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Education / Training The airgun market in 2018

The airgun market in 2018

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Serious airgunner
  • The market has exploded
  • No more cheap
  • The gun crisis
  • Where were airguns?
  • Firearm crossover
  • Airguns — cheap???
  • Is that all there is?
  • The future
  • The point?
  • Summary

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 there weren’t but about 5,000 to 15,000 serious airgunners in the U.S. No one knew for sure how many there were because there was very little data about this market. There may be disagreement on just how many there were but everyone agrees that the American airgun market was small.

Serious airgunner

Let me define what I mean by “serious airgunner,” because that has a bearing on what I’m saying. Airguns are very prevalent in the United States. I would estimate that millions of homes have at least one airgun, but that ranges from the family who just inherited their parents’ home and are unaware of the old Benjamin that’s stuck up in the rafters of the garage to homes like mine, where the number of airguns is greater than 50. There are a huge number of families with airguns, but most of those people cannot be considered serious shooters. My definition of a serious airgunner is someone who owns and shoots an airgun at least once each month. My experience is that if they do shoot an airgun that often, they shoot it a lot more than that!

The market has exploded

In just the past 3 years the airgun marketplace has exploded. I get inquiries from my Godfather web page from people who tell me they are new to airgunning but have shot firearms for many years. This blog is being joined by those people at an increasing rate, and for every registered subscriber we have, I know we must have 5-10 who are just readers. For the first time in history we have a number that represents how many serious airgunners there might be. Before I get to that, though, let me tell you what has happened to the market.

No more cheap

When I started writing about airguns, airgunners were a frugal bunch. They talked about re-using pellets, and would drive 100 miles to save a dollar on a tin of pellets. Yeah, I know. That’s false economy. But that was airgunning in the mid-1990s.

The gun crisis

Then came political forces that threatened gun ownership, and the firearm market exploded! People were buying AR15s and Glocks at stunning prices. Ammunition was also red hot, which lead to the ammo crisis of 2008-2016. The real crisis ended around 2014, but some types of ammunition like .22 rimfire and oddball centerfire calibers remained scarce much longer. Conspiracy theorists had a field day during the crisis. A popular story was that it was an intentional shortage due to the federal government buying billions of rounds for Homeland Security. The ammo shortage fueled the gun shortage, and things like AR15s were rationed for a time.

Where were airguns?

While all this was happening American airgunners were sitting on the sidelines smiling because they were not affected. Innovations in airgun and pellet technology even took the market forward, as our firearm brethern were “suffering.” We started talking about shooting pellet rifles at 100 yards during this time. Big bore airguns sold like crazy while the firearm/ammo crisis was in full swing, and I had new airgunners tell me why. They said they still had their AR but an airgun can operate independently of a supply chain (cast lead bullets and hand pumps) and they wanted insurance against the takeover of American politics.

In fact, most of the people who said these things will never cast a single lead bullet in their lives and they emphatically detest the effort required to pump a rifle with a high-pressure hand pump! But it wasn’t reality they sought — it was the dream.

Firearm crossover

Whatever the reason, the political climate forced many shooters to look at airguns for the first time, and, when they did, the picture looked pretty good. Airguns were accurate, they were powerful they had great triggers and they were cheap.

Airguns — cheap???

The diehard airgun veterans of the pre-2008 days still complained about the prices of everything, but to a shooter who owns three $1,500 AR15s, a thousand-dollar air rifle is cheap. And these are the newcomers to airgunning. Once they found out all the hype was all true, they started telling their buddies and, before long, the race to buy airguns was on.

According to several polls (Pew, NY Times) roughly 30 percent of Americans own at least one gun. Based on the current population of over 328 million, that’s well over 100 million gun owners. BUT — and this is the important point — most of them are not serious shooters. I have read estimates that say there are between 5 million and 10 million active shooters in the U.S. Let’s take the lower number of 5 million.

These (the 5 million active shooters) are the ones who are crossing over into airgunning today. Sure, there are always new shooters who have never been exposed to firearms and come directly into airguns, but today the preponderance of new airgunners is crossing over from the world of firearms. They arrive knowing the basics of shooting and just have to learn the differences that airguns bring.

To them airguns do not seem expensive. Good pellets are not just cheap, they are plentiful — especially when they learn not to shop the discount stores, sporting goods chains and most brick-and-mortar gun stores. Airguns are primarily an online commodity in the United States today.

Is that all there is?

Though these new airgunners may have little experience with our guns, they do know bad from good. If a gun is hard to cock, shoots harshly or isn’t accurate, they pick up on it right away. I get questions all the time from new airgunners about this or that airgun. Invariably they have purchased their gun at a discount or chain sporting goods store and its performance doesn’t match what they read on this blog or or some of the forums. They ask me where the disconnect is.

Sometimes they have lucked into a good airgun like a Diana 34, but they haven’t yet learned the proper holding technique (i.e. the artillery hold). Once they learn that I get a “Thank you” and I never hear from them again. But too often they have purchased a mega-magnum from Europe or Asia that can never live up to their expectations. That’s when I go to work, because I know, based on what they tell me, the right airgun for them.

This is why I am so excited about guns like the new ASP20 from Sig Sauer. At just $350 (synthetic stock), it’s affordable, accurate, well-mannered (doesn’t need the artillery hold) and has a nice trigger. Firearm shooters don’t balk because it needs a scope. Their $1,200 AR flattop did, too. Before the ASP20 I was recommending the Air Arms TX200 Mark III to those who could afford it, because it had all those same things.

If they are on a budget I recommend the Diana 34P which has most of the same good features. I tell them about the artillery hold and ask them to watch my video that explains it. If they can live with that, then the Diana will work well for them.

The future

I think the lid is now off the garbage can and all the raccoons will eventually gather to investigate. But are there areas of potential growth that airgun retailers and manufacturers should concentrate on? I believe there are.

This past weekend I was at a party with a lot of young people, including several from California. The guys were all interested in guns and the women were not opposed to the idea. Despite what we read and say, not everyone hates guns.

I had my new Sig P365 9mm pistol there — primarily to show to one person. He owns a Bullet Bunker bullet trap that allows shooting powerful centerfire handguns on his indoor range, so the whole crowd wanted to shoot. One woman had never shot a gun in her life!

Sig P365
The Sig P365 pocket pistol is a revolutionary 9mm sidearm. Easy to cock with very little recoil, it’s also accurate and has a great trigger.

Bullet Bunker
Bullet Bunker bullet traps are safe with powerful handguns and centerfire rifles.

We lined them up and shot the P365, one person at a time, and everyone got to shoot at least one 10-round magazine. Many returned for seconds and thirds. After the woman who had never shot before finished her first magazine (she was one who returned) I interviewed her. She found the pistol easy to rack (pulling the slide back to cock and to load), not unpleasant to shoot (low recoil) and accurate. She was able to hit small targets we called out.

shooting P365
This woman had never shot a gun before, yet she handled the P365 with ease.

The point?

My point is this — women are the fastest-growing segment of the shooting sports, yet the airgun market has not recognized them. They are buying firearm handguns for protection, they are buying guns to hunt and they are buying guns just because they want to shoot — not unlike the rest of us! The firearm world recognizes this and is marketing women in a big way. The airgun market has its head stuck in the sand.

The P365 is attractive because it’s easy to cock, doesn’t recoil bad and is accurate. When was the last time you saw an accurate air pistol that was easy to cock? I don’t mean an action CO2 pistol — I mean a pistol you can really learn on — one that can consistently hit a half-inch circle at 10 meters. Yes there are accurate air pistols like the Beeman P17, but they are too hard for most women to cock. Only 10-meter pistols qualify at present and how many women do you think are willing to pony up $1,000? For that matter, how many men?


We who are dedicated airgunners also know that this is the golden age of airgunning. You guys call me the Great Enabler, but the truth is I am just as captivated by all that’s available as the rest of you. The airgun market in 2018 is red hot, and is going to grow in intensity as time passes. But the market doesn’t understand why success has overwhelmed it.

Social currents outside the market have driven new customers to buy airguns in record numbers. And the airguns they can buy are far better than the airguns of just five years ago. So the market will continue to rise. Unfortunately it’s missing some of the most important growth potential because it isn’t offering products that appeal to the segment that is growing the fastest. It’s like a gun company during a war — they are so busy making guns that they don’t take time to think of what things would be like if the war ended.

The firearm market knows this all too well, because when the presidential election of 2016 was decided, the market collapsed overnight. That AR that sold for $1500 weeks before was now a $600 firearm. Entire companies went out of business because they weren’t prepared for a non-crisis sales environment.

There are still 5 million active shooters in the U.S. And, with the crisis ended, they can choose from a glut of unsold products. I estimate that those who have already crossed over to airguns now number between a quarter and half a million, give or take. That’s the size of today’s airgun market in the U.S. These shooters have discovered they don’t have to give up their firearms, and airguns afford them many times more shooting opportunities because of the safety factor.

Yes, times are great, but the fastest-growing segment of the shooting sports — women — are being ignored by the airgun market. Times could be a whole lot greater than they are.

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.

122 thoughts on “The airgun market in 2018”

  1. B.B.,

    She sounds like a candidate to read a pamphlet version of the /blog/2016/10/teach-me-to-shoot-part-14/ series. Maybe Jack ought to revisit this segment.


      • B.B.,

        I can just imagine it now. Jack is called up by Jill who wants to buy another gun that she is hearing good reviews about. Now Jack has to teach her on the safe carry and use of an automatic pistol and proper selection of bullets to use. Now you have to balance accuracy with terminal ballistics desired.


          • Gunfun1,

            My dad had never shot a pistol (small rifles and 410s aplenty, but no handguns) until he qualified Expert with the Colt 1911 in Basic Training. His first time at the range he put every shot of two or three magazines into the same ragged hole at 25 yards, one-hand (early 1950s, after all). The instructor refused to believe he had no prior training, but he said it was the best 1911 shooting he had ever seen in his life.

            By the way, when it was time to qualify with rifle, he barely made it.

            That was the one and only time my dad ever shot a handgun, by the way. He was incredible, but he didn’t enjoy it or see the need to shoot anymore.


            • Michael
              Sounds something like my brother. He’s very good with a pistol but not with a rifle.

              And I’m just the opposite. I’m good with a rifle but not a pistol.

              • GF1,

                I’m consistent. I’m mediocre with either. ;^) That said, I am less mediocre with a long gun. I have shaky hands, so for me that extra contact point makes a huge difference.


                • Michael
                  You reminded me of something. The guy that owned the local hobby shop when I was growing flew radio control air planes at the flying feild. He taught me about flying.

                  His hands shook pretty much. But when he picked up the transmitter and flew he was as steady as could be. He was a very good flyer and very smooth when he flew. I guess I can say he flew the plane very gracefully.

                  But that always amazed me to watch him fly knowing how his hands shook.

                  • Gunfun1,

                    I am helped by using any of the many two-hand pistol holds I’ve seen online. But I still am shaky, and it is, sadly getting worse as I enter my senior-hood.

                    Even free-hand, provided I have the benefit of a hasty sling — a technique my dear old dad taught me when I was a kid — I am better with an air long gun than with an air pistol or air revolver.

                    Bottom line, I’m pretty shaky. If I ever were to own a firearm for defending my home, it better be at least a carbine. The last thing I’d want is to shoot through the house of a neighbor (all of whom I like)!


                  • GF1,

                    Another thing. We’ve discussed RC flying here before. We have a local club I know nothing about except that they must be pretty well-heeled folks, because their models are HUGE.

                    Every time I have seen one of their planes, it takes a minute for me to register visually whether or not it is a full size plane at 8000 feet or a model at 1000. What makes it more difficult is that we also have a private airfield 15 miles away with a dozen or so owners of genuine vintage war planes. More than once I have been treated to the sight and sound of a real P-51 Mustang flying overhead!


          • Bob,

            I know someone who is not Antifa, but those are without question his political leanings (but he is anti-violence). He has known for a long time that I am not into firearms but am heavily into air guns. He asked me a month or so ago if I knew anything about how to get a FOID card and about how much an AR-15 would cost. I told him I knew almost nothing about either subject but that before he bought an AR-15, he should buy and learn to shoot a 10/22 with an instructor at a range. He told me he wants a few guns to defend his family (just had baby #1) against violent “right-wingers” should the occasion arise.

            I have read online that various liberal group members are legally buying weapons so that they will be prepared to defend themselves. People on the Right should start getting used to the idea that liberals are increasingly availing themselves of their Second Amendment rights.


  2. Talk about introducing new shooters reminds me of the last time I brought a friend to the range.

    Her previous experience had been with her brother (a mechanic in the Canadian air force) who proceeded to rent some of the heaviest and most powerful guns at the range. To compound matters, my friend and her father did not have experience with soft earplugs and did not have them inserted correctly. Needless to say, they found the experience thoroughly unpleasant and the noise overwhelming.

    To her credit, she was game for another try and had a much more enjoyable experience. My thoughts (which obviously overlaps with the Jack series of articles).

    1) It is essential for the person doing the introduction (or the staff at the range) to make sure proper eye and ear protection is worn.

    At a busy indoor range where people may be sighting in large hunting rifles, shooting short carbines with muzzle brakes, or renting novelty calibres from the range (.50 BMG, .50 AE, .500 / .460 S&W Magnum on a 30m indoor range), that may mean properly worn earplugs under ear muff hearing protectors.

    2) Bring guns sized for the shooter. I’m not particularly tall (5′ 6″) and I find the LOP of the M1 carbine version of the 10/22 to be a bit on the short side. My friend found it too long and my thumbhole-stocked Savage Mark II was almost impossible to use. I’m now giving a lot more consideration to acquiring a rifle with an adjustable stock for this reason.

    3) If your guest is there to shoot (and not just make a lot of noise), bring appropriate calibres. .22 LR is a real crowd pleaser. If someone absolutely needs a bit of recoil, HV loads from a light rifle will still make the gun jump around noticeably more than SV rounds

    4) Mount a red dot or holographic sight. All iron sights require some degree of technique to use, as do scopes (especially in models with a small eye box). The unlimited eye relief and ability to have everything in focus is a huge boon when starting out and the objective is to have fun.

    5) Bring a gun with an ambidextrous stock design (as opposed to thumbholes). Sometimes people will prefer to shoot with their dominant eye and being able to shoot from either shoulder facilitates that. (This is another win for red dots over scopes)

    6) Pay attention to weight and balance because it is likely that your guest will be shooting offhand at some point even if you normally do all your shooting seated at the bench.

    7) Ease of operation and safety. My gold standard remains the bolt-action rifle with detachable magazine. Easy to prove safe, easy to unload, easy to reload. No futzing around with a bolt hold-open. I am not a big fan of Henry-style tube magazines (every rimfire tube magazine, actually) where the inner magazine tube needs to be removed from the front (past the muzzle)

    8) Bring some fun targets. Giant robots, movie monsters, printers…

      • Heard Sigair is going to offer a replica co2 version. 365 Understudy airguns are a big area of airgun shooting and collecting, allowing safe practice, training and fun . Can’t own a select fire firearm , but those airgun buzz guns like the MP40 are great. Where oh where is the Thompson?

        • Michaelr,

          I bought this 365 pistol expressly because there will be a BB gun replica. When I bought it I knew very little about the firearm. Now, I am so glad I bought one. I plan to make it my carry gun, once I get an ankle holster for it.


          • Forget the ankle holster, mine are gathering dust. Get some cargo pocket pants and carry in a pocket holster. Is about the most practical , fast draw ccw holster around.

              • Hey Michaelr,

                One of the major advantages of an ankle holster is that since you are probably doing a REACTIVE response to a shot(s) you typically kneel (if you are not seated already) to draw whichmakes you a downward and much smaller target. Also since the shooter may have already fired a few rounds your drop down action may cause them to think you are hit. You can also draw from the fetal position on the floor; you look like most of the other Innocents around you.


                • There are several disadvantages to the ankle holster. First it is slow. If you are attacked in close quarters, like say in an elevator or at anATM. It also adds weight to your leg so it can hamper your ability to fight unarmed like if you can actualy move as in martial arts . Last. Every time you sit down you have to make sure your pants don’t ride up and reveal your supposedly concealed handgun. Theankle Holster is best used for backup weapon , not primary carry.

                  • Hey Michael,

                    All methods of Carry have advantages and disadvantages. Some of them can be overcome by training others are accepted as compromise and still others by good tailoring! Your two examples are interesting in that time spent in elevators is but a small portion of one’s life just as time spent at an ATM. I personally choose to use the stairs as a fitness measure, I don’t go near ATMs frequently and hever in Condition WHITE. Also if one is physically able to use the marshal arts and choose to carry/wear one should also learn to fight at the Dojo with an unloaded weapon worn or carried per our method(s) oh; and not in anything but the attire we normally wear. What B.B says is interesting in that sometimes he finds it as his ONLY choice to carry or he would be forced to leave it at home. It has been reported by numerous writters that the vast majority of CCW holders do not actually carry most of the time. I carry on my ankle as a backup; but I train for occasions when the primary and backup roles are reversed.
                    I respect you opinion and don’t know your circumstance so it is with open mind and always will to learn that this response is posted.


                    • I usually don’t use elevators but there are times you have to . These are just two examples, there are others. An ankle holster is a last ditch concealment holster. It is the slowest and least practical . It had its uses as when seated in a car. It would be my last choice for carry if at all possible.

    • Chanman,

      You have made some very good points there. Introducing a newbie to the shooting sports, not matter what sex or age, should be given thought and consideration. Check the machismo at the door.

  3. B.B.,

    Most excellent article. Now THAT is a trap! The wheels and lift eyes on top might be a indication of the weight. 😉

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris

    P.S.,…. Happy to be at the front of the pack of those that are “in the know”,….. 🙂

      • S,
        Good luck on finding anything like a nicely sized (read easily portable) safe at the pretty much mythical junk yard. But the real problem is most vintage and nearly all modern safes are not even remotely bullet-proof.
        The reason is they’re not designed to resist repeated, high-velocity focused impacts on what is essentially a concrete box very thinly single skinned in mild steel.
        What? You say concrete? Not inches upon inches of recycled battleship armor plating?
        They’re designed to keep yokel new paroles with big hammers out of your stuff…which they offer better-than-nothing performance…but…
        Be aware, this is an area where one really gets what one pays for. Kind of like parachutes, brake shoes, and ballistic vests…find somewhere else to save money. Low bid is not a good place here.

          • The reason for the familiarity with safes is I was the happy receipient of a crash-course in safecracking while in the military.
            Why and what for is a longer story for another day but suffice to say sometimes you need to find out just what’s in that box…and maybe that means “Right Now!” And it’s useful to know how the box is made. That would usually be concrete with a casing of (maybe) face hardened steel, A dead giveaway would be external hinges on a double door and freestanding with sides, back and top exposed. Hinges can be knocked off with a sledge while cheap and flawed design,and placement usually will reveal the sides, back and top are not only unhardened but sometimes not even made of steel. Bring a magnet..
            There’s more, of course. I could tell of purchasing a small camera store (remember those?) that came with an an ancient, beyond vintage, double-door safe, very intimidating, so big it woudn’t fit through the door. After staring at it for a while I came to the conclusion it had been left on the lot and the building had been constructed around it.
            The only time I ever actually used my special training was getting that no-available-combination safe open…and no, I won’t tell how…but your two clues for the day are: five minutes of recallling basic human psychology beats 5 hours of sweaty sledge work and second, remember what Sgt Lucero said, when I pointed out I already knew about a hundred ways to open a safe with C4.
            “Yeah, said Sgt Lucero, “but them ways is all noisy.
            Five minutes of thought and Sgt Lucero later, the safe was open.
            (Okay, i’ll tell. The combination was on the underside of the top middle office desk drawer. Never underestimate human talent in negating the most reasonable of security protocols.

  4. BB,

    Wow! This is spot on! I do hope the manufacturers out there read this and pay attention to what you are saying. No, we do not need uber magnum sproingers with pink camo stocks. What we do need are sproingers that are easy to cock, easy to shoot accurately and does not weigh in at forty pounds.

    The same goes for PCPs with the addition of inexpensive air sources. They are not fun to shoot if you cannot easily refill them.

  5. Wow, B.B., I didn’t kniow I was a “serious sirgunner,” but I shoot at least one airgun pretty much every day.
    Hence, thank you for letting me know I am a proud member of this illustrious group! =D

  6. Too bad I just woke up and need to put drops in my contacts so I can see (and spell)
    “know” “airgunner” Though perhaps there are some “sirgunners” out there, hahaha!

  7. B.B.

    Nice article, not too political. One thing that really gets me, is that you lump include airsoft and BB guns into the airgun community. I for one, never has had an airsoft gun nor a BB gun, and I never will! I only consider pellets guns, accurate ones at that, as worthy of discussion.



    • Yogi
      How do I say this. First yep bb guns and air soft guns. Accurate?

      I had some air soft guns. And mind you after airgunning. Not before. And what I’m saying by that I mean accurate pellet guns first then I tryed airsoft guns. And mind you only briefly but it showed me what I wanted to know. And it showed me about what accurate is for a gun and a given distance.

      Airsoft I myself thought is better in some ways then bb guns. You should try and see since you haven’t yet. You might just be surprised.

      Sometimes you just got to dig in and take a bite to see what’s out there. Just because it don’t sound good don’t really say what it tastes like.

  8. B.B.

    Excellent blog! Good read!

    Yup, I fall into the SERIOUS category and shoot pretty well every day in decent weather and at least once a week in the winter.

    The amount of pellets Pyramyd AIR sells might be an indicator of how much airgun shooting is done.

    …the lid is now off the garbage can and all the raccoons will eventually gather to investigate – LOL! I live in a rural area beside a 55 acre beaver pond – raccoon encounters are a regular thing. Some of them have figured out how to get the “raccoon proof” lids off the cans 🙂


      • RR,

        “Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who, who?” I let the dogs out! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! LOL!

        Always check the yard for “visitors” before I do though.

        My .25 FX has been great for resolving raccoon “issues” …and two coyotes as well 🙂

          • Mildot52,

            I tend to agree with you with one notable exception in my memory. My parent’s old summer home landlord was a tough old farmer with a soft heart for all living things, especially his farm cats. One summer raccoons ate an entire litter of kittens. Ol’ Harvey was so distraught he declared war with all raccoons on his property. Over the next few years he probably shot a few dozen of them with his old single-shot .22. He chopped their tails off and nailed them to the side of his barn. Now that is anger!

            He was one man you wouldn’t want to mess with when it came to his beloved kitty-cats. He was in his 90s by then, I think.


            • putting out food which is a litter of cats for certain animals then killing them for it is like putting a naked model in a football teams locker room and expecting nothing to happen. cats kill and torture for pleasure 3-4 times a day if there are enough for them to hunt and around a farm there are plenty . a vet told me cats are the Jeffrey Dahmer of the animal world. racoons kill to eat

              • Mildot,

                The mama cat and her litter were in a closed barn. They were farm cats, not house cats, so their job on the farm was to mouse. In any event, Harvey was the one who shot them, not me. It was the only time I ever saw him be anything but gentle and kind, which is why it was so memorable.

                Captain Ahab and the White Whale, Captain Hook and the ticking crocodile, Quint and sharks, many of us are tormented to obsession by a demon or two.


          • Mildot52,

            I live in a rural area and I manage my 10 acres for the critters that live with us. Its a live and let live environment and I get along fine with them (had to interrupt my shooting last night because the deer kept wandering into my shooting lane to see what I was doing).

            I am careful to minimize things that would attract raccoons (and bears!) to the immediate area around the house but occasionally there is an individual who in spite of the deterrents (noise, spraying with the garden hose, mouse traps, etc) persists and becomes an issue. These raccoons are usually big males that can be aggressive and destructive. When one climbs into my fenced yard and becomes a danger to my small dogs it has crossed the line and it’s fur will be shared with my friends who also tie fishing flies.

            The coyotes have also a problem with pets and every few years they need to be reminded that they should stay out of the area.

            Most animals, birds and even reptiles can learn to trust you and will interact with you if you respect their comfort zone. Unfortunately there are situations where the use of force is needed to deal them.

            Mildot, I understand your concern. Just know that I do what I need to do to manage my property and take no pleasure in killing anything.


            • yes coyotes much more dangerous to pet dogs but I never heard of a racoon going after dogs but I did see a dog attack a racoon for no reason but I guess he was protecting his domain and it was dragging the dog into the water until I ran over and grabbed the dog

              • My 15 pound miniature schnauzer will vigorously defend her “her property” and would not fare very well against any raccoon – especially one that out weighs her.

                Seen the results of German Sheppard vs raccoon fight and the vet bill for the dog was substantial!

                The coyotes like cats (the other white meat) – anybody who lets their cat run free is soon posting a note asking if their kitty has been seen/found.

                • yes coyotes killed my cat and many others. the dog I saw attack the racoon was a 75 lb pitt bull and the dog did not do well at all and the racoon was starting to pull him under the water when I grabbed the dog. the racoon did everything to get away from the dog but you know pit bulls

                  • Mildot,

                    There you go, an example I can relate to entirely. A racoon killed in that way . . . I could never get it out of my mind. That is horrific to me.

                    Harvey was angry, but he was not one to make the raccoons suffer. No, I am confident he shot each one in the head with his .22, or at least meant to and finished them off quickly if were not able to do it with the single shot. He was not a cruel man. Not even hardly.

                    I live next door to an FCC owned 90 acre natural area (natural except for the airplane communications beacon at its center). It is a drawing area for alpha predators such as red tailed hawks and coyotes. My wife and I liked the coyotes because they kept the rabbit population under control.

                    But then a puppy was lost to a coyote. Sorry. We loved the coyotes for fulfilling their role in the “circle of life,” but eat a neighbor’s puppy? Uh, no. Eat a puppy today, bite a toddler tomorrow. No.

                    The coyotes were “removed” by a county licensed animal control expert with a .22 LR. I know the man. He relocated an opossum, live, from our garden hose enclosure and “repatriated” it to a wooded area two miles away. He told me he hated to kill the coyotes. If he could have trapped them alive and relocated them, he said, he would have. However, coyotes have a pretty long distance ability to reverse relocation efforts and had killed a pet.

                    I LOVE shooting airguns, but I am a non-hunter. I do not believe I could kill an animal (beyond an insect) without crushing regret. The only exception would be if I were in a position like Harvey’s. Harm one of my cats? Well, my wife and I have no human children. To us, our cats ARE our children.


        • Hank,

          MIne has killed about nine rabbits in the past year. The other day she got into it with a groundhog. It was a stalemate. As you point out coons can be quite a handful. No way I am going to befriend one.

          • RR,

            While not condoned by the state DNR,… but if you get a young coon,… it can be just like a cat or dog just as much fun if not more. It played with a small dog very well for months. They are good up to about a year and you have to get them real young. Just weened I would say. A parent hit on the road side will provide the opportunity as the young ones will be running around and lost,.. and,… you had better have some welding gloves at the ready,.. and a box. They come around quick and are super friendly.

            They start to get a bit wild and “nippy” at about a year. My experience was not me, but rather a girlfriend that had done this before. Right, wrong or indifferent,… it was a pretty cool experience.

            Just my 2 cents on the topic.


            As a side note,… I saw a documentary on Russia and it is common that Fox are pets. WAY smarter than any dog,… or so it was portrayed. A friend of the parents had a ground hog,… until it decided that it would like to dig under the house,… and several barns. Up till then, they said it was a real cool pet. That is about the extent of my knowledge on “critter keeping”. 😉

            • Chris,

              Yeah, about time the hormones start kicking in.

              My grandad used to have a groundhog for a pet. He lived inside. He was pretty cool until his hormones started kicking in. I myself have caught many little groundhogs back when I was a teen. I have even caught full grown ones, but you had best be careful how you handle them.

          • RR,

            Generally, raccoons are pretty cool and easy to get along with – the trouble makers usually turn out to be crotchety old boars.

            Had a family of them befriend me at a fishing spot I frequented. I would toss them the occasional chub or sunfish just to see the little ones fight over it. Got to the point they would clamber all over me if I sat on the shore – mamma kept a watch from a discrete distance. One evening one of the kits grabbed a large streamer fly off my vest and went to take off with it – worried that he would swallow the hook I grabbed him by the scruff and took it back. There was quiet a bit of fuss over who owned the fly and all the time I was worried about mamma coming over to defend her little one. Seems that squabbles in the nursery are normal and since I was accepted into the group there was no reason to get upset. I saw them a lot over the summer.

            Fun encounters, still, with raccoons or any animal, wild or domestic I watch them carefully when I am near them and respect their comfort zone. Heard it said that a mean domestic bull is the most dangerous animal in North America because you are never really sure what it will do next. I can believe that.

            Have a great evening RR!


              • Yup, mice to moose – literally! 🙂

                My property and the surrounding area is very diverse with lake, pond, marsh, alder swamp, cedar bush low areas intermixed with meadows and hardwood ridges. As a result there is a wide variety of amphibians, birds, insects, mammals and reptiles which relate to their preferred forage and habitat.

                The whole area is lightly sprinkled with houses on 5 to 25 acre lots so that public access (and disturbance) is restricted to the home owners – most of whom appreciate nature as it is.

                I am reminded daily on how lucky I am to live here and can’t imagine ever living in a city again.


            • Hank,

              LOL! I can remember a friend of mine having to dive on top of a picnic table because a black angus bull decided he was going through the gate my friend happen to be walking through at the moment.

  9. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention replica airguns as a means of learning about firearms. With a good replica, a novice can become accustomed to the weight and feel of the gun they are interested in. The act of shooting, getting muscle memory, learning sight picture and gaining confidence can be accomplished in a garage — or even in their house — away from prying eyes. Good replicas are available for many popular semi-automatics pistols and revolvers. There are even good replicas of the AR-15!

    • Hey Gordonsbuck,

      You need to read lots more of B.B.s blogs and you will see that it (learning to shoot better regardless of power source) is at the heart of many if not all of them. He is doing them for an airgun retailer so you need to also read his firearm magazine articles.
      He is a SHOOTER first and foremost!


  10. B.B.,
    Very good article! I will have to get a first hand look at the P365 when they are in stock around here. From the picture it looks like I have a pistol in .380 that is larger than that one.

    • Gerald,

      Ton Jones thought it was a .380. When he realized it was 9mm he got excited.

      There was one woman who carried a Ruger LCP in .380. She had never shot it, so after she tried the 365 her husband had her try the Ruger. Poor choice! She wants a 365 now.


  11. Hey all, something Gunfun1 said got me to thinking.
    Shooting IS just plain fun! =D
    And while those Bullet Bunkers are cool; they are also heavy and expensive.
    Airgun traps are lightweight and inexpensive, making it easy to set up an airgun range in a house or apartment.
    This can prove most helpful; on Monday, my wife was taken to the hospital with heart attack symptoms.
    She’s totally fine, and is home resting now; but the point is, on Monday I was freaked out. #_#
    I know what Jesus said (in John 14:27),
    “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
    Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
    Still, I’m only human; and after I prayed, I was still freaking out a bit,
    especially after he hospital send me home for the night, while they kept her for observation.
    Fortunately, an airgun I had purchased, a .22 caliber Crosman 130
    (bought to replace the one I had given my brother a few months ago),
    arrived 2 days early and was waiting in my mailbox (Divine Providence! =>).
    Following B.B.’s advice, the first thing I did was some chrono work (on my indoor 5-meter range).
    The gun was topping out at 350 fps with Crosman Premiers and 363 fps with JSB RS pellets (3.9 fpe, not bad).
    Next I tried a bunch of pellets, and it seemed like the JSBs at 5 pumps (~300 fps) gave good accuracy.
    By now it was nearly midnight, and I was feeling…relaxed.
    Hence, my theory is this:
    God gave us the brains to invent airguns so we could shoot them to help us with His admonition not to worry.
    New shooters, try it and you shall see. =D

    • That’s right. Who here intends to attend? How big does it tend to be?

      It’s just one day, but that can result in a bigger and more active show than two days.


        • Shootski
          Good point, everything is relative to something else isn’t it.
          Heck I have an Airsoft copy of the CheyTac M200 Sniper Rifle I converted from spring to CO2 operation and it’s 4′ 6″ tall. Having a long barrel must really help. The original has a range over 2500+ yards… and a price 5X that amount ! Not your average plinker.

  12. BB
    On the P365 it looks like they moved the trigger forward and undercut the trigger guard for a higher grip and I’ll bet the trapezoidal looking slide has more weight to the rear and probably has some upward push to counter recoil lift when the slide returns home? Sig must be seriously looking at every aspect of firearm design to optimize performance.

    I remember many years ago I mentioned the phrase, ” Golden Age of Airguns ” in a blog but I might have to change it to the ” Overwhelming Age of Airguns ” At least from a collectors point of view. Way too many out there now to even think about collecting them all. Even if you restricted your collection to one type of power source or design type. There must be about 20 variations on the Colt SAA alone.
    You could have a substantial amount of Airguns even if you only collected ‘Discontinued’ ones made in the last ten years.

    It’s really great to have a lot of Airguns to choose from but not so great to find out your ‘New’ somewhat expensive Airgun, after spending a lot of research time on before purchasing, has just been outdone by a newer model a few weeks later. And how many Airguns went unsold because we knew a better one was ‘On the way’ nine months down the road. Probably holds true for air compressors too.

    If I continue to collect it will probably be restricted to picking a model ‘Representative’ of it’s type and not all the various options available.

    But for some reason I am partial to the Colt SAA. Could it be early exposure?
    Bob M

  13. B.B.,

    More and more I think new air rifles tend to be more accurate than not, even if they are cheaply made and cost well uinder $100. What has to take place is learning the artillery hold and learning to control the trigger of the rifle.

    I have a couple ultra-cheap Gamo air rifles with heavy but predictable triggers, and scoped they are very accurate at 25 yards, rested, with RWS Diabolos, RWS Clubs, Crosman Premiers. It took me some time with each to get a feel for how to shoot it, using the various hold positioning attempts you write about periodically, but eventually I could shoot predictably tight groups. One of them took me only about 50 shots to figure out.

    More and more I think the barrels are improving even on many of the cheapest springers and the secret to accuracy is simply practice with a particular air rifle.


  14. B.B.,

    Is that Sig P365 outfitted with a reversible magazine release? On the left side, is that a safety or decocker (or both)? If it is just a safety, and if they do not offer the P365 in a left-handed version, well, they are missing out on 15 – 20 percent of the market, unless it has a safely heavy DAO trigger. I was disapponted in the CZ 75 until I read they also made an 85. (Not that I’m in the market for one, but I am militantly left-handed. ;^)


      • B.B.,

        Maybe it is time to explain a … NEW… STRIKER fired Powder Burner Pistol! With comparisons to hammerless, single action (SA), double action (DA) and SA/DA and DAO.


        • B.B.,

          The reversible mag release shows class in design and overall quality.

          I think I understand the difference between striker-fired (a la Glock) and hammer-fired (a la Colt 1911). Are all “DAO” striker-fired guns strictly speaking “pseudo DAO” in that all have a striker that is pretensioned almost to its full firing position? Perhaps a more strictly accurate term is not pseudo DAO but rather 2-5 percent DA.

          Is there also a thing such as a DAO/SA pistol where the first shot is (or can be) made with a heavier pull DA fuinction that then makes the gun fully SA (or perhaps pretensioned, pseudo DAO)?

          If there are combinations of all of the above, it seems to me there are perhaps five or more types of repeating pistol actions.

          Whew! It’s potentially complicated enough to make a person long for a revolver (which S&W now makes in 8 round models).


          • Michael,

            The GLOCK pistol of the 1980s was the first of the modern striker fired guns but strikers have been around for at least a century or a bit more. It took a number of decades before the rest of the manufacturers caught on to GLOCKS advantage in getting big contracts from LEO/MIL buyers.

            Yes on the DA 1st shot on trigger pull cocking the hammer or striker and then going completely SA as long as the slide cycles; the SIG P220 has models with this type of action as one instance but many more exist. Many moddles are available in multiple action flavors; SIG P226 is one such.
            You forgot one! Full Automatic (FA) very easily forgotten!

            So yes the numbers of repeating pistol actions are numerous and easily confused by copywriters and the media.


              • Shootski,

                I’m not in the market, but I find innumerable things fascinating, and I have a desire to learn about pretty much everything.

                That said, if I were in the market for a handgun, I would probably want an 8 shot Performance Center S&W in .357 (to shoot .38 Special + P only) and have the hammer bobbed. Either that or a S&W .44 Special with a 4 inch barrel (with hammer bobbed).

                Hey, it’s a revolver. Point. Shoot. Repeat.


  15. I guess i am a “serious” airgunner though i think defining or labeling is kind of a useless undertaking. I use firearm & air rifle on a daily basis as pest & predator removal tools. I am not a firearm enthusiast i do appreciate the accuracy & range, but i enjoy air rifles for all the limitations and technique required even the harder ones to shoot are just fun.

  16. Well as you said it is your definition, but i did not say or did i mean to insinuate such things were not important for a company because they must settle on metrics on which they make choices. I might have another way of defining it for instance i seem to fall squarely into the category you defined yet if i shot less i don’t think my choices would be any different.
    I was not aware you were speaking as if it were the perspective of a company and i responded to what i read.

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