The Challenger countertop trade stimulator

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Challenger
Called a countertop trade stimulator, the Challenger was one of many small shooting galleries that accepted pennies.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Money tight
  • Drop Coin into slot
  • The prize
  • The play
  • Shoot Hitler
  • On through the ‘40s

Now for something a little different. Instead of guns, let’s talk about trade stimulators today — shooting gallery trade stimulators, to be specific.

History

In the 1930s, the world was in the middle of a hard depression, one which many people were not prepared to weather. Lifestyles of the Roaring ’20s had to be revamped to survival in the ’30s. For store owners, the pinch of tight money was particularly defeating because money is the lifeblood of trade.

Money tight

Not that there wasn’t money enough to go around. There was plenty of money. People were just reluctant to spend much of what they had for fear they wouldn’t be able to get more. Businesses everywhere were failing and people were concerned they might loose their jobs. This fear paralyzed trade at the grassroots level, which, in turn, ruined the entire economy.

Trade stimulators had been around since the 1890s, but the need for them was never so keen as during the Great Depression. Only organized crime was able to generate a reliable income with their numbers rackets, which resembled the state lotteries of today, but on a far smaller scale. For a store owner to be a numbers agent, there had to be ties to the mob, who dictated the rules and the shares of the take, just as states do today. Enter trade stimulators–devices that made all their money right on the premises and could be owned entirely by the store. No waiting for the daily payoff announcement from the mob (or the state lottery commission).

Challenger payoff
Here’s the payoff. Nine scoring balls relate to the nine disks inside the game. This is what you saw when you played the game. When the scoring paddle dropped, the captive ball inside rolled forward, as seen in paddles 2,3,5,6 and 8.

Drop Coin into slot

The “DROP COIN into slot” trade stimulators are a family of seemingly innocuous games that sat on countertops all over the country during and even after the Great Depression. For a penny, a person got 10 chances to do something. In the case of the machine shown here, it was to hit nine different paddles, which were scored by the steel balls showing in the window at the top. Hit the disk and the corresponding numbered paddle dropped, bringing the captive ball inside to the front. Other machines had different games, but the object remained the same–10 chances to do something for a penny. It’s difficult to imagine today, but a penny in the Depression is like more than 14 pennies today.

But it’s more than just that. That is just the effect that inflation has had on U.S. money since 1930. During the Great Depression money was in very short supply because people were reluctant to spend it — not sure of when there would be more. So that penny was a big deal to the guy who had it, and it took a lot to get him to part with it.

Challenger front
The coin goes in the slot on the gun’s right side; then, the lever on the right side of the case is depressed to start the game. There is no way to use the sights with the gun passing through the case this way.

The prize

Now, suppose the store owner told you that if you got all nine paddles in a single try, he would give you $100. Pretty good play for a penny, huh? Of course you’re no dope, so you figure the game is gaffed–which it is. The No. 4 paddle on this one is jammed so it can’t drop and show a score! You can hit the disk for that paddle all you want; that scoring ball isn’t going anywhere. But the store owner takes care of that, too. He pays a shill a fin ($5) to run out of the store screaming that he won the prize! You run in with your friends and, sure enough, all the paddles have dropped and all the scoring balls are showing. He really did it, you think. Heck, you’re a 13-year-old-kid. What do you know about life? So, the word goes out throughout the neighborhood and soon there’s a line in front of the machine–lots of kids and a few gullible adults, too.

Challenger graphics
These are the signs on the machine.

The play

Folks, the play on this little machine isn’t that easy to begin with. The steel balls are launched by a spring-loaded plunger inside the metal gun, which is attached to the front of the box. Sometimes, the balls come out at the full 50 feet per second and are fairly accurate; other times, they just dribble out and you never know what is going to happen. The gun’s sights are completely useless because you can’t see through the wooden box that the pistol fits through. This is an instinctive thing, not a marksmanship game.

The store owner can, therefore, offer lesser prizes for a run of eight paddles, with little risk of losing. Say a pack of cheap smokes–just the thing to attract 13-year-olds. Since these prizes are possible, there will be a constant, if infrequent, run of legitimate winners to keep the momentum going. Sooner or later, some wiseguy is going to catch on to the gaffed paddle, so the owner changes it periodically. And the law never wises up–because, as you can clearly see, there’s nothing written about any of this anywhere on the game. Even if a grifter tries to cheat the play, the owner simply clears the scoreboard with a penny and chases off the grifter.

Believe it or not, these small simple games had a part to play in the ending of the Depression. They loosened peoples’ grip on their money. They also provided hours of amusement for just pennies; and, perhaps most importantly, they offered hope to people who had all but lost it.

Shoot Hitler

The same concept can be turned into a different kind of game, as we see on the Shoot Hitler trade stimulator that was popular during the war. This one was made by the Paul Bennet company.

This one shot the actual penny you inserted in the gun into Hitler’s mouth. If you hit you got your penny back. If you missed, you got a gumball! The trade card on the front says “A ball of gum or your penny back on every shot.” Gumballs must have been very cheap!

Shoot Hitler
The Shoot Hitler trade stimulator asks you to fire a penny into Adolph’s mouth.

On through the ‘40s

These games started during the Great Depression (late 1929-WW II) but they continued after the war and up into the early 1950s. The Challenger machine I have written about today may have been made before the war, but these exist with rockets painted on the sides of the case, and those are definitely from after the war. Many have dates of 1946 written inside the case.

There are many different types of shooting gallery machines like this one. Many were made by the ABT company and are so rugged that most still work. You can find several websites that deal in these trade stimulators.

This is a large collector field, as trade stimulators go off in many directions. But I like the ones that shoot the best.

72 thoughts on “The Challenger countertop trade stimulator

  1. B.B.,

    In the history of airguns, were there companies that were lost due to the Depression? If I recall correctly Parker was a gunmaker of shotguns that did not survive the Depression.

    Siraniko


  2. I grew up in the poor part of Louisville called Portland, as it provided the “portage” around the Falls of the Ohio River during the westward expansion. This was in the mid 1950s to mid 1960s and we didn’t have the trade simulators, but shopkeeps had their own ways of separating kids from their money. The “Speckled Ball” was one ploy. A gumball machine would be filled with regular colored balls and a handfull of yellow balls with red specks spackled all over them. If you put in a penny and got a speckled ball you exchanged it to the shop owner for a quarter. It made all of us kids buy way more gumballs than we would have otherwise.

    The other racket that I remember was a brand of peanuts that was sold in a cardboard tube, like a toilet paper roll’s core, and the ends were cardboard caps that were glued in place. They were sold in beer joints, of which there were always at least 2 at each intersection in my neighborhood. The peanuts cost a quarter and the container could hold just salted peanuts or peanuts and a quarter, half dollar, or silver dollar. After about 3 beers those peanuts would start coming off the shelf one after the other as the imbibing and now somewhat inebriated patrons started trying to make some easy money while satisfying their craving for a salty snack.

    But as you say, it gave a little hope in a community that ran a low on it otherwise.

    Half


  3. B.B.,

    Very interesting. I have not ever seen of these and have never seen one. I was in my single digit years in the 60’s.

    I am a bit confused with the scoring paddles (at the top) holding a bb. Those paddles at the top never released a bb? Was the same bb shot from the gun, hit the internal (lower) hole/paddle, then rolled back and was automatically reloaded into the pistol? What limited you to 10 shots if you never had to hand loaded the bb?, bb’s?

    I hope that I did not confuse you with my trivial questions.

    Chris


    • Chris,

      These are good questions.

      When you hit the paddle, the tab comes down and lets the scoring ball roll forward to where it can be seen.

      If you look carefully at the first picture you can see the bottom of the “range” slopes toward the target paddles.

      As to how the gun is loaded I am certain that has to do with the lever on the right side as seen in the third picture.







  4. So, would the chance of grabbing a brass ring on a Merry-Go-Round ride be considered a trade stimulator ? Never really looked at it that way. Getting one with the accompanied bragging rights and a free ride was mighty tempting for a kid to try again.
    Even today, ” Grabbing the Golden Ring ” is associated with being a winner.
    Bob M


  5. Funny thing,
    Yesterday I became an Air Gunning Stimulator. A neighbor said, ” I have an air rifle I bought a long time ago but I could never hit anything with it so I just gave up on it “. What kind is it? It’s a break barrel and I think it was made in Spain? Really? So off he went to get it and show me. He always used a shotgun on critters.

    Turned out to be a .177 Gamo 220 with a small BSA 4×32 scope. A little small but nicely finished. In one second I told him why he could never hit anything. The scope, rings and ‘clamp on’ ring stop had all slid back enough for the rear ring to be out of the dovetail and floating around about an inch behind…. “Wow, I never noticed that. It all came assembled ” Needless to say he knew nothing about mounting or adjusting a scope, how to stand or using the artillery hold. After an hour of instructions and practice we had the rifle set up for him and for the first time he could actually hit something he was aiming at. Overjoyed!
    When we quit at sunset he had it zeroed in to about an inch of the bulls eye at about 30ft.
    Today we will go for hitting the bulls eye at around 30 yards and if all goes well I will have less critters to take care of and our occasional happy hour may turn into shooting sessions.

    He’s already thinking about a .22.
    Bob M


  6. Ok I remember one like the Hitler one that shot Penny’s. But it had a bullseye target and there was a hole in the center that you tryed to make the penny in. And you won a 5 cent piece of the bazooka bubble gum that came with a cartoon inside.

    It was in a small and I mean really small IGA grocery store right next to the grade school I was in at that time. Which was in the mid to late 60’s. We was allowed to go there at lunch time. Alot of us kids would go there with our lunch money which was like 50 cents a day.

    What I’m thinking is the owner of the store must of picked it up from somewhere at the time. I also remember he had to glass enclosed games that had a air plane and a helicopter in it. It flew around in a circle but you could control your up and down and how fast you went. It was a dime to play it. Was tons of fun for sure. You could hardly get a turn on the game with all us kids wanting our turn. And yep we got in trouble going back to class late . We weren’t allowed to go there for the rest of the week if we came back to school late.

    Man I forgot all about this. Lots of fun. Ain’t it funny how simple it was to have fun back then. Then later all the game rooms started piping up with pin ball machines and video games as we called them back then. And I’ll never forget the places in town that had the slot car tracks



  7. This is what I remember the store had. But it had red and black rings on the bullseye.

    And now looking at them more. They are a form of slot machines I think.

    Maybe the technology is related?


  8. And here’s the helicopter game I remember. And as I looked through the pictures of games I searched I do remember this rifle game. I’ll post it in a second.


  9. The rifle game. And of course it was electronic. Not all mechanical. And like the other picture of the helicopter game. These are exactly the ones I remember.



    • Siraniko,

      I would 2nd that. Or 3rd (part) in this case. 😉 A lot of additional info. has been brought forth and linked by readers. Of interest to me most is long range shooting (100 yds. in air gun), how peeps were/are used in long range powder shooting and the different magnification options (fr or rr).

      I like the idea of reduced weight and being more compact than a scope. The down side is that they appear to be sort of fragile and not very bump worthy. An ideal might be a Maximus grab and go gun, though it is not set up for that. I would like to see something like that for a 20-50 yard squirrel getter.

      Gunfun has been delving into this pretty hard and has 100 yards in the plans. Info. is scattered throughout the blog(s) and it would be nice to bring it all together in another article. Just my 2 cents.

      Chris


      • Chris USA,

        I don’t quite see them as fragile and not bump worthy unless they were made with flimsy materials. Their low mass makes them better in withstanding the recoil of spring pistons too. Primarily is the fact that they are they are the sighting systems used in many military rifles. Only recently have military rifles been fitted with scopes, but they still retain peeps as a back up sight. Second with the likes of the FP series of Williams there are no knobs, requiring a screwdriver to make an adjustment, that can be easily twirled by a tyro handling a gun for the first time.

        Siraniko


        • Siraniko,

          You bring up good points, but I would have to say that military grade peeps are much cruder with less parts. Heck, no extra parts. And more robust. The sights that have been paraded around in the past few days have fiddly little inserts, adjusters, lenses, magnifiers and filters. Plus, they are not weather proof like a quality standard scope. To me, it is the comparison between the 2 levels of refinement. (highly refined target peeps -vs- basic military grade peeps)

          Chris

          The one BB showed on the Tyrolean stock really hung off the back. That does not look too bump friendly to me.

          I wonder what the old tube sights would be like? How would they compare to a peep? I think that I have seen some that are quite refined for their time, but I really know little about them. They almost seem like a better “rugged” option, but maybe they can not compare to peeps for accuracy.


          • Chris
            Read my reply to Siraniko about the peeps and buffalo hunters.

            I myself think the front and rear peep sight setups are durable.

            You have to get one in hand to see what I mean. Well the ones I have anyway on the HW30s and FWB 300 seem pretty durable.


        • Siraniko
          I’m with you on that. The front and rear peep sights on my HW30s and FWB are pretty durable.

          And I have to say that I haven’t seen any movement out of the rear sight on the dovetail of either gun yet.

          My mind keeps thinking of the buffalo hunters. I’m thinking the guns and sights had to be pretty durable back then when they were jumping up and down off their horses and such.

          And yep on the Williams sights. And I got the FP series or as they call it the (Fool Proof) series. I like it. And I believe I got the same one on my HW30s that you showed a picture of the other day on your gun.


  10. GF1,

    .25 M-rod, 100 yards, 25.39 JSB’, no wind, 16 mag.,….

    8 @ 3 3/16″ w/5 at 1 1/16″
    8 @ 1 5/16″ w/ 3 @ 7/8″ and the other 5 @ 1 3/16″ (2 sub groups)

    Next I tried the shot tray,….

    8 @ 4 5/16″ w/5 @ 7/8″
    8 @ 2″ with 5 @ 1 3/8″

    All in all not bad,.. considering that the 100 yard club only requires 5″ @ 100 yards for base entry.


    • Chris
      What was your target? Me and Halfstep was just talking about target sizing with the peep sights. I mentioned to him how when we did that 100 yard competition that time how I sized my target circle to the size of my mildot in the scope.

      Another thing is. Are you using holdover? And how many dots are you away from the center of the cross hair? The more you are away the more you need to make sure your not canting the gun from your natural sight in level. That will make groups grow.

      Oh and speaking of level. I ran across some bubble levels that attach to rear peep sights. I was going to save the link and forgot. I’ll try to find it again and post the link when BB does part 3 on the peep sight stuff.


      • GF1,

        3″ fluorescent stickers like they use in a warehouse. I ring them more by tracing a 1″ ID washer inside and out with a thick marker. They work pretty darn well and the 16 mag definitely helps. I have not sized them to mil-dot size.

        Actually, the center ring was perfect as I remember now. The woods were dark, but I could see more than adequate. Front and rear rested as in the past. Bi-pod. Really, no excuses. I tried pretty hard for all shots. I pulled off shots a few times if my breathing/feel was not just right. I am sure some of it was me, but some I think was pellets,…. but you know how that goes? Ya’ never know unless you weigh and head sort. I did try the shot tray for the last 2 rounds.

        By the way, refill to 3400 after 2 eight round mags.



        • Chris
          Wonder how big that 3″ orange circle will look through my peep at 100 yards. How about this. If you get a chance. Grab your 499 with the peep on it and look into the woods and tell me if you can see the orange circle target. But remember my target will be out in direct sun light. So I should be able to see a 3″ orange circle I believe.

          And the breathing thing with your shots. How is that affecting your shots. Do you see it in the scope as a bump or wiggle from your eyes. Or does your heart beat move the gun. Does it move the gun because your cheek is resting on the comb.

          What I want to know is what is causing you a problem with your heart beat. Is it phycological with your vision or does your heart beat actually move the gun.

          I know what happens with me with the heart beat.


          • Gf1,

            Targets are back in,.. so no on the test. With the dark woods, I am not even sure I could see them with the naked eye. I could barely make out the mounting boards. 16 scoped was fine.

            As for the rest,…. all of the above,… or none of the above? I know what to do and was doing my best to do it. Simple as that. At some point, a gun will just not do any better.


            • Chris
              Hmm maybe if lighting was better you may get even better group’s.

              And ok on looking through your peeps up in the woods at a hundred yards. And I have been just for the heck of it looking through the peeps with both guns and I have to say out at a 100 yards I can easily pick up a 6″ long cornstalk laying out in the field. And did try a couple shots. But without the magnification of the scope I can’t see where the pellet stove hit. But I’ll have to say on that hopefully by time BB does part 3 on the peep sights with my Condor SS.

              And I’m sure you are doing your best when your shooting your Mrod out at a 100 yards.

              But you never answered my question of where or what makes you think your heart beat affects your shot. Why does it. Maybe that will help other readers to know what to do or not do to eliminate that being a problem.


              • GF1,

                Do what you can do to keep a low heart rate. Minimize coffee. Be healthy. And oh yea, don’t just walk back from setting out your 100 yard targets and immediately start to shoot. 😉


                • Chris
                  All good info. But your not getting my question yet.

                  What is your heart beat doing to cause your shot not to go where you want it?

                  Does your vision moving cause it? Or is it you touching the gun make it move around.

                  I myself don’t think it’s the second thing. I don’t see your cheek bone transfering your heart beat to the stock of the gun. Or your hands for that matter.

                  I think it’s more psychological. I think you see your heart beat in the scope from the high magnification.

                  Tell me this. When you shoot your 499 with the peep sight do you still get your heart beat movement thing happening?


                  • GF1,

                    Oh, I get it. All I can tell you is that I do the best I can do every time unless I am just out to plink. If I ever notice it, I just try to rest a bit more or change the hold a bit. #1 is preferred, because I do not like to change up a hold. Timing the shot to the heart beat can be of some help too. Really dude,.. I do my best but do not take it all super serious.


                    • Chris
                      Well that brings me to what I see.

                      My heart beat never influences my shot.

                      I don’t see it. But why I don’t see it is the question.

                      Do I zone it out? Or is it because u shoot at lower magnification and I don’t see it? Next is does that mean it’s what my eyes (don’t) see at lower magnification or no magnification like with peep sights, open sight or dot sights.

                      I don’t think it has anything to do with hold. The way your making it sound is your whole body is transferring your heart beat to the gun.

                      So saying that. You never did say if you see your heart beat on the target with your 499 and peep sight.

                      And right now don’t think about how hard your trying. I know you are. But I want to know what kind of movement you see and what you think causes it.

                      Stay with me here ok. I think you may just find out to shoot a even better group. I think your doing the other things good but one of them.



                  • GF1,

                    If it wasn’t physiological then there wouldn’t be any point to biathlon. Those guys are bumping up the shooting that we do by several magnitude by getting calmed down after exertion to take a series of precision shots. At least I don’t think it’s all in their head.

                    Shootski, could tell me if I’m wrong on that.

                    Half


                    • Halfstep
                      To me that is over asurting. Yes that would make your body cause your sighting to move.

                      But I’m talking everyday shooting when you pick up a gun and pop off a shot.

                      There has to be a reason why some people see a heart beat movement when they shoot.

                      And maybe it’s a combination of eye sight and hold.

                      So in that case I would be trying to find out why and eliminate that cause.

                      Right?


                • Chris USA,

                  I think your brachial artery runs sort of along your collar bone area and then across the shoulder and runs down the inside of the arm. If it is in the “pocket” of your shoulder where your butt plate sits it wiggles the gun as it pulses. At least it does for me. I have found that shouldering lightly and/or using a towel or tee shirt loosely folded between me and the gun helps to minimize it. More obvious in summer with thinner clothing.

                  Again, I’m not a physiologist, I only play one one the internet. 😉

                  Half


    • Chris USA,

      Pretty good shooting. Do you feel that the shot tray made much difference? I guess I should ask, does the small improvement seem worth giving up the convenience of the mag ?

      Half


      • Halfstep,

        I can not say that the shot tray ever made a difference. Most experts will disagree, so I will go with their opinion/experience. Just when you think they might,.. a bad group will prove otherwise. I look for repeatability. In me and my equipment.

        To me,… if you suspect that a mag. is having a negative influence at all,.. then you should give shot trays a try. I think that it is really all about removing one more variable,.. plain and simple. As we all know, that is always a good thing, ehh? I do like (love) my mags. on the M-rod and will heavily lean that way in all future purchases.


  11. Chris,

    The BSA mags that go in the Coyote and Urban just work so flawlessly that I can’t imagine a shot tray making much difference, which is a good thing since I’ve never seen one offered and because of the continuous scope rail and raised position of the bolt, I think it would be hard to design a useful one that didn’t need to be removed for each shot. You can do that with the magazine if you ever feel that the spring tension is misaligning or damaging your pellet. Load one pellet, insert mag, close bolt, fire, retract bolt, remove mag, repeat.

    The stormrider mags are a different story. My gun is not that accurate either way but I feel that any accuracy a shooter gets is going to come from single loading.

    Half


  12. GF1,

    Being relaxed helps. Not having a death grip on a gun helps. (Lower mag. helps). No mag. I am sure helps even more. The 16 mag was not bad at all and only the 2nd time I have tried it. I like it. Front and rear were supported, so really not much issue there. The 499 is 99.9% of the time very nice.

    I got to get out of here for a few. Things to do for tomorrow. Later,……


    • Chris
      Ok I’ll get to the point. It sounds visual to me more than physical.

      In other words I think your eye sight is seeing your heart beat in the scope. Not your grip on the gun or resting your cheek on the comb.

      Like you say with your 499 and it’s peep sight. There is no magnification there. I believe that’s a thing with magnification shooting. It magnify’s what you see in more than one aspect. That then causes a person to think that shake or bump or wiggle will make their shot go off at the wrong time. Which it will.

      So another reason a peep if practiced with enough could possibly perform better than a scope used on high magnification. But on the other hand turn the magnification down on a scope and it will be hard to beat because you don’t have those sighting errors taking place. Or I should say they are still taking place but you don’t see them.

      I think when BB does a part 3 with the peeps there might be more learned about what the eyes see. I still think the peep blogs is one of the best BB had done yet.


      • GF1,

        Getting to the point is good. I like getting to the point.

        As for scopes,… why do the air gun pros use 30 PLUS magnification? Don’t you think they would use peeps if peeps were going to get better results. Obviously,.. they can and do deal with any wobble, from whatever source it may be coming from.

        I am very interested in seeing what peeps can do at longer distances. Very interested,…. and you are doing a fine job of testing that! I do not however believe that they will ever beat a properly used high powered scope.


        • Chris
          And then I have to say this.

          Why did the buffalo hunters have success with peep sights? And how are they shooting 1000 yard (and that is no miss type) yes 1000 yard competition with peep sights I posted the link to on the peep sight blog Part 2.

          I think once you try you will see what I mean. Maybe the scopes are accurate. But the peeps are accurate enough for their intended purpose like I just mentioned. In those cases they are accurate enough.

          And then think about this. How and the heck is some one hitting a target at 1000 yards with open sights. I know why. They can see their target. It will work with a air gun at a hundred yards. Just like it worked with buffalo hunters at 200 yards and more with firearms.

          I think that sums it up pretty good.

          And maybe I should copy and post our conversation over on the peep blog. That’s where we should be talking about this particular subject.


          • GF1,

            By all means,… please feel free to convince me otherwise.

            I have not looked into firearm peep shooters very much. If you have, then great. They were aiming at some pretty large targets. My guess would be that they were not expecting a perfect heart/lung shot but rather just to down the animal. Ride up, finish it off and done.

            Out’a here for now,…. back in the AM,…… Chris


            • Chris
              Probably true on the heart lung shot.

              But on the other hand the vitals in a buffalo are pretty big. I’m sure bigger than a deer so maybe the peeps and guns of the day were accurate enough to hit the kill zone they needed.

              And it always makes me refrain back to my old point I keep bringing up. Like plinking. Accurate enough is what counts. Just like pesting a raccoon. Then now a mouse.

              The gun and sighting device and ammo and shooter has to be good enough for the intended purpose.


        • Chris,

          I think B.B. said that the high power scopes, 30X-50X, were used by field target shooters because they were able to more accurately determine the range with the AO. Scopes of those powers would not be useful for hunting or pesting because the field of view would be so small.

          I think it comes down to precision. Scoping a target is much more precise than using an open site, be it peeps or just plain open iron sites. I recall last summer when I was having trouble shooting my Diana 34 accurately that B.B. requested I try using open sites. I started with the same target I was using with my scope at 9X, which was a 1/2″ dot at 25 yards. With open sites I could not even see the 1/2″ dot. So then I enlarged the dot to 1″ but still was not able to see the dot clearly at 25 yards. I then moved the target in to 15 yards. When I sited the 1″ dot at 15 yards with open sites the front post of the site was twice as wide as the dot. I really do not know how people are able to shoot precisely with open sites but I know for sure that I can not. The nice thing about using a scope is that at close range the power can be dialed down to 4x or 6x and then at longer ranges is can be dialed up to 10x or more as needed to get a good sited picture.

          I liken using open sites as to a person who leaves the comfort of their air conditioned house to go out camping in a tent on the ground when it’s 90 degrees, or raining. I tried that scene and found that I liked camping in a Holiday Inn much better.

          I’ll forego the open sites and take a nice scope any day.


          • Geo,

            Thanks for the insight! I am with you. (shooting, camping, scopes) I But, with some refinements for us old folks. I can’t do the heat and humidity anymore. Cool it down and camping is fine. The peeps for my 499 work excellent at 24′ indoors. It would be nice to try a super high quality set up of peeps though and see what I could do at 50 yards with them.

            Something new for me is that I am trying 16 mag. on the M-rod at 100 yards. I found it to be dim a bit and be more hold/eye sensitive. The other day, the woods is full grown-out now and very dark. It was around 8 am and light was not full yet. It was dimmer, but I could still see the target fine. I used the red and green illumination too, which I like a whole lot and have used in the past. A couple of weeks ago, it was very clear at 100, but different lighting. The 16 gives me a much better view and confidence in parsing the bull.

            I have a lot of respect for guys that shoot 30+ power in 3 positions. For me, I would have to have both the front and rear rested in some manner. Something that removed ME from the resting part of it! 😉


          • Geo
            You should try peep sights out. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to see and focus on the target. And to place the front sight on the target. I can for sure shoot more accurately with peep sights than I can open sights.

            I think you would be surprised if you try the peeps out. I went a long time not trying them. I wish I would of sooner.



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