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Education / Training How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 2

How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The goal
  • The proof
  • My mistakes
  • What had I learned?
  • Things to avoid
  • Sharpening a straight razor
  • Sharpening stone grits
  • After honing — the strop
  • What was wrong?
  • Research pays off
  • Summary

Note to readers: This report was written over time and I was learning as I went. Parts 1 through 3 were written before I had done enough research to know what is right and, more importantly, what isn’t. Read them for enjoyment, but begin with Part 4 for the serious information of sharpening straight razors.

I started this series so I could experience coming into a hobby as a new guy. That would make me more sympathetic to the thousands of readers who are either new to airguns or new to shooting altogether. It certainly did that, as you will learn today!

The goal

When I started this project, I had what I thought was a simple and straightforward goal — learning to sharpen a straight razor. That’s not any different than the guy who buys an air rifle to eliminate pests. But I completely underestimated the scope of the project — again, not unlike many new airgunners. And that’s a good thing because today you get to watch me make all the new-guy mistakes.

The proof

Once I began, I realized I would need some kind of test to prove whether I had been successful in sharpening a straight razor. Cutting paper or shaving the hair off the back of your arm isn’t going to do it! These parlor tricks are only applicable to knives. Straight razors have to be ten to one hundred times sharper to do what they are designed to do.

This is very much like the guy who didn’t think about what level of accuracy he expected until after he purchased an airgun. Then he discovered that the type of powerplant, the quality of pellets and even the way he holds the gun all have an impact on accuracy. He wanted the kind of accuracy that only a few spring guns and PCPs can deliver, but his first airgun purchase was one that struggles to approach his expectations.

My mistakes

I did exactly what most newbies do, except I did it a lot faster for the sake of this report. I first bought the cheapest used straight razor I could find on Ebay. I did that even before it dawned on me that I would have to shave with it to know if I had gotten it sharp enough. I was just thinking about sharpening at this point in the project. When it arrived I could see my mistakes right away. The tip of the blade is broken, and it has rusted at sometime in the past. I will show you later on what rust can do to a straight razor blade.

I set that razor aside and bought my second razor, also off Ebay. This one was a name I recognized — Henckel. They make good knives, and I hoped they would also be the Diana of straight razors. Perhaps they are, but that didn’t guarantee that I bought the right model, or that it was even one in useable condition. I was still buying used to save money. I know! I’m great at lecturing you about the mistake of trying to save money when buying something you don’t understand. I’m not so good at practicing what I preach!

By the time this one arrived I had learned that I needed extra equipment to do what I set out to do — sharpen straight razors. That’s like you discovering that when you buy a Benjamin Marauder PCP you will also need a carbon fiber tank to fill it — not to mention some way to fill that tank! So, I bought a vintage sharpening stone, again on Ebay. It was cheap, and perhaps I can use it for knives, but for straight razors it is as much of a challenge as the razors, themselves. It’s shown in Part 1.

What had I learned?

So far I had learned that buying straight razors is not something to do without a lot of information and understanding. That’s very much like airguns. I was doing a lot of research by now, but my blunders were not quite over. Or, perhaps “blunder” is too harsh. Because, in the end, my next purchase turned everything around.

I bought one more straight razor. This time I researched the internet heavily and found several sales sites and chat forums that all agreed that the Dubl Duk razors of the recent past are among the best vintage straight razors around. They are American-made, but they all have German blades from Solingen — not unlike the Beeman airguns that were made in Germany by Weihrauch but sold under an American name.

Why a vintage razor? Because the point of this exercise is to learn how to sharpen razors — not how to shave with them, although to do the former you almost have to do the latter. That’s the bitter irony I was now experiencing. So, I bought a Dubl Duk Wonderedge that is widely acclaimed to be the pick of the Dubl Duk litter. Think of it as the FWB 300S of straight razors.

Things to avoid

My early mistake taught me what not to buy. My first razor was a big lesson. I now knew to avoid a rusty or pitted blade. I have said that a Dubl Duk is a fine vintage straight razor, but look at a Dubl Duk Goldedge (one level below the Wonderedge I bought) that went for a low price ($86) on Ebay.

Dubl Duk Goldedge

From my research this picture tells me two things. First, the blade is rusted, and that will leave pits when the rust is removed. That’s the kiss of death for a straight razor. As you will see, pits destroy a razor’s edge at the microscopic level! And second, the shadow under the blade on the right side tells me this one is possibly bent (the paper underneath may also not be level). If it is bent, it cannot be sharpened until that is corrected.

I avoided this damaged blade and bought a nicer one, instead. That one was advertised to be shave ready. Kind of like buying an air rifle that’s been tuned. Good luck! Best laid plans…

my razors
My two best razors are a Henckel (top) and a Dubl Duk Wonderedge (below)

Sharpening a straight razor

I will come back to the razors I bought in a moment. First, let me describe what it takes to hone any straight razor. You only have to hone them about every 5-6 months, depending on your shaving frequency and the toughness of your beard. Between honings, stropping keeps the blade sharp. Human whiskers are the same toughness as copper wire of the same diameter, and that is what a razor’s edge has to cut through cleanly.

To hone the edge to shaving sharpness, you have to start with a straight blade. The illustration in Part 1 will show you why. If the blade isn’t straight, the entire cutting edge will not contact the honing stone, and you won’t get a consistent shaving edge across the blade.

The fastest and most precise way to hone a straight razor is with water stones. These are flat sharpening stones that are lubricated with water instead of oil. In fact, many water stones have to be immersed in water for some time (10 minutes) to absorb as much water as they will hold. Then you use water on top of the stone as the razor is pushed across it.

water stone
The bubbles show the stone is absorbing water. This takes about 10 minutes.

Sharpening stone grits

Water stones come in several grits, ranging from 220 to 12,000. The higher the number the finer the grit and the less metal it removes from the razor blade. I had what I thought were two good blades in the Henckel and Dubl Duk, so I bought a combination 4000/8000-grit stone and another that’s 12,000 grit. I figured these would be all I would need, besides the chromium oxide for the strop. That is 61,000 grit! When the stones arrived, I sharpened all three razors — using the first one that was damaged as a training aid before going to the better blades.

sharpening razor
The razor is sharpened by pushing the blade across the stone in the direction of the sharp edge. Take about 10 strokes in each direction, rotating the blade so the sharp edge always leads. The razor’s spine holds the edge at the correct angle to the stone. Use an equal number of strokes on each side of the blade. The bottle is more water for the stone.

After honing — the strop!

After the blade is honed, it is stropped on coarse linen fabric 25 times in each direction. The fabric has been coated with chromium oxide that is 61,000-grit. The strop does not remove metal from the blade like the hone. Instead, it aligns the “teeth” of the new edge. After the fabric strop, the blade is stropped on a smooth leather belt 50 times in each direction. There is no coating on the belt. All it does is refine what the fabric strop started.

fabric strop
The razor is dragged along the fabric strop with the edge following. The fabric straightens the microscopic teeth in the razor’s edge. The green color is from 61,0000-grit chromium oxide.

chromium oxide
That bar of chromium oxide is rubbed into the fabric strop.

leather strop
The leather strop finishes the job of aligning the teeth. Sorry about the focus, but I was holding the strop, the razor and the camera for this shot.

At this point the razor should be ready to shave. I sharpened both razors this way and then tried to shave with them.

For five days I tried shaving with the two straight razors. I never shaved my whole face with them, but I did get up to 50 percent of my whiskers off this way. The shaved areas were the smoothest skin I have ever had, but there were a lot of cuts. So many, in fact, that I had to stop shaving. I needed a blood transfusion after each shave!

What was wrong?

Was I a guy who couldn’t shave with a straight razor for some reason? Was my skin too tender? Did it take a much longer time before I could learn to do shave this way successfully? When you are a newbie you don’t know what you don’t know. And chat forums are useless because they are filled with people who either can already shave this way or are liars who talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. This was exactly the experience I had hoped for. I was in the same place as a newbie airgunner!

Research pays off!

All the while I was doing this I was researching how to shave with a straight razor, plus how to sharpen one. Finally, one video paid off. A guy was trying to sell a cheap straight razor and he made a video to show its sharp edge. Though it was cheap the edge was uniform. I had never looked at the edge of my two best razors. Perhaps it was time to do so. So I got my 10X jeweler’s loupe and looks at both blades. What I saw was shocking!

The Henckel blade is pitted over the bottom half of the blade’s surface on one side. My best blade — the Dubl Duk Wonderedge — was pitted right on the shaving edge. It was jagged at the point where it met the skin of my face!

damaged edge
This image shows a small portion of the Dubl Duck razor’s edge, magnified about 100 times. The arrows point to rust pits on the edge of the blade. This is after honing with 4000, 8000 and 12,000-grit stones and stropping the edge 200 times in each direction on both strops!

The “shave-ready” blade I bought on Ebay for a considerable sum was still jagged with deep pits, even after I had honed the blade. That was what was grabbing my whiskers and pulling them, plus cutting my skin. It sounds sad, but it’s a blessing in disguise for this series, because it forced me to get serious about sharpening this blade.

If this was an airgun, I had just done a lube tune and then discovered that the mainspring was bent. No amount of grease will quiet the powerplant when that happens. You have to do the right thing and replace the mainspring, or your airgun will not perform — I don’t care whose name is on the outside!.


There is still some road to travel with this story, because I am still learning. At this point in time I can tell you that there is a very happy ending coming, but the details of that will have to wait for the next report.

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.

182 thoughts on “How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 2”

  1. Mr. Gaylord:
    Your blog post on straight razors brings to mind the enduring truth of the Robert Frost quote:
    The Afternoon Knows What the Morning Never Suspected.

    William Schooley
    Rifle & Pistol Coach
    Crew .357
    Chelsea, MI

      • B.B.,

        I remember when I first learned to shave, with a safety razor and my father’s tutelage, I bled so much I risked soaking my dad’s styptic pencil. So he bought me a jar of alum. The first few times I looked like I had flour dumped on me. Then, after the bleeding stopped, my dad instructed me to rinse my face off in a wash basin full of cold water, which by then felt great on my skin.


  2. B.B.,

    I’m following this series as that I have always wanted to learn how to properly sharpen my knives. There are some Japanese whetstones being sold in a garage sale nearby, one of them had a crack in the middle. Can that stone still be used too sharpen a knife or should I look elsewhere?


    • Siraniko,

      It is probably okay. There is a Japanese knifemaker who attends the SHOT Show every year and I have watched him sharpen his knives. His stones look like they were just dug up — except for one flat surface. As long as you have that you are fine.

      Next time I will show you how to flatten your stones, which is essential when sharpening razors!


      • Now there’s some anticipation. I’ve been wondering if uneven stones are behind my problems with sharpening. I looked up flattening techniques and they had to do with sliding your stones on sandpaper; I never got around to it. But I’ll be interested to see the method.

        Another parallel with shooting is that experts say completely different things. My knifemaster sharpening guru as well as the blog’s own FrankB said that you must sharpen your blade moving away from the edge rather than into it, at least for the finishing strokes. I thought I noticed a difference. On the other hand, there’s no way I could shave my face with my current edges, so I’m no authority.

        No training in sharpening razors is complete without watching Gene Hackman’s imitation as a barber in the film Mississippi Burning: “This is tricky. They make it look so easy, Clinton. I can call you Clinton, can’t I? I feel like I know you so well.”….


  3. B.B.,

    Fine report. I learned some vintage straight razor brands, quality levels, about grits and water stones and that are 2 types of strops. All quite fascinating. I love the vintage looks.

    (( If you could, please elaborate on the handle material and the metal work on the handles. I do suppose that you can get the same high quality blade within a brand,.. but a more elaborate and expensive handle? ))

    (( Also, is there different blade/edge profiles? Curved VS straight? Does the end profile differ? Do some have a thicker/wider spine? What are the quality attributes that make a top end blade? ))

    😉 ,… yup,.. good article. Just an idea, but you could perhaps share a site link or two that you would consider to be trust worthy. Something to bring us all a little more up to speed, so to speak.


    • Chris,

      I can detail the metalwork on the scales. It is beautiful, if non-functional.

      And yes, there are several different blade shapes and profiles. And spine thickness and blade width (depth) is of major importance to shavers. It’s all a matter of face shape and personal taste. I’ll see what I can do with that.


  4. That Henckle’s razor reminds me of the purchase of my Crosman Titan GP. The box promised powerful accurate shooting, I mean come on, the Nitro in Nitro piston means explosive power right. Thumb hole stock, only accurate guns have thumbhole stocks right. Oh yeah and I can get pellets at the same place I bought the gun because a Crosman gun is going to shoot best with Crosman pellets right. It seems like yesterday,

  5. “… but there were a lot of cuts. So many, in fact, that I had to stop shaving.
    I needed a blood transfusion after each shave!”

    Hahaha! Good to see you haven’t lost your sense of humor, B.B., but this is turning out to be a very informative series. It shows us all what it’s like to be a newbie at something, thereby helping all of us to be able to empathize and better explain things to newbie airgunners. And it also teaches us a lot about sharpening blades, which is always a good skill to have. =D

  6. Great series B.B.!

    Really enjoying it – your analogies between air guns and straight razors are excellent!

    At my work place we have some very sophisticated equipment, I’ll see if I can get some high-magnification pictures of “sharp” edges taken for you.

    Happy Friday all!!


      • BB,
        This talk reminds me of a rather mysterious and truncated chat I had with my friend and then boss a few years back while working for an ophthalmologic surgery practice. (No, me not the Doc, but rather the lowest on the totem pole with just enough knowledge to get the willies reading the medical records. Let’s just say the term “truncated” was not inappropriate.)
        The good Doctor (and a very good one indeed,) happened to mention he’d been trying out a “Diamond Bladed Scalpel” and wasn’t entirely pleased.
        “Not entirely sharp enough, ” he said.
        Now that’s entirely a conversation stopper, I thought. I mean, once you present a diamond blade as not quite sharp enough, where do you go from there? Really?
        Still wondering about that…

          • GF & F,
            Once one enters the realm of true cutting edge performance (okay sorry about that, couldn’t resist…) one realizes just how dated vintage science-fiction is. And that often the first thing needing to be done is redefining just exactly what we think we know. Like what we’ve always defined as “hot” or “cold” or “fast” or in this case, “sharp.” I’d worry about naming the company itself as they might take umbrage were I to call one of their products “less than sharp” but it’s easy enough to find by searching say “diamond bladed scalpel,” or something like that. The cautionary declarations are fascinating in their own right being described as “jewel-quality” and “delicate and sensitive to sideways pressures.” Even more interesting is their extended product listings of other precision manufacturing and/or medical tools.
            Most people never make the connection that if one is going to engage in serial production of highest tech items or procedures, one should have tools capable of at least 10X accuracy over minimum requirements. More is better.
            I particularly like the story on developing the Proximity Fuse.

  7. I’ve been thinking about my previous post, the mistakes I made, and why I made them. I’m realizing my initial foray into airgunning was shaped by advertising, false assumption , and convenience. All very easy traps to fall into,all very easy taps to avoid with some good information. That’s where I feel the British and European shooters have an upper hand. Club shooting and specialized stores probably help quite a bit by providing better opportunities to get started off on the right foot. I’m curious if Dom has some insight or could share his start in airgunning and how it might have differed from mine.

    • Coduece,

      All the things you mention, plus the experiences Geo791 had, were what inspired this series. And, boy, was I surprised at what I learned. Not only about sharpening razors, but about what it’s like to get into something new.


      • B.B.
        My experiences must still be fresh in your mind. I have been out to my range a few times and have shot one tin of 250 Superdomes and starting on the second tin. I have to say with all my shooting so far I have not been able to better my groups one iota. They still range 1.5″ to 2+” at 25 yards. I’ve tried a little more pressure and a little less pressure of the stock against my shoulder. I have yet to discover the magic hold, still working on it though… and I wish I could see a little improvement but I have not.

        I think you will master the straight razor shave before I master this Diana 34.

        • George,

          Try this. When I found the artillery hold, I wanted to see just how bad it could get by holding the gun loose. Dr. Beeman said to hold a springer firmly. So I tried to purposely let the rifle move when it fired.

          Try to see how bad you can make your gun shoot.


        • Hi Geo,

          For myself, I find that a typical target has a bullseye that is way too large (especially when using a scope) and without a specific spot on the bullseye to aim at my groups open up. To make it worse, the pellet holes in the bullseye become focus points and the groups start to gravitate around the holes.

          Suggestion: try shooting at a 1/4″ (felt marker) dot drawn on a piece of cereal box cardboard; start close ( at the minimum focus range of you scope) and work your way out to your effective range moving your target back a yard at a time. Let your group size be the deciding factor as to when you should move the target. POI will change relative to POA and that’s fine, it’s group size (consistency) that is important – the POI can be fixed later.

          The inside of the cereal box is a nice neutral color and shows pellet holes well. Avery 1/4″ self adhesive dots make excellent targets and do the reinforcing grommets (used to repair torn-out loose-leaf binder sheets).

          On days when I find the pellet holes distracting I set my scope that the POI is well off the POA. I find that I shoot better with both eyes open (even with the scope set to 9x) and concentrate on the target rather than the rifle. With practice you will find the correct hold and then muscle-memory will (subconsciously) take care of that part.

          If I may be so bold to say: don’t get hung up of a specific range or group size. Decide what size group works for you and see how far away you can achieve it with your present level of skill and the equipment that you are using. Trying to exceed either is an exercise in frustration and the stress will be detrimental to the results. Relax, have fun, shoot a lot. Start close to build confidence/comfort and work your way back slowly – its really just a mind-game.

          Just the way I do things, works for me. Hope this helps.


          • Vana2
            Thank you for the information and suggestions. I am currently using a target which I print out on my computer printer. The target is made of (4) red 1/2″ dots on 1/2″ grid paper. I don’t often hit the red dot though. I am shooting at 25 yards because that is the distance from my back door to the nesting boxes which the sparrows try to take over. I will try your suggestions though too. Thanks again.

  8. I have been a daily user of the straight edge for a long time. I have amassed a decent collection of stones and razors. The best blades I encounter date from the 1890s to 1915 and are of US manufacture. The British blades are excellent too. The German blades generally are not the best from that era.The steel is really excellent, but not exotic therefore easy to sharpen. After that golden age the craft succumbed to the safety razor.
    Like a lot of vintage airguns they need some rehab and “tuning”. The blades with a square end are most often the most difficult to avoid cuts with. It is like airgunning, patience practice knowledge are important that is why it is so rewarding. I still will cut myself, and always when I’m in a hurry, and usually before an important meeting!

    • Rob,

      Okay, talk to me. Yes, my Dubl Duk Wonderedge has a square end and will cut easily if I’m not extra careful. But that blade is also the best one I own. I’m now getting a good shave with it.

      I don’t want to give away my next report, so I will stop, but please give me a few names of good American and British razors to look for.

      And, patience is the best part of all of this. Instead of moving a whirring hedge-trimmer around my face until is’s down to uniform stubble, I slow down and enjoy the whole experience. The pre-shave wash, the pre-shave hot towels, the pre-shave lotion, mixing the shaving cream and then the shave, itself. Then there is the after-shave routine that closes the pores and leave me looking and feeling great! It’s just like five minutes after a hard 5-mile run!


      • B.B.,

        A fellow would have to be retired to go through “all of that” for a morning shave routine! 😉 No doubt, it was done for many years. Some price points with some examples of what is out there would be interesting. I hope some readers have boned up a bit with the Wiki link. The double and even triple longitudinal ribs look interesting, along with the verticals. Does any of your razors have any longitudinal ribs that you can perceive? The light in some of the pictures would suggest that they do.

      • B.B.
        I will get some photos later.
        For now, My best razors are made by Wade Butcher, J. Nowill and sons,George Wostenholm and sons all Sheffield brands.
        The US brands are Waterville Cutlery, and Robeson Suredge. In my experience the Suredge “the blade that fits your face” acid etched in script are true works of art, and can be had for 30 dollars on ebay. In my opinion I would place them in the upper tier of the very best razors ever made.
        I also bought a new Thiers Issard Evide Sonnat Extra, a “singing “razor. It pings when it cuts, as do the Robeson Suredge.
        Your prepping is spot on, and I have to admit I rarely do. I think the sharpening and stroping take many months if not years to master.

  9. B.B.,

    A small note,… you spelled Dubl Duk,.. where as your razor says Dubl Duck,… as in Duck,.. the bird. The K,.. or R,… is rather a combo of the 2 letters? Quite interesting. If you think about it,.. that is quite an odd name for a brand. There must be a story behind that.


  10. Am I the only one on the blog having an issue with the comments? I previously was able to click on the date and the comments would immediately drop down to the next comment. Now when I click on the date the screen refreshes and then lands on a comment nearer the top of the blog. It makes it very cumbersome to read through the comments and mark them as read. I tried using a different computer and it does the same thing.

    • Geo,

      I never, ever click on the date. Why would you? I click on the blog, and then scroll down. I still have the pop up that says that “only secure items are displayed”,… but like I said, that goes away with some scrolling.

      You are smarter than me on computer stuff. It is quite baffling that you are having any issues.

      • Hi Chris
        As I’m sure you know, it’s difficult to keep up with all the comments that posted. My normal process is to read the current blog, clicking on the dates as I read them. This marks the comment as one having been read. When I finish reading all the comments I click on the “comments RSS” at the top right of the page. This opens another tab which has all the comments for about two weeks. The comments that have been read will be purple and the comments that have not been read will be blue. Often times a new comment will be posted to an earlier blog. By using the “comments RSS” feed all of the new comments can be seen even those in earlier blogs. Hope this makes sense. This method was suggested to me when I asked for the best way to keep up with new comments.

    • Geo,

      I have noticed that sometimes when clicking on the date the blog jumps to the top and then returns to the post clicked on but other than that I am not having the issue you describe.


      • Mike
        Yes, I see that at times also. But sometimes it doesn’t jump back to area of the comments last viewed. It is possible that this action is specific to the Firefox browser. I tried using Internet Explorer, which I rarely use, and the action was similar to what you noticed. It did seem to jump back to the right comments area though. This all started just a few days ago. Up until then the comments RSS worked flawlessly in Firefox.

        • Geo,

          I am using an old Linux 11 box with Firefox 16.0.2 I would guess that an update to your Firefox has a problem with the Pyramyd AIR site, I hope to setup a new Linux 18.2 box which will have the latest Firefox version and then I will see if I experience your issues.

          Did you notice if you got a Firefox update recently?

          Anyhoo, for the moment using IE for Pyramyd AIR might be the useful workaround for the issue.


        • Geo,

          Just checked in on my grandsons rocketship of a pc, monster gaming pc running Windows 10 with Firefox 55.0.3 and could not duplicate your issues. It consistently moved from one post to the next by clicking on the date stamp.

          Will update when I get my new Linux box up.


          • Mike
            I am running Windows 7 with Firefox 55.0.3 also. Strange why I would experience this issue and not the Windows 10 machine. Maybe it’s one of my add-ins causing an issue. I may have to run Firefox in safe mode to view the blog and comments correctly. Guessing most of the commenters don’t use the RSS feed to keep up with the comments on the blogs.

            • Geo,

              Could be an add-in disable them all and see what happens.

              True, most folks miss a lot of posts because they don’t follow the feed.

              It is the only way to see all comments.

    • Geo
      I never click on the dates either. So don’t know how that is working.

      But I do know I still don’t see the gravitars by the people’s username names that usually have them. I even dusted off my laptop and tryed.

      So that is two different operating devices. My phone and my laptop that does not show gravitars anymore. So it has to be something on Pyramyd Air’s side.

      Well maybe not. But I believe that is logical thinking. What do you think?

      • GF1
        See my comment to Chris above regarding the reasoning for clicking on the date for each comment.
        I noticed that the gravitars have disappeared also. This happened about the same time as the comments RSS started having issues in Firefox.

        • Geo
          As far as computers go I’m not good at all. I can figure some things out.

          But this is more of a trouble shooting type of problem I’m thinking.

          Something is not right though. I can say I’m pretty sure of that.

          • RidgeRunner and Admin,

            Previously I could see the gravitars, as of now I can’t. I’m on Win 10 viewing on Chrome. Checked on alternative browsers (Opera 47.0.2631.71, Vivaldi 1.11.917.43 , Firefox 55.0.2, and Edge 40.15063.0.0) still no gravitars on anyone. This is beginning to look like a WordPress glitch.


            • Maybe the reason some are still seeing the gravitars and some are not is due to maintenance. If the cookies and cache are cleaned out of the browser and the gravitars are stored in that location, then those of us cleaning out the junk files will not see them. But those that are still seeing them may not have cleaned their junk files lately and the gravitars are still loading from those old cookies or cached files. Just guessing here, but that could be the reason. I clean my computer of temp and junk files routinely using Ccleaner.

          • RR
            It’s difficult to diagnose because everything seems in a state of flux. Could be the browser, a browser plug-in, browser update, or the blog itself has been changed. I, like GF1, am seeing no gravitars from anyone, not even the generic one that used to be shown.

  11. BB
    Maybe you jumped the gun so to speak with this report. By all means very informative and nice relation to air guns and your new straight razor journey.

    But I was hoping to see how you dressed the stone and also how you applied the oxide to the strops first before the sharpening of the razor.

    I’m very interested in the technique it takes to get the stone dressed true and also how to know how much oxide to apply to the strop and get it evenly distributed. Even how much of the strop should be dressed and how much of the oxide dressed strop you contact. Or if that even matters.

    No I haven’t been reading up on it. Just questions that come to mind.

    • GF1,

      No doubt, there is some quality aspects to be debated and disputed. The material make up of the NON-leather side of the strap has my interest. The suede side of a belt would seem to suffice for holding compound. It almost looks like grain elevator belting,… or industrial belting.

      Check out the Wiki link I provided up top for a quick overview of what is involved. Quite involved,… just like air guns can be.

      • Chris
        BB mentioned that link in his first report or in the comments. I don’t remember right now.

        But yes. No matter what new thing a person does. The more you get into the subject. The more you learn. Well the more there is to learn I should say.

        I always say it’s all about how involved you want to get. But also. To be successful you have to dig deep and learn what makes it all work.

        I mean seriously. Who would ever think something as picking up a air gun and shooting it could really be as complicated as it does get. But not just air guns. I went through this flying radio controlled air planes, motocross racing, muscle cars and tuner cars drag racing. And so on.

        You got to shift gears so to speak when you get into something to get on the right track. What I’m talking about is if something is not working out. You got to figure out the next direction to go to be successful.

        Plain and simple. No other way. And see maybe us guys that are always modding and trying something different really ain’t as crazy as we seem. 🙂

          • Chris
            Yep. But the problem is anymore. It seems to only want to work when it wants too. Not when I want it too.

            I use to remember real good. But the older I get the more the memory needs jogged. But on the other hand maybe forgetting is a good thing. 🙂

            • GF1
              I have read that the reason we start having difficulty remembering is that by the time we get to this age (senior) we have stored so much stuff in our brain that it just takes longer to recover it. Kind of like the hard drive on a computer…

              • Geo
                And did you read my comment to Chris above about starting a new subject or interest I should say.

                Sometimes it’s necessary to shift gears.

                Is there any place near you like gun shooting ranges. Maybe someone there may be into air guns. Maybe they even have some type of air gun shooting competition going on there.

                My thinking is go there. Tell them what you exsperianced. Maybe they could let you try some different air guns out. Maybe even give some actual one on one on the spot giudance. If so I see it as a good thing.

                I know alot of maybe’s. Just trying to think of some other options.

      • BB
        Ok. Just wasn’t sure about the oxide application.

        And you mentioned to me in the comments on the part 1 blog about dressing the sharpening stone. You said it will sound alot like how I dress the surface grinding wheel at where I work. So was hoping you had that in here on today’s report.

        But definitely waiting for the next report. I’m thinking I can apply some of this straight razor sharpening techniques to my fish filleting knife. I’m really betting I will be able to.

  12. BB

    Three years ago, I bought a fake straight razor, it uses a half of disposable Gillette razor blades. It cost me 6 months to use it without bleed. But now I can shave fast and in the darkness. Someday I will use your knowledge in a real straight razor, perhaps. You’re a diehard romantic.
    BTY, I just finished your FWB sport series. If there were a blogging Pulitzer, it should be yours. I had to tell you. Thank you!

  13. BB— No one has mentioned the Rolls razor. My father had one. I remember one of their adds ( circa 1949 ) about a Japanese prison camp. One rolls razor shaved all of the British prisoners until their release at the end of the war. Like so many others, my father used it once, and then retired it. This is why Rolls razors are so common in antique and junktique stores. ——Ed

  14. BB,

    I remember a most curious straight razor a friend of mine had. It had a blade about two inches long and a heavy steel wire handle. It looked something like a single edge safety razor. It had a container that had a stone in it. To hone it you stuck the head in it and pushed one way and when you pushed the other way the head would flip over and hone the other way.

    I have never seen one like it before or since.

  15. B.B.,

    On the Wiki article,.. I see there is certain way to strop, depending if the barber is right or left handed. Something about the finishing swipe aligning the microscopic burrs towards one end of the blade, or the other. I wonder if that method would be reversed for a non-barber situation in which you are shaving yourself? Keep in mind, these are burrs that you will never see, but apparently it makes a difference.

    You are right in that the proper use/care of a straight razor has a lot of correlations to airguns. They can both take some time to learn all of the little intricacies. And,.. as with any hobby,… there is probably a bottomless pit of obsession to avoid. At least attempt to anyways. 😉


    • Chris,

      Regardless of who shaves whom or what hand they favor, all stropping is done the same way. The spine of the razor leads, the edge trails and the edge is held against the strop. You can go either way on the strop for the first pass, but you have to go in both directions, reversing the blade before you start the other way, to make what is considered one pass or one round trip.


    • Chris,
      I think there could be something to that. Being a southpaw I realize that when I hold something in my left hand it is completely backwards to a right handed person. Like a tape measure, when I hold it in my left hand the numbers are upside down. So I can see how the final strop could make a difference, aligning the burr optimally for the side of the razor being used.

        • GF1,

          B.B. is correct. The rotation has to do with if you are holding the razor with the left or right hand,… at the end of the stroke,.. before/during the time that you rotate it to come back on the strop and complete “one pass”. I had thought that a bit of side sweep was desirable,.. to align/point any burrs towards the tip. It does appear that any side sweeping while shaving is not an optimal motion, rather straight up or down/across.

          All in all, I find this very interesting and look forward to learning how to better sharpen the everyday carry or kitchen knife. That is the interest for me.

          • Chris
            I hope and really believe that I can apply the straight razor sharpening technique to sharpening my fish filleting knife. And come to think of it my old deer knife. Have no idea where it’s at. Haven’t used it in many many years. But if I find it I would like to give it a good sharpening.

            And I think I better leave my kitchen knives alone. My wife and daughters will chop their fingers of before they know it. Especially with a sharp knife. It will cut you before you even know what happened.

            • GF1,

              I have been cooking all day, since about 5 this AM. I like to do the prep and like a sharp knife(s). Tomorrow is skillet corn bread from scratch, with minced onion, jalapeno, cayenne (all fresh) and some bacon bits. I am not a baker, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Just like airguns, I am always going way outside the box and pushing limits.

              Ceramic blades are good for a kitchen knife. I wonder if any straight razor maker’s have done a ceramic version?

              • Chris
                Ceramic I think is a different situation. We have used ceramic coated tools in the past at work.

                Ceramic is like carbide in a sense. It’s hard. Carbide needs a diamond wheel to sharpen it. As well as ceramic. It’s because how hard it is.

                So the knifes your talking about. Are they solid ceramic or coated ceramic. If it’s coated then you can only sharpen so much before you break through the coating. Which most of the time is very thin. Like thinner than the cellephane on a cigarette pack.

                So that’s another thought if the ceramic straight razor is out there.

                And cooking are you. You made any gas mask sauce lately? And for the people that don’t know what I’m talking about. Chris makes his own hot sauce from his garden peppers. I know he sent me some. Very good is all I can say. 🙂

                • GF1,

                  Check out knives the next time you are in Wally World. They are 10-20$ and come in all sizes. Aldi’s has them from time to time. I am not exactly sure how you would refresh the edge on one though. Like anything, I suppose there is quality levels. They do good for a long time. Stropping would seem to be ideal.

                  As for hot sauce,.. not lately. This year was all Cayenne. That is my favorite. I have a bunch of different kinds in the freezer and use them for hot salsa all of the time. I go through at least 1 bottle of hot sauce a week and keep 5-7 brands on hand at all times.

                  • Chris
                    Maybe the stropping wouldn’t be good on ceramic. The wrong type of sharpening stone or whatever is used could do more damage than good. Believe me. I know that from work too.

                    And yep love hot sauce made from Cayenne peppers. The hotness doesn’t necessarily mean anything to me. I like the flavor they have.

                    • GF1,

                      For a fine compound, I think it would be just fine. Whatever is used would have to be able to cut/polish the ceramic though. A strop would be perfect, I would think.

                  • Chris
                    I think I should ask for your reasoning behind your statement.

                    The object of ceramic coating or solid ceramic is it’s hard and maintains it’s sharpness.

                    Why would you need to sharpen it. And next question. Do you think the amount of times you use your ceramic knifes that they will dull from the type of use that the see from you.

                    • GF1,

                      Buy one and use it heavily for a year and then tell me if it feels a little less sharp. They do dull, but it takes awhile, like a year. The coating, for that type of product, only protects the blade. Good steel or solid ceramic,.. no in-between.

                • B.B.,

                  Something to think about anyways. I did a quick search on ceramic straight razors and it does seem to be a topic that is out there. I did not look into it any further other than to see what got pulled up. They do chip easy, but I am very careful with mine and hand was them after done using. I do toss them in dish water and leave them with other things, but the main thing is just to use some common sense. You got some, you know.


                  • Chris
                    I will check out the side bar for the sharpening video’s. I didn’t even pay attention to that when I watched the original video.

                    And I’m good on kitchen knives. They get the job done we use them for.

                    My interest is to see if I can get my fish filleting knife sharper than I already have it after BB gets through reporting on the straight razors.

                    Right now it’s extremely sharp. But razor sharp maybe not. Although I can shave the hair on my arm very easily. Haven’t tryed it on face wisker’s though. Don’t know if I trust myself enough to try. You know how that goes. One wrong move and it’s too late then.

                    • GF1,

                      Click on the video link that Mike in Atl. provided and then look at some of the related videos in the side bar. There is plenty showing how the sharpening is done. Diamond embedded wheels, vertical and horizontal, flat stones and even a hand held emery board type looking device. It all looks easy enough. There is even an edge polishing step that would appear to what the strop does for a straight razor.

                      Get you some and try them. You will love ’em. The ones Aldi’s has from time to time are 6$ for the paring and 10$ for the chefs knife, just to give you an idea of where they can start at on price points.

    • Coduece
      I think it will be more about what hand your more comfortable using. More than what handed you are.

      I do more things right handed than I do left handed. Matter of fact. I can do things as well right handed as most right hand people. And also left handed. And I’m just as strong with my right hand. But always stronger with my left hand than most right hand people.

      But then there are a few things like using a scissors. Got to be right handed. Writing is left handed. Throwing is left or right handed as well as catching.

      So I think it when it comes down to sharpening it will be what hand is probably more coordinated than the other.

  16. I was thinking more about what side of the blade is against the skin, depending on which hand it is held in, and that aligning the burr with that particular side might give better results. In a perfect world the burr would be perpendicular with the spine, however the final strop might skew it slightly one way or the other. All purely hypothetical, and I don’t mean to sound as if I have any real knowledge about it.

      • GF1
        Not scarry at all. I do the same thing. I too am left handed, and right handed depending on the task. I learned at an early age that I was right eye dominant. So I learned to shoot guns right handed but shoot a bow left handed. I normally write left handed but I can write with my right hand too.

        GF1, that means that we use both sides of our brains, whereas those are only right handed only use one side. We have more in common than I thought 🙂

          • GF1
            Wow! I did not know that. I know that I have seen comments from you every since I began reading the blog several years ago. Back then I was looking for help shooting my Diana 34 and didn’t read all the comments or blogs. Since B.B. did the blog on my rifle I have read every blog and every comment. Same name…even more in common then.

  17. Ok, on to another subject I know little about. As I wait on my HW50 .22 ( which should arrive on thurs). I’m still shooting my Benjamin trail,and after adjusting the trigger pull down I found it made the second stage so long it reminded me of that old saying” I could stretch a mile if I didn’t have to walk back”. So long I was having trouble knowing when it would break. So I marked the trigger just before it broke and wrapped electrical tape at that point and now by dragging my finger along the trigger guard I can consistently stage the trigger right to the breaking point. And I feel it has helped my accuracy with this gun tremendously, I’m no longer guessing when the trigger will break.

    • Coduece,

      I am no trigger expert, but I say,… “what ever works for you”. The over travel after the break can throw you as well. I adjusted to what I like and then put a 4-40 screw in the back of the trigger guard to control the over travel. Basically, it is break and then a dead stop (very) soon after. It is super easy to come off the trigger. I judge that by if a still have pressure on the trigger after I pull up off of a shot. Pull, break, hold. I believe that is called good follow through.

    • Coduece
      Cool. Glad you got the HW50s. Haven’t owned one in .22 caliber so you will have to let me know how it does. Definitely liked the one I had in .177 caliber though.

    • Coduece,

      Opinion’s may vary, but I think that ought to be #1 trigger adjustment. First and second stage can follow.

      OK,… pull weight (and) over travel,.. then first and second.

        • Well there is a screw with a spring tail sitting on it, just behind the trigger blade, and by screwing it in, it definitely reduced the pull weight, but increased the travel distance. There is even a hole in the trigger guard. This gun has a composite stock.

          • Coduece,

            Bottom line,… whatever you got, however you can (or cannot) adjust it,… that stop will help you. Some triggers you can set up to limit over travel. Some have an adjustment just for that. Do what ya’ gotta’ do. Pull, break and a (quick/immediate) stop. It works for me anyways.

          • Coduece
            Do you have a np2 or a older np trail or XL. The older ones weren’t adjustable. I have not had the newer np2’s so I can’t say about them.

            The newer np2’s are suppose to be 2 stage and adjustable. That is something I did not know happened.

            So I would say what you did was a good idea. And I got Chris hooked up on the trigger stop. The Crosman target PCP pistols have that. Here check this out. And these are very accurate guns. And I did have the 1399 Skelton butt stock on one I had along with the RAI adapters and ar butt stock.


  18. Right,basically consistent follow thru via the trigger stop, and minimizing the amount of interaction between you “the shooter” and the gun by shortening the time it takes to pull the trigger and the force required.

    • Coduece
      The trigger stop is set so after you pull the trigger be it a single stage or two stage trigger. The trigger stops moving when the shot go’s off.

      There is no more movent after that.

      What’s nice is you can make it stop sooner or later to help with the shot cycle timing.

  19. Shot cycle timing ? I’ve heard that mentioned but don’t understand it. For that matter by follow thru I thought that meant kinda just hanging with it for a moment after the shot to allow the projectile time to leave the barrel before any unnecessary movements were made. But there again I’m not sure.

    • Coduece
      Follow through means stay on point of aim till after the pellet hits the paper and see if your still on aim point. And as far as trigger follow goes hold on the trigger also after the shot goes off.

      Shot cycle timing and trigger pull stop along with pull pressure can affect the way the gun moves in relation to when the pellet leaves the barrel.

  20. Got to post one of my off subject pictures.

    It’s nothing spectacular other than I used my Iscope phone adapter on a little ole fixed 4 magnification and 35 yard parallax UTG scope.

    You can see the craters if you zoom in. But their not detailed. Still yet I surprised it did that good at that low magnification and that parallax setting.

  21. Hi BB te al..
    Still working on the Browning Leverage breakin. I’m able to hit tennis balls now at 50 yards, 4 out of 5 times. There are about 220 shots on the gun now with a few strange things happening. The firing cycle developed a very loud high plucked guitar twinging sound that lasts for about 2½ seconds after firing. First thoughts were mainspring twang but that wasn’t it as it could be duplicated by cocking and closing the underlever sharply!
    On removeing the stock I could see where the problem was. Two large pull springs going forward from both sides of the trigger box to the locking board ( that’s what it’s called in the exploded drawings) are under tension all the time. Useage must have finally blown off the protective oil coating allowing them to twing. When plucked with my finger they made the sound I was hearing during the firing cycle. See photo.
    Immediately I thought of Tune In A Tube as being the best way to stop these two springs from ringing on every shot. Too bad I can’ t get that product here in Southern Alberta but I have found a substitute. A red grease called “Lucas Red ‘n Tacky” which seems to do everything Tune In A Tube does. I applied it fairly heavy to the 2 springs and as the main spring was totally dry I ran a couple or three lines of the grease up and down the visible parts of the mainspring – same as the picture in your blog, BB, showing how you used Tune In A Tube. Then outside in the front yard I put a few shots into the 60 yard tin can. Problem solved after 10 shots, no more spring ring and the gun just quietly and smoothly goes ‘chunk’ on the firing cycle. Way better than before!
    I’ll put another 60 or 75 shots on the gun tomorrow morning and chrony it to see how much the Red ‘n Tacky affects the muzzle velocity. I’ll also check the cocking force.

    • Very nice photograph, great lighting, excellent detail! Do you know who makes this gun for Browning? I’ve looked at it several times, it’s a very nice looking gun. Looking forward to your next post

      • Coduece
        The Browning Leverage is made by Xisico. The only difference is the Weaver rail Browning has installed on the gun and included the Browning duplex scope with the appropriate rear mount shim to take care of barrel droop. When I installed the scope it was within a few clicks of my selected zero. Very easy setup and seems to be a nice scope. Says Made in China on the side opposite the Windage adjust.
        The photo is a stock photo from Google to show the springs that were ringing.

      • Coduece,

        Well, did you do a trigger stop screw? The picture GF1 posted, showed a screw at the a 45 degree angle to the trigger. Mine are directly behind the trigger. Either way, just curious if you did it and have shot it to see if there was what,.. if any effect.

        • Well the trigger guard is molded in and the stock removal screw access hole is directly behind the trigger also the pistol grip is in the way. So I haven’t figured out how to accomplish drilling and installing the screw yet.

          • Coduece,

            That is a tuff situation. GF1 did mention in the past of using a hot glue gun to build up a stop (inside the rear portion) of the trigger guard. Then,.. trim to the right length. Personally. I have never tried that method, but it makes sense that it would work. I can not imagine that it would look the best, but maybe so if you laid it on and then had plenty to “sculpt”. Going through, or, applying something to the trigger would be another way. Going through the bottom of the trigger guard might work. You might end up with a 90 – 45 degree stop. I would not care for that.

            At least now you are aware of the concept and it’s possible benefits. A feature to look for in the future.

            • Chris
              I trimmed it up nice with my (razor) sharp Exacto knife. Yes it’s all squared off nice.

              Here is the picture. And works great. It’s a double or single action trigger. Had to shave it off to get the stop right for both. Definitely improved accuracy in single action and speed up the double action.

              Mildot52 turned me onto that for fast action shooting.

  22. Coduece,

    The photograph is of a Xisico model XS46U which is identical to the Browning Leverage with the exception of the scope base. The Xisico uses the standard air rifle dovetail mount with stop (as seen in the photo) and the Browning should have a Weaver/picatinny base. I do not understand why this one doesn’t unless it is removable. Everything else is the same.


      • Redrafter,

        I wasn’t 100% sure on the photo other than it looked identical to my Xisico XS46U which I purchased from Mike Melick a couple of years ago. Mine is in .177 caliber and has a gas ram which is no longer available.

        I had just undergone a hernia operation prior to receiving it and was unable to even shoot it for a few weeks later. When I was finally able to use it, I shot maybe 50 to 60 pellets (10.5 grain Crosman Premiers) through it and couldn’t use my right arm for about two days afterward from the heavy cocking effort!

        I am not crazy about the factory stock, it is really crude looking compared to the one on my RWS 460 magnum but then the rifle only cost about a third as much as the former.

        Good luck with your new Browning, hopefully, it will be an accurate one.


        • Hi Bugbuster
          Thanks! It looks like it is going to be an accurate rifle. I think being .22 cal. makes a big difference as well as the external Tacky Tune lube that I did to the gun. Now it’s showing about the advertised 28 lbs cocking force. Before the Tacky Tune I bet it was 35 – 40 lbs.and it was still blowing up my shoulder after the Hatsan fiasco a week ago. 50 to 60 rounds was all I was good for about every second day. Yesterday, after the Tacky Tune, a hundred rounds didn’t seem to bother me and this morning my shoulder is fine. I may go and do another 100 rounds today.
          Did you notice that the underlever is solid steel and the barrel seems to be heavier as well. Puts a lot more weight forward and to balance the gun might be why the stock is so bulky. On mine the balance point is just forward of the trigger guard, right where I hold it. Makes for a comfortable gun for big guys like me.
          As you say, it’s not that expensive a gun, but it has some quality to it for its price. It’s starting to show promise now and hopefully 5 or 6 hundred shots is all it will need for a proper break in.

  23. Off Topic. Well firstly, I am really enjoying your straight razor series.
    But…in the pic of you sharpening the razor..what watch is that on your wrist.
    I’ve found that many shooters, such as myself have certain interests in common…such as watches, knives and cameras. I’ve also found that a lot of my shooting buddies are into RC trucks/cars.
    And real trucks.
    I think a blog someday exploring what interests airgunners (and shooters in general) would be of interest…well,at least to me 😉
    To start of…I have a Rolex but my EDC watch would be a Seiko 5.
    Have a number of knives but EDC is the classic Buck 110.
    Have always used Leica cameras.
    Own a couple of Traxxas Slash, both stock (my two sons) and mine, which is modded quite a bit.
    Drive a somewhat modded Trailblazer.

    • CSD,

      Bless your heart! You noticed my watch!

      It’s a Citizen Eco Drive WR200. It’s solar-powered and resets each evening to the atomic clock in Denver. In other words, I wear it and forget it. Accuracy is beyond the millionth of a second, which is good for my routine timekeeping needs.

      I have a Seiko 5. But Edith gave me this one for the last birthday we ever shared, and so I’ll wear it to the end.


      • I’m touched by that B.B.
        I don’t wear my Rolex anymore. It was given to me by my father 30 years ago. When he passed in 2005 I had it engraved to my youngest…to him from grandpa. It has been in a safe deposit box since then and he will get it when he graduates high school in two years.
        I guess a better blog than our interests would be one on things like this…items in our lives that have meaning far beyond their monetary value.

  24. Figured I would post this picture of a target I shot today. I have been posting some targets lately from my HW30s, FWB 300 and .22 Tx in different shooting conditions. And with and without warm up shots to get show if a gun needs warmed up. And those have mostly been at 50 yards with one at 35 yards.

    Chris has been doing some 70 yard shots with his guns so I figured I would give it a whirl today just to see what happens. And I couldn’t pass the opportunity up. It’s probably a 3 mph wind comming from directly behind me which gives me the best shooting conditions. The house and the woods in front of the house pretty well block the wind even up to like 12 mph winds. So today is probably the best conditions I can ask for.

    I did aim directly at the top red dots when I shot. No holdover is what I’m getting at. I used the center cross off the reticle. Oh and I did pull a shot on the Tx. Like I done previously. The gun rotated as the shot went off. But here it is.

    • Forgot.
      That was 4 magnification. Where the pellet landed is what hold over I would need at that distance.

      The HW30s would need 3 mildots hold over.
      The FWB 300 and Tx would need 2 mildots hold over if I was trying in to hit the bullseye or red dot on the top row.

    • GF1,

      Nice. I looked back at my records and found data for the TX200 (.22) at 70 yards. 10/10 at 2 1/8″ and 8/10 at 1 3/4″. That looks to be around what yours are, scaling with a ruler off of the screen. I do not shoot the TX seriously at 70 yards often. More 15 oz. can shooting, if anything.

      • Chris
        Yep pretty much what I see too. Although the group’s are a little taller on each gun than wider. That could be that wind comming from behind me affecting the shot out at the farther distances. Plus the corn is up out in the feild so I actually had to place my target to the left of where I set to shoot. So if it did see wind it would of been a little from behind and slightly from the left to the right. Which is what the FWB and Tx groups show. So it must of been real calm when I was shooting the HW30s cause they were pretty centered side to side in the grouping.

        But this is actually the first time I shot the Tx .22 and HW out that far since I got them. Now I have shot my old .177 Tx out that far with similar results as the .22 Tx I have now. But didn’t know what to expect from what I have now. But now the FWB I knew pretty much what it was going to do from owning it in the past and what I went through tunning it trying to find the right fit o-ring instead of the cast iron piston sealing ring to get the right seal and also right amount of drag in the cylinder. Plus shimming up the single heavier aftermarket spring. The FWB is a shooter is all I can say.

        But yep same here with the plinking. But figured the conditions were right so I better do it while I had the chance. And I really did need to to see where they all were at.

        Anyway back to shoot’n. 🙂

    • GF1,

      Interesting concept too,… last time I shot the M-rod at 70, everything was pretty good. There are times that you just KNOW that you did everything the same as the last shot,.. yet,… the pellet wanders off the group. For a PCP, that speaks to 2 things. Inconsistent power behind the pellet (non-regulated) and maybe the pellet (weight, head size, etc.) The other factor would raw power and fps. Going faster will hold up better further out. in general.

  25. Chris
    For the most part yep on power. But look at the HW30s group. To me that’s a excellent group for that gun at 70 yards. That gun is shooting a average of around 605 fps. The group is just a bit smaller at 50 yards. It’s one of those gun’s that don’t shoot tight groups. But also the group’s don’t seem to grow as the shot get longer compared to some other guns I had in that power range.

    And even though the FWB group grew compared to the 50 yard group. It’s making around 750 fps. Oh and both the guns are with the Air Arms 10.34 pellets which I did just open up yesterday. Yep another tin of 500 gone between the FWB and HW. So what I see is even though the FWB is making roughly 150 fps faster it’s not helping much out at 70 yards. The FWB is probably about out of juice if you know what I mean.

    And that’s all with minimal wind. I showed groups just a little while back of all 3 guns in a variable mph and direction changing in in multiple directions. It was useless to try to get groups out of the guns. If I remember I only shot a 5 shot group and gave up.

    I’m betting if I did 80 yards with all 3 guns it would look like a shot gun blast type of groups. Soon or later things will start falling apart. That’s when you add more power. But also that’s when you start ruining the shot cycle of a springer. Even with good shooting conditions.

    Said it before. It’s all a balance and knowing at what distance your gun performs at for the type of shooting your doing.

    • Right the groups of that Hw30 are really making me look forward to that HW50. It just proves to me that muzzle velocity is way overrated, a good barrel and a good trigger are what a shooter needs.

        • I’m never gonna get that with a Crosman break barrel I’m afraid. But I still love my 392,Marauder, and Discovery. That FWB 300 is awesome They’re always .177 caliber?

          • Coduece
            I had a 392 as a kid. After my buddies saw and shot it. I hardly ever got to shoot it. It was the hit of the town so to speak.

            I had a bunch of Marauders in all calibers in all stocks and in all generations.

            Even several Discovery’s in both calibers. And a .22 Maximus too.

            They were all wonderful guns. And definitely a learning experiences in their own way.

            Most definitely glad I exsperianced them.

            And yes the not .177 caliber in the FWB 300. They are originally intended for 10 m competition. But they are just so well made and accurate that they are way too bump up to a longer range accurate sport gun. And that’s to say the least about them. If I remember right there are other people shooting the FWB 300’s out at 70 yards and beyond if I remember right. Of course modded for velocity but still the original gun.

            And don’t know if your on to this yet. But I do try to have accurate guns. For a long time I rotated guns like you wouldn’t believe. Tryed many. But only a few made it through the ranks. Even let them go and got them back.

            This time around the modded by me FWB 300 is not going nowhere. Period.

  26. Ok I’m posting this right below my earlier target at 70 yards. I think this explains why the 70 yard group’s are as good as they are today.

    The wind is absalutly calm. I just flipped the target 180° and shot these groups at 50 yards.

    You can see how tight the Tx and FWB are shooting. Well and the HW30s. And see what I mean about the HW30s. Groups are almost similar. But yes spread out more at 70 yards.

    Gaurentee you the guns would not do this good at either distance on a windy day that blows from a different direction than today. This is my best wind direction that helps to not affect my groups.

    And the moral to this story. Pay attention to wind direction and what is the best wind direction for your location and direction you shoot at. 🙂

  27. Chris
    Just posted another picture I shot at 50 yards. Wind being blocked is definitely a good thing.

    Don’t know if you remember. But I had a heck of a time transitioning from my old house to this one. My old house was alot like the shooting range you have at your house. Wind never made it to my shooting area. Had good groups there too. Learned real quick how much wind affects things when I got out here.

  28. And what I’m seeing with the HW30s is it just might be a little more hold sensitive than my other 2 guns I been shooting with it.

    Even as calm as it is with it’s shot cycle. Maybe BB’s artillery hold might do it justice. It just might be one of those gun’s.

    You know barrel length and even piston movement in relation to when the pellet actually starts traveling down the barrel can affect the shot.

    Here you go. Does the pellet start moving as soon as the gun is fired? Does the pellet start moving say at when the piston moved half it’s distance? Or maybe 3/4’s of it’s distance. Does the pellet give a big jump in distance it travels in the barrel with the initial hit of air? Or does it build speed gradually?

    See what I mean. That’s shot cycle timing in relation to when the pellet leaves the barrel. Am I over thinking it? I don’t think so.

    So here I go. New target paper at 50 yards with a loose artillery hold on the HW30s. Will post a picture in a bit. But now remember. Good or bad results. This only one time. More times will be needed to see if the gun repeats.

    • So do you want the pellet to exit the barrel before the piston reaches the end of travel I.e. Pellets left the barrel and the piston is still on the cushion of air waiting for the air to finish escaping the port?

      • Coduece
        Don’t know.

        I just want the pellet to hit where I aim.

        If the gun shoots at a given characteristic then we got to over come it in a different way. The hold right?

  29. Here it is.

    First thought was nope. It hurt too much on my first group to hold my hand on the bag and then the gun. Even if it produced a good group it was going to be tuff for me to do. Probably I need to position my chair different. I did go directly down on my shooting table to keep my shooting height right with my hand added into the equation. Took out the 2×4 I usually use under the shooting bag.

    Well I think the results may be just a bit better but nothing to write home to Mom about. And I need to say that was pretty much a relaxed hold all the way around. Trigger hand and shouldering and cheek placement.

    Well now second group. All the same I just said.

    But had to put the 2×4 back under the bag to get shooting height right. And no for hand this time. Gun rested on the bag and fore hand setting on my left leg. And believe me. Everytime I rested the gun my fore hand kept wanting to get on the gun. I fought it the first 3 or 4 shots to get my hand off the gun.

    But here we go. I’m flabbergasted. The HW30s is now shooting in FWB territory. I now have to see if the results repeat. I have to see how the wind now affects it. I’m definitely impressed.

    And I do have to say. Tryed this on several of my other springers including the .177 Tx I had and the 54 Air Kings in both calibers without any difference in groups. And also the FWB 300.

    So I think the artillery hold is something that works on certian guns. But sure didn’t think it would matter on a smooth shot cycle gun so much.

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