Grandpa guns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Things to consider first
  • Red Ryder
  • Start with open sights
  • Fun!
  • Other grandpa airguns
  • Crosman 760
  • Daisy 880
  • Daisy 35
  • Lawyer triggers
  • Breakbarrels
  • BB — what about CO2? What about a repeater?
  • Over to you

Today’s report will be near and dear to many of you. What airguns does a grandpa need, so when the grandkids come over he has something fun to do with them?

When I was a boy, both my grandfathers were so much older that they didn’t really play with me at all — at least not that I remember. But watching guys these days, I see a big difference. Grandpas are fun guys! Well, airguns are fun and every kid wants to shoot — the girls just as much as the boys. So, what airguns can grandpa have that will be fun for the grands when they come bye?

Things to consider first

Long guns are the best way to begin. They are safer because grandpa can watch the muzzle easier and stop the kids from making dangerous mistakes. 

Some kids want to keep their fingers on the trigger all the time. Grandpa has to discourage this by taking the gun from them and explaining how dangerous it is. Each kid is different and grandpa should know how far to trust each one.

Single shot rifles are the best way to start a kid. That way you can coax the “spray and pray” mentality out of them before it becomes ingrained. Video games often do just the opposite, rewarding the fast trigger finger, so you have to battle that. If the kids will listen to you, get them started talking about making good shots.

When I trained junior marksmen the key was to get the kids to focus on hitting the exact center of the bull, rather than just pulling the trigger and hoping the shot was somewhere in the black. Each kid is different and you have to learn right away whether they are listening to you or not. In marksmanship training we used to not let them touch the gun until they could explain a good sight picture and respond to basic safety commands such as “cease fire.”

Grandpa shouldn’t be a safety Nazi, but he should insist on safe gun-handling practices before allowing the shooting to continue. This is an important responsibility — especially when one or both parents are impulsive and careless. Do it right and the kids will soon be correcting the adults.

Red Ryder

If I don’t put the Red Ryder down I’ll hear from you readers. Yes it is a good gun to use with grandkids, but being a BB gun you need to take some extra safety precautions. A BB gun in this class is shot at very close range and those BBs have a way of bouncing back and hitting the shooter. So — eye protection for everyone in the vicinity.

The good thing about the Red Ryder is it’s lightweight and relatively easy to cock. It’s a repeater, so the little guys and gals won’t get frustrated too soon. Shoot at targets that react for the greatest enjoyment. Balloons are a lot of fun, and the common tin can is the number one target of choice, with the feral aluminum soda can being the current high-tech favorite. Plastic army men are another good choice to sharpen the eye!

I said it’s relatively easy to cock, because for a small kid cocking a Red Ryder can be a challenge. This is where Grandpa steps in and shows the youngster the right way and the safe way to cock the gun. It is also self-limiting. The youngster will tire more quickly if he or she does the work, which is as it should be.

Start with open sights

Unless the child has a serious vision problem that precludes it, start them with open sights. Don’t graduate to a scope until they are proficient with opens.

I will put in a plug for the Daisy 499B here. It is a wonderful training tool that teaches the use of non-optical sights and may bring out a young William Tell or Annie Oakley.

499 sight picture
The Daisy 499 is a natural to teach a proper sight picture.

499 target
Yes, there are 10 shots in this 5-meter target. When youngsters apply themselves they can learn to do this offhand with a 499B in a few years.

Fun!

Okay, BB got away from today’s topic just a little. This is supposed to be about fun — not work! Sorry, but I have seen too many kids who had the potential to become great shooters after just a few hours of instruction! But we’re interested in grandpa-fun today.

Other grandpa airguns

I’m not listing these in any order of preference. But I will mention the benefits of each gun as we go.

Crosman 760

Crosman 760https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Crosman_760_Pumpmaster/339

Crosman 760 Pumpmaster.

The Crosman 760 is a single-shot multi-pump gun that shoots either pellets or BBs. When it shoots BBs it is a repeater. For pellets it’s a single-shot.

This airgun is a smoothbore, so the accuracy isn’t going to be good at long range. I did get one good group of H&N Finale Match Light pellets, but I’m betting grandpa isn’t going to spring for pellets that cost $17 a tin. I did find the 760 accurate with RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets, as well, but the price is the same. It did okay with Hobbys, too, so either start with them or with Crosman wadcutters.

The 760 also did its best with H&N Smart Shot lead BBs at 5 meters. That’s a blessing because Smart Shot BBs are lead and don’t bounce back like steel BBs.

The 760 is reasonably lightweight and it also pumps fairly easy, so it’s a great airgun for older kids. It’s not for the youngest ones, but when they start growing, this is one to consider.

Daisy 880

Okay, we have now heard from Pepsi — what about Coke? Daisy’s 880 is another fine gun for grandpa. It too shoots both BBs and pellets. With BBs it’s a repeater and with pellets, a single shot. I did even better at 10 meters with the 880, shooting Hobbys and some obsolete Daisy Superior Match Grade wadcutters. And the 880 is rifled!

Daisy 880
Daisy’s 880 has a rifled barrel!

I did test the 880 with BBs, and Daisy also sent the target they shot that showed 5 Daisy BBs in 0.65-inches at 5 meters. It’s no 499 but it’s pretty good! I put ten Daisy BBs into 0.624-inches at 5 meters. So, grandpa, the 880 is a great little gun for the kids.

Unlike the Crosman 760, the 880 has a rifled barrel. That’s why it’s a little more accurate 10 meters. It’s also lightweight and easy to pump. There are several related air rifles when you search on the 880. Many are kits that have additional items besides just the rifle. These kits come and go too fast for me to address, but at their heart is the 880 rifle.

Daisy 35

Daisy’s model 35 is another good grandpa gun. It’s a multi-pump that shoots both BBs and pellets. So, how does it differ from the 880. Well, the pump handle is a short stroke instead of the 880’s longer stroke. In other words, it’s more like the Crosman 760. It’s also a smoothbore that shoots both BBs (as a repeater) and pellets (as a single shot.

Daisy 35
Daisy 35.

The 35 I tested back in 2012 and ’13 did not-so-good with BBs and very good with pellets. I liked it so much that I ordered another one for another test in the near future.

Like all the airguns we’ve seen so far the Daisy 35 is lightweight and easy to pump. But is does have one drawback that all the other airguns I’ve mentioned share.

Lawyer triggers

For some reason airgun manufacturers cannot put out a youth airgun with a decent trigger. I think the reason is simple. These guns all compete on price. They sell them in the big discount stores where most people shop by price and not features. All these airguns have variations of direct sear triggers. Putting a killer trigger on a $35 air rifle would add $5 to the price and make 300 sales to informed customers, while loosing 30,000 sales to moms and dads who only look at the price tag. So the lawyers have their day and I have to agree with that logic. Unless there is a caring grandpa or grandma who is willing to spend the time to train little Bobby and Susie on the right steps of gun handling, give them their lawyer triggers!

Breakbarrels

Now let’s take a big step up to the next level of kids airguns. I’ll start with the Ruger Explorer. Many of you can tell that it is a less-expensive version of the Umarex Embark. Both are breakbarrel spring-piston air rifles that are reasonably lightweight and cock easily. They are well-suited to children that are old enough to hold them offhand and cock them while standing up. I’m not giving ages now because boys and girls develop at their own rates over time. I wrote a 5-part report on the Embark and got superior accuracy from it at 10 meters. I’m guessing the Ruger can do just as good. Gramps — this one will make you a hero!

The Ruger Explorer
The Ruger Explorer.

BB — what about CO2? What about a repeater?

Well, sure. Repeaters can be great fun and CO2 is an inexpensive way to get one. My pick in this category is the Crosman 1077. And, I see that Crosman has brought back something that we have been asking for for years — the 1077W with a wood stock!

Now, you can get a regular 1077 for $40 less than the one with the wood stock. You’ll still be a hero if you do. But the wood one is the one you personally will be proud to own.

Crosman 1077 walnut
The 1077 wood!

All right you tire-kickers! Off the couch and get online to buy that rifle you all said you wished Crosman would bring back. Because — here it is — the 1077 with a wood stock! Grandpa — what beautiful airguns you have!

There is one drawback for a 1077. It’s certainly light enough for anyone, but that trigger that operates both the clip advancement and the hammer cocking has a pull that’s too heavy for the little ones. After it breaks in with a few hundred shots it does become smoother and easier to pull, but at first the trigger pull is an obstacle for younger kids.

Over to you

Okay, Gramps, now you have your say. You know what works and what doesn’t. Tell the world!

78 thoughts on “Grandpa guns

  1. B.B.,

    For the older kids an SAM would be a nice carrot to graduate to!

    Siraniko

    PS Section Lawyer triggers 1st paragraph 2nd sentence: “I thing (think) the reason is simple.”


  2. BB
    You brought up alot of guns that I grew up on as well as my daughters. My grandson will be in line next for sure. He is only a month over a year old so still has a bit of time yet before we get there.

    Me as well as both of my daughters started on a 760 and they then shot some 1377’s that I put a 1399 stock and steel breech and disco barrel on. Then graduated to a 1077. And I even have a walnut stock 1077w.

    We even have 2 Daisy 74’s which are real fun. One 12 gram Co2 cartridges will do up to like 150 shots or more. And its a good gun to teach them how to transfer bb’s from the resivour to the spring loaded mag. 15 shots of semi auto fun.

    Now they can’t wait to shoot the full auto Air Ordinance SMG when we get together. My oldest daughter was over with her husband and my grandson Saturday. Grandma watched him while me and her and her husband shot the SAM. My daughter was rolling a can with the scope at 35 yards standing unsupported. And she only weighs like a 115 pounds. Her and her husband were both surprised how easy it was to shoot. And neither one said anything about how much it weighed. But her husband did say hmm its accurate and shoots strong.

    I started out shooting when I was 6 years old as well as my daughters. So the grandson will be shooting then too.

    And maybe the Bug A Salt could be a good trainer for kids to learn to shoot a shot gun. Why not?


  3. BB-

    In addition to the Red Ryder I would add the Daisy Buck as a companion piece. It is shorter and a little lighter for the smaller stature kids. Every bit as accurate as the RR.

    Getting and keeping kids’ interest in the shooting sports is always a moving target, no pun intended. While us old farts can go on and on about features, performance, pluses and minuses, ad nauseum, we need to remember to keep it fresh for the kids. In addition to making sure they get the chance to put plenty of ( well aimed) shots on target, they usually enjoy the challenge of trying new things. Varying the types of targets helps greatly. Varying the guns they get to shoot completes the picture.

    Here is where the replica guns have a place. They provide a sense of realism, without the attendant noise, expense and recoil of the firearm version. More importantly, they can be a springboard for discussion. When I bring out the CO2 Winchester M14, I also bring out an M1A firearm. They get to compare the weight, sights etc. Shooting the firearm is reserved for ‘someday’ but it really gets their attention and we get some good discussion going.


  4. BB,

    Good article. I would say the 499 is half as easy to cock as a Red Ryder,…. so while more expensive and 10x more accurate,… it may suit a weaker kid well.

    Looking forwards to the comments today. Should be some good ones.

    Chris


  5. BB,

    I started my grandson with a Daisy Buck. Now he is shooting an HW30S. He is supposed to do a sleep over next weekend, so this weekend I will likely put an old FWB rear aperture on it. I will likely have to upgrade the front sight soon.

    Now that I have a decent shooting bench, I will likely let him start shooting his Daddy’s Diana 46E some.



    • Mom and dad were safety Nazis – they reluctantly allowed a young FM to have a Red Ryder “because all my friends have one!” However, BBs were verboten! The barrel cap was removed and the rifle relegated to being a pretend “Winchester” to play Cowboys or Cavalry vs The Indians in those PC-innocent times. I recall putting some drops of 3-In-1 oil down the barrel to generate fake gunsmoke. Back then, late ’50s, there were companies that made some very realistic-looking toy military weapons. FM played WWII with a toy bolt-action Springfield made by MACO Toys, which fired blue plastic bullets. That was my first “sproinger.” One of my friends had a cap-firing BAR which was very impressive. Of course, that is way too much fun for today’s PC Granny types, therefore, such play IST VERBOTEN! Plus, you can shoot your eye out… 😉

      This was a very enjoyable and informative read, B.B.


  6. B.B.

    My father’s favorite cousin lived right by a river. We; my father, brother, cousin, and myself, would throw a glass bottle up stream and run to his upstair study and try and hit it with his old BSA breakbarrel. This must have been made in the 1950’s. My brother and I were 6 and 8 respectively. If you hit it you could hear the “clink”. If you missed you saw the splash. It took about 10 minutes for the bottle to float out of range downstream.
    I remember thinking that the “motorcycle gun” was cool……It really was!

    -Yogi



    • Yogi
      We would throw a branch in the creek up stream and try to hit it when it floated buy when we was kids. When my daughters graduated to the 1077 they had a blast doing that. Cut up 2×4’s work nice too. I had forgot all about that. Fun stuff.


      • Gunfun1,

        Shootski is NOT some tree hugger but instead a TRUE Conservative.
        As a regular kayaker and open water swimmer I endorse your use of the floating branch over Yogi’s Relative floating bottles (glass or plastic) as targets :^)

        There is way too much stuff in our rivers, lakes and oceans already!

        shootski


        • Shootski
          I keep trying to think of a way to respond to your reply. But something comes to mind.

          Back then was different and probably why things are more polluted now days.

          We use to find glass piles of different color bottles back when we was kids when my dad moved into the city but we still owned the farm for a while. There was a little patch of woods we called heaven when we was still young by the house in the city. We still went to the farm but not as often. So it’s what we had at that time.

          The farm got sold when I was in my late teens. And that was a spot I will always remember too. But my younger brother was still in grade school and they had a glass drive. We brought wheel barrows filled glass out of the woods and loaded it in my pops truck. We took it to the school and my brothers class won a field trip to Six Flags for bringing in the most glass.

          Probably one thing I done right in my life. 🙂


          • GF1,
            You are totally correct in saying things were different back then. For me, that was back in the 50s. I can remember my friend and I walking along the railroad tracks finding empty wine bottles. We would stand them up on the rails and throw rocks at them until we broke them. Sure were a lot of empty wine bottles along those tracks. There were onion and potato storage buildings across the road from where I lived and my friend and I would often take our BB guns over into those buildings and shoot sparrows. There were hundreds of them in there so we never lacked for targets.
            Now regarding polluting the ground, my dad owned an auto repair shop while I was growing up. I can remember him using the wench on the tow truck (we called it a wrecker) to pick up a barrel filled with drain oil. It must have held 30 or more gallons of drain oil. He would wrap the cable around the barrel to pick it up and then drive down the road a short ways and empty the drain oil into the ditch. Thinking back, we sure did a lot of polluting back then..and we never even give it any consideration. If you were caught doing that today you would be fined, or jailed.
            Geo


            • Geo791,

              Probably, but in 1950 the USA had only 145 million people and way more of them were living and working on farms or small towns. Right now the USA has 350+ million and almost none live on farms and quite a few small towns have next to no population. Most of the USA is stacked in big metro areas on our four coastal areas or along the Interstate Highways especially at crossings.
              It is amazing how the light patterns have changed on Night High Angle Aerial/Satellite Imagery.
              It will be interesting to see if the COVID-19 out-migration from the Urban Piles will continue or reverse after the Pandemic has run its course or we beat it with Herd Immunity?

              shootski


            • Geo
              For sure different times back then. Had fun no doubt. Kind of a shame the way things are now days.

              I remember we would go into town and park the car and go into the hardware store and not lock the doors on the car and would even leave the keys in the ignition sometimes. No body would bother anything. Imagine what would happen if you did that now days.


  7. BB

    After my getting a Bronco I ordered another for a grandson. Later I gave mine to granddaughters. Accurate, easy to cock and nice triggers. Peep sight was a step up from open but they already had experienced open sights with my Crosman multi pumps.

    Deck


  8. My introduction to air rifles was a little bit more bloody.I grew up through fourth grade in a farm house that we rented from my uncle. He raised hogs and fed them corn so we had an infestation of English sparrows. My dad would shoot them out of the trees with his 22-he was a good shot. I wanted to help out but needless to say a Ryder style BB gun just didn’t do it so I’ve had a prejudiced against air rifles that they weren’t accurate until I rediscovered them in my mid-50s. The Diana 25 that I found in a pawn shop would’ve been perfect for me if they’ve been available to a rural kid back then. So that’s why I don’t think you should mess around with BB guns for very long if a young child is showing interest in shooting. Get them a pellet gun that will shoot accurately like the Daisy 880 or Ruger Explorer.

    Brent


    • Brent
      I think we talked before. My dad and his buddy raised hogs among other things and same. They was corn fed. And yep festation with sparrows. Also mice. So I started out with a 760 then progressed as I got older.

      I remember when I got my semi auto Winchester 190 .22 rimfire rifle for Christmas. I saved up my allowance once and got some bird shot shells. Needless to say I learned real quick what they shot like. After that it was bullets in my Winchester and pellets for my air guns. And yep it made me rerelize why I liked my single shot .410 shot gun so much back then. Anybody a good shot with a .410 nowdays? Or any shot gun for that fact.

      Maybe my dad had a plan and I didn’t know it. 🙂


      • Gunfun,

        410 shells are more expensive than 12 gauge shells nowadays 🙂

        I ended up with the first two screws on my Diana 54 in about the same position as your photo. I have short fingers so I need a long first stage so I can have my fingertip on the trigger.

        Brent


      • GF1,
        Yeah, my first shotgun was a .410 single shot. I never had much luck hitting with it, and never really understood the reason. When I was about 12 or 13, I trading my electric train set along with a bunch of my old toys for a used Remington 11-48 20 gauge shotgun. The store where I traded had a lot of used items for sale. Once I had the Remington 20 gauge, I was much more successful in putting meat on the table. I often would miss with the first shot because I would shoot too fast. But, I most always connected on the second shot and hardly ever used the third shot. It was a 3-shot automatic. Later, I came to love a 12 gauge double barrel as my favorite hunting shotgun. It was short, light, and still had that second shot which I often needed. I still have that old 12 gauge double in my gun cabinet but I haven’t shot any of my powder burners in over 30 years. Now that I have re-discovered airguns, I probably never will shoot them again.
        Geo


    • Brent,
      You know, back when I was a kid I don’t think we even thought about accuracy. We just shot our BB guns at sparrows and tin cans and knew that we missed a lot of times. Never remember shooting paper to determine if the gun was accurate, or even sighted in correctly. Maybe that’s why we missed so often. LOL We just learned that we had to be pretty close to the target to hit it.
      Geo


  9. Great morning from beautiful California,

    I took apart my Diana 23 just because I never had since I bought it a few years back. The spring and seals are ok and do not need to be replaced. However, I have a spring from a Diana 5 pistol that I never used. The spring is one inch longer and the coils are much thicker but does fit the compression tube of the 23. The fit around the spring guide is looser than with the original model 23 spring. I am thinking that I might gain some power by exchanging the springs. Is my thinking correct? Will exchanging the springs work or will I harm something in the rifle? Will the thicker longer spring slam the piston with un needed force and deform the compression tube? Will the trigger pull become heavier? How about when cocking the gun?

    Not a grandma yet; not even a mom. But if I were a grandma, I would use my Diana 22 and 23 to teach the grand kids. To my grandpa’s dismay, my father is a bookworm. Lucky for me( a tomboy )since I inherited all of my grandpa’s (and grandma’s toys). Miss them both. Every spring I plant Marigolds to remind me of grandma.


    • Alex2no,

      Stronger springs usually don’t increase power very much, or at all. If the original spring fits the spring guide best, that’s the one I would use.

      Check your breech seal. That’s where a lot of power escapes.

      And, welcome to the blog!

      BB


  10. My daughter grew up shooting an IZH 60. Good starter airgun. She graduated quickly to a CZ/AA S200 that I chopped the stock on so it would fit. Later I added a magazine to that gun. Boris at topgun sold me a nice full size stock so I didn’t have to space/rebuild the original stock that I chopped. That S200 grew with her and she loved it.


  11. BB

    Excellent blog (as always)! Being immersed in their electronics, kids these days can be difficult to interact with, guns and shooting seems to be one of the things that can pull them away from their screens. Good that you remind us of that.

    Like many of us (more senior) readers my “things that shoot” career started with a slingshot, followed with a bow and arrow before graduating to a pellet gun and later rimfire, shotgun and centerfire powder burners. My children and granddaughter went through the same learning sequence. Being in my second childhood it is only recently that I have rediscovered airguns, home made slingshots and bows, wonder what took me so long 🙂

    I think that shooting slingshots and bows lays a good foundation (stance, hold, aiming/sight picture, follow through) for shooting guns and may be more suitable with younger children. Shooting “muscle powered” weapons helps develop a sense and feel for the energy and directing it.

    Another thing about slingshots and bows is that they are projects that the child can participate in making their own which is another way they can spend time with Grandpa. A walk in the woods looking for the perfect slingshot fork is a pleasant way to spend a morning and do a bit of bonding across generations.

    Airguns are great but if they are not an option right now maybe more “primitive” options are. The bow in the picture took half an hour to make and the slingshot is one my son made in his early teens. Both are low power (about 5 pounds draw weight) and have seen hundreds of hours of use.

    Just something else to try.

    Cheers,
    Hank


    • At the age of 8, I was playing in the backyard with my doll. My older brother grabbed my doll and tore her head off. He started running. I picked up a stone, swang it like a baseball and hit him in the head. He went crying to father. I was grounded for two weeks . Grandpa said I was a natural and started to teach me how to shoot. My favorite gun, a Daisy 99.


    • Hank,
      I remember as a kid that my friend and I made sling shots. We used an appropriate tree crotch like the one in your picture. We would cut up strips of old inner tube for the bands. We didn’t know anything about using surgical tubing or anything like that. We did learn that the older inner tubes that were reddish color had more elasticity and worked better. We got where we were pretty accurate with those things. Shot many empty wine bottles along the railroad tracks. This was back in the 1950s.
      Geo



  12. B B,
    A very nice read. Introducing a youngster to shooting is surely a vital event in life. The rifles featured look ideal for the purpose but I think those Daisys and Crosmans are quite hard to find in the UK.
    I have a plan for my own daughter when the time comes which starts with a Haenel Model 20 then moves through Dianas 23, 25, 27, 35, 45. Hopefully, she will develop an interest!

    Regards,
    Drew


  13. B.B.,

    Opa shootski is blessed that son, daughter-in-law, and daughter are all accomplished shooters and I suspect any son-in-law will need to be (or become) a shooter; Opa therefore needs to stand in line to teach current grandsons how to shoot, even Oma is also a shooter and might bump me off of the firing line to shoot with them! That will no doubt also be the case for any future grands I’m blessed to play with. I was lucky just to be able to hook my grandsons on kayaking with the double before my daughter-in-law was able to get them on her SUP!
    So I will be letting them shoot any of my airguns that they are ready for as far as fit and strength. They are already shooting 10 meter prone. Prone Position is great for new young shooters to start learning since, as you know, it is the most stable, safer, and takes the least amount of physical strength. Both of those Prone Position benefits will really bump up the learning curve and success rate for any new shooter but especially youngsters.

    shootski


  14. There is a new entry level kid gun that hopefully pyramyd has soon. The barra 1866 junior. It is a lot smaller than the 1866 regular, and is single pump pneumatic. There is also an 1866 junior named ‘rosie’ which says for cowboys and cowgirls, I’ve bought that one and it is not rose red or pink or labeled for girls at all, it is plastic receiver that looks like fresh virgin copper like a polished new piece of pipe, I guess it’s called rose gold,, but I bought it because it looks like copper. I think all looks great for this to be good for kids also. They also note on the box that safety comes on every time cocked, and it isn’t a hard to release safety, you pull hammer back to be on ‘fire’. Not trying to sell anything, I just know this is a new gun that caught me by surprise as much as the original 1866 as far as nice looking.


    • Jim R,

      I have the 1866 too. I was impressed with the quality as well. I have not shot it much but from what I did, it has plenty of power. A bit tricky to load pellets though. Overall, I like it.

      Chris


  15. B.B.,
    Quite unsurprisingly, this was another great report. For starting new young shooters on a long gun, the 1322 with the Crosman shoulder stock (cut down) and the peep sight worked out very well.
    For a pistol (they all wanted to try a pistol), both boys and girls, all liked the Colt NRA Peacemaker (7.5″ barrel) by Umarex from PA. They actually enjoyed the slow process of having to load the pellets into the shells, and then the shells into the gun; they also liked the history behind the gun; and despite the vintage-era sights, the gun is very accurate, and they all shot it well. A couple of them also shot well with my Crosman 1322 pistol with the 12″ barrel, but the Peacemaker, much to my pleasant surprise, was the pistol of choice for all the young shooters. =>
    Take care & God bless,
    dave



  16. B.B.,
    Useful post. I have a wood-stock 1077, and it’s a very pleasing rifle. Well worth the extra $40. I don’t think the “W” means “walnut”, though, just “wood”. Nice dark stain that looks sort of like walnut.
    Question about the bad triggers: Why do you call them “lawyer triggers”?
    As you describe the situation, the reason for the bad triggers is that making a reasonably good trigger would add an extra $5 to the selling price, and the marketing guys compute that that would cost sales. Shouldn’t this be a “marketing department trigger”?
    There is such a thing as a lawyer trigger, and that’s a trigger that’s set extra heavy because the lawyers compute that a lighter trigger might expose the company to liability lawsuits.
    For kid’s guns especially, I would expect to find both lawyer triggers and marketing department triggers. Given your knowledge of the industry, for these guns, are both factors playing, or only one?
    Guy


  17. I had a 1077W but I swapped the stock with my Benjamin Wildfire since it doesn’t come with a wood option.
    They swap nicely with the only mod that needs to be done is drilling the gauge hole, the barrel spacers have to be swapped with the stock but then it looks like it came from the factory that way. Of course the 1077W donor then has and unneeded gauge hole.

    I am a 64 year old grandpa and have 14 grandkids, 5 great-grandkids and 3 more greats on the way. I get them to shoot whenever I can but they are spread out in three different states so it’s not easy to get much opportunity with most of them.


  18. B.B.,

    I know this blog installment hasn’t seen too much activity lately, but I’m rereading it now because of a link to it in an automated P.A. e-mail.

    After giving it some thought I’ve concluded the best grandpa air rifle, if the grandkids are pre-teens through young adult, is the Air Venturi Bronco. I still have mine from the very first batch with the distinctive maple wood (which today has mellowed just slightly to a light golden hue), and I’ll never part with it. It is well-made with wood and steel, quite accurate, very easy to shoot, and perfectly sized.

    For my money it was an instant classic.

    Michael


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