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What is a BB gun?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Intro
  • Wow!
  • Red Ryder
  • BBs have changed
  • Safer BBs
  • Modern BB guns
  • Conclusion


This blog went live on March second, 2005. Two days later, on March 4, I wrote this report that I am reprinting today in total — just as it was published then. After you read it, I have a few updates at the end.

A BB gun is the fundamental starting point in our hobby. We shoot them, talk about them, collect them, and, for most of us, just hearing the term “BB gun” evokes a flood of memories. But what we think of when we think of BB guns depends largely on how old we are and where we came from.

The most common BB gun known today has got to be Daisy’s Red Ryder. It was the first BB gun many of us had or wanted and, since it has been around almost continuously since its introduction in 1938, that includes nearly every airgunner alive today.

Contrary to the spiel Ralphie rattled off in the movie A Christmas Story, the Red Ryder is not a “200-shot carbine-action range-model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.” Author Jean Shepherd got confused when he remembered the Red Ryders of his youth and not only clipped a bunch of shots from the magazine capacity, he also added the compass and sundial that were only found on the Buck Jones pump BB guns. But we forgave him because of the thousands of pleasant memories he brought to life. Daisy even made a special Christmas Story Red Ryder that DID have a compass and sundial, though they put them on the correct side of the stock (the left) for right-handers. Little Ralphie’s gun was built in reverse for his left-handed operation.

If you are under 40, the Red Ryder may not hold the same fascination it does for older kids. You may, in fact, remember one or two other airguns with equal fondness. One is Crosman’s M1 Carbine, a very close copy of the military firearm that was made popular in the 1960s and ’70s. It was a powerful BB gun that cocked by pushing in on the barrel to compress the mainspring. That took some effort, so smaller kids couldn’t do it, which was good because the carbine was very powerful for its size.

The other gun you may remember is still made by Crosman – the ever-popular model 760 Pumpmaster. Millions of them have been sold since introduction in 1966, the same year the M1 Carbine hit the street. The name was Powermaster back then, a tribute to the easy, short pump stroke that develops magnum power with incredible ease. Millions of boys, along with more than a few girls, fondly remember their 760s.

We still haven’t answered the title question, but here comes a bit of confusion. One of the coolest BB guns ever made is the fantastic Russian Drozd. It shoots .177 lead balls that are SO EASY to call BBs, and yet they are not the same steel BBs that are correct for Red Ryders and 760s. They are both larger and softer, being made from pure lead instead of mild steel. The Drozd has a rifled bore of true .177 specifications, so it shoots round lead balls both accurately and with great force! But, if you put steel BBs, which are both smaller and much harder, in your Drozd, you can jam the feed mechanism and ruin the rifled barrel.

So, have I answered the question yet? Not really, because I haven’t even touched on the latest BB-type gun – the airsoft gun. Maybe this is a good place to stop for now, though, because airsoft deserves a decent discussion (or two) of its own.


Things were certainly much simpler (and shorter) on Day Three of this blog! I use that many words in some of my intros today — like I just did in this one.

And things have changed in the past 15 years. The Drozd is no longer available new, though I do know of a large cache of new-old-stock guns, along with a bunch of very desirable NOS Blackbirds!

The Crosman 760 is still being made, though we recently had a test of the upgraded gun — the Crosman 760 Pumpmaster Classic. In fact, I’m still testing that one and need to put a dot sight on for the next test. Maybe I’ll use the Romeo5-XDR. Wouldn’t that be strange — testing a $35 airgun with a $300 sight? 🙂

Red Ryder

The Red Ryder is still with us, of course. And Daisy has released several Christmas Story commemorative Red Ryders for those folks who don’t want to drop $500 to buy an original 1983 Christmas Story gun. Yes, they are easily that much and more, when you can find one.

But recently Daisy came out with a Red Ryder that is sized for adults! Yep, they finally officially recognized that many of their fans have voted for the past 30-40 years.

BBs have changed

The common steel BB that in 2005 was still in it’s humdrum era, has suddenly blossomed in glorious splendor! For starters, the airgun world has recognized that a BB is supposed to be uniform in size and shape. The rusty broken-down BB manufacturing lines that were built more than a half-century ago and produced steel spheres of dubious size and roundness are almost gone. Hint, hint, Crosman. They have been replaced by modern machinery and selection methods that give us BBs of world-class quality! Daisy once bragged about their U.S.-based BB-making capability. Now they buy them from China like everyone else, and we benefit from greater quality control.

I wrote about a BB gun insert that Hammerli made in the 1950s for the Swiss K31 rifle. That insert was supposed to turn the K31 into a decent training rifle for troops. It was a great concept because the soldiers got to shoot their own assigned rifles and become used to their weight, the trigger and the sights. Today that could all be done so much better and cheaper if airgun manufacturers would only realize it. The pellet-shooting Crosman MAR 177 that sold for $600 a decade ago could be remade as an accurate BB gun insert system for AR-15s, M16s and M4s today. Think of all the military could do with savings like that! Of course they would have to wear protection to keep from shooting out their eyes, but from the pictures I see, they already are. [By the way, and the manufacturers all know this — there are tens of millions of AR-15s and copycat rifles in the world. Make an adaptor that is a cheap, safe, close-range BB-shooter for them and you can retire — your fortune is made. You see, gentle readers — AR-15 owners don’t think twice about spending money on their rifles!]

Just so everybody gets it — BB Pelletier just gave away a huge marketing idea to whichever airgun manufacturer is smart enough to capitalize on it. I’m betting on a race between Crosman and Sig. Crosman, because Ed Schultz works there now, and Sig because they can be smart about the market when they try.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Safer BBs

Now we come to two different but fabulous inventions that are revolutionizing the BB gun industry today. The lead BB that has existed for more than 80 years was recognized and is now being sold as H&N’s Smart Shot. Heck — they were making lead balls in that size already; someone just needed to explain the marketing opportunity to them. Rename and repackage the product and suddenly their slow sales to a couple hundred faithful Zimmerstutzen shooters are kick-started to far greater levels!

And then there is the Dust Devil. Now in its second generation, the Dust Devil will feed through magazines that rely on magnets, is accurate and when it hits a hard target it shatters into dust. No more bounceback! No more shooting out your eyes! Mothers of America — you need a new slogan. How about “Texting reduces verbal fluidity”? Too verbose? Maybe “Thumbs make you dumb”, or something like that?

Modern BB guns

And now we come to the BB guns of today. Compared to 2005 we have guns with incredible accuracy, beautiful functionality and other performance aspects. The M1 Carbine from Springfield Armory is fast-firing and hyper accurate with the right BB. The Lil’ Duke from Air Venturi is accurate, powerful and affordable. The Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun from Umarex is probably the most accurate BB gun I have tested, short of the all-time champion Daisy 499, and I’m just getting started!

The Legends MP40 BB gun from Umarex is so realistic that I had to buy one for myself! I actually bought a lot of these new BB guns. The Legends P08 (Luger) pistol with blowback is another champ! And don’t forget the Crosman DPMS that gives you both accuracy as well as full-auto capability.

And, by the way, I’m not letting you off the hook, Diana. You promised me an American version of the model 30 bolt-action gallery gun that shoots conventional steel BBs! Since steel and lead BBs are way better today are you concerned the new gun may outshoot your existing European Diana 30? Buck up and take one for the team!


I could go on, but I won’t. The world of BB guns has changed more in the past 15 years than it did in the previous 50. We are truly living in the golden age of BB guns.

And now, in the immortal words of Porky Pig, “I believe we have reached the end of our scheduled entertainment, ladies and gentlemen.”

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

197 thoughts on “What is a BB gun?”

  1. B.B.,

    Looks like Crosman just needs to do a little engineering modification to adapt the DPMS into a drop in upper assembly and a magazine containing the BBs and two CO2 cartridges for people cooped up and can’t go to the range. Maybe to appease the bean counters they can offer a non blowback version that is cheaper and an upper crust blow back version for the real shooters.


    • I’ve been shooting my BB guns quite often lately. Three Daisys. My Red Ryder, Model 25, and my newest one, a Daisy Buck. I have not bought any Crosman Copperhead bbs at all. Heard too many negatives about them. My Buck, however, shoots the newer Crosman Black Widow bbs quite well overall, and I will be stocking up on them. As per Tom’s Buck review, I have a Buck-Rail scope mount and bipod on mine. Never used a bipod in all my years of shooting until now. That bipod is a hit. Might even get one for my Red Ryder. I have dot sights on both these guns now, with a Lasso mount on the RR with an old BSA red dot on it. I believe I paid $20 for the Buck at Wal-Mart in Hilo Hawaii. I’m shooting these BB slingers at 5 2/3 yards. I also have a standard sized soup can on my brick fire pit at 27 yards, and get lots of hits with these two. My Model 25, I have to use the open sights. Too bad because my eyesight makes that really tough. Yet, I have a number of 17 yard soup can hits with the 25.
      I have been neglecting my pellet guns since the Daisy Buck jumped into my shopping cart. A 67 year old man getting back into BB guns! Do I need therapy?

      • Birdmove,

        Nah,… I would say you are fine. On the other hand,… if you are convinced that there is a problem,… we can set up weekly zoom meetings (for a small reoccurring fee). You will be fixed up in no time.

        I am “certified”. Or,… was that certifiable??? I can’t remember what the shrink told me. 😉


  2. BB,

    Good article. Here is a couple of links to the Drozd and Blackbird for anyone interested. I had to look them up.



    This was my first bb gun, but pretty sure mine was the spittin’ image model. I remember the brass features on mine:


    Followed many years later by an 880. I now have the 499 and a 75th Red Ryder.


    • Chris
      Almost got one of those Drodz black birds and even almost a bumble bee.

      They was phasing them out when I was looking.

      There was some nice modded ones on Ebay at the time. They was a bit expensive for a bb gun at the time. But well worth it if you liked that type of shooting.

      I still kick myself for not getting one. They could shoot some massive firepower with big capacity and at very good fps when modded.

  3. BB,

    So Ed is back with TCFKAC. This could be awesome. Now if they would just turn him loose. Would I be correct in my assumption that you are in regular contact with Ed. He needs to give their sproingers a decent trigger and the Marauder a side lever.

    I am most definitely with you on that Diana. I remember when they were talking about that. I would buy another bb gun.

    • RR,

      On the Crosman web site the have at least three new Benjamin pcp rifles with side levers. It looks like the Marauder is expected to mostly go to semi-auto. I have not heard much about the new Crosman pcp rifles for some reason.


  4. There is the new Barra 1866 lever action too. Looks to be getting good reviews on PA. Here is the PA link (and) some Google search options. The middle video (of 3) is a pretty good one.



    Due to the long pump arm,.. it is said to be very easy all the way to 10 pumps. At this point, the safety (which is the hammer) and manual,… seems like (maybe?) the only issue. Putting out some nice power too. Oh,.. the rear sight swivels side to side for more windage/poi correction. That is rarely an option with the simple ramp sights.


  5. What really puzzles me is that there is a gazillion of pellet rifle and Airsoft gun makers all over the world, yet the classic BB gun remains firmly in the hand of very few US manufacturers, plus a few oddities like Diana’s gallery rifle and a few Chinese imports for the US market.
    I live in Europe and used a Slavia 631 for 5meter indoor shooting. It was fun, but an accurate BB gun would have fit my bill better.

    • Mel,

      The Avanti 499 is a real pleasure to shoot. Try one if you ever get the chance.


      I did a rested 11 mm, 10 shot group, from 22 feet yesterday,…. but it will do even better.

      Be safe over there,…… Chris 😉

  6. They are, funnily, not available in Germany. A few shops sell red ryders and marlin lever actions, that’s it.
    Possibly the legislature (not being allowed to shoot in the garden, must be 18 years old to own) are working against BB guns here..

  7. B.B.,

    I especially enjoyed reading today’s blog. It is among the very best writing you’ve done here, and the joy you had while writing it is evident. Furthermore, you had me chuckling again and again. Your nom de plume was well-chosen, Mon Capitan. You love BB shooters.

    BBs indeed have come a long way over the recent past. It took a while, but BBs finally started doing what pellet makers began doing a generation or more ago. As you wrote today’s BBs are of vastly superior uniformity and quality than before, just like pellets of today put Crosman ashcans to shame.

    Excellent blog, B.B.


  8. B.B.,

    Something you commented on briefly has me thinking. You wrote, “Wouldn’t that be strange — testing a $35 airgun with a $300 sight? ” The emoticon tells us, of course, that you don’t find it strange, or at least not inappropriate.

    I think it is strange that over the years dozens and dozens of higher priced air guns, many of them well-designed and made of superior materials, have had sights that were nothing more than an afterthought and which prevented you (and you tested many such airguns over the years) from shooting accurately. The airgun might well have been accurate but for the crummy sight! I understand that having a very nice, accuracy-encouraging trigger in an airgun requires extra engineering and expense, but the sights? How much more would it take, relatively, to pay attention to that crucial component?


  9. B.B.
    Wasn’t some of the Crosman 760’s produced rifled barrels? Also I think the Umarex MORPH was one of the more accurate BB guns that you tested if memory serves. Question, I see the accurate BB “long” guns listed. What were some of the more accurate bb pistols you’ve tested? I recall the Legends Makarov pistol (non blow back) being one of the better ones. Maybe just for it’s size?

    Speaking of movie bb guns, I remember the one in Home Alone. It looks like a Red Ryder with the cocking lever removed, and was pump action. I wrote Daisy about it, asking if it was a Red Ryder. They could not tell me for sure what it was, but they think it was a modified Daisy. No way for them to tell.

    All in all, BB guns don’t have the power or accuracy as a pellet gun at longer ranges, but I’ve always had a soft spot for them. Not only a lot of choices for bb guns today, just look at the ammo choices now. I remember when, with bbs, you didn’t have much choice. Thanks for this blog report!


            • B.B.,

              I just talked to my son and he confirmed that his barrel is rifled. I don’t remember changing the barrel on it but I will check it out a little more.

            • B,B,.

              I may have figured it out. From 1966 through present there are at least 9 different barrel part numbers listed through the numerous parts diagrams from Crosman for the 760. The parts diagram that came with my sons gun shows a barrel part number different than any of the part numbers shown in all the diagrams I looked in. I think all of these are smooth bore. My sons user manual says smooth bore for his gun but he says it is rifled and that is what I remember.

              For the 760XL sold from 1978-1980 and the 761XL sold from 1972-1981 the part number is 761-024 and is described in the specs provided in the user manual as: 19 in. (483 mm) solid steel button rifled, 10 lands, right hand twist, one turn in 16 in. (406 mm).

              The same 761-024 barrel part number is shown for the 760 in the years 1980 – 1983 and 1985. So I think these should have the rifled barrels.

              There is also a barrel part number of 760-024 for 1977-1980 that may have a rifled barrel. But I don’t know that.

              I probably did not explain it as well as it could be, I hope this helps.


  10. “What is a BB gun?”
    Well…it could be a gun with a rifled barrel…could be .177, .22., or even .25 caliber…could even be a PCP…
    What’s that you say? How could that be?
    Well, I could make the argument that any gun “owned by B.B.” is “a BB gun”! =)~
    In all seriousness, though, great report, B.B. =>

  11. B.B.
    I think you have hit the nail on the head about the ” lowly” BB and the potential upside of improving the most basic form of ammo, and the direct connection it shares with our shooting forfathers. I think a safer bb is a big deal too.
    I am sure there is allot of profit potential in the lower end shooting products, the space where bb’s exist.
    Part of what is important isnt the shooting so much as it is the manufacturing technology, as you mentioned about Crosman needing to up their game. I think the same thing about airsoft.
    I got a hankering for an old school style repeating pistol I need to take to the range. Guess what that would be?
    Probably a Remington Uberti copy with a taylor cylinder conversion, although cap and ball would be fun too.
    So then I went to Midway to see how much a box of .45 long Colt is going for. Nope, all sold out.
    So, cost definately comes into the equation, because now, I can shoot the same projectile out of an airgun,
    and I dont have to clean it when I’m done. I just need to go to the range, which is the main reason there is demand from grown up kids for home use products.
    Good shooting with the Gamo, I am enjoying the heavier cocking Synergis. The Gamo doesn’t stand a chance
    accuracy wise, Ha! but the Gamo has better ergo’s I think. Plus, cleaning that fixed barrel is a chore. I wish I could just unthread the barre and shroud for that..

  12. I must admit that I have a thing against BB guns,-because of my early experiences with their inaccuracy- to the point that I ignore most your blogs about BB rifles and pistols. If you must start off a child with a BB gun, I think you’re much better substituting an airsoft gun because of the safety factor and because most of the ones I’ve shot are much more accurate than BB guns (with the exception of the 499 perhaps). The next step would be to transition them to a pellet gun with a rifled barrel. Maybe I’ll get over this someday, but I don’t think so – insert smiley face.

      • Brent
        With you on that. That’s what I see when I look at BB guns that are available.

        If I’m doing the spray and pray with a bb gun trying to shoot groups. I might as well be doing it full auto and have some fun while I’m doing it.

    • Brent
      I have had some air soft guns and I think I would take them over bb guns.

      People will bring up the 499 but still probably not as safe as a air soft gun. And probably those people never have shot a air soft gun and have no idea how a air soft gun shoots.

    • Brent,

      First, a good airsoft gun is incredibly accurate. Second, good BB guns are also accurate and not at all rare these days.

      Evidence in this blog and others show that from 7-8 yards or less the difference in accuracy between a quality BB gun and a pellet gun is negligible. Even at 10 meters there now have been many BB guns that nearly equal pellet guns. The EBOS, MORPH, Legend Cowboy Lever Action, Tanfoglio Limited Custom, Daisy 499, 1st year Daisy 99, Sig Sauer X-Five ASP, Sig Sauer 226, Tanfoglio Gold Custom, Makarov, and venerable Diana 30 are just some that come to mind.

      By ignoring most blogs on BB pistols and long guns (only very rarely is a BB gun a rifle), you have assured yourself of not knowing about most of the best air guns out there. You’ve really missed out.


      • Michael,
        It’s pretty traumatic as a young shooter to aim carefully at something with a Daisy Golden 750 and miss it almost every time. Now if that would have been the Diana 25 I have now, it wouldn’t have happened that way


        • Brent,

          I feel for you (and with you) regarding the trauma part. You needed some encouragement and guidance but the circumstances let you down instead of providing it from someone.

          750, eh? Did it have one of those funky tube sights made to look like a scope? Maybe if it had been a Daisy 98. I rested one on the hood of my dad’s friend’s pickup and missed the weather vane on the barn by a good four feet. But the BB was so slow I could see how it curved and from then on I adjusted for it. I then hit it seven times in a row. And I’m a lousy shot!


  13. Went out to the range for the first time this year (it gets cold up here in Alberta). My son took his new (to him) Ithica LSA-55 .222 heavy barrel (which is known to be a tackdrive). Within a dozen shots he was getting 1/2″ groups at 100m, slightly better than what I was getting with my Pedersoli Sharps carbine 45-70 🙁
    And yes, there is a point to the above 🙂
    We had taken a friend of my sons with us…his first time shooting…anything.
    When we got home and took the guns to the safe he noticed our two Red Ryders in their rack. I thought he was going to cry (he’s 23). He said he saw A Christmas Story of the first time two years ago and thought our Red Ryders were so cool. He was much more impressed with them than our powder burners LOL
    He tried one out in our basement range.
    Gave him Pyramyd’s website and he ordered one last night.

    • Cowboystar Dad,

      Thanks very much for sharing that.

      I spent a wonderful July in Alberta 30 years ago. The Canadian Rockies are just a different world, strong. bold, ragged, and wise. Lake Louise was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.

      A month ago I saw a recent picture of Lake Louise, but it didn’t look at all like I remembered. So I dug around in the basement and found the old photo albums. I found my pictures and compared them to current ones I found online, and in just 30 years it has changed — for the worse — completely.


  14. After seeing many old BB guns at airgun shows at seemingly high prices, I resisted buying one until Baker Airguns had a 60’s era Daisy #25 at a fair price. It brings back muscle memories of the early 60’s for me, and it is pretty accurate (of course, not like a quality air rifle), and a lot of fun to shoot. Still think it is a great gun to own.

      • I wrote to Gamo/Daisey and made a suggestion that thought should be given to doing an adult Model 25 with a rifled barrel and higher swept volume (if the geometry works out for cocking force so it is not horrific) that would shoot LEAD BBs. I noted, too, that it would need to be better made than the Model 25 Daisey in my basement that has too many points of movement or flex.

        I noted that I would pay a higher price for such an upscale and up powered “BB” gun that had more rigidity, decent sights, adult length of pull and up to double the power shooting LEAD BBs. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old eccentric air gunner, but I think such a piece would be a wonderful basement wintertime shooter. With the LEAD BBs, I could use my Champion steel trap without having to dodge the “return fire” that occurs with steel shot.

        Obviously, such suggestions seem to go into the cyber void. I wish I were a tool and die maker, I think I’d give it a try….

        • LFranke,

          That sounds like a great shooter, absolutely. I would buy one. The problem is that we would be two of only a few who would do so, and so Daisy, as you pointed out, is unlikely to go for it.

          One design detail I think Daisy might be open to, and I realize this is not your chief point, is an adult length-of-pull. They put out the adult Red Ryder, and I understand it is selling well. I would buy an adult-sized 25 even if the larger buttstock were the only advancement.


          • Michael,

            I would like to see a 499 repeater. Load 500 bb’s and go. Or,… 499 accuracy in another platform. Up the power while they are at it. I did the Red Ryder spring mod. in my 499 and raised the power by 150 fps to 400. As I gather,… the precision barrel and bb’s are the key.


            That new Barra lever action is kicking bb’s out at 800 fps with 10 pumps as I recall. Pellets at 600+.

          • Michael; I am afraid you are probably right. I don’t know if I would buy one with a longer stock, I could cut one out of a nice piece of nice lumber myself, and have thought about it. The thing that needs to be done is brazing the take-down stock together, if it can be done so that it is a rigid piece.


  15. Anybody noticing with this corvirus situation going on that businesses aren’t needing store fronts to operate.

    I wonder if when all this is said done some will operate out of the home instead of buying or renting a building.

    I think we will have a smarter and stronger America after this is over. I would have to say definitely more sanitary. For sure more precaution and awareness now. On that part I think that’s at least one good outcome from all this craziness going on.

    Oh and one of the guys at work on 3rd shift that we work with did get pulled over coming to work. They asked him if he had a note saying where he worked was a essential business. Well luckily the company we work for gave us all notes the other day.

    Kind of made me think. The last time I remember needing a note to go somewhere was when I was a kid in school. What did they call them back then. A “hall pass”. Sure never would of thought a year ago anything like this would be happening.

    I just hope everyone is staying healthy. Maybe shouldn’t of brought this up but it what it is right now. Hope everyone is well.

      • Dave
        My wife had her note last week already. She works in healthcare at a nursing home.

        There is more craziness to it all too.

        They gave my wife a permanent $1.00 a hour raise to come to work because of this. People are staying home where she works and not wanting to come to work.

        At the place I work they are telling people they can take a furlough and get 50% of unemployment and continue their insurance and pay it back when they come back to work. Well guess what half the shop took off. So now they are trying to hire in temps to keep production running. And here’s the topper of it all. They have gave the people that stayed a 20% raise till it’s over.

        I think its crazy they done the the things they done at work too. Maybe there is a sense of panic on their part too. I think people need to set back and think a little more before they take action.

        The virus is definitely not good. But some of the thought process right now isn’t either. I just hope we all get things in line a little better than its been going. Well from what I have seen anyway.

        • GF1,

          Being on unemployment myself,… I get 65% (no tax) of what I was getting post tax,.. per week. Now they “say” $600 per week ON TOP of what I am getting on unemployment. That is (more) than I was making per week. (Plus) the 1000-1200 they are sending everyone. I will believe it when I see it (in the bank), but that is what “they” say,… at least in Ohio,… but I believe that is pretty close to nationwide.

          That is not much incentive for anyone to work that does not (have to). In Ohio, you do not get unemployment if you quit,… even for this Corona.

          Ventilators/ICU are the big issue,.. EVERYWHERE! PPE too. Pray you or a loved one does not need ICU. There is very strong talk in the media now about pulling a weaker patient off and putting another patient on based on condition and expected final outcome. NY is bad enough, but New Orleans and Florida are already nearing the same curves based on Mardi Gra and Spring Break. Plus,… more than enough evidence that a good portion of NY City is empty from people leaving. Where do you suppose they went?

          Pay attention to trusted news and do not take this lightly. FWIW.


          • ChrisUSA,

            “…good portion of NY City is empty from people leaving. Where do you suppose they went?”
            Many of them escaped to their mountain places: Summit County, Utah specifically Park City. Summit County just recently ordered all Non Residents out by tomorrow at 10:00pm MDT.
            As far as the current Hot Spots, including Cruise Ships outside of China, anecdotally, they are most all on the Great Tour for wealthy Chinese.


            • Shootski,

              My cousin-in-law and his wife are driving from their Manhattan apartment out to fly-fishing country for the rest of spring and the summer. They both fly fish in upstate NY but have never made it out West for it to see how it’s really done, as they say it. The family has some spreads out there in Montana or Wyoming (maybe both, have to ask my wife). If they get bored, they can drive into town and cough on the locals, heh, heh!


              • Michael

                Couldn’t pass this up. I fly fished trout streams 50-60 years ago in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana. Trout streams were almost uninhabited with fisherman. The few fly rod folks I saw were from New York, Texas and the Carolinas. The lakes were a different story then and popular fishing choices.


                • Deck,

                  I’m glad you shared that. I will share this, although you might already be acquainted with it given your history:

                  “Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” — Norman Maclean, “A River Runs Through It” (1976)


                  • Michael

                    The movie that launched stream fishing in the Rockies for Rainbows, Browns and Cutthroats. Elbow room cried Daniel Boone.

                    Thanks for the memories. Don’t get me started. This is supposed to be about airguns.


                    • Deck
                      Yep it is a air gun blog but oh well.

                      My dad use to fish bluegill and crappy with a fly rod.

                      I tried it. Definitely fun fishing with a fly rod.

                    • Deck,

                      On the Science Channel series “How It’s Made” an episode just finished airing that featured Thomas & Thomas bamboo fly rods. Each rod takes 40 hours of hand crafting to make. One whole work week by a skilled worker! Makes one appreciate something, doesn’t it?


                    • If that is one’s bent, why not just drop M-80s or use the old magneto attached to a cable off the gunwale method? Either of those are simpler and easier (and more effective) than gill nets.

          • Chris
            I came into work tonight and tomorrow they are shutting the place down. The mother company we make parts for shut down last week.

            So all machine operators are getting laid off. I work maintenance on 3rd shift. They told me to come in Monday morning. Maintenance will continue to work. They have a list of stuff that we were trying to do but the machines had to run. So we are going to start tackling that list Monday.

            For some reason all 36 years that I been doing this I have never got laid off. And I shouldn’t say for some reason. I should say Thank God.

            • Gunfun1,

              When my dad was a teenager and in his 20s in Milwaukee, he had a get-out-of-jail-free LAST NAME. Imagine that! My great-grandpa was Captain of the 1st Precinct for years. Even long after he retired, probably because of his portrait hanging in the Precinct, my dad could not get a ticket if he tried.

              His last name was also good for free lunches in downtown restaurants, bars and hotels, if my dad had been willing to use it (which he wasn’t).


        • Gunfun1,
          Kudos to your wife; she is on the front line, helping people in these tough times.
          “The virus is definitely not good. But some of the thought process right now isn’t either.”
          You nailed it there! I am currently working at home. Why? Because my wife has MS, so basically she has no immune system; yet someone at our company decided it would be OK to bring in 30 people from another state (a state with a high incidence of COVID 19) and allow them to work out of my area (about 200 sq ft) for the next week. I’ll be polite on this family-friendly blog, and call that decision irresponsible. We live on a small farm in the middle of nowhere (love it!); hence, the only way for my wife to get the virus would be for me to bring it home from work. I couldn’t live with that; so I decided to take a few weeks of vacation. I can finish the new deck on which I’ve been working, and finish a new trap for one of the outdoor airgun ranges. =>
          Praying for your wife’s continued good health,

          • Dave,

            Bringing those folks in sounds terribly, uh, NOT smart. (Trying to be charitable to your employer.) It’s obviously dangerous for your local coworkers, but think about it, it’s also dangerous potentially for those who are coming in.

            Worst of both worlds.


          • Dave,

            I almost forgot. If you decide to get all fancy and/or inventive with th trap, remember to take photos to share here. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who would love to see your work.


    • I’ve thought this too.
      They’ve said for years that many business can be run without a storefront…or that employees can work from home but it has not happened because to some degree, people just don’t like change.
      It’s being forced on us at the moment (as it should be) and I think a lot of companies will realize they can save money by not having offices or can reduce their storefront sizes.
      Will be interesting.

      • CBSD
        It just blows my mind how all this change has happened over a flu virus.

        I think people will be smarter after it’s all said and done.

        You all know we are making history right now don’t you.

        • I have a couple of thoughts:
          If this was 2005 (before social media) this would be nowhere near as big…though likely more people would be dying.
          And yes…25 year from now our grandkids will be studying this in their history class.

          • CBSD
            Yes your absolutely right.

            We would of probably never even knew. Maybe technology isn’t good?

            And I’m sure it will go down in history. It will rank right up with the things that happened in the early 1900’s as well as 911. And now will it be how big the flu is or how the world crashed financially?

          • Cowboystar Dad,

            in 2005 I both heard of it, got it, and, barely, survived it, but it was H1N1. No, covid-19 is worse than H1N1, bird flu or swine flu and will kill more people than those.

            Car accidents? Regular flu deaths? Far more Americans will die in 2020 from covid-19 than from car accidents and the flu combined.


        • GF1,

          COVID-19 is not a flu virus (or influenza virus), it is a coronavirus. What is really important is the following: 1. coronavirus is more contagious than most flu viruses, 2. coronavirus is more deadly than most flu viruses, and 3. the data exists for vaccines to be designed for most flu viruses but COVID-19 is novel/new/unstudied. We are between 12 and 18 months away from a coronavirus vaccine.

          Jeopardy answer: Hitler invades Poland, the atom is split under the University of Chicago basketball fieldhouse, the Berlin Wall comes down, and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Jeopardy question: What are the most significant world events of the past 100 years.


    • I saw where Illinois ordered businesses to shut down. Michigan’s governor followed suit a few day later. Interestingly, when we drove to the store on Tuesday of this week, I saw most companies in our local area were still working, even the plant that I worked at making hydraulic pumps. Apparently, most of these companies are considered essential and are not required to adhere to the order to “prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life”.

      • Geo,

        Same here. Watch the hot spot States and see what they do when “it” hits the fan. They will be leading in response and States that are nearing the same level will follow suit,.. as you saw. Ohio,… which I consider to be pretty well on top of a bad situation,… is saying MAY 1st before we see the peak. 4+ weeks! What will week 1 look like in restrictions. 2? 4? NYC may seem like a long ways off,… but they will be the city that others will be looking to, among others well into the up curve. They are about 2-3 weeks ahead of the rest of the nation.


        • Think about this…there are as many people in New York City as in the whole state of Michigan! I’ve always thought of NYC as wall-to-wall people, and no place I would ever want to go. I can see why the virus has spread so quickly there.

          • Geo,

            I agree. The Nation, every state, every city, every county, every town has their best number crunchers on the case. Each is unique. Each will try to model on something similar to theirs. Models are being updated constantly. That is the best we have for this unprecedented event. Thank God we have the tech. now. Being from QC,… you can appreciate well sourced, well read and well executed decisions based on data,…. eh? 😉


            • Chris USA,

              “Models are being updated constantly. That is the best we have for this unprecedented event. Thank God we have the tech. now. Being from QC,… you can appreciate well sourced, well read and well executed decisions based on data,…. eh?”

              I’ll call your models quotation and raise you one!

              “All models are wrong, but some are useful” George Box
              Our observation and reporting systems need to be improved…a good deal of the current information about how well Social Distancing is working in specific areas/geolocations is based cell phone movement tracking. But that was stumbled on accidentally and is not verified by good Ground Truth.
              Hopefully we will as a Nation (every nation) realize that we need to put in place a better early warning system to detect anomolous patterns that show areas of the World to get eyes on or information/intelligence on. We can’t let these pandemics, outbreaks, what have you catch us flat footed because we didn’t, couldn’t, weren’t allowed to detect at the earliest possible time.

              History is the place to start and then build out the current observation assets based on those clues.
              While we look at the history we need to price some key self sufficiencies correctly. We should not allow all our QRPC (Quick Reaction Production Capability) to be replaced by JIT (Just In Time) especially from one/few source(s) be that countries, companies or raw material providers.

              To keep this all airgun related: I’m still waiting on my PA order of Match Chinese Olympic Pellets!


            • Whether on a Grand Tour or not, Topeka KS and Midland TX, along with Ottumwa IA, Fort Atkinson WI, Hope AR, Conway, SC, Scranton, PA, Helena, MT, Groton, CT, Mexico, MO, Tucson, AZ, Hibbing, MN, Mokena, IL, Wall SD, no place in the country is automatically out of the line of fire. Geographical isolation is a myth in the era of air travel, interstate highways, telephones, spring break and the internet, Any place in the country is vulnerable regardless of some government label.

              Folks at a café in Mitchell, SD ask the waitress about her not South Dakota accent: “Y’all sound like our family back home, not from ’round here, where’re you from?” “Oh you wouldn’t know it. It’s a little tidewater village called Murrell’s Inlet.” Get out! We’re originally from Socastee! When’d you git here?” “Last week.”

              In 1986 a car pulls up behind me at a lookout on the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier Nat’l Park in Montana. They comment on my Crystal Lake Toyota license plate frame on the bumper and say they’re from East Dundee, IL. Turns out they’re related by marriage to my former girlfriend’s brother, and we first met five years earlier at the wedding, and I danced with the lady.

              Select a person randomly from a list of residents of Wuhan, China. What are the odds that 1 someone that you know 2 knows someone that 3 knows someone that 4 knows someone who 5 knows someone that 6 knows that person in Wuhan? 50-50. Six degrees of COVID-19.

              • Michael,

                I read the reviews about that book too!
                Heard it was a popular hit on the sales charts.
                I, on the otherhand, choose to get my statistical and network knowledge from monographs, learned journals, or textbooks.


                • Which book? Are you referring to the play by Guare (sp?)? Or the idea from about 100 years ago that combined algorithmic principles with population models? There are also some recent sociological studies, written up in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals (same idea as the “monographs” of old) and no doubt spit-balled in white papers, too.

                  Monographs! :^) That’s a word I haven’t read in a while. It reminds me of Sherlock Holmes stories, as in, “Watson, you really must get around to reading my monograph on ash produced by tobaccos grown in the piedmont of the Carolinas.”

      • “I saw where Illinois ordered businesses to shut down.” NO, not that anyone in Illinois has heard of. There has been a “stay-at-home” order that says stay home unless you have to go to work in an approved “essential business” or must shop for essentials, or travel to or from a doctor, clinic, or hospital. Here in Illinois I went grocery shopping earlier today, and the Lowes next to the supermarket was open, albeit with four cars in the customer lot.

        Essential businesses plus take-out and delivery restaurants may stay open. Had a pizza delivered here in Illinois last night and gave the guy a $20 tip. He looked about 40 and is probably supporting a family with that job.


    • Gunfun1,

      Right now nobody here can go out in the street without a pass and wearing a mask.
      I still remember it was only a month ago there were signs asking for those entering the local 7-11 to remove caps and masks before entering. Nowadays, you have to be wearing a mask to enter. The quarantine is supposed to slow down or minimize the spread of the virus. With about an estimated 12 million in population in my city with an estimated 432 ventilators we are going to need all the help from our population by cooperating with this quarantine order. We have so far flattened the curve but then again I could be wrong due to the limited availability of testing for the virus. We are living wall to wall here. Be thankful you guys have relatively open spaces to enjoy.


      • Siraniko,

        Where do you live?

        We can go out for short walks as long as we keep social distances of 6 or more feet between us. And because our government wasted two months, there aren’t any masks to wear in my country. Having to carry your “Papers” with you when you are out of your home sounds like Russia or Nazi Germany.

      • Sirsniko
        Some of the stores by us have put lines down on the floor every 6 feet for the social distancing.

        Alot of changes have been made and I bet more to come.

  16. BB ammunition indeed made progress. But compared to pellet rifles, little changed with BB guns. The Daisy 499 is from the 80s and remains the only model that tries to be more than a plinker. BB guns are trapped in the 30-70$ price range and are made from plastic and sheet metal.

    • Mel
      Thinking about what you said.

      Maybe there could be more accurate bb guns now days.

      The question is who has the passion to try among other reasons.

      I’m all ears. Would love to see it happen. I’m always interested in accurate guns. Well in ones that shoot farther than 15 yards. And really that’s cutting it short. Depends on if I’m plinking or looking for more.

      • A accurate “adult” BB gun would fit in a small niche. I understand why they don’t exist. But they would be awesome for indoor practice. No lead contamination, cheap ammo, easy pellet trap..I would love to see them, but doubt that anything except the 499 is ever going to happen.

    • Mel83,

      Little changed with BB guns? Everything has changed with them. Do you know about blowback BB guns? Accurate classic firearm reproductions? And sheet metal? Other than lever action springer BB guns, I can’t think of one BB gun made of sheet metal; its all heavy cast zamak.

      You should read this blog each day.


  17. B.B.,

    If I can get great accuracy with .575 lead balls out to 100 why can’t someone build a PCP .177/.22 lead ball (bb) shooter that can reach out to 35 yards?
    I might even buy one!
    I have never owned a bb gun…therefore i am unclean posting to this blog today, Lol!


    • Shootski, the tiny .177 calibre is part of the problem. It’s surface is large compared to its weight, and that leads to problems due to Magnus effect etc.
      A BB gun shooting 9mm steel ball bearings bwould be more accurate, but a ricochet of that thing would really “take an eye out” and no company would build such a gun.

      • Mel83,

        That is why I also included .22 caliber to get a bit more Mass. I think the problem with bb gun Magnus effect caused inacuracy is that a smooth bore offers NO certainty/repeatability of direction of spin.
        IF…you are able to be certain of the repeatability of whatever the spin is, or that you choose (as in Airsoft better guns) the spin, becomes a sighting and distance measurements; in short an easily solvable Trajectory problem.

        Just as it is with my DAQ .575!


        • I’m slingshot shooter. And believe it or not, a slingshot can be used to shoot cans a hundred yards away. Projectiles are typically steel balls 7-12mm in size. They apparently fly pretty straight over a long distance.

          • wMel83,

            As a boy I learned to use a David’s Sling so I understand how possible that is…with practice and near perfect form.
            I also use an Atlatl to throw harpoons and line throwers while kayaking to great effect.


              • ChrisUSA,

                WELL Chris, if i didn’t answer you that would be one of the many things i haven’t done, Lol!
                I have a very long Bucket List and I’m working hard to try to chip at it every chance I get.
                I never watched much television in my life and that is the only thing I have absolutely no regrets about.

                “There is no try, there is only do.”
                shootski’s corollary: There is not enough time in a lifetime to do nothing without intending to do nothing, there is only do something.


              • Chris,

                He is too modest to tell you, but shootski is one of those special operators who can use his open hand like a knife, drive it up into your thoracic cavity, grasp your heart, pull it out of your body, and show it to you a moment before your lifeless body crumples to the floor.

                By the way, shootski’s dry cleaner hates him. ;^)

                • Michael,

                  I do not use dry cleaners!
                  I have always done my own laundry to include pressing; other then when aboard ship.
                  Even then i had an iron in my stateroom to touch up my shirt military creases as well as my trouser creases. Fortunately i was able to wear my flight/exposure suits most of the time.


                • Michael,

                  That is pretty much the picture I have “painted” in my mind. Rambo, Top Gun and McGuyver all rolled into one. LOL! 🙂

                  Note: He only took issue with your dry cleaner comment,… and nothing on your other comment. What’s that tell you? Of course,.. if he either denied or confirmed such lethal abilities,… he would have to kill you. None of us wants that. 😉


                  • Rambo . . . MacGuyver . . . MULLETS! It’s the mullet. It all makes sense now. Someone needs to get shootski a 499 to teach him about the wonders of a BB gun and a new barber. Step away from the mixing bowl.

                  • Chris,

                    “. . . my flight/exposure suits”

                    When I was six my folks gave me a pair of jammies with the feet sown in that were made to look like an astronaut’s suit, all silvery with silkscreened patches on it.

                    You don’t suppose . . .

            • Shootski
              I had one of those too as a kid.

              They where great fun launching slag balls out in the plowed Illinois corn fields. My dad would get them from the railroad tracks that fell off the train cars from the steel mill. Use to use them with our wrist rockets too. I was actually pretty good at it. Fun stuff.

          • Gunfun1,

            Yep, I was trying to be funny. That squeaky high-pitched voice always cracks me up, but I have to admit, Selleck’s had one of the truly great mustaches in history. I am jealous of that.

            In a grad film class I was surprised to hear that the Thomas Magnum and Higgins friendship is a very popular example in LGBTQ Studies classes and scholarship of a closeted coupling in popular culture, right up there with Laurel & Hardy and Gilligan & The Skipper. No kidding.


      • B.B.,

        You know the answer!
        If not see my reply to Mel83…but Im betting you already did!

        Now if some farsighted manufacturers would just pay attention to us…


      • Michael,

        “…could a .22 lead round ball be shot out of a Marauder or Air Force Talon?”

        Of course! But you want to know how accurate. By rule of thumb the answer is no; the twist rate for round ball is much SLOWER (Greater Ratio) than the twist for even a pellet shooting specific barrel.


        • Got it.

          So if one could simply put a smooth bore barrel on a Marauder or Talon, he would be good to go. 35 yards was nothing for the one black powder buff I grew up knowing, my (second) cousin Bobby, and he had custom low caliber barrels for his single shot pistol.


          • Michael,

            “Got it.”

            No not quite. A smooth bore would not provide the spin needed to provide good repeatability. You would need to get a much slower twist barrel or else you would have the Magnus effect issue and the other factors that spin ameliorates. Smoothbore allow anything but perfectly matched bbs to rattle in infinite patterns down and out the bore. Even the near perfect ones can not be spun the same as the ones before or the ones after. The Lead (Pb) bb are able to be engraved by the rifling ensuring a more certain spin for each and every one shot. The bit about the correct choice (typically very slow) of twist is so the Lead ball’s surface is engraved by the grooves and not just smeared/or shaved off by the lands as it travels down the bore.

            Hope that makes the need for spin a bit more clear.


            • Hmmm. So how was it that Bobby could put so many shots at 50 yards into such tight groups? I believe his blackpowder guns were smoothbore. Certainly the antique ones were.

              Maybe it helps if the shooter is a natural shot like he was.


              • Michael
                A natural shot. There is something to that.

                My dad was like that. I remember when he hurt his off hand at work and couldn’t use it. He was very big into duck hunting. There was no way he was going to miss duck season. Guess what I seen happen. He was repeatedly shooting ducks one handed of course with no supporting devices at all.

                That’s just one thing. He could pick up any gun and shoot the heck out of it after a few shots.

                And this is not bragging on my dad or me. But I’m pretty good like that too. But my dad could blow me away. He could shoot.

                When you see someone shoot like that you wonder how. And again I can shoot. But I have to pay attention. I can sight pretty fast and group good. My dad could just put one round back to back with a semi auto with very very little aim time between shots. He just locked in faat some how.

                • My dad was nothing special with a long gun or bow, but in Basic it turned out he was freakishly accurate with the 1911, qualifying Expert. He had never shot any pistol before, let alone the 1911.

                    • GF1,

                      Yeah. My dad was 19 and had never even held a handgun before, not even my great grandpa’s service revolver (1926 or ’27 .32 Colt Police Positive, 4 inch, nickel).

                      My dad told it this way, that he just closely followed the range officer’s instructions to everybody in the line: hold it straight from your shoulder, tighten the shoulder and wrist but keep the arm relaxed, lock elbow fully extended, “crotch” of elbow upward and flattened. Then, wait for the pistol to briefly stop swaying around at the end of your arm and for the sights to end up on the target and at that exact moment squeeze with the tip of your finger as if you mean to touch it to the web of your hand. Then, repeat.

                      My dad was so nervous he listened very carefully and did EXACTLY as he was told. He was at the end of the line, and the range officer was not far behind him, so he didn’t want the guy to see him doing anything wrong.


              • Michael,

                To the best of what i ken Black Powder guns; smoother bore or rifled made use of Lead (Pb) ammunition. Not mild steel ball…that Pb alows for obturation which keeps the ammo from rattling down the bore.


              • Shootski,

                I must ask,…. you are thinking this is all over blown? The simple fact that we are building field hospitals and bringing in military hospital ships indicate that this is different from what we have seen in the recent past. Has there been shortage of PPE before? Has the flu or anything else caused a ventilator shortage before?

                I’m just askin’.


                • Chris USA,

                  This is a logistics issue. Yes there are spot shortages because people were trained to do Just in Time logistical planning. They also set in place protocols of use once dispose and get more. Think about cloth diapers: if you bought enough units, you have hot water, and soap will you run out of clean diapers while a child is in need of them? The fact that in the USA there is not one proven case of someone being denied a Ventilator tells me that this is thus far a projected shortage issue. The current published curves in all countries are not full digit exponential curves. Show me the X to the second power death curve and i will eat my hat. Will there be specific places that have that kind of true exponential fatality curve? Example: if the worst daily death rate i have seen for Italy (98X) we will call it 1,000
                  I doubt it will exceed 2,000 since they are reporting a lower worst day rate already, the Italians would need to sustain that 2,000/day death rate to lose 1M for one and one third years! First i don’t believe they will ever lose 2,000 on a single day for more than a week so i believe we will have better therapy or a vaccine before they ever lose that many. We will also in the USA have an overall oversupply of Ventilators and PPE that should have been in stockpiles not produced Ad-hoc.

                  Could i be wrong? of course if some Black Swan issue is dropped on the World all bets are off!

                  Overblown? Yes and No. If it stops NYC (and other scared areas from exiting to escape the contagion) then it needs to stop NOW. We don’t need the inumeracy of so many INFLUENCERS to cause these contagion spreading knee jerk reactions.


                  • Shootski,

                    Thank you for view on the matter. You seem to be better informed than most (public) and hope that you are right and things are not as bad as some (most) are predicting. The next few weeks will tell the true story. One: Officials will admit they overestimated (panicked?) and future models will get adjusted accordingly. Two: Well,… none of us wants to really see that.


                    • Chris USA,

                      I Reread my post and want, no need, to add something.
                      For the family or couple that loses a loved one all of that logistical stuff means nothing! My heart goes out to each one who suffers as a result of this pandemic. I pray they may find the strength and inner peace to remember the happy times and find them once more.


        • Gunfun1,

          I had a tin of Gamo roundballs years ago. They were high quality and shot well out of my Webley Hurricane (one of the few air guns I had back then). I imagine they’d scream out of a Marauder. The complaint hunters had with them was overpenetration combined with little expansion, but I believe they were considered accurate.


          • Michael
            I shot round lead balls out of my smooth bore 760 with pretty good luck. Matter of fact I tried round lead balls in the different Marauder rifles I had with fairly good results too.

            Obviously not as good as pellets. But changing the velocity did make a difference with the smooth bore 760 and rifled barrel Marauders.

            • Gunfun1,

              I always forget I have a Benjamin air rife (the 1970s model with the Tootsie Roll pump handle, rifled brass bore) that has been “steroided” by the previous owner (not MAC1). It shoots a 7.0 grain Hobby at about 1100 fps., so a 8-something grain Gamo roundball still would be almost supersonic.

              It is an accurate rifle with many different pellets, so it will be interesting to see how it would be with the roundball.

              If I’m still alive and still have undamaged lungs once this crisis is over next summer (with all of those qualifications this sounds about 50-50 at best), I’ll try it out and post the results. :^)


              • Michael,

                “If I’m still alive and still have undamaged lungs once this crisis is over next summer (with all of those qualifications this sounds about 50-50 at best), I’ll try it out and post the results. :^)”

                This next Summer as in Summer of 2020 or are you thinking 2021? Also 50-50…you have serious or multiple underlying medical issues?

                Otherwise the odds are better than 10:1 even if we beamed you to Italy, Spain, Iran, or NYC and got you immediately infected on this very day.

                Heaven forfend! you aren’t falling for the scare mongers innumerate factoids are you?


                • shootski,

                  I was referring to the summer of 2021. I am in my late 50s, have an imposing appearance (a big, Joe Don Baker / Patrick Warburton / John Goodman like guy), but I have the beginnings of heart disease, occasional atrial fibrillation and am cardiovascularly unfit. But I’ve always been healthy pulmonary-wise.

                  So I do have underlying conditions and an age that put me probably just into the top third of people when it comes to risk.

                  As for scare mongers, yep, they are out there. But so are there whistlers in the dark. The truth is somewhere in between. Therefore, if one applies a variation of Pascal’s Wager :^), what is wiser, to be overly prepared and needing only some preparedness, or to be unprepared and to suffer consequences?

                  Scared into overreaction or lackadaisical? I see examples of both everywhere I look.


                  • Michael,

                    First and most importantly! Do you own an AED (only works if your fibrillation is NOT Tachycardia) I would recommend the ZOLL! We own (for years now) two AED along with BVMs and O2 regulators and full Cylinders

                    I have no issues with being prepared; each of my three careers trained me to not ignore proper preparation. But to be stampeded into poorly planed preparations is a course of action i oppose.


                    • shootski,

                      I have occasional atrial fibrillation, under control with medication, and I am also on a blood thinner in case a spasm were to throw a clot. I do not have ventricular tachycardia, but I know about it. My father had V-TAC for the last ten years of his life. He had an implanted pacemaker-defibrillator for it.

                      An AED (I’ve been trained in their use multiple times by my former college) would only be appropriate in my case if I were to go into cardiac arrest. Treating mild A-FIB with an AED would be like treating a tension headache with invasive brain surgery. Thanks, but no thanks.

                      If I were to code, well I have a DNR anyway. Anything big enough that it would make me code (massive heart attack, massive stroke, massive bus, etc.)? I would want to die right then and there. Period. Full stop. ;^) There are many things that are much worse than death, and I have observed more than a few of them from very close for extended periods.

                      Surviving can be worse than the alternative.

                      Incidentally, AEDs might make excellent (but illegal) fishing tools!


              • Michael,

                That is some very impressive numbers for a simple pumper. Yes,… please pursue further.

                ” I always forget I have a Benjamin air rife (the 1970s model with the Tootsie Roll pump handle, rifled brass bore) that has been “steroided” by the previous owner (not MAC1).”

                What model would that be?


                • Chris,

                  I’d have to dig for it to see the model, but it was the precursor to the 397, I believe. They are nice looking and the ribbed handle is nice to hold on to.

                  Keep in mind it has been souped-up. The valve has been reworked or replaced, and as it cocks with a LOT of effort, a spring or two in the action must have been replaced. I remember that at 10 or more pumps and shooting 7 grain Hobbies, it is probably as loud as a real rimfire. Come to think of it, at full power and shooting a light pellet it’s probably the loudest air gun I own. Given that it also has being a pneumatic (i.e. loud) going for it, the sound is quite the crack.


  18. A Lot of people on here talking about air soft and safety of a bb gun. I can only speak of what my sons and I have shot, but I bought them air soft guns years ago. I was surprised on how much more ricochet the air soft had vs our bb guns. We shot coke cans. The bb’s would go through one side and stay put (some would go through both). The air soft ammo would just come back to us. On accuracy, our “cheap” bb guns vs the “cheap” air soft was no comparison. The bb guns were more accurate. Also the wind was much worse on the air soft ammo vs the bbs. Just us and our experience.
    Also, can any bb gun be accurate other than the 499 and not be a kids toy. According to my friend that owns the Umarex lever C02 BB gun, YES. I haven’t shot it yet, but all he does is brag on it’s accuracy for what it is (He is a regular firearm shooter so he knows guns).

  19. B.B.,

    You inspired me to find the Daisy Single Model H Yahtzee’s was my high school buddies grandfathers. I had previously modified the piston head with a threaded end to hold the seal in place. I decided to use a plumbing gasket out of a faucet instead of a leather one like the original seal. I had already repaired the barrel tube so I thought the gun would work once it had a piston seal. Putting it together was fairly simple there are three machine screws and one wood screw. The trigger is one piece and one spring. The rear sight also holds the piston carriage in place. Even though it had been quite a while it was simple to put back together.

    The first bb I shot just rolled out the end of the barrel. The sheet metal and soldered plate on the seam along the frame and the compression cylinder was spread at the head of the cylinder. I clamped it shut with a hose clamp and that brought it back to life. I was able to get two velocity measurements of 154 and 156 fps.

    It is so worn out it will never be a regular shooter but it can now shoot.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  20. If all you would be shooting is standard BB gun ranges,
    With as much force as the hammer of a milspec AR-15 trigger group strikes the firing pin, the “BB gun” could actually be a catapult gun, thereby reducing the complexity of the system even more.


    • Ian,

      Where’s the fun in that? Lol
      And, remember what B.B. said about the target market…
      AR shooters drop their Plastic a lot to buy stuff for their guns!

      so the bolt carrier would be able to spin up the bb?


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