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Fun Treasure of the pond

Treasure of the pond

by Tom Gaylord

A history of airguns

This is a special day. You will notice that I did not use my pen name today.

I’m showing you the first chapter in my next book. My last book was BB Guns Remembered, which is a collection of short stories I wrote about vintage pictures of boys with BB guns. I make nearly $100 a year from the online sales of that book, which beats the thousands I lost on the R1 book. So, I obviously don’t do this for money. I do it for fun. Have some fun on me this weekend!

boy dog gun

My gosh! I never looked that clean a day in my life! I had to take a bath and get on my best summer clothes for that picture. See those shoes? Never wore them in the summer, except to church. And the hat? Not on your life! It made me look like a girl.

Now, Buster looks happy because nobody made him take a bath. Heck, he swam in the pond across the street almost every day, so of the two of us he was always the cleaner one.

See that BB gun I’m holding? That’s no ordinary Daisy or King. That’s a genuine Columbian 1906 that no other kid in the county owned. It was heavy black cast iron with animals engraved on the sides and had that beautiful nickel-plated barrel. The wood stock was gorgeous figured walnut that was as nice as any fine shotgun stock. That gun shot hard and straight, or if not, that’s what I always claimed. A gun that pretty had to perform as well as it looked—didn’t it?

I got that BB gun at my 11th birthday, which I am celebrating in this picture. If it wasn’t for the camera, I would be dirty and disheveled by this time of day. I remember this day better now, some 50 years later, than I do almost anything else that happened in my life. You see, I wasn’t supposed to have a BB gun. In fact I’ll tell you another interesting thing. Although I got that BB gun on my birthday, it wasn’t a birthday present. It was a commission!

I grew up in southern Pennsylvania at the time the Great War was raging in Europe. My dad was too old to go to war, but many men in our town had already gone into the service and they had started shipping out in early 1917. The Lusitania had been torpedoed two years before and people were very anti-German by this time. That wasn’t a good thing for my family because our last name was Braun. You wouldn’t think anything of it today, but at this particular time the people in our small town were already talking behind our backs, and I had two fights in school defending our name.

My dad was an engineer on the Maryland and Pennsylvania, Railroad—the old Ma and Pa line that ran between Baltimore and York, Pa. Because the line was short, dad was home more than most fathers, so he had a business on the side with his younger brothers. They had a lumberyard and sold lumber from trees brought in on the river. In fact the pond across from our house wasn’t really a pond, it was a small estuary of the same river and my family owned all of it plus some acreage around it. They kept the logs in that pond until they were ready to cut them, then they hauled them out by sledge and horse teams to the mill.

Dad always told us kids to stay away from the pond, as there were logs that had sunk there years ago and we could get snagged by them if we weren’t careful. We weren’t allowed to swim or boat in the pond for that reason, but my dog Buster didn’t care. He swam there every day.

One day when I went looking for him I happened to stare into the water and I could see a few of the old logs down on the bottom like dad said. So I asked my dad why he didn’t raise those logs and cut them for lumber, too? That’s when he told me his story.

Years before he had wondered the same thing, so he raised one of the smaller logs and took it to the mill to dry out for cutting. He said it took over two years for the log to dry and even then it didn’t dry as thoroughly as it should have. He said they did cut it up and it was a maple tree that produced quite a lot of good maple hardwood. He was impressed that there was even some extra fine fiddleback lumber in among the boards they cut from that tree, and if he had been prepared for it with the right saw blades he could have cut it up to make furniture-grade lumber and possibly even some veneer. He told me that was where the real money in lumber was—in high-grade veneer! A big log that might produce twenty dollars of building lumber could produce as much as one-hundred dollars of furniture-grade lumber if the grain was good enough. And, if it was made into veneer, it might go for ten times that amount!

I asked why he didn’t do that and then he told me the cost of the special saw blades that were needed. They were extremely expensive. Plus he might even have to invest in a new saw for the veneer! His mill was set up for rough building-grade lumber and not for such fine stuff.

I didn’t think much more about it at the time. It just seemed to me like a treasure that was waiting to be found, and it was right in front of our noses. But in time I forgot about it until one eventful day when I met a very special man.

We had a rifle range close to our house and in those days rifle shooters were the superstars of the day. Men like Hinman, Hill and Dr. Mann were the names everyone knew, and of course at the top of the list was the great Harry Pope! But the man I revered the most lived in Pottsville, right in my own state. He was the great Georg Schalk! I never met him face to face because he had died in 1893, several years before I was born. But I met another man who was connected to him, a Dr. Moore.

Dr. Dennis Moore was a dentist who was also a schuetzen shooter. But more importantly, he made custom rifle stocks—beautiful rifle stocks. And his stocks were in high demand from professional men who had the money to afford them. One of his custom stocks might cost as much as the rest of the man’s rifle and kit! And they were gorgeous! He had been a protégé of Mr. Schalk and now was the region’s recognized master stockmaker—a profession he had to weave into what little free time he had as a dentist.

Dr. Moore worked in many beautiful hardwoods, but his specialty was fiddleback maple. One stock might use as much of this fine wood as a dozen violins, so the good doctor was on the outs with the fiddle-makers of the day. And nowhere in America were there more luthiers than in Penn’s Woods. The German heritage was so strong in those people and many of them brought their crafts to this country when they came from the old country. In fact Georg Schalk himself was also a German-born luthier as well as a master schuetzen rifle maker the equal of Pope!

Dr. Moore lived in the next township over and often came to the local schuetzenfests. He came to compete but his popularity often kept him off the firing line while his customers badgered him over the details of their next stocks.

Well, I normally watched the matches from the gallery, but this special day my father and I were attracted by an absolutely gorgeous piece of curly maple on one of the rifles. Father was pointing out to me the tight grain and perfect oil finish on the stock. We stood in front of the rifle rack when Dr. Moore asked my father, “Would you like to hold it, sir?” Father said he would so the good doctor removed it from the rack and gently handed it to him. As he turned it over in his hands he remarked on the perfection of the stock’s shape and finish of the wood. That opened the doctor up and the two of them talked for several minutes.

I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying until I heard the doctor exclaim, “What? You have a board as nice as this?”

“Probably even a little nicer,” allowed my father.

This got the doctor really excited, but one of his customers came up just then and the conversation had to be postponed. We left the match before the doctor was free again and I thought that was all there was to it, but just after suppertime that evening we heard a knock on our front door and it was Doctor Moore. Father invited him in and the two men retired to the parlor to discuss something over coffee. After a few minutes the two of them walked outside to the stable where they were for quite some time. When father came back inside he said Dr. Moore had left but he would be back the next Saturday to pick up a board.

It turned out my father had kept that fine maple board he talked about from many years before. He knew it was too fine to be used for lumber. And the doctor had purchased it from him. I didn’t learn the price at the time but in later years I found out it was twenty dollars—for one board!

Dr. Moore drove up in a flivver the next Saturday and loaded the thick eight-foot board onto the passenger side running board and over the front fender, where he tied it down with rope. As he was loading it, I asked him if he would like to find more wood like that. He said he would, so I walked him across the street and showed him the pond, where several large logs could be seen on the bottom. I told him his board had come from a small log in the same pond. I said some more things but I didn’t seem to be getting through to him. He just stared at the bottom of the pond with his eyes unfocused.

Then he asked me about the logs in the pond. Why were they there? How long had they been there? How many were there? I answered him to the best of my ability, and finally I told him that my father knew they were good logs, but the cost of the right saw blades and possibly a new and better saw had prevented him from doing anything about them. Well, I didn’t know it then but I had just forged a business partnership.

Dr. Moore and I went back to the house and he went inside to talk to my father. After about an hour father and mother came out and Dr. Moore took the whole family to dinner at the hotel in town. I had to take another cold water bath real quickly, but everything seemed so exciting that I didn’t mind.

Later that evening father called his two brothers over and they held a discussion long into the evening. The next day he told me that we were going in partnership with Dr. Moore who was going to provide the money for the new saw and blades. My uncles were going to raise the logs from the bottom of the pond and we would saw them into furniture-grade lumber and, hopefully, even some veneer!

Over the next month my uncles worked out a way to safely raise the logs from the bottom of the pond while my father built an addition to our mill for the new equipment. As that was happening he was also searching for a good deal on a new saw. The logs came up one at a time and turned out to be even older than we had thought. The cold river water had preserved them perfectly, so they only needed to dry for about a year before they could be cut in two. Once that was done they would dry out a lot faster. By the time the first log was dry enough to cut there were 48 large maple logs drying and no end in sight on the bottom of the pond.

It took father half a year to find a sawmill two counties over that was going out of business. He arranged to buy their almost-new saws with extra blades for a very reasonable price. It took a gang of six men and two large trucks to bring everything over to our mill and set it all up in the new building father had erected.

The first log was cut in half almost exactly a year after we had seen Dr. Moore’s beautiful stock at the schuetzenfest, and we could see there was going to be a lot of good figured grain come from it. One of my uncles had built a drying room in the new building and I helped keep the fires stoked day and night. As a result we were able to cut the first log only three months after splitting it and only then did we see the beauty of the grain.

Dr. Moore came by to look at the lumber we cut up and he selected a choice board for himself. Father told me then that that was his part of the profit—he got to pick any of the boards he wanted for stocks. Father paid him back for the loan to buy the saws from the profits he made on all the good lumber and that loan was paid off in two years. But he let Dr. Moore continue to select lumber for his stocks, because he said without his help none of this would have happened.

As for me, Dr. Moore came to my 11th birthday with a special present just for me. My mother didn’t want me to have a BB gun because she was afraid I would shoot at cats, but Dr. Moore persuaded both her and my father that I was responsible enough to have one. So, in a special ceremony on my birthday, Dr. Moore presented me with the thing I wanted most in the world, the finest BB gun I had ever seen! It had been for sale in a gun store down in York and was truly a thing of beauty.

Dr. Moore said if I hadn’t told him about the treasure in the pond, none of this would have happened. He had asked me weeks before what I wanted most in the world and I told him I wanted that fine BB gun. He asked me why I wanted it and I told him it was a gun I could have that most reminded me of Schalk’s fine schuetzens, like the beautiful one with the maple stock that he owned. So he presented me with that BB gun as thanks for getting our fine lumber business started. I was extremely glad to have such a fine BB gun and I secretly resolved to treat it as carefully as he did his powder rifles. Then he surprised me with a second presentation. It was in a long oaken box that was lined in deep green felt. It was a real Schalk schuetzen rifle that the doctor had stocked with the first piece of curly maple he got from us. He told me that when I was a few years older he would teach me how to shoot it, but for now I could just keep it and look at it. My father and mother were both flabbergasted by this extravagant present! I didn’t know what to say because it didn’t seem real to me. Dr. Moore told us that this was the last schuetzen rifle Schalck ever made and he left it unstocked. He told the doctor to give it to the most worthy person he met with Schalk’s blessings, and the doctor had stocked it with the first fine presentation wood we harvested as a tribute that he believed was fitting.

That was over five decades ago and I still have both that fine rifle and my beautiful BB gun. Dr. Moore, my uncles and my parents all left the range many years ago and the lumber mill has passed to me. The logs in the pond finally played out, but not before they made our family a small fortune. But greater than even that are the memories I have, watching the whole thing unfold.

The pond is now in the middle of a small park that I created and gave to the town several years ago. And, across the street from where my old house used to stand I built a park bench of the most beautiful figured maple boards. I often sit on that bench and look out over the pond, remembering my parents, my uncles, Dr. Moore and Buster.

York, PA 1967

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

200 thoughts on “Treasure of the pond”

  1. B.B.,

    Tom since you are going to publish this in you own name this will reduce confusion of new readers as to who the author is especially when they cross reference it with this blog. Intriguing opening story. Glad to hear you are not losing money on your second book venture. Hopefully the R1 book, if re-issued, can get out of the red.


  2. I was born and raised in Minersville, PA and currently live in Schuylkill Haven, PA. I always knew our area was rich in history but now I know a little more. Thanks for the lesson!

  3. Tom,

    Most excellent. I have your first book. It is of the same style I think. (get one ya’ all)

    When the Dr. and the boy went to look at the logs in the pond for the first time,… “he just started (stared) at the bottom of the pond”.

    Any guesstimate when it might be available? Also, I believe these are fictional, yes? Obviously there is factual bits of history, names and era correct references incorporated.

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

  4. BB,

    LOL! You crafty ol’ codger. You did this knowing “you can’t eat just one”.

    This is a superb bit of prose and I look forward to experiencing the rest. Thank you.

  5. Tom,

    “One of his custom stocks might cost as much as the rest of the man’s rifle and kit!”

    “kit”,…? What is the correct reference/meaning of the word with regards to the shooting sports?

    When (now) visiting air gun sites across the pond,… the word kit is often used in reference to one’s rifle and scope (and perhaps pellets, case, rest(s) and more).

    I suppose that in the muzzle loading days,… the required accessory’s to even shoot at all might be referred to as a kit.

    It is not a term commonly heard here,….. so I was just a bit curious. Maybe this is a term that was used by some of our readers that are in their late 60’s, 70, 80 age range when they were in their youth? Kind of like “pip”,… which I have only ever heard of here. 😉


    • I have right in front of me a 1951 edition of: ‘Major Ned H. Roberts and The Schuetzen Rifle’

      This book blew my mind with each page I turned, it’s been weeks now and I’m still trying to get used to the ideas of muzzle-loading breech loaders, shooting an entire tournament with just the one cartridge case, getting blackpowder to shoot clean by using a priming charge of smokeless and many other revelations my modern friends have no idea about

      A very important piece of ‘kit’ for a schuetzen rifle was it’s bullet mold. To find such a rifle without that is a tragedy, as the mold would have been carefully chosen for a specific size, weight & shape matched to a combination of powder & bullet lube. The loss of such a mold means the loss of years of somebodies painstaking work

      And because it was important to maintain a constant powder volume, you would see in the kit everything needed to decap & reprime your one single case while at the firing line

      The powder measure would be ridiculously small, as it was only for the priming charge, the main charge being simply to fill the case even & cap that with a felt wad or card stock

      There would be a dummy cartridge, being just a spare case with a wooden dowl jammed into it so as to pre-seat the bullet a very short distance ahead of the shooting cartridge. So you might spot in the kit only two cartridges, one having what looks like a plug in it sticking out just 1/16″

  6. “…I still have both that fine rifle and my beautiful BB gun.”

    Thank God! I was hoping you were going to say that.
    What an awesome story, and you got some great treasures out of it.
    That’s way cool that you donated the park and pond to the town,
    but also cool that you can still look over the pond from your bench.
    This story really made my day; thanks again!
    take care & God bless,

  7. Tom,

    That is an amazing and touching story. I look forward to the finished book. Do you plan for it to be a memoir, or do you envision another collection of short pieces?


  8. Mr. Gaylord:
    Great bb gun story. However, the investigator in me questions if the boy in the picture is you. A present given to an 11 year old boy in 1917 make his date of birth approximately 1906. It’s now 2019. While you are the “Godfather of Airguns” , if that picture is really you, then you’d be the “Great great grandfather of airguns”.
    But then again, at 113 years old, it would go a very long way to explaining the depth and breath of yor airgun knowledge.
    Respectfully submitted,
    William Schooley

  9. Great story Tom, and beautifully told, where facts and fiction are separated by an almost invisible line. You are a very gifted writer. Looking forward to the published book!

    • Ed,

      Not really. Born in ’61,… and after some reflection today,…. I do remember Gladys (sp?) Night and the “Pips”. From what I have gathered, a “pip” is a real beauty. So, for the group, that makes sense and given the era. Late 60’s and 70’s is my forte. Rock. Classic, not punk stuff. Folk rock too.

      As for “kit” being used in a song,…. I can not recall any, from any style.

      If you care to, spill the beans and let me know the name of the artist and I shall reply with an honest answer as to my recall,… or lack thereof,…. which is far more likely! 😉


      • Chris,

        Here’s a link that should clear this up. I was born in 1955 and got to watch old movies on TV. Laurel and Hardy had a film titled “Pack Up Your Troubles” from 1930ish and I think an airing of that movie is where I heard the song. It is actually from WWI, I believe.

        When I was younger and an avid Gun Nut I remember that many small framed, small caliber guns were referred to as kit guns. They were for shoving into your rucksack or tackle box “just in case” you needed to bag some game, kill a snake, or discourage some evil doer. The Ruger Single Six and Mark I and II were almost always, sooner or later, referred to as Kit guns when they were written about. I also believe that the Brits and other Europeans use the term “Kit” in the much more general way as we use the word “Gear”

        • Half,

          “Kit” and “gear” does seem to be the (across the pond) interpretation/translation. All inclusive in terms of gear. TCM, or Turner Classic Movies does seem to show quite a few movies from the 30’s and 40’s. Some, re-mastered? I do not check them out much, but I have on occasion. The way of speaking was much different from now,.. depending on how far back in time/movies you choose to delve. I do find the odd use of words (to me at least),… interesting.


  10. Always look forward to Friday’s blogs since they usually surprise me with a fresh and unexpected topic. Today is over the top though.

    I’m convinced that you can become a good writer with lots of work and a good editor. But to become a great writer you also have to have the “gift” that transcends technique.

    Today’s story reminds me of an exercise in a writing class I took years ago. The teacher would show an interesting photograph, like the one at the top of today’s story, and our assignment was to write a story about that photo.

    Tom, you have the gift and get an A+. Thank you.

  11. Has anyone ever walked a river bank and seen petrified wood?

    My dad use to take me to the river when I was a kid to get away from the farm. Kind of a change of pace if you will. It was cool growing up on the farm. But I really enjoyed the trip to the river with my dad and younger brother. Sometimes we got to bring our buddy’s. And yes we did bring guns with us to stop and shoot along the way. It was fun times. I haven’t thought about that for some time now. It was called the Chain of Rocks. Well that’s what every one called it back then anyway. And it was at the Mississippi River on the Illinois and Missouri State line south of St.louis.

    I remember picking up smaller pieces of the petrified wood and certian rocks and my dad would tumble them in his rock tumbler. We even would find arrow heads and such. I use to collect them when I was a kid. My dad would drill holes in them and make braclets and necklaces. He gave them as birthday presents to my cousin’s and our neighbors and his friends kids. I know I got a couple I saved that he helped me make. Only God knows where they are at now.

    But your story with the river and the “pond” and the fine wood made me remember.

    Here’s a link. Check out the images.

    • GF1,

      My Dad grew up in Rockwood, Illinois on the Mississippi. He had some great stories. Like the time he lost two front teeth when he put his slingshot handle in the fence wire so he could use two hands to pull it back.

      Rockwood started to loose its population when the Mississippi moved about a mile away and they lost their port. Then the 1993 Flood wiped out what was left of the town. My Dad and I went back there in 1998 to visit his cousins, we had a great time. One of the petrified dinosaur eggs they found along the river when they were kids was still in the front yard of the old house. One of my Dad’s cousins still did not have running water.

      • Don
        Interesting story. What do you mean by the Mississippi moved about a mile away. What happened. And yep the flood of “93” got alot of people in the Midwest. The machine shop was in 10 foot of water back when the flood happened. Talk about a mess. All the machines needed rebuilt. That took a long time. And I even remember people found catfish in the screw machines coolant resivoirs. It was really a mess.

        And ouch with the sling shot.

        • GF1,

          I may do some research, I do not know for sure if the Mississippi migrated away from town or an oxbow cut off. I am guessing an oxbow cut off. The town would have been on the outside of a bend in the river. That is where the deep water would be. The river used to move around a lot more before hundreds of miles of the bank has been covered in rock riprap to reduce erosion. On the Mississippi moving a mile would not be that uncommon. If you look at aerial photos you can see the old river scars.

    • GF1,

      Do you know how that wood got petrified?

      I’ll give you ’til tomorrow to think about your answer, then I’ll tell you.

      I got my folding stock Thursday and mounted it this afternoon. It is held on with 2 machine screws. Here’s some pics of the gun as a carbine with my, admittedly, too large scope on it. It’s what I had, so I used it, for now. The gun weighs 3.75 pounds like this and is 25″ long with a 14 3/4″ length of pull. I was braggin’ the other day about how cool it was that it could generate over 12 FPE with just an 8″ barrel. On closer examination I found that it is actually 11″, but that is still compact for a gun that is as accurate as this one seems to be.

      One of the regulars here, can’t remember who right now, opined that not being able to fire the gun as a pistol with the stock on it was a big disappointment. I can tell you, now that I have one, that the gun can be fired as a pistol with no interference from the stock. You only have to flip the stock out to the right a small amount and your hand can easily do everything it needs to fire the gun as a pistol, as I have tried to show in my pics. I don’t know why you would do this, though. I guess if you mounted a dot sight on the carbine it would still serve in the pistol mode, but as accurate as my gun has proven to be, it deserves a full-on rifle scope, which will be useless as a pistol sight. I think I will have to decide whether I want an accurate pistol or carbine and apply the sights that do the job best, with the understanding that if I change my mind, I have to change the sights.

      Here’s the photos of the gun in its new duds.

    • GF1,

      The hinge on the stock has a little more free play, up and down, than I would like, but I think a thumb screw, in a tapped hole where the arrow is pointing in this photo, will tighten everything up just right after the stock is folded out.

      • Half,

        Good idea. I took the swinger out of the M-rod RAI set up. Off angle a bit and a little slop. Good enough, but I like things to be locked up tight. Maybe fine for a combat rifle when you want something compact for moving in on a target/position and then want a quick fold out.


    • GF1,

      Although I am suffering with my second cold already this winter, I wanted to try the stock out. It’s cold and very windy out today and rain and snow is forecast for the next few days, so I only shot one group, rested on a sandbag, down in my basement. I had the gun resting on the reservoir tube and I was seated in a chair with no support for my arm and elbow, so thing were a little wobblier than ideal. In spite of all that I was able to put 10 shots of AA Field, 4.51 mm head pellets into a very small group at 13 yds. The group at the same distance with the same pellet and the gun in a vise was .165″. That is the most accurate pellet in this gun. Here’s how it shot today.

    • I realize it shot about twice the size of the vised group, but my eyes are watery and I am fighting a constant urge to cough. I like it, personally, and can’t wait to shoot at longer distance when I feel better, with the vise and with the stock rested on a steadier sand bag setup.

      This is still at a 8.5 FPE level and I think I may do some higher speed stuff at 50+ yds if there is any interest.


      • Halfstep
        I’ll tell you what. I’m really liking that gun. And even more now with the folding stock.

        Is other people that own them having as good of luck as you? If so you have me sold on the gun. How much was the pistol and also the stock?

        • GF,

          I can’t say that I have seen results JUST like mine, but I also haven’t seen any info that was as detailed as what I’m trying to make available. Some folks are only shooting a few lower cost pellets through their guns and they aren’t vising the gun to take the shooter’s lack of skill out of the equation. That being said, everything that I have seen has been positive. If you watch Gile’s review of the British-legal Zasdar version of the gun on AirGunGearShow, you will find that he loves it and says it is the best value in PCP guns. Other reviewers of that version of the gun pretty much say the same. I don’t spend a lot of time in forums, so I don’t know how it is viewed in all of them, but the comments I have seen are positive.

          I bought my gun from a dealer in Madrid, Spain for $235ish in US dollars, delivered. The stock came from Briton and it was about $47 delivered. The scope I have on it now was just 28 bucks, or so, on Amazon.


          • Halfstep
            I’m just wanting to know if more guns are as accurate or if they are hit and miss with how well they shoot. If I take the chance on buying the gun I hope it performs is what I’m getting at.

            I don’t want to get one then be disappointed.

    • GF1,

      I should probable mention that I used some folded paper to take up the slack in the hinge before I shot this group. It would probably been wider, in all honesty, had I not done that first. Still a nice $45 addition to the gun, I think.


        • GF1,

          The slack is mostly in the up and down directions and since the tube is on a bag and my upper torso and my arm and elbow are not supported, the sight picture moves around as I move. I’m just a regular shooter, so I may have more issues than you. If you end up getting one, don’t do anything ’til you try it without it, is what I would advise you.


          • Halfstep
            I would have to get the stock right off the bat. I just don’t like shooting pistols that much. I can shoot them fairly good. But a nice small compact pistol with a long barrel and a shoulder stock is what I like.

            We’ll see. I might end up with one. But I got about 8 or so guns ahead if it that I want to get. You know how that goes. 🙂

  12. Great story BB. I had a small pond behind our house when I was young. We called it “The Frog Pond” because it was, well, full of frogs. We weren’t allowed to go there until we got some older. I shot my Daisy 1894 there all the time. I shot that old Daisy until it broke about 1968. Then my Dad bought me a Sheridan “C” that I still have today. That was like going from a biplane to a jet fighter for me. While I have many firearms today, I never gave up on airguns.


  13. Off subject,
    Just saw a pic of the new Swarm Fusion Gen @. The magazine now more horizontal for a lower profile and also now includes iron sights!! Good for me (even though they are fiber optic). I hope they keep advancing this “multi shot” in a break barrel and/or springer. Just think if you could put that with Sig’s lock up. I used to think break barrels went as far as they could. I was wrong. They just keep evolving. Now just make one shoot 800 to 950 fps (with heavier pellets) and not be hold sensitive.


    • Doc,

      You can do that now, but there are tradeoffs. The laws of physics dictate such. As the power increases, the mass needs to increase or the hold sensitivity will increase. I had a Gamo CFX that was extremely accurate. It was also extremely hold sensitive.

      The gas sproing has helped on the issues of torque and vibration, but in the lighter sproingers it brings forth a more violent forward recoil. I tried one in my Gamo CFX and it turned into a real head slapper.

      I learned my lessons about sproingers. I have been fortunate to have shot sproingers with some of the most sedate firing cycles you can imagine, up to some of the most violent uber magnums. I myself will take accuracy over power any day. After all, “What good is 500 FPE if you can’t hit what you are shooting at?”.

      • RidgeRunner,
        Thanks for that, as I have often wondered about the Gamo CFX. Now I know. I agree with it. It be cool to have 10 shot mag on the HW30 too. Speaking of that, with your HW30, have you measured how many fps you are getting out of her yet?


        • Doc,

          No, I have not had another play time with the HW30. I am almost afraid to. It is supposed to be my grandson’s air rifle.

          I have heard good things about the Swarm Maxxim. I have also heard that they can be hold sensitive. My experience is Gamo air rifles as a whole are hold sensitive, however if you give the time to one, you will become more in tuned with it.

  14. That was just wonderful Tom. Thought it was so real but the years did not match up. Reading your blogs I feel I know you. I did meet you years ago at the Little Rock show. You and I were talking with Mike Melnick at his table. You pointed out a BSF that I should have purchased. Thanks for all you do for us. Frank

  15. If I remember now you did purchase it before the show closed. I thought it must have been a good one if he bought it. But I would had a problem correcting the barrel at that time. On another thought I mentioned to you, ‘Do you know how I know it is Saturday ?’ The answer being, ‘No Tom Gaylord blog on my computer!’ I think you thought, ‘Gee he wants a blog on Saturday yet!’ Which was not the case, only meaning I looked forward to reading you every day as so many do on here. We do have fun, and Thank You…..

  16. Tom,
    Words alone cannot express how excited I became upon finding the name of one of my all time idols in today’s blog. George P. Schalk was described to me by an old friend as the pinnacle of schuetzen history, gunsmithing, and 19th century craftsmanship. So I want to share some photos of his work, thank you for mentioning a mostly unknow pioneer of shooting sports!

    • Carl,

      Nice. (Good to hear from you). How is the business going? I have your site saved and check in from time to time, but it has been a few. Wishing you the very best,….


      • Chris,
        Yes it’s been a minute, most of my time has been occupied with work, and a less than ideal first semester of college for our daughter. Things have smoothed out now, and hopefully work slows down because I have some new ideas to work on. How are things with the Red Wolf?

        • Carl,

          Good to hear things are “smoothing out”. Work all you can, while you can. I find I like my four 10’s and 3 days off,.. anymore.

          The Red Wolf is doing just fine. Winter in Ohio is not conducive to outdoor shooting, so it gets put on display for the days off, to admire. Nothing lacks. No complaints. Indoor shooting with a .25 at 41′ leaves a bit to be desired. Though,…. if I was super serious,… I would be pumping 2 cans a month through it throughout the Winter just to stay in form. I do have indoor traps/backstops tuff enough to handle it just fine, even at 5′ for indoor chrony work,.. so really no excuse(s).

          Best wishes going forwards,.. as always,…….. Chris

  17. See, the dog proves he’s not a nerd; but who new he’d grow up to like a new pro chrono infrared light system so he could practice his night shooting skills? Best!

      • Chris,

        FX has some superb airguns. From the moment I heard about this I have wanted one. I would sell my HM1000X if need be for one of these.

        If you think about it, you can cover almost the entire spectrum of PCP air rifles with just one core and swappable parts.

        This is going to lead many deep into The Dark Side.

        • RR,

          The FX quality and the ability to “build your own” concept will be the real draw, IMO. Reconfiguring at a later date is a draw too. Quality, flexibility, options,……. the more, the better.


          • Chris,

            These are exactly what draws me. With this I could have “one” PCP, although at the moment I do not have that many to begin with.

            This is going to blow the market wide open.

      • PP,

        Yes, I have been drooling about this for almost a year now. I have to say that I am into sproingers also as most of the residents at RRHFWA are sproingers.

        The Dark Side is alluring. The seemingly effortless power and accuracy. There is a price though. These ain’t cheap. As with sproingers, you get what you pay for and the price tag for these start where the decent sproingers leave off.

        Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to discourage you. I am just warning you. Two years ago (has it been that long?) I bought a top shelf PCP and a compressor and a tank. Mrs. RR was not happy. That was a big chunk of change.

        You are looking at a top shelf PCP. In the smaller calibers you can feed it with a hand pump. I did such with my Edge and Talon SS. But when you move up into the bigger calibers you end up doing a lot of pumping and not much shooting.

        Normally I would recommend that you start with a lower end PCP and a hand pump as you begin your journey into The Dark Side. If you can swing the cost of admission, this would indeed be a good one. I would also strongly recommend a very good quality hand pump. Even if you jump in with both feet like me, a good hand pump is nice to have at times. You can expect a steep learning curve with this one. This one will take quite a bit to master.

        Welcome to The Dark Side. MHUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

        • RidgeRunner

          I too am drooling over this rifle. If I do decide to go to the Dark Side, this would be the rifle I go with. As I gain experience, this rifle can grow with me. I do not want to go cheap and upgrade later. As for air, a hand pump will not work for me. I am 67 years old, go to the gym 3 times a week and in very good health, but I am 5′-3″ and 132 lbs. I suspect I could hand pump to about 2000psi. After that I just don”t have the mass required to complete the job. I would go with the Nomad II. For what it’s worth, I have no problem cocking a Diana 350 magnum which is awesome by the way. Disappointed that Pyramyd AIR doesn’t carry FX. Pyramyd would be my first choice.

          • PP,

            LOL! I did not think about it, but the Nomad II would be the ideal compressor for this. A .22 would be good to start with if you like to hunt. Like you said you can grow both you and the air rifle with you. A guppy tank in a small backpack might not be a bad edition later on also.

              • PP,

                If you were to lay the Skyhawk beside the FX Dreamline bullpup, I know which one you would pick up. I am not saying the Skyhawk is not a good air rifle, but I am pretty sure you will be able to tell the difference.

                • RidgeRunner

                  The Dreamline is indeed still at the top of my list by a long shot. Pun intended lol. The whole Dreamline concept is blowing me away. Pyramyd AIR REALLY needs to get on board with FX. This thing is going to fly!!!

                  I need to look into the new 4 stage hand pumps but right now I am skeptical.

                  • PP,

                    I may be mistaken about the 4 stage. They may only be 3 stage right now. I am thinking of the Hill Mark 4. I have a Hill Mark 3 that is 2 stage. I have no problem with pumping small reservoirs to 3000 PSI.

                    The newest generation seem to be 3 stage and can take you to 4500 PSI. The prices have also come WAY down. You can get a great hand pump for $200 or less. With the small reservoir on the Dreamline, you would have no problem with keeping it filled in .177 or .22. Now when you move up the air hogging calibers like .25 and .30 you will find that keeping that reservoir topped up for long shooting sessions will be quite tiresome. I know. A .357 Benjamin Rogue takes a lot of pumping for just a few shots. 😉

                    • RidgeRunner

                      To bad there is no way to test a pump before you buy one or know how much force is required after about 2000 psi. I am in excellent health but not much mass. That scares me somewhat. I have visions of standing on the pump handle and see it go nowhere. lol

                      It will be interesting to see how the Dreamline shoots if you just fill to about 2800 psi (or as high as I can pump) then shoot down to around 2000 psi or so. Might still get 20-25 good shots.

                    • Gunfun1
                      Yep, I know Air Gun Depot carries FX, but I wasn’t aware AGD has any connection to Pyramyd. Is that true?

                      By the way a while back you and I had a discussion about a Williams peep sight on my R7. Turns out that works so well I never even bothered with the Gehmann 510 Iris Diopter and the MA 585 adaptor. That R7 is really sweet. It will only be available at my estate sale. lol

                  • Pelletpopper,

                    If you are handy at all,…. I would do a leveraged system. Think old time well pump. Think weight machine. Some wood/drywall screws, some 4″ bolts and some 2×4’s and you would be in business. If a hand pump price range was my only option, I would do that. It also adds to the overall cost. Then again, you may get one and do just fine. There is some technique involved.

                    I do understand your concern over spending $200 on something and then later wish you had spent another $100 to get something that you are happier with.

                    GF1 got a Chinese brand auto pump for under 300, maybe less and fills direct to gun, and,…. he shoots a WHOLE lot! So far, so good as he reports. Maybe he can provide a link?


                    • Chris USA

                      I am a retired quality control inspector and I would consider myself handy. No expert but handy enough. The leverage system is surely something to consider. If I do decide to go with a compressor it would be the Nomad II. I am really liking what I have read so far about it.

                  • PP,

                    If you go with a PCP with a small reservoir such as on the Dreamline, get a quality hand pump. You will be able to handle it. Then get you something along the lines of the Nomad II and a guppy tank.

                    Of course, all of this depends on your budget. If you can swing it all, do it all.

                    • RidgeRunner

                      Do you think a hand pump with some sort of dry pack feature to help with moisture is worth the extra cost? Sounds like it probably is but I have zero experience in hand pumps.

                  • PP,

                    IMHO, the jury is still out on whether a desiccant filter on the intake of a hand pump or even a compressor is of any real value. I have a Hill Mk 3 hand pump with filter and I still get condensation in the moisture trap.

                    The intake air is not in the desiccant filter long enough for the desiccant to be effective for other than extra filtration of particulates. Where the desiccant filtration is needed is on the output side. This is where you see the filters on the compressors.

                    Hatsan has a similar compressor to the Nomad II with a detachable filter. I personally would like to have one of these for my hand pump. It will mean extra pumping to also fill the volume of the filter, but it would also mean extra filtration which I tend to be a bit obsessive about. I added an extra filter to my Air Venturi compressor output.

                    • I’m sure you have used your handpump much more than I. When I open the bleed valve on my handpump I have never gotten any moisture to blow out. Therefore, I am assuming there is very little moisture entering the gun’s reservoir. My handpump is just a cheap Chinese TaoUSA 3-stage pump but appears to look exactly like many of the more expensive pumps. There’s really not much that could be different it would seem.

            • RidgeRunner,

              I would recommend .25 Cal for a first PCP if the buyer is mostly interested in hunting. My rational is that with .25 caliber you can go from light pellets to (what I consider the smallest viable airgun bullet) a slug in .25 caliber for airguns. The range of animals that can be effectively harvested with .25 is much larger than .22 caliber.
              My personal path in PCPs back in 1990 started in .177 with two Hämerlli AR50 10 meter rifles, one for my son and one for me. Next came a switch barrel multishot bottle rifle that covered .177 up to .357 caliber. After that all my PCPs have been DAQs from .25, .308, .458 to .58 caliber.
              I have some CO2, Multipump and one oldish springer. I have looked long and hard at HW and FX along with a few of the other boutique makers but find I’m covered on PCP with my DAQs.
              If I wasn’t covered…or maybe get lucky on a lottery draw…I would likely be pulled hard toward the FX Dreamline! Hope it is as good as the early reporting indicates!


              • Shootski,

                Paint me green! I have always wanted at least one of Dennis’ air rifles in my meager collection.

                I myself am recommending the .22 as a starting point because of the very wide range of pellets and yes, slugs available today. Also, we are speaking in the context of the FX Dreamline which allows for a very wide range of power adjustments and caliber swaps.

                The .22 is quite suitable for plinking, serious target shooting and taking small game. Check out Matt Dubber of Air Arms Hunting SA fame. In South Africa they are limited to no larger than .22 for air rifles. Matt regularly takes small to medium game at over 100 yards with his FX air rifles. He is working with FX to develop their slug barrel inserts. Pellet/slug and air rifle development in recent years has many rethinking the venerable .22.

                If Pelletpopper then gets a .30 setup, he is good to go for small to medium game and long range shooting. If he gets hooked on Field Target he can go .177, swap out a few parts and have a serious Field Target rifle.

                Now as for sproingers, I do not know what you have but you really should get an HW. The prices for these are quite reasonable, most especially for the quality of what you get.

                • RR,

                  I do agree on the lack of availability/options in .25 pellet selection. .22 has (many) options. In .25, JSB’s seems the best. I have tried the bullet shaped Grizzly’s by HN in the Red Wolf and the M-rod. While ok, the JSB’s were obviously better at distance. Odd, as the bullet shape has better BC’s if I recall correctly. And, in general,.. most pellets in any caliber category do follow the traditional pellet profile with regards to shape.

                  I would love see some real groundbreaking pellet break thru,… but if you look back,.. what has not been tried already?


                • RidgeRunner,

                  You are too modest! We readers all know that RRHFWA is in possession of some very fine examples.
                  My involvement with Dennis Quackenbush is a direct result of the tests done by TGE (The Great Enabler)of early DAQs during the age of the Airgun Letter! Once I had the .25 cal. I knew I needed -had to have- more DAQs. The decision to own a DAQ is simple; he is a Salt of the Earth kind of guy! He has Karen for his wife a truly wonderful person! And, he has the skills. Nay, he has the touch with metal few these days can equal. So get one direct from him (if your plan is to hunt with it, know what you want!) just call and talk with Dennis/Karen or visit with him at an Airgun Show! Do not pay the jacked up price (even if they are worth that much) of the Airgun scalpers! Hmmm! You could put the bug in your wife’s ear….
                  As far as .22cal pellet selection that has always been true; but .25 has many more examples than in the recent past. Heck, .308 & .357 have production pellets! I think the power adjustment and barrel twist work that folks like Mr. Dubber are doing especially with power adjustment are spot on. Dennis did a great deal of testing and has some write-ups on his site about barrel making. Lots has been written about barrel twist rate but I’m of the opinion that RPM is much more the parameter that needs to be looked to for bullet stability. Power adjustment and thereby bullet acceleration in the barrel is the key; not simply twist rate.
                  As long as the Dreamliner has the power adjustment range to RPM stabilize bullets of the various caliber and LENGTH (actually center of pressure/center of mass factor) to keep down Yaw and Pitch it will be accurate.
                  RR please don’t be GREEN! I’ll bet you dont look good in that color! Just remember Dennis is a one man/one woman shop and he is just a bit younger than me. How many more airguns can/will be made? They have long been (unfortunately) viewed as collectables by far too many speculators. If you want one to shoot, and NOT just collect times a wastin’…


                  • Shootski,

                    Dang!,…. you are making me want to sell the RW and get me a DAQ! 😉

                    Interesting comment on RPM. Not something commonly discussed, at least here.


                    • Chris USA,

                      DON’T DO That!

                      Sell some more of your secret sauce!

                      Actually went to the Skyline Drive this morning! Wow! Glad I took my metal edged back country skis. It was BEAUTIFUL 10″ of snow on the ground with great BIG snowflakes falling and NO ONE in sight for hours. No Elk either! Lots of Whitetail herds. Fantasyland for six hours.


                  • Shootski,

                    I have met Dennis and chatted with him several times at various airgun shows. The main issue with my buying any of his air rifles has been that when he had one or two for sale, I did not have the money. That is the only reason I do not own one now.

                    When I recently visited his site I discovered he has greatly cut back on his production. He is no longer taking advanced orders. He posts what he has for sale at the time. I may get lucky one day and own one of his, but if not I know I will manage to survive somehow.

                  • Shootski,

                    By the way, your explanation of the factors necessary for accuracy is very good. I have never thought of using the term RPM, however it is the product of acceleration and twist rate. As you said, combine this with the mass, linear center of gravity of the projectile, the balance along the length of the projectile, the ballistic coefficient, etc. and you cannot help but be accurate.

                    Of course, all of that information and calculations tend to wear out old, feeble minds such as mine. That is why I resort to trial and error. 😉

                    • RidgeRunner,

                      A clear demonstration of character and of why you will survive somehow, Lol.
                      Trial and error is a noble way of getting there!
                      But only IF, as you do, you can acknowledge the ERRORs without claiming them to be flyers when they could have been CALLED deviations from the X RING.

                      I love it!


                • RidgeRunner,

                  I have been thinking for a few hours about your comment above: “In South Africa they are limited to no larger than .22 for air rifles.” Has something changed in the RSA recently? I have never hunted there but have read numerous accounts of large game being taken in the RSA. I know GAMO has been villified for some of their adds on using too small of a caliber airgun for hunting smallish pigs…but I’m talking about animals like Springbok or Blue Wildebeest that for example Jim Chapman has reported taking in the RSA with airpower .30 and larger within the past year or so?
                  A RSA hunting trip is a bucket list item of mine but not if I’m limited to hunting with a .22
                  airgun or less.
                  Anyone from the RSA, or who has recently hunted there, reading this post please help us to understand the status in RSA.


          • PP,

            I do not think you would have a problem with a hand pump, I am only 135 lbs and can get to 3000 psi without a problem.

            The compressor is the way to go for sure, but as a backup the hand pump would work for you.


            • Mike In Atl

              Thanks for the sugestion on the new 4 stage hand pumps. I will look into them. I read reviews on the older pumps and many of the users that are small and light have had a really tough time with them.

              • PP,

                Don’t know if you followed down this thread but below I mention my pump, /product/air-venturi-g7s-hand-pump-4500-psi?a=7926
                and I am able to pump to 3000 psi, yes it is a bit of work but I don’t think you would have trouble with it.


                Note it can be hard to follow stuff here my other post is here /blog/2019/01/treasure-of-the-pond/#comment-432727
                then TT took it down here

              • PP,

                When first getting started in PCPs, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money until I decided that I liked shooting them. I just bought a cheap hand pump for $85. I have seen some that look exactly like mine for $45. Unless there is some magic inside, I see no apparent difference between my $85 Chinese pump and some of the $200 pumps. I had to work on the fittings to eliminate some small leaks but outside of that my cheap pump does the job just fine. I figured if I liked the PCP and needed, I could upgrade later to a better pump. So far I have no need to, my cheap pump works just fine. I do believe it’s a 3-stage pump though. I’m 72 and weight 185 and have no issue at all pumping to 3000 psi. You just have to take your time. Slow and easy works best.

                • Geo791

                  I don’t know how tall you are but you have me by 50 lbs. That could make a huge difference.
                  I am only 5′-3″ so I have that going against me as well. We shall see.

                  • PP,

                    A bottom step, platform or stool,… of sorts,.. may help to offset the height disadvantage. Not much you can do on weight. Well, there is,… but probably not healthy. 😉

                    Best wishes on getting a solution/fix,……….. Chris

                    • Chris USA

                      lol, Yeah, I am not about to start a twinky and potato chip diet.
                      A 12″ platform probably would be a noticeable difference. We shall see.

                  • PP,

                    It may have, or may not have been said yet,…. but as I recall,…. a slow and steady stroke action is what is required. BB has mentioned slight women being able to do 3000 no problem. If you do not exceed what the pump is capable of passing through with your effort, then you are good to go. A hard push or slam is going to met with a solid bounce back/resistance.

                    As I mentioned before, there is some technique involved (as I have read) and I do (not) own one or ever have. I do however take note of what I have read here. Slow and steady, let the pump do the work at (it’s own pace) is what I have taken away.


                    In QC too, by the way,… just not retired yet. 🙁

                    • Chris USA

                      Ha Ha, misery loves company as they say. No not really. I enjoyed working in QC but to be honest, I like retirement better. Six Saturdays and a Sunday every week.
                      Retired 4 years now and NOT bored yet and I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

                  • Hey PP,

                    Yup, I’m 5′ 10″ so it may be easier for me than someone shorter. But actually the pump only gets difficult to press down that 4″ or 5″, maybe less. So I think you would still be able to work a handpump.

                    BTW, I too am a retired quality assurance person. I retired in 2011 after 43 years in the hydraulic pump / valve industry working at Parker Hannifin. The last 10 years were pure misery for me because the company began to regress in the quality area and eliminated most of the quality personal. I was certified as a mechanical inspector, a quality technician, and a quality engineer. Was always blue collar though and would never accept a salary position.

                    • Geo791

                      I am beginning to realize the only way I will know for sure if I can use a hand pump is to try one.

                      I was a certified level II mechanical inspector and did receipt inspections which included documentation review. The parts I inspected ended up in Nuclear Power plants so the company was very serious about QC. I also did some nondestructive testing (NDT). Before all that I was a mechanical designer/draftsman with about 20 years experience with autocad.

                  • Could be… I live in southwest Mi and it does get pretty humid at times. I have central AC which keeps the humidity in the house low. I normally do my PCP fills in the basement, but yes, it’s a lower humidity environment, even in the basement.

          • PP,

            Mike did bring up a good point that I did not mention. A spare is a good idea.

            Also keep in mind that the development of hand pumps has been paralleling the development of airguns, compressors and other airgun accessories. The newer four stage pumps are really quite easy to pump and the prices have come way down.

          • PP

            There is more to using a hand pump than just weight.
            How tall you are makes a big difference.
            The shorter you are, the more likely you will be out of the best leverage zone for the pump.


                  • PP

                    I am shorter than average. 5’8″ – 5’9″ . About 140 lb.. It is about my limit to do 200 BAR . The pump stroke is getting near my limit .
                    I let my wife try it once . She is very short, but weighed about 200 at the time. Her feet came off the floor and she nearly fell on her head.


                    • Twotalon

                      Yeah that’s about what I was afraid of.

                      It will be interesting to see how the new FX Dreamline shoots at lower than max fill pressure which is 230 bar.

                    • TT,

                      I am 5’8″ 135 lbs, and have no trouble getting to 3000 psi, I just got out the pump and found I can get to 4000 psi but no more than that just with the test plug on the hose. I have this one /product/air-venturi-g7s-hand-pump-4500-psi?a=7926


                  • PP

                    Ran out of reply room.
                    Anything over 200 bar is off my list. I don’t care how good it is. Anything running 4,500 psi is so far off the list it is not worth mentioning.
                    I do have a Nomad I, but hand pump backup is a must. I want to keep things workable.
                    The list of 2k fill PCPs is unfortunately very short . So is the list of fairly cheap compressors.


                  • Pelletpopper,

                    Tall guy here!
                    I’m 70 and workout at least three times a week too! Keep it up!
                    Small/low benches or even standing on the bottom or second step of the stairs will make you just as tall as me! Also if you have a weight vest it will give you all the Mass you need…since you are in shape I won’t worry that you will be injured! Others not so much!


                    • Shootski

                      Yes, I think a 12″ platform or bench would help a lot. I will be giving it a shot, we shall see. Thanks

  18. Chris, TT
    You guys getting any snow yet? Got about 2-1/2 inches here in Illinois already and it just started about a hour and a half or so ago.

    They say the St.Louis metro East area is right at the center of the biggest part of the snow fall. We are suppose to get 8-12 inches they are saying now. The storm is suppose to be 1500 miles long. And it looks like the storms feeding moisture from the south as it’s moving across the country.

    I’m sure I’ll be doing some breezeway snow shooting this weekend. And I like that. 🙂

    • GF1,

      Sat. 9’ish AM. 4″-6″, maybe. N. Central Ohio.

      Breeze-way? (enclosed?) (heated?) (cooled?) ehh?,…………….. just got to “rub it in”,.. don’t ya’? 🙂

      Chris 😉

    • GF
      Supposed to get about 2″ tomorrow starting close to noon. We are supposed to be near the top edge of it. More farther south.
      Got plenty of food and beer. Snow blower is gassed up.

      Most of our crap weather comes up from the south.


      • TT
        Yep when the snow storms feed from the south we usually get some good snows here. Which we haven’t had to much of for some years now. This will be the biggest in some time if it holds true to what they are predicting.

        And always got some food and a good supply of beer no matter if there’s going to be a snow storm or not. 🙂

        • GF

          Spent a lot of years bouncing around the world.
          Blizzards, typhoons, hurricanes, and plain old power failures.
          A good stash of essentials is first on the list. Be as prepared as possible.


          • TT
            Yep and the power failures added to snow storms ain’t no fun. Well none of out is. But yep a good supply helps.

            And not just bread and milk as it seems everyone always gets. Propane and firewood helps too. Can still cook with those if needed as well as stay warm.

            • GF

              Forgot…ice storms too.
              Got a propane grill, coleman stoves, kerosene heaters, generators.
              Ate Korean war C-rations after hurricane Camille in Mississippi. Better than the chow hall food was.
              Not ready to cook starlings over a propane torch.


              • TT
                No cooked starling for me. I’ll go shoot a few rabbit or squirrel first for sure. But yep not going hungry. And yep ice storms are a bummer.

                We had a good one along while back. It sounded like WW lll with all the tree limbs breaking and the power lines falling. Then the transformers popping. And all the sparks and flashing. It was cold out and that lasted about a week. Gas stations and grocery stores didn’t even have power. Things pretty well shut down when the electric goes.

                • GF

                  Our power company wised up. They have been keeping trees hacked away from power lines, installing new lines, keeping up the substations, and testing poles for rot.
                  Pretty reliable now.
                  We had a bad ice storm quite a few tears ago . That next day it sounded like a war alright. Tree limbs kept on breaking off. That ends up making hollow spots for starlings to nest in with maple trees.


  19. Whent out and measured the snow. Got almost 10 inches now and still snowing. Suppose to snow the rest of the day. I’m thinking we will get at least a foot before it’s over with.

    I just got finished lighting the propane heater in the breezeway. Getting ready to do some nice cozy winter shooting. 🙂

    • GF1,

      In my part of KY we only got 1″ so far and I think rain is going to melt that later.

      LITTLE GUNFUN: Daddy, why is that wood petrified ?

      GUNFUN’S DADDY: Well son, if a dinosaur hiked his leg at you, I reckon you’d be scared, too !



  20. GF1,

    Both of those were very informative. I had always believed that it took a long time to petrify wood, unless the tree was affronted by a T-Rex in need of a potty. Then I knew it would happen much faster.


    • Halfstep
      All I know is petrified wood is cool stuff. Glad God gave it to us to see. It just amazes me when I see the things he gives us. Sometimes it just takes longer than other times.

  21. Tom,

    What a great first chapter for your most recent book!
    I suggest that you need to build Edith and yourself into a Cameo in this book as a way to immortalize the relationship you two shared.
    Obviously it is your book and that may not work this time.
    Maybe in your next book ;^)

    I would be happy to offer proofreading of chapters, and revisions for continuity if you have a need.
    I also promise to buy the finished book.


    • Shootski
      I would like to see the unread proof see version myself.

      That’s usually were the story is told.

      The proof reading usually changes the story some sort of way.

      And the uncut or as we are calling it the unproof read version would probably be worth more. That’s the ones the collectors like to get ahold of.

      Alot of things get ruined when you spend time rethinking it. And they usually don’t go any farther. The more you think the more likely your not going to make something happen with all the worry’s and doubts that come with it.

      • Gunfun 1,

        I think Tom has his story arc down. BB guns are ballistic after all! Lol.

        I have a feeling that Tom is of an age where he doesn’t have much trouble speaking and writing his mind without apology or much vaclllation…if any.

        I have been back East for the past few weeks and really missing the snowy Rocky Mountains. Have my skis waxed and may be out on the Blue Ridge Parkway if we get the 14+” tonight that will surely have them close it to vehicles! Need to see how one of the Eastern Elk heards is doing!


        • Shootski
          If BB didn’t do it his way it would never be original. Why would he even want someone else to proof read it. I’m sure he knows where he’s going with it all. I’ll bet he’s even got people he trusts already to proof read come to think more about it.

          And how about this snow. It was a nice one finally. I think it was 2014 since we had one to write home about.

          • GF1,

            From the looks of it,.. we got the predicted 4-5″ (still dark outside) in just north of central Ohio, or North Central I suppose it is called. I’ll shovel a path to the car, get it cleared off and take down the area at end of driveway. The ’11 AWD Rav4 with snow and ice tires will traverse the rest of it just fine.

            On the topic of proof reading. What is readable and what is (correctly) written are two different things.

            Remember “back in the day” in English class and the teacher would put a 10-15 word sentence up the chalk board?,…… and THEN,….. proceed to dissect that sentence into about a dozen or more different terms/components/structures? Do ya? I do not. Sure, you could use a word here,… but it may be better here. Sentence too long?,.. ok,.. break it up into 2 or 3 sentences,.. BUT,… do it correctly. Or, a different word here might have more visual impact to the reader,…. and the list goes on and on. Entire paragraphs have their “rules” too. (I will stop now as I feel that I am quickly/surely getting over my head on the matter,.. and will soon show myself the fool!) 😉

            If a person is well spoken in the first place, then I think that they should be able to write fairly well. That does not mean that same person can write (correctly, or proper). I consider myself to be fairly well spoken, but would in no way consider myself a qualified proof reader, with the exception of only the most egregious of errors.

            I am sure B.B. has trusted (qualified) proof readers that are more than willing to review a book. As for any Ooops! in the daily blog,…. that is why B.B. has all of us many wannabe/armchair editors in the audience! 🙂 Plus, when something goes to press/paper,… there is no “EDIT OPTION” button that you can activate in the next 30 minutes.


            • Chris
              I’m sure BB has a proof reader. And I’m sure the book publisher likes to have their say also. I heard that some books don’t get published or take a while because the book publisher wants something changed and the book writer doesn’t want to go for the changes. I’m sure it’s more complicated than what we see.

              And we ended up with about 11 inches yesterday. Half of it actually melted overnight. It’s been flurrying this morning but only got about a inch. So we got probably close to 6 inches on the ground now.

              Been shooting the semi-auto bullmaster this morning at a pack of feral cans that made their way to the yard. They are sure do’n some scoot’n across the snow when I hit them. 🙂

              Oh and speaking of the bullmaster. I got some of the cheap Winchester 9.8 grn. round nose pellets for it. They are $5.99 for 500. I’m saving my expensive JSB 10.34’s for the Gauntlet. Them JSB 10.34’s are $15.99 a tin of 500. That gets expensive real quick shooting them out of the semi-auto bullmaster.

              And surprisingly the Winchester’s are getting about a 1-1/4 inch group at 50 yards consistently. So definitely good enough for feral can killing. But had to do something. The bullmaster was going to make me go broke shooting those JSB’s.

  22. B.B.,

    Have you explored the digital version/sales option of your books? Like,… down load from?,.. and read on a Kindle,…. or something to that effect. You seem progressive in many ways, so something like that might add to sales revenue.

    I am not qualified to speak on the option/matter at all, other than that I just know it exist and was just tossing the idea out there to you.


  23. Mike in Atl

    Due to lack of comment space above…
    You have a different pump than I do. Mine is not rated for that much pressure.
    Maybe that pump could work for PP, but I could not swear to it. I am not going to suggest anything that costs money unless I have a way of knowing for sure.


    • TT,

      Yes the G7 is rated to 4500 psi, guess I am only rated for 4000.

      I have heard that some pumps are easier to use than others, seems that I have an easier one.

      I will recommend the G7 as an easy to use pump, as I have filled my Fortitude to 3000 psi many many times, kinda lost count along the way.

      A compressor is in my future for sure, even though hand pumping is not that bad, I grow weary of being the compressor.


  24. To all,

    Did anyone notice the (movable?/rubber barrel weight) on the 3 links that RR posted and the one I posted?

    Thoughts on this?

    It would seem to make sense on an (open) barrel to affect barrel harmonics, but I doubt any effect on a shrouded barrel.

    Thoughts?,………. Chris

    • Chris
      I didn’t look at the links RR posted. But AirForce guns sell them for the Edge. It has the barrel inside the frame. Or I guess you can call it a shroud on that gun. But no baffles from what I recall.

      Anyway why do you think that the weights wouldn’t work on a shrouded barrel?

      That’s exactly why I don’t want to put the barrel band on my .177 Gauntlet like the .25 Gauntlet now has. My .177 Gauntlet shoots very well. And I myself believe if I put the barrel band on it that accuracy would change.

      I haven’t tryed the barrel weights on a shrouded gun. But I’m thinking it will change things.

      • GF1,

        If it ain’t too much hassle for ya’,… view the links to at least see what I am talking about. A rubber bushing of sorts that is directly on the barrel.


        • Chris
          So I got to go back through all the posts now and find out what your talking about.

          And yes I know what barrel weights are. And I know what the AirForce Edge uses.

          And I guess I need to rephrase my question. Why do you think weights on shrouds won’t affect accuracy?

          It might make more of a difference with shrouded guns. You have a barrel and a shroud that can vibrate with the harmonics instead of just a barrel with a unshrouded gun. The weight or a barrel band will probably change the harmonics on a shrouded barrel also.

      • Mike,

        Thank you! 🙂 That looks like it. While airguns are not firearms and therefore not subjected to the same barrel oscillations (whipping) as firearms,… I would still think that there is some oscillation and therefore some benefit may be realized. As it is, for me,.. the RW and M-rod are both shrouded and the Maximus has little barrel past the air tube.

        By the packing illustrations,….. I would be darn sure to be gettin’ me one of those! 😉 But, we know how that goes. Interesting design for the purpose. I can see the benefit of it because it is not locking down a set screw on finely finished barrel, as in the case of a metal collar/weight.


        • Chris USA,

          Set screws (grub or lock screws) can be attached to fine barrels without fear of damage by using small/thin diameter disks of leather, Nylon or Brass etc. You can also choose screws without points or special ones where the point is made of Nylon or Brass etc.
          Choice of material is based on barrel hardness and amount of torque required.


          • Shootski,

            Working in the mechanical field most of my life, I have seen many types of fasteners. The choices are near endless.

            Q: Have you ever used weights (soft or hard) on barrels (air or P.B.) to try and influence barrel harmonics in an effort to improve accuracy? If so, what is your opinion the practice?

            While I have not tried barrel weights or dampeners, I have moved barrel bands. I also have tried an air stripper on the Maximus (Hunter version with the 1/2-20 threaded muzzle), an open baffle insert and just the muzzle cap. All three affected the grouping dramatically and differently. Oddly, the $5 open baffle did best and not the $30 air stripper.

            On the barrel band,.. it too was on the Maximus and did best moved back about 3″ from it’s factory position. So, while not the same thing, I do believe that my experiments were affecting barrel harmonics in some way and benefits were realized.


            • Chris USA,

              And I believe a few months or more ago I started a long exchange among readers on barrel harmonics and the various devices that could be used to gain some control over the effects. I believe if you search your copied links on shootski’s ramblings you will see my thoughts on them. Airgun barrels do in fact “whip” just like firearm barrels and Canon (Rifle when found aboard modern naval ships) barrels. Airgun barrel are typically far thinner walled than firearm barrel so the lower pressure and perhaps slower rate of pressure rise may be of no consequence; that is my unscientific opinion based on anecdote and comments by other airgun cognoscenti. Lol!
              Unless the barrel is a “real dog” or you are going for the GOLD the amount of work required EVERYTIME: power, projectile, bumped or conditions change…may not be worth the effort for the small improvement in repeatability. Especially given the base ability level of the average duffer who asks, WHY: do I need a CHRONOGRAPH? Training? Documentation? Quality? etc.


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