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CO2 The eclectic collector

The eclectic collector

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • 10-meter airguns
  • Motivation
  • Sometimes things stick
  • Guns I’ve had my fill of
  • Guns I can live without
  • Airguns I have no desire to own
  • Do my tastes ever change?
  • I like funky!
  • Virtual collection

When I tell people what I do for a living they invariably say, “Oh, you collect airguns?”

I really don’t collect airguns in the traditional sense. A collector is someone who amasses a collection of some sort. It may be large or it may be quite small, but it has a definable theme that is foremost in the collector’s mind and heart. And the true collector never parts with a piece unless it gets replaced by a better one. I don’t do that. I own certain airguns for a while, then part with them to make room (in both the house and the budget) for others. Let me give you an example.

10-meter airguns

I have a friend who collects 10-meter air pistols. He is obsessed with owning one of each type of 10-meter air pistol that has ever been made — from the very first, which must be the Walther LP II to whatever is the most recent.

I am attracted to 10-meter air pistols, as well. I have owned 2 Walther LP IIIs and two FWB 65s. I have owned two Walther LP 53s that do not qualify as 10-meter target pistols, but are very close. I’ve owned a pair of Diana model 10s, a Daisy 777, and several others. I currently own an FWB Modell 2, a IZH 46 and an FWB P44. I didn’t own all these guns simultaneously, so in that sense they were not in a “collection.” I bought what I liked and sold it when my curiosity was satisfied. A true collector wouldn’t do that. They might sell something when a better one came along, as a means of upgrading their collection, but they would never get rid of a gun just because it didn’t fascinate them any longer. True collectors don’t lose their fascination.


The true collector needs to “own,” to possess. The eclectic collector needs only to discover. Once satisfied, he can move on.

Sometimes things stick

Although I move through a number of different airguns, some of them do stick with me. I have owned more than 15 Hakim trainers and the one I now have I believe I will keep. Every time I get rid of my last Hakim I get a longing to own one again. I now know that I must own at least one, even if I don’t think about it most of the time.

I have owned 8 or more FWB 124s over the years. I hold this breakbarrel model in very high regard, although I do not own one at the present time. If one does happen to come along again I’ll probably keep it this time, because it seems the 124 is a gun I can’t do without.

I’ve had 2 FWB 300s and I still own one. This is another gun I do not want to do without. Even though I seldom shoot it, there’s something in it that I need.

I had an original Walther LGV (not the modern gun but the target rifle of the 1970s) that I resealed. I loved that rifle and when it went away, I missed it too much. So a few years ago I acquired another one that I will never sell. Again I don’t shoot it that often, but it’s there for when I want to.

In the 1970s I bought a rusty old Hy Score 807 (Diana 27) that was not much to look at, but a pleasure to shoot. It came out of a pawn shop in Radcliff, Kentucky, for $18 I gave it away in 1981 and it left such a hole in my heart that I paid $110 for the next one in 1993. I still own that rifle today and it will be the absolute last to go.

Guns I’ve had my fill of

I suppose my first real collection was a small number of Daisy Number 25 pump BB guns. It was one I lost as a kid and just had to replace. At one point I owned 8 prime examples, including a first year (1913) nickel-plated gun, a model 325 kit that came with a scope, a target backstop and a cork-firing shot tube and a 1986 Centennial Commemorative in the box with everything.

Then one day I awoke to discover my need for the 25 was now gone and I sold off most of the collection. I still have a couple of them, but the desire has been quenched.

Guns I can live without

On the other hand, there are airguns I learn I can live without. I learn that through owning them and shooting them awhile. The Diana 72 target rifle, for instance. I bought it, tested it and kept it for several years before decided it did nothing for me. So I found it a good home and let it go. I have no desire to own another.

I’ve owned a couple British air canes and they are another type of airgun I really don’t need. I learned as much as I could from them before sending them on, and now I can just enjoy the canes that other people own.

Airguns I have no desire to own

Some airguns leave me cold. I never want to own them. The Paul air shotgun is one example. I can appreciate it for what it is (a .410 shotgun that’s a multi-pump), but I have no desire to ever own one.

The Brown pneumatic pistol is another that doesn’t interest me. I have seen them like new in the box at airgun shows (for several thousand dollars) but nothing grabs me.

Do my tastes ever change?

Like many people, my tastes change over time. When they do, my “collection” changes with them. I might be on a Weihrauch kick for a while and acquire many of their models, then I get interested in CO2 action pistols and I sell some of the Weihrauchs to make room (and money) for some Crosman 600s. A true collector would never do that.

When I look at the models that never depart I see where my deep-seated interests really lie. I have a Crosman Mark I Target Pistol that I will never get rid of.For many years I thought it was superbly accurate, but I’ve since tested it against other guns like the Crosman 2240 and it’s been beaten several times. Still, I won’t get rid of it. The combination of a superior grip, a light, adjustable trigger, adjustable sights and perfect balance resonate deeply witht me. I also will not part with my 9mm German Luger for similar reasons.

I like funky!

One more thing about eclectic people — we tend to like things that are funky! When it comes to airguns here is a list of funky attributes that catch our attention:

Loading taps

Complex mechanical mechanisms (like the pellet feed on the new Gamo Swarm)

Peep sights

Odd cocking systems (think Webley Tempest)

High precision — this is why non target shooters buy 10-meter target guns

Systems guns — guns with interchangeable barrels, calibers, etc.

Virtual collections

So, an eclectic collector like me owns a large collection in the 4th dimension. If you consider all the airguns I have ever owned, I’ve had a huge collection. Time is the one thing that separates me from a more conventional collector, because all my guns have not been with me at the same time.

Think about how you buy (and sell) airguns. Are you an eclectic collector like me?

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

53 thoughts on “The eclectic collector”

  1. Hi BB! I hope you are well,and I see you are quite busy in this already remarkable year of airguns! I have performed a “self examination”.The results aren’t good….LOL It seems I have tested positive for BOTH types of airgun collecting viruses.YIKES ! I am still thrilled to have the Daisy 325 Target set,and it gets used around Christmas each year.Thank you for being the type that lets stuff go…..Frank B

  2. Nice article. Very reflective. I qualify for the “Funky” collector at heart. I met all the criteria. I will never own many due to practical and financial considerations. I have all the bases covered at the moment.

    In hind sight and knowing what I know now,…. I would collect one of each category, (springer, PCP rifle, pistol, 499, Red Ryder), which is pretty much what I have now. Upgrading would mean something better in one of those. Quality and accuracy is always a consideration.

    Good Day all,…. Chris

  3. I resemble these remarks in so many ways.

    Guns I have and won’t ever sell?
    2 crosman Mk 1’s, and a Mk2.
    A 1953 Benjamin 252 8 gram co2 pistol.

    Guns I NEED to have in my possession?
    A crosman 22xx variant.
    I thought I had out grown the platform as I moved into more powerful airguns.
    I had modified many over the years, long rifles, carbines, long pistols, and short ones.
    But they kept calling me back, after a lon look at the ones I had built for pesting and plinking purposes over the years, I listed what I had liked about each one, and incorporated the best of them into one pistol that is the perfect (in my needs) plinker pester pistol.

    Ten meter guns, yea, precision plinker, I can no longer shoot the groups offhand I used to be able to, but watch out from a seated or rested position, I just shoot at targets farther away. .22 shells at 25 yards anyone?

    Power and accuracy in normal air gun calibers?
    There will always be an Airforce gun in my stable.

    I always joked if I won the lottery I would call pyramid air and order 1 of everything I have always wanted, but never bought.

    But really, I just need a little Range time with them to see what I would like.

    I really have come to want to shoot a gun before I buy it,
    Because, sometimes it just isn’t what I thought it would be, and that gets expensive when you drop the cash first.
    Thanks to a friend, I now know I don’t want a gun put out by RAW.

    They are nice guns, but there is just something about them that I don’t want.

  4. BB,

    Like Chris, most of my “collection” is filling certain slots. I do have my 1906 BSA which is the Queen. I truly believe that if I had to sell off the rest, I could do so as long as I could keep her.

    The rest I have could come and go so long as the slot was being filled by an upgrade. A prime example is my Izzy 46M air pistol. At this time I do not own another air pistol. This is a superb shooting 10 meter air pistol and I enjoy everything about it. I would sell or trade it off though for something like a FWB 100 series air pistol or possibly a nice PCP 10 meter pistol. Something that would be an “upgrade”. Otherwise, I am quite content with owning just one air pistol.

    There are still a couple of “slots” in my “collection” that need to be settled on. I have a couple that are close, but I am not sure yet. We’ll see. 😉

    • RR,

      I was thinking of you when I wrote that as you have said that many times. Money aside, I would have the best of the best in each category. I have to like the looks. I seriously doubt that I would ever have anything that I would never shoot. The only exception would be some antique that I stumbled across at a yard sale or something,… and a bargain at that.

  5. Using the search function I followed your writings on each of the airguns you mentioned and I have to say I better understand how you have become to be known as the Godfather of airgunning! Such a wealth of knowledge and breadth of experience with a wide variety of airguns!

    I seem to fall into the “can ‘t leave it alone” category. I’m an inveterate tinkerer and take apart everything I own and for the most part that leads to changes being made to see what the outcome will be. So I stay away from airguns that are at a high state of development and prefer ones that I believe can be readily improved upon. This has a side benefit in that the airguns I choose to modify are (so far) inexpensive to the extreme- Daisy spring air lever guns, and recently the Daisy Model 74 co2 gun that I got to well over 400 fps on a 250 fps baseline, with more velocity available- but I found a sweet spot at 350 fps and have left it there.. In any event, it’s a journey with no end in sight- and that’s a good thing!

  6. For sure, I’m eclectic to the max. I’m more into firearms that airguns but I buy them too. I tend to like guns that are plain.
    I don’t really care for fancy guns. I like ones that work and work well. Things like a Sheridan “C” or Diana 52. I also like old military rifles. I bought them back when you could get a nice SMLE for $100.


  7. hello, my name is Hank and I have an airgun obsession…

    I have a fair number of air guns but I don’t consider myself to be a collector. I buy an item ( rifle, tool, fishing rod, camera lens, etc.) to fit a specific need and won’t hesitate to sell/trade to upgrade to the level I want to be at. I have to admit that I am extremely particular about what meets my criteria for a quality piece.

    Once I am happy with my choice the item becomes a permanent part of my tool-set. Though there is some overlap in functionality in my “collection” I don’t keep duplicates and have no space for “closet queens”. All my rifles see frequent use.

    My current “not for sale” list consists of my Feinwerkbau 100, 124, 300, and 603 and my Weihrauch HW100s.

    I recently acquired an FX 500 which looks like a keeper but there are a couple of others in the safe that will be sold off.

    Happy Monday all!

  8. Yes I have a collection of air guns because I have more than one but am not a collector. Being rather new to the hobby I had to try one of each style to know which is right for me. I have gotten my second PCP gun and am looking to convert a CO2 gun to high pressure air. I have found my nitch and it is being totally seduced by the dark side.

  9. BB and Fellow Airgunners
    I seem to have hit the collecting jackpot with my very first adult airgun, a Weihrauch HW97 in .22cal. Since then I have purchased almost every spring piston model in Weihrauch’s catalog. My latest acquisition, an HW30 in.22cal with synthetic black stock, is currently one my favourites . I have no desire to add an HW57, or the popular HW95 to my stable for no particular reason at this point in time.
    The one Weihrauch I own, but don’t really care for is the HW70 pistol. The trigger has a very long single stage that no amount of adjustment will help. The HW45 on other hand, is perfection personified.
    I have also given an older stocked HW77 to a good friend for Christmas this year. I know it has found a good home.
    I love owning, and working on Weihrauch spring piston airguns. I suppose that puts me in a specialty category. It is a strange, but wonderful hobby I stumbled into seven years ago. It’s gives me a good feeling to know my obsession is shared, and understood by others, each in their own way.

  10. B.B.,

    You refer to yourself as an “Eclectic” collector. That is a great description for your broad and ever-evolving tastes.

    I also think you are the very embodiment of a collector who understands his nature as a “custodian” of important, heirloom air guns. This is evident both in your rotating collection and in your contribution to the sum of the world’s fine airguns by repairing and restoring many of those you acquire and temporarily have in your possession. I write “have in your possession” rather than “possess” because like all of us, your air guns are merely passing through your hands. The difference between you and most of us is you understand that keenly and consciously. You would be an ideal museum curator, albeit one who shoots the collection. :^)

    Your air guns are in excellent hands for the time you keep them. With Air Guns you follow the first words of the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.”


    • Michael,

      You know me so well! 🙂

      I would love to have the fine guns that some advanced collectors have, but I would want them to test them — not to just sit and look at them (although I do a lot of that that I don’t mention).


  11. Mr. Gaylord:
    I can see it now. BB’s TEXAS AIRGUN MUSEUM AND SHOOTING RANGE. You could make it a 501(c)(3) organization to carry on your continuing airgun education activities. It could be a world class educational site where adults and juniors could learn about all things airgun and actually shoot historic airguns. It could be fitting rival the Daisy Airgun Museum, the NRA museum, or the The Cody Firearms Museum.
    I don’t know the tax code well, but as a 501(c)(3) organization there might be a tax advantaged way to further your eclectic collection. Just saying. 🙂 🙂
    William Schooley
    Rifle & Pistol Coach
    Crew 357
    Chelsea, MI

    • William,

      You help me locate a rich corporate angel and I will get started on it right away. We need a building, security, displays,an inventory system, bylaws, an accounting system, …

      If I had the right plan in force I could make a pitch to some of the major collectors to get it started.


      • Mr. Gaylord:
        If so, then here’s the rough “first draft” plan I’d suggest.
        Find a general practice lawyer and draft the paperwork for a non-profit corporation 501(c)(3) “Airgun Education Museum and Range Foundation, Inc”

        Corporate bylaws would be included in the documentation of the Airgun Education Foundation, INC.

        I would suggest a discussion about co-locating with an airgun distributor who has a vested interest in the success of airguns and a proven track record of supporting airgunners.
        Some considerations that come to mind are:
        1. does the distributor have a large space that might accommodate a museum display area and meeting/classrooms?
        2. does the distributor have a proven track record of participation at other gun related events such as setting up air rifle ranges for generl public?
        3. does the distributor have a proven track record of sponsoring airgun competition events?
        4. is the distributor near (say within 60 miles) any nation shooting events or venues that include air rifles or air pistols
        There’s a distributor in Solon Ohio that comes to mind that might meet these criteria.

        Both IT and physical security wold likely be a function of the chosen IT system, location and the building. However there are both IT and physical security plan templates readily available on the internet for review and modification as needed.

        TBD blend of static and dynamic hands on

        There are any number of off the shelf accounting and inventory control packages available ffrom various vendors. But I’d suggest that the Airgun Education Foundation, INC. not re-invent the wheel. If it’s co-locating with an airgun distributor, it would be wise to have the same or at least a compatible inventory control system.

        You didn’t mention fund raising, but I for one would cotribute $$$ to your 501(c)(3) “Airgun Education Museum and Range Foundation, Inc”. And I suspect that a few others who read this blog would too. You might also get additional funding from views of Americian AirGuuner ala a PBS fund drive and corporate support.

        Just saying. The idea of BB’s TEXAS AIRGUN MUSEUM AND SHOOTING RANGE isn’t really a far fetched idea. And besides I’ll need something gun related to do when I retire and step down from coaching. 🙂 🙂
        William Schooley

        • William,

          You had my interest until you mentioned Solon, Ohio. I was bon in Stow, Ohio and lived in lake effect show for the first 16 years of my life, before discovering that, in California, you don’t have to shovel sunshine! That’s why I now live, and will remain, in Texas. 🙂


          • BB,

            There is AirForce right down the road from you. Gamo/Daisy is right next door in Arkansas and if I recall correctly, Umarex USAand Hatsan USA is not far away. There is also a major airgun distributor located in Arizona.

            I do understand that at this point in your life you do not mind being busy, but heading up a project like that would be a major undertaking. Now if some young buck was to spearhead such a project and set it up within a few minutes of where you live, you would probably be happy to get involved.

          • Tom,

            Setting up a 501(c)(3) can be a pain. The application is about 1/2″ thick (the last time I helped with one). That said if you are interested in setting up one, please let me know and I’ll do what I can to help. After 04/15. Same with accounting and inventory control. BTW, I am a CPA.

            As far as physical location, I would suggest talking to Air Force. The NRA might also be of assistance.


              • Tom,

                I understand. It would be a tremendous amount of work and cost involved.

                Hmm… For funding, here are some ideas:

                Set up a GoFundMe page (or something like that). I’m sure there are a lot of people on the blog that would contribute. A few dollars each would add up.

                There are all of the poeple in the industry that you know that would probably like to be a sponsor.

                Getting the money to start it might not be as much of issue as funding continuing operating costs.


  12. HI BB,
    I am just a less sophisticated version of you. I buy guns, learn all about them, and sell most. Some I just can’t sell. Some, I keep for several years and then sell to buy something else.

    I buy a lot of airguns at the airgun shows that just intrigue me. Usually these are guns I know nothing about but guns I can tell are good quality. I get help from others at the show to make sure I am not making a big mistake. When I buy a gun like this, the fun begins. I will search several different airgun forums and read everything I can about that model. I will also search the web for other information. I often hit gold and find post by several generations of owners for the very gun I own. That is really cool to me. I know the last 4 owners of one gun.

    Guns I think I will always have are a Diana 27, FWB124D, HW55, BSA Supersport, Beeman C1, Crosman Mk1 LD, Mac1 QB22, Crosman 180, Mac1USFT, FBW 70JR, Webley Tempest, and a BSA Scorpion Pistol.

    Guns I keep buying but usually sell are: pre-safety R7, R9, FWB300, FWB65, Beeman P1, and rocker safety Sheridans. I also buy extras from my keeper list to resell when I can buy them right. It is always easiest to sell someone else on guns you love yourself.

    I have no attraction to BB guns, replica guns, and so far, big bores. I also stay away from Gamo, Hatsan, and Umarex airguns. This is more about my opinion of these brands are lesser quality than the older guns I usually buy.

    David Enoch

  13. Most definitely. I generally have at least 5 to 8 newer CO2 and Multi pump rifles that do the needed task of day to day, though I have a strong pull toward some of the others. Of my modern air rifles the interchangeability of Crosman is a big draw. Also have a few modern Air Pistols, though they do not have as much of a draw for me.

    Then I have a few older, though nice air guns, some Crosman 140’s, a couple Daisy 817’s, one Crosman 130, and a few more.

    I would say I am an eclectic collector, with a strong draw toward Multi Pump rifles that are still of use. My collecting is drawn toward utility more than anything, I will gladly sell to add something of greater utility for me. The only exception being one particular Crosman 140, that is one that will stay with me forever, I have even made a new valve assembly for it completely from the raw aluminum, so it holds a special place in my heart.

  14. I think I’m a revolving collector. Not a revolver collector. No phone mis spell this time.

    I like to shoot different guns and see what their about. I keep them for a while and get something different. Then here’s were the revolving collector comes into play. I find myself missing how well a particular gun was and get the same kind again.

    I guess I do have a list of guns in my mind always rolling around too. Some I probably will never get for various reasons but others I know I’ll get. But I’m a hands on guy when it comes to wanting or thinking about one. I like to shoot. And I like shooting different guns. I don’t think I will ever not have a gun in mind that I would like to try. Now I just got to figure out how I can afford all them on my list. One gun at a time I guess. But as I it goes I’ll never have enough time to own them all. But it sure will be fun trying. 🙂

  15. Wow, this is very insightful about the collector’s mind-set that reveals a few things about me. If the desire to possess is a feature of a collector then I am certainly one. As for what I’m collecting, that is pretty clear. (This is for firearms where I have many more guns than I can shoot. My airgun collection is streamlined for shooting.) My goal is to collect the great gun designs of all time with a little extra attention to WWII in which I have an interest. I am a believer in the great man theory of history where gun design is concerned. There were a few geniuses with great ideas, and the rest is mostly derivative. Take John Browning who watched grass swaying in the breeze and got the idea for using the gases of a discharge to move a piston to cycle a gun’s action. This led to the BAR whose long-stroke piston inspired the M1 Garand which ultimately had a large effect on the AK. Now my collection is largely complete thanks in part to new gun restrictions in California, but the collection can weather that too. Part of the rationale allows me to reproduce any gun which is implicit in the great designs of all time. For instance, I can pretend I have a TX200 with my Anschutz target rifle, and my 98 Mauser covers most bolt-action rifles in principle.

    Speaking of collections, there was an interesting guy at the range during my visit over the weekend. He caught my attention with a SCAR rifle. Those things cost a fortune, and I have never seen one in person. And there was more. For his small entourage, he pulled out a case the size of medium microwave oven which had a series of niches containing various handguns. Listening through my triple hearing protection, I heard him refer repeatedly to a Luger and a .32 caliber. I’m not sure if they were the same thing.

    I also heard with some amusement as his group commented on me. I had my Mosin with a cheekrest and my spotting scope set up on a pole for offhand shooting. They said, “He sure has everything.” Well, appearances can be deceiving. On another visit, one person asked me if I was an F.B.I. agent when the truth is that I shoot airguns at a 5 yard range at home. He he.

    The visit was actually a good opportunity to test two of my heirlooms, my Mosin sniper rifle and my Lee-Enfield. I was especially curious about the Mosin since on its last outing, many months ago, I had forgotten the cheek rest which left me with a very shaky cheek weld. Even with that, I was able to get 2 MOA out of the rifle, so I was anxious to see if, with a cheek rest, I would be able to reach the qualifying standard of Russian snipers in WWII which was about 1 MOA. Not quite as it turned out. I was inside 2 MOA for a couple of five shot groups minus a flier. The last one was over three inches, but that may be a result of the rate of fire since I ran 20 rounds through the gun at about a 2 second interval. There was a video test online which seemed to show that the barrel of the Mosin heats up fairly quickly and causes the group’s to spread. That made me wonder about the protocol for cooling barrels during accuracy testing. I have heard of tests where the shooter lets the barrel cool for a minute between shots. I wasn’t going to do that. On the other hand, the 2 second interval was a bit much. I wonder if there is some protocol in between.

    In any case, I learned a lot, especially about parallax. With that short PU scope, it was easy to see how my eye-relief and orientation were changing compared to a modern scope, and that alone could explain my falling short of the sniper standard. A related question that I can’t settle is whether my supposed sniper rifle is the real thing or an imitation. I am not a professional sniper by a long shot, so my performance is not definitive. If you substituted a modern scope and a trigger with a clean break, that just might bring the group close to 1 MOA.

    I also learned more about the Lee-Enfield. As part of its famous reliability, the Lee-Enfield is supposed to be one of the few bolt-actions that can cycle empty cases. One account describes the action “slurping up the empty cases like a cat licking up milk.” My cases did cycle like that in a fine demonstration of controlled round feeding. But otherwise, the rifle was quirky. I tried filling the magazine to the full 10 round capacity and kept getting a rim jam on the tenth round. If I had been in the trenches, I would been dead. And there were several cases where the rounds did not rise high enough to chamber although that may have resulted from the magazine not seated properly. As my Enfield gunsmith once told me over the phone: “Operator error, no offense.” The cases also ejected in all directions. By contrast, the Mosin could not feed an empty case. But otherwise, it never even comes close to jamming, and the ejection is so precise that I could almost practice marksmanship with it.

    For both rifles, I increased my appreciation of their various sighting systems, and I’m starting to wonder about the accepted superiority of the aperture system first used by the M1 and continued today with the AR rifles. The aperture system can be very accurate there is no doubt, but there seems to be some difference of opinion about how fast it is to acquire. The different sighting systems of the Mosin and Enfield are not as accurate in an absolute way, but they may very well be faster to acquire producing a net combat effectiveness that may be comparable or even, in some instances, superior to the aperture. What stands out for me in the Enfield sight is the very thin front post. It is hard to get a good sight picture, but it is very well adapted to poking into targets offhand. Somehow this synergizes with the smooth bolt action to make you want to keep poking away and firing.

    The Mosin PU site has a thick pointed vertical post between two horizontal posts. They may seem thick and crude compared to modern reticles, but there was a kind of decisiveness about the pointed post that was like the finger of God. Seeing that post framed in the concentric red diamonds of my Redfield sighting target was a thing of beauty. I hit the paper with some rounds and not with others, but laying that post in the middle of the diamonds made it all worth it.

    I also re-established myself from punishment by recoil. The last time I fired 2X60 30 caliber rounds from a benchrest with military rifles made menauseous. This time, firing them almost all offhand was no problem. The Mosin was positively joy to shoot, and I could have continued all day. I wasn’t even holding the butt very tight to the shoulder but in an approximation of the artillery hold.

    There was one other observation of the day to pass along. I haven’t been overly impressed with the shooting ability on the rifle range. You have people with heavily accessorized ARs shooting rested at 25 yards and getting groups the size of a softball. On the other hand, I walked past the shotgun line and was astounded. You could see each clay get launched and hardly anyone missed their shot. The one time I tried clayshooting, I missed with both barrels. Is the level of shotgunning that much better than rifle shooting?


    • Hi Matt61, thanks for your thoughts on the Mosin. I’m currently looking for a PU sniper. What do you look for when you purchased yours? Any recommendations? There are so many fake snipers out there. Thanks for sharing.


    • Have you tried a different magazine in your Enfield? It might not like the one you have now. Shotgunning is the opposite of rifle or pistol shooting. You look at the target, not the sights. Some people are very good at it, others not so much. I really like shotgunning but I am no expert. I really have to work at it compared to rifle and pistol.


    • Hey Matt61….long time my friend.Knowing quite a bit about you from your excellent writing,,I can answer the shotgun clays question.Rifle guys typically do terrible because we want to use the sight on the gun.Those great trap shooters have excellent eyesight and a consistent mount on the gun…..and focus on the target instead of the front bead.Trying to use the front sight causes stopping….and no birds in the bag.

  16. I am what they refer to in the mental health profession as a “demented hoarder airgun collector”.

    I have four R7s. Four! Why?! I have three Crosman 1377s. Two Sheridan Bluestreaks (and always on the lookout for more). A Beeman P1 and a HW45 (same gun). A P3 and a P17. Two Red Ryders. These are just the duplicates.

    The ones that I will never sell? All of them! I did leave a 1377 converted to 2289 with my ex, but I want it back already.

    Certain ones do standout, however. I will never part with my TX200 MkIII. I intend to be buried with that one. Also the Belgian Hyscore 801 that I bought from BB. My Diana 27. The HW57. My newly acquired FWB300S. The CZ 200S. The Red Ryder with the metal cocking lever. The Plymouth Windmill Company wirestock replica. The HW55T. Paul Watts’ R7. The Benjamin Marauder. And I really need to get that 1377 back from my ex…

  17. Haven’t posted any video’s lately. So thought I would show something I made real quick for my Steel Storm that uses the regulated Air Venturi HPA bottle.

    Made a adapter to attach the bottle to the Storm instead of carrying the bottle in my pocket. Here’s a quick video.

    And I do need to get one of these now.

  18. I have become a big fan of the Crosman multi pump and co2 rifles. Picked up a 140 that needed seals. Bought a kit and got it working over the weekend. Thanks to BB’s leadership and some of the great forums available online gave me the confidence to take on the project. The 140 is a very good open sight shooter. Still shooting the Crosman 400 that I got at the Arlington air gun show.
    Then there are the Umarex rifles. An APX multi pump, a Fuel springer in 177, and the Fusion my wife got me for Chrismas.
    I could see getting into pcp’s in the near future with the new models that are coming from the various manufacturers. If the air gun show happens this year I hope to get a table and see if anyone shares my interests.

    Lowbrow eclectic.

  19. What an awesome column! “Eclectic collector” describes me perfectly I think. Do you ever have one of those moments where you walk into your gun room, and for a brief instant, see things through the eyes of a first-time visitor? Whenever I do that, the first thought that pops into my head is, “Some crazy guy lives here,” LOL.

    I “rediscovered” airguns about 30 years ago, like so many at first inspired by the Beeman catalogs of the day. Since then I have owned well over 150 airguns, of every type and size, though all with self-contained powerplants–with the exception of a few CO2 cartridge guns. Over that time I have slowly developed my list of “can’t live withouts,” which includes the HW 55 target rifle, Walther LGV target rifle, Diana 27, FWB 300S, Webley Mk 3, Webley Tempest, and FWB 65.

    If I could only keep one airgun…I’d probably choose my best HW 55, though it would be hard to pry my fingers off my FWB 300 Mini and Mk 3 Supertarget, LOL.

    The “crazy guy” part comes when I get interested in a particular model, and the detail differences between different examples of it over time. I have 5 Mk 3’s, and the Diana 27’s and HW 55’s are MUCH worse than that!

  20. Does anyone know where I might find a FUNCTIONING Daisy CO2 200 CO2 BB pistol? Or know of a place that can still repair them? I had a couple of these when I was a kid and loved shooting them. Their operation was just about as slick as I have ever seen come down the pike. They were popular in the 60s and 70s. But they were too prone to leakage and Daisy was forced to cease production in the 70s. But when they didnt leak they were a pure joy and hoot to shoot. Daisy also made a rifle version. Same mechanism but only in a rifle format.

    I have an airgun that pretty rare on these shores, speaking of collectibles. I have a Saxbe/Palmer Ensign .22 shooting system. J I Galan wrote an article on this gun in the Sept.1983 issue of GUNS magazine. It consists of a rifle, several air cartridges, and a pump assy thats mounted to a bench. The cartridges are about the size of a .410 shotgun shell that are screwed to the front of the pump. The pump handle is a big, long affair that swings way up and then back down for one pump stroke. It probably pumps in twice as much air per pump stroke into the air cartridge than a common Benjamin or Sheridan rifle is capable of. 6 pumps is the max. number the manual says the cartridge will hold. But believe me when I say that 2-3 pumps is all you’ll ever need if your shooting in the basement, garage, or backyard. In .22, 6 pumps will shoot a pellet 800 fps according to the manual. No pellet weight is specified. I have never chronographed the gun so I cant tell for sure. This is way before “alloy” pellets were on the scene so they had to use lead. I tried shooting it with just 1 pump. Even at that “low” power the gun barked with authority and sent the pellet downrange smartly. But the gun was never popular here as it was pretty laborious to have to pump and load with a pellet each and every cartridge. Even if you had several cartridges precharged and loaded, you still had take the time to do it, and do it all to do over again after you used them up. It was all alot of trouble. The Brits may still use them over there. They probably use scuba tanks with fittings, lines, and adapters today to charge the cartridges, and not use the pump, to speed things up. The cartridges can be charged to 2250 psi.max. I kept mine for posterity-it might bring me some nice coin someday.

    • Reallead,

      I think they can’t enjoy it anymore as that the system along with the Brocock fell into disfavor with the British authorities due to the ease of converting the system to become a firearm. Air Ordnance tried to replicate that with their Modoc but it seems they were not that successful due to a lot of reported leaks with their cartridges.


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