Blue Streak
  • Spoiled?

B.B. needs help!

Before we begin today’s report, I need to ask for some help. In fact, today’s report drove this request. I was going to write about the Rockin’ Rat target, Part 2, and I wanted to show you a short video of how it works. The main thing about this target is the way it works, and trying to tell you about it is like trying to describe the taste of salt.

I can film the video, but I’m not yet familiar enough with the editing software to edit it efficiently. Pyramyd AIR can’t help because they are working full time on their projects.

What I need is someone who can edit short videos for me. If I could find someone to do that there could be a lot more videos on this blog. The person should be familiar with the requirements of You Tube, because that’s where the videos are hosted.

Okay, on to today’s report! What’s with the title? Because the cobbler is so busy making and repairing shoes, like walking on concrete all day, for others that he has no time to make them for his own family. I needed to shoot the Rockin’ Rat target with a pellet gun and realized — I don’t have a gun that’s sighted in for something close!

Sure, I can sight in a rifle for a 50-yard target. But after I shoot it and get the results, the scope comes off and I move on to another airgun. There are no airguns in my closet that are sighted-in for just hitting targets at 10-15 feet. That’s an ideal video distance, by the way. If I want to pick off a wasp sitting on the fence 15 feet away, I don’t have a gun for it. Back up to 50 yards, give me a couple hours and I’ll be good to go. Just get the wasp to park awhile. Do you see anything wrong with this?

What about my Diana 27?

The one airgun that comes closest to meeting this requirement is my Diana 27. So I took it out to the garage to see where it’s sighted-in. At 10 feet it was right on the money. As long as the target is large enough to hit with open sights offhand at 10-15 feet, that will be my go-to air rifle for targets at that distance. But what about that armadillo in the back yard, ten yards from my back door?

Ten yards

Here we go again! Shooters who shoot a .22 rimfire simply do not understand what I am talking about. They hold on target and squeeze the trigger. If their 40-grain lead bullet misses where they aimed by 3/4-inch, what do they care? Their bullet is packing 100 foot pounds of energy at the target, so a miss of less than an inch is trivial. On the other hand, my 14-grain pellet is carrying maybe 8 foot pounds of energy at the target and a miss of 3/4-inch can put me out of the game.

My Diana 27 is sighted for 10 feet, so it’s going to be off at 10 yards, or 20 yards or any other distance I care to use it beyond about 15 feet. Go ahead and ask why that is if you want, but my veteran readers already know what I’m going to say. It has to do with the trajectory of the pellet and also with adjusting the sights to hit things that are very close.

We have lost 95 percent of shooters!

By this point in the report we have lost most of the shooters. Either they are rimfire guys who haven’t a clue what I am taking about (the trajectory and low power of a pellet rifle) or they do most of their shooting in their heads, while sitting in front of the tube. Until you try to nail a half-inch target at 40 feet with a pellet rifle, every shot seems possible. Jason Bourne can do it with a pistol while falling down a stairwell!

So, poor me! I’m the guy with a hundred nice airguns and not one to shoot. Do I need a golf bag filled with rifles of different calibers, sighted-in at different distances?

Blue Streak

Or, maybe you figured it out for me. If I just shoot my Blue Streak that you all saw was incredibly accurate, I could vary the number of pumps and meet any challenge. And you would be right except for one thing. The Blue Streak takes time to cock, load and pump. When I want to shoot three aimed shots in 20 seconds for a video, it’s not the best gun to choose. Sure it’s possible, but you have to move at a frightening pace! So, for some things the Blue Streak works, but not for all things.


The Brits have a phrase that covers this problem — spoiled for choice! It’s the antithesis of the man who owns just one gun and has to do everything with it. Laugh if you must — this is a real problem. I’m like a guy in the pits at a NASCAR race whose group has asked him to go get pizza! He’s surrounded by several 200+ mph cars and no real transportation!

And I still do need some help on those videos. As a reward I will offer a free lifetime subscription to this blog — or as long as it lasts! (insert smiling emoji here)

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.

53 thoughts on “The cobbler’s children have no shoes!”

  1. Been there twice, the gunsmith with no guns of his own to shoot, and the computer repair guy with only 1 computer.

    When your hobby becomes your JOB, it sometimes is no longer fun.

    You do it because you HAVE TO, to put beans on the table.
    No longer is it entertainment.

    Every shooter thinks it would be great to go to the range day after day, and get paid for it.

    But when you have 10-20 ongoing test (or builds) in different stages, and deadlines to meet, articles to write, numbers to crunch, then have the articles proofed and corrected, it is WORK (yes that is a dirty four letter word.)

    You get to handle and test guns that you would never have bought with your own money, but you have to be careful, or you just spent your own time/money to repair/replace what happened to a vendor’s gun, when it slipped off the bag, or bumped into another on the way to the range.

    I truly applaud you Tom for what you do, and have done for the airgun community.

    Through the passing of Edith, you still published the blog.
    Through the detached retina, you still published.

    You need some time for yourself, away from the keyboard, and chronograph, or eventually you will get burned out.

    But with no understudies to help, or give you time off,
    one day, we (the airgun community) are going to wake up one morning and find you are no longer here.

    Be it you just tossed in the towel and went on walk about, or something we don’t want to contemplate..

    Life can change in an instant.

    You have no shoes so to speak because you have been giving us everything you have.

    And we have not been giving you anything in return…

    Please let us help get you some shoes..


  2. Why do you need a rifle for this test I know you have enough pistols and are good enough of a shot to hit the target within 15 feet. Learning how to edit a you tube video may become a winter project for me. As of now, I just made one and it was a disaster. I agree with the other guys in that we don’t want you to push your self. Take care.
    Best wishes

  3. Hi BB,

    Some time ago, I had suggested to you and Edith that you might employ a Local college student in the English department as an intern to help you put a book together from the blog. Why don’t you reach out to the local community college or even high school, if they have some type of computer graphics program, for the same thing, a student intern. They could be unpaid and do this just to gain some experience or you can work some remuneration out. Just a thought. Wish I could help but I am not familiar with this software, either.

    Fred DPRoNJ

  4. I am an electrical designer. I design control systems of industrial equipment. I have not clue how to post videos to YouTube, more or less edit them. I do not even own one of those so called smart phones.

    Big help I am.

  5. B.B.

    Why don’t you just shoot the darn rat at 50 yards? If that is what you are sighted in for, shoot it from that distance.
    Seems the cobbler has many winter boots, but his kids want the new Air Jordan’s…..
    You do need an assistant though.


      • B.B.

        Sorry, I though you could use the video on your camera(the one you take such good close-ups with) and use your cell phone to control it, i.e. set-up your camera down range and have your phone at your side.
        That is how all the techies would do it….
        While I LOVE your blog I am not sure that we really need all the technologies available to use. I vote to keep the blog still photos only. Why I get a vote I do not know….plus less work for you. You do need an assistant however.

        Sorry for the rant,

      • Hey good Buddy, I may have the solution. I bought several items to attach an iPhone to the Burris spotting scope you so kindly gave me and was planning to mail one of the extra gizmos to you. Just have not found the time. All of them take about 5 minutes of fiddling to align the camera to the scope but once they are connected, the picture is awesome. The one trick I learned is to not push the camera button to take the photo or video as the product gets fuzzy from movement but to use the 3 or 10 second timer as there is no shaking.

        From personal experience using MS’s free Photostory3 software to make a slide show of still vacation pictures into a DVD to play on a TV or computer, the time to produce a quality product can take many hours. I imagine doing the same editing of a video is even more time-consuming. The suggestion to use a high school or college apprentice or intern sounded like a good idea. Maybe you could post an ad on Craigslist and see if you get a response.


  6. Time to have one mil dot scoped .177 PCP on hand of no more than 15ft/lbs, preferably on low mounts, my AA S400 was regularly used on HFT courses where there was always at least one 3m target as well as 50m, just to stretch your trajectory knowledge and how it applies to your scopes markings, I could pick it up now and group at 3m :-), although most scopes get a bit fuzzy that close
    Literally draw the dots on a piece of paper and write the corresponding ranges next to it, top to bottom, stick it on the stock in a clear bag with masking tape 🙂
    And leave the Armadillo alone

  7. I learned to shoot with a Slavia 618 with has a 350 fps muzzle velocity – found out real quick about mapping the trajectory. Insects – mostly grasshoppers – were out main quarry.

    I have always considered a .22 rimfire to be a high power rifle and respected it as such.

    Had to smile about the “wasp on a fence post” – I was entertained for hours last weekend shooting wasps that were feeding on fallen apples. Yeah, of all of the rifles I have to chose from I was using my 50 year old Slavia 618… a nice step back into the past. 🙂


  8. BB,

    How about an R8 with a bug buster? You could use the mil dots for hold over/under. I forget what scope you have on yours but I suspect you wouldn’t want to change it though. Just pick up another R8! An R7 might work too.

    I suppose if your 27 has a rail you could put a bug buster on it although as you know that rail is not really designed for a scope.

    Mark N

  9. I think B.B. you should just step back and take a break. More than a week. You have many Blogs you can rerun. Many, indeed. Classic Blogs from the past that we all have maybe missed reading. The Beeman R-1 would be a joy to read. Or my favorite Grab’N’Go. outta’ the closet GAMO Big Cat .177….


  10. B.B. I’m pretty sure your located out west but if you were closer I would jump at the chance to learn from you and I would certainly even consider grunt work to be a lesson…wax on wax off

  11. I just saw you’re looking for a Videographer and wanted to offer my services.
    Just for a taster here’s a logo video I animated a couple of years ago found on the website.
    If you send me the footage and logo and etc I’ll assemble it for you and send it to you compressed in any format you like. 😉
    Up to you…. But I do this over cups of tea.. been doing this for about 30 years now.
    Let me know what youre after and as much info, notes as possible and we can compile a blueprint where we slot in future video segments into the gaps and compile it ready to go.
    Best wishes….
    Neil Birley-Armstrong

  12. Hi, B.B. Water, water, everywhere, eh? This is a fun one.

    You know, the short sight-to-bore distance of iron sights can give you a big leg up on the ballistics compared to scoped rifles. I have my Walther LGR zeroed at 8 yards for “10m” target bulls in the basement. But with that 8yd zero and 7.3gr AA Falcon pellets screaming at 585 ft/s, my point blank range on a half-inch killzone is 5.4 to 24.3 yards. At 15 feet, it is still hitting “just” 0.295 inches low. Or if I wanted to hit dead-on at 15 feet, I could give it 22 clicks “H” according to my chairgun dope chart.

    So, I suggest a 10m rifle (is your FWB 300S wearing peeps?), or Harvey’s 10m pistol idea. AND I suggest you make a dope chart for when you want mega-precision outside of your point blank range. A few minutes in Chairgun makes an already versatile rifle super versatile! (If you want to shoot the FT match with my LGR, it’s 81 clicks at 55 yd: 11.125″ low and still carrying a thumping 2.9 foot-pounds!). The clicks on my Walther peeps are, near as makes no difference, 1/4 Mil.

    For scoped rifles without too much short-range blur, I also like Dom’s suggestion of knowing reticle holdovers. Even if you’re a clicker at most ranges, the reticle markings could keep you shooting at ranges too short for your scope’s adjustment range.

    All that said, totally go for the golf bag full of rifles!!!


    • That is all good stuff. Open sights have better (wider?longer?) MPBR than scopes, the lower the better. the I had a set on my flintlock that were <1/8" high, still miss them but heat waves obscured them after a few shots.

      Believe it or not, I was going to recommend chairgun to BB as well. It's results agree quite well with my experience up to 80 yards. Certainly close enough to play "what if" for different setups that can hit the rat rocker at 3-5yards and an armadillo at 10 yards :)!

      • Wow, heat waves! Those 1/8″ sights still sound like something to behold. I sure would like to shoot that sort of flintlock and that sort of woodswalk field match you do (I think!). Great hearing from you, BG!

        I used to make my Field Target dope charts the old fashioned way, clicking shots onto POA on paper targets at 5- and sometimes 1-yard increments, and then confirm in Chairgun, and then use Chairgun data to print “pretty” charts. But Chairgun always agreed with my experimental results within a 1/8 Mil click or two, so now I always do it the other way around: measure fundamental inputs, generate Chairgun dope, then confirm Chairgun dope in the real world. BIG timesaver!!!


        • Woodswalk is one of my favorites, and the low silver sight worked great there, but most of my shooting with that rifle is offhand matches at 25 and 50 yards, so the barrel heats up pretty quick, as there is little time between shots. Chunk matches are at 60 yards, and lower sights work there because the pace is slower and the barrels are thicker (my 1 1/8 .50 is considered a lightweight). Airguns don’t generate heat, so the lower sights wouldn’t be a problem except the sun might heat the barrel in some cases.

          Chairgun is excellent. Usually whenever I thought it was off, I’d find it was spot on instead! It is neat to run simulations on various pellets to see which ones are suitable for task, then pick the most accurate one of the bunch the old fashioned way. One of the most interesting cases was Superdomes which all my rifles seem to like at closer ranges and look aerodynamic:), butI was having serious drop and loss of power at 50 yards, really much over 30 iirc, and chairgun made it very clear why!

  13. Being someone who started out (and still is) an airgunner has been the cause of a lot of stress when I took up rimfire shooting.
    As you say b.b., as an airgunner I know I need do be able to be sure of a head shot on a squirrel (for example) to ensure a clean kill.
    I know that if I hit the little guy just about anywhere with my .22WMR he’s done…but I still get frustrated when I can’t maintain the accuracy levels I have come to demand from my airguns.
    For example I have a Savage .22WMR that with a lot of work I can say is a true consistent 1 moa gun at 100yds…yet that just doesn’t seem ‘good enough’ for what I learned with airguns, that at hunting distances (say 25yds) I want to be able to hit a nickle everytime.
    You and your damn airguns have spoiled me b.b.!!!

    • Maybe the 22 WMR is part of the problem. It’s not a very accurate cartridge. .22LR is supposed to be much better. The group sizes I get for my Anschutz rifle (adjusted for distance) equal any of my airguns.


      • Your are correct. My sons have Marlin .22LR and with RWS ammo they will outshoot the WMR.
        But I’m still spoiled by the airguns and the quest for accuracy since I started participating in this blog nearly 10 years ago (how time flies!!!).
        Everyone I know (and forums such as Rimfire Central) all tell me that a WMR that shoots 1moa is a keeper and better than average.
        But I can’t get away from the thinking (inspired here) that need to be able to hit that nickel 🙂

  14. B.B.

    I know you said you were reluctant to spend money on a lot of equipment, but you might consider a pair of glasses with a built in video camera. I’ve seen videos on another airgun website that were recorded using glasses with built in video recording. The video quality looks really good. If you do use them, just don’t move your head too fast or your viewers might get dizzy.

  15. BB,

    I have some suggestions that I hope will help: first, make sure your phone will capture useful video at the distance you’re shooting at. My Galaxy Note 5 at full 8x zoom might barely be able to capture a pellet hit at ten feet.

    Next, don’t worry about how long it takes to fire a shot: pause recording in between. Combining clips while editing is trivial, as is cutting out dead space if you decide to park your camera downrange. If you do that, though, you might want to invest in some plexiglass as a shield to protect your camera.

    Finally, if you’re most comfortable shooting at distance, mount your phone on your spotting scope. Depending on the mount, getting set up might take a few minutes, but I think that’s your best bet.

    I’m looking forward to the results, confident you’ll be surprised how little rocket science is involved.


  16. BB,

    It seems you have already quite a group of video editors. If they need someone they can count me in, but my competence level is way below the others, so that is really your last straw.

    That problem you had with having enough rifles but none for the job was exactly why I wanted quick release scope mounts which were adjustable some blogs back. I tend to use one rifle for different distances and that is almost not possible if scoped. Your Walther Perry blog of yesterday has added another prerequisite: a suspension which will take the first load of the recoil. Not difficult to make as it is only in one dimension.

    Slighty oftopic: Are there simple say 4 x 20 scopes (no zoom) which are inexpensive but will do the job when shooting targets on a clear day? For what I see on the internet it looks that is an impossible question.

    Sometimes I want something which is not too big on a Diana 27 to give to a novice shooter to bang away for some hours or for myself on a new rifle to get the feeling for what the rifle really needs.



  17. B.B.,

    Here is something from the FWIW section.

    When you say you want to shoot three aimed shots in 20 seconds, do you mean that this is to be done in real time?

    I realize you have certain restrictions, e.g. not buying a video recording studio, so I realize there is more than one piece of the puzzle that must fit correctly.

    However, if there is no rule about the three shots in 20 seconds, and this is not something imposed by your recording equipment, then this may be where the editing come in.

    I present Exhibit A; Paul Capello testing a Benjamin 392. Both the chronograph and accuracy tests show the power of editing as he fires three shots in a couple of seconds.



  18. B.B, sir:

    If you still need a regular video editor, I can edit your videos brilliantly and creatively. And, I can add any objects, movements or effects you can think of. I also know Youtube very, very well. I would make your videos the best around, and I would handle all the Youtube stuff.

    I would also be available immediately whenever you needed a video making.

    I would give my full attention to this job. And you would not be disappointed, sir, I promise you.

    Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.