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Ammo A little fun!

A little fun!

106 Q-tip
The .22-caliber Crosman 106 proved to be an effective cotton swab shooter.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • What
  • Couldn’t sell it
  • Velocity with pellets
  • A colossal blunder
  • Something different
  • Today
  • Target
  • Aim point
  • Denny liked it, too
  • Summary

Today we will have some fun for the weekend. I told you about this in my report on the airgun show at Malvern last week. This guy named Tony from Texarkana told me about shooting the hanging chain on his overhead light with Q-tips from his Benjamin 132. It turns out that the tips of the swab are almost perfectly sized for .22 caliber airgun barrels.

Well, I don’t have a Benjamin 132 and I wasn’t about to buy one just for this. What to do?


Then, while rummaging around my pile of old airguns, I spotted a .22-caliber Crosman 106 multi-pump that is even older than Tony’s 132. I had it resealed by Rick Willnecker a few years ago, so it holds air and works, but the rear sight is goofed up.

106 rear sight
A former owner bent the rear sight down to get the pistol to shoot lower. As we will discover today, that’s no longer necessary.

Couldn’t sell it

I had offered it for sale for $80 at the 2018 Texas Airgun Show, but there was no interest. So, I decided to try to do something with it.

This pistol had not worked since I acquired it perhaps 10-15 years previously. I had tried lubing it with Crosman Pellgunoil several times to no avail. But I wondered if ATF Sealant might do the trick, so I lubed the pump head and set the gun aside for several days. Then I started pumping and shooting, pumping and shooting. After 10 minutes of that the gun was holding some air, as long as I cocked it before pumping. Some guns require you to do that but the 106 isn’t one that does.

106 pump open
The 106 with the pump handle open.

I worked and worked on the gun by pumping and shooting, and after several days I could get it to hold air for 8 hours, as long as I left it cocked. But the instant I lowered the striker down on the valve it started to leak. The leak was slow but constant. The air from 4 pumps would completely exhaust in 2 hours.

So I sent the gun to Rick Willnecker, the owner of Precision Pellet, who turned it around in record time. Now, it holds for days with the gun uncocked and it fills without cocking. Precision Pellet repairs many of the vintage airguns that manufacturers no longer support with parts. He has made the parts for many of those old guns, and repair centers and people around the world buy those parts from him. I have used him since I started writing about airguns in 1993, and I hope he will always be there for me.

Velocity with pellets

To find out how stable the gun is I conducted another test. I pumped the gun the maximum number of times, which I determined was 5 strokes, and shot .22-caliber Crosman Premier pellets 5 times. Look at what I got.


The average was 240 f.p.s. for this string. The maximum spread went from 233 to 246 f.p.s., which is 13 f.p.s. That’s not terrible, but it’s on the high side for a multi-pump. I expected 4-5 f.p.s. maximum.

A colossal blunder

Back in 2018 I reported that this was a model 105 pistol, which would have been a .177. In fact it is a model 106, which is .22. I even recorded the velocity in Part 2 of that series with Crosman Premier Lights, so I must have been off my medication on the day I wrote up that test, because this pistol is clearly a .22! I did also own a .177 model 105 at that time, so perhaps I got them confused.

I never tested the pistol for accuracy because it shot too high. Even with the rear sight hammered low it shot high. So today I tested the pistol for accuracy with cotton swabs and you may consider this to be Part 3 of the 105/106 test.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Something different

Cotton swabs? Q-tips? Now, there is something different. Shooting them is like shooting arrows, which we have done a few times in this blog — with conventional crossbows, with repeating crossbows and again with toothpick crossbows.

As soon as I returned from Malvern I found the 106 and muzzle-loaded a Q-tip. Then I took aim at the overhead light fixture chain and whammo — I hit it! This really works!


This isn’t a real test. It’s just a short look at what is possible. I didn’t test the velocity of the Q-tips but I did test their accuracy.


For a target I stretched some aluminum foil over an empty trashcan that would hopefully catch the Q-tips after they were shot. Then I set up a chair about 10 feet from the can. Tony told me the Q-tips would be accurate that far, but not much farther.

Aim point

I aimed for the center of the bull. It’s approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. 

The first two shots went through the same hole and I was wondering if I needed to get out the gold dollar for the target picture. Alas, the next two of the 6 shots came out of the muzzle but never went anywhere and the other two shots hit the foil higher. My guess is the centers of the four holes are spaced about three inches apart, but with the final shot going partially sideways, it’s just a guess.

106 target
The first two shots went through the same hole (arrow). Shot three went above them and to the right and shot four went through the bull partially sideways.

Denny liked it, too

I showed this to my neighbor, Denny, and after seeing me shoot it one he immediately asked to try. So I know it’s something you guys will enjoy if you try it. I will warn you that for the first 20 shots or so the Q-tips will have black gunk on them that will mark you walls, so be careful.

Can it be done with a .177 pistol? Maybe if you remove some of the cotton from both ends of the swab you could make it work. I think the swab stick is smaller than .177.


Some of you guys have older pistols like this one, and maybe you don’t shoot them very much. This is a way to get the old gals back into the game. 

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.

98 thoughts on “A little fun!”

  1. Here’s my contribution:

    A 3/16″ dowel will easily fit down the bore of a .177 air gun. That means it’s great if you ever need to ram a pellet back out the breech, but it also means it can also be muzzle-loaded into the a pneumatic like a Crosman 1377 and fired.

    A single thickness of masking tape wound around the base of the dowel will give just enough pressure against the rifling to provide a good seal. By itself, the dowel is unstable – the 12″ dowels I have will fly straight after 3-5 pumps, but at 8-10 pumps, will flex in flight and end up flying off in odd directions.

    You can, however, blunt the tip and tape a flattened-out paper airplane to the center of gravity, which will give you something that can be launched around the house. Keep in mind that if you fire lead pellets, the tape driving band will likely pull out some of the lead from your barrel.


      • GF1,

        Assuming the planes fly straight instead of corkscrewing into the ground, I’ve gotten them to fly 30-40 feet. The dowel adds a lot of weight, and the whole assembly is much heavier than any pellet, so it launches at maybe 40-50 fps. Elastic-band launched paper airplanes are faster, but that’s not really the point of this exercise, right?


        • Nathan
          I’m definitely going to do some air gun – air plane experimenting.

          And now it makes me remember something from when I was a kid. It was a spring operated pistol that shot a plane with a plastic profile fuselage and cardboard wings.

          And thinking more I believe it was RidgeRunner that mentioned a while back a spring or rubber band powered copter you shot a Maple seed shaped projectile in the air and it spiraled down like a Mable seed.

          We use to throw the maple seeds up in the air and watch them spiral down when we was kids. We also use to use the flat part of the wing part of the Maple seed as a loud whistle if you put it in your mouth and blew over it. Anybody else ever do that?

    • Siraniko,

      You could use a sproinger. Now, of course you should not use something that just slides down the barrel and through the transfer port. That sounds like something I would have done as a kid.

      • RidgeRunner,

        I could imagine using cleaning pellets behind the Q-tips to increase the resistance. If you use the plastic Q-tips you could probably put a large needle inside the front making a disposable dart in the process.


        • Siraniko,
          I broke my first .177 Beeman R7 after reading about cleaning pellets; I didn’t have any, so I figured a Q-tip would work; I jammed one into the barrel (too much resistance, but I did not know that at the time) and fired the gun; the Q-tip did not come out; I had to push it out; after that, the velocity seemed really low (no chronograph back then). I sent the gun back to Beeman for repair; I got charged as it was not under warranty for what I had done; the gun had a broken spring, which they fixed and they advised me to use cleaning pellets, and not Q-tips in the future. On the positive side, the rifle was returned in better-than-original condition; they sent test data showing H&N match pellets leaving the barrel at 700 fps (8 fpe). Plus, it was a real tack driver. How sad that I “got stupid” and sold it. But my current .22 caliber HW30S (a 7 fpe rifle) is also a tack driver; hence, I will try to stay smart and just shoot it a lot and never sell it. 🙂
          God’s blessings to you,

          • “I bet that happened because it was like a dry fire. I wouldn’t use a spring gun with a cleaning pellet or a q tip.”
            Gunfun1, it was more like a “no fire,” as the double-ended Q-tip that I had mashed in there plugged the barrel so hard that the spring broke trying to push it out. It was totally my fault. And like you said, I have not shot them in springers anymore. 🙂

  2. BB
    I did this a while back with a 1322 and 2250 barrel and 1399 stock on it.

    I was cutting the q tip in half so I could get 2 out of one. I was loading the stick end first from the muzzle end so the cotton was facing the muzzle. Then pushing it down the barrel with a wooden dowel rod.

    I was pumping around 8 pumps and going through one side of a 18 pack cardboard box at 10 yards and hitting pretty consistent.

    BB were you leaving both sides of the cotton on the q tip? Or did you only have 1 side of the swab on stick. If only one side of the cotton which side did you load first from the muzzle. The stick or the cotton.

  3. Back in 1968, when I was 14, I had a Benjamin 137. I would buy wood swabs. The kind you would see in a Doctors waiting room. About 6″ long with a cotton swab on one end. With 6 pumps, it would shoot them out fast and accurate. I would sharpen the tip like a needle. It would bury them into my back yard Cedar fence about 1/2″. I shot an innocent Black Bird out of a Almond tree from about 15 feet. It the bird fell without a twitch. They were deadly..Try shooting groups at 20 feet. You will be surprised.
    BB, this was in Los Gatos.

    • Oh, my goodness! Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity! How could you do such a thing?!

      Actually, that was pretty cool. I have to not let my grandson see this though. I have been trying to teach him not to shoot any critter he did not intend to eat. I myself have popped at a bunch of starlings in the yard one day. I missed, but they have not been back. I have also done my absolute best to put carpenter bees on the top of the Endangered Species List.

    • Greg,

      Los Gatos! Oh, my!

      I remember going to Santa Cruz past the driveway with the two cat statues. Are they strill there?

      Back then people said Alfred Hichcock owned the place.


      • I don’t know if the cats are there. I left Los Gatos in 76. I heard the same rumor about Big Al. I don’t know if it was true. Los Gatos foothills, when I was an early teen, was my playground. I spent as much time with my Crosman 760, then a Sheridan Blue Streak as I could. Even days when I was supposed to be in school. I also learned all about poison oak too !

  4. BB,

    Most interesting. I know Siraniko thinks you cannot do this with a sproinger, but I think this will work fantastically with one. A lowered powered one would probably work better than an Uber Magnum. There is a certain Webley Senior and Webley MKII Service that will likely try it out sometime this weekend.

    I like GF1’s idea of cutting them in half. It could possibly increase their velocity and accuracy. I hope it does not rain this weekend.

  5. 45 years or so ago I would cut the end from a shoe lace, leaving 1/4″ of the lace still attached. Worked great in Marksman 1010 in stead of darts. If you wanted to have them stick in a dartboard, simply push a straight pin or needle down the middle of the lace.

    • rk
      That’s a cool idea. Never thought of that.

      Makes me wonder if a small diameter plastic drink straw with some yarn in the center super glued in with a couple drops would work. And like you mentioned a needle could be placed in the middle too.

  6. Thank you B.B., for this reminder of “the good ol’ days.” Twenty years ago, I saw a Crosman 106 for sale at our local gun store, which did not usually deal in airguns, but someone had traded it in. I told the owner I would be interested if it shot OK; he pulled out some pellets, and we walked out to the side (dirt) parking lot, which is just off of a main road, and took turns shooting at some cans we found. Today, someone would likely call the cops, but it was fun to see the owner get outside for a change, and we had fun plinking with that old gal. Oh, and since she shot well, he said, “How about fifty bucks?” I was happy to part with that for a cool old airgun like the 106. I shot it for years; it made a nice boat gun for plinking at targets on the Florida canals (no worries about ricochets, as with a firearm). When I left Florida, I passed the gun on to one of my boating buds so he could have it as a boat gun. Good times! 🙂
    Take care & God bless,

  7. Fun read indeed; if everyone strived to be a kid at heart, this would be a better world. Something that comes out in the reading is that Q-tips seem to be a good substitute for cleaning pellets. But never have used cleaning pellets, so this is pure speculation on FM’s part. Going to have to try this with my .22 airfriends.

    Rick Willnecker repaired the .22 Crosman 38T revolver which had sat forgotten and forlorn for too many years and I was very pleased with the rebuild. He did warn me to protect the rear sight and not ship the plastic grips with the gun. These are parts which apparently are difficult if not impossible to get. They must be made from Unobtainium!

  8. B.B.,

    Now you’ve done it! :^) I’m going to have so much fun doing this today I won’t get to anything on my list of round tuits for the weekend.

    This seems like a natural to me. The cotton on the back end probably is as efficient as one of the most efficient airguns — the blowgun. The Huaorani/Waorani (formerly called “auca,” a slur) of the Amazon Basin glue fluff from Kapok seeds on the rear end of darts to catch the compressed air. It looks very much like the fluff on the ends of Q-Tips.

    Right now I am going to grab some swabs and select an appropriate air gun.


  9. I think a Beeman P17 would be good for shooting swabs etc. I will try it today, I need some trigger time for the soul. Kate just showed me where her stash of swabs are. I did not tell her what I am going to use them for. I will hang some small targets from strings in my shop. Projects have taken up all my fun time lately.

    It is raining today Hooray! Even though I hauled in 24 yards of horse manure for the garden and now have a mess I am celebrating the rain. I hope it dries out in the next week though, so I can spread it and plow it in and plant the winter garden.


    • Benji-Don,

      Glad to hear you are hip deep in HS and NOT in BS! Hope you get gentle rains many days of Indian Summer!
      We have very little Horse Sense and lots af BS happening nearby in the Nation’s HQ! Of course we also have no shortage of political $$$$. Millions of dollars are flooding in from outside our Commonwealth trying to get a retread governor elected….
      I hope you get the garden planted before the snows fly. The SkiShed reports it has a couple of feet of snow on the roof. The forecast for 8,000′ and above is for for a few more in the next few days. Now if I can just convince my better half that it is safe to travel by air.
      I NEED to get back to the mountains and a little sanity right after the election.


      • Shooski,

        Good luck on the trip to the SkiShed, I would not be too concerned about flying if fully vacinated, especially including a buster as long as there is not underlying conditions. That is just me though.

        I love the mountains, I always get into a funk when it is time to leave. Our cabin is at 6000 feet. We had some snow flurries when we were up there last week. It melted off but hopefully will start sticking soon.


        PS Indian summer is my favorite time of the year.

    • Don
      Cool a winter garden. We’ll that sounds funny when I read it. 🙂

      Let’s try this again. I live in the Midwest and I think you mentioned you live in California. Maybe?

      But in Illinois we only plant summer gardens. We’ll where I’m from anyway. And till now I never thought of a winter garden. I like.

      Thanks for bringing that up. And what do you normally plant?

      • GF1,

        Yep I am in California, out of Sacramento, I grow lettuce, cabbage, snow peas, turnips, radishes, beets, daikon, and other root crops, most years we plant around 300 onions and 300 garlic plants. For the last three years we have not had a significant freeze, I could probably plant many other crops now. Our garden is shared with our 95 yr old neighbor and my inlaws.

        Today I am making a big pot of chili verde with tamatillos and a few kinds of chilie peppers I just picked from the garden. The summer garden is just about done now.

        I think you would need a greenhouse for winter crops.


        • Don
          Reminds me of my dad’s garden on the farm.

          And that Verde is great over some chili seasoned pork with sour cream and lime and sautéed onions and maybe some refried beans. I love that stuff. Well if we are talking the same Verde. My mom and dad made it into Verde sauce I guess you call it. And also love home made guacamole salsa.

          Haven’t had any in a while. Sounds very good.

  10. B.B.,

    I wonder how many Q-Tips I can load into a .410 shot shell wad/cup?
    Still patiently waiting on my DAQ .410 Camp & Garden Shot Pistol to arrive at the door.
    I think I will try to shoot a few of the yellow foam earplugs out of it too! I was thinking about Nerf Darts too!

    Lots of different caliber options: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=swabsticks&gclid=CjwKCAjwwsmLBhACEiwANq-tXGIP_bNrXVX5wGLC6UjN_KxLtYvyEPzlaWV0GvgMqWegoGIkHN6MLBoCvg4QAvD_BwE&hvadid=241902971487&hvdev=t&hvlocphy=21171&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=7342845842288021278&hvtargid=kwd-295569081979&hydadcr=24665_10401007&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_354g1wobf1_e



    • Shootski
      You ever hear of the salt shot gun loads the farmers use to make to deter the unwanted people pests that would occasionally show up on the farm. Maybe try that in your .410 pistol just for the fun of it. Oh and yes rock salt is lethal out of a .410 shot gun shell. I’m talking table salt.

      And another thing that I heard was done that of course old Gunfun1 knows nothing about. 😉 😉

      Load one or two milk duds or malt balls in a .410 shot gun shell and see what happens. Put it this way whoever the gun is pointed at and one of the malt ball rounds hit they done thought it was all over when they felt the malt ball explode on them. It more than likely won’t do you in but you will remember it for the rest of your life.

      Well wait a minute maybe I just went a bit off subject of the projectile for your .410 air shotgun pistol. But I know you know what I mean. 🙂

  11. Is it just me? I still am not getting emails when someone responds to my comments even though I updated my profile. I do get the PA ads again, though, after signing out of them.


        • Don
          Sure. He seems like he still has the fight in him. He said I believe he has 5 or more weeks of treatment ahead of him then has to wait and see how it goes.

          Told him God will be there and pray.

          Hopefully he will feel up to commenting soon.

  12. My kind of blog! The blog and comments make me realize that I need to stretch my imagination for airgun ammo and use of an air gun.

    I wonder if you lubbed those cotton swabs if it would stabilize them and allow them to be more accurate at long range. Vaseline?

  13. Gunfun1,

    Rock Salt is some nasty dirty stuff out of a shotgun; I have no idea how I ran into some once in a NJ peach orchard! Taught me right quick not to do that kind of stuff Funny… I knew not to tell my parents because that would have hurt far more than any rock salt ;^) I have small sugar pearls and some of the much bigger silver sugar BB’s they used to put on old-fashioned white wedding cakes.
    I’ll probably not shoot any salt out of the DAQ Pistol. I was patient this morning but it didn’t get here today so maybe tomorrow…I Hope, I Hope. The loading components are coming in so i should hopefully not suffer from a vital component shortage. Simple plastic .410 shot cup/wads required a search to find but I did find a reloading supplier that is personally interested in the airgun shot pistol concept. He had no idea how far adult airguns had come, LOL!
    Milk Duds: I downloaded an image for those readers that don’t know what that is.
    Gunfun1 at 1,500+ FPS don’t you think the chocolate “like” coating would be melted by the barrel and air friction?

    You know!!!!!


    • Shootski
      The old Malt balls is what we used actually which was more of a harder shell I guess I’ll call it. They worked good in the old Wrist Rocket sling shots too.

      And melted. Remember I was talking about a .410 firearm shotgun shell loaded with a milk duds or malt ball. The gun powder I’m sure was hot enough to melt the outer coating of the milk dud or malt ball but that didn’t matter because the gun powder done got it out the barrel.

      All I know is the milk duds and malt balls put a heck of a dent in a car fender as it was disintegrating when it hit. And of course that was at about 50 yards.

        • Shootski
          They did what we wanted.

          Let’s say it this way. They were most effective at night time when the farm pest that showed up saw the fire flash then the hit. They usually ran away stumbling all over themselves before they was gone. Lets say it this way. It’s a way to make the farm a lazy place to be after the word gets out. We’ll other than a few occasions where the persistent ones needed a little more one on one schooling. 😉

  14. Gunfun1,

    Those car fenders had some real metal way back then too ;^)
    I’ll be trying all sorts of loads some serious and some for the fun of seeing how much AIR JUICE before they come out the muzzle as a puff of whatever dust!
    The Mylar shot wraps are new to me so I’m really interested in how they will perform keeping the shot column flying in tight formation and for what range.
    I can see lots of with and without tests along with shot diameter changes.

    Non lethal ammo is an interesting area of the shooting World. Maybe some rubber bullets or beanbag loads….


      • Gunfun1,
        I will do that. As you well know with a shotgun/shot pistol patterning is the key. Most folks don’t pattern, or don’t pattern nearly enough to understand their specific scattergun choke/barrel’s performance with all the various sizes, cup/wad styles and composition/construction of the shot itself..
        I think it will take lots of fun shooting to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I just don’t know what I will do with all those big jars and bags of shot…i guess i will just need to get thousands and not hundreds of wad/cups, more air, and more Brass hulls to load it all in.

        Just reading and talking to folk about all the possibilities has kept me sane while I wait for the DAQ to show up at my door.


        • Shootski
          As you know by now I grew up in the crazy state of Illinois.

          Shotgun heaven would be a easy way to describe it. We was taught to shoot a shot gun growing up before we learned to use a spoon to eat. And yes I still eat with my fingers. 🙂
          But yes seriously patterning is a major part of shooting shot gun.

          And don’t know if you have seen those tactical self defense .410 shot gun loads yet. My brother got some for his Judge pistol. The loads he got had buck shot, washers, yes washers and 2 small round lead balls. Not sure what size the balls were.

          But about 35 yards the pattern was the size of a person. I had doubts about the round if it would even hit. But at 35 yards and in it works.

          So as it goes. Don’t think what will happen because you will more than likely be surprised when you shoot. I was.

  15. mildot52
    No place to reply to you above.

    About the maple seed whistle. It’s been years and I mean years since I tried whistling with one.

    If I remember right you stick the thin part in your mouth on your tongue and press the the seed toward the roof of your mouth and blow. You could whistle real loud if you wanted to.

    Maybe I should give it a try this summer and see if I can still do it. On second thought now days I don’t know if I want to stick one in my mouth. Back when we was kids we never even gave that a thought and probably didn’t need to for that matter.

  16. B.B.,

    Early in my Big Bore journey i read your advice about them being much like Black Powder guns. As I cast about for information to use on developing loads for the DAQ .410 Camp & Garden Shot Pistol your sage advice proves true once again. I have used information from a number of BP shooters such as Sam Fadala and others but once again I found this: http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/shotgun.html
    on Bob’s Black Powder Notebook to be among the most concise and useful information. I also just just think the World of his gentle approach to passing on that information…reminds me of an airgun writer I know!
    I think if someone wants to build a really great functional air powered shotgun these writers are a must read early resource.


    • The use of tow as the cushion wad is still very effective for shot or ball. Easy to adjust the amount of cushioning. If you are using a typical 1/2” fiber cushion wad, I would try starting at 1/4” (splitting the wad in half).

      • pacoinohio,

        Over the years of shooting various gauge powder burning scatterguns what you say is absolutely true.
        I will, however, be surprised if the DAQ .410 Shot Pistol will have a sharp enough initial impact on the ball or shot load to cause any deformation or in barrel braking friction. I’m going to start with the simple plastic shot wads/cups that Dennis has recommended. After some experience with the pistol I’ll try various load/shell versions with thin card on top of the shot load to keep everything inside the six Brass shells supplied with the pistol. I have looked at some modern production .410 brass shot hulls and may order a box or two in order to see if the primer pocket can be bored out to allow the air charge to flow (some type of venturi) better; but that is way ahead of the point I’m at without even seeing the chamber and bore.
        The thing I like about Big Bore airguns is the SOFT recoil that allows the shooter to stay on the sights and very often track the projectile all the way to the target impact. The recoil on my SIG ASP20’s is far sharper than on even my .58 caliber pistol that shoots 283 grain Lead ball and .350 grain hollow point bullets. My first hand experience has shown that with air and modern propellent shooting up to 500+ grain bullets the recoil when shot out of an air rifle is comparatively a very tolerable experience (in my opinion) unlike the same load out of a firearm.
        This WILL be great fun…as soon as it arrives!


  17. Ok, I found some time to try the Beeman P17 with some swabs “Q-tips”. The first test shot got my attention, it ricocheted off the shop door back my direction.

    I decided to set the Air Venturi silhouettes on top of my gun rack for some action shooting. The gun was shooting low at about 11 feet. Once I got the sight picture figured out it was pretty easy to hit the silhouettes.

    My first shots hit the cedar board on the back of my gun rack and stuck in the wood. At close range these swabs are wicked. Here is a picture.


  18. I had a great time yesterday afternoon, but it did not involve Q-Tips. It involved my grandson’s HW30S in .177, a Williams rear peep and a TruGlo front globe sight.

    After zeroing it in at 10 yards, from a sitting position on the back steps I could time and again hit a 3/4″ blackened price dot at 10 yards. I almost had to try to miss. Feral soda cans did not stand a chance at 25 yards. This HW30S has gone from being a wonderful little plinker to an awesome little plinker.

    I hate to admit it, but I have finally found a glowy thingy sight I like.

    Just in case you are curious, I was shooting cheapo Daisy Wadcutters that someone had given me years ago. I was also shooting some of those H&N Excite Hammers. They seem to be some pretty decent pellets. I am going to have to give them some serious shooting time.

    • RidgeRunner, I’m glad your shoulder is healed enough for you to get in some shooting. And I’m glad you liked the TruGlo sight. Friday night I introduced my father in law to his Beeman R-9 to which I installed the TruGlo sight. While he was shooting that from my sandbag, I was shooting the R-7 from the chair beside him, unsupported. I could not miss the bull at 10 yards. Then we set up some empty Danimal bottles that the kids like to drink, and we had a little plinking session. What fun.

      P.S. depending on conditions (like in a basement), if the dot is a bit dim, you can carefully remove the shade entirely.

      • RG,

        I noticed the shade could easily be removed also, but since I do not have a basement I do not wish to remove it. It can be quite bright as is. I like turning it way down to just a pinpoint for “tight” shooting.

        • Do you keep the top of the front sight even with the top of the rear sight with your target resting on that horizontal line (six o’clock hold), or do you put the glowing dot on the target just above the top of the rear sight? What rear sight option do you use? My R7 rear sight gives me 4 choices.

  19. “Cautionary Tales”
    Well, fellow readers of B.B.’s most excellent blog, while B.B. enjoys his much-needed Sabbath rest, I thought I might entertain you with a story, a tale of what happened to me just this past Friday, in the hope that it might be of some help to someone, somehow, someday.
    Friday morning, I was taking care of some items on my “honey do” list (something I’m sure with which you married guys are well acquainted), when I spied a predator in the backyard.
    I said, “Aha! It’s time for that predator rifle to earn its keep,” and ran in and got my .22 XS25S and a few pellets from the open tin next to my computer.
    Despite using a carport pole as a rest, as well as using the artillery hold, I missed a very easy 25-yard shot, and the predator took off.
    Later on, in the afternoon, the “honey do” list taken care of (for the day, anyway), I pulled out the rifle and pellets to see what was up with it. I’ve found that, sitting on the lowest step by the backdoor, the pellet trap on the 15-yard range is just a tad over 25 yards away; however, I do need to shoot under the benchtop, and avoid the crosspieces that support it.
    Conveniently, I had left a small white plastic pill bottle sitting on the shelf of the trap with its round 1-1/2” bottom facing me. Resting the rifle across my knee, using the artillery hold, I fired at the bottle and missed it…three times. Had I missed high, I would have hit the steel at the back of the trap; ditto for missing to the right. If I missed to the left, I would have hit the 2”x 4” that is the left-hand support for the trap. But I heard the nice “thunk” of the pellet hitting wood all three times, yet (through the scope) I saw no marks on the 2”x 4”.
    Well, being the lazy old cuss that I am, I fired twenty more pellets at that bottle, figuring, “Hey, they’re hitting the trap somewhere; no need to get up and make a target; if I shoot enough pellets, they’ll form some kind of a group, and I’ll see what’s up with this gun.”
    When I finally got up and walked over, I saw that the pellets had formed a nice little group…in the 2”x 4” that forms the BOTTOM of the trap…yes, it was a good 5” below the POI…at only 25 yards…something was way wrong.
    First, I did all the things B.B. always tells us to do in such situations: I checked the stock screws (which were tight); I checked the scope base (which had not moved); and I checked the screws for the scope rings (all were tight, and the scope had not moved within the rings). So, I moved up to the 15-yard bench, dialed 30 clicks “up” on the 6X BugBuster scope, and shot at a row of the bottoms of the ½” plastic tubes I regularly use to check that rifles are shooting OK. Of the four tubes, I hit none of them; hence, I picked one and fired five more shots at it. Then, when I walked over to check it out, I could see a hole chewed into the front of the trap a good 2” below my POI. For a fully-tuned gun that had always shot well, something was not right.
    I was just about to tear the rifle apart, when I remembered something, “Wait, when things seem squirrely, B.B. said to break out the chronograph, and check for changes in velocity.”
    Yes, a few pellets through the old chronograph showed that the rifle, which had always shot H&N FTT pellets at 680 fps was only sending them through the screens at 650 fps (and it’s not cold here in Georgia, so I would not expect a temperature-related drop in velocity).
    I was all like, “Hah! Now we’re getting somewhere; I need to calculate the percentage of loss of power. How much do these FFTs weigh?” So, I looked on the bottom of the tin of pellets, as I had put the top under there…and there was the lid for .22 JSB RS pellets…the last pellets I had been shooting the day before…the tin I had left open, and failed to put back on the ammo shelf, as well as being the pellets for my HW30S, not the XS25S. Yes, sadly, I had blamed the rifle, and had been ready to rip her apart, all on account of “operator error.”
    Even sadder, this was not the first case of such an error. A few years ago, I was shooting my Crosman 1322 on the 5-meter indoor range (because it was dark out and raining), when I found I couldn’t hit the spinners. Using a paper target, I couldn’t even get the gun to shoot a decent group…at 16 feet…sad! Fortunately, on the next round, I happened to point the pistol down a bit before bringing it up on target, and I heard the “plunk” of a pellet hitting the carpet. Yes, the pellet slid right out of the gun, which is what will happen when you load a .20 caliber pellet into a .22 caliber pistol (both shoot JSBs…but I need to look more closely at the tins!).
    Putting the .22 caliber JSBs back into the pistol fixed that issue. And as for the rifle, I took the 30 clicks back OUT of the scope, and got my HW30S, AND got the H&N FTTs and put them all on the bench. Then, with both rifles shooting their correct ammo, I was able to hit the 50-yard spinner with both of them…all was well again in the airgun universe.
    Well, you can all have a good laugh at my bungling (hey, I surely did! =>); but I believe there are a couple of good take-aways here.
    1) I’ve got 10,000 pellets on a bookshelf….177s, .20s, and .22s…just kind of sitting there in clumps, and relying on my memory as to which goes to which gun. So perhaps I need a better system. With my Tempest, I keep a pellet pen right next to it, loaded with the correct pellets for it; perhaps a pen for each airgun, right next to each airgun, might solve my issue.
    2) For you new airgunners, just look at all the reports here. Even B.B. himself, “the Godfather of Airguns,” has made some mistakes; and in his humility, he has shown them to us for our betterment. Hence, please learn from my mistakes. The next time your airgun “just seems like it isn’t right when it was shooting fine just yesterday,” be sure and run down the B.B. checklist: stock screws, scope screws, scope stop, and velocity check. And, for the love of God, before you blame your poor airgun (as I was sadly doing), please be sure you are actually feeding her the correct pellets! 🙂
    Blessings to all,

    • Dave,

      LOL! I do understand, unfortunately.

      The way I keep things sorted out is I keep an airgun’s favorite pellet with it. For the gals that are hanging on the walls, I get a Wilkins Pellet Pouch and fill it with that airgun’s favorite and hang it with it. If it happens to be in a case, I will put a tin of it’s favorite in with it.

      Now I have a few airguns I do not know what their favorite is yet and I have a big bunch of different pellets to try. I keep the .177 in one ammo can and the .22 in another. Easy storage and easy transport.

      Something you might give consideration to is getting some small tags on string and fasten these to the trigger guard, writing what it’s favorite pellet is on the tag. Unfortunately, I do not have enough airguns where I have that much of a problem.

      • “For the gals that are hanging on the walls, I get a Wilkins Pellet Pouch and fill it with that airgun’s favorite and hang it with it.”
        Thanks, RidgeRunner; I like that idea.
        “Something you might give consideration to is getting some small tags on string and fasten these to the trigger guard, writing what it’s favorite pellet is on the tag.”
        I wish I had enough guns for that to be an issue, LOL! With the “great gun give-away” (passing on airguns and firearms to my kids, grandkids, and nephews), I am down to 10 airguns and 8 firearms, which, in the state of Georgia, is nearly equivalent to not even being a gun owner! Hahahahaha! =)~

    • One of the happy consequences of the digital age is the obsolescence of a variety of filing cabinets in modern offices. I picked up a seven drawer unit at a thrift store. Drawers measure 5-1/4” H by 10-1/2” W by 28” deep. I keep my calibers separated by drawer and even when full, the drawers roll easily. The depth of the drawers limits time spent searching due to deep stacking of the tins. I use a piece of tape on the gun stocks with notes about pellets, etc.

      • pacoinohio,
        You brought up a great point! I’ve already got twenty drawers in my office at home, but they are mostly filled with JUNK! If I just get rid of some of the useless junk, I’d have plenty of space for proper pellet storage. Thanks for the incentive! 🙂
        May your guns always shoot true,

    • thedavemyster,

      What a great tale and so well told.
      I think if you own more than one caliber of airgun(s) and you haven’t done this very thing; then it is just a matter of time and maybe a big pinch of luck that it hasn’t happened to you already.
      Thank you Dave,


      • “…it is just a matter of time and maybe a big pinch of luck that it hasn’t happened to you already.”
        Shootski, I’m with you on that 100%, and I’m glad you enjoyed my tale! 🙂

        • thedavemyster,

          Yea, I learned that in flying! A gear up pass (gear includes the Tail Hook for Naval Aviators) was always in all of our futures…unless you already did one! On some of the aircraft (A-7 Corsair II) folks actually survived folded wing catapult launches at the ship! Those Aviators became members of The Order of the Folded Wing and frequently Caterpillar Club members after their ejections!


          • Shootski,
            Wow!…flying…that is way cool. I always wanted to get my pilot’s license. Back in my 20s, I was doing a pay-as-you-go at a small airport in CT. But the school was really pushing everyone to just cough up $5000 (not so much today, but a lot of money 40 years ago!), and that would guarantee you through your license…even if it took you 90 hours instead of the minimal 40. Sadly, I just didn’t have the extra cash, but most of my friends coughed up the dough. And then, one day, we went to the school and it was gone…yeah, the dude took off with everyone’s cash….totally uncool, and I’m sure not representative of most of the good flying clubs out there. *shrugs* Who knows? Perhaps there is yet time for this old dog to learn some new tricks. 🙂
            Thanks for the story about those aviators, though; that’s really cool.
            Take care,

  20. Hello all,………

    Yup,…. been a few. Had to chime in after seeing this blog,… as it brought back fond memories of shooting all kinds of homemade projectiles from an 880 and 760 several years back. BBQ skewers, TIG rod darts and even an aluminum shafted arrow cut to about 12″ long. (880 barrel shroud cut off and arrow slid over the barrel.)

    I do check in from time to time. I sincerely appreciate all of the prayers and best wishes for a good outcome. In short, thyroid neck cancer. Glands removed, lymph nodes removed, voice box removed, breath through hole in front of neck. 8 more radiation and 2 more chemo treatments over the next week and a half. Then, a CT scan and keep an eye on things moving forwards. We all know the drill from there.

    You could chalk it up to smoking for the last 30 years,… or not. Many people get cancer and have never smoked. For sure,… I put no odds in my favor. Not worth it,… for sure. At any rate,…. that is it for now. Doing better than most and still up and about everyday. Taking care of myself. Feeling a bit whooped to be sure though.

    Be well all,…………. Chris

    • Chris USA,

      SO GOOD to hear from you directly! Gunfun1 has been doing a great job keeping us all informed on how you were progressing.
      Getting your status directly is even better! You know all our prayers for you will continue until you tell us to stop…we might even listen for a change…LOL!
      Really glad you feel up to reading our rambles and fervently hope you feel up to shooting some soon!

      Blessings on you Chris, peace, and wishes of STRENGTH; all in great measure!


    • Chris USA,

      Hang in there. Lots of people praying for your recovery. That’s a rather aggressive form of Thyroid Cancer or they found it a little late. It responds very well to radiation. I know, I’ve witnessed a patient who practically had bumps on his scalp from the spread of the cancer but with radiotherapy, the bumps practically melted away. Will continue to keep praying for your recovery and return.


      • Siraniko,

        Correct on both counts actually. It started as a horse voice. Within 3-4 weeks some neck swelling. Thought to be an infection at first. Soon figured out what it was. Caught it soon enough seems to be the consensus. It has been quite the life experience to say the least and not something I would wish on anyone.

        Thanks,………… Chris

  21. Chris
    I remember those experiments you did. Made for alot of good info throughout time.

    And I never knew you smoked. I smoked when I was young real young to say. From 13 years old till I was 20. I stopped because of alot of allergies and respiratory problems. Hope I stopped in time.

    Glad your being strong through all of this. Don’t know if I could.

    Still praying for you.

  22. Having seen too many friends and family “touched” by cancer, including myself, definitely will spin out some prayers on your behalf, Chris. This is in no way to be taken as criticism by anyone reading the comment, but always helps improve your odds if you cut out tobacco, drink in moderation, eat a reasonably healthy diet and exercise, exercise, exercise. By the way, walking daily and working out with your favorite airgun counts towards that end. If you are not doing these things now, today is a good day to start. God bless everyone, keep us healthy and heal us. 🙂

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