How do I tell them?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • For example
  • All the wrong choices
  • More
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Summary

Today I have something I need to say. It was brought up by yesterday’s report on the FX-Dreamlite. The Dreamlite is a fine precharged air rifle that has many good qualities, but there are some things buyers should know before they make the purchase. First, because it has a magazine that sticks up above the top of the receiver you’re going to have to use 2-piece scope mounts. A lot of shooters aren’t prepared to do that — or at least it doesn’t occur to them until it’s too late.

Two-piece scope mounts are my preferred type, but I’m definitely in the minority on that. If a rifle has severe barrel droop, like the Dreamlite I’m testing, then you also will need adjustable scope mounts, and not very many adjustable mounts come in 2 pieces.

Yesterday’s test started me thinking. The Dreamlite seemed so promising, and it delivered on all of the promises — but that turned out not to be the whole story. What do you say to a shooter who says he wants to get a certain airgun that you are sure he will not like? Trying to answer that question is what has motivated me to write about airguns for the past 25 years.

For example

Case number one. A new airgunner tells me he has decided to buy a Diana 52 sidelever spring rifle because he knows that a rifle with a fixed barrel is more accurate than one whose barrel breaks to cock the gun. A statement like that tears at me in so many ways!

First of all, the Diana 52 is a marvelous air rifle. It’s powerful, accurate and well-made. But it is also heavy, twists to the right when it fires and has been known to break its mainspring early. If you know all that going in, buy the rifle. But, if you are basing your decision of the false assumption that a breakbarrel rifle isn’t as accurate as one with a fixed barrel, you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment. Don’t overlook the Sig ASP20.

When I hear statements like this, and I get them every week from people who don’t read this blog, I think of the hundreds of blog reports that address this issue in so much detail. But the guy doesn’t want to read; he wants to buy an airgun!

All the wrong choices

Then there is the guy who wants the mostest-powerfulest airgun he can buy! That’s mistake number one. He wants a spring rifle because he doesn’t want to be bothered with all the stuff you need for a PCP. Mistake two. And he wants to pay as little as possible for what he gets. Mistake three and the deal is doomed!

Power in a spring rifle normally means hard cocking and heavy vibration and recoil. Buy an ASP20 and the cocking gets lighter, the vibration goes away but the price goes up.

Here’s the deal — spring guns are normally best at power levels under 20 foot-pounds. Go over 30 and they are hard to cock and recoil heavily. Oh, if you have a time machine you could go back and buy a Whiscombe, but then you would have paid a lot and it’s also hard to cock. So, keep your spring guns in the power ballpark. If you want power, go PCP.

And a spring rifle at less than $150 better be used if you want it to be good. ‘Cause there ain’t no new ones at that price that are any good. Be prepared to spend more or to buy used.

“Yeah, ” they say, “but that’s not what I want!” So they start asking around until they find the right guy who knows how to say the right things that tickle their ears. Him they trust because he says things they want to hear. Usually I never hear from them or about them again. I think they get fed up with airguns and move on.

More

I could go on and on.

The guys who say they want the foot-powered hand pump. They will put it next to their stair-stepper that’s gathering dust in the corner.
Guys who say they want a scoped BB gun.
Guys who want guns to shoot solid “pellets” because they have a better ballistic coefficient.
Guys who say they will go precharged the minute air compressors drop below $500.

Etcetra, etcetra…

Great opportunities!

Whine, whine, whine. Oh, woe is me!

Okay, no more negative stuff. All positive from here on.

What these complaints tell me is that people aren’t getting the guns they want. Some of that can be chalked up to not being able to please everyone, but a lot of it is true. And, within the twisted thoughts of these customers are nuggets of value.

Example 1

For example — can a spring rifle with good power also be easier to cock? Sig sort of proved it was possible with the ASP20, didn’t they? Can it be done even better?

Example 2

Does a spring rifle HAVE to vibrate? Again, the ASP20 proves it doesn’t. But can a less expensive rifle that doesn’t vibrate be built? I not only think it is possible, I have ideas how to do it. Many shooters can’t spend $350 for an air rifle. Can we give them one that’s nearly as nice for less than $250? Not in a corporate setting, perhaps, but when Value Engineering is applied it could be possible. Value Whaaaat? they asked. Well, if you don’t know what it is, the chances are pretty strong you’ll never do it.

Example 3

Can a precharged airgun be built with a built-in air pump for less than $500? Oh, wait — one already has! The Seneca Aspen.

Summary

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. The point for shooters is to stop shopping for your expectations and use your common sense instead.

And for manufacturers it’s to stop building what the marketing department tells you they can sell. How many of them are airgunners? If the weekend comes and they reach for their golf bags, let them tell you how to make drivers and putters. And go elsewhere to learn what airgunners want.

114 thoughts on “How do I tell them?

  1. I especially agree with the last 2 paragraphs.
    If you are going to work for an airgun company, you SHOULD be an airgunner.

    I think a problem with the airgun community, (or any other group of enthusiast) THINK they know what they want, but really don’t.

    As a group they have a list of features they really want the new product to have, then when a manufacturer makes something that has 8 of the 10 features that fall into the price range they seem to want to pay, some of the more realistic enthusiast say cool, thanks, 8 out of 10 features is good, and be happy, and buy it.

    Then there are the rest of the group, that say, well… You know, they copied the $99 russian springer design, but now the copy is more expensive than the original was 10 years ago, that you can’t import anymore.
    (Cough, cough Tr5.)
    Thats a deal breaker.

    Remember, never buy the first generation of anything.

    I think if you made a precharged airgun that gave you 875 fps average, with a 3fps extreme spread, over a 50 shot string, with a 2 lb trigger, that would shoot 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards, and could be filled just by waiving it around in the air.

    And sold it for $99 shipped, someone would still find something to complain about.

    Ian




    • 45Bravo,

      “Remember, never buy the first generation of anything.”
      It’s my understanding that following that advice, in the case of the IZH 60/61, would have had you missing out on the better guns. I think later production(Gen 2 ?) was generally thought to be inferior to the early imports. Sometimes they get it right the first time and you have to strike before they realize it and can mess it up.

      Half


      • There are always exceptions to every rule.

        But for the most part, it stands true.

        I have an IZH46.
        Love the gun.
        They later came out with the 46m.
        Not much difference in the 2 of them, but the 46m was still an upgrade to address the desires of the customers.

        Hopefully Air Venturi will address the issue with the TR5 with a gen 2. It is a gun the American market wants, but the first version was just not up to the expectations.

        They are a company that is dedicated to air gunning.

        They will fix it or kill it.

        Ian



          • I know it’s made in China for AV.
            But it’s made to the specs they requested, for the price they paid. (B.B.. did a blog on this a while back)

            basically company 1 wants to have a $13 cost gun, that meets these specs.

            Company 2 wants the same gun, but is willing to pay $15 each for a wood stock, better sights, and a better barrel.

            The test guns met spec, but If the shipment doesn’t meet the standards set forth in the contract, you hash it out with the supplier.

            Maybe Air Venturi is in the second boat, I would have hoped they paid for the better barrel and got it in writing.

            But we will see if they come out with a gen 2.


            • Ian,

              I know it is just me and I also know there are many who would like to see a TR5 as nice as the original Izzy 60s, but I myself do not care. If they fix the issues, great. If they don’t, I won’t be buying one anyway. I have a stack of antique air rifles of about the same power that will shoot rings around it.

              Just me.


              • No, not just you.

                I owned one, liked the styling, was a great back porch plinker.

                Made a present of it to a friend for his son.

                I have no desire to have another one.

                But there are many out there that do.


      • Halfstep
        I left you some info on yesterday’s blog about the difference in the Daisy wadcutters that you may have and what I have that are accurate.

        They definitely changed the design. I believe your old stock is what I recently got and yes they are not good.

        I’m going to give a link to yesterday’s blog on the FX Dreamlite BB did. Scroll down the comments till you see the pictures I posted. There is definitely a difference in old stock and new stock Daisy wadcutters.

        Sorry to make you read. But wanted you to see. I was amazed at what I seen.

        https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2019/07/fx-dreamlite-precharged-air-rifle-part-4/


        • GF1,

          I like to read, so no prob there.

          That difference is shocking! All of my Daisy wadcutters have the shape and skirt design of the pellets that you refer to as old stock. Some of them are in the plastic belt box, which I could see would probably be old, but I bought some in the metal screw-top tin after you told me that you had your best luck with that packaging, and they look and perform poorly like the boxed ones.

          What packaging are the ones your wife bought in? How long ago did you buy your last “good” Daisy WCs ? My most recent Daisys in the tin are probably 1 1/2 years old. Do you think there is a chance that the “bad” ones are the “new” ones. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they buy from more that one maker and rebrand them. If you find a source for the “good” ones, post it here ’cause I would love to use them if they were accurate. RWS Basic and Hobby were my go to cheap pellets, but they reduced the count per tin to 300 and didn’t lower the price to reflect it, so now they ain’t so cheap! If you can’t find good Daisy WCs you might try their HPs. They’re not great, but I have better luck with them than the WCs

          Thanks again for the info.

          Half


          • Halfstep
            Definitely a shocking difference.

            That’s why I couldn’t understand why you had issues.

            My wife got the ones from the farm store last weekend. The ones that are just like totally old school and no quality check totally cheapy pellets.

            I never would of believed it. Well sort of. You know how that goes when you done something for a while.

            And I have to believe the good Daisy’s from PA are new stock. That’s what I have got for some time and now. I’m thinking Daisy is salting in the old stock to the big box stores where the people buying are not educated like us full fledge air gunners.

            To top it off I was verily able to hit a 12 oz can at 15 yards with the ones my wife got. Soon as loaded up the ones I always have had the gun turned into a can smasher at out to 30 yards.

            Oh and 500 count tins at PA and the farm store. Hope you at least get one tin from PA of the 500 count Daisy wadcutters and post some info of what your pellets look like. To me that’s very important info if nobody else cares. I want to know. Like I always say. I plink seriously. And this is a big difference here.


  2. B.B.

    Managing expectations. That is what it is all about.

    FWIW-I would be willing to pay up to $1,500 for a PCP that can shoot one MOA at 100 yards in .22. You did it with the FX at 25 yards in .177!

    How do you made a barrel “optimized” for a specific pellet? FWIW-my HW 50 shoots the JSB 8.44 well and the 7.33 better.

    Can a linear oriented PCP magazine be indexed similarly to a rotary magazine? Why people think that they can use low or medium 2 piece mounts with a rotary magazine is beyond me. These are probably that same people who then complain about how their magazines do not hold enough pellets.lol.

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      Your PCP exists.

      It is more than just the barrel. Manufacturers such as FX will take and play with twist rates and power levels to optimize performance. My .357 HM1000X has been factory tuned for the JSB 81 grain pellet. I can tune it for other projectiles and likely will give them a try.

      Over the years I have seen linear magazines of various types. The type that “stack” the pellets has issues with the head of one pellet interlocking with the pellet skirt preceding it. The type where the pellets are parallel are limited by how far they project from the side of the air rifle or pistol.

      The problem is not so much the shape of the magazine, but how is the pellet held in place until needed and how well everything aligns when loading the pellet into the breech. If the pellet is damaged or loaded incorrectly, its performance downrange will be affected.

      The magazine used by many companies is an inexpensive solution. There are better.



        • Hank,

          This is most definitely one of the better ones. Daystate/Brocock also have a very nice one. I also understand that the newly designed FX mag is very nice. With the high demand for performance, the companies are starting to listen.


      • RR,

        You hit that pellet, er, nail on the head. I have a Crosman Model 400, which has an internal magazine that has stacked pellets. Unlike other owners, I decided to avoid jams by shooting only wadcutters (in .22 that means the RWS Hobby) or shallow domes in a hard pellet (Crosman Premiers). But that does limit the air rifle quite a bit. Certainly no hunting pellets allowed.

        Michael


  3. B.B.

    How about a magnum springer shootout. Testing all available springers in the 16-22 fpe version in .22. RWS 350, D 54, R1, Hatsan 135, NP2, ASP 20(are both versions available now?), Gamo whatever, What else???????

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      That is a report I would very much look forward to. Unfortunately, it would maybe require that B.B. is provided with a six-foot-three, 250 pound, 25 year old assistant to do all of the rifle cocking! ;^)

      Michael


  4. B.B.,

    🙂 Good one. There is no substitute to learning everything about the hobby that you are pursuing. I believe it’s called “homework”. Like any hobby, there will some learning curves. Yes, they will cost some money and yes,… you may even change course in your journey. At some point though,… you have to jump in and get your feet wet.

    Thankfully we have the blog here, (and other fine resources),… but it is up to us to use them to the fullest extent to learn. Do not at your own peril.

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


    • Chris,

      Well put. And if someone dislikes doing the “homework,” then maybe it is the wrong hobby for that person. After all, the homework is a big part of the fun of a hobby, right?

      Michael


      • Michael
        From what I have exsperianced is the different types of hobby’s I have been involved in homework is a required part of the course.

        And then put it in practice and see what holds true. Next step in the homework is learn from what you have done and make the changes to make all that hard work come together.

        Hm. Sounds like life to me. 😉


        • Gunfun1,

          Agreed! I feel the same way. With airgunning, the homework is a lot of fun for me, which is a good thing, because it is impractical, at least year-round here in the Great Lakes States, for me to spend quite as much of my time shooting air guns as it is for me to read up on them. That is sad and backwards, I know, but that’s just the way it is.

          Michael


  5. Regardless of the product, many people want bragging rights and fall prey to marketing hype. In the airgun world the first question you get from these buyers is “how fast does it shoot”.

    Think the most important question is “what do you want to use it for?”

    Agree with Chris – do the research, determine your (realistic) needs and what features are required to support them and looks for the product that fits.

    Cheers,
    Hank


  6. I was looking around yesterday and found a compressor with the Hatsan name on it for $499.99. Now there goes your only reason to not get a precharged airgun.
    Gerald


    • Gerald
      Yong Heng Air pump. You can find them for $199 and free shipping from the USA if you look hard enough.

      And to top it off BB did a report that sparked alot of positive comments about that compressor.

      I have 2 of them and no regrets yet. And to say they pump up fast. Try them is all I can say to people.


      • GF1,

        What are you doing for a filter on those – an in-line air filter? Are you using the “hygiene product” version that came with it (mine did, anyway) or have you purchased something bigger and better?

        Also, how do you handle cooling? I’ve only used mine a couple of times so far, and have run the hose through a 5 gal bucket filled with some ice water.

        Thanks!

        Jim


        • Jim
          For some reason my comment disappeared

          Simple answer. Yep what came with the pump. And no problems.

          And yep a 5 gallon bucket. But no ice water. I only fill guns. And usually only for just a couple minutes at the very most each time. So no problems for me.


  7. B.B.,

    In your last paragraph you advise manufacturers, correctly, to stop relying on their marketing departments when it comes to deciding what they will make and sell. It would be even less of an issue if folks hired in the marketing department were indeed airgunners, or if they were required to become airgunners to learn the job very shortly after they are hired in a company-directed education program. In the blog you have often mentioned by name manufacturer’s higher-ups in design and yes, marketing, who were real assets to their companies because they were experienced airgun enthusiasts. You yourself have been such an asset to manufacturers during your career.

    My advice for the blog, when there are serious caveats about a product, is to sacrifice a little verbal art in the interest of directness. In other words, perhaps a simple “Pros” and “Cons” paragraph is appropriate along with or perhaps instead of the (somewhat) nuanced, “If you don’t mind big, heavy and hard-cocking in order to have a springer that will dispatch large rabbits at 25-50 yards for under $300, and if you do your part in shooting it, the Whamo-bammo Beast will do so with accuracy in a solidly built air rifle.”

    “Do your part” puzzled me for a few months when I started reading this blog every weekday morning. Then I learned that with air rifles that phrase mostly meant consistently applying the artillery hold. “If you don’t mind big, heavy and hard-cocking” is polite talk for this thing is uncomfortably heavy, so big it is unwieldy, and it cocks with more effort than anyone wants to put up with. Everybody dislikes heavy, big, and hard-cocking, much less minds it. Perhaps a better way to be both fair to the manufacturer and frank with your readers is something in the middle like this: “The Whamo-bammo Beast is well-made and accurate if shot with expert technique, but it is suitable only for bench-rest shooting by burly shooters due to its excessive weight, size and cocking effort. There are many much better options for either plinking or for navigating woods and brush on a hunting foray.”

    Sorry. I went on for too long. Just my two, er, fifty cents.

    Michael


    • Michael,

      Sometimes words don’t do it – you have to show them.

      I run into guys at the shooting range that look at my PCP and say “That’s a PELLET gun???” . I give them a couple of shots and they get real quiet for a while … then there is the comment: “WOW, THAT’S a pellet gun!!!” Letting them shoot empty shotgun shells at 30-40 yards really makes an impression (don’t even tell them that 50-60 yards isn’t a problem – no point in rubbing it in).

      Not trying to be mean, just want them to realize that there are other options than a Whamo-bammo Beast.

      Hank


      • Hank
        Yep I have had guys over from work that are born and bred firearm shooters. They are amazed at how the pcp’s shoot. The .25 Condor SS always impresses when they shoot Ravioli cans at a hundred yards repeatedly.

        The same wow reaction happens. And to think they was coming over to say I’m full of bull. Not really. But I do know they was skeptical.


      • Hank,

        As I don’t have a high-powered PCP for me it was when I showed my Feinwerkbau 601 to a firearm shooter. He hefted it and shot at a knot-hole on a tree stump 15 or so yards away. He put two pellets out of two into (O.K., indenting) the center of the knot. He was amazed by the trigger. His first shot went who knows where (I considered it a flier) because he must not have believed me when I told him the second stage broke at 10 or so ounces. He also couldn’t believe the apparent absence of recoil (the 601 does have a barely perceptible amount of recoil, but it is too little for me to perceive it). Of course he couldn’t believe the accuracy or the lack of a report. Finally, he couldn’t believe how heavy it was, a bit over 16 pounds (mine has an FWB benchrest forearm attachment). He said the weight was what first told him it was a “real” rifle.

        That was one of only a few times I have had the pleasure of shooting an airgun with someone else. For me it is a solitary pleasure because I don’t know anyone anywhere around here who is into air guns.

        Michael


        • Michael,

          I know what you mean about the Feinwerkbau target rifles – their triggers are awesome. Yeah, seen the exact same reaction from firearm shooters – they can’t seem to relate to a target rifle like one of the 600’s, they do better with the PCP’s.

          I have a 603 – the one with the red/green/blue laminated stock (took me a while to get used to the colors!) that I shoot a lot during the winter. I had put out the word that I was in the market for a FWB 300 when the 603 showed up on the radar – I shot it once and was sold! Traded a canoe that I had made for it, figured that I can always make another canoe. Been real happy with it.

          Like you, airguns are mostly a solitary pleasure. My outdoor range (55 yards) is a couple of steps from the basement door and I can do 100 yards if I setup a portable bench. Indoors I can manage an honest 10 meters.

          I shoot whenever the mood takes me… speaking of which, I think I will head out for a session.

          Later…
          Hank


    • In your comment you mentioned requiring them to become air gunners.

      When you force someone to do something, you never get the best results from that person.

      Personally I think A condition of employment in a marketing position with an airgun company should include a probationary period, where they are exposed to the hobby, given the chance to explore the avenues that interest them.

      Then when they are evaluated for permanent employment, if they are not involved in the hobby in a regular basis will be terminated, or moved into a different area of the company where they are not marketing to the general public a product they have no experience with, nor an interest in.

      I don’t want you to try to sell me a product you know nothing about other than it is what you have to do to get your paycheck.

      Ian


      • 45Bravo,
        I agree with your views. It’s the same as when I go shopping for a vehicle. The salesman has a pitch telling me all about the vehicle, great. Then I ask him a few questions that I know the answers to and if he doesn’t give me the correct answer, I move on. Most of the time I know more about the vehicle than the salesman, and I educate him a bit before saying goodbye. This also is very common with technical support people. You ask them a question and they give you an answer reading from a script. If you you ask something that deviates from that script, they are lost. Once again, I find I know more about the product than the tech support people. Then I usually work through the issue until I fine the answer on my own. I have even called Norton Antivirus tech support back and gave them the solution to the problem I had called them about, but they couldn’t give me a fix. I have found tech support to be a waste of time in most cases. There is the an exception occasionally, which is very refreshing.
        When I was still working, I found that the German engineers and marketing people were the most knowledgeable about the products they sold. Other salesmen didn’t didn’t have a clue and I wouldn’t waste my time with them.
        Geo


        • You reminded me of a lesson I learned years ago. When computers first came out and were networked in business, I asked one of the IT specialists a question on one of the programs we were using (remember Lotus 1-2-3?). He had no idea what I was talking about and I realized he only knew networking and how the hardware worked.

          Regarding fixed vs. breakbarrels, the last time I went to my gun club, another member told me he had bought a Diana 48 because it was more accurate due to the fixed barrel. I kept my mouth shut (see, I finally do learn things) and nodded. I was shooting my Beeman R-9 that day and was getting better groups at 50 yds than I’ve gotten with my Diana 52 but I know now in my golden years to pick my fights.

          Fred formerly of the DProNJ now happily in GA


          • Fred,
            Yes, IT people are pretty single minded. They know nothing about computer hardware or software. My son has a degree in IT and I had to show him how to install a video card and drivers in his desktop computer. I think to myself, what did they teach you in college?
            I do remember Lotus 123, I actually used it for a time before Microsoft came out with their Office products which included Excel for spreadsheets.
            My retirement hobby is repairing computers and training people how to use software. When I say people, I’m referring to us old coggers 😉
            Geo (in MI)



            • Michael,

              Ah — the FORmula TRANslator! King of the database world for a long time.

              And punchcards? My first association with a computer was a Univac 1005. But punchcards date back to the 18th century when they were used to control weavers’ looms.

              B.B.


              • B.B.,

                My sister-in-law was seriously into weaving oh, maybe 20 years ago. She bought a loom that took up a huge portion of the basement in my brother-in-law and her house. She was delighted when I informed her that the loom was perhaps the first computer, as it was programmable. My brother-in-law was not so delighted, but I can’t blame him. As I recall that loom cost about as much as they were paying to send one of their sons to college for a year.

                Michael


              • B.B.,
                My wife went to school to learn data processing in the late 60s. Her fist job was a key punch operator. That machine punched little slots in cards that were then feed into a computer to run programs. This was before “floppy disks” or hard drives. Once a year all the scrap punch cards were recycled and with the money, all the office workers and spouses went someplace for a fancy dinner.
                The computers were huge back then and it took a good sized room to hold the data that today can easily be stored on a flashdrive. It’s amazing how much technology has advanced.
                My first computer in 1990 was a 386 with a 120mb hard disk and cost me $2000. This spring I built a new desktop computer from scratch using the latest Gigabyte Z390 motherboard, an Intel I-5 9600K CPU, a 500GB NVMe solid state drive,and 16GB of memory running Windows 10. It boots in about 10 seconds to the desktop. It cost me $1000 for the parts. It’s a rocket ship 🙂
                Geo




                  • I setup and ran the very first CNC machine in our shop. It was a Cleerman vertical spindle machine and I had to change the tools manually. It ran off from punched tape. Our first CMM was a Cordax. It was a manual machine but was upgraded a few years later to run programs from punched tape. I was a real pain because if you made a mistake or wanted to change something in the program, you had to duplicate the tape up to where the change was needed. Then you had to type in the change and then dup the rest of the program. The tape reader was a teletype and sounded like a thrashing machine when it ran.
                    Geo


                • Geo,

                  My mom did data entry for a time in the early 1970s, punch cards and all. The computer took up almost an entire 15×25 foot room, and that room required its own separate central air unit on the roof. Back then, as you know, it was called a “mainframe.” Back then “server” meant a waiter or waitress, and LAN was a typo of Land.

                  A few months ago I uncorked my joke about how when I started using computers floppy discs still were floppy. A student of mine innocently asked, “What’s a floppy disc?” Another student answered/asked, “It’s like a Flash Drive, right?” I answered, “Flashdrive, Is that like the Cloud but attached to your keychain?” I hope everybody got the joke. In a year or two that will be reality, not a punchline.

                  Michael


                  • Michael,
                    That’s funny. I still have some of those 5 1/4″ floppies. I believe I have Widows 3.1 on floppies in my disk case. Guess they are about ready to go to a museum.
                    Geo


                    • Geo,.

                      These “reminscings” are fun.

                      I saved one or two 5 1/2 inch floppies from back when I started in the workforce and used an IBM PC XT every day — an XT, not AT, so no hard drive, no mouse (of course) and 128k of RAM. One of the discs is unlabeled, but the other one I used with PC Write, a shareware word processing program. Earlier as a student I used a Commodore Superpet in the library.

                      Prior to that it was a much used IBM Selectric One Series 2 typewriter, and even before that it was my mother’s Smith Corona Silent Super manual portable. And before that it was an Eberhard-Faber No. 2 pencil and a Mead college ruled, spiral bound notebook. Hey, I had a notebook back in the mid 1970s! ;^)

                      I am just barely too young to have been a ten inch floppy user.

                      Michael


      • Ian,

        In general I agree with you about forcing someone to do something not being especially effective. But they are not actually being forced to do it, are they? They are there of their own free will. Crosman, Daisy, Hatsan and Gamo aren’t forced labor camps. Employees can always instead choose (and often do) to quit and work somewhere else, doing something they dislike less. My students would every now and then ask if they “had” to do a particular assignment, and my answer was always, said very evenly, “No. You don’t have to do anything.” They quickly understood that what I meant implicitly was, “No, you don’t have to do the assignment any more than you have to pass the course. It’s all up to you.”

        If someone wants to get paid for the job, then he or she will do the job, including training on the job. That’s why it’s called work instead of play. And that’s why employers have to actually pay people to do it.

        I know I’m getting old and it’s showing in my views, but real life provides precious few opportunities to be coddled, and the sooner a young person learns that painful lesson, the better off they are. (Some do grow up already having learned, it.)

        Your Resident Curmudgeon,

        Michael


        • Apparently you and I are both residing at the same Curmudgeon facility.

          I personally think if every airgun should have a sheet that accompanies it through out the assembly process, all the way to quality control inspection.

          And a copy put in the box, and a digtal copy or record stored within the company.

          Proudly assembled by_______ Sign your name.

          Then when you get a return, for a specific defect you know where it happened.

          It may just need a coaching opportunity, or more training.

          Most people when they have to sign their name to something seem to care a little more.


          • The old “Assembled by” and “Inspected By” tags! Pride of craftsmanship. Sometimes, albeit rarely, those become a legend in and of themselves.

            For example, a 100 year old Gibson guitar that has a soundhole label signed by then Gibson President Lloyd Loar is worth at least twice as much as one he deemed not worthy of his signature (only the very best examples received that). The same goes for Hiwatt amplifier chassis signed by Harry Joyce (legendary wiring shop manager) in the early 1970s and old Fender guitar pickups signed on the bottom (which means personally wound by) by Abigail Ibarra.

            Michael


  8. BB,

    “A new airgunner tells me he has decided to buy a Diana 52 sidelever spring rifle because he knows that a rifle with a fixed barrel is more accurate than one whose barrel breaks to cock the gun. A statement like that tears at me in so many ways!”

    If break barrel air rifles are as accurate as fixed barrel air rifles, then why does every break barrel I know of with factory open sights have the rear sight mounted on the breech block instead of further back on the receiver (such as on the underlever HW77 and HW57) where it would benefit from a longer sight radius?

    Isn’t the answer that barrel lockup is the Achilles’ heel of break barrel air rifles? Some of the better designs have barrel locking systems (HW35, LGV) to ensure more consistent realignment of the barrel with the receiver, but it will never be perfect (not even the ASP20 has it completely solved).

    Or is it just a coincidence that the top spring piston field target rifles are fixed barrel designs (including your much loved TX200) and that the most accurate of the humble Gamo springers is the CFX?


    • Bob,

      They are obsolete, but the Diana models 60, 65 and 66 are all breakbarrel target rifles with target aperture sights mounted on the rear of the spring tube. They are 10 meter target rifles and all three are accurate.

      The Sig ASP20 is a breakbarrel that locks up solid and is as accurate as anyone could want.

      Accurate breakbarrels do exist.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        I had never heard of those Diana break barrel 10m target rifles. I guess they didn’t have the success and cult following of the Feinwerkbau 300s and Walther LGR sidelevers.

        That accurate breakbarrels do exist is not under dispute. For example my beloved HW30s is one of the most accurate air rifles I own. That it can deliver repeatable pin point accuracy with a barrel that is pulled out of alignment with the scope on every cocking stroke and is only held in place with a ball bearing detent is testimony to the excellent quality of Weihrauch’s engineering.


        • Bob,

          Those three rifles were replaced by the Diana 75 sidelever, and, to be completely honest, I think the 75 and the FWB 300 are a bit more accurate. However, many owners of the Diana breakbarrels, especially the 65 and 66, tell me they are surprisingly accurate. I would love to find one I could afford to test.

          It is amazing that a breakbarrel can be as accurate as it is.

          B.B.


          • My HW30s can hold it’s own out at 50 yards and in.

            Matter of fact the next ones on the way. So I guess that means I need to do alot of shooting to make sure it shoots as well as the first one I have. 🙂


            • GF1,

              What cailbre is your next HW30s?

              I recently put a Vortek PG2 kit in mine (.177 cal). It had been using the stock German sub 7.5J mainspring since I bought the rifle in 2015 and it used to run quickly out of steam past 30 yards.

              I was keen to see how the Vortek kit would perform at longer range, so I took the HW30s to the range and shot a couple of groups at 50m (54.6 yds). I was pleased to see that 4 out of 5 shots in both groups could be covered with a 5 Eurocent or 1 Icelandic króna coin (both of which are slightly larger than a nickel). That was after a very short run in period of about 40 shots at ranges of 10m-30m.





                    • Geo
                      Two exactly alike. Who ever heard of such a thing.

                      Maybe two of the same gun.

                      I never had two guns be the same.

                      But on the serious side. The gun I’m getting is not the same. It is a special edition gun so to speak. It has a laminate gray and black Italian made stock.

                      And one of the reasons I’m getting it is PA doesn’t sell the HW30s anymore. They now replaced it with the Beaman version of it. So it’s kind of collectable in a way.

                      But it all boils down to is that they are very, very nice guns. Quality and accuracy wise. They are kid friendly cocking wise as well as with weight. Plus a smooth shooter.

                      So I needed another one for when the older daughter comes over so we got another gun to shoot incase the power goes out.


                  • No reply option below

                    Regarding buying two HW30s. I understand why you wanted a second one and it sounds like you getting one with a more attractive stock…those laminate stocks are beautiful. I thought maybe you wanted a second one for the kids when they come to shoot with you.
                    Is Weihrauch no longer manufacturing the HW30s? I’ve heard nothing but good things about that rifle, so I am wondering why they would stop producing it. Or is it that PA is just not selling it any longer? Just curious.
                    Geo


                    • Geo
                      Yep that’s why I got it. Tonplimk with the kids.

                      And yes it’s still being made put PA stopped carrying it.


  9. “The Diana 52 … twists to the right when it fires”. What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China? 😉

    It’ll put 5 pellets under a quarter at 50 yards, so I can forgive it its (literal) eccentricity.

    By the way, when are we going to see the venerable 52 get the full BB treatment; a 4 or 5 part review, with accuracy tests right out to 100 yards!?


    • Bob,

      Many shooters dislike that twist to the right. That’s why I mentioned it.

      I thought I would link to a previous report of the 48 or 52 (same rifles, different stocks) but I can’t find any. Not good ones, anyway. So there’s another rifle I need to add to my list.

      B.B.


      • Sounds like they need to figure out how to hold the gun.

        I don’t recall the two 54 Air King’s having that twist problem I had. They have the forward and rearward recoil dampening similar to a FWB 300. But you would think the rotation would be there too like your saying since they are also sidelever guns. And come to think of it both of the 300’s I had didn’t rotate when fired. Even the modded one with the heavier spring.

        Maybe I just naturally hold the guns and didn’t realize they rotate when they shoot???


        • Gunfun1,

          I might be wrong, but I suspect the 54 and 56 still have the rotational force, but that it is less noticeable because of the felt-recoil-reducing system. I, for example, cannot feel it at all with my 300s.

          Michael



            • GF1,

              I’ll have to shoot mine again to refresh my memory. It is probably too low-powered for us to feel it, but I’d bet it’s there. With the 300s, the rifle is too heavy along with the weak powerplant. In the hands of a World Class Olympian, however, it would probably stand out.

              At that level of doing anything every sense is heightened beyond that of us mere mortals. :^) In the Olympics, who knows, a difference between a score of 57 and 58? It didn’t matter, though. Springers were obsolete by the first Olympics with Air Rifle, 1984.

              Michael


              • Michael
                One of the things I do when I get a new gun is I rested it on a bag and hold it very loosely. Then pull the trigger and watch how the gun moves.

                I still don’t recall the rotational movement in the sidelevers I have owned.


                • Gunfun1,

                  It might be as much a psychological thing with shooters as much as it exists physically. Certainly the weight on the right side of the thing pulls everything in that direction, so I suppose part of what shooters feel could be that. The TR5 and FWB 300s have such lightweight cocking arms that the pull to the right side would be almost negligible. The Diana 54 and 56 have big and heavy arms, however. The again, the entire rifle, especially the 56, is so heavy that it also stabilizes everything, shooting cycle-wise.

                  Even so, so many shooters have noted the rotation that there is probably something to it regardless.

                  Michael.


                  • Michael
                    I can see where the gun wants to roll over to the side that the cocking arm is on.

                    But after you hold the gun and pull the trigger I don’t recall the gun wanting to rotate to the right or for that fact to the left from the shot cycle.

                    Maybe people mean that the gun is heavy on the right not that it actually rotates to the right when it’s fired.



      • BB,

        I never noticed the twist to the right with the sub 12 ft-lb Diana 52 I had back in the early 90s, but it is evident with the FAC rated Diana 52 I now have.

        I figure it is due to the centre of gravity being slightly to the right due to the weight of the sidelever. It doesn’t appear to have any effect upon accuracy though and one hardly notices the twist after a few days with the gun.




          • B.B. and Jim M.,

            I wonder. If the spring in a sidelever were wound in the reverse direction, would the weight of the cocking arm offset the felt rotational pull? Hmmm.

            Underlevers have a weight at the bottom, not as great a counter to rotational force as an opposing sidelever might be, but still.. Breakbarrels have no weight at all. Elsewhere here is a discussion of accuracy differences between breakbarrels and underlevers. If everything else is equal, would that alone make a difference at 50 yards? Is there anyone here with an Air Arms Pro-Elite and TX200 in the same caliber? :^)

            Michael


            • Michael
              You ever had the factory spring out of a FWB 300?

              It has 2 springs. Basically cut in the middle with a spacer in the center. But one is right hand wound and one is left hand wound. That is suppose to counter act the spring rotational tourqe.

              So what I’m getting at is what is thought is even a break barrel has a rotational force when shot.

              FWB probably thought their design of the counter rotational springs would be one more added feature to the gun to help somewhat eliminate that.

              And as I have mentioned. I think that’s all about how you do your hold on a gun. You got to figure out how you know what the gun does. Then it’s all about the hold. As usual.


              • Gunfun1,

                Knowing me, if I ever took the springs out of a 300s, it would have ended up as a parts gun! I have looked at photos not too long ago, though, so I have seen what you are describing.

                The predecessors to the 300s, the 150 and 300, had just the one spring. Incidentally, probably the most valuable air gun I own is a Feinwerkbau 150 left-handed with Tyrolean stock. Very few of those were ever made. I ought to o shoot it more. Shoot, I ought to shoot all of my airguns more. Now that I’m retired . . . :^)

                Michael


  10. Howdy folks, What a nice lead in B.B.
    I will say that the shooting aesthetic varys depending on the airgun, but if you want to shoot now, get a springer/gasram. If you enjoy dickering with them, PCP’s are fun too. Removing half the hammer weight,
    incrementally, on the Bandit has been enlightening? The regulator helps allot. Those JSB RS and 8.44 group well now. The main key is the E.S. Still not perfect, but getting there has been fun. Now I think an aluminum trigger blade will be superiour to the steel unit…because of how it will feell dragging the sear planes. We’ll see.
    Best, Roberto


  11. “So they start asking around until they find the right guy who knows how to say the right things that tickle their ears.”
    B.B., that’s awesome! I really needed a laugh today; I saw this as a paraphrase of the old warning from Paul:
    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” — 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV)

    I see this all the time in the selection of cars, motorcycles, doctors, investments, and yes, airguns.
    Someone goes to his guru of choice, but already armed with his pre-conceived idea of what he MUST have.
    For his own good, the guru tries to steer him a different way…but the man will have none of it!
    So, he runs through gurus like toilet paper…till he finds the one who can tickle his itching ears, the one who makes him feel great by regurgitating back to him all the things he wants to hear, all his pre-conceived thoughts.

    It calls to mind my friend’s fiancé, Kathy, years ago. He and her two kids were arguing with her about something, when she blurted out, “You’re all wrong! My therapist said all my problems are due to you, and you, and you! Oh wait, but I wasn’t supposed to tell you guys that.” It took a long time for him and her kids to stop laughing. =>
    Talk about tickling someone’s itching ears! For $75 and hour, just tell them, “Oh, you don’t have ANY problems. ALL your problems are caused by those around you…but don’t tell them that.” (or I’ll be out of business).

    Thanks, B.B.! I’ll be laughing the rest of the day about your “tickle their ears” comment. =>
    Have a great day,
    dave



  12. B.B.,
    The report today is very much true. I kind of went through some of these things myself when I first began choosing an airgun for pesting sparrows from my bluebird nesting boxes. I didn’t know, what I didn’t know, and it took a lot of research and learning to finally work through it.
    In the spring of 2012 my first airgun choice was a Crosman Nitro Venom breakbarrel in .22 with a gas spring. I made this choice based on the reviews I had read on Amazon’s web site. I had to return the first two rifles, one for finish, and one for a possible bent barrel. The third one seemed okay but when I began shooting it I discovered that the groups were 2″ at 20 yards, not acceptable for the intended purpose. Also, was not aware of scope parallax and this rifle came without an AO. It also had a terrible trigger which I replaced with a GRT-III.
    In the spring of 2013 I began searching for a more accurate airgun, again reading many reviews of various models. I finally settled on the Diana RWS 34P in .22 with a nice Hawke 3-9×50 AO scope. I had read many reviews touting the accuracy of this rifle and that it was capable of 1″ groups at 25 yards. And you know how that worked out for me. I worked with this rifle for four years, trying several pellets. Then I found this blog and began reading and learning about breakbarrel airguns. I tried every suggestion and various artillery holds but nothing I did helped me achieve the required groups. I finally sent the rifle to you in June 2017 and you did a six part review of it. You found the main spring had a broken coil and replaced it with a Vortec kit. You installed a BKL adjustable scope mount and demonstrated that it was capable of 1″ groups at 25 yards. You sent it back in July 2017. When I got it back I attempted once again to shoot the needed groups but the best I could shoot consistently was 1.5″ to 2″ at 25 yards. I was never satisfied with my ability to shoot the Diana RWS 34P, though I kept trying.
    In the spring of 2018, after reading the blog every day, along with the many comments, it was suggested to me to try a PCP that would require no special hold to shoot accurately. This was about the time the airgun industry was coming out with some interesting price point PCPs ($300 or less). When I saw a Gamo Urban on sale for $220, I jumped on it. I bought an inexpensive hand pump and a new UTG 3-12×44 AO compact scope for it and for $500 I was all set with a PCP rifle. I had researched and found that the Urban was manufactured in the UK by BSA and had a hammer forged barrel, know for accuracy. I was sure this would be a quality airgun and not a cheap Chinese knockoff.
    This ended my journey of searching for an accurate airgun to pest sparrows and starlings. This is not a hobby for me, and as you stated back then, I needed a tool to accomplish a task. Mission accomplished, thanks to you and the many helpful commenters here in this blog. I still read and follow the comments every day and the learning continues. I have told this story before, but I believe it bares repeating and hopefully will help others to be more selective when choosing an airgun. There are many things to consider in choosing an airgun and this blog is a great place to get educated and avoid making a bad choice.
    Geo


    • “There are many things to consider in choosing an airgun and this blog is a great place to get educated and avoid making a bad choice.”

      Geo, amen to that! Those are words of wisdom that will echo down through the ages on this blog. =>


  13. BB,

    “And a spring rifle at less than $150 better be used if you want it to be good. ‘Cause there ain’t no new ones at that price that are any good.”

    Have you ever tested the Ruger Blackhawk breakbarrel? (marketed as the SMK SYNSG in the UK and also sold with a Hammerli badge in some markets) It’s a Chinese made copy of the Diana 34 sold at one third the price. It has gotten favourable reviews in the UK airgun press with accuracy reported as 3/4″ at 25 yards.



    • I’ve read reviews of people getting 1″ groups at 25 yards with a Diana 34 too. B.B. is the ONLY one who has demonstrated to me that it can be done. I seriously doubt that a Chinese knock off would be capable of doing it. Don’t believe everything you read is all I can say. It takes a lot of technique to do it with a quality breakbarrel.


    • I have a Ruger Blackhawk (.177), It has had flashes of potential, but not much more. I tried a tune kit at 12lb/ft and at the normal power, with and without TIAT, and never found a pellet it liked. I have two D-34s, (.22 and .177) and got the Ruger to see what was inside a D-34. The Dianas were easy to find a favorite pellet. I think you can find good barrels in clones, but not as often as the real thing.


Leave a Reply