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BB’s bag of tricks

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Mahesh from India
  • Good advice
  • Do precharged pneumatics leak down?
  • Do Sheridan Supergrades leak?
  • What have we learned?
  • You don’t need to rebuild your springer!
  • Yes, ATF sealant is a miracle lubricant
  • Summary

I was supposed to do the velocity test of the Umarex Fusion 2 repeater today, but something nudged it out of place. Actually someONE!

I get emails from my Godfather website all the time and the questions are sometimes asked in such a way that I don’t understand them. So I answer something else — and not what the person wanted to know. If these people were blog readers there would be no problem, but they aren’t. So all the stuff that’s obvious to all of you is brand new to them.

Mahesh from India

Blog reader, Mahesh, tried to fill a used Crosman Challenger he had bought with a hand pump and was told by the seller that the hand pump he used — AND GOT 15 SHOTS WITH — was not adequate to fill that airgun. He should use a scuba tank. Guys — if the balloon fills with air it doesn’t matter what puts it in there!

Of course the hand pump is adequate to fill a Challenger PCP! The Challenger was designed to be filled by a hand pump! Either the seller didn’t know what he was talking about, or he knew he had sold a leaky airgun and was intentionally lying. Mahesh also said his airgun leaked down overnight after a fill. Now, if it does that at all (hold the air until it leaks out overnight) it will do it regardless of how the air is put in. I told him to put some silicone chamber oil in the fill port the next time he pumped up the gun and it will eventually hold air. He might have to do it several times, but when the leak takes overnight it’s NOT a bad seal. It’s a dry one. If it leaks out in an hour the seal is bad.

Then somebody on the blog told him he might need to cock the gun to fill it from empty with a hand pump. Thank you for telling him that, but that wasn’t his problem. His problem was his gun leaked down overnight.

Good advice

That piece of advice (cocking a pneumatic before filling with a pump) is good for many precharged pneumatics. Their hammers rest against the end of the valve stem under some spring tension, keeping the valve from sealing completely and allowing air to leak out if they are filled slowly with a hand pump. A scuba tank blasts air in so fast that it shuts the valve against the slight hammer pressure.

Do precharged pneumatics leak down?

Yes and no. Yes, some of them have very slow leaks. I once had a Daystate that leaked down over a week. It was resealed several times to no avail. When that happens the problem is probably not the seals. It’s leaking somewhere else. It can be an imperfection like a small pinhole in one of the metal parts or it can be an imperfection left over from machining. 

On Monday of this week I started a report on the Crosman Challenger PCP — the same rifle that Mahesh is having problems with. The last time I shot this rifle was 11 years ago in 2009, when I wrote a 5-part report about it. After Part 5 of that report, on November 25 of 2009, I set the rifle aside and have not touched it since. It was still holding air when I picked it up again last Friday to start writing the report. PCPs don’t all leak. 

Do Sheridan Supergrades leak?

Everyone should be familiar with the Sheridan Supergrade, which is really the Sheridan model A multi-pump pneumatic air rifle. It’s widely regarded as one of the finest, if not the very finest, multi-pump ever made. And, unless it is cocked, it will not hold air when pumped.

Sheridan Supergrade right
Sheridan’s Supergrade is the Rolls Royce of multi-pumps. It must be cocked before being pumped.

The last time I shot my Supergrade was sometime in June of 2018. That’s over 2 years ago. But when I put it away I filled it with two pumps and then slowly lowered the hammer with the bolt.  Today I cocked the rifle and pulled the trigger. It’s still holding, after all that time. After trying it once I oiled the pump head with Crosman Pellgunoil, cocked the rifle, pumped it twice and slowly lowered the hammer with the bolt. Pneumatics don’t all leak.

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What have we learned?

We have learned that leaking is not common for pneumatics — for any of them. When they do leak it isn’t always their seals that are bad. Sometimes they just need to be lubricated so the seals are fresh and pliable. Lubricating the seals is a part of pneumatic maintenance.

We haver learned that some pneumatics have hammers that hold their firing valves open when the guns are uncocked. If these rifles are cocked, the valve can seal and it is possible to fill the reservoir slowly with a hand pump.

You don’t need to rebuild your springer!

I got an email from a guy who wanted to know where the instructions were for rebuilding a certain spring piston breakbarrel air rifle. Why? Well, he bought a new piston seal and wanted to install it. Why? Well — who knows? And that is my point. He probably wanted to do something with the airgun he had, but what did he hope to achieve? If you work on an FWB 124 there is a lot that can be done. If you work on a Wang Po Oompherator XDP, who knows where you are starting, so who knows where you can go?

You don’t need to rebuild every spring-piston airgun, regardless of what you see on You Tube.

“Well, So-and-So said he rebuilt his and he shot a half-inch group at 50 yards with it. I watched his video!”

Guys — did you ever hear of editing? I will not name any names but I remember an episode of American Airgunner in which the big bore we were “testing” leaked so fast that our takes could only be 25 seconds long. We would get set to film, fill the rifle and the instant the fill hose was disconnected and the guy ran out of the frame with the tank we started filming. You can add a lot of loud heavy metal music and quick cuts to that and make it seem like art, instead of the travesty that it is!

If you have to ask me for instructions on how to disassemble a spring-piston air rifle I have one piece of advice for you, “Keepa your hands off!” I share a lot of disassemblies with you in this blog and I know you are curious to see what is inside. But knowing how to shave your head with a straight razor doesn’t make you a brain surgeon! Spring piston airguns seldom need rebuilding when they are just months out of the box. Whatever happened to just breaking them in and learning to shoot them? I remember Gamo rifles that were horrible when new and delightful after 3,000-4,000 rounds had gone through them. I owned a Beeman C1 that I watched through the entire process — from new and stiff to becoming a smooth shooter.

Once a guy asked me to recommend an air rifle to him. I recommended something that was well-made and easy to cock and shoot. A month later he asked me why I didn’t recommend the Beeman Crow Magnum. I knew the guy was 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighed about 130 lbs. I didn’t think he would enjoy a breakbarrel rifle that took 40 percent of his body weight to cock. If you are an expert at reading between the lines, maybe you can figure that one out. I think I know and it rhymes with simoleon.

Yes, ATF sealant is a miracle lubricant

Boy — have I even been ’round the henhouse with this one! Some guy will contact me — afraid he has to have his CO2 rifle repaired and I tell him about automatic transmission fluid sealant. When I do one of three things happens. He blows me off as a whacko and goes in search of some valid technical advice, or he tries it and I never hear from him again because his problem was solved or he tries it and, to his utter amazement — it works! Those guys usually contact me again to let me know that it worked. I knew it would, but I’m glad they let me know. I have reports from a dozen or so success stories, plus several on this blog plus I have fixed 15-20 leaks of my own. 

transmission sealer
This stuff works on pneumatics as well as CO2 guns.


What this report has really been about is common sense, which my late aunt used to say, isn’t very common. Don’t just shoot your airguns. Maintain them! And don’t feel the need to totally redesign them before you know how they work!

107 thoughts on “BB’s bag of tricks”

  1. Hi Tom, My question is at the bottom of this post. I added the earlier posts so you’d know what I’m talking about here.

    JoeB On Maui
    July 18, 2020 at 2:33 pm
    [off topic…] Hi Tom, Any chance Ruger will bring out their 10/22 airgun in .22 caliber?

    Log in to Reply
    B.B. Pelletier
    July 18, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    I doubt it. Not enough power in that gun.


    Log in to Reply
    JoeB On Maui
    July 21, 2020 at 2:04 pm
    OK, then I’ll just have to be content with the .177 version :^>

    B.B., with the scoped option (which would recreate my firearm version years ago), is that scope light enough not to overbalance the gun? I once tried to put a bug buster variable scope on my custom shop Crosman M2240 rifle but it made the gun too top heavy.


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  2. BB,

    I remember learning that trick you told Mahesh about with that Edge. I had it for a while and it started leaking down slowly. I thought about it for a little bit and decided the o ring seals may be dried out. How was I going to lubricate them without taking the air rifle apart? I figured I would put a few drops of silicone oil in the female foster fitting on my hand pump and squirt it in the reservoir that way. I figured it would eventually get on all of the o rings and the leak would draw some to it. Bingo! No more leak. Also, any excess silicone oil gets blown through the valve and down the barrel, not hurting either one.

    • Yogi,

      Some o-rings are made of materials that harden over time. The dry air they restrain can also harden them/deform them.

      If an o-ring has been in place dry for a long time it can scrape against the walls of its channel as pressurized air forces it to move.


  3. So what FM gets out of this discussion is: if your airgun keeps on leaking, head for the Bar’s. He’ll drink to that, but never during a shooting session.

  4. “Sheridan’s Supergrade is the Rolls Royce of multi-pumps. It must be cocked before being pumped.”
    Perhaps this is where the “Oral Tradition” factor with airguns comes into play; when I got my Sheridan in the 70s, I was told by a friend, who had the same C-model rifle, that we had to cock them before we pumped them or we would be “losing power,” not getting the full output possible. Hence, for years, I cocked the rifle before pumping it up. However, now, whenever I store it with a couple of pumps of air that were put in un-cocked, I notice that it doesn’t leak down at all, not even over a matter of weeks. So I guess all the cocking before pumping was not really necessary, but may have been a hold-over from some story my friend heard that really applied only to the Supergrade. Thank you for another interesting and informative report! =>
    Take care & God bless,

  5. B.B.,

    This is the first time in five or so weeks I’ve had the energy to read the blog as I’m recovering from my SECOND round of covid-19. (The first round was in early April and was much more mild than this one). This one is brutal with terrible headaches, muscular weakness, brain fog, poor balance and hand-eye coordination and fatigue to go along with difficulty breathing and the covid-cough. Most days I sleep 20 or so hours. Just reading and writing this question will probably send me to the sofa exhausted for the rest of the day. No fevers, though.

    By the way, since no one in the family (my mom, wife, and me) has been out of the house more than twice since late March (twice for me and twice for my wife, and not once for my 81 year old mom) and a new N95 mask has been worn each time and we scrupulously hand-wash, I am 99 percent certain the initial infection (of me) was from an idiot not wearing a mask who asked me a question just outside Walmart. Apparently he feels it is his “right” to kill me and my family and anyone else he came in contact with that day. My mom is type O- and had the mildest symptoms of all of us, so maybe there is something to that. Either we have been re-infecting ourselves or we have been relapsing. Regardless, there has been no herd-immunity in this little herd. Our doctor and Quest both said tests are still and always in short supply here, so other than the initial positive for me, we are going by self-diagnosis. Sorry for the rambling, my mind wanders with covid.

    But this first time reading the blog since mid-June and lo and behold, the subject reminded me of a problem to ask about. I have a couple “steroided” (but not by Mac) Benjamins and one genuine Steroid Sheridan. I can’t store them with the required one or two pumps because it is necessary to cock them before pumping air into them. Problem is, I sometimes wish to store them for months at a time and don’t want to have them cocked for that long. So they have never been stored with any air in them, which is bad for them, but apparently unavoidable.

    I’m aware they might be all three dead by now, but any ideas? (If not it might not really matter as I am beginning to doubt I will ever shoot an airgun again.)


    • MIchael,

      Ah c’mon man, you’ll get back at it!

      BB mentioned easing the striker down after you pump it a couple of times. Try lubricating them some and they will likely come back to life or use the Stop Leak stuff.

      • The Bar’s Leaks Stop Leak stuff killed a Benjamin and Winchester multipum of mine (not my steroided air guns) by gumming them up to the point each pump takes about 40 pounds of effort (which I couldn’t muster now, anyway), so I won’t try that again.

        • Michael,

          The multi-pumps need oil pretty much every time you shoot them especially if it is a long time between shooting sessions. Get a few tubes of Crosman Pellgunoil. Open the pump handle and put a few drops on the piston seal. If it has a felt oiler behind the piston make sure to saturate it with Pellgunoil. Be sure to store the Pellgunoil tubes with the tip up or the will leak. I store mine in a small coffee cup.

          • Thanks for the info. I have used pellgunoil on my other air guns for years. On the gummed up Benjy and Winchester, I think they’ll probably need to be disassembled and cleaned with acetone.

            • Michael,

              I would avoid acetone – it is pretty aggressive stuff. Suggest using naphtha to flush out the gummy deposits, you may get it cleared out without having to disassemble the rifles. Varsol will work as well but I prefer naphtha.

              I use naphtha with a bit of oil mixed in it to clean the gobs of factory grease that is sometimes found in the trigger assembly. The naphtha dissolves the grease and evaporates leaving a film of oil on all the parts.

              Take care and get better!


              • Hank, I’ve thought of naphthalene. I have experience using douses of Everclear followed by small swipes of lighter fluid on typewriter mechanisms. They suffer from dried ink and gum from old doses of WD-40 previous owners mistakenly used to try to lube them.

                Anything right now would maybe make me sick, even if I apply it out in the backyard. PLus the sunlight in the backyard sometimes can make the headaches come back, so it’ll have to wait.

                Maybe best to just get rid of ’em. Putting ’em up online and boxing ’em for shipping is too much work for the little I’d get fro ’em, so maybe the garbage can or the treebank.

                • Dude,

                  Here is the deal. Send them to live at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns and if you decide you want them back, they are yours. I will happily send them back to you.

                  • RR, I will keep that in mind. :^)

                    As I wrote to Shootski, my collection is safe due to my fatigue. I’m too weak and tired to take even one out to the curb. But I have enough energy to complain about how I feel, don’t I?


                    • Michael,

                      Well,… that (is) progress. In a few more weeks,… we are expecting a full on tirade about something! 🙂


                    • Michael
                      I really hate to hear you got it.

                      I wonder what would help you get your strength back.

                      Would it be medicine like ibuprofen or such or do you have to try to work it out of your system.

                      Trust me.If I knew the answer I would tell you.

        • When I was 12 I tried a Sheriden. After 2 or 3 pumps it became very difficult for this “large for his age” kid to cock. Seemed pretty stupid to me at the time…


          • Yogi,

            There is some cool vibe and feel about Sheridans I can’t really explain, but yes, they are a lot of work to shoot. B.B.’s tip of pumping slowly helps with the effort a lot.


    • Michael,

      So sorry to hear about you and your family. I don’t understand why everyone is not wearing a mask when they are in public. It is so selfish and our best defence.

      If the hammer spring is not too strong you should be able to cock the pumpers and put in two pumps. Then hold the bolt while you pull the trigger. You should be able to carefully and slowly hold the bolt while lowering the hammer against the valve stem. The pressure should hold the valve closed against the spring pressure. That is how I store mine.


    • Michael,

      Prayers and best wishes that you all recover soon. No “herd” immunity and re-catching it,…. well that is not good. 🙁

      I went out yesterday to shop and do errands. Aldi and Walmart had announced nationwide mask mandates for customers,… yet neither store was enforcing that,… because,… the local managers had not ordered it. HUH? How can that be if the Corporate has ordered it? I am still confused.

      Ohio has decided to do a 4 level system, by county. 1=best, 4=worst. 3 and 4 are masked mandate anytime you are in public. I look for the Governor to issue a statewide mandate this week and just be done with it.

      It is one big mess for sure.


      • A friend of mine is an optometrist and has his own little shop in a strip mall. From the start of this back in February he has a No Mask, Stay Out sign in the door. His 20-something year old son lives with him and is in remission with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, so he has essentially no immune system. If his dad caught Covid at the shop and brought it home, the son would almost certainly die.

        So when people started attacking people for requiring masks at stores, he told me he was going to keep a gun under the counter for the very first time.

    • Michael
      Man that is a bummer. Two times around. Well that blows that theory that if you get it you can’t get it again. I kind of thought that.

      I hope you get better soon. Pray’n for you all.

      • Thanks much.

        Some studies have said no extra immunity after three to six weeks after recovery. In our cases three weeks might have been about right. I don’t know if antibody resistance of a virus is necessary or not for a vaccine to be effective. This sickness does affect emotional mood, but for a month or so now I have had a feeling of hopelessness. (Even worse than my normal hopelessness, Hah!)

        Well, the sofa beckons.

        • Michael
          This whole covid stuff has been kind of weird.

          Makes you wonder how it really actually came about. And another thing about how publicized it’s been. Just so many stories going around it ain’t funny.

          I’m thinking I won’t get a vaccine if it happens. Probably not a test either. I just don’t trust it. Not because of the stories going around. But because who knows what’s going on with the vaccines and tests they are giving.

          Just too crazy right now.

          • Gunfun1, Your call of course, but trust me, you sure don’t want this! The first bout of it I had was something I could cope iwth, but this second one is many times worse with more symptoms and each being more severe. Well, bathroom break over, time to get back to my napping.

            • Michael,

              Speedy and full recovery!

              Every decision is a risk.
              Every risk is a decision.

              In you current mental condition don’t dump your airguns or anything else!
              Make a gratitude list with your family; it will brighten your outlook.


              • Shootski,

                I am too tired every day to actually haul even one air gun out to the curb, so they are safe. All I have the energy to do is complain about not having enough energy. ;^)


            • Michael

              Prayers for your entire family are needed. I have advised my molecular cell biologist son in Silicon Valley about this recurrence. Could be a game changer. Hope not.


              • Deck,

                Late last night I sat in front of the computer to try to catch up on news. Apparently folks like me who had mild symptoms the first time around develop a weaker immune defense and are more vulnerable to a second bout of it than are those who have a tough time the first time.


            • Michael
              Oh I know I don’t want to get it. And hate that it is still happening.

              I just don’t trust the vaccine and tests they are doing. Same reason I never get the flu shot every year.

              • Gunfun1,

                After doing a lot of research on vaccines back when a number of folks were suspicious of them years ago, I decided to be completely pro-vaccine. Flu shots every year, etc. No problems and far fewer flu episodes followed. And I got the new and improved Shingles vaccine last year with no ill effects.

                However, I am torn with this coming one because of how quickly it’s being cooked up and tested. Will it be safe like other vaccines that all went through lengthy safety and efficacy trials? Or will it instead be a 50-50 solution of hydroxychloroquine and Clorox mixed in the White House basement? (YIKES!)

                I will indeed decide to get the vaccine. Still, I wish its development were not named “In-a-Jiffy Vaccine.”


                • Michael,

                  Good points. I have not had one in years. I have been watching a fair bit of financial news as of late,.. and of course there is TONS of interest in vaccines and $ plays related to it. Plenty of talk on everything else you mentioned as well.

                  For one thing,…. how much red tape and complete BS has happened for years that is currently being side stepped or eliminated after seeing it for what it really is? That is overall good in my opinion. Trust me, plenty of $ is to be made from forming endless red tape and bureaucracy.

                  Two, a 50% “success” seems to be goal from the makers and if less,.. would not be released. What defines “50% success”? Still watching. When the experts have it figured out,.. I’ll get back to you on that. 😉

                  Three,…. there is was can NOT be rushed, and that would be long term bad effects, retained immunity. You can’t rush time. Only time would show those things. That is one thing that must be skipped in this case.

                  But yes,… “rushing” things to this degree gives no one a case of the “warm and fuzzies”.


                  • Chris,

                    “I have been watching a fair bit of financial news as of late,.. ”

                    You are a much braver man than I am! I’ve used my frequent and lengthy naps as an excuse to not even look at my meager “holdings.” Back in the Spring my adviser called to see if I wanted to move anything and I replied, “No, I want to sit tight. If I don’t sell for a loss, I can’t lose.” My advisor said, that’s what most of the big pros do if everything is uncertain. I replied that if the big pros are guys with very little money, I’m that!


                • Michael
                  Here’s what I feel about it.

                  I already told them at work. If it comes down to me taking the test for some reason they can just go ahead and fire me.

                  I feel the same about the vaccine if the goverment was to mandate it.

                  I don’t trust the government at all and their testing or vaccines.

                  Sorry. Just me.

                  • GF1,

                    Speaking of not trusting the government, I just had a wild daydream (covid does play with your mind.) What if two camoflaged, masked, un-ID-ed federal agents pick you up off the street but it turns out they aren’t really law enforcement but the grudge-holding brothers of an old girlfriend who plan to take you for a long, permanent ride in the country? =8^0

          • Gunfun1,

            Ibuprofen helped slightly for the headache, but not much. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) helps bring down fevers, but at the most I had a fever of one degree or so, maybe not even a real fever. It helped my wife, though.

            To get through it I think you need to just sleep, sleep, sleep, drink lots of water, sleep some more, drink more water, and pay attention to your breathing. If you find that you are breathing heavier, harder and faster but still can’t seem to catch your breath, then start thinking about going to the hospital. If your feet, hands and/or lips start to get slightly bluish, call an ambulance, I guess.

            I’m going to go back to napping in a few minutes, but just five minutes ago I tried to do a push-up to see how weakened I am. Nope, not even one. Then I tried doing what in grade school we called “girl push-ups” where you keep your knees on the floor. I managed just three of them. (For reference, last year I was still able to bench well over 200 pounds.) A lot of that weakness might be from sleeping away the past month. hard to tell.


            • Michael
              I think you need to add meat and vegetables to your list as well as vitamin C. Maybe your not getting enough nutrition is why your weak.

              Of course I’m no doctor but I think that is why maybe.

          • Thank you, Siraniko.

            I don’t fear not recovering. My breathing difficulty is minor compared to the fatigue and other symptoms. I feel terrible for all the people around the world who have lost loved ones to this virus.

            • Michael,

              I readily identified with that. Previously reported deaths and number of ill with COVID-19 were just numbers to me until my first cousin died two weeks ago. Now, I’m hoping and praying my father does not become one of those numbers. me


              • Siraniko,

                I am so sorry to hear about your cousin.

                I know of only one person I am acquainted with who has died from this, but as time goes on I am sure to learn of others. Whenever I see a news story about someone who has died of this virus, it breaks my heart, even if I did not know them. Someone loved them. Someone will miss them.


        • Take it from an old pastor, counselor and social worker: The feeling of hopelessness may be a twist on what I often see in illness, shame. We feel shame when we get sick, irrationally usually, because the illness prevents us from being the persons that we usually are. The more responsible one is, the worse the shame seems to be. Shame is the sense that I’m not good/guilt is the sense that I did something not good.

          There is realistic shame, justly deserved when one is acting the ass. Unrealistic shame is when one feels worthless due to things beyond one’s reasonable control. One isn’t usually responsible for Covid-19, and one isn’t responsible for a loss of functioning due to the effects of the infection; it is the disease that is responsible. It is often hard to let go of the unrealistic shame and move forward to acceptance of limitations IMPOSED UPON one by forces beyond one’s control.

          I’d say you are doing very well coping with all the stuff that you outlined as affecting you and your family. Do what is reasonable and possible. Leave the rest of it to the disease, particularly that sense of shame! I think you’re doing well all things considered….

    • Michael,

      As a follow up to my previous post about the Ohio Governor maybe? making mask’s mandatory state wide,… well,… he announced today that on Thurs. 7/23 at 6 PM,… it will be.


      • Chris,

        People need to get it into their skulls that wearing a mask isn’t about them, it is about those they might infect if they themselves are infected but asymptomatic. An on-TV doctor said months ago people should wear masks outside the house and act all the time as though they are contagious.

        I don’t go out hardly at all and wear a mask when I do because I fear giving this to someone else. Out to the street to check the mail or put garbage out? I mask up in case my neighbor walks over.


        • Michael,
          I wish there were more wise people like you…instead of all these idiots I see not wearing masks due to their disbelief in it’s efficacy. Here in MI our governor has mandated the use of masks in public places but many are ignoring the order. Some law enforcement have even stated that they will not enforce it. When I hear people complaining about having to wear a mask and how they believe it’s all a lot of nonsense, I have to bite my tongue.
          I pray for your family’s full recovery and hope you soon have your strength back again. I understand how depressing this can be for some. Thank you for sharing your experience of Covid-19 with us, and especially showing that you can’t be too careful. Stay strong and keep the faith. Remember, this too shall pass.

            • Chris,

              On a platform such as this with so many firearm enthusiasts, I have an analogy that might be effective. A person has a right to own a gun and can take that gun to a gun range.

              But does that shooter have the “right” to keep his finger inside the trigger guard at all times and wave the muzzle all over the place at the other customers? If the range tells him to leave because he can’t bring himself to practice even basic gun safety, are they infringing on his rights?

              That is a one-to-one analogy. “It’s my life — if I want to end it with a negligent discharge, that’s my choice.” Uh, NO.


            • Chris,
              Here’s one for you. My grand-daughter, who lives with us, works at a Meijer a few miles from us. After the governor mandated the wearing of masks in public places, the managers at Meijer began monitoring people entering the store to insure compliance. My grand-daughter’s supervisor was doing the monitoring and a guy came in not wearing a mask. He was told that a mask was required to enter the store. He pulled up his shirt and pointed to a handgun in his belt and said “this means I don’t have to wear a mask.” Not sure if he entered the store after that but the police were called and he was never found. I’m telling you, people are crazy. I would think that someone with a CCL would know better than to do that! Two people have been shot in MI because of being told they needed to wear a mast. I’m staying home as much as possible, yet. Have a good weekend and stay safe out there.

              • Geo,

                I just don’t know what to say anymore. I was out shopping last Tues., and there was maybe 60-70% of people wearing mask. The statewide thing went into effect Thurs. at 6PM. I will go out most likely Wed. this week. It will be interesting to see what I see.

                That Chicago mayor is sure doing a fine job. I just saw a report where the verified gang members out number the police by 10:1.

                Be well,… Chris

                • Chris,

                  I somehow missed this comment of yours earlier. Yep, Mayor Lightfoot has a tough job for certain, but everyone who knows her says the same thing: she is incredibly tough and very smart.

                  CPD has a force of 13,000. The Cook County Sheriff’s dept. has probably another 5000. There are probably somewhere from 3000 – 5000 IL State Police stationed in the greater Chicago area as well. Add to this perhaps 1000 transit police officers, and that amounts to 21,000 – 24,000 local law enforcement officers. This does not include, of course, local city police, Sheriff deputies ansd State Police officers in the suburbs. Altogether, I would guess there are upwards of 30,000 local law enforcement officers who could be available to the City of Chicago if they were needed to put down any disturbance, even by trained criminals with paramilitary equipment.

                  As for the gangs, government agencies such as the DEA and DOJ, along with published studies by the University of Illinois at Chicago (an alma mater of mine!) put the number of active gang members in Chicago at over 100,000. That number is of armed “soldier” members, not casual business associates. They are well-funded, having, according to the DEA, drug-smuggling connections with all of the major Mexican cartels as well as The Chicago Outfit.



                  Finally, keep in mind criminal street gangs do not feel obligated to use soft core bullets. I know a former northern Illinois cop who said he had heard of steel core bullets being fired from gang weapons, although that was a while ago.


                  • Michael,

                    Well, I could say a lot. I will just say that the violent protest (anarchy) should not be allowed to continue. Refusing help or appeasing the thugs is just beyond belief. They are not BLM and even BLM is not truly about black lives.

                    Very smart? Like a fox.

                    I will shut up now.

                    Be well,…. Chris

                    • Lori Lightfoot wrote the president a letter welcoming investigative help and policing regarding getting guns out of the hands of the gangs, but she said paramilitary federal officers would not be welcome in Chicago.

                      The gangs are very bad news. They are responsible for almost all of the non-Marijuana drugs in the area. Actually, they used to be responsible for most of the marijuana, too, until it was legalized, and then Boom. No more illegal pot sales. Imagine that. :^)

                      BLM not about black lives? Consider this. When you get pulled over, you are scared you will get a ticket. When any and every black man in America gets pulled over, he is scared he will get murdered. Every single one. The black janitor, the black teacher, the black barber, the black doctor, the black NFL star (https://theundefeated.com/features/sterling-brown-video-proves-fame-and-fortune-wont-protect-athletes-from-police-abuse/), Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Herman Cain before he went into the hospital with covid. Believe it.
                      Black Americans are 2 1/2 times more likely than whites to be killed by police and in 2019 “black Americans were nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to be unarmed before their death.” https://www.statista.com/chart/21872/map-of-police-violence-against-black-americans/


                  • Michael,

                    (out of room below)

                    I agree with much of what you said, but also say that they (BLM) are not what the seem. Google Glen Beck and BLM (together) for some video clips of his show. Watch them, or not. Too much there just to flat out discount. By the way, Glen often does not care for how the president conducts himself and says so openly. No reply required. Just watch and draw your own conclusions.

                    Now,…. back to air guns! 😉


                    • Chris, I’m quite familiar with Glen Beck, Alex Jones and others like them. Read through ANY of the listed hoaxes and flaky conspiracy theories (select them randomly) he has furthered (an objective, factual debunking site): https://www.snopes.com/?s=Glen+Beck Each hoax and conspiracy theory of his is analyzed objectively and in detail.

                      G.B. is fake news, neither pro right wing nor pro left wing, just pro whatever nonsense will make G.B. more money.

                      I’m sorry.


                    • I felt I should put up a bit more or shut up, so here I’ve put up. The following are just two conspiracy theories. G.B. also has long claimed BLM is a Jewish-run plot to overthrow, well, overthrow something.

                      Debunked: “Does This Photo Show Buses Purchased by BLM?” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/blm-buses-photo/ (It was a Toronto Raptors bus the team painted arriving at Disney World.)

                      Semi-true/semi-false: “Did a ‘Convicted Terrorist’ Sit on the Board of a BLM Funding Body?” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/blm-terrorist-rosenberg/

                      (Uh, a little yes but mostly no. The story was distorted to be misleading.)

          • Geo,

            Thank you for your words of encouragement.

            I don’t recall whether it was here or elsewhere that I wrote of my friend an optometrist. He has a small shop in a strip mall and has from the start had to bar patients without masks as his adult son, who is in remission with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is immunocompromised, lives with him. If he came home after closing up one day with coronavirus on him, it would be game over for his son. Mask wearing is not anti-macho, it is anti-selfishness.

            Thanks again,


            • Michael,
              Totally agree with you. It seems that many people, and especially younger people, are totally apathetic regarding the wearing of masks to protect those at risk. I don’t blame your friend for keeping a weapon under his counter. It can be matter of life, or death. People need to wise up. Some stupid young people recently had a Covid-19 party! Well, a couple of them tested positive following that party and one ended up in the hospital. The nurse attending him said that some of his last words were “I think I may have made a mistake”. Sadly, he didn’t survive.

              Curious, were you tested to verify you had Covid-19 both times? Hope you are having more energy and continuing to recover.

              • Geo,

                I just read of another huge pool party with hundreds of attendees. Unbelievable at this stage, what, five months into this outbreak? And it seems most of the violent people at stores are middle-aged, not terribly young people. Young adults seem more willing to put on a mask, even if they don’t really want to, than older adults. Some older people seem to think the Constitution grants a right not to obey reasonable public health directives (such as mask-wearing in indoor publics spaces) by local, state and federal governments. I’ve scoured the Constritution at least a half dozen times in the past couple months, and nowhere is the “Right not to wear masks” expressed.

                I was tested, positive, early on as relatively few people in IL had been identified as positive, except in my specific area in the Chicago suburbs, along with the city itself and a handful of other places. I also had eight covid-19 symptoms, including one that had not been mentioned in non-medical media: loss of sense of taste. I didn’t think that was a symptom but just mentioned it to my family doctor as a weird thing I didn’t know what to make of. He got a test and had me come back to take it the next day. Bingo! I spent the next four or so weeks in a two bedroom condo that is in my family.

                I had a lot of free time, so I did a lot of comment-posting on this blog during that time, although my symptoms were mild then and I chose not to mention that I had tested positive. I was pretty vocal about the coronavirus here, however.

                For this bout, be it a relapse of existing virus hiding in me until my antibodies wound down or a new separate infection. As I have the same exact symptoms as I had before, my doctor (on the phone this time) assured me I am suffering from covid-19 a second time (too many symtpoms not to be covid). So, his precription for me was to again completely quaratine until I have been symptom free for at least two weeks. Tests are still scarce here, and results take a week or more to come back, so he said not to risk infecting anyone by going out to get tested and instead just conclude that I am positive and shedding and self-quarantine.


                • Hey Michael,
                  I hope you and your family are recovering from this virus without too many bad effects. You have had to quarantine for quite sometime. The highly populated areas are the worst. I live 15 miles north of Kalamazoo, MI in Allegan county. So far we have only had 417 confirmed cases with 7 deceased. Grand Rapids has over 5,000 cases. I’m sure there are many walking around with the virus that have not been tested, and are not aware of even having it. That’s the reason we wear masks. Get better soon!

    • Wow, michael, so sorry you are going through this Covid-19. I’m soon to be 67, so am in a bad group to get this. I have an acre on Hawaii Island not far from Hilo. I often remove my mask in the parking lot. From what you have said, I think I’ll leave it on till I get in my car.

      Take care, and I hope you recover soon.

  6. BB ,

    “Keepa your hands off ” best advice ever for springers ! I see so many scratched , dented and buggered up rifles and screws it is unbelievable. Same reason I pay a professional mechanic to fix my car , he will see things I never knew to look for and I want it to work . Good one today .

    Gene Salvino

    • Gene,

      When I was a teenager I helped my dad with a rusted-on lug nut. After trying penetrating oil to no avail, the old man got out a long (maybe 12 foot or so) pipe from along the garage foundation and slipped it over the lug wrench. The two of us squatted down at the other end and slowly lifted the pipe until . . . the lug twisted off!

      My dad was the guy who would start the car when it was 20 below by spraying ether into the air intake and having me turn the key.


        • Gunfun1,

          You said it! For farmers and their families, there is always something that has to be done. A bone hard profession that never pays enough.


          • Michael
            Yes sir. And some of the old farmers even had a regular job. My dad was a machinist too.

            That’s one thing I can say about my dad. He was not lazy. It was more like it’s the stuff that had to be done. There was no choice.

            I have to say I’m not as motivated as my dad was when he was my age. He could still throw hay at 59 years old like I did when I was a teenager. I would pass out if did that out in the heat now days. And he never did anything special other than work. He ate what he wanted and drank what he wanted. On the other hand his older brother died at 59. So who knows.

            And hey how about us. We are having a off subject conversation that has nothing to do with air guns. Just about makes me proud that we did. 😉

        • Up north in the winter, when it gets -25 degrees fahrenheit, I guess the diesel fuel can get to the consistency of Vaseline. Sometimes it’s best to just leave it running 24/7.


          • On the big rigs in the very cold states air starters are quite popular. Unlike electric starters, which can be reluctant to spin those huge pistons, an air starter is instantly spinning the heck out that crankshaft. Sounds a bit like a jet engine. But, it expels all the air in the tank quickly, so you only have one shot at it. After that, you either better have an air compressor to fill up that starter tank, or a running big rig, and use it’s air system to fill with.

            • Birdmove,

              Wow. That’s above my feeble knowledge of engines.

              For our cars, none of them diesel, usually starting in January, my dad and I would hook up dipstick heaters, magnetic engine block heaters, and battery heaters. My dad even hung a 150 watt bulb into the engine compartment of my Ford Maverick one winter. It made a big difference in the morning. Around town most cars in the winter had an electric cord poking out of the grill or threaded between the grill and the front bumper.

              One winter night in the 1980s my uncle and I crouched in his Rhinelander, Wisconsin driveway to work on something. It was -31 Fahrenheit, the lowest temperature I ever experienced. We would work for 10 minutes and then go into his laundry room to thaw for 15 minutes. He grew up there, so I asked him what the coldest temperature he ever experienced was, and he answered about -40 or so.

              In the Chicago suburbs in the 1970s we had many mornings each winter when it was below 10 degrees Fahrenheit and one or two colder than 15 below each year. I still live in the area, only 15 miles from where I grew up, but we haven’t had more than a few mornings below -5 in the past five or so years.


  7. Gene Salvino,


    ““Keepa your hands off ” best advice ever for springers ! I see so many scratched , dented and buggered up rifles and screws it is unbelievable.”

    IF you don’t have formal (hands on) training in tool use and mechanical systems; I would only add, to your sage advice, any airgun or firearm that you don’t consider to be JUST a training aid don’t mess with! And, those of you whose torque wrench are only in ft/lbs instead of in/lbs or metric equivalent you need training in the No Big Hammer/Vice Grips school of mechanical craftsmanship. The number of knurled fittings i see with the ugly bite marks of the Worlds worst tool! Vice Grips is criminal.


    • Shootski,

      Lol all my torque wrenches are in ft-lbs. When it’s over 3 inches I borrow my neighbors monster monkey wrench. If that don’t work out comes the cutting torch.


        • Don’t have plasma they are nice though. Just remembered an old trick on a nut you can’t break loose. Take a cold chisel to the center of a flat and give it a good smack while backing up the other side with another hammer. It opens the nut enough to get it loose. Sometimes if you are alone you can hold the side of the backup hammer with your foot. Sometimes you just got to use the tools you got.

          • Don,

            You just triggered an event i havent thought of in years! I was a Senior in HS in Philly and had contracted to restore a rooftop, 10 story building, steel sprinkler tank on a steel 2 story platform. It was all bolted together instead of Riveted. I had climbed to the top on a ladder that was attached to the ball on top to inspect the inside for my estimate and found the ladder attached by one bolt with no nut! The owner had contracted the year before with some fly-by-night and they had painted the tank and structure to look good from the roof. I eased back to the walk at the base of the tank and inspected more of the nuts and bolts most of which were held together by paint and rust with almost no viable metal. I got the contract at my no haggle price plus an unexpected upfront bonus for finding the issue. I used a pnuematic chisel to break the nuts that were rusted badly; many just exploded into a cloud of red rust and black paint. I worked during all the Summer of 1965 and then on the weekends and after school until the evening of November 9th. I was up on the tank roof again when around 5PM my compressor stopped…DANG! Used my radio to call the building Super…no answer! I DID NOT want to Climb in full harness down to the roof and check it, ugh! But then it hit me EVERYTHING was so quiet! In looking around i could see all the chiller fans spinning down and then the car horns started blowing all around the city! The largest blackout to hit anywhere in the World to date. I lived in Northeast Philly and got to walk home from downtown that night…it was fabulous weather that evening!

            Thanks for the memory jog!


  8. BB,
    New topic. Maybe you have a trick to fix this:
    I bought a Crosman MK45 BB pistol from PA to shoot cane toads. You have to point the gun 45 degrees down to hit the back of their heads. But the BB falls out of the barrel before I finish pulling the trigger. If I pull the trigger fast, sometimes the gun shoots the BB but my accuracy is bad when I do this.

    Can this problem be fixed? (An internet search says a BB gun needs a hop-up stopper to prevent the BB from falling out). Can I stick a magnet in there somewhere to hold the BB?

    Or are there other BB pistols that don’t have this problem? I like the many rounds per cartridge and 18+ round magazines you get with BB pistols. It is a pain to switch CO2 tubes and reload pellets at 11pm with bugs swirling around (attracted by the high lumens headlamp). I’m thinking of getting the Steel Storm to max out CO2 and BB capacity but I worry that it will have the same problem with falling BBs.

    Or do I need to stick with pellets? My Crosman 2240 (with lightened trigger, red dot, carbine stock, and moderator) works great for each shot, but is slow when you have 10 toads staring at you.

  9. Hi! First-time air gun owner, in fact my Daisy 408 is still in the box it was mailed in. I’m hoping somebody can advise me because I’m really hoping to get shooting right away.

    I ordered pellgun oil with the Daisy, but recently received word that the oil is back-ordered until at least August 9. Is there anything I can safely put on top of the co2 cartridge in order to shoot before then? I don’t want to compromise the piece, but I’m anxious to get started! Thanks in advance for any advice.

  10. Thanks B.B. I’ve been reading your library of blogs for the past several months to help figure out what gun would work best for my cane toad activities. I’ve learned from you about the various gun types, power options, how to improve speed, how firing mechanisms work, etc. Thank you for all your work. P.S. And I’ve discovered it is just plain fun to shoot pellet guns with friends.

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