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It’s always something

This report covers:

  • BB gets a holiday
  • What do I mean?
  • 1906
  • Deja Vu all over again
  • Gamo
  • Light speed
  • The deal
  • Back to motorcycles
  • BSF?
  • What I’m saying
  • How fast?
  • Summary

Yes, that is a quote from Roseanne Rosannadanna, the character portrayed so well by Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live. What it means is, there will always be an agenda behind any product made by man. Today I’d like to explore that with you a little. Oh, and one more thing.

BB gets a holiday

This coming Monday, the day after July 4, the American Independence Day, BB Pelletier will take off. There won’t be a blog published. I will schedule one for Tuesday, so on Monday BB gets to sleep in as late as his kitty, Dale Evans, will permit. Might even make it to 6 a.m.! Okay, back to business.

What do I mean?

what do I mean?

Many of you know that I recently bought a Harley Davidson Sportster. I chose it not because they handle great. No Harley made (except for purpose-built racers) handles that well. They are heavy and ponderous to maneuver, plus the Sportster 1200 I bought has a stage one tune and is way too fast for BB Pelletier. I chose it because Harley is still going strong after 118 years in business. I owned a 1948 panhead and a 1946 knucklehead and, believe me, Harley had no business staying in business after building those two motorcycles! Not with Triumphs and BMWs on the road!

Intrigued, I read Harley’s history, and it seems they even have control over how that is portrayed in print — as in heavily edited! At this point a man in the crowd pushes the tip of his nose sideways and his compatriots all get the message.

Well, I don’t like to be lied to (I never watch the news for that reason), so I read the history of Indian. They came out two years before Harley and, in the beginning, they were by far the better company. But they went out of business in 1953 (and also remained in business under the Indian name with myriads of other owners until this very day). But the REAL Indian company died in 1953. Why? Mismanagement. She’s not just a pretty face with a business degree.

1906

In 1906 Indian was chasing the world speed record for a motorcycle — 60 m.p.h. Imagine going a full mile in just 60 seconds! By the way, for nearly everyone else on the planet, a mile is 1.61 kilometers.

Indian’s chief engineer, Oscar Hedstrom, coaxed his 213 cc single all the way up to 57 m.p.h. on the hard-packed coastal sand of Ormond Beach, Florida. But in 1907 the four horsepower 633 cc Indian Twin was perfected and the mile-a-minute “barrier” was broken.

So guess what the next “barrier” was? That’s right, 100 m.p.h.

Deja Vu all over again

Hey, this sounds familiar. Didn’t airguns live through the velocity wars in the early 1970s and wasn’t the airgunning world stunned when the Feinwerkbau 124 exceeded the 800 f.p.s. barrier around 1971? It wasn’t long before there were three others who did it — two for real and one pretender. The Diana 45 and the BSF S55 both broke through 800 f.p.s. and Weihrauch claimed that with a “supertune” and when you held your tongue just right their HW 35 could also do it — almost.

Fast-forward to 1981 and Robert Beeman set the world on its ear when he announced the Beeman R1 that went 940 f.p.s. in .177. And, in another 12 months, that was up to 1,000 f.p.s. A year later 1,100 f.p.s, was possible with a Lazatune. Remember those?

Then in 1986/87 Diana came out with their 48 and 52 that really did get an honest-to-goodness 1,100 f.p.s No shenanigans were required.

Shop SIG Sauer Airguns

Gamo

And then came Gamo. They had shed their El Gamo moniker a few years before, the Casas family had moved on and they were now claiming their rifles produced 1,600 f.p.s. I have tested dozens of Gamos with that claim and though I have found some that made it into the 1,500 f.p.s. region, I never saw one do 1,600 f.p.s. But it looks real good on a box.

Light speed

So I’m working at AirForce Airguns many years ago and a technical call comes through for me. The guy is shooting his Condor tethered to a helium tank. He claims 1,700 f.p.s. Yeah, and I bet he talks with a funny high-pitched voice, too! Who wants to shoot a science experiment?

Guys, neutrinos from our sun have nearly zero mass and can travel at almost the speed of light. Some go even faster than light. We just need to make a gun that will shoot them. What is the deal?

The deal

The deal is — speed sells. And I’m not talking about drugs, though I might as well be.

Why do you own an airgun?

Do you like to shoot or are you just interested in bragging? People who like to shoot like to know when they hit their intended target. People who brag like watching chronograph screens and rounding up the numbers — sometimes by an order of magnitude.

The velocity wars got too silly in the late ’90s and the only people who listen to them anymore are 13 year-old boys and marketeers.

Back to motorcycles

Why did Indian go out of business? Were their bikes not good? Not at all! In fact, their Scout 101 was considered the best motorcycle of its time! And it was the original 1920’s Scout that New Zealander Bert Munro got up to more than 200 m.p.h. (an unofficial qualifying speed) at Bonneville. The Indian 4 cylinder was a smooth and powerful police ride and for years Indians dominated the hillclimbing and flat track circuit.

What killed Indian was their board of directors that made life hard for founders George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom. The board wanted more profits at any cost and that cost was the resignations of both men. After that (1913-1914) the company struggled on, doing well technically and giving up-and-coming Harley Davidson a run for their money, but their Mamon-centric decisions eventually took the life away.

Harley-Davidson also struggled for a decade with outside ownership that almost cost them their company in the 1970s, but several enthusiasts pooled their resources and bought it back. What they went through to get where they are today was not pretty, but they are back on their feet and building solid machines. They have figured out who their customers are and they now play to them, exclusively.

BSF?

Let’s see — has there ever been an airgun equivalent to this story? What about Bayerische Sportwaffen Fabrik who we know as BSF? I don’t know any of the inside particulars, but I do know that the company that bought them is still in the hands of a Weihrauch.

What I’m saying

I’m not saying that a company has to be family-owned to succeed. But I believe a successful company does have to be managed by enthusiasts. The minute that changes, out comes the old spreadsheet and management by the numbers begins.

How fast?

So — how fast do motorcycles need to go? Let’s see — the Suzuki Hayabusa goes 198.76 m.p.h, according to the manufacturer. The BMW 1000RR goes 208.81 m.p.h. and the Lightning Electric goes 218 m.p.h. The Hayabusa with a turbo goes up to 266 m.p.h. Jay Leno owns a C18 Allison helicopter turbine-powered bike that he says he has never opened up. It’s theoretical top end is also 266 m.p.h. and it has been ridden to 237 m.p.h. So how fast do motorcycles need to go?

And how fast do airguns need to shoot? The 700+ foot-pound .50 caliber Hammer from Umarex tops out at 750 f.p.s. with a bullet someone might hunt with and the 800 foot-pound .50-caliber Texan from AirForce Airguns will get around 775 f.p.s, with a similar weight bullet. So what does it take to kill a whitetail deer? About 350 f.p.s.

How fast do you need a .177 pellet to go? 1,600 f.p.s.? 1,100 f.p.s.? Or 800 f.p.s. and you always hit what you shoot at?

Summary

I’m leaving this open-ended for all of you. I could have mentioned that in the 1960s and ’70s Crosman made a super-great adjustable trigger for their 160. The Chinese knocked it off and even then it was so well designed they couldn’t screw it up. Why can’t we have good triggers today?

There, the weekend pot has been stirred!

115 thoughts on “It’s always something”

  1. B.B.,

    There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

    Siraniko

    PS Section Summary 1st paragraph last sentence: “What (Why) can’t we have good triggers today?”

  2. BB,

    We certainly can have good triggers! You’ve reviewed a number of air guns in the past couple weeks that have them!

    Good triggers, I think, are an intangible thing – marketing can’t put a number to it (aside from how heavy or light it is, and there are practical limits to that), it doesn’t provide any visual distinction, and it doesn’t provide any real functional benefit. They might make it easier to shoot well, but they aren’t necessary even for that – as your blogs about your AR’s service rifle trigger attest to.

    Good triggers are a luxury one a buyer has to look for specifically, but shooters who care will find them. And shooters who don’t care… well, I guess they deserve what they shoot.

    (But seriously, if you shoot for fun and not for work, life’s too short for bad triggers)

    Nathan

    • Nathan,

      You were scaring me for a minute there. Your 2nd paragraph was almost praising bad triggers. I have shot bad triggers before. Right now there is only two bad triggers at RRHFWA. As soon as I order the parts, there will be only one bad trigger here.

      As soon as I find that darn “round tuit” of mine, I intend to disassemble the other airgun and see what I can do with it.

      Good triggers are not really a luxury. They are typically found on the 2nd tier air rifles. Unfortunately, they come at a price. True, they are rarely ever found on the 1st tier air rifles, but they could be.

    • I would rather have an excellent barrel then a good trigger if there was a choice. you can get used to any trigger says one of the best rifleman in history…David Tubbs

      • mildot52,

        Unfortunately, you are not likely going to find an excellent barrel on an airgun until you hit at least the 2nd tier. Yeah, if you crank out thousands of cheap barrels, you will likely accidently make a few that are pretty decent. Look at the Chinese copy of the TX200. Some of those are actually pretty good air rifles.

        • I have a CZ 634 with a horrible trigger that shoots cheap crosman pointed petts into a ragged hole at 25 yds as long as I hold it snug to my shoulder. in the 90’s I had HB savage rifles that needed a come along to set off and were the most accurate guns with different ammo and reloads I ever shot

          • CZ seems to know how to make barrels. Supposedly they are right there with the LW barrels. As for the trigger, it can be improved. Will it be great? Probably not.

            I would recommend you do not play the lottery either. 😉

          • when my friends saw how accurate those savage rifles were they got them and had the same results. after a couple of years Basix trigger for the savage came out. we bought them and saw no difference. you can get used to any trigger

        • Just like World War 2 sniper rifles. When you’re cranking out that many guns, you can just cherry-pick the ones where the tolerances just happened to stack up nicely (ie – unusually accurate during test firing) for conversion into sniper rifles.

          Not that World War 2 sniper rifles were held to anything like modern accuracy standards anyway, but that’s a different topic altogether.

  3. If you have the chance and want to take a road trip, go to Franklin Louisiana, and visit Marine Turbine Technologies.

    They make turbine powered pumps, generators, airboats, and yes, the jet powered bike Jay Leno owns.

    They make the Y2K turbine powered motorcycle.
    A friend and I made the trip in 2005 when I lived in Louisiana as a day trip riding my Yamaha xs1100, and Ray on his vintage Honda CB750F super sport.

    They also had a couple of special projects like a turbine powered pickup truck, and other things they were tinkering with.

    The story we were told was aircraft engines have a service life measured in hours run before they have to be removed from flight service.
    They rebuild and use those engines that have exceeded their service life in their products.

    I knew aircraft piston engines have a TBO (Time Between Overhaul) but never thought about what happened to older turbine engines.
    I always thought of jet engines as the behemoths I had seen that were 20ft long, and several feet in in diameter and had a spaghetti nest of tubes and wires surrounding them.

    The Rolls Royce turbine engines they use is about 3ft long, and only weighs about 130lbs.

    They found the engines were perfectly serviceable in ground based operations, they gave new life to otherwise surplus equipment and they are multi fuel, being able to run on diesel fuel, kerosine, gasoline, or as we were told, if it will ignite, it will run on it….

    The sound of the equipment they make running is a unique experience, and the sound of a jet engine starting up coming from a motorcycle is priceless..

    Well, it actually does have a price, just a very substantial one…..

    Ian.

  4. Ahhh! Ignorance is bliss! I have heard that a Benjamin Trail has a very nice trigger. I have heard that Gamo makes the world’s best air rifles.

    You cannot blame the neophyte for being caught up in the speed race. Many are coming from powder burner backgrounds and many of them have been caught up in the speed race also. Plus, all about the neophyte ever sees is bottom tier sproingers at big box stores that are covered with claims of incredible velocities. Oh, how they brag to their buddies about one inch, three shot groups at 25 yards.

    So what does happen when one of these neophytes finally do get their hands on a 2nd or 3rd tier airgun? Usually an accidental discharge. They are not used to a trigger that does not have a 7 pound pull and goes off some time after traveling about an inch or so.

    I was not quite that bad, but only because I had actually spent a very considerable time studying about modern airgunning. At some point though, you just have to jump in. The real bad part about the learning is letting go of something you should have hung on to. Ahhhh well, that is part of learning also.

  5. BB,

    I am one of those who believes that a manufacturing company can only survive and thrive if the people involved truly understand what they are making. A prime example in the airgun world is Crosman. In ancient times, they were one of the leading innovators of airguns. After a bit though, the original management and engineering retired and they coasted along with “real” business people in charge.

    Then someone read Jack Welch’s book and they bought up Sheridan and Benjamin. This worked for a while because they eliminated their major competition, but it did not make their products any better.

    After a bit though, they managed to get some management that was enthusiastic about airgunning and they put a decent engineering team together. Out of that, with a little pushing, came the Discovery and the Marauder. Crosman was once again leading the way.

    Change in management. Laying off of engineers. Hiring of marketeers. Crosman slowly began sinking into the morass of the 1st tier airguns and supplying the big box stores, with the Discovery and the Marauder barely keeping their heads afloat.

    Along comes Velocity Outdoors, buying up what was left of Crosman and giving it a fresh transfusion. The first thing to come out of it was a modernization of some of their success stories. The Discovery got a new dress and a name change. After a few teething problems, it received a new action block and along came the Fortitude (which, by the way was an old aftermarket design).

    After chasing the tails of some of the other sproinger manufacturers, they decided they needed to hire back some engineers that knew what they were doing. Hopefully soon we will see some decent sproingers come out of Crosman, which I do believe has never really been their strong suit.

  6. BB

    Good reading today. Enjoy Monday and don’t forget to take Dale Evans along.

    We indeed do have a rifle under $200 with a decent trigger, Beeman’s AR2078A (thanks to Crosman’s 160) can also deliver surprising accuracy. If yours isn’t barrels are easily replaced. This may apply to the rest of QB family.

    Happy 4th and stay safe.

    Deck

  7. B.B.

    Indian Motorcycles never recovered from not winning the US Army WW2 motorcycle contract. That went to HD and the rest is history….HD has been bankrupt, or very close to it several times in it’s history.
    Enjoy the holiday!

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      Actually what started Indian’s downfall was they won the contract for supplying motorcycles in World War I. It cost them their dealer network and the Army paid so little above their costs that they barely scrimped by.

      But the jeep killed motorcycles in World War II. Harley did sell many not only to our Army but also to the rest of the Allies. Indian sold a few, but not as many.

      BB

      • You know, I’m sure, that during the war (the one Basil warns not to mention 😉 ) Harley built about 1000 shaft-drive military bikes, supposedly inspired by the shaft-drive German models. These are pretty rare. Years ago saw one owned by a member of a local military vehicle enthusiasts’ group in FL. He had it decked out with all the military gear and accessories, in period color and markings.

        As for the lawyers, bean counters, toxic managers, board members, “influencers,” “activists” and other “legends in their own minds,” Shakespeare’s Henry VI is still relevant.

        • I read somewhere that the meaning of that line, “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” which is spoken by a character named Dick the Butcher, is often misinterpreted, or at least, subject to several meanings, but one interpretation is that once you kill all the lawyers, then there is no one left to protect against abuses of civil liberties, and this allows totalitarian dictatorships to gain or retain power. The rule of law (and the role of lawyers) is necessary for a free society. Just look at what happens to lawyers, reporters, and educators in places where a totalitarian regime has moved to take or consolidate power: they are either imprisoned or worse….

          • True, but FM is also reminded of the Roman Juvenal’s question, “who guards the guardians?” On that note, FM signing off wishing a safe and peaceful Independence Day to everyone. Guard and cherish your freedoms.

    • kevin,

      ”Doesn’t matter what it is. If it works, a lawyer, accountant or politician can screw it up.”
      I agree with you 100% but unfortunately in this Modern Era we need to add ACTIVISTS, INFLUENCER MARKETING (not knowledgeable ENABLERS,) and U Tube EXPURTS, and Consumer Product Safety Commission appointees.

      shootski

  8. “I could have mentioned that in the 1960s and ’70s Crosman made a super-great adjustable trigger for their 160. The Chinese knocked it off and even then it was so well designed they couldn’t screw it up. Why can’t we have good triggers today?”

    Well, B.B., you just did (mention it). I have pondered the same question ever since reading my first articles by Jim Carmichael in “Outdoor Life” magazine as a boy, where he complained about the state of stock triggers on hunting firearms, and advised spending the extra cash to buy a Timney adjustable replacement trigger.

    I think the reason for “lawyer” triggers is because of the folks who don’t even know what they don’t know, who’s total knowledge about airguns is what they read on the packaging of the airguns at the big box stores, but are perfectly willing to sue a company who should have known that most of their customers don’t know what we know they don’t know. Y’know?

    If you manufacture a consumer product, you have to have products liability insurance (aka “expensive”) and worry about strict liability issues, which means the company has to pay regardless of whose at “fault.” So you deliver a potentially deadly consumer product with childproof caps covering a glued on membrane with warning labels everywhere, and similarly, if that consumer product is a gun, with a trigger that you can’t accidentally pull. I can’t really blame the manufacturers, because they have to stay in business and make a profit (even if managed by inspired, enthusiasts). And most of their customers may not be enthusiasts willing to educate themselves, first.

    However, I think the better question is why can’t a quality, adjustable trigger be designed that would not make the rifle too expensive that can only be adjusted after the action is removed from the stock (something Joe Shmoe won’t normally do), after a safetly cover is removed, and with screws for which only an enthusiast would procure the proper screwdrivers or bits. Somehow, you have to design a product that is safe and not cost prohibitive but somehow shift the liability and that insurance cost to the consumer. Then you will make everyone happy.

    But then where would folks like Timney make their money?
    And then what would the tinkerers among us do with all the extra time we saved from not having to mod our airguns?
    And finally, you might take away all the fun in complaining about stuff that’s wrong with the world and the ensuing discussions like this one! God bless America! ;o)

    Now for another serious question which airguns have the wonderful Crosman trigger or the Chinese copies that were mentioned in the article?

    Have a great weekend everyone, Happy Independence Day, and to B.B., enjoy your day off. We will miss you.

  9. B.B.

    So right you are when you say “But I believe a successful company does have to be managed by enthusiasts. The minute that changes, out comes the old spreadsheet and management by the numbers begins.”

    During my many years working for large corporations in the oil services industry I saw that exact transition happen in two different places. As expected, after a while the finances took a dive, bureaucrats took over and the work environment became toxic. I eventually I left both.

    Enjoy your day off, and recharge the batteries. On a side note, when I rode in summer I kept a wet towel around my neck, not exactly an A/C but helps.

    Henry

  10. Good book to read on Harley Davidson “history” and how it was resurrected from one foot in the grave in the 80’s is “Well Made in America” by Peter Reid. Not a long book but it tells how a group of enthusiasts bought the firm from AMF and actually hired a real, degreed engineer to head up their design and development department. Yep, for many years, the Harley engineering group were “shade tree” mechanics, some very good. Others not so good.

    Happy 4th to all (in the US)

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily in GA and former owner of an XLCR and FXRT (look em up).

    • Fred,

      You owned an XL cafe racer? That was Davidson’s proudest achievement — the most non-Harley ever built for the road. How did you like it?

      BB

  11. Yup. I had one of Willie Davidson’s first design projects for HD. It was a beautiful looking bike, one that looked fast just standing still. But I found out that even with the supposedly hand picked engines off the assembly line that tested the strongest and a swing arm from their dirt track racers, it still wouldn’t go fast, stop fast (Harley’s version of anti-lock brakes back then was a brake lever effort suitable for a gorilla) or corner (low pipes). But boy, did it sound great! The touring bike, the FXRT (1984 with the Evolution engine), actually was faster and better handling. I improved the braking on that bike by replacing the front disc (after it cracked), with a Performance Machine cast iron disc and ground clearance with a Supertrap aftermarket pipe. Heck, that was 40 years ago.

    You pay attention when you’re out and about on that Sportster!

    Fred etc

  12. Well I should know better I just lost a half hour of typing.

    I have received a couple of barrels from Lothar Walther a .22 and .25 caliber barrel. The .177 barrel was out of stock. I only have one tin of .25 caliber pellets to I will concentrate on the .22 barrel first. I have not found any .25 pellets available. The barrels are very nice I ordered both barrels in 16 mm, just over 5/8 inch outside diameter. I will eventually get the .177 caliber barrel the with the same outside diameter so all the barrels will be easy interchange.

    I am now using a threaded 1/2 inch by 1/8 inch brass pipe bushings to make the valve seal, transfer port and barrel connection. I have eliminated the probe so the transfer port is larger than the barrel inside diameter and much shorter than with the probe. I deep seat the pellets though. With low pressure air it is important to conform the pellet to the rifling to maximize the velocity. With low pressure air the pellet may not even move if it is not seated deep and has a tight fit.

    Right now I have cut off about 1/2 inch of the Crosman 2260 barrel to eliminate the transfer hole in the side of the barrel so I can eliminate the probe. I also threaded the barrel with a standard 1/8 inch pipe tapered thread. This makes it more tedious to shoot because of deep seating the pellet and screwing the barrel on for each shot. For the L/W barrels I want to make a latch/cam type connection eliminating the thread. That way the L/W barrels can be exchanged without requiring any machine work.

    I also picked up a small Ridgid brand Hot Dog compressor that is rated at 225 psi. Like with most stuff now days that does not mean it can supply 225 psi regulated air. I goes up to 147 psi air on the regulated outlet and there is no connection directly to the tank to get 225 psi. I could hook into the pop off valve plumbing but really do not want to go over 150 psi anyway.

    I ran a test with the threaded 2260 barrel using the Hot Dog compressor up to 147 psi so I have a basses for testing the new L/W barrels down the road.

    Here is a plot of the results of the test. It shows my original test using the valve with the probe and the barrel clamped in a vice and the current configuration in the gun with the barrel threaded into the valve seat. All tests were done with the Air Arms Falcon 13.43 gr pellets.

    Don

    • Gee, impressive results Don. I would not have guessed that you could get those speeds with just 147 psi. Also, the linearity of speed with pressure is excellent.
      Very interesting, I look forward to more reports.
      Henry

    • Nice work, Don. What software did you use to set up that graph? I am trying to graph my results from testing pellets and having a little trouble making the chart look right from an Excel spreadsheet. Any tips?

      What is your ultimate goal for your project? An alternative to high pressure air? You could put a bellows in the heel of your boots and have unlimited pressure while hunting as long as you weighed more than 140 pounds. I would qualify.

      • Roamin,

        I used Excel. Once I get the basic graph I click on the features of the graph and customize them, especially the axis. That is if I am not lazy, it takes some time. I am using an early 2000 copy of excel though so yous my try to help too much if it’s newer.

        My next goal is for accuracy. I have two high end barrels but have a lot of details to work out.

        Don

        • Benji-Don,

          Way to go!
          Happy Independence from hpa!
          I think you have gotten the attention of some companies by now!
          Will we see an lpa Big Bore from AirForce maybe they will call it the Rode Island!

          shootski

          • Shootski,

            At some point I want to try my valve on a big bore. I may just do like Gunfun suggested and use a smooth bore barrel.

            My valve is wasting a lot of air once the pressure exceeds 100 psi. You can hear the air escaping after the pellet leaves the barrel. A longer barrel would be good.
            Don

        • Thanks, Don. I’ll keep tinkering with excel. Do you simply make 2 columns of data? I am trying to chart precision vs cost for several pellets, so each point is a different pellet. Good luck with your project. I was joking about the bellows in the boots, but you have to admit it would be another take on “pumps.” Ba-da-boom.
          (Sorry)

          • Roamin,

            I think the pump in the boots would work. I read about a cell phone charger in shoes that charged as you walked. I do not expect a low pressure pellet gun to be small enough to carry around, at least not one I make.

            So for precision vs cost , that is going to be tricky. There is not a good linear relationship between cost and precision of a pellet. Do you sort by cost or precision? I am not sure. An xy scatter chart may be a good way to start.

            I usually start with two columns and let the software make the first chart/graph then go from there.

            I am not an excel expert and I have never been good or enjoyed statistics. So take my advice at your own risk.

          • Roamin,

            How about a pump in the boots that takes (in air) on the up step and pumps (it out) on the down step? Built in circulation,… if done right. Maybe already done?…. don’t know.

            Chris

            (IT,…. this 4 word wide per reply crap really bites!!!!!) Maybe ok for phones,…. bites for a lap top!) Also,… 20 reply RSS Comments bites.

            Grump over,……… 😉

        • Don
          You definitely have come a long way on this project.

          But I belive you still have a lot of things to test still.

          What are you going to call your first low pressure air gun that comes to market. Really. That is important as all this work your doing on this low pressure air gun.

          Glad your still working on it.

      • Chris U,

        No place to reply above. Yep the large offset for each reply definitely stinks. A couple of spaces is enough. Wider margins would not hurt either..

        Don

    • Don-
      If you ever become curious to try your setup at higher pressure and closer to the compressor’s stated PSI, there is a main regulator adjustment screw that you can tune. The plastic box where the on/off lever is located contains that adjustment scew for the tank pressure. Very simple procedure- loosen for less, tighten for more- that requires only a Philips head screwdriver. Make small incremental adjustments and test along the way to make sure you don’t exceed the max tank pressure. I teach nail gun marksmanship (carpentry) and often tune our framing compressors’ tank pressures down so that students can’t accidentally blow the pistons out of our nail guns. The regulator units are used on a variety of different compressors and have a wide range of adjustability.

      • ProfSteelToe,

        I thought about doing that with my large shop compressor but it is getting old, so I felt better left as is. The new Hot Dog compressor fills the tank to 220 psi. It is the regulated pressure that stops at 147 psi. The H Dog compressor kicks on at 150 and off at 220 I am fine with that. I don’t want to push my plastic valve any further. With the way the valve is set up it dumps quite a bit of air after the pellet leaves the barrel using the 147 psi. At 100 psi it is not noticeable. I should test how many shots I get at different pressures. I shot 3 shot groups from 60 to 110 psi before the compressor kicked on by the time I got to the 147 psi it was kicking on every few shots, maybe 4 shots.

        If I build a metal valve I may go higher. There are so many variables that could be optimized with the valve size, reservoir size, hammer weight, spring length and strength, and barrel length I wouldn’t know where to start.

        Don

        • Benji-Don,

          Le’me try…

          “There are so many variables that could be optimized with the valve size, reservoir size, hammer weight, spring length and strength, and barrel length I wouldn’t know where to start.”

          Valve size: if you look at how Quackenbush locates his valve “in” the reservoir tube valve volume is moot. That DAQ design results in a very few shoots but at highest power levels. If on the other hand you choose to do a semi-isolated volume valve you can change it to smaller volume by filling the valve (Crosman did it to the 2300SLE to decrease the volume of a regular 22XX valve) with bushings or other objects to size.

          Reservoir size: not even considering shot count; the bigger the volume the better for balancing the valve.

          Hammer weight, spring length and strength: Those can all be changed and will likely need to be to achieve balanced valve shot to shot performance. I would start with a 100% air dump and work it back one change at a time. I suspect that a light Striker/Hammer, strong S/H Spring will give you your quickest pressure rise at dump. Then when you try for multi-shot the valve spring choice needs to be the lightest required to close the valve while the projectile is still in the barrel.

          This is a lpa PCP look to history; the longer the barrel the more power as long as valve continues to deliver a reasonable amount of overpressure to the projectile base.

          Hope that helps you wrap your head around a really complex set of sometimes conflicting requirements.

          shootski

  13. Hi, Tom…I believe you are correct in saying the Sportster is the best Harley in current production! But in my opinion, the reputed best handling Harley of all time was the FXR! For your interest in that hobby, I doubt if you’re gonna go out and get one…in the last ten, fifteen years the value of them have gone out of sight! The frames were hand built, and were superseded by the Dyna series, the advantage of which was the ability for the frames to be production built!!!

    Good luck on two wheels! And enjoy your day off!

    Vance

    • Hi Vance,

      I do like the Sportster I have, but it’s not the right bike for BB. It’s the right bike for BB 40 years ago.

      I must admit, Harley has come a very long way. I am not their demographic, but they know who is and they are nailing it for them!

      Right now old safe and codgery BB is looking at a Can Am. Where’s my cane? 🙂

      BB

      • BB,

        LOL! A friend of mine has one of those things. He raves about it. He rides his in the mountains of North Carolina. You will likely find it suits you a whole lot better than that Sportster.

          • You speak sacrilege! A 3 wheeler! I believe they have a Rotax engine and, aside from some fussiness with the electronics (I understand they have all sorts of driver assist stuff plus GPS, radios, surface to surface missile with lazer tracking), they are rock solid.

            Fred etc

      • BB,

        🙂 Well,…. glad to hear you have assessed things and have decided on a Plan B,.. not that anything was wrong Plan A. It is just me,… but I would not get another bike (had 2000 HD Wide Glide). I have never sat on a 3 wheeler (either configuration),.. but they should be more stable. I am not sure, but I think that might be a different/additional license than a 2 wheel motorcycle.

        Keeps us posted as you proceed. A pic would be cool once you start to narrow things down.

        Chris

        • Chrisw,

          In Texas if you have a motorcycle lisence, you can also ride a 3-wheeler. But if you only tested on a 3-wheeler you can’t ride a motorcycle.

          BB

          • B.B.
            Interesting. Just the opposite here in WA state. I would have to retest to ride a 3-wheeler.
            I decided just down-sizing was the way to go for me. My nephew (now in Austin, TX) has my 2010 FXD as well as my previous Bonneville. Plan was to putter around some of the back country off roads and trails here in WA so I got a Royal Enfield Himalayan. Love it but also pictured more extensive touring having to utilize the Interstate system. Was in my next door Motoplex for accessories and they had a trade-in Triumph Street Scrambler sitting on the floor. I sat on it, it was priced right for a used bike, I said “I’ll take it”. At 72, I then proceeded to (re)learn what the great sage C. Eastwood meant when he said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Went back to the shop where I bought the Himi, traded the SS for a slightly used INT650 and got a check back for $101. One of the best deals I’ve ever made. I’ve now got a bike that’s 3 quarters of a Bonneville at a much cheaper price.
            B.B. I don’t know how much you FB, but I joined the Senior Motorcyclists group. They are great for support and ideas. I would be glad to send you an invite if you so desire. I’m planning on going with a few of them on a small group ride around the Washington side of the Dalles, coming up on the 18th.
            With the motorcycles I have to organize to schedule time with the air rifles. Lately, I’ve been working on finding the best pellet for my wood-stocked .177 Diana EMS. I’m finding it very hold sensitive but the more I shoot it the better I like it. I am hoping to eventually procure all the parts necessary to having what my Beeman Sportsman dual caliber never was and even more. Maybe it will even fit in the old Beeman case!

            • LarryMo,

              I rode motorcycles a lot in my youth. But I have found that at 73 I’m not the man I was 40 years ago. That’s why I’m looking at the Can Am. A way to stay in the breeze without trashing my body.

              BB

  14. Hey B.B., I wanted to tell you that I have started reading this blog from the beginning. So far I am on #71. And I read a comment that wondered why don’t you write a book with all the knowledge in the blog. I have wondered that myself after having been introduced to this blog for about a year now. I know why not…you would need an encyclopedia!

    • Roamin,

      Thank you.

      The problem with writing a book is I keep changing what I say as I learn more stuff. You guys are forgiving but old BB makes a LOT of assumptions and mistakes.

      Yeah, I know — editing. The problem is, I lost my editor 6 years ago and I’m just doing my best to keep up.

      Thanks, though.

      BB

      • B.B., I have read enough of this blog to know that your editor was one in a billion! And that’s even an understatement.

        As for a book, don’t worry about it. One just needs to search and read.

  15. B.B. and Readership,

    FYI, https://9to5mac.com/2021/07/01/british-right-to-repair-law/

    As most of you probably have figured out by now Í’m a Libertarian for the most part so I wish this kind of legislation wasn’t needed but I sure hope it gets the attention of manufacturing leadership. No matter what you may think of Crosman over the years they have supplied parts and most of their products are repairable at the bit part or subassembly level with a small amount of skill and tools!

    Too bad the politicians/bureaucrats didn’t include airguns, vehicles, and motorcycles.

    shootski

    • I would love to be able to simply replace the battery in an iPhone or iPad without taking it to those shady-looking storefronts at the local strip-mall. But who can repair a flat screen TV or a smartphone without a computer engineering degree? Then again, I’m the guy who has replaced the bulb in my old rear projection Sony TV that I have had for close to 20 years now for about $100 every 4-5 years, and counting. When they stop making that bulb, I will get a new TV for that room.

  16. Fred,

    Sacrilege, indeed! Old BB on a trike that can’t tip over, no matter what. ABS and ride stabilization, power steering! And massive storage! Semi-automatic transmission. No clutch cable. Only a foot brake. 😉

    BB

  17. BB
    I’m sorry. Really I am. But that 3 wheel thing sounds a little bit like driving a car. Not like riding a motorcycle.

    When I ride a motorcycle it’s like riding a iron horse.

    You know what I mean. I wish we could still ride horses now days. And you don’t even have to worry about your feet touching the ground when you come to a stop. 😉

    BB get you a horse. How about that. 🙂

  18. B.B.,
    Your section on “Why do you own an airgun?” really hit home with me. Mostly, I own them for fun.
    Since Father’s Day, I’ve been doing a lot of shooting with this Beeman Webley Tempest that I bought for my Dad (1981), and later inherited from my Dad (2015). It’s surely no screamer in the velocity department; but it spits out .177 JSB RS 7.33g pellets at a very consistent 440 fps (and thank you for the tip of needing a chronograph; I check all my airguns with it periodically! =>).
    I’ve got a lot of love for this airgun; it’s certainly not my most accurate air pistol; but it’s accurate enough to take down cans on the 15-yard range; and when I do my part (which is increasingly more difficult with open sights and my contact lenses) I can take down the smaller mini-cans, even end on, but it takes a lot of concentration…and that makes it fun. But I love this gun because it’s exactly the same as the one I bought for myself (in 1980, then stupidly sold a few years later); only this one has a better trigger and is a little more accurate; plus, it’s a family heirloom since it belonged to my Dad. And, each time I pick it up, it transports me back to when I was 21, and pulled my first air pistol out of its box…how cool is that? What more could one ask of an airgun? Not much. LOL =>
    Take care, God bless, and enjoy your day off,
    dave
    P.S. “Please post a pic of Dale Evans enjoying your day off with you,” says the guy who owns a farm full of rescue cats (10 here now; 40 have been placed in fur-ever homes. =>).

    • Dave,

      I too foolishly let a Tempest get away a while back also. Mine was not accurate either. That mattered at the time. Not so much now. Ah well, someone else is enjoying it.

      You need to get together with my brother-in-law. He rescues cats on occasion.

      • RidgeRunner,
        The Tempest is an odd quirky little pistol; but it is a great firearms trainer; not just for the rearward recoil, but also due to the repeatable precision with which you have to hold it to get any accuracy from it; once you can shoot a Tempest well, it makes shooting other pistols seem quite easy by comparision. =>
        Take care & have a great 4th of July!,
        dave
        P.S. “You need to get together with my brother-in-law. He rescues cats on occasion.” Actually, we never set out to rescue cats; but in our old neighborhood, people tended to dump unwanted cats at the power line behind our house. Some would reproduce, and produce feral cats. Hence, we learned to TNR (Trap, Neuter, & Release), which is actually sponsored by the state of Georgia. And the cats kept the rat population down. My friend, Judith, used to reward our cat, Heidi, a serious ratter. One night, Heidi killed 8 rats in the abandoned yard next to Judith; then she dragged the dead rats to Judith’s yard (like, “See? Look what I did for you!”) so Judith would give her her tea and scones. All was well till our next door neighbors turned us in to animal control (which is their prerogative) for excess cats, and then put pads with razor sharp nails on top of their fence to keep our cats from going in their yard (when I showed the sheriff the pic of the nails, he said that was the sickest most evil thing he’d seen). Anyway, that’s how we wound up on this 15-acre mini-farm, which has the side benefit that I can shoot airguns, or any guns, as often as I wish to here…yay! As for our former next door neighbors, our old neighborhood is getting overrun with rats, and everyone is blaming them for getting us to move away along with our rat-catching cats. *shrugs* Oh well. =>

  19. I think Crosman has done it again. On the PA website they have the M-Rod Field and Target. This thing hits all of the high spots for what many of us are looking for and expect from a top tier air rifle, including a nicely shaped walnut stock. Wait a minute. What?! Look through the pictures and notice that the stock shape changes. Did Crosman do a bait and switch on us?

    https://www.pyramydair.com/product/benjamin-marauder-field-and-target-air-rifle?m=4316#9236

      • BB,

        No they are not. In the first picture there is a walnut stock with a nicely shaped front. In the second and third pictures, the forend and stippling is more like the new beech wood stock.

        The forend in the first picture is shaped more like the M-Rod Semi.

        • RR,

          And here is the third “bait-and-switch” photo, It’s Photoshopped like the first one. It’s walnut.

          I have an eye for these things because I spend a lot of time looking at pix.

          They probably used a stock photo that Crosman sent for the first photo. It is that one-in-a-thousand stock that sometimes comes through. Then they photographed one in their inventory for the other two shots. Yes, the stippling is different, but that’s it.

          Bad photo

          BB

    • RR,

      Been following. I would buy the 1st pic on style/curve and checkering alone. The other photos would cause me big pause.

      Whatever they are selling,… the 1st one is hands down better looking than the other pics (not talking wood grain, etc.)

      Chris

      • Chris,

        I myself would be tempted. With the shooting reputation the Marauder has and a stock like that, all for $700…

        If I had not just bought that Maximus I would be calling them up and finding out which stock they are selling.

  20. RR,

    Stock photo taken months ago at Crosman. Live photos taken by Pyramyd Air of what’s in the boxes now.

    Bait-and-switch? Only if you believe in the Tooth Fairy. 😉

    BB

    • B.B.,

      I just came from the Crosman website. They did not show the Field and Target Marauder for sale. They also seemed to have disconnected the custom shop from the menu. I hope this is a short term change. Any insight?

      Don

        • B.B.,

          Thanks, I think I got lucky with the valve. The accuracy phase is going to be a real challenge. I have confidence the L/W barrels will be more accurate than the gun will be able to achieve. If I stick with the wood frame it is going to be problematic.

          Don

  21. In the first group, there are eight in the upper group and two down at the dot.

    I made the mistake of looking at the first group and could not do anything with the second group because I was dancing.

    I settled down with the third group, but I was running out of CO2 with the last shot and it dropped way down.

    • Siraniko,

      Thank you. Good day to you as well.

      It is “happy” at least for the time being. Things are seriously getting out of whack here (the US) as of late. No doubt though,… you have seen many times worse.

      Be well,…….. Chris

  22. Well, to close up the long weekend, I had the Maximus at the range. The new silencer for it works awesome! It was not as loud as a sproinger. The magazine did not do so well. I had a couple of jams. I will have to try out some different pellets with it, but the AA Falcons and the JSB RS I think are too small.

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