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Ammo β€Ί 1896 New King Single Shot: Part 3

1896 New King Single Shot: Part 3

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

1896 King
1896 New King single shot BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Straightening the barrel
  • 4.55 mm BBs dropped to bottom
  • It also shoots 4.5 mm balls
  • 4.55 mm lead balls
  • Velocity
  • Muzzle energy
  • Oops!
  • 4.50 mm lead balls
  • Discussion
  • What does today’s test give us? 
  • Summary

Today I tell you how straightening the barrel of this century-old BB gun went and then we look at its performance. Last time I shot a single BB out at 157 f.p.s. What will she do today?

Straightening the barrel

Boy, did I ever have a lot of helpers ready to school me on how to straighten this solid brass shot tube! The way some of you talked you would think this thing is going into a NASA satellite!

I straightened the shot tube exactly as I described to you in Part 2, by laying it on a flat steel table (on my vise) and tapping it gently with the wide head of a plastic hammer.

The photo I showed you made it look like there was a single bend in the tube. The truth was the tube was bent in numerous places. It was twisted subtly into a serpentine shape.

I have some experience doing things this way, and in less than 10 minutes I had it much straighter. I also cleaned the inside of the shot tube with a wire bore brush. It’s not perfect, and I doubt it ever will be, but it’s better than it was.

4.55 mm BBs dropped to bottom

After straightening and cleaning the 4.55 mm lead balls dropped all the way down the shot tube to the place where the tube tapers smaller. After maybe 10 shots, though, the BBs began stopping a couple inches up from the bottom and remained that way for a while. I still had to seat the BB into the tapered place with a cleaning rod, but now they all shoot out. And I picked up one additional thing by straightening and cleaning the shot tube.

It also shoots 4.5 mm balls

Now that the ball goes into the tapered place in the shot tube, I can also load 4.50 mm lead balls. They are lighter than the 4.55 mm balls. But, better than that, they are widely available. Where the 4.55 MM balls are expensive and hard to find, the 4.50 mm balls are standard airgun ammunition.

4.55 mm lead balls

These are number 12 zimmerstutzen balls. If you don’t know what that means, read my article on zimmerstutzens. After straightening and cleaning the bore they were stopping about two inches from the bottom of the shot tube. Before I straightened and cleaned the barrel they had been stopping about two inches from the muzzle, so there was definite improvement.

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The one shot I got with these balls in Part 2 was recorded at 157 f.p.s. That was before the barrel was straightened and cleaned. Today five shots averaged 159 f.p.s. They ranged from a low of 157 to a high of 161 f.p.s. — a difference of 4 f.p.s.

Just for fun I then dropped a ball into the shot tube and did not press it in with a cleaning rod. It did seem to fall all the way into the tapered breech. It came out at 154 f.p.s.

Muzzle energy

The 4.55 mm lead balls weigh from 8.5 to 8.7 grains If we take 8.6 grains as the average, at 159 f.p.s. this little BB gun generates 0.48 foot-pounds at the muzzle. That’s less than a lot of airsoft guns!


This little BB gun is not perfect. While I was shooting the 4.55 mm balls, the entire shot tube came out of the gun on one shot! It apparently works free, now that I have removed it so many times and also oiled the airgun liberally.

4.50 mm lead balls

Next I shot H&N 4.50 mm lead balls. Pyramyd AIR isn’t stocking them at present, but they do have Gamo 4.50 mm lead balls. The H&N balls I shot weighed a very uniform 8.3 grains. They all seemed to drop into the taper in the shot tube, but to keep both tests the same I also pushed them lightly into the breech with the cleaning rod and discovered that they were already there!

These balls averaged 159 f.p.s. for 5 shots, as well. Their velocity ranged from a low of 157 to a high of 161 f.p.s. a difference of 4 f.p.s. But their lighter weight gave a muzzle energy of 0.47 foot-pounds.

Just for fun I then dropped one of these smaller balls into the muzzle and shot it without pushing it into the breech with the cleaning rod. That one registered 157 f.p.s. on the chronograph. So it does reach the breech.


The smaller lead ball may not go faster because there is more room inside the bore for the air to blow past the ball. I don’t want to try any smaller balls because I think accuracy will suffer. Remember that we learned that lesson while testing the Tell BB gun.

What does today’s test give us? 

Today’s little test gives us two lead balls to test for accuracy. I believe I will press all the balls down with the cleaning rod, but not hard. I just want to be certain they are all at the breech.


Well, this little 120-year-old BB gun still works. It may not have been too much more powerful that this when it was new — maybe 200 to 225 f.p.s.?. It cocks easily and is as light as a feather. Ideal for children!

181 thoughts on “1896 New King Single Shot: Part 3”

  1. BB,
    Sometimes simpliest things put the biggest smiles on our faces. :^b
    Anyhow… What is the cheapest way of turning a green synhtetic stock into black. How do I paint it black? Spray paint?

    • Fish,

      There is spray paint that is formulated for application to plastic patio furniture. I am pretty sure that there is dip processes too. I like the green. Get one first,.. then worry about it! πŸ˜‰


        • Michael,

          It is in with all of the rest of the spray paint (Walmart, Lowe’s, etc). Of course, there is several major brands.

          A fellow at work wanted to spray paint a plastic bumper area on his truck and had varied amount of success. Not sure now, but special primers were brought up, light sanding/scuffing and maybe even something like a clear chemical liquid wipe on product (plastic prep/conditioner?).

          I am not sure what the formulation difference is between regular spray paint and spray paint for plastics. Depending on what your doing,.. you may want to do a little research to insure the best outcome and lasting results.


        • Michael,

          The Flex Seal line of products is interesting. They have expanded product types/uses. I have never used any.

          The Rhino Coat truck bed liner (type) products are interesting too. I have seen entire pick up trucks sprayed with them (the entire painted body). I do believe they are spraying a similar stuff on houses now too (as opposed to traditional paint or residing). Supposedly, tons of color options. Incredible durability.

          I have seen liquid vinyl products also that are supposed to be suitable for putting on an RV roof (for example). Sold by the gallon or quart, last I have seen.

          Lots of options for coating stuff these days. Some of it might be real good for a nice grippy gun stock,… over wood or plastic?


    • Fish-

      The success or failure of a paint job is the prep. Clean thoroughly with a plastic safe solvent, sand all surfaces thoroughly with 400 grit paper or grey 3m Scotchbrite pad, wipe down again, 1 light coat of primer if required. By light, I mean light. You should be able to see through it. Spray 2-3 light coats of paint following the manufacturers directions for dry time or sanding between coats.
      Truck bed liner produces a great finish but you have to build light coats and really let it dry between. Professional spray on liner has a hardener mixed in before spraying and you can build it up thick. Rattle can liner has to be built up thin and slow or it will dry on top and stay gooey underneath, smearing around and rubbing off like playdough.

  2. BB,

    Well,… that is just super awesome that you got this fine little antique up and running again!!! πŸ™‚ I find it simply amazing that the piston seal is still doing it’s job (at least to some unknown % of what it ever might have been).

    Well done again and looking forwards to see the accuracy test.


      • Deck,

        Not sure. Pure luck to be sure. BB did oil it, but still. BB thought that it may have been more powerful when new,.. but how do you know? If it was,.. I bet that seal is in the process of further degrading and will eventually self destruct. Either way,.. we are getting to see an oldie in action! πŸ™‚


        • Chris,

          Over time the leather seal may fully expand and improve the velocities, assuming the compression chamber is not leaking somewhere after all these years. The barrel however still does not sound to be “happy, happy, happy” and likely will degrade velocity.

          Something to keep in mind though. Like many of the airguns I own, this was made when speed and power were not that important. Even though toys back then were far more “dangerous” than they are “in these times”, they still were not going to hand a kid something he would likely seriously injure himself or one of his playmates with.

          BB is just speculating that this would shoot around 200 FPS when it was new. That is with a nice, pretty, straight barrel, a smooth compression tube with no rust or pitting and a brand spanking new leather seal. His speculation is probably pretty close due to his vast experience with such things.

          If they had not cost so blame much, I would have bought one of those reproduction Daisy wire stock bb guns.

      • Deck,

        Leather seals, if taken care of, will last almost forever. The death of a leather seal comes when the leather dries completely and then it is flexed through use. If the leather is allowed to absorb oil, it will return to a pliant state.

        There is a very good chance that this bb gun has not been fired for many years. The seal may have been intact, just waiting for a little TLC.

        My 1906 BSA uses a leather seal. There was much evidence that this air rifle was shot repeatedly after the dried up seal had long crumbled away. Fortunately, she was tough enough that I could bring her back to life.

        The manual for this air rifle states that after every 50 shots or so, a couple of drops of oil should be put into the loading port and allowed to run down into the compression chamber. This helps to oil the seal, provide a better air seal in the compression chamber and help improve the air seal in the loading port. and also lubricate it.

        Disclaimer: Do not attempt this with a modern, high power sproinger. You will very likely end up blowing the seals out and damaging your sproinger.

      • Decksniper,

        That’s easy! I can’t say it any better than the pros in the business and they seem to think the new stuff just isn’t as good at the task:


        Interested in the rubber impregnated leather since the petroleum impregnated eventually dry out and oxidize if not properly maintained; although B.B. (and others) has brought back many poorly maintained leather seals.


        • Shootski

          Wow! I asked and you sure answered. I was ignorant of preferred properties of leather in modern times. Bet some other folks will be surprised by the site you referenced. I have a 50-60 year old bicycle pump that stays outside. Gets frequent use pumping up leaky lawn tractor tires and still performs well. I do oil it.


          • Deck,

            I learned from a neighbor about CW Marsh while rebuilding a 130 year old deep well water pump at the SkiShed. They actually had the information about the specific pump! Not all too many companies like that anymore.


        • Shootski,

          Thanks for this tidbit. I had never heard of synthetic rubber impregnated leather before. This sounds to be the best material to use with sproingers.

          Now I am very curious as to if a leather seal impregnated with synthetic chamber oil would work well in an uber magnum sproinger. Would such be resistive enough to dieseling to operate properly? A drop or two of synthetic chamber oil every once in a while to keep it pliant.

          The only real issue I see would be an ignorant newbie, or even an ignorant old hand, not having any synthetic oil and deciding to give something like 3-in-1 oil a try. This works fine in the lower powered air rifles and pistols, but not so well in those with higher power.

          Shortly after I had a gas spring installed in my Gamo CFX, I had a catastrophic explosion that blew out all of the seals in it. There was a very loud bang with lots of smoke. The rotary bolt handle went flying somewhere, never to be seen again.

          Fortunately they were kind enough to rebuild my CFX, remove the gas spring and restore my old spring and also refund me my money.

  3. So glad that you have restored this relic to shooter status. 120 years and counting. Definitely a window to the past. My wife and I had the opportunity to stop at the Daisy Museum in Rogers, Arkansas yesterday. A fascinating collection to see. There are early European and American airguns from the 1600’s onward. The early efforts of the Plymouth Windmill company are well represented as are the guns of the renamed Daisy company. The Markham/King and other competitors are also there. Just a fabulous museum that is chock full of the guns and toys of Daisy’s past. It is self guided and clearly laid out. I would recommend a visit to anyone with even a remote interest in airguns. There is a $2 admission fee, but you receive a nice medallion/challenge coin, so I think we came out ahead.

    The gift store has some really cool items. Yeah, I went there- got the shirt. And a hat. And a remanufactured 499B for $50. In addition to new in box guns there are remanufactured (returns) guns direct from the plant a mile down the road.

    It was fun. I encourage others to visit.

    • Michael,

      Oh — I forgot about them. They are only 0.176, so I think they are on the small side for what is supposed to be a 0.180-diameter projectile. Still, I might try one and see what happens. If it jams I can always remove the shot tube to punch it out.


  4. B.B.,

    Congratulations on the revival of the old girl! So what is your theory on the spiral bend?

    Errata: in Summary
    Well, this little 120-year-old BB gun still works. It may not have been too much more powerful that (than) this when it was new β€” maybe 200 to 225 f.p.s.?. It cocks easily and is as light as a feather. Ideal for children!


    • Derrick
      I remember you and Chris and a few others talking about putting a 499 barrel in a different gun.

      I am remembering right ain’t I?

      I would still like to put one in a 1377 with a skelton stock or even in a pcp. For some reason I think it will be a very accurate bb shooter but at a pellet plinking gun distance.

      Do you have a part number and who you got the barrel from? I have a 1377 I would like to try it on. And if that works out I want to try one on my Maximus.

        • Chris
          Not that it matters probably but remember my Maximus is modded. Any length barrel should fit on it.

          Why do you think it won’t work on a Maximus. Seriuosly why not?

            • Chris
              It wont be a problem with how long the barrel is on my Maximus.

              I have had a 2240 barrel on it already. And remember since I don’t have a stock on my Maximus I can slide the barrel band wherever I want it. I just got to remember not to put my forearm out in front of the barrel. A good way to shoot a finger tip off. That’s the only bad part about putting a short barrel on a longer tube gun.

              And depending on what size the outside diameter of the 499 barrel is that will probably be what I need to worry about. I probably will have to make some type of spacer collar adapter to slip over the 499 barrel and then I’ll have to make the transfer port hole in the 499 barrel for the air flow. All doable with a little time.

              Oh and Daisy emailed me back and said it would be best to call customer service during the week for help with a part. So I will be calling them Monday morning to order the barrel.

              • GF1,

                I did measure it (499 barrel OD) and posted it here on the blog a few days ago. Without pulling again,.. it is .299″ as best I recall. The piece you be ordering will have the barrel, a coupler and the funnel. The barrel is threaded at the breech end. This is how/where it screws into the gun.


                • Chris
                  Ok the Crosman barrels are .412″.

                  So probably I can find some tube stock at work with the right diameter and wall thickness. I’ll probably super glue the tube to the 499 barrel after cutting the threads off the 499 breech end. Then drill a hole for the transfer port orifice. Then it should fit right in the Crosman breech like a factory Crosman barrel does.

                  Heck I might even leave the threaded end on the 499 barrel. It will be up inside the tube I make anyway so it shouldn’t matter. And that threaded end of the 499 barrel might have the magic of the barrel inside that end. So I will leave the threads on the 499 barrel.

                  And I’ll figure out what I’m going to do with the muzzle end of the 499 barrel later after I get the barrel.

                  Well we will see after I get the barrel from Daisy. Hopefully it wont take long for them to ship me a barrel.

      • Chris was ruminating (apologies to Chris if I have this wrong) about retrofitting a Daisy 499 barrel to something like a Crosman 2240 as a way to have 499 BB accuracy in a pistol.

        I bought the barrel (shot tube) directly from Daisy. Sorry, I tossed the part number after I made the order. Call them, they can email you a schematic.

        In a slightly different vein, I’m hoping to retrofit the barrel to an old Crosman 1600 pistol and improve its lackluster accuracy.

      • GF1

        I too am curious about longer range accuracy potential of a close tolerance smooth bore. Ten meters or maybe more. Please keep us informed if you decide to pursue this.


        • Deck,

          “…. maybe more.”,…? On a PCP,… (or a multi pump),.. that thing should be a “drill bit”. I do believe that BB and Shootski have opined about the benefits of round balls over pellets (in that they are less influenced by many of the things that pellets are influenced by).


        • Deck
          I think it’s going to work. I have had pretty good luck shooting steel bb’s out of my smooth bore 760 at 20 yards or so.

          I think the 499 barrel will be accurate in another gun.

            • Deck
              Just imagine what could happen if it does turn out to be accurate at more than 15 yards.

              The 499 barrel is one thing on a 1322/77 based pumper. But I don’t think there is no modern day pcp bb gun that can fill the shoes right now. I’m really hoping the 499 barrel will be accurate on my Maximus. That would be a game changer.

              • GF1,

                You will achieve a certain amount of accuracy with the 499 barrel on your Maximus. It will most certainly be a fun little popper. What you are likely to run into is the same problem that was experienced in the past with muskets and happens with airsoft guns. After a certain distance your groups will become patterns. As I am sure you can recall, with a musket you point it, not aim it.

                This should be an awesomely powerful bb gun and it will be devastating on feral soda cans out to a certain range, but after that it will become a challenge to hit them. I can see I really do need to get a Maximus. This is going to be fun.

                • RR
                  Yep and that holds true on probably anything we shoot. There is a effective distance for everything.

                  What I’m hoping is that the effective distance for the 499 barrel in the Maximus or 1377/22 will increase from 5-10 yards to 15-20 yards. And if it can still hit a feral can at 25 yards I’ll be tickled pink if you know what I mean.

                  We will see pretty soon.

                  And yes you should get a Maximus.

                • RR
                  Oh and about getting a Maximus.

                  You better grab one when you find one. There was one left in .177 caliber on the PA site and it’s gone now. The hunter version they list with a scope is a .22 but its sold out. Although they do show 2 regular Maximus left in .22 but its a combo package with a hand pump and it’s like 400 dollars and something. All the out of stock ones say (pre order).

                  So if your serious about one you better grab it when you see it.

  5. B.B.,
    This thing may not be powerful, but it is surely “old school cool!”
    Everyone has a Daisy Buck 105 or a Red Ryder, yet not many have one of these.
    I hope she shoots as good as she looks. =>
    Take care & God bless,

    • Rk,

      They would lock you up and throw away the key if you were to give one of these to a 4 year old nowadays.

      The sad thing is, they will give replica airsoft guns to kids so they can learn to shoot at each other. Of course, maybe that is part of the plan. Get everybody so outraged that they wish to ban all guns.

        • Rk,

          So true. We have taught our grandson that you NEVER point a gun, no matter what kind, at someone. We have several Nerf guns around and he and I enjoy hunting zombie plastic water bottles with them, but we teach him not to shoot even the Nerf guns at anyone.

          I do know that with some of his friends it is not this way. People can be so stupid.

      • AOTB,

        Mostly experience. With bb guns you cannot expect much. The bb ammo can vary so much in size, not just from one manufacturer to the next, but within various batches. Most bb gun barrels are smoothbore and have a large enough I.D. to accept the over sized bb’s. Only specialized bb guns using specialized bb’s have any kind of limited range accuracy.

        Many of the old sproinger airguns are surprisingly accurate. This is because many were designed for competition shooting. They were also used as training aids for the military to teach basic marksmanship.

        It is when power levels in “modern” times started climbing, that accuracy of sproingers started declining. Even with a well made sproinger, it is very difficult to have any type of “accuracy” beyond a certain range. 2 MOA is pretty good for a sproinger.

        Old PCPs? Well, there are not many of those around. The real old ones were mostly air powered muskets and were the toys of the rich.

        With the world of PCPs much R&D is going into these and their ammo. As time goes on, they are improving and the cost of quality PCPs is coming down. It was not too long ago you would have been lucky to achieve 2 MOA. My HM1000X will shoot 1 MOA at 100 yards. I have known of custom built AirForce PCPs that would do that at over 200 yards. I suspect soon this to be common.

        • RidgeRunner,

          Thank you for responding to my question. Perhaps you can weigh in on a related consideration of accuracy. I often wonder if I am achieving acceptable accuracy. I enjoy marksmanship as a solitary challenge. I can compete against my own past performance and I continue to see improvement, but the impulse remains to compare my results against those of other shooters. I am looking for benchmarks, if you will, which would let me know I am achieving respectable accuracy from myself and my equipment. I know this is a complicated metric to derive, and the expectations should be different for an olympic shooter than for myself. Nevertheless, I want to know what I should be striving for. Take for example what I understand to be generally regarded as two quality springers, the TX200 and the HW97, and assume that they are delivering the average performance for the respective models. What do you (or any other reader) suggest would be a reasonable goal, in terms of 25 and 50 yard groups shot from a bench? Center-to-center group sizes that would let the shooter know their equipment is achieving accuracy par for the model and that he or she is performing at a decently high level (whatever this means) of shooting proficiency? Any thoughts?

          • AOTB,

            ((For me)), with the TX2000 and LGU (both in .22),… 1″ at 50 and 1/2″ at 25 is what I considered to be a good day with a springer. I bench rested and never used the artillery hold. A real pro could probably half both. Ten shot groups.


          • AOTB
            I agree with Chris. That’s pretty much what I want from my springers and PCP’s. And I have done closer to a 1/2″ bench resting with some of my PCP’s and springers.

          • Thanks guys. It is good to get some perspective on this from other airgun enthusiasts. I shoot mostly at 25 yards. I guess what I am hearing is that I don’t have to be embarrassed about 10 shot groups under half inch at that distance. I am still not sure at what group size (at that range with a quality springer) I can start to call myself a β€œgood” shot. I know that this is only one narrowly defined measure of marksmanship, and the whole exercise of labeling my proficiency is not very β€œzen”. I do shoot better when I am less concerned with the outcome. But we gotta strive for something, I think.

            • AOTB,

              I would say that if you are putting 10 into 1/2″ at 25 yards on a fairly regular basis,.. then you are doing better than 90%+ of the shooters out there.

              As for “zen”,… I like to have nothing pressing. No chores I “should” be doing. Most of all,.. I need to be in the mood and not fatigued. Sharp in mind, yet relaxed.

              Your doin’ fine! πŸ™‚


  6. BB,

    Like everyone else, I am looking forward to seeing if this little girl will give minute of feral soda can accuracy at 5+ yards. Maybe you can even stretch it out to 10+ yards.

  7. Fish,

    It is not the collaboration on the design that would be the issue. It is the manufacture. Look how much trouble they had with the ISS. They had gee gobs of issues to overcome just to get it up there and together and still have problems with it.

    We cannot even get together on which is better, metric or sae.

      • Chris USA,

        The site is live but there is nothing to buy!
        It just says new products coming…

        Should have bought some of his spinners sooner. I just didn’t have anything low powered enough until recently. Finally got my shipment of Chinese Olympic .177 pellets for the SIG pistol yesterday; been waiting most of the year for them.


      • Chris U,

        I have one of his spinners it is fun. My best spinner. Some one I don’t know who hit the bearing with a high power pellet. It has a good sized dent but still works like new. He sent me the guard but I never installed it.


        • Don,

          I was the one that came up with the guard idea. I made the first one(s), posted some pics and he used the idea (with my full blessing). You may remember he stress tested a few by shooting directly at the bearing. Several hits, looked pretty bad,… but kept right on working like yours.

          I have the horizontal and the vertical mounted to 2×6 blocks, so they are portable. I have the lag bolt one too. That is mounted to a tree outside. I fashioned a little roof over it (plastic coffee can lid),.. so we will see how it holds up over an Ohio Winter.


  8. Gunfun1,

    They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words…

    First 10 at 10m; that one up top is the first and i automatically aimed at center on post. The next 9 were a Six ‘O Clock hold in honor of pumpkins!


      • Gunfun1,

        I posted a picture of the first 5 many months ago when i was sighting it in; so no need to worry about your rememberer! I rest on my forearms or elbows on a shooting table (depends on height) and use a two hand hold when i do an initial pistol sight in. Since i’m not doing formal competition after that initial sight in i never rest in a typical meaning of the concept. I’m a Practical shooter first and foremost so unless a shooting location offers a practical rest to support some part of my body (perhaps concealment or cover) i never use rested groups again unless i suspect something is wrong with the gun. I really like this SIG ASP Super Target very much! If that first group of ten with the Chinese Olympic Pellets is any indication of how much this pistol is a shooter I’ll be having a great FUN Fall and Winter in the basement and yard since things look like they are locking down again :^(
        Writing you this answer also gave me an idea for a Guest Blog about why we, what for we, how we and to what ends we shoot groups. Also maybe the history of groups, the uses we newb or old hand shooters can make of groups and a bunch of other ideas. I plan on working on a Guest Blog concept outline over the next couple of months and submit it to Tom to see what he thinks.

        Bottom line, in my book, SIG AIR got this pistol right!


  9. Fish,

    The above target i shared with Gunfun1 was shot in the basement at 10m. The pistol is the .177 SIG ASP Super Target a SSP (Single Stroke Pump) shooting 8.18gn wad cutters. It ACTUALLY does NOT have any fiber optic rods in the sights!!!!!!

    You could do worse in your selection for a plinker…


      • Fish,

        Gunfun1 asked me about the Air Pistol and the pellets because he forgot I had posted my first sight in at the end of last year or beginning of this using a few ol .177 pellets (they are so tiny!) I had on hand. I then placed two or three orders for .177 from PA and finally an order of 2,400 of the: /product/qiang-yuan-olympic-pellets-177-cal-8-2-grains-wadcutter-200ct?p=1201

        More if they really pan out!


    • Fish,

      4x20mm is a 4x scope with an objective lens 20mm in diameter usually found in low priced BB guns

      3-9Γ—40 is a variable scope with a range from 3x to 9x magnification and a 40mm diameter objective

      4X32 is a fixed 4x scope with an objective lens 32mm in diameter which allows is to gather more light and give clearer image.


      3-9X32 is a variable scope with a range from 3x to 9x magnification and a 32mm diameter objective which may not give as clear an image as a 3-9×40

      Why are you asking about scopes if you are limited to basement distances?


      • siraniko,
        i’ve shelved the basement plans.
        i had used a few old scopes back in time – borrowed, bought used, this and that, but never had worried about the specs. after reading bb’s blogs, i learned how much i didn’t know. who knows how many stupid things i was doing with them. πŸ™‚
        yea, larger diameter, means more light, and more room for distance guessing. AO should be important at shorter distances, assuming all the listed up there comes with ~ 30 yrd parallax free set up. the first # is just the how bigger the image is…
        now, i have to buy a scoped air rifle and relearn these from scratch. πŸ™‚

  10. Hello All,

    Well I’m all caught up on comments, and it’s half-time for the Lions and Falcons, so thought that I would sneak a comment (question) in this afternoon.
    The question is for any of you that have an airgun with a barrel band. Some time ago I lightly bumped the moderator on my Gamo Urban, moving the POI a couple of inches. Someone here, I think it may have been Halfstep, suggested that I check the barrel band screw, and loosen it to see if the barrel sprang back. I saw no movement, bumped the moderator with my palm on each side, and then tightened the screw back up. I had to make a windage adjustment on my scope to zero it. Then all was good again.
    Yesterday, I was down in my basement taking a few shots at my 17 yard range. I do this occasionally just to verify that the scope is still zeroed for pesting. I layed the Urban down on the carpet on a pillow to fill it with my hand pump. I put a few drops of silicone oil in the fill probe once in a while, so I removed the probe from the hand pump and took it to my table to put some oil in it. While I was doing this, I heard the pump tip over. It landed on the moderator which was on the pillow. The hand pump is not heavy and it was a very light impact to the moderator when it tipped over.
    I filled the Urban and the first shot was 2″ off POA! I loosened the barrel band screw and light bumped the moderator with the palm of my hand each direction. The barrel band screw is located between the air tube and the barrel and just pinches the band to tighten it. It does not tighten again either the barrel or air tube. I left the screw loose and took a few shots. The POI was dead on again. I am surprised that such a slight bump to the barrel can cause a change in the POI, but it evidently does.
    Now, the question is…should that barrel band screw be tightened back up, or, should it be left loosened so that the barrel is free to move? It seems that with the screw tight, if the barrel is bumped ever so slightly, the band holds the barrel off location and does not allow it to spring back to center.
    Appreciate everyone’s input on this subject of barrel bands. For now, the screw has not been re-tightened.

    • Geo,

      Well, you could go either way. You know now what works and what does not (if bumped). I looked it up on the PA site and unless the moderator comes off,.. that band is there to stay. Having it able to move fore or aft could well affect POI too,… so consider that.

      Myself?,… if bumped,.. recheck, loosen if needed, re-tighten and recheck. Adjust scope a click or two if needed.

      Oh,.. one last thing,…… don’t bump it! πŸ˜‰


      • Chris,
        πŸ˜‰ yes, DON’T bump it! But sometimes sh… happens. You are correct in that the band cannot be removed unless the barrel is removed. I have seen videos where guys have cut them off. I won’t be doing that. I wondered if anyone else had experienced issues with barrel bands and what was done to mitigate them. Thanks for your reply.

    • Geo,

      First things first! What are barrel bands for? Are they for accuracy or precision? Got your answer decided? Go ahead and do that, before you read my opinion on the matter.

      So i was taught to believe barrel bands are for precision in hunting arms especially ones with really over length barrels. Think Kentucky Rifles. About six decades or more ago virtually every barrel was bedded and barrel bands were often seen in multiples on the rifle. Then came FREEFLOATING! It was a given that if a barrel was free-floated it would shoot the eyes off a gnat at 1,000 meters!

      So what do i think after these six decades? If a gun is going to have a chance of being bumped, laiddown, stood in the corner, packed, racked, slung, or inserted into a scabbard from the time you sight in to the point you shoot whatever you intend to shoot the barrel had better be well mounted! That could mean a WELL EXECUTED barrel band(s) system, a free-floated tube/shroud/forend or one really FAT barrel well fitted and locked to the receiver!
      Anything else and your rifle may prove accurate but not precise.


      • Shootski,
        This question is in regards to airgun barrel bands. My thoughts are that the band’s main purpose is to keep the barrel locked in it’s intended position. But, what I have experienced is that it does not accomplish that function. It appears like it would, but no, it does not. The band is made of plastic and even with the screw tightened, any little nudge moves the barrel and it sticks in that position. This has happened to me twice now, and I am very careful not to bump the barrel. It takes very little bumping to move the barrel and change the POI. Maybe on PBs the barrel bands are more substantial but on airguns, it appears to be more for esthetics than actual function. I have always thought that the Gauntlet barrel appeared very susceptible to damage with it’s long barrel unsupported. I think Umarex now has a barrel band on the .25 caliber? I have not read of any ill effects from the barrel not having a band though.
        So, I am still undecided as to whether to tighten the barrel band screw, or leave it so it can float. Thank you for your insights.

        • Geo,

          I had a post and deleted it. Thinking more,… leave it loose,… move it fore and aft (fully) while checking POI and see if anything changes. If not, leave it loose, lock the screw and be done. If moving the band changes POI,… I would lock it down and use it. (yes,.. they appear to be a bit lacking in function)


          • Thanks Chris, my thoughts too. The POI does not change when I bump the moderator with my palm and the barrel band still loose. I see no benefit to the band being tightened.

            • Geo
              I have done that on Marauders, Discovery’s and such.

              Heck the Gauntlet doesn’t have a barrel band and its very accurate. And I have bumped the barrel haven’t had any poi shift. One time was a pretty hard bump and it still shot to poi.

        • Geo,

          I don’t own a GAMO Urban. I did a GOOGLE search on: What is the purpose of a rifle barrel band and GAMO Urban Barrel Band. The first search resulted in some interesting reads and confirmation of much of my belief about barrel bands. The second search should be really valuable to you. In a nutshell cut that barrel band off unless you are going to use your GAMO urban as a ladder rung to allow soldiers to climb out of the trench to do a suicidal charge into the Huns machine guns crossfire! Maybe one other use is a place to attach a sling or a bayonet!

          If the GAMO barrel is loose in the receiver you need to work that issue first (i didn’t find any posts by modders who thought that was an issue)…barrel bands on sporting arms need to be a well designed system to work well.

          So want your gun to be accurate and precise Cut OFF the Band! Carry your riffle at Present Arms!


          • Shootski,
            I have read that some owners of the Urban felt that the barrel band was pulling down on the barrel, causing issues. They did cut the band off of their Urbans, saying that it resulted in better accuracy. I could do that too but I think just leaving the screw loose will have in the same result, and, I do like the look of the band. It kind of takes away the big pickle moderator on the end. πŸ˜‰ I will do the Google search too and see what comes up. Thank you.

          • Shootski,

            “If the GAMO barrel is loose in the receiver you need to work that issue first (i didn’t find any posts by modders who thought that was an issue)…barrel bands on sporting arms need to be a well designed system to work well.”

            I did mention that in a comment (that I decided to delete) before posting. The idea being,… if you have not bent the barrel,.. then the only thing left is barrel movement from within the breech end barrel mounting.

            Another thought is that,.. even if you have a barrel mounted so well that the barrel can’t move (and a barrel band is still employed), the barrel can still be held off of it’s relaxed position by the band twisting and holding the barrel there (until loosened).

            The band on the Maximus is a bit different (maybe more conventional?) in that there is set screws that bear on the tube and the barrel with no screws in the middle (yet still not effective in task). I have bumped the barrel in the past and found the POI to have shifted. This is usually “discovered” when I take a shot on a squirrel and miss. The same shot that dropped the previous 10, on the spot. Loosing the band, bumping things a bit, re-tightening and rechecking gets it good again.

            One last note,… I moved the Maximus band fore and aft over 4″,.. a 1/2″ at a time,.. as a possible “tune”. The groups did shift in POI and also group size. In the end, the band is moved 3″ aft from the factory positioning.

            So,… if band(s) are employed,.. what attributes entail a “good” system?


            • Chris USA,

              “So,… if band(s) are employed,.. what attributes entail a β€œgood” system?”

              I really hate to start this way but, It depends. If the air tube is going to change shape, like it does on most of my DAQs then the barrel band had better not touch the barrel. But surprise the system that Dennis uses is to have a barrel band system that actually uses its adjustability to point the bore. That is my biggest issue with his design. I just let it free-float since his barrels are plenty strong but his air tubes are stronger! I could bore out the actual part that surrounds the barrel and line it with felt or some other scratch preventing buffer material but haven’t found a need for it. I have read lots of folks complain about accuracy of his rifles; all had barrelbands. If you read B.B.s blogs on DAQs you will find his solution of learning to hold off on subsequent shots to regain accuracy/precision that the barrelband can rob a DAQ of. So a solid free-floated barrel shroud works or in PCP air rifles you could use an airtube shroud. Anything to keep the airtube from moving the barrel on subsequent shots is the key, in my opinion, barrelbands just don’t cut it.


    • Geo,

      With the screw left loose and you bump the barrel to the right does the point of impact change?

      If it does not I would just leave it loose and use some blue locktite to keep it from working itself out and getting lost.


      • Yes, I have bumped the moderator left and right with my palm with the band loose and the POI did not change. I agree with your suggestion, thanks for the reply to my question.

        • Geo,

          You are welcome, as Shootski said you could just remove it but like you said it looks better with it on. On my Fortitude the band is secure to the air tube but the barrel floats thru the band without supplying any support so I could remove it but I feel it provides a “seat belt” against bumping the barrel. Leaving you band on but loose would also give protection against bumps.

          My only other thought is so far you have only shot the Urban with the band tight, with it loose it could change the point of impact at longer ranges, I suggest you test that out at 30 yards to be sure it is still accurate, barrel harmonics. I hope you find it still works great.


          • Mike,
            Thank you again. I think I am going to leave it loose for a while. It’s getting colder here in Michigan and the leaves are a comin down. It usually takes me several leaf pickups to clean them up. So, I am going to be busy with that for the near future. I won’t be able to test at 30 yards for a while but that’s okay, I think it will be fine. If not, I will comment here regarding that issue. Stay well. πŸ™‚

  11. Gunfun1,

    I have been doing a little more testing for a 100 psi 22 caliber pellet gun using a Maximus barrel. I think you were onto something with your venturi idea. I remember back in the 60’s the 2 cycle dirt bikes had a tuned exhaust that actually reduced the back pressure when the exhaust valve was open. Especially with low pressure air, the shape of the transfer connection between the 100 psi air reservoir to the barrel is critical.

    At first I thought maybe the mass of the low pressure air moving towards the barrel could be used to give the air in the transfer tube a push. All of the air is starting at zero velocity so I think any momentum effect will be minor.

    The venturi effect though; I think will be critical. I think a small reservoir with enough storage for one shot will allow a small diameter tether to the gun. Then getting the air in the reservoir into the barrel is the only thing that can be controlled. A venturi shape from the reservoir to the valve to reduce any turbulence losses will give the highest energy to the pellet. Starting with only 100 psi means that minimizing any energy loses will be critical to maximize the kinetic energy of the pellet.

    The shape of the transition from the reservoir to the barrel is going to be critical. The valve needs to be between the reservoir and the barrel because there is not enough time for the valve to be anywhere else. Using a 400 fps muzzle velocity and linear acceleration (I know its not) of the pellet I calculated a barrel time of 0.026 seconds. So the valve needs to go from closed to fully open in a fraction of the 0.026 seconds to be efficient. Also the air path from the reservoir through the valve to the barrel needs to be as straight, smooth and short as possible.

    So far I am thinking the achievable velocity is mostly controlled by how fast the valve can be opened. The pellet is only in the barrel for a very short part of a second.


      • GF1,

        I haven’t figured out the valve system yet, still testing. My best one so far used a flare fitting that made a smooth transition. Not really a venturi though. I think the valve should seal the end of the reservoir around the outside of the venturi the goes inline directly to the barrel.


        • Don
          Can you show a picture of your 100 psi gun again? I forget exactly what you have now. I would like to see it again. And can you point out where you are going to place the venturi when you get it figured out.

          • I did not drain the water at my cabin last time I was up there. I just saw that it got down to 6 degrees F last night so I am heading up there to drain the water an fix any leaks.

            I will provide a picture and a drawing when I get back.

            • Benji-Don,

              Know the feeling about “…fix any leaks.”. Hope you don’t have any!
              The Ski Shed is in a spot that can go below freezing in any month of the year and often goes below zero In all but July and August so i have drains everywhere and just drain anytime we leave for even “just a Day!”. We are stuck, COVID19, back East so the draining was done last March on our last stay. (My son stoped by a few hours ago and checked it for us and all was well with 9 inches on the ground…dang this is going to be a miserable Winter if we don’t get to ski in!)
              The Swedish Composting system got rid of the flush, septic, and sink waste problem. It had battery powered Methane stack igniters and turnover screw which I converted to Solar with Lipo battery backup.


              • Shootski,

                I finally got around to hooking up my Wi-Fi at the cabin. It is very slow but works. As long as we are here and keep the stove going we can handle -20 Β°F. When there is no snow for insulation once the pipe from the spring box froze. All good here. I have one fitting with a very slow leak I need to solder today. Spent yesterday replacing the thermocouple on the hot water heater. No hot water first day here. Hitting ready to take a hot shower, yippee.


    • Benji-Don,

      If you can delay (say with a slight barrel throat restriction) the pellet starting down the barrel by just a tiny fraction of the total barrel time it should allow more pressure at the beginning of the barrel pressure curve. Also the elimination of as much volume between the base of the pellet and the valve orifice will do much the same to increase pellet start pressures. If your flow is high enough you will have a higher pressure at muzzle exit. Does what I just wrote make any sense to you?


      • Shootski,

        It is all above me,… but I too wondered if Don was going down the “reinventing the wheel” road. Looking forwards to anything that is forthcoming. I do love me some innovation.


      • I think I have a way to do it without restricting the leade. I have had poor concistancy with tight leads in low pressure airguns and need deep seated pellets for accuracy.

        I am reinventing the wheel but as long as I don’t know it, I am having fun.

        More update next week.


        • Benji-Don,

          I look forward to reading about your adventure in LOW Pressure.

          Hope by now you have had that HOT Shower! This was supposed to be the year that i built the stone Icehouse at the skished but it will just continue to be a pile of stones next to the current timber Icehouse. The plan is to eventually have solar powered heat pumps use the ideep well and ce to heat and cool the skished 24/7/365. Lots of fun upgrade work for the future!


  12. BB

    The barrel band and bumping comments remind me of some earlier reports that warned against leaning air rifles against anything. If this is significant maybe you or someone will chime in.


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