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Education / Training Things this blog has taught me: Part 2

Things this blog has taught me: Part 2

This report includes:

  • BB is a doofus!
  • What to do?
  • Now to airguns
  • CO2 guns all leak!
  • My barrel shoots too high
  • Use Tune in a Tube sparingly
  • What have you learned?

Today we look at some common-sense things about airguns that may not be that common to many people. But first, an admission.

BB is a doofus!

Maybe not with airguns, but with motorcycles, B.B. Pelletier is a card-carrying doofus first-class. Tell ya why.

A week ago I traded in my Sportster for a Harley Road Glide. I did it after a short 10-mile test ride. My Sportster was a fine bike until it got to 55 to 60 m.p.h. Then it behaved like it was on ice. The front wheel went all over the place and I was unable to go around a sharp curve at any speed because the bike resisted my leaning.

On the test ride the Road King hugged the road like it was on rails, and went around corners tight enough to scrape the floorboards — almost! BB knows better than to actually do that.

Road King
No more girl’s bikes for BB Pelletier. No sir. A genuine Harley Davidson Road King!

But at slow speeds, BB is a doofus on this big bike. He can’t turn tight and he can’t control his bike at slow speeds (under 10 mph). Last Friday BB laid his new Road King down three times in two hours! Once was on a parking lot when a car started to turn into the lot in front of BB as he was leaving and then decided not to. I paid the car too much attention and turned my handlebars sideways (to turn out of his way?) then I slammed on the brakes and down I went. The other times were at my favorite burger place. Their parking lot is all gravel and BBs feet slipped out from under him twice!

By the way, the Road King has crash bars front and rear, so the bike got nary a scratch from the three falls. Not even those bars were scratched. Nor were BB’s legs crushed, though his left leg did get burned from the heat of the primary chain case. He was wearing shorts — the doofus!

What to do?

Step one is to acknowledge that you are a doofus. After Friday that came pretty easy for me. Step two is to do something about it. So I went online and discovered the Motorman, Jerry Palladino, and hundreds of his You Tube videos. As I watched them it dawned on me that they were just like the motorcycle training course I had taken to get my license. This is the guy who created that training!

Then I thought that my new Road King weighs 800 pounds. Ain’t no way a bike that size can do all this slow-speed stuff. So Palladino had his 125-pound wife ride an even bigger 900-pound Harley through all the same maneuvers that he rode. Okay, so BB is a fat doofus who can’t ride as well as a girl!

The bottom line is Jerry has a video titled Ride Like a Pro. BB bought that video and plans to practice these tips until he isn’t a doofus anymore.

Now to airguns

Okay, you aren’t a motorcycle doofus. You are new to airguns and think you may be a doofus with them. Don’t fret. BB used to be a doofus with airguns, too. There was a time when BB held a spring piston breakbarrel air rifle just like he held a .30-30 deer rifle. Gotta hold ’em tight to tame that recoil.

No, you don’t. In fact you can’t tame a spring gun’s recoil, any more than you can hold up an 800-pound motorcycle with just one leg when the bike gets too far over center. The point with the bike is to not let it get too far over-center. The point with the air rifle to hold it as lightly as possible so it can recoil as much as it wants. Then it will become as accurate as it possibly can be.

Watch my video describing the artillery hold.

CO2 guns all leak!

No, they don’t. That all stopped back in the 1960s.Things can make a CO2 gun leak, but very few of them leak all on their own. The first question is — did you lubricate every CO2 cartridge you installed with a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil before piercing it?

Of course not, BB. Oil makes guns leak!

No. The right oil seals them and helps them stay sealed for decades. Not years — decades.

Yes, I did use Pellgunoil most of the time when I remembered it. But now my gun has a very slow leak that I can hear at the muzzle.

Well, have you tried putting automatic transmission stop leak on the CO2 cartridges?

ATF stop leak
ATF stop leak.

Of course not. Someone on the old Yellow Forum said that stuff turns o-rings to mush.

Really? Well the o-rings in my office that have been soaking in ATF sealant for over 10 years are still firm. Explain that. I have sealed dozens of CO2 and pneumatic guns with this stuff. It really works and I learned that right here on this blog.

ATF stop leak test
These two Buna o-rings have been in ATF stop leak since the middle of 2010. They are still firm.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

My barrel shoots too high

You say all breakbarrels are droopers. Mine isn’t. In fact, it shoots so high that until I get out to  50 yards I can’t even hit what I’m aiming at.

Your barrel is bent. Someone pulled the trigger when the barrel was open and when it closed it bent up.

barrel bent
Yep, that barrel is bent up.

It slipped out of my hands as I was cocking it.

Right! Well, you need to bend it back.

I can’t. It’s made of steel and I don’t have the tools to bend a barrel.

You can bend it with your hands and a tree, if need be. But here is a simpler way. Read the 5-part report titled, Bending airgun barrels.

barrel bending jig
What does it take? An 8-inch clamp, a few pieces of wood and a piece of soft lead (wood would also work) against the bottom of the barrel, just ahead of the base block. When this job was finished the rifle shot to the point of aim and the groups were still tight.

targtet
This target confirmed that the rifle still shot well. The 10-shot group made at 10 meters before bending the barrel measures 0.532 inches between centers. This 10-shot group, shot after the barrel was bent measures 0.506 inches between centers.

Use Tune in a Tube sparingly

BB learned this lesson while tuning reader Michael’s Walther LGV. It came to me with a horrible shudder when fired, and I tried injecting Tune in a Tube through the cocking slot with a grease gun and a pressure needle. Nope! That was too much. The rifle lost 150 f.p.s. I wasn’t happy and neither was Michael.

I had to disassemble the rifle, clean off all the grease and reapply TIAT sparingly. After assembly the rifle lost just a few f.p.s. with some pellets and gained some with others. Yep — it got faster. And more importantly, it was now smooth!

Use TIAT sparingly!

There are many other lessons BB has learned over the years. Lessons like when a multi-pump fails to respond to ATF leak seal it might be time for new seals. Every 50 years or so you’re gonna need ’em.

What have you learned?

I’d like to hear from you readers. Have you learned any lessons from this blog?

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

88 thoughts on “Things this blog has taught me: Part 2”

  1. B.B.,

    I have learned all of the above from you. I also learned to shoot with both eyes open whether I’m using open sights, peep sights or scopes. I also learned that I have to think what I’m going to use the airgun for before I obtain one. What use is a powerful and loud airgun if I’m confined in my own tiny apartment? Power is not everything especially if you cannot hit what you are aiming at.

    Nothing beats a friendly discussion with knowledgeable people to clear up a confusing subject.

    Siraniko

  2. B.B.

    Practice figure 8’s in a large empty parking lot. The slower the better. Wear boots and leather!
    As we get older our sense of balance deteriorates. Practice standing on one leg. Do not go skateboarding of e-scooter riding,

    Whatever happened to your E-Bike?

    -Y

    PS If none of that helps, get a Trike!!

  3. B.B.
    My Softail is right up there with your Road King; it’s an 800 pound beast that is much easier to handle at higher speeds. However, a few years ago, in Daytona, I saw a couple of guys with full dress Harleys chasing each other inside a 10-foot diameter ring; they did other stunts that, had I not seen it, I would not have believed it. Afterwards, I spoke with one of the guys; I asked how he learned to ride like that; he said he used to be a motorcycle cop in Texas; and about every two years, they would give him a new full dress Harley, and he would “put her through the paces to see what she could do.”
    So hang in there, man! There’s hope for us yet. =>
    Take care & God bless,
    dave
    P.S. I just looked through thousands of pics, and I cannot find the one with that former motorcycle cop (I did lose a few years of pics; I can’t find my 2006 pics anymore, and I’m pretty sure that’s where those pics were), but I did find the one of this woman test rider for Harley (at BiketOberfest 2008); she was a big time peg scraper, and she could turn that full dresser on a dime…even at low speeds! It was cool to see. =>

  4. BB
    Sounds like you have underestimated your old age muscle loss for such a heavy bike. Lost some of your biker situational awareness (parking lots) and your subconscious reactions on the bike have not been developed yet.
    If I remember you had a need for low seating. Do your legs reach the ground early enough and have enough strength to ‘prevent it’ from tipping over too far in the first place? Can you put both feet flat on the ground ‘together’ standing still? Lower seat?
    I thought you would get a lighter model like the Softail Standard, Slim, Low rider 5 or Fat Boy.
    My 9′ long stripped down bike handles like a bus compared to my BSA’s but it’s really comfortable, with low seating, electric start and shocks. And low is needed to control that 15″ over springer with a 1″ rake at low speeds. I never really had a ride on a full dresser so I can’t offer too much advise on controlling it other than practice and increased muscle strength. Always thought of them as a long range touring bikes.

    I learned to keep checking stock screws, the proper way to shoot a springer, thank you very much! Identifying shooting problems … and solutions ! everything about sighting systems, stocks, triggers, ammo and after more than 10 years everything there is to know about airguns 🙂
    And … matching the airgun to your shooting needs, although I kind of ignored that in getting the collectables I wanted. Then again, the need to collect was reason enough to get anything I wanted.
    I also learned Tom is the perfect person to run this blog and the people who participate have a lot in common with bikers…. Always willing to help someone with a problem and share their experience.
    This blog is a wonderful thing that has become part of my daily life from the first day I found it over ten years ago. Well done Godfather! Thank you, and Pyramyd AIR !
    Bob M

    • Bob,

      Yes, the seat is low enough on the Road King that I stand flat-footed with both feet. It’s just wider than the Sportster. And much heavier! 😉

      BB

      • BB
        Yes I can see how that would reduce your ability to straighten out your leg to hold it up. It’s obvious a slimmer seat would help but then there is the bulbous fairing under it. Interesting to see how you solve the problem. Hacksaw perhaps? Trade in?
        If you reduce the weight by removing the bags, crash bars and replace the seat and full front fender with a slimmer one you would have a totally different bike. Not sure what’s available for the wide glide front end though.
        Hey, it’s only money and you know the part about taking it with you.
        Good luck !
        Aside from all the problems, how do you like getting back on the road again ? Any different this time, other than hurting parts that went soft over the years?

        • Bob,

          I like getting back on the road — especially now that I have a bike that really handles! The Sportster almost caused me to give up with the poor handling. This Road King has restored my confidence. Now I need to learn to ride it slow.

          Forty years ago I rode smaller bikes. My best-handling one was a Bultaco Metralla. It made me think I knew what I was doing. This Road King is showing me that I’m still a beginner — even with 15 years of experience behind me.

          Someone mentioned balance. I believe I have lost some of that. Maybe practice will bring it back. I walk every day and my legs are steel, but they can’t hold up this bike. That takes technique.

          BB

  5. BB,

    LOL! What happened to the Can Am? Nice ride. A little too dressy for me, but not bad. Thanks for the Sporty lesson. I was thinking of picking one up, but I think I will stick with my customized ’06 Night Train. It handles these mountain roads just fine.

    I learn something here everyday. Sometimes I even learn something about airguns. That is one of the reasons I show up here everyday.

    This is a pretty good bunch of folks. You people are always willing to share experiences and knowledge to help others. Not just with airguns either. It can be quite entertaining around here sometimes also. 😉

    I have met you and dealt with you personally over the years and consider it an honor and privilege. I thank you for having the where with all to put up with us and do this day in and day out. I also thank Pyramyd AIR for footing the bill. I am sure they have a reasonable return on their investment. I know I shop there a good bit. But without this place we would be a bunch of lost kids.

    P.S. I wish I had learned the lesson a while back that you just passed on about all multi-pumps need new seals every 50 years or so. It would have saved me a lot of time and heart break on this 101.

    • RR,

      Yep, stick with your Night Train. I think the handling problem with my Sportster 48 was its fat front tire. I think regualr Sportys probably handle better.

      As far as the CanAm goes, it was the balance issue for me. Once I rode this Road King and saw the difference in handling, I realized that this was what I wanted. I’m still a local, fair weather rider for now.

      BB

    • RidgeRunner,
      Box #1 arrived today; that’s some cool stuff; thank you so much!
      The biggest hit was that plastic slingshot that launches those plastic “bugs.” Kelli is a big insect chaser; so I launched them around in my wife’s office. Usually, Kelli chases insects, stomps them, and eats them…but she wasn’t quite sure what to make of these critters, hahaha! Thanks again. =>
      Take care & have fun at RRHFWA,
      dave

        • Hey RidgeRunner,
          I get it now; we used to have a maple tree in our front yard when I was a kid; I’d forgotten about that, the way those things would helicopter down…cool!
          But yeah, Kelli really likes them, enjoys chasing them. =>
          Thank you,
          dave

    • Yes, I agree with you RR. B.B’s blog is a great place to visit. I’m visiting with family and I told my brother about this blog and he asked if people are civil and I said Yes! They are! That is so basic, but not all that typical on an internet site. When I was new here, I didn’t read the comments after B.B’s entry, but then I saw a comment that actually added good info to the discussion, then another, until I began to read them all and then I’d go in later in the day to see if there was more discussion. The high quality of B.B.s writing brings smart and interesting people into the discussion and though some have come and gone, there has been a core group of excellent contributors adding good stuff to the discussion.
      I come here to learn and the classes are informative and entertaining! I’m the only airgun shooter I know, so I meet here to consume info on the hobby with my coffee every weekday. I can name more than ten contributors in seconds, because they’re good people who actually think about stuff and don’t just spout uninformed, reactionary garbage.
      So what have I learned on this blog? Stay after the show is over, there is more to come!

  6. I’ve learned that this blog is a diamond mine of information, and full of good folks willing to help a newbie. Just search the blog and chances are good you’ll find an answer, or simply ask at the current post and the “BB and the Regulars” leap into action to help. And not just about airguns, either. You are all diamonds. I just read a post about Field Target and tuning a barrel to shoot a promising pellet better, and my head was spinning. I’ve been way out of my depth trying to understand the arcane workings of springs under the patient guidance of engineers. Diamonds. I recall reading blogs about BB’s and Edith’s health issues and offering tearful prayers for strangers whose troubles occurred years prior, but felt as if they were just happening today. I have read hundreds if not thousands of patient responses from BB in response to frantic questions from countless anonymous comments about leaking CO2 cartridges and how and what to lubricate, and referrals to repair stations. BB is a diamond, for sure. I have learned that while BB is the great enabler, his wife, Edith, was our great Den Mother, diplomatically keeping this blog from devolving into petty arguments about politics and other nonsense. She was the finest diamond of all. May her memory be eternal! And thanks to this blog, her memory will be eternal for those who read the old posts. Thank you Pyramyd AIR for hosting this blog, and thank you B.B., Edith in Heaven, and all of you who contribute to this group.

    P.S. I’ve also learned my posts are too long. ;o)

    • Roamin Greco,

      Your posts are fine. They haven’t reached the length of some posts made by some members who we haven’t seen for some time like Matt61.

      Siraniko

  7. BB

    I learned all I know about airguns from you and readers who comment. A lifelong firearms collector, shooter and reloader, I prided myself on meticulous safety habits. One day it finally dawned on me I needed to change my pellet loading routine. I was not holding on to the barrel or cocking lever on my spring guns. About the time I got a FWB300S you reminded readers again to always hold on to a break barrel or spring gun lever when loading a pellet, and yes, even a FWB300S which can mangle fingers should it let go. Well this woke me up because my fingers spend a lot of time in that large loading area. Starting on that day my loading methods for every springer I own was altered to allow one hand to be free to hold on. Happily I’ve never had a bent barrel episode or worse thanks to you for that.

    There are many other tips I have adopted but this safety advice stands out as number #1.

    Deck

  8. BB, do you remember Ken Rideout? He used to set up at the Malvern Airgun Shows. I think he now lives just a bit East of Dallas. For years he has taught police officers who to ride and maneuver at low speeds on motorcycles. He also competed in low speed maneuverability events.

  9. BB,

    I come here to learn and to share, to help and be helped – we have a special community here, the best in the world!

    I really appreciate Pyramyd AIR hosting the blog, you Tom for managing the blog and our readership – the old veterans and the newbies a like – who give the blog its personally.

    Somehow it doesn’t seem strange to discuss motorcycles on an airgun blog – I learn something new every day 🙂

    Cheers!
    Hank

  10. B.B.,

    My Walther LGV still shoots smoothly as can be. (But the problem now is I can’t complain about it anymore!)

    Regarding motorcycles and weight, I have an opinon to share of a veteran motrorcycle course instructor my dad knew way back. Be forewarned that the opinion is not mine, and it may be completely wrong. But he had ridden motorcycles for forty years and taught riding to beginners for about thirty years. For a long time he preached the rule that anyone, including a full-grown adult, who wishes to buy his or her first bike should get a lightweight, lower powered one. Only go for the larger bike you really want after a year or so getting comfortable with the “beginner bike.”

    This was until a student enrolled in his beginner course who had gone out and purchased his first motorcycle, the bike of his dreams, a large bike with a lot of displacement. He had never ridden it, not even a few yards. He had a friend drive it to the class as he followed in the friend’s car. My dad’s buddy thought a disaster was about to happen.

    But to his surprise everything worked out fine, certainly not any worse than a first day rider with a small bike. He soon came to change his mind about beginners and motorcycle size, especially if the rider is a medium-sized or larger person. After that he advised beginners to get the bike they really wanted, within reason, to learn on and not have to trade-up after a short period. That was the advice he gave me when at 20 or so I was thinking of becoming a motorcyclist and was eyeing a particular big Honda. (I eventually decided I couldn’t afford it and never did get a motorcycle.)

    Again, however, I am aware his opinion is likely a minority one.

    Michael

    • After many years on “Standard” bikes (Honda CB500, Kawasaki KZ650, and several others, I got a Yamaha RZ350 in a trade (about 1986 time frame). It was a tiny 2-stroke with racy fairings and it weighed next to nothing. Once it got going, it was a joy to take out on curvy roads, but it was a PAIN to ride around town – where most of my riding took place. Leaving a light or stop sign required ~8000 rpm launches with deft clutch use. Getting it very wrong meant killing the engine or wheelies… I tended to err towards wheelies. I sold it when I guy made me a decent offer, and bought a 1984 Yamaha FJ1100. At the time this was one of the “scariest and sportiest” bikes around, and I was a little concerned. It turns out that, unless you twisted the throttle too much, it was an absolute pussycat to ride. The massive torque (starting low in the rev range), excellent clutch, long (for a sport bike) wheelbase, and bit of extra weight made it a great town bike – and still very fun on the twisties. Sadly, the bike was stolen around 1990 – I still miss that bike! -bes

      • BES,

        Ah — the days of dry clutches! 😉

        The wet clutches in most motorcycles today make them all easy to ride. Just stay away from those with automatic transmissions. Since there is no clutch, they can be real bears at slow speeds.

        BB

      • Bes
        My buddy had a 2 stroke kaw like the 350 Yamaha you had. Very hard to powerband to learn.

        And don’t remember what year but I think in the 80’s or 90’s Yamaha came out with the YZR 1300 street bike. And I might even be wrong on the year it was. Thinking more it might of been even around the early 2000’s. Ther was a magazine advertisement that showed the yzr running next to a ZR1 Corvette on a ovel closed course track. My brother had one. I have have had several almost 9 second cars. But that bike was scarry. My brother would stand it up sideways burning the tire and ride it like a dirt bike. But he was doing it on the street with a 1309 street bike. My buddy Kieth now has a Hayabusa and he’s 60 years old and still rides like he was 20. Too much for me anymore on a bike. Now give me a drag or road race or drift car and I’m happy.

  11. Tom – I’m sure you do, but many don’t know that riding a motorcycle (or bike) slowly is much harder than riding a bit faster. The wheels and tires create more and more stability (due to gyroscopic effects) as the bike speeds up. Maneuvering smoothly at slow speed is HARD and requires practice – at least it does for most of us. Many of us will never be great at it (see some videos of Japanese Gymkana races example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swRyCfHNlUo), but most of us can get much, MUCH better with practice. I rarely ride anymore, but when I do, slow maneuvers are always the most “nervous”. -bes

    • BES,

      Like most motorcycle riders, I never thought about riding slow, except for Trials, and I was never good enough to consider competing.

      But I have learned so many things with these bigger bikes! And I get to be a student once again.

      And that video was great! Now, can they do the same things at 8 mph? 😉

      BB

      • BB
        When you say trails competition. Do you mean the cycles that have the big sprocket on the back wheel and they are basically balancing the bike and going over over and up and down obstacles on a trail usually on one wheel be it the front or back wheel and bouncing over and up stuff? And by the way I love that type of trails riding. Cool stuff.

        One of my buddy’s Kieth (we called him Krazy Kieth) raced moto cross, did trails competition and even drag raced a old yellow (70’s) Kaw 3 cylinder 2 stroke street bike. He loved bikes and was very good. He would do things on them bikes I would of thought wasn’t even possible. Sometimes I would just stop and watch him ride.

        I don’t know if it was no fear or he was just flat out good or a combination of both. All I know is he had it happening.

  12. Tom,

    couple of pointers for you coming from someone who has ridden continuously since 1968, written for several regional motorcycle magazines and attended a number of press outings on new machines including track time:

    1. Leaning is over-rated. You do not steer a single tracked vehicle by leaning but by counter-steering. Once you get over 10 mph, you steer the bike by moving the handlebars. The physics behind that is called gyroscopic precession (any rotary wing pilots on this blog will tell you that’s how their crafts steer as well!),. Essentially, push right to go right, push left to go left
    2. You go where you look. If you go into a turn and you stare at that tree or armalite barrier at the turn’s apex, that’s where you will end up. Look at the exit of the turn or as far up the road as you can. Same thing for slow speed maneuvering in parking lots or u-turns on roads. Look where you want to end up, not at the shoulder!
    3. Before they went belly-up, the motorcycle magazines came out with the acronym ‘ATGATT”. It stands for “all the gear, all the time”. No shorts, no sneakers, no T-shirt. They sell ventilated jackets that will keep you cool so long as you’re moving and are padded at the shoulders and elbows. Of course, wear a DOT approved helmet.
    4. The secret of slow turns for parking lot maneuvers or u-turns is to weight the outside peg or in your case, floor board. By the way, like foot pegs, your floor boards are hinged so don’t worry about scraping them in turns. I don’t know about Harley but the Japanese bikes have a sacrificial piece on the end of their boards so when they get worn from scraping, they can be replaced for a fraction of the cost of a new floor board. Here also, you need to look where you want to end up – not at the surface right in front of your wheel!

    That Harley is a great looking bike. You just need to practice. Look up some advanced riding courses. Normally given on the weekend in a huge, unused parking lot.

    Fred formerly of the Peeples Demokratik Republik of NJ now happily riding in the North GA mountains

  13. I taught the MC safety course for a while. The up shot of that was I effectively took the course many times, and got good at the maneuvers required in it. The result was that it reflected in my street riding. When I got my ultra, to get a base sticker I had to take an experienced rider course, I was not pleased at the prospect, (take an experienced rider or street riding course). I had ridden for many years by this time, this would be an annoyance. To my surprise, it was an eye opener. That lead to my interest in instructing the course. Any training you get from this point will be a gain in muscle memory and skill. The truisms of motorcycles from my prospective is that any qualified training you get WILL benefit you. The bike goes where you are looking. Don’t look down, look ahead. You can brake while leaned over , but you must stop with the motorcycle vertical. ATGATT* will save you much grief when you least expect it (*all the gear, all the time). Modern motorcycle clothing is remarkably comfortable and protective. Ride like they can’t see you, the ones that see you are trying to get you. At low speed your front brake is not your friend. Practice clutch control. After I was an instructor I rode the course on my ultra before a class one day, and was surprised to find it was as easy to ride the course (no pressure, no one watching mind you) on it as it was on the small trainer cycles. If you don’t want to do the maneuvers on the big bike, take a course that supplies the bikes. Practice is good, but instruction can identify and minimize practice of bad or poor form. Much like shooting, when you get to the point that concentration has waned, you will not be as (accurate) safe.

    • Guys,

      I wear a ventilated armored jacket every time I ride and long pants from now on. My helmet is a modular full-face unit.

      I know the floorboards are kinged, but catch one on a high spot and it will hook and take you down.

      Yes, I believe the big bikes are easy to ride, but the techniques are counter-intuitive. BB will practice. And BB is learning.

      BB

    • MMCM13,
      I am with you 100%! When I moved up from Florida to work here at the Base in Middle Georgia, my wife asked what we were going to do the last weekend before I transferred up here. I said I didn’t know what she was going to do, but as for me, I had no choice; I HAD to take a motorcycle safety course given by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) at a nearby base in Florida; and if I didn’t pass and get that MSF card, I would not be able to ride my Harley onto the Base (uncool). I was the only guy over 40 in the course; everyone else was in their 20s. I had already been riding since before those young riders were born, and thought I “knew it all.” But actually, I learned A LOT! At the end of the course (after I passed), the instructor asked me, as the oldest rider (he knew I’d been riding since age 17), to tell the class what I thought of the course. And I got up and said that, while I’d been riding for 22 years and thought I knew it all, I DID NOT; I said I learned a lot from the course about handling turns and braking maneuvers; I told them to pay attention to what they’d learned as it was good stuff, and might save their life some day.
      They seemed surprised a guy as old as I was thought he learned something; so, hopefully, that hit home with them.
      Several years later, as they were pulling over all riders as we went through the gate for a mandatory safety inspection, I got pulled over by a young guard, perhaps 18 years old.
      He kept staring at my black leather gloves, which had been burned mostly white by the sun over the course of years, and asked how long I’d been riding. “Over 30 years, son,” I said, “these gloves and these boots are both older than you.”
      Him: “Uh yeah…you’re good; you can go.”
      Sometimes our years of experience pay off. =>
      Safe riding to you, and lots of it,
      dave

  14. All this talk with these handling issues with the motorcycles today has me remembering my moto cross racing days when I was a young whipper snapper.

    Talk about a variety of different conditions and speeds try some motocross racing. With just a 5 lap race you were pretty beat up and wore out from throwing that bike around and I’m talking 12 to 16 years old. I was pretty fit back then. I could never ride a dirt bike now days like I use to. The 4 wheelers we got now is about all I’m good for now days. I guess I mostly joy ride them. But every once and a while I’ll get a wild hair up my butt and throw it around a bit.

    Now as far as street bike riding. Nope never did. Done seen to much crazy stuff happen to my friends and my brother’s friends through out time street bike riding. I’ll just say it nicely. There are too many stupid people out there on the roads.

    All I can say is if you street ride keep your eyes open and have a loud bike and wear bright colors when you ride. At the least that will help keep the sunny side up if you know what I mean.

  15. “What have you learned?”
    Well, B.B., I’ve learned a heap of things; here’s a short list:
    1) How to properly mount a scope.
    2) How to shim a scope so the reticle is not “floating.”
    3) How, when, and with what to lubricate airguns.
    4) How to properly apply the artillery hold on springers.
    5) How to dis-assemble and re-assemble many airguns.
    6) How to construct targets and safe backstops.
    and most importantly,
    7) How to interact with many other airgunners from various backgrounds.
    Thanking you and PyramydAir for this blog,
    dave

  16. Tom,

    I’m going to share the most important thing that I learned from participation in this blog, and it is not specifically airgun (or motorcycle) related . . .

    It was learned years ago, one day when I was chatting back and forth in the blog with Edith on a theme related to enjoying trying to do things even when we know we are no where near as good as other people we know doing it. I do remember mentioning, as an example, was how much I was enjoying playing adult recreational ice hockey, even though I was not any good at it (having started it in my 40s, and was playing with other adult beginners but also many good players that started as kids).

    She then said something to me as common wisdom that I have not heard anywhere else, and it resonated as absolutely true, but was exactly the opposite of what we always hear: “Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly.” So true – just because we may not be among the best at something does not mean there is no value in doing it. These pursuits can bring us great joy . . . .

    That articulation clarified something that I had always known to be true but could never clearly put into words. I will carry that lesson with me – and continue to share it with others – for the rest of my life.

    I thank her greatly for that lesson. God bless.

    Alan

    • Alan,

      Edith picked that up from an associate pastor at our church. When she first said it to me I was impressed, like you.

      What a gal! 🙂

      BB

      • Howdy, Mr. BB sir, Orange, black & a little chrome (chrome don’t getcha home). That is one sweeet steel pony, you ol’ saddle tramp, congratz, happy for ya. Only 2 types of riders, those who have fallen over & those who are going to. As Clint sez: A man has got to know his limitations. Never stop practicing. Split a lane with ya anytime. 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul. Ride safe my friend.
        Beaz

  17. BB, That’s a pretty color for such a classic. It looks great just sitting there. Of course , I also see a scary time trying to park on a hill. No reverse? The FJ11oo was the last of the UJM air and oil cooled road bikes.I really wanted one, but made do with a Yamaha xj650rj. I didnt like to ride it past 60mph because it seemed to wobble. The SuperSport was completely confidance inspiring at well over 100mph, but it was really a race bike, after riding for 60K it got sold in one day, I should have asked for more money, and I should have bought a nice wood stocked Walther LGV for my little rack when they were avaiable. I hope I am getting better at recognizing things like that now, thank you all for the valuable info and insight! I am praying for a good outcome over there, and here as well. Having lived through the Iranian hostage crisis, and the fall of Saigon, it seems familiar.
    Rob

  18. B.B.,

    This blog taught me that I needed at least one Adult Spring Piston Airgun to call myself an all around airgunner. I bought two of the SIG ASP20 in the two available calibers; the .177 in wood and the .22 in the synthetic stock.
    Just that pair of purchases made it well worth it reading this Blog. The rest of it is getting to know the regular and occasional commenters a little.

    This Blog of yours is a great place on an Internet that has far too few.

    shootski

    • NO!!! You didn’t read the memo carefully!? ASP20 is GAS spring. To call yourself an all around airgunner, you need at least one Adult Spring Piston airgun that actually has a heavy-duty COIL spring inside. ASP20 doesn’t cut it. You’ll need an R9 or a Diana 48 to earn the title. 😉

      • BobF,

        You would ask about the .22! I had a smallish supply of older.22 pellets from my Marauder and a few other of the .duce-duce caliber; JSB Exact15.8 grain (gray tin) and RWS Superdome 14.5 grain. The JSB’s groups kept getting smaller and smaller as I learned and the rifle were breaking in until it was routinely shooting 1 MOA out to 50 meters. The RWS Superdomes were 1.20 MOA but throw a flyer that takes it out to 2 MOA all too often; I haven’t got that many of them down range as the JSBs so maybe it is conditions driven. The weather (thunderstorms, flooding rains, HUMID heat, and gusty winds) has been awful for backyard shooting and I haven’t been to the indoor range with it.
        I also just got a long awaited big order of ammo from PA to include: AA Diabolo Field, JSB Jumbo Exact, JSB Diabolo Exact JUMBO Express, FX 15.89 gr. all in quantity to keep the testing and learning going. Now if only the weather would cooperate or my schedule let me get to the indoor range. I also got 100 .30 Cal. 135 gr. Spire Points to try in the DAQ at 250 meters and beyond this Fall : )

        Not much help for you so far. I’m surprised at how well it shoots the old JSBs since I’m also just learning how to shoot a Gas Spring!

        shootski

        • Shootski,

          I also have a synthetic stocked 22 and it drove me crazy for awhile. Tried the 15.9 JSB’s and AA 16’s as per BB’s blog report. They shot ok but nothing spectacular. Did the same as you with the RWS’s and Crosman Premiers. It shot them but not really well. Finally ran some JSB Exact Jumbo Express 14.3’s through her and boy does that rifle really like them! I’m not much of a paper puncher but last fall I knocked 07 out of 08 blackbirds out of the top of a big beech tree at the corner of my back yard. Was just sitting on the back porch steps and all the shots were later ranged between 65 and 70 yds. I don’t know what more you can ask for from a rifle! I will say by that point I had probably run about 1500 or so rounds through her so I was really used to the trigger and the gun was pretty much broken in. I hate to admit this, but if this rifle had a Record trigger it really would be a world beater. It really is a shame that SIG stopped production! Now that’s just my two cents for the evening.

          Hope you find that magic pellet for yours!

          BobF

  19. You won’t easily tip this one, B.B. Maybe that’s your next one. All kidding aside, you’ll overcome the riding troubles with your current mount; in contrast, humanity will be better off and safer thru FM sticking with 4-wheeled vehicles.

    Let’s be careful out there, all you riders. Mostly beware of the Dead Behind The Wheel types, AKA to FM as Autozombies. I quit riding long distances on my pedal bike around here – S FL – because of these deadly dimwits.

    What has FM learned from this blog? Lots of useful things about airgun lubrication and maintenance, sighting, proper hold, scopes and too much more to mention. Have also learned – or been reminded – that airgun enthusiasts are PCP – Pretty Cool People.

      • Believe most of the turning is done with the tracks, similar to how you turn a tank. Note the front wheel is solid, which no doubt helps steer because you have some mass to work with. The engine is a 1.5 liter Opel 4-cyl. My friend who owns this neat machine says that after the war the German forest service found these Kettenkrads were very useful for navigating through terrain and narrow areas when doing maintenance and repair work. I’d love to drive one – under adult supervision, of course.

        https://www.kettenkrad.de/techdata_e.htm

        • Basil,

          You nailed it! There’s no way that front wheel can make much of a difference in direction. With the tracks you can even neutral steer, if the transmission will permit. That’s one track going forward and the other in reverse. The vehicle rotates on the center of its tracks, going neither forward or back.

          BB

          • While researching, found that towards the end of the war these were being produced solely as halftracked “tractors.” The Waffenamt types decided that front “steering” wheel wasn’t much help and it was discarded.

          • Weird. Saw a comment on this topic from Gunfun1 in my email but do not see it in the blog; maybe FM is having a Mr. Magoo moment. But to answer GF1, the vehicle you are thinking of is the little amphibious VW, the Schwimmwagen. No, this tracked “motorcycle” is not FM’s; would be nice if it were but no room in the garage or money in the bank for one.

        • FawltyManuel,

          I did see the comment in my RSS notification too, but it had evaporated from the blog by the time I was looking for the context. Probably deleted by Gunfun1 after a few minutes.

          Siraniko

  20. Where to begin! Let’s see, mounting a scope, shimming, droop compensation, etc. And the best of all, bending barrels! Thank you for that! I saved 3 rifles including a 1918 BSA SMLE. All the tuning tricks and dealing with leather washer rifles. Thank you, it’s a great group of readers.

  21. I can’t believe all I have learned from my daily reading of this Blog. It has not only caused me to purchase airguns. But knife sharpeners, spotting scopes, and a reloading press.

    B.B. I bet you could whip your old Ossa Pioneer around in that figure 8. In my 55 years of riding you are the only other person I have known to own an Ossa. Most have never even heard of one!

  22. Have I learned any lessons from this blog? Oh my yes.

    I was an experienced hunter, firearm shooter, collector of guns, reloader, etc. when I stumbled across this blog during my search for an airgun for pest eradication.

    Little did I know what I didn’t know. I wasn’t and still am not engaged in blogs or social media. Nonetheless I read B.B.’s blog religiously. One of the reasons is the lengthy list of things he’s taught me about shooting airguns, maintaining airguns, the amazing variety of airguns out there, scopes, pellets and on and on. But the main reason I remain mesmerized by this blog is B.B.’s unwavering passion about all things that shoot and his honesty about what his take is since he’s not a shill for anyone.

  23. Thank you B.B.,

    The things this blog has taught me is all about airguns, without this I would know almost nothing about airguns. Thanks for the education you are a hero.

    Mike

  24. What have I learned? Number one, that airguns can be a very worthy and satisfying hobby! That’s huge! Airguns on the face of it can seem like silly toys, or a guilty pleasure, but there is a lot of depth, history, context, technology, not to mention challenge, that is the real story. If you are a proud and knowledgeable airgunner, this blog and BB’s leadership has laid out that path of discovery and shown the way in so many ways. A few specific items learned here:
    — When, where, and which oils and greases
    — check stock screws
    — beech, walnut, and laminate stock characteristics
    — alternative sight pictures
    — what various post and notch shapes are for in open sights
    — tape back of target paper
    — don’t clean pellets
    — main springs can be cut shorter
    — people love accuracy of PCP, but haven’t emotionally fallen in love with the PCP guns (yet)
    — people do love pretty wood
    — single stroke pneumatics almost all have nice triggers
    — tree rat is slur for squirrel (why?)
    — accuracy is not assured by a nice trigger, nor does it require one
    — the max trigger weight that proves workable is related to the physical weight and fit of the gun
    — longer and shorter and heavier and lighter pellets and slugs may require different velocity (or even different twist rate) to stabilize in flight
    — for equal power and equal pellet weight, the .22 cal pellet will have higher MV than the .20 cal pellet due to increased barrel friction for the longer pellet
    — .22 cal is more efficient with Co2 power than .177 cal
    — .25 cal springer can never be versatile, but a .25 cal PCP might be
    — large, high power springers have limited ideal use case, short range pesting, but are sold as “do it all” guns
    — accuracy keeps your interest more than any other characteristics a gun may boast
    — nearly all air rifles are droopers
    — don’t worry about precision level of scope to gun, it can’t be done, and doesn’t matter more than “appearing level” to the shooter
    — bore cleaning in general is overrated, but when facing a really fouled barrel, use JB Bore Paste 20 times back and forth
    — cast, non-adjustable pistol sights can be dead on
    — Dr. Beeman really got the adult airgunning ball rolling in the USA
    — black powder is similar in many ways to big bores, and pneumatics more generally
    — the Crosman barrel soldering machine is old, huge, one of a kind, and when it is retired, the “American pumper” in the soldered barrel format we have known will no longer be possible in regular production
    — scientific gasses used improperly in PCP can be deadly destructive
    — you can’t turn back time to employ obsolete production techniques, no matter what, it’s economically and technically impossible
    — new can be of highest quality and performance
    — pellets are better than ever
    — fully tin non-lead pellets can be as accurate as lead pellets sometimes
    — Crosman Premier pellets are of lead alloyed with tin which hardens them
    — JSB pellets are non-alloyed pure lead and therefore softer than Crosman
    — sorted pellets may improve accuracy of some guns in some situations
    — when first sighting in, if hitting the target at 8-10 feet, will be on the paper at 10 meters
    — low, medium, and high scope mounts can all be accurate and of value
    — scopes adjusted to the limits of elevation will usually be unstable, produce wandering zero point
    — some days you’re ON, and some you’re not
    — the diabolo pellet is a shuttlecock design to produce accuracy through stable high-drag flight, not designed to conserve downrange velocity
    — a trime is an antique coin smaller than a US dime
    — shave with a straight razor if ____ (fill in blank with some cute plausible kooky reason)

    I could keep going and going, but will wrap up with this observation. An internet forum and blog can be a cordial place for sharing and learning when it has deeply involved and invested leadership committed to building community based on mutual respect and consideration. Thanks BB!
    Peace out.
    Andy

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