by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Today’s post
  • Why nobody makes muzzleloading big bores
  • Where is the muzzle?
  • Scoped
  • How fast does it close?
  • Summary

Yesterday’s report on reloading elicited a better response than I had hoped. Many of you don’t reload and never will but you are still curious. There is a lot more coming!

I write reports on subjects like that to attract readers from other disciplines. This blog is highly ranked in Google searches and usually goes straight to the top of most lists of whatever topic I write about. Reader Kevin joined us years ago because I mentioned Roy Weatherby as “the high priest of high velocity” in a report. Kevin was searching for Weatherby online and hit that blog. Then he looked around and found the blog to be interesting. Today he is an airgunner first class and you see his comments here all the time.

So, if many firearm shooters are now interested in reloading and they do a Google search, they will likely land on the blog, where I can show them a fascinating world of shooting that they may not know about. They discover they can still shoot all they want and more if they join us in the world of airguns.

Today’s post

Today I want to discuss a couple things that you may never have thought of. Don’t feel bad — I get surprised by these things all the time.

Why nobody makes muzzleloading big bores

Have you ever wondered why nobody makes muzzleloading big bores? Think about it.

What if a big bore muzzleloader had a slow leak in the firing valve? Pressure would build up behind the bullet until it couldn’t remain in the breech any longer. Then it would exit the muzzle at high velocity without the gun ever being cocked. Handling an airgun like that would be like handling nitroglycerin! There would be nowhere to safely store it, and you couldn’t handle it because you would always be afraid of a discharge. But, if you didn’t know about the leak it would be even more dangerous. Think about it.

Where is the muzzle?

When long-range rifle shooting was in vogue in the late 19th century, the Creedmore position was a favored one. In it the shooter laid on his back and rested the long barrel of his rifle either on his knees or his feet. It was a stable position and many matches were won that way. It works well with long-barreled rifles. But not with carbines!

Creedmore position
As long as the rifle has a long barrel, the Creedmore position works well. It’s not the best for a short-barreled carbine though

Imagine Hopalong on his second-story deck. He rests his feet up on the deck rail and sights through his scope at squirrels in the tree with his carbine. The scope is two inches above the boreline of the rifle, so he can see everything fine, but where is the muzzle? If it’s in the wrong place the shooter will be the first to know when the trigger is pulled.


Precharged pneumatics don’t recoil that much. Shooters get so used to them that they place their sighting eye next to the eyepiece. Then they gently squeeze the trigger — of their new .50-caliber AirForce Texan!

PCPs don’t recoil as a GENERAL rule, but big bore PCPs do it with a vengance! So much so that the shiner and the crescent cut over the eye is called getting “scoped.” When something gets a slang name you know it’s happening a lot!

How fast does it close?

He just got a new breakbarrel. Well, it’s new to him, it’s not that new. It’s an HW50S loaned to him by his older brother who just deployed to the middle east. He is fascinated by the strength of the mainspring and wonders if he pulls the trigger with the barrel open, will it close all the way?

It will. In fact it closes so fast that it pulls the stock screws through the forearm before cracking the wood. And the barrel now looks like a ski jump. He wonders if his brother will notice it.

He sights at a target about 25 feet away and the pellet hits 4 inches high. He starts to think what he will tell his brother but it’s waste of time. Any airgunner who sees the wreckage will know right away what happened.He will tell his brother that his hand slipped off the barrel just as thew rifle was about to be cocks. Do you know how many times I have heard that lie? Repeating it doesn’t make it true.

bent barrel
Yep! Pull the trigger of a breakbarrel with the barrel broken open and this is what you get every time.

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What are some of the other things you have discovered in your journey through airguns?