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You think you need a firearm?

This report covers:

  • Hollywood
  • Boyfriend training?
  • Why a firearm in the first place?
  • Airguns for defense?
  • Why airguns?
  • First — gun safety
  • Gun handling
  • The point
  • To do this I have to buy an expensive airgun!
  • What haven’t I said?

This report was inspired by Kurt Illian, Pyramyd Air’s SEO and E-commerce manager. We were talking about the blog online Wednesday and he happened to say that perhaps everyone who is brand new to shooting doesn’t need a firearm to begin with. He wasn’t talking about using airguns for defense, because we don’t do that. He meant that airguns are a great way to get into shooting at the lowest cost and in the safest manner.

I mentioned to him that the NRA calculates that there are 10 million new gun owners in the United States and most of these are people who have never been taught how to handle a gun. They need to know everything! And all of them have just purchased one or more firearms, because in this country adults are allowed to do that. While I appreciate the freedoms we still have, allowing someone to have a gun without proper training is unsafe.


Many of these people have received their only exposure to firearms through movies and television shows. It is no different than handing the keys to a high-performance car to someone who doesn’t know how to drive and then turning them loose on the freeway after they have watched a NASCAR race.

Boyfriend training?

Many times I have been told the story of how someone was “trained” to shoot by a boyfriend who handed them a .357 Magnum revolver and told them to hold it tight as they squeezed the trigger. The other wrong thing is the husband who gets his wife a snub-nosed .38 Special revolver for self defense. He gets a snub-nose so she can carry it her purse and he gets a .38 Special for defensive power. WRONG!

I wish people would stop doing things like this, because they have the opposite affect. The painful recoil and the noise turns the new shooter off.

Why a firearm in the first place?

Why did these 10 million people suddenly buy firearms? Do you think they all wanted to train for the Olympics? Were they inspired to hunt wild game? Probably not. Chances are good that a majority of them were interested in defending themselves.

Airguns for defense?

Is BB going to suggest that an airgun can be used for self defense? Not on your life! Never threaten a desperate person with something unless you are willing to follow through. Leave the pistol in the nightstand unless you:

1. Are willing to possibly take a life.

2. Have trained with the pistol to the point that you can put two shots inside a palm-sized space at 15 feet within 5 seconds of picking up the gun.

3. Can clear a jam and restore operation in seconds (not more than 5).

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Why airguns?

Up to this point I have opened several cans of worms that are starting to crawl all over the place. Let me simplify this. What does someone who is new to shooting need to know — FIRST?

First — gun safety

Let’s get real for a moment. I hand one person a live grenade with the pin pulled but the spoon in place. I hand another person a 2.5 pound block of C4 explosive with a lit fuse leading to a blasting cap that’s stuck in the block. Which person is in greater danger?

Both people are in danger. The grenade guy might be able to throw the grenade or toss it into a place where, if it explodes, it does him no harm. The guy with the C4 has to know enough to pull the blasting cap out of the block and throw it away.

Both people have to deal with the situation. That’s what gun safety is all about. There often is no danger until there is, and when there is it’s too late.

So, gun safety is learning how not to pull the pin or light the fuse, as well as what to do when they are pulled/lit. You can learn that with a .44 Magnum revolver or you can learn it with an S&W Model 29 BB-shooting replica gun. Here is my point —

New shooter, in both cases you learn how to handle a gun properly with the gun unloaded! No ammo inside — no bangy, bangy if the wrong thing is done. And you learn to never point the open end of the barrel (the muzzle) at anything you don’t want to shoot. 

“Wait a minute,” you say. “Isn’t that supposed to be always point the muzzle in a safe direction?”

And who is in the next room behind the wall at which you are pointing the muzzle of that .44 Magnum? Because that .44 Magnum bullet will go through a couple walls. Not that that gun was loaded, because they never are. Ask Alec Baldwin.

Gun handling

After basic safety is learned there are the fundamentals of shooting to learn. That would be things like the proper sight picture, correct breathing and trigger control. Same, same here. The .44 Magnum will put holes in the paper just like the BB-gun replica. With the .44 Magnum you will pay one or two dollars a shot. With the BB gun — let’s just say you can probably find all the cash you need in your sofa. 

Both guns will accomplish the same thing. One is just far safer and cheaper than the other. It’s not completely safe, but what in life is?

I’m skipping past gun handling now, just like I skipped past gun safety. Both subjects take many hours to learn and I haven’t got room to address them in this report. But I have made my point.

The point

The point is, a lot of the up-front training that should be done when a new shooter wants to learn to shoot can be done with an airgun just as well as with a firearm. No person should just acquire a firearm, load it and think they are prepared for anything but an accident — here hold my pin! The state of Texas required BB Pelletier to take 18 hours of training and pass a not-so-easy slow-speed driving test to get his motorcycle certificate on his license. But he can buy a handgun with no training or supervision, following the advice of Bubba.

To do this I have to buy an expensive airgun!

No, you don’t. I recommended the new Umarex Smith & Wesson Model 29 BB revolver because you said you wanted to buy a Model 29 in .44 magnum. Oh, now you want a .45 ACP Colt M1911A1? Okay, the Sig Sauer We The People pistol is only $110. It has blowback (the slide comes back with each shot, imparting the feel of recoil) and it can be disassembled just like the firearm.

And please consider this — as you learn to handle your realistic airgun replica you may discover that your hand is too small for a 1911 grip. Perhaps the Sig Sauer P365 is more to your taste? Better to spend $90 than $500 to learn that — no?

What haven’t I said?

This report is not the typical get-a-replica-airgun-to-train-for-your-firearm report. That’s been done to death. This report is about that single mom who thinks she needs a firearm around the house for the safety of her family. Sister — there is a whole lot of stuff you need to know before you start pulling the trigger, and even before you pick up that firearm!

NASCAR races look like fun, until you are in one. Let’s learn the basics before we show up at the track.

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.

103 thoughts on “You think you need a firearm?”

  1. I believe that the first time buyer of a firearm would only consider a relatively cheaper airgun, if it were known to achieve the same, ie self defence, hunting, etc, etc…

    A bb- or pellet firing lookalike will be fine, only if the real deal were unavailable !

    Finally, as for getting my license before driving a car on the public roads, well, I remember that even after the many lessons it took for exam success, I still wasn’t a competent driver then. It would have been better to judge my driving readiness over a longer period than a one-off exam. 🙂

      • Hi edlee, well put, and interesting point too.

        Even at 18, when I passed my car- and motorcycle license tests, I was definitely not mature. I wonder how many teenagers are.

        Also, so-called ‘common sense’ is anything but. To claim such, I absolutely require hindsight! 🙂

        • HHH
          And back when I was a kid we was driving 500+ horse power 4 speed muscle cars at 16 years old.

          Thinking about it thats crazy. But then again we knew how to drive. Plus we was really driving out on the farm when we was 11 years old. 😉

          • Gunfun1, my youth was very different!

            For example, even though some kids in the neighbourhood were allowed an air rifle, I definitely was not.
            So I made do with bits of tree and my voice for sound effects.

            At least, I could safely shoot anybody or -thing, and from pistol stick to machine gun branch, every ‘bang’ or ‘rat-tat-tat’ was always a direct hit ! 🙂

  2. The first ones required to pass through a strict firearms-handling course should be Hollywoodies who are involved in making movies where firearms are used, followed by politicians who might write legislation about them and the bureaucrats charged with enforcing aforesaid legislation.

    After the Baldwin fiasco on that movie set, all the Hollywood hand-wringers and the self-appointed “expert pundits” came out of the woodwork calling for, in many instances, using prop guns and “simulating” fire through computer graphics/CGI. FM has a – perhaps better – idea: why not create a new generation of CGI actors for future movie-making? That would make everything about moviemaking perfectly safe and definitely would drop the cost of making movies to the benefit of audiences who would also be spared at least some of the real-life bullcaca coming from that self-centered, narcissistic bunch. FM knows of course they’re not all the same. For example, there is Joe Mantegna, who exceptionally seems to know a thing or two about firearms and common sense.

    Forgive the FM coffee-fueled rant, please. Better vent like that than shoot the TV set, which Mrs. FM would definitely not forgive.

      • Appreciate the undeserved compliment – trade some of the alleged FM smarts for your proven mechanical/handyman/real-world problem-solving ones. Deal? If it were that easy…

        But FM sometimes can learn things from a boook!

    • FawltyManuel,

      My impression having studied cinema, the film industry, Hollywood culture. and acting for decades is that very many, likely most, celebrities are handgun owners and have had firearm training. Even those who are famously liberal often have guns for their protection. Years ago Bill Marr said on his show that he is a firearm owner because he “Doesn’t believe in unilateral disarmament.”

      By far the fasted growing demographic of gun buyers in the U.S today are politically progressive, first-time owners, and they’re not buying hunting guns.

      Finally, I know Joe Mantegna personally from his work and contacts in the Chicago theatre and film scene. Joe’s views on various social-political subjects might surprise you. :^)


      • Have heard that, Michael. Good for them! Just can’t stand the elitist, hypocritical ones who engage in “do as I say not as I do” behavior.

        I give Bill Maher credit for at least having the ability to discuss hot-button topics sanely and with reason, even if I don’t agree with most of his politics.

        • FM,

          Many years ago Bill Maher had Ted Nugent on the panel. When Maher mentioned that he was a handgun owner to protect his home (but would gladly give up his gun if everybody had to give up theirs), Nugent exclaimed something like, “Only a fool has handguns to protect their home!” Maher and the other guests looked at Nugent in amazement. Maher then asked, “Well, Ted, what would you suggest?” Nugent responded, “A shotgun.”


  3. Thank, B.B. I am biding my time for the glut of used and never-fired or once-fired guns to hit the market. I am already seeing a few guns sold on gunbroker with a single bid.

    • I found you here.
      The thread about the Mk1 cap would not let me post a reply.

      The oring is in a recess that is machined into the cap then covered with the “screw” That is over it.

      You could drive out a roll pin at the bottom of the cap then pull the piercing pin out of the bottom.
      Then you could use a bigger screwdriver on the cap screw.

      I would suggest using penetroil on it, then wrapping the cap in either leather or rubber and putting it in a vice to steady it and use a bigger screwdriver, it may help to tap it lightly while trying to turn it.

      You can reach me directly at the email 45bravoairguns@gmail.com


      • Thanks, Ian. I will look for that pin. From what I recall seeing, there is also some kind of special clip holding the lever in from the outside. It has a split in one side with two small holes. Looks like a special tool would spread it open.

        If the “screw” that is holding the inner seal gets buggered, are replacements available anywhere?

        • Yes there are still replacements for that part.
          The outer main part is the hard one to find.

          Either way you go taking out the pin or just unscrewing the cap, a vice or vice grips to hold the cap is needed for stability.

          But the screw cap HAS TO COME OUT to get the oring out.

          The roll pin and snap ring (the part you were talking about ) just remove the piercing pin.

          Are you in the USA?

          If you want to send it to me I will reseal the cap for you.

          Just cover postage to and from me.


          • Ian, I think I will take you up on your offer. I was, however, able to follow your excellent guest blog and disassemble another Mark I. This one had a push button cap. I was able to pop out the star washer with a strategically bent paper clip and the inner cap seal was just a solid mess, which I scraped out with that same paper clip. I misplaced my set of dental picks, LOL, but I smashed one end of a large paper clip into a mini shovel of sorts and was able to clean out all the gunk and replace that seal and the outer end cap seal. Problem was there was still an internal leak, so I took the whole gun apart, per your tutorial, cleaning with ballistol as I went, and replaced the o-ring around the valve body, but then I looked at the valve seat and discovered another disgusting mess and the source of the internal leak. I now have a couple of valve stems ordered from Mac1. While I wait for those, my seal kit had an extra o-ring for a Mark II bolt probe, so I figured “what the heck” and I put that seal in the valve seat. It seemed to fit pretty snugly. But after I got all the gun back together, I loaded a fresh co2 cartridge and to my amazement, no leaks! However I also found that I could not fire the gun, either. No CO2 would come out after cocking and pulling the trigger several times. So I degassed it and put it away. Next, I took the working cap from my first Mark I and put it in the Mark II I bought just to see if the internals are sealed. And they are so I have two working guns and one that needs a new valve seat (on order) and a seal in its end cap, which I may send to you because I will wind up irretrievably buggering up that little brass screw. P.S. I never found that roll pin in the end cap. I will email you directly. Thanks.

  4. “…perhaps everyone who is brand new to shooting doesn’t need a firearm to begin with” — Kurt Illian, Pyramyd Air’s SEO and E-commerce manager.
    Kurt, well said; I concur 100%!
    This report covers some great topics, and it calls to mind the training my Dad had to pass to get his concealed carry permit. Since Dad was not a big shooter, I brought my Crosman 357 over to his house, and we fired at some paper targets and tin cans with that nice CO2 revolver. However, he allowed that it was “not the same as shooting a real gun.” Well, my Dad went to his state-sponsored safety course (which he did pass =>), and came home chagrined; he told me that he hated to admit it, but when he got to the firing section of the course, the instructor said that the state had switched from using .22 caliber revolvers to…Crosman 357 .177 caliber CO2 revolvers! (just exactly like the one I had used to train him!); but the instructor emphasized that these CO2 revolvers “operate just like a firearm, and are fully capable of teaching you all the safe gun handling procedures we discussed.” (Amen!)
    My Dad was a bit surprised, but was also HAPPY that he had trained with me with that air pistol BEFORE going there; it built up his confidence, and made it easy to pass the course. Hence, as Kurt said, people new to shooting would be better off to start with airguns to learn the basics before moving on to firearms. 🙂
    Take care & God bless,

  5. B.B. Another great post, on a subject I have been pondering a lot about.

    As you say, there is a lot to know about firearms that is not in the manual of your first firearm. I would emphasize that a first-time gun owner must (not just should–must) invest in proper training and regular refresher training whether their state requires it or not. There is no substitute for training with a good instructor. If you have misgivings about your instructor, sign up with another. Also invaluable is to discuss and learn the basic self defense and deadly force laws in your state so you don’t end up in jail alongside the friends of the perp you just shot to death.

    Also you mention “a lot of the up-front training that should be done when a new shooter wants to learn to shoot can be done with an airgun just as well as with a firearm.” True, but I would amplify that a certain amount of training with one’s actual personal defense weapon is needed on a regular basis. For example, you can’t learn to clear a stovepipe jam with a pellet gun replica. While replicas have their place in training, like everything else, there are limitations.

    Speaking to the first-time gun owners, owning a firearm is certainly a right, but it comes with a heavy responsibility that changes many aspects of your life, and requires a truly thoughtful approach.

    • “For example, you can’t learn to clear a stovepipe jam with a pellet gun replica.”
      Roamin Greco,
      That’s a good point that reminds me that I should have mentioned that my Dad’s home defense gun was a (former police gun) S&W model 681 (the fixed-sight version of the 686), so the Croman 357 was a good starter for him. Next we moved him up to the 681 with .38 wadcutters, and then on to the .357 loads. He became quite proficient with that revolver; but I do think the Crosman saved some time; though, as you pointed out, it has its limitations, it did make starting easier for him. 🙂
      (Rest in peace, Dad; and thanks for passing your guns on to me!)
      Take care,

    • RG
      Back when I was a kid I learned to shoot when I was young. Well to today’s standards. Thats what happened with my daughters too. Like around 6 or 7 years old. When I was a kid it was a part of life. We shot to have food and we shot at pests to keep things in order too.

      Now you got to go to this class or that class. Which is not a bad thing. But back when I was a young’n we was taught by family not by every other yay hoo.

      What is really happening now days when a person decides they need a gun. Guarentee you they don’t know what I experienced by going to thier class now days.

      Yep that sounds a little areagent on my part. But hey. Done been there and done that a long time ago.

      I just hate thinking about somebody taking the classes now days and all of a sudden they think they could survive the gun fight. Again is its good they stepped up to that class. But man there is just so much that can happen in a given scenario.

      But I guess its got to start somewhere now days whatever way you go about getting educated. Be it firearms or even air guns.

      God help us.

      • Amen, brother. I had much the same experience. I was curious about Dad’s hunting guns but Dad had strict rules that impressed upon me the proper respect for firearms. Some of his rules we thought were a bit overboard, like when I had a Daisy pop gun that would make a bang sound when you pulled the trigger. With the big plastic plug in the end, there were clearly no projectiles, but we were still not to be caught pointing that thing at each other under any circumstances. Imagine playing Lone Ranger and intentionally NOT aiming at your little brother. Dad would not take too kindly to paintball or airsoft of today or even Nerf, I’m sure. So I grew up with that mindset: guns were dangerous tools that demanded respect, like a chainsaw, and were definitely not toys. Those lessons were applied with equal force to the Crosman 760 I had as a kid, as well as the .22 rifle I graduated to next, then to the shotguns and deer rifles we hunted with. I got back into airguns to impart as much of that to my kids as I can.

  6. B.B.,

    We need more training in Shoot Houses and Shoot Towns!
    The least understood concept by folks who carry is being ACCOUNTABLE for every round that comes out of the barrel.

    Hollywood is one of the biggest causes of that gross misconception!


    • Everytime I watch a gunfight in a movie, I wonder, if it was real life, where would all the bullets land. Must be tough to be a cop in an urban area. There is literally no safe place to point your pistol.

      • RG
        You know that was always what got me growing up and still to this day.

        Illinios allows squirrel hunting with rimfire but you can use a shotgun with a slug fo deer. Making a little fun here. But most deer I ever hunted was on the ground and squirrel were up in tree’s. Well where the heck did that .22 bullet go when you was shooting up in the tree.

        Now days you see gun fights happening or just showing there selfes as in what they are carrying. Guns pointed in the air and shots flying. Where are the bullets going. Very sad if you ask me.

        • Agreed. One young girl tragically was killed years ago in my hometown when some schmuck fired a gun in the air on New Years Eve and it landed in the main park in the center of town where a huge crowd had gathered. That little girl never got to see the new year, Sad is the understatement of the year when you look at our society today.

          Closer to home, there are lots of places in our woodlot that are no shoot zones because of the lay of the land and what lies beyond. Fortunately, the deer haven’t figured that out yet. And yep, never really understood shooting up at tree at a squirrel with a
          22, which the box says can go 1.25 to 1.5 miles, unless you really have to hike to the oak trees.

      • Roamin Greco,

        My daughter is on patrol tonight and she says if she pulls her Glock the rounds are going to one place ONLY known as the Perp.
        She practices twice a day mostly dry fire but she also believes her hand to hand skills are more important in giving her the mental edge over Perps.


        • Shootski, I’m sure Officer Shootski is a fine shot, even under stress. However, I’m sure you would agree the average hit ratio of the average cop is not a statistic to brag about. And no disrespect at all to your daughter or any other law enforcement. But my remarks were just in reference to one of the basic rules of gun safety: be sure of your target *and what’s behind it.* So I was theorizing that in that light, there are very few places in an urban environment in which it is “safe” to discharge a firearm what with the risk of hitting someone behind your target. Not an enviable situation. Of course, each minute by minute the risks and circumstances change for cops, especially when the perps have guns and no compunction about using them. Prayers for the safety of your daughter.

          • Roamin Greco,

            That’s exactly why I said we need more Shoot House and Shoot Town training. The average new shooter doesn’t even have as much training as the average Cop. At least the Cop should know how difficult the task of every round ACCOUNTABILITY is. People find it very difficult to figure out when to engage in the first place and then find it extraordinarily difficult to disengage once the threat has been neutralized. I hear far too many who carry use the term shoot-to-kill. That isn’t in the civilians ROE (Rules Of Engagement) if it happens you don’t want a witness testifying that those words came from your lips. The average new shooter (also many who have carried for years) haven’t a clue of the effect of the aftermath of an engagement on their lives.
            She patrols in a very Urban area with heavy street life so your prayers for her perfect performance of her task are very welcome.


        • Can’t reply below, but I will say I agree with you. For those who choose to carry, the responsibility is a great one and so is the burden. More training and higher quality training are essential. And even if not mandated, should be sought after.

          • Roamin Greco,

            I don’t believe in government Mandates; I do however believe in personal responsibility and accountability. The government shouldn’t be allowed to mandate much of anything outside of the Constitution and The Bill of Rights without a Plebiscite; in this Citizens opinion. The government at the State &Local level in this Republic should however hold Citizens and our Guests ACCOUNTABLE for their actions that are infractions of the Law.
            Restitution to Victims by the perpetrator is high on my list o things we don’t do right in our Republic.
            So if you carry legally or illegally you better be prepared to work the rest of your life to make it up to your victim(s) and their families and loved ones.

            Why yes!


      • Have good friends who were in law enforcement, mostly local policing but some who worked for the Feds. A couple had close calls but thankfully, except for the ones who have departed, all are now happily retired. FM appreciates your daughter’s service in that profession as well as his LEO friends,’ Shootski. Rest assured FM offers prayers for all of them to the Great Protector.

        • FM
          Me and my wife’s brother grew up hunting and stuff together. He was a Madison County Sheriff for about 20 years. Alot of crazy stories he told me over the years. He finally quit and got a job at the GM Wentzville plant. He then moved to Texas and transfered to the GM truck plant there. Said he was done with the law enforcement stuff. He just retired about a year or so aga from GM. And yes he still carries. He said now days it’s probably the worst he has seen things. He said your crazy to not carry now days. Crazy world we live in.

  7. B.B. and Readership,

    Off topic since this isn’t a firearm or even a replica but it can shoot BBs!
    Have placed my order for 11 pounds of Nickel plated #4 Lead shot, a bunch (thousand) of different .410 Wads, Mylar wraps .003, and some Mica fine powder. It will be two weeks before they get delivered. I also just noticed that my two 4,500PSI CF cylinders are due for a hydro and inspection…time flies when your having fun!
    It will probably be after the New Year and the Christmas festivities before any serious load development can begin for the DAQ .410 Shot Pistol. I have shot a few small sugar pearl loads and i’m fairly certain those will take out inflight Carpenter Bees; none are out here currently to try it out on.

    I think I need to get the Brass Hulls in quantity from Dennis or figure out how to modify some Brass tubing to replicate the handful that came with the pistol. I looked at the commercial MagTech Brass .410 hulls but they have primer basses and at 2.45″ are too long. 1.8 inches is the chamber length.

    Any ideas are welcomed.


    • Shootski
      I bet that’s a loud pistol. How many usable shots you think you will get out of a fill?

      You should pattern the salt loads for the heck of it. I would like to see the results.

      • Gunfun1,

        LOUD even with ear plugs and mouse ears over top.
        It isn’t the crack of a firearm but more of a long blast like a steam locomotive whistle, or a BIG carburetor after-fire…how many have heard one of those….I am a Dinosaur.
        Dennis is recommending two shots and a refill. I don’t doubt the LabRADAR will show that those will be full power with a half ounce load. Only time and trying will tell. I suspect that with loads that are volume limited, because of low density, may get more shots.
        It will be interesting to see how the LabRADAR deals with shot clouds, wads, and Mylar wrappers. I’m especially interested in how it deals with the nonmetallic loads; such as Airsoft BBs, sugar pearls, and maybe Salt.
        The Bluing on the DAQ pistol is so nice that I find it really hard to think of letting salt get anywhere near it!


        • Shootski
          Back fire not after fire with the carb. 😉

          And you will have to tell us all about it once you get going with it.

          Also curious if you have any leak down with it when it sets over time. Got my Wingshot ll setting over in the corner with a full air charge in it. Haven’t shot it in about 3 months and still holding air dead on. That’s what I like.

          • Gunfon1,

            As counterintuitive as it is to the automotive world when you mess up the Both-Left-Right-Both Magneto check on the Run-Up of a big radial engine and you blow up one of the carburetor(s) it is termed an After-Fire.
            I called it a Backfire just once… immediately got corrected.


          • Gunfun1,

            None of my DAQ pistols or rifles has ever had even a long term leak problem — except — one that got filled to quickly by a shooting buddy and it fried the Foster Fitting O-Ring. I mean he made that Buna into CARBON!


        • Shootski
          If you think about it after and back used in tense of the fire we are talking is the same term.

          It’s a after fire or back fire. What happens before the back fire or after fire is another story.

          We are both dinosaurs aren’t we. 🙂

        • Shootski
          And that is good information about filling the gun rapidly from a bottle. I would say that way of filling a airgun can get you in trouble the quickest in many ways..

          And good about the leak down. Don’t know about you. But my Wingshot ll sits over in the corner and ready for multiple reasons.

          And even if I was so happen to have some sort of leak down, if the gun was still in its powerband after a given amount of time I can live with it. As long as I know I can pick the gun up at a given day that it will have at least a couple 2 or 3 usable shots left in the fill. I don’t want to go to pick the gun up for a needed shot and it’s low to the point where I can’t make a usable shot or it’s empty.

  8. Do you really think most people want a gun for the purpose of needed self defense? I guess I would disagree.
    I think that most people want a firearm for the same reasons that many people want an airgun–to heighten their fantasies! They have a psychological itch to wave a gun around, to see themselves not backing down, not ‘taking it’ again, holding off a pack of desperados or sniping enemy invaders. Very few people buy firearms with the dry interest of self defense
    And many of these people would be better advised NOT to purchase a firearm at all. Leave their fantasies to their fully automatic machine bb gun. Or a video game, or a Hollywood thriller.
    Firearm fantasies will be much more expensive for them than the cost of a quality firearm.
    Firearm fantasies include the costs of funerals, lawyers, jail time, victim compensation, and families separated by suicide.
    Does anyone need a firearm for self defense? Yes, I’m sure. Do most people need a gun for that reason? Probably not. Most people got along fine before they had a gun and will do just as well without one. And we would certainly be better off pointing our less stable, immature friends with a drinking habit and a subscription to Q-anonymous to a less deadly form of fantasy.
    I’m sure I’ll have some people want to assault me verbally for this response but as I’ve suggested in the past… This blog is read by all kinds. I’ve owned firearms and I collect airguns…And still am unapologetically Liberal.

    • >>>Most people got along fine before they had a gun and will do just as well without one.

      I’ve often wondered about that as it applies to me. Still, just finally purchased a P365. It is similar to purchasing insurance; bought it hoping to never need it. Unlike insurance, I will be training with it at the very least at the range.

      • RCO1234 and MisterAP,

        The First Amendment certainly gives you the freedom to voice your opinions (at least in the USA) and I personally served to ensure you continued to hold that Right during most of the Cold War and the unpleasantries since.
        I will point out that most of our views are actually projections of our World Viewpoint on those around us and not based on actual facts.
        Self Defense against our fellow Citizens is a minor reason for the Second Amendment, the main reason is the protection against Tyranny.

        Not Opinion! Rather fact based on reading the Founding Fathers written and signed positions on the topic.

        FORTUNATELY more and more of my fellow Citizens are awakening to the current dangerous slide toward tyrannical tendencies on the part of elected and appointed officials around the World and in the USA.


        • Quite correct! The right to bear arms was aimed at the defense of The Republic.

          Now I’d make the point that in our country, both major political parties have shown the “current dangerous slide toward tyrannical tendencies” that you mention 😉

          Maybe our hopes lie with the libertarian party!

          • Mister AP,

            I tried to avoid any partisanship as it is NOT a technique amiable to how we in the USA should govern ourselves.
            Although I agree with much of what would be the Platform of the Libertarian Party a two Party system avoids the balkanization of politics and subsequent Tyranny by the powerful/unprincipled few which we see so often in Nations that embrace that political concept. The few times we (USA) have tried it we were immediately ruled by a minority vote winner. The outcome is often more of a mess than the toxic partisanship we are and have experienced in recent decades.

            As unfortunate and painful as deaths attributable to humans using various methods to kill themselves or others is; I will continue to embrace the Second Amendment and vote for Liberty for all.


      • AP,

        The 365 is a fine sidearm. I find it just as accurate as larger 9mm pistols, and it has very little recoil. Add to that the fact that the slide is easy to retract and you have a winner.


    • rco1234,
      I now live in the rural south; but I used to live up north, and I ran 3 different aikido schools, the last and largest of which was in a downtown area of a fairly large city. My students were mailmen, university students, housewives, carpenters, engineers, and cops.
      One day, one of my students asked me if I could focus more on the self defense aspects of the art. I told him I would consider it, but first I would poll all the other students. Interestingly, EVERY student there said that self defense was the reason they were there. Hence, I changed the format of my teaching and focused more on combat jujutsu techniques. I once caught some guys going easy on some women students, so I took them aside and said, “Hey, you are doing your classmates a disservice; be intentional in everything you do here; these women have to KNOW that they can escape from a hold, not just think they can, or else you are giving them a false sense of security.”
      I had some wrestlers come in; one of them told me privately, “Sensei, no offense, but I can get out of this hold you have me in, the one you said I should not be able to escape from.” I said, “OK; then show me,” and he DID escape; so I worked with him and his wrestler friends (all much huger and stronger than me) until we perfected pins from which no one could escape (standing pins where you opponent is on the ground, and you can dislocate his shoulder if he does not submit). I hooked up with Royce Gracie (a real gentleman, and a true professional) for a seminar to ensure that my students were learning the best self defense techniques. But always, the emphasis was, “create space, get away, then call the police” (so THEY can catch the guy and make sure he doesn’t do it again).
      My cop students were my best test bed; they would report back to me on which techniques they used to subdue (they said “subdued suspect without striking” was something their supervisors loved to see in their reports) various perpetrators, and which techniques worked the best, or which ones they thought we should modify. As I saw it, I was being paid to teach self defense; hence, it was my responsibility to do so to the best of my ability.
      Students also approached me about wanting handguns for self defense, as another layer of protection. And we are not talking fantasy; they had all been part of the demos where I have someone try to draw a plastic gun and get a shot off at me while I try to close in from 10 feet away with a knife (a rubber knife, with marker on the ‘blade’ to show where the cut would have been). Even the street cops couldn’t draw and get a shot off without getting a cut across a major artery; not from 10 feet anyway; the quickest ones could do it from 20.
      The students saw that, in a dark parking lot, a small gun in your hand (i.e. no draw time), in your pocket (concealed, so you are not waving it, or threatening with it) could be a game changer if someone approached you to try and mug you.
      One student, a young woman, told me she was being stalked by an ex-boyfriend, and asked what she should do; I referred her to John, a local cop; he advised her to get a gun, since the best he could do, if the guy really wanted to hurt her, was to show up after she was beaten or dead, and try to collect enough evidence to get the guy and send him to prison. As a street cop who cared about a friend’s well-being, he gave her the advice that the local police chief (an elected politician) would not have given her.
      So, in my own experience, many people are concerned with what I call “small self defense,” the defense of themselves or their loved ones while crossing a dark parking lot, or just trying to get home from the super market. And the crime rate was high there, lots of muggings; so, their concerns were legitimate.
      As for me today, I’m in a rural county, but I have friends who are even more rural…call 911, and the police are half an hour away.
      A lot of bad things can happen in half an hour, and that is the reason they have guns…to protect their own lives.
      But do I have any actual experience?
      Have I ever used a gun to protect myself, you may wonder?
      Yes, once, and I did not need to even fire it.
      When I was young and dumb, traveling cross country by motorcycle with a friend, while eating at a restaurant in Idaho, we were advised that we could camp in this local park…for free. It was closed, but if we went in, and went all the way to the back, and took a left down this dead-end, by this blowdown of fallen trees, then we’d be out-of-sight and good-to-go.
      Like trusting idiots, we followed this guy’s direction, and did as he said; we had just started to set up camp, when a truck pulled in to the entrance to the park, bypassed all the campsites, and came right to the dead-end where we were.
      My friend, Mike, said, “Hey, where are those guys going? Uh-oh! We’ve been set up!”
      We were traveling, and had a lot of cash; if we were beaten and killed, and our bikes were pushed into the woods, no one would miss us for weeks.
      Fortunately, while we’d told the guy in the restaurant a lot (too much, actually) about ourselves, the one thing I didn’t mention (as it is something you should never do) is that I had a gun, one of those AR-7 Air Force survival rifles. Mike had chided me for the whole trip so far, asking why I had bothered to bring a gun…but he wasn’t joking about it now. I put the rifle together in a few seconds, and right as they turned in to the dead end, I racked the bolt, and pointed the gun at the driver.
      He put the truck in reverse, spun the tires, bottomed out the frame, had to lurch forward to get out of the hole, then put it in reverse and high-tailed it out of the park.
      Mike: “How can we be sure it wasn’t just some guy who was lost?”
      Me: “If that was true, a cop will show up in 10 minutes; but you know that’s not true; they were sent here to rob us.”
      Mike: “Yeah, we should leave.”
      Unsurprisingly, no cops showed up; and in half an hour, we were packed up and gone from there to find a safer space.
      Were we foolish? Of course! However, having a gun saved the day, and I didn’t even have to fire it; it’s mere presence was enough to convince the bad guys to find some easier prey.
      Yet, had I not had that rifle, I’d likely not be here to tell this tale.
      So, please learn from my experience: self defense is not something to be taken lightly.
      Take care & God bless,

        • Trollish? We only disagree about the reasons most people purchase firearms. As an avid reader, I’m assuming we agree on our enjoyment of airguns. How about we celebrate our similarities and accept our differences? Maybe even learn from each other? Would that hurt?

          • “…even learn from each other?”
            Yes, Sir, that is why we are all here and the reason that B.B. has set up this excellent blog; and kudos to him on that; I think he is doing a fantastic job. 🙂

          • rco1234,

            The Bard has Gertrude say it best: “The (Lady) Lad doth protest too much, methinks”

            I never called you a Troll but you are really “pushing the Envelope” with this!


        • shootski,
          Our fellow reader has an opinion on self defense, and many other readers here may share that opinion. It’s not my way to argue a contrary opinion (that rarely sways anyone); I choose, rather, to share some details of my life that relate to the subject (and self defense is something near and dear to my heart, as you can see); and others can ponder these facts, which may lay outside of their own life experience, and perhaps allow their own perspective to change.
          Actually, re-reading my own comment reminds me that I owe q a big “thank you” to my brother, Jim; my own stupidity might have cost me my life; thanks be to God, he gifted me that rifle before we left on that trip! And at the time (1982), it was legal in all 50 states, as well as Canada…although the Canadian authorities did give it a good look-over on the way in, just as the USA boys did upon our return to US territory…ah, for the good ol’ days. 🙂
          Thank YOU,

          • thedavemyster,

            I totally agree that the readership has a wide variety of opinions and I stated in my first reply to rco1234 that he, nay could hold any opinion. That I had served to ensure he was able to continue to have that privilege. And stated my thoughts on why folks were free to buy firearms in the USA. My doubts about the sincerity of his post were fueled by this:
            “Most people got along fine before they had a gun and will do just as well without one. And we would certainly be better off pointing our less stable, immature friends with a drinking habit and a subscription to Q-anonymous to a less deadly form of fantasy.
            I’m sure I’ll have some people want to assault me verbally for this response but as I’ve suggested in the past… This blog is read by all kinds. I’ve owned firearms and I collect airguns…And still am unapologetically Liberal.”

            That series of statements are not germain to the discussion we have been having. In the formal Debating World there are an entire series of Latin terms that could be used to describe the manifold violations of good order and debate logic that have been violated. The worst of which is a veiled personal insult to portions of the Readership.

            In a followup post above rco1234 only reinforced my thoughts y showing far too “thin of a skin” verging on a persecution complex like meme that is often used to deplatform someone when unable to prevail by logic. I never called him a Troll.

            I for one am saddened to be required to be confronted and hope we return to evaluating, discussing airguns, pellets, bullets, and shooting them for whatever reason each of us finds reason enough to do so.


          • “…hope we return to evaluating, discussing airguns, pellets, bullets, and shooting them for whatever reason each of us finds reason enough to do so.”
            shootski, “Amen” to that, man! 🙂

    • RcO1234, I suppose the only way to know if you are right is to poll the millions of folks that purchased their first firearm over the last X years. I would respectfully disagree with your statement. I think folks are finally waking up to the fragility of society shown by recent political discord, pandemic shortages, riots, etc. and also the defund police rhetoric are looking for a back up plan for protecting their home and family. I know several folks that are in that group. I don’t personally know anyone that purchased a firearm to fulfill some kind of fantasy…that’s what replica airguns are for.

  9. BB,

    Still reading regularly, even if not commenting nearly as often.

    Thanks to the reports, I’m the happy owner and user of a few airguns including my most used ones—the Maruauder Semiautomatic Rifle (my favorite), Fortitude G2 Rifle, Bandit Pistol, and now the P365 Pistol,

    I would really like to hear more about the P365 as far as your experience with carrying—holsters, belts, etc.

    Also on training with the air pistol version of the P365.

    If you would publish some reports on these topics please?


  10. Wow! Come to the party late and miss all the fun and games!

    I am one of those who was not allowed to have an airgun of any type when I was young, because my father had a bb gun when he was young. I am one of those who at a very young age learned to handle and shoot firearms from my grandfather and father. By time I was a teenager, I was allowed to take firearms out hunting and such without adult supervision. So were my friends. I would come home from school, drop my books, pick up my rifle and head for the woods.

    As many here have already stated, we grew up with gun safety training. I am doing my best to pass this on to my grandson. What I found is the first thing he had to unlearn was that these airguns ARE NOT TOYS! Some of his city friends have bb guns and sproingers and look at them as toys. Even here in the country they are looked on as such. This is likely because firearms are so proliferous. In a county where the population is about 5,000, there is likely 20-30,000 firearms. Maybe more. There are still many here that when you mention airguns, they think of Daisy. It is a very rare day that I do not hear shots ring out. It is not unusual for you do hear a single shot in the night.

    I am indeed fortunate to live where the the Constitution has not yet been trampled under by the tyrannical boots. I pity those who do.

    • RidgeRunner,

      You need to move! LOL!

      Portland or San Francisco had recently, again Last Night, made know their strong objections to our (USA) system of Laws and Justice; especially the Jury System!


  11. B.B. and Readership,

    I can’t let this evening go by without saying how proud you all should be as a truly great community of airguners!

    Rco1234 said “I’m sure I’ll have some people want to assault me verbally for this response but as I’ve suggested in the past… This blog is read by all kinds.”

    Yes this blog is read by all kinds of wonderful people!


  12. “A proposal for Thanksgiving week”
    Fellow blog readers, I was making a comment earlier about what a fantastic job B.B. is doing with this blog; he spends a LOT of time on it, and it enjoys a large readership, and all of us have learned something here (in my case, many things). Hence, I propose that besides giving thanks to God this week, we also take a moment to consider what we have learned here, and make a comment of thanks to B.B. for some particular thing we have learned due to his efforts; it would be especially nice to hear from those who read the blog but don’t comment too often; I’m sure we’ve all learned something worthy of a “thank you,” and it might help B.B. to fill up his energy tank as he prepares to get all his future reports ready for the New Year! 🙂

  13. B.B.,
    I am thankful for all your reports about the way to properly mount a scope!
    Those have been particularly useful to me, especially the part about how to shim a scope to keep the reticle from “floating.” Also, all your reports where you stressed the importance of a chronograph gave me the needed push to buy one, and it has proved to be a really helpful piece of gear.
    Thanking you for all you do,

  14. Great suggestion, Dave. Thanks and appreciation go together, FM thinks – so thank you, B.B. for getting FM back into airgunnery and together with the help of the other members of this circle, helping him learn a thing or two on the subject. Your hard work in writing and publishing this obvious labor of love is much appreciated. Happy, Healthy and Blessed Thanksgiving to everyone!

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