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Education / Training How to treat a new airgun

How to treat a new airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • New airgun — what do I do?
  • Be careful!
  • Lube it?
  • CO2
  • Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP)
  • Multi-pumps and single strokes
  • Spring piston guns
  • Do I need to clean it?
  • What about disassembly?
  • How should I protect my new airgun?
  • The most important thing

Every so often I am inspired to stop and cover the basics for our readers. Many of you who have been with me off and on over the past 13 years (yes, this blog turned 13 this month) will find the things I am about to say rudimentary, but each of you went through them in your own way. My recent encounter with the Sub-1 crossbow made it clear to me what it’s like to have something about which you know very little. And, as I was in the midst of my discoveries, reader Johncpen asked this.

“When lubing the bolt of a PCP like a Benjamin Maximus would you use silicone oil on the O-ring and Remington oil behind that or just silicone oil on the whole thing?”

To which I responded, “I lube anything that might get into the reservoir with silicone. Metal to metal I lube with gun oil.”

Then he said, “I apologize I do not understand. Does the metal-on-metal (rear part behind o ring) portion of the bolt have the potential to get into the reservoir and therefore I should use silicone?”

I must have said something in return, because he said this next, “Thank you. One more question. Do I ever need to lube the trigger on a Benjamin Maximus? If yes, how often and what Lube? I have white lithium grease but would get something better if you recommend. Thanks”

At this point I realized that Johncpen was having the same doubts about his Maximus as I was about the Sub-1 crossbow. Different technologies; same first encounter. So I said this, “The Maximus trigger should not need lubrication for a long time. When it does, a drop of gun oil is all it needs.

You have inspired me to write a special blog about new airguns and how to treat them. I hope to get it out next week.”

Today I fulfill that promise.

New airgun — what do I do?

That new airgun arrived. When you opened the box it made an instant impression. Maybe you were taken by the way it was packaged, or maybe it was larger than you envisioned. The thing is — it’s real now and you are all by yourself.

Be careful!

The first thing to watch out for are those customer reviews of the gun you now hold. You don’t know those people from Adam and some of them are people you wouldn’t trust out of your sight. As you read their comments, try to picture what kind of person is writing. If they seem like braggarts, don’t listen to them. They will tear into perfectly good airguns, screw them up and then blame the manufacturer for the problems they caused.

Look for the reviews that substantiate their claims with reasonable data. If 5 owners tell you they get groups of 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch at 20 yards with a certain pellet in the same model airgun as yours, you can probably bank on it.


Over the 25 years that I’ve been writing about airguns I have seen several people buy a brand new airgun and never even shoot it. They will ship it to a tuner who is the latest rage on some forum. Then they get it back and shoot it for the first time. The thing is — these people have no way of knowing whether the gun they now have is the way it is because that is how it was made or because the “tuner” made it that way. All the talk sounded so good when they were reading about it on the forum while washing down their Pringels with a Coke.

My advice is to shoot the airgun. Shoot it and then shoot it some more. I once bought a Beeman C1 carbine that was rough as a cob when it was new. It was hard to cock, buzzed when it fired and had a horrible trigger. But it had cost me all I could afford, so I just shot and shot it. Then one day I happened to notice that the trigger had slicked up all on its own. It was now very nice. I couldn’t recall the day it had changed — just that it had. The cocking was also much lighter. I estimated it had 3,000 to 4,000 shots on it by that time. The rifle still buzzed when it fired (Michael — I’m thinking of you now), so I took it apart and lubed it. And that rifle was the one that taught me the artillery hold.

Lube it?

This subject is complex because it depends on many things — the type of powerplant and sometimes the specifics of the airgun in question. I will explain.


For CO2 guns always use a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the 12-gram or 88-gram CO2 cartridges. If it is a bulk-fill gun, drop some Pellgunoil into the fill port connection, where it will be blown into the gun with the fill. YOU CANNOT OVER-OIL A CO2 AIRGUN THIS WAY. Even if you immerse your airgun in a pool of Pellgunoil, you cannot over-oil it. What the gun doesn’t need will be blown out as it shoots.

Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP)


I would not oil a PCP airgun before I shot it. In fact, I would only oil one sparingly if it seemed to need it. A gun with a slow leak could use some oil. The oil gets on the o-rings and inner seals and lets the dirt particles slide off. It also coats the seals so they seal better — like the piston rings in your car engine.
For a PCP use silicone chamber oil — a special oil designed to seal, not lubricate. Silicone chamber oil has a high flashpoint temperature at which it explodes, where petroleum oil is more prone to explode at lower temperatures. I intentionally linked to RWS Chamber Lube and Dropper because I like the dropper for putting the oil into hard-to-reach places — like air transfer ports on spring guns.

Oh, and by the way — I recommended silicone chamber oil. Don’t ask me if skunk sweat will work, because that’s what they are all talking about on one of the British forums. I am no longer the Chairman of the International Association of Skunk Breeders and Ranchers, so I cannot speak to the benefits of skunk sweat with authority. USE SILICONE CHAMBER OIL.

Multi-pumps and single strokes

Oil the pump piston head of multi-pumps and single-stroke pneumatics with Pellgunoil. They don’t develop enough pressure to be dangerous. And oil them right out of the box, unless you notice they are already oiled. Oil them frequently. This is another gun you cannot over-oil, though with a single-stroke it’s wise to be sparing. I showed you how to do this.

Spring piston guns

Most spring guns do not need to be oiled when new. Unless they honk like a goose when cocked (the gun — not the goose) they should be fine.

Here’s the deal. Spring guns used to have leather piston seals that needed lots of oil. When synthetics came along they needed much less oil. Some need almost nothing. So, when did airguns change from leather to synthetic? There is no answer. Synthetic piston seals started in the early 1950s but there were still guns with leather seals in the 1980s. And, over time, guns have been converted from leather to synthetic.

If your airgun is brand new today it almost certainly has a synthetic piston seal. Lube it SPARINGLY, if at all! Maybe a drop of silicone chamber oil every 3,000 shots, or so.

What about the mainspring? Well, that’s what Tune in a Tube is for. I have written about it many times.

The other things on the airgun that need oil to move better can be oiled with a good grade of gun oil. As for triggers, they are very special and I would rather address them in a separate series of reports sometime.

Do I need to clean it?

This is a big question for new airgun owners. Do new guns need to be cleaned? Some do and others don’t. My advice is to shoot the airgun and see how it does. If it’s a TX200 Mark III that’s putting 10 pellets into a half-inch at 30 yards, leave it alone. If it’s a Chinese mega-magnum that puts five shots into 2 inches at 10 yards, go ahead and clean the barrel. It can’t get any worse! In other words, use your judgement and, if possible, just leave it alone.

What about disassembly?

You buy a new Beretta M92 BB pistol and you want to disassemble it like you did your M9 when you were on active duty. Stop and make sure the gun you have can be disassembled. These new lookalike airguns look so much like the firearms they copy that people want to treat them the same way. If disassembly means that much to you, make sure the gun you buy is one that allows it. Maybe it will have to be one of the higher-end airsoft guns, to allow complete disassembly.

Or let’s say you buy a new spring-piston air rifle and you just gotta see inside. Just know that when you open her up you void any warranty that came with the gun. Better to buy a cheapie springer to take apart and leave your new gun as it is.

How should I protect my new airgun?


•If it’s a multi-pump and you are able — store it with a pump or two of air inside.
•Wipe down the exterior wood, metal and plastic with Ballistol.
•Leave your PCP charged with air — filled completely is okay.
•Leave the scope caps on your scope when it’s stored.
•Don’t store airguns in cases with open-celled foam.

The most important thing

Of all the things you can do and not do to a new airgun, the most important thing you can do is shoot it. Shoot it and shoot it some more. That’s what it was made for. Shooting helps break in the gun and also familiarizes you with its operation.

Those are my thoughts on how to treat a new airgun. No doubt I have forgotten something vital, so now it’s your turn to talk.

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.

66 thoughts on “How to treat a new airgun”

  1. Morning Sir
    I have been a regular reader of this blog for the past seven years. Just wanted to say that your posts are excellent and a great resource for new and experienced shooters. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  2. B.B.,

    Excellent advice! “Shoot it and shoot it some more. That’s what it was made for.” You don’t know what direction you should be going if you don’t know where you are.


    PS: Section DO NOT GET IT “TUNED” FIRST THING! 1st Paragraph last sentence: All the talk sounded so good when they were reading about it on the forum while washing down their Pringels (Pringles?) with a Coke.
    2nd Paragraph from 10th sentence: I estimnated (estimated) it had 3,000 to 4,000 shots on it by that time. The rifle stIll (still) buzzed when it fired (Michael — I’m thinking of you now), so I took it apart and lubed it.

      • I am brand new to this forum and can’t find where to ask a question so am replying to your post in hope you can direct me. I have an old Hubertus single shot spring barrel cocked Pellet Gun that has been my family for ages. In past years, (not knowing anything what I was doing) I tried unsuccessfully to fire BB’s but they did not go far and typically would roll out. Now with new enthusiasm I purchased some pellets – have both .177 and .22 barrels for it, but find that the pellets (Crosman) don’t fit very snugly into the barrel and consequently, I believe, don’t have much power. I did get off a couple of decent shots with the first couple pellets but not after that. The leather wrap looks to be in good condition and I oiled it with Rem oil last week and again today but no luck. Not sure if the leather wrap is not swelled enough although it does not move when firing as the piston is already pulled out…or if the German Size is not the same as our American equivalent. – After a couple of shots with the Crosman Premier I tried some Crosman Lead that fit a little better but didn’t work any better.

        – Dave

        • Dave,

          Welcome to the blog.

          Ask your question anywhere. The most recent posting is the best place to ask. We do not stay on topic, nor are we anal about it!

          The Hubertus was low-powered on its best day. I am talking in the 200 f.p.s. range for .177 pellets. I have owned them and the design just doesn’t generate much power. And the way the leather is wrapped around the edge of the piston, it does wear.

          Crosman pellets are too hard for that gun. It needs soft lead pellets. Try Hobbys or Club pellets from RWS. If they fit too tight, roll them on a flat surface to narrow the skirt. Or push them through the barrel before shooting. But a Hubertus will never be a powerful pellet pistol.


          • Thanks for the info. I am just shooting at relatively close range, having fun at home practicing…shooting out the open back screen door of my lanai into a cardboard box with 2 in of Styrofoam, which works well as my neighborhood is developed but nothing in the back except a golf course (yes I check) and because I am in Florida windows are closed and AC on all the time so what little noise it makes is not heard (besides most of my neighbors can’t hear anyway). The barrel (s) of the gun are rifled so I believe I need something soft like lead. When I found in the container a lead pellet that had a good seat into the barrel, I hit center of target at about 13 feet with sights aligned; but when not seated tightly I am not sure where the pellet went – I wear glasses just in case.

            So I am thinking of drilling holes in a thin flat piece of stock, putting the lead pellets in them and then tapping the concave back with a rounded end punch to open up the back a little more (does the back have a name)? What do you think of that idea or can you suggest something else? The loading end of the 0.177 barrel (back) measures very close to 5mm (0.18 in.) with my caliper.


            • Dave,

              The Blue Book puts a 95% condition at $250. A 20% at $50.

              Add 40 % for box and papers
              Add 40 % for cocking aid and pellet tin
              Add 40 % for spare barrel
              Add 100% for small frame version (8.5″ OAL) (large 10.5″)
              Add 25% for .22 caliber


              It sounds to me like it might be worth an overhaul. At least on the piston seal.

              Welcome too,…. Chris

  3. B.B.,

    It was not all that long ago that I was “newbie” to all things air gun. And, pretty much all things “blog” and “internet”. This blog and the great people here have changed that.

    I have always been from the “camp” that all things can be made better, or, improved upon. I also have a work history that has developed a fair degree of mechanical aptitude. With air guns, pneumatics come into play. The compression, storage (in some cases) and movement of air. Ballistics too,.. both of which I knew little about.

    Again, that’s is where the blog came in and the treasure trove of air gun information contained here. Yes,… (just shoot it). But,.. if one is inclined to “dabble inside”,.. one can learn a whole lot here pretty quickly.

    I can relate to someone who wants to send their new gun out to a tuner. They want it to be the (perceived) best it can be from the get-go, without the hassle of trial and error, doubting or doing the work themselves, if they even can. Kind of like getting a used car from a private buyer with questionable condition or buying one that has been gone through bumper to bumper. Peace of mind I guess you could call it.

    After hanging out here a bit, we have all heard of new air guns arriving at our doorsteps ranging in condition from “perfect”, to,.. ” I think this one may have a few serious issues”. Trigger lubes ranging from bone dry to swimming in some sort of mystery lube. Springer springs the same way. Dirty and dry bolts. Fear not,… (just shoot it, keep shooting it) and in the mean time get (educated) on what you can do to make things better. Where? Right here. 🙂

    My Maximus had a trigger with a 5-6# trigger pull. After some brief research, I dug in. Yes, there was lube, but at best it looked like the parts had been assembled “wet” or got blasted with some sort of light oil spray. After a quick clean and applying more appropriate lubrications,.. it is now a great trigger. At least it is much better than it was. A couple of very easy to add screws and a few simple spring tweak’s got the pull down to nice 1 1/2#, or less.

    So, while I did not know what I did not know at the time,.. (I just kept shooting it and getting familiar with it), while at the same time asking questions and learning.

    At any rate,.. just some thoughts.

    Good Day to you and to all,… Chris

  4. Skunk sweat you say . . . . I will have to give that a try!

    Excellent blog. I was a beginner 9 years ago, and despite learning tons since then it is always good and even enjoyable to revisit the basics. Nicely done. And Happy 13th on the blog!

  5. B.B.,

    My advice to a completely new airgunner would be to read the user’s manual, twice, before doing anything with the air gun. If the buyer is not a newbie and it is a pretty standard, straightforward model, scan the manual quickly, looking for anything unusual/atypical for that model. For example, if I were to purchase a new conventional spring air rifle, I would give the manual a quick look and start shooting. But if I were to purchase a Gamo Swarm, I would read the manual very carefully, at least the parts that pertain to its repeater functions and clip. If it is a new type of powerplant for the buyer, read that user’s manual carefully before doing more than simply handling the air gun.


  6. B.B.,

    I have a very small mini-report on Bar’s Leaks Transmission Stop Leak Concentrate. I went to three different big box stores and two auto parts stores and nope, not a one had it! (For reference, I am in northern Illinois, in the distant Chicago suburbs.) Everybody had other Bar’s Leaks products, including Stop Leak for brakes, engine, cooling systems, etc. but not Transmission Stop Leak. They had another Bar’s Leaks two-solution (a la epoxies) fluid for transmission leaks, but not the right stuff. Each place had a large assortment of other brands’ transmission leak stopping fluids.

    So I went a bit of a drive to an outright huge auto parts store, a mega auto parts store, and same thing. So I went to the service desk and explained everything and asked why I was not able to find this product anywhere. Does it contain a substance banned in Illinois?

    The fellow behind the counter, 50s, old grease under his fingernails, sharp, and genuinely curious to solve the mystery, jumped on the store’s inventory and ordering page on the desk computer. He turned the screen to me and showed me that the product was no longer stocked. I asked if I could order a half dozen bottles. He responded that “No longer stocked” in his experience always means no longer available, as in discontinued. Without my even asking, he said he would look for online retailers that would perhaps have it NOS (New Old Stock). The first one he checked out did. He wrote down the retailer name and the product number (1420) on a slip and gave it to me. So I went home and ordered four bottles.

    Just thought I would deliver a “heads up.” I do not know for a certain fact that it is discontinued, but it seems to be.


      • B.B.,

        Frankly, I am not certain that is entirely true .I have no idea about other products except one. The first product I tried and would never suggest someone else try on an airgun is called Lucas Transmission Fix. The bottle also says, “Stops slip. Cleans and lubricates sticking valves for proper shifting. Polymeric film renews worn bands to stop slipping. Completely stops most leaks. Renews worn fluid.”

        It is red, like regular transmission fluid, and slightly sticky. I tried it on two multi-pumpers, a Benjamin 397 and an S&W 77a. It helped neither and actually made the Benjamin difficult to pump even once. I might do an experiment on a Buna seal like you did with Bar’s Leaks just to see if it is damaging to it. I will also test it to see if it removes paint, as transmission fluid sometimes can. I noticed some missing metal finish on the S*W 77a, but I can’t be sure if this caused it or it was there before and I never noticed it.

        I would urge folks not to try that product.


        • Hi Michael,

          Surprised to hear this, the Lucas products are usually pretty good.

          My FWB 100 (SSP) was not holding pressure (in spite of new seals) so I gave it a dose of the Lucas Transmission Fix the other day and it seems to have helped. I have not had a chance to test/check how long the pistol is holding its charge but there has been a noticeable improvement.

          Just tried a couple of shots and all feels to be working smoothly with good power. I’ll post a note if anything unusual shows up.


        • I do have a second leaking Daisy 200, but it didn’t work on that one. I also have a Daisy 990 dual fuel (pump or C02 powered) that is leaking when being pumped. Didn’t work on that one either. But on that gun, if I just use C02, it holds fine.


  7. One thing not mentioned is “cleaning” the barrel of a new airgun or rifle. BB’s recommendation is/was to use J-B non-embedding bore paste. BB hasn’t mentioned or used it (from what I can see in his blogs) of late but in years past, to speed up the breaking in of a barrel, rather than firing several hundred pellets, he would swab out the new barrel 10 strokes or so. It almost always improved accuracy by removing the small imperfections left over from the manufacturing process. However, if that new air rifle is able to put 10 pellets within an inch at 25 yards when brandy new, I wouldn’t bother.

    Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now in GA (and loving it)

    • Oh and should mention. That not only spring guns or nitro guns for that fact need screw checking. But also pcp’s and multi-pumps and Co2 guns.

      No matter what kind of gun I get I go through and make sure the screws are snug. Like barrel set screws, stock screws, pistol grip screws, breech screws and so on. That’s before I even think about shooting it. And I routinely check to see if they might loosen up. Anyway back to shooting for me. 🙂

    • GF1
      Perfect accompaniment to today’s blog. I have a couple of stanzas to add though.

      Your groups are good the size of a trime
      all the sudden its what happened this time
      You gotta check your screws

      When you get tired wrenching screws today
      Or your screwdrivers done worn away
      Don’t just check your screws

      follow the god fathers good advice
      And your groups will stay tight and nice

      Just use the loctite that’s blue


  8. BB,

    Really off topic.
    By any chance have you or anyone else on the blog had a chance to work with Crucible Steel CPM S90V? From experience I know the S30V isn’t too bad to sharpen on diamonds but from what I’ve been reading the S90V is some hard stuff. As you are the GURU of razor steel and sharpening I thought you would be the best person to ask.

    Good blog today!

    Oh, I almost forgot. Would you care to venture a guess when we might be seeing some of those new SIG ASP 20’s floating around? Really like the mechanics on that one! Depending on it’s accuracy it has the potential to become my tree rat eradication weapon of choice.

    Bob F

      • BB,

        Thanks for the update on the ASP! I hate to say this but I liked the look of the ASP package so much that I have a 3X12 Bugbuster ” still in the box” sitting here waiting for a rifle to put it on.

        Bob F

    • Bob, Google “Chef Knives to Go” Mark Richmond is truly a blades guru. He will be happy to answer your question and if need be, point you in the best direction as to what stones or gear to use.

  9. Hey B.B.,
    I just got a new-to-me Crosman 38T that I had the seller ship directly to our old friend, Rick Willnecker, just as soon as I bought it. As usual, he did a fine job on it, and it shoots great; but one thing he warned me about is leaving CO2 guns pressurized during storage: he said it’s OK to do that with 1970s vintage guns like this as they are strongly built, but not OK with the newer (12g) CO2 guns; he recommends releasing the gas pressure on those.
    Also, these old guns are not the easiest things to load with all pellets; only H&N FTT (14.66 g) and RWS Hobby (11.9 g) were easy to load; everything else I tried was quite tricky. I just thought some new shooters might like to know about the CO2 storage issue. Thanks again for another great report!
    take care & God bless,

  10. Newbie,
    I just want to say when B.B. says Silicone Chamber Oil, that is what he means. Not some Spray Silicone Oil you get at a hardware, big box or auto parts store. That is totally different.


  11. Time flies when you’re having fun on the blog. I remember getting my first PA airgun, my IZH 61, in the mail. Now my records show that I’m approaching 170,000 shots with my collection. I originally calculated shooting a million in eight years, but I have dropped off the pace because of dry firing and some other things. But from a certain point of view, I’m still a novice. I was reading about some pro-shooter for ParaOrdnance who said that he spent his first million rounds learning how to shoot…

    shootski, I’ve always said that you never know who is out there reading the blog, and here we apparently have a serious biathlete. Thanks for your information about a sport that I’ve never experienced first hand but only speculated about. It appears that the athletes have done amazing things to reduce what to me looked like a very disruptive transition between intense aerobic activity and stillness for shooting. As you described, I see that the skiers do indeed let up some distance before the shooting line. And, long ago, I remember being in good enough shape that I was surprised at how quickly my heart rate dropped after activity and how quickly I recovered. But none of the ingenuity and conditioning of biathletes changes the fact that they are trying to do things that are fundamentally opposite. We can see this because if you wanted to shoot as accurately as possible, you would want your heart rate to be as low as possible. The hammering heart is an obstacle to shooting however well you compensate. Similarly, cross-country skiing is the single most aerobic activity (as measured by VO2 max) that exists. While you might want to minimize your heart rate relative to your activity, you want the blood moving as fast as possible to supply the oxygen you need. Elite aerobic athletes will often glory in how high they can raise their heart rates. The Olympic swimmer, Janet Evans, told me in person, during a private lesson, that in training for her first Olympics in Seoul, she would maintain heart rates of 180 beats per minute. When I was on the rowing team in college (the sport with the second highest VO2 max after cross-country skiing), the coach said that if you didn’t get your heart rate up to 180, you were wasting your time. I did see one person on the national team get his heart rate up to 226, but I wonder if he miscounted.

    True there are other activities where you start and stop. Action shooting of the kind done by Gary Miculek and Julie Golob involves running and shooting. But the running is only a few steps and the targets don’t require extreme accuracy. Basketball and tennis both require bursts of activity interspersed with stillness, but like action shooting they are not working with extremes. A little activity is interspersed with moments of stillness into a continuous rhythm. You don’t have the most aerobic sport of all combined with the most stationary sport.

    One question I have is why one would want to combine shooting and skiing into one event. If you are a soldier and have a practical use that is one thing, but I don’t see why an athlete would choose this for fun. It is always enjoyable to surpass someone in a contest of skill, but that too is an external reason. What is enjoyable about the combination? I enjoy shooting as much as the next, and based on a regrettably few experiences, I love cross-country skiing as much as any other sport, but I wouldn’t think to combine them. Does it feel good? Especially as I get older, I find that I need continuity in my workouts with a warm-up and cool-down. Abrupt stopping and starting does not feel good to me.

    Overall health is an important consideration but you can get this just from skiing without the shooting. I would have thought that old age would bring out the unhealthy elements in any sport that might be masked by youthful conditioning. Boxers who look great in the ring often die early from dementia. NFL football players don’t do well in retirement. Sumo wrestlers, while they typically lose much of their weight in retirement, don’t typically live long. The same goes for Thai kickboxers who can shake off incredible punishment in the ring, but it does catch up with them. To hear that biathletes are in great shape at 90 years old is surprising to me and says a lot.

    Still, I would be wary of generalizing. There are so many variables in individual physiology and training that it’s hard to judge from individual examples. Heavyweight boxing great, Jack Dempsey, starting fighting professionally at 15 and had hundreds of fights and had a remarkable memory, but this doesn’t mean that boxing is conducive to memory. He had a unique physiology. Even his brother, who had good boxing skills, had a glass jaw and never went anywhere. My Dad, who is fond of bourbon, likes to tell of how comedian Jackie Gleason could drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol but still be witty and brilliant, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can do the same. W.C. Fields did something of the same but his liver was like a “sieve” when he died. And they said that actor Richard Burton had a skeleton so saturated with alcohol that in his autopsy it crumbled away.

    I also have concerns about the long-term effects of irregular activity. My Dad managed to fall off a cliff while hiking and needed to be rescued by firemen who rappelled down to get him. They were real studs. But a couple years later, my Dad read about how their captain died from a heart attack while kayaking. How could this be for a man in the prime of life in great shape? Apparently, this is not uncommon for firemen who need to spend a lot of time waiting around and then spring into furious action on a moment’s notice. These are all reasons why I am cautious about combining two activities that are fundamentally as opposite as can be. But there are enough individual factors that it’s ultimately a personal judgement. This was stated eloquently by a customer whom my brother served while working at Taco Bell. In response to the standard spiel about all the options one might want to add to an order, the customer looked blankly back and responded, “Whatever turns you on.”

    I’m curious about some of your points on shooting technique. I had just about determined that shooting between heartbeats was a myth. I read books by shooting experts Nancy Tompkins and David Tubb and neither one said a thing about shooting between heartbeats. I’ve also corresponded extensively with blog reader Victor who won the California scholastic shooting championship in high school, and he never mentioned shooting in relation to heartbeat. For myself, I haven’t really noticed my own heartbeat after about 200,000 rounds. If I am controlling it, it must be done unconsciously through breath control. No doubt it is a consideration in biathlon shooting, but it doesn’t seem like a big factor in other kinds of shooting.

    And what is this dynamic shooting you mentioned? Other than shooting between heartbeats does it involve movement of the sights while shooting? Back in the early days of the blog, B.B. advised me not to shoot while moving my sights in a predetermined approach as a dead end that was not used by top shooters. I kept that under advisement, but I kept on with my method because I was still making progress. Around 100,000 shots, I had an informal contest against a guy with much less shooting experience who beat me decisively, and I could see that he was concentrating hard on keeping the gun as still as possible. Nothing like a defeat to drive home a lesson. I took B.B.’s advice more seriously and have done much better. As a qualification, I know that you are not supposed to stop the muzzle movement completely, which is not possible, and learn to tolerate a small amount of wobble, but the goal is to minimize it. Is this what you mean by dynamic shooting or something else?


    • Matt61,

      Sometimes I think it comes down to just plain genetics on health issues. Not that genetics is simple, or plain, quite the opposite. Why do some families have heart issues? Knee issues? Brain issues? Foot issues? Diabetes issues?,… when all appear to be the same and none has any of the other issues,.. just the one that runs in their family? The new trend that is being marketed is that not only can you trace your ancestry/genetics back through the ages with a mouth swab,…. but now also any ailments that your specific genetics are vulnerable to. Just watch the news/commercials and you can tell that genetics is playing a (huge) role in cancer treatment programs right now.


  12. Matt61

    When I was a whole lot younger and in the military I was lucky to be stationed in several places that received anywhere from 10 to 12ft of snow a winter. As I love to hunt deer and hate being cooped up inside it was as they say a case of adapt and overcome, Once you learned to motivate without the poles, ” too much movement ” and slow down a little things could get quite interesting! Started using a pistol but found out it was actually easier to use a longbow, In deep/quiet snow you can get suprisingly close to deer and as a plus the longbow doubled as a backup ski pole in tricky situations. The hardest part of the whole experience was trying to keep your feet warm in cross-country ski footware!

    Well, thats the reason I combined skiing and shooting.

    Bob F

    • BobF,

      Thank you for your service ! Sounds like Ft.Drum ?
      The “rule” about cold feet is to put on your knit hat! Also wearing a nylon “liner” sock under your wool/poly sock helps with warmth as well as friction issues. If that doesn’t warm up the feet and probably hands too; you have tightened your skiboots way too tight! Tip works for Winter hunting, Nordic, Alpine, Snowboarding and Snowshoeing!

      I use a rifle back scabbard (or backpack with scabbard on longer trips into the backcountry) when I hunt on skis. The ski poles also do a great job as shooting sticks.

      These tips are free! I should start a consultancy on hunting attire, gear and camo…don’t forget your white tunic and white camo tape for your rifle in the snow country.


  13. Matt61,
    Sitting on a Catapult as the ready alert is similar to what you discussed for the firefighters being called to action after a period of enforced inactivity. But does it need to be? Some of us did isometric exercise during our time on CAP Ready Alert and some didn’t. There are firefighters who do not allow themselves to become couch potatoes while on duty. There are also some who do heavy weights; which I think is folly. The ones who remain in motion other than during the sleep cycle (which I know to be a major stressor when the alarms sound) are not going to be as prone to the life issues that the “couch potatoes” or the heavy lifters are going to experience.

    The history of Biathlon is in fact grounded in a USA military sporting even: Military Patrol! It was done with service rifles and at 100 changed in 1977-78 change to rimfire at 50 meters. Would the general population enjoy completing in Biathlon? I have no idea. They certainly have made it into a major spectator sport in all the skiing countries other than one; yup the USA. The current crop of elderly fit Masters Athletes must be considered a very small part of any countries population but unfortunately the USA is a real laggard in physical fitness in all age groups of non-athletes. Triathlons are a prime example. As an Open Water Lifeguard (recently retired) I have pulled far too many new to sport/athleticism 30-40 something’s in the first 100-300 meters of the swim suffering from SIPE (Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema) because they don’t have the year’s of endurance base. I would also suppose that is why so many deaths have occurred during the swim leg of TRIs. My opinion is that sadly we have quickly become a shadow of the Nation that fielded the Greatest Generation in WW-2.

    As far as static vs. dynamic sighting in order to be able to break the shot on the heartbeat rest; I’ll talk about the physiology briefly. The heart has to beats followed by a rest: Lub-Dub-REST…the thought is to use that triad. So the rifle moves inscribing a triangle with one Apex positioned on the target coinciding with the REST. Not all Biathletes use this technique since many shooting coaches used by teams/athletes are skiers in the USA. Just as many things that are old become new again this is one of those areas. I personally use the dynamic when practicing/competing for/in Biathlon and I use a static hold for all other target shooting. Practical shooting nearly always is done on the move since that’s the real world not Hollywood.

    Most certainly Special Forces Operators are called on to bring much the same athletic/shooting prowess in training as well as in their duties as Biathletes do.

    I guess it all boils down to the bell curve of performance, physical aptitude, mental attributes and personal drive.
    Highest performing humans are not average!


  14. I have been testing pellets in the Gamo Swarm .22 Cal. I got about a month ago. The first really good one was the RWS Super H Point. Today I tried the H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme. They are just as good. While I have only shot a few, the H&N Terminator looks good too. I’m only shooting at 12 yards right now (It’s Winter Here) But shots are in about 1/4 Inch. The gun sure seems to like hollow points. Second place is H&N Sport with 5.55 mm heads. A friend just got a Swarm also. I mounted the scope and zeroed it for him. His shot just as well with the RWS Super H Points. BTW, I upgraded the Scope on the one I have with a UTG 3X to 9 X AO scope. Much better! I have had very good luck with UTG Scopes. Also, a moderately firm hold seems to be the best for accuracy so far.


  15. Hi B.B. I am getting back into airguns lately and would like to have a nice heirloom quality air rifle as a step up from the Crosman’s of my youth. Are there any other brands I should be looking at that have the accuracy and shoot-ability to be heirloom guns as well as the ability to hold their value other than Weihrauch (similar price range)?

    If you remember me I posted a question a few days ago asking about the Weihrauch hw30s … well it turns out that the supplier of Weihrauch I could find in Canada does not have the hw30s in stock and has no eta on when they will, which lead me to look at other models like the hw50s . I also found a used hw35 on one of the gun forums but I’m a bit leary to buy a used airgun without being able to look at it in person.

    Do you have any suggestions of questions to ask or pictures to request when buying a used airgun online? a new hw35 is $486 CAD plus taxes and shipping and this one could be had for $350 shipped to my door but has a plainer looking stock than current models. The new hw50s is $469 CAD+shipping . I guess my question is whether the used gun is likely a safe bet or if I should save up a few more dollars and buy new?

    Right now my only option if I really want to get an hw30s is to order one from the states (pyramid) and have it shipped to a holding warehouse south of the border where I could then drive the 4 hours each way to collect it and import it in person or have it shipped to a Canadian firearms import company as it is considered a firearm here in Canada so I’m leaning toward other options.

    • Red Beard Forge,

      A Diana 27 would be a good one. Great trigger, but not as powerful as the HW35.

      I buy used all the time. You have to go with your gut on that.

      It sounds like you are concerned about the appearance. I seldom am. That will make it harder to buy through the internet.


      • appearance isn’t really a prime concern as I refinish firearms as a hobby. I’m more concerned with mechanical issues (parts availability) and overall quality, Like I said I’m looking to take a big step up from box store airguns and likely wont have the funds to buy more than one premium air rifle for a while so I want to choose carefully. I bought a new Avanti 747 pistol about a month ago and would like a rifle to balance the collection… I primarily shoot firearms but the advantage of affordable shooting and being able to shoot in places where firearms may be unsafe or frowned upon appeals to me as well as the engineering side of premium airguns. I have looked at the daisy 753s Match but would prefer a spring piston gun for the nostalgia and a bit more power. I love the idea of a dedicated 10 m rifle but I don’t compete and I think a sporter will be more practical for my needs (wants) accuracy is still a prime concern however.

        • well I went ahead and bought the hw35 …now for my impression of a little kid waiting for christmas …. Im pretty sure this is an older standard model hw35 not sure if its old enough to have a leather piston seal or if it is more recent than that but I guess I will find out when it arrives. I have heard that the hw30 can be taken down without a spring compressor does that apply to the hw35 as well ? Also wondering if this gun does in fact have a leather seal will a synthetic seal retrofit be possible or should I just use and enjoy with the leather seal? Are there any resources for dating Weihrauch guns by serial number like there are for certain firearms manufacturers?

  16. I had to get a second safe this year. The airguns are stacking up.

    That said there hasn’t been one yet that didn’t get better with a good JB paste polish and kroil cleanup.

    This is across the board with high end springers, Chinese springers, ssp target pistols, the one PCP I had, multipump and the co2.

    I also use almost always the cardboard .177 permier, and.22 until they discontinued them. So I get some extra lead deposits. But even in a new 97k or tx200 I pulled a ton of gunk out of a factory barrel.

  17. Very nice article and applicable for me. I was glad to read that there’s no need to do anything with my PCP but shoot. A lot. That’s good. Just need the weather to cooperate.

    Geo 791

    Did you sort out the Urban misfires? In the back of my brain is a thought that I saw a reviewer comment that the bolt must be pulled all the way back.

    The mag issue is surprising. I would have expected better assuming it is the same one supplied with BSA guns. I don’t recall any issues with this in the reviews. Let us know what you discover.

    • Idaho,

      I have tried to be more deliberate when cocking the bolt on the Urban as suggested by some of the commenters. I have since shot maybe 100 shots without a misfire. Maybe it’s just a breaking in issue but it seems to have resolved itself. Now the magazine is another issue. If you viewed my photos of the Urban’s magazine, you would have seen a slight misalignment of the pellet in the mag’s bore. This is on all bores #2 thru #10. So apparently the rotating piece is clocking slightly more clockwise against the stop than it should.

      Yesterday I shot about 50 shots and only had a couple of pellet feeding problems. GF1 suggested that I push the bolt forward slowly and that maybe the pellet would self center. That seems to work and if it still doesn’t feed easily, I grab the mag and wiggle it just a bit and then the pellet feeds easily into the chamber. So it’s not a serious problem. I would like to see what the inside of that mag looks like and how the stop works. Nothing manufactured is this world is perfect. Thanks for your interest and your comments.


        • B.B.

          No, I did not try leaving pellet #2 out of the mag because #3 thru #10 appear exactly the same as #2. Unfortunately, I did not purchase the Gamo Urban from Pyramyd AIR so that is not an option for me.


  18. BB ,

    Thank You !! so many people try to diagnose problems that don’t exist due to forum mythology. If You are into springers there are only 2 lubes You need Ballistol and Tune In A Tube .

  19. I had never heard the advice to not store guns in cases with foam….
    I have several cases with foam with no damage to anything…
    I assume this is because I take them out of the cases regularly to oil?
    What is the solution? I always thought the foam was SAFE FOR STORAGE!!

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