This report covers:
- I started out young
- Stepfather steps in
- And on and on…
- Lucky BB
Today will be quite different. And, as it is a Friday, it will give you the weekend to talk. Plus, since next Monday is July fourth, the date we Americans celebrate our independence, BB will be taking that day off, too, as one of his four annual holidays. So this report will be the current one for the next three days.
What is plinking? My online dictionary defines it as — to shoot, as with a rifle, at targets selected at whim. When BB was a boy back in the 1950s, plinking was mostly what he did with both airguns and firearms. And, to listen to some of you, it’s what many of you still do. So sayeth reader RidgeRunner, who has taught us all to shoot at “feral cans.” And now you all talk about it.
I started out young
We plink when we just want to have fun with a gun — oh, perish the thought! But isn’t fun what it’s all about? I know that’s what got me into the shooting sports. Oh, there were cowboy shows on TV like Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and The Lone Ranger (whom I called The Long Ranger), and later came Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel and others, but, while I did have a cap gun to play cowboy with when I was very young, it wasn’t cowboys who led me into the shooting sports.
I wanted a BB gun as a kid, but my mother absolutely forbid it. Oddly she had been a shooter in her youth and in her teenage years she sold lariats at a wild west show, but she and my father had been terrorized by neighbor boys who shot their BB guns at our house, and that was what set her off. She told me they had broken several windows. So I was forbidden to have the “evil” BB guns that had once caused her so many problems. That, my friends, is what made BB Pelletier a gun guy. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt!
Stepfather steps in
My father passed away when I was nine. Then my mom remarried when I was 12 and that was when I started shooting. My mom had sent me to an NRA-taught gun safety course, and in three sessions old BB learned how to aim and shoot a .22 target rifle. However, nobody I knew had one of those. My stepfather saw my interest and made sure I got the chance to shoot — a little. We went out and shot his 1911A1 Colt from the Army (don’t ask — I never did!) and we borrowed a Winchester model 61 slide-action .22 rimfire rifle. I couldn’t get enough of that, because of course I wasn’t buying the ammo.
A Remington Rand M1911A1 from World War II.
My uncle took my cousin and me to an abandoned strip mine in southern Ohio and he let us shoot a model 1903 .22 Winchester Automatic that unfortunately took a proprietary cartridge that was different than the long rifle round.
A box of .22 Winchester Automatic ammo will cost you $290.00 today, according to Gun Broker. Ooops!
My uncle didn’t pay that much, but he did admit to paying $1.50 for a box of 50 when the same number of long rifle cartridges sold for 50 cents. Never buy a gun that shoots proprietary ammo unless you can reload it.
Well, I didn’t get a Winchester model 61 slide-action rifle until much later in life. But when I had a paper route I did buy a more affordable Remington model 550 semiautomatic. It shot shorts, longs and long rifles, though there was little if any price difference in the three rounds, as I recall.
Remington 550 semiautomatic rifle.
And on and on…
Hey, this is an airgun blog. Stick to business, BB!
As I grew older the convenient places to shoot grew fewer and fewer. Then I entered the Army and got to shoot a little more, though it was never enough. So I continued shooting on my own. I bought firearms and started reloading seriously. Then in 1976 in Germany I rediscovered airguns. Finally a way to shoot for cheap, safely and in my home!
And that was when BB Pelletier emerged from his chrysalis and took flight! What he discovered specifically was air pistol target shooting. HOWEVER — he also discovered that there are airguns that aren’t for target shooting. — airguns like the Diana 27. They are airguns for having fun by plinking.
I guess BB was very lucky because he bought a Diana 27 as one of his first airguns. He did have a Feinwerkbau 124, but it was scoped and he didn’t think of it as a plinker — then or now. But that little 27 — now THAT’S a plinker.
BB never got caught by the box store Chinese mega-magnums. If he had he would probably be writing about metal detecting or coin collecting — anything but airguns.
As time passed old BB saw an ad in the local newpaper for an Egyptian Hakim air rifle trainer. The price was reasonable ($75) so he bought it. What an airgun! Then he saw an ad in Shotgun News for Egyptian Hakim trainers for $40 each if you bought 4. BB bought 4 and got all four of them working. Come to find out they were made in 1954 by Anschütz.
Hakim air rifle trainer. Anschütz made 2800 of these for the Egyptian army in 1954/55. This one has custom-made wood.
BB went crazy! He bought and sold Hakims like cordwood in Maine! To date he has owned at least 15 of them and he has turned hundreds of shooters into Hakim owners.
Anyway, this blog was inspired by reader sawdust, who is my next door neighbor, Denny. He said I should write a blog about just plinking in the back yard and I thought about it. Plinking in the back yard? Who does that? Not BB — that’s for sure! But why not? BB has the perfect airguns for quiet suburban back yard plinking. The Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun is a great example.
Springfield M1 Carbine BB gun.
And I have the Hakim plus several Diana 27s. No problem there.
I am saving feral drink cans for the event. Plus I have other fun action targets.
But I wanna hear from you guys. What do you plink at? You are the plinkers! What am I missing?
We gonna have us some fun, guys. We gonna plink.
120 thoughts on “Plinking”
I am fortunate that for part of the year I have a long secluded driveway. I love putting 15-25 pellets in my pocket with my Diana LP-8 Magnum in hand. As I walk down the driveway I see targets all over the place. I shoot at rocks, tree leaves, twigs, fence posts, anything that moves.
Alway have a good time, and half the time I really do not care it I hit my target or not…
PS Happy Independence Day everybody. Let us not forget why we celebrate.
Oh Boy Howdy . . . do I enjoy plinking. My plinking days go back to about 1960 when was in junior high. My buddies and I would go out in the mountains above where we lived and shoot cans, the steel ones because we didn’t have aluminum ones. Our tight little group ended one day when our buddy Rudy raised his hand in front or the BB rifle’s barrel just as I was committed to the shot and yelled “stop”. He meant it in jest, but it became serious when that BB lodged in his thumb. Rudy’s dad piled the 3 of us boys into the car for a trip to the doctor. Rudy wasn’t seriously hurt, but we weren’t ever allowed to go plinking together again. I took full blame. As the shooter, I was responsible. Today, I still love plinking. My favorite targets are used gallon milk jugs with H2O and food coloring. At one time, I thought that Vietnam was the last shooting I’d ever do, but my juices still get going at the possibility of aceing a target or just blowing away a soda can. What can I say . . . I grew up shooting and don’t want to get it out of my system. I’ve spread the disease to my children and grandchildren and I don’t want want the vaccine. Orv.
Ok, Have to ask. The first time I ever heard the expression, “Boy Howdy” was in the “Joe Pickett” book series by CJ Box. So Doc, are you by any chance located in MT or WY? The location of the Joe Pickett novels? By the way, Box’s hero finally made the big time, a TV series on Spectrum TV and now showing on Paramount+ – not a paid plug – just a good TV almost western series.
Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Repuplik of NJ now happily in GA where he can shoot an aluminum can hanging on a string in the back 15 (yards) or a spinner target bought from one of our fellow column participants (still working fine, Hank).
Well Fred, I ‘m a Texas resident sojourning in the beautiful Southern California Desert near Aguanga. I grew up saying Boy Howdy and the like instead of cuss words. Boy Howdy has just sorta stuck with me over the years. Believe me . . . it’s far better than the alternative of getting smacked across the jaw for cuss words. Orv.
I have read and enjoyed all of the CJ box books. You have good taste in your reading!
I grew up in northern Iowas in a small town of 400. With I might add 2000 acres of forest just for all of us boys to roam. Plink I bet there is still cans out there full of holes for our 22 rifles.
For plinking, I always have 5-6 empty tin cans sitting in a line on the bricks I made our round fire put out of. Mostly I use either my Red Ryder with Lasso scope mount and my old BSA red dot sight, or my Daisy Buck fixed up like one Tom reviewed a while back with Buck-Rail acope mount and bipod with a red/green reflex sight. Distance is 15-17 yards. Sometime from a rest, sometimes standing, and I haven’t put an eye out yet. I also have a full set of steel chicken, pig, turkey and ram targets, five each, jyst like the 200 meter IHMSA matches I used to love shooting in, but shrunk down to air gun size.
`Little green men populate my backyard, little plastic army men that is.The toy soldiers are cheap at the dollar store and make fun targets. My favorite plinking targets are the tiny airgun size steel chickens . I’ve made spinners and swingers from 1/8″ thick Polyethylene sheet for BB guns as well.
Army men! Why didn’t I think of them? Great idea. Thanks!
I just may have to give those little green men a go one of these days. Maybe set them on top of the feral soda cans.
The last ones a got from Amazon, great big bag of targets for little money.
Yes , but ton of setting up.
I used to shoot beer bottles with a guy who had the nearby bars deliver the empties.
Took 30 minutes to set up 10 minutes of shooting. I shot a single shot he shot a PCP with a full magazine.
Guess who shot more bottles? If you hit them just right, you can get three shoots. One in the neck, one in the upper body, and then whatever is left…
Little steel army men are my favourite plinking targets. They cost more than the plastic ones, but last forever and just need a fresh coat of paint now and then.
I like to place them out at various distances and plink at them with my HW30s. They are 4 inches high, so at 55 yards are equivalent to life-sized targets at 1000 yards.
Nice , need to find some of those.
Years ago my Grandson would fly to Houston from Mississippi and we would pick Him up and bring Him to Galveston county for Spring Break. About ten years ago I set up a big shooting gallery in the back yard for BB,pellet and air soft. I customized a QB 78 for Him, cut butt stock and installed an old Weaver 4x scope. One time when we went down range to reset targets I found a bunch of headless toy soldiers . I asked my Grandson if He was taking head shots, he replied “ain’t nothin to it Paw Paw, I just put the cross hairs on the head and squeeze the trigger” My Grandson is now 19 years of age, well adjusted young Christian man and a great shot.
Good job PaPw!
Hi, I’m RidgeRunner. I am a plinker.
LOL! What I do these days is mostly plink. Mrs. RR will not let me hunt on our property. I can look at the deer, squirrels, etc., but I am not allowed to shoot them. The only one allowed to kill anything around here is the dog. Hence, I turned to the feral soda cans, of which there seems to be an ample supply of around here.
Growing up, I was never allowed to have a bb gun, because my Daddy had one. I did have an Iver & Johnson Model X .22 since I was three. When I was six, my Grandaddy and Daddy started teaching me to use it. By time I went out on my own I was shooting things like .223, .25-06 and .270 Winchester.
I did not discover the world of airguns until our daughter was an adult and I was starting to turn into an old geezer. With the airguns came the plinking, but because of my previous background, I take my plinking very serious, at least sometimes. 😉
Besides the wild pack of feral soda cans running around here, I have put together a pretty nice set of spinners. They progress from one that is about two and a half inches in diameter down to one that is about three eighths of an inch. You have to get pretty serious about your plinking to hit it, most especially when using open sights.
My grandson and I have a shooting game we like to play. It is a progression game that starts with the big spinner down to the small spinner. Each time you hit a spinner, you progress to the next smaller. If you miss, you back up one. He is pretty excited when he hits the tiny spinner before Grandaddy does. 😉
B.B. the perfect blog for the holiday weekend. Happy Birthday America. God bless you all.
Well, pooky. I was all excited about the new JTS Airacuda and Airacuda Max and then I find out the company’s real name is Xisico. I guess one of those things will not be living at RRHFWA. Do not bother with the Shockwave. It is from over there also.
Here is something I put together last year and brought it inside for the winter. Maybe we’ll break it out this weekend. I got a bulk box of the lollipops. They cost me about a penny a piece and the pieces eventually melt away into the ground.
B.B., what a great report! Blessings to our country, and also for your day off. 🙂
As for plinking targets. Someone got me started on Zipfizz, an energy powder you add to a bottle of drinking water. I started buying it in bulk packs of 20 vials. The side benefit to this stuff is, once you’re done with it, the empty vials make great airgun targets! The top of the vial is just bigger than a dime, while the bottom is just a tad smaller than one. On the 15-yard range, they make for great plinking targets.
However, if my wife has put me to grilling up some lunch, I like to do the old RidgeRunner trick, and dig out the feral soda cans, and throw them in the yard, and plink at them from the deck with my old Daisy Buck BB gun.
The 15-yard trap is 30 yards from the grill; yesterday, I found that if I put some feral cans on top of the trap (using a fat tree for a backstop), and hold up a lot of front sight, I can take down the cans whilst grilling…great fun! 🙂
Wishing a blessed 4th of July to all,
B.B.’s Blog, Plinking
Who doesn’t love plinking with an air gun? Well, among us blog readers, anyway. My friend and I made spinner targets one evening, to shoot in his back yard the next day after work more than twenty years ago. Each of us only had one air rifle. That was before I knew that my little Tasco scope had to be adjusted to work right! I still have that bulky, oakwood spinner.
Today, I like my 4” round electrical box cover, sprayed white on one side and hung from a tree branch by a string, some 30 yards out. It makes a nice “ping” when hit. While it’s spinning, sometimes a good shot will miss, because the target is edge-on when the pellet arrives. A bucket load of water balloons, hung out among the same branches is even more fun, but they’re a lot of work. A “gong” made from an old fry pan, hung way out somewhere between fifty to 80 yards, with the bottom sprayed white, makes a fun plinking target using open sights…one has to aim high and arc the pellet in.
Closer in, bottle caps, stuck into the duct seal target backer is satisfying plinking, because you can choose what part of the graphic you want to hit with a scoped rifle. There’s more, but I’ll stop here.
Please enjoy your 4th of July long weekend,
>> We gonna have us some fun, guys. We gonna plink. <<
BB, you said that right!!! …When I think of airguns I think of plinking 🙂
Biodegradable breakfast cereal (Honeycomb, Cheerios, Froot Loops) suspended from a string are my favorite reactive plinking targets – they explode nicely and the local critters clean up afterwards.
Lots of targets of opportunity on the property. Acorns, pine cones, dandelions and daisies are great as well as mini sniping insects.
Small targets at long range with a scoped PCP is entertaining but I've rediscovered "true plinking" with my iron-sighted HW30 and tin cans. Brings me back to my teenage days of plinking with my Slavia 618 (which still sees regular use).
A plinking game we enjoy is the "can race". You shoot to knock your can down range to the finish line. First one to cross the line (with the all of the tin) wins. You learn real quick where to hit the can to get it to go the way you want.
Lots of variations of the can race like limiting pellets or limiting time. A. 22 caliber multi pump is the airgun of choice as you can adjust the power to knock the can flying rather than just make a hole through it.
When I get bored shooting paper (which happens pretty fast) the push-pins that pin my target to the backstop quickly become targets themselves. 😉
There is always an airgun by the basement door and tins out on the shooting range.
Have a great weekend all!
Vana2, thanks for describing your plinking.
Exploding cereal target, eh? That’s cool (but I don’t want to encourage any more rodents than having horses here already entails).
So I particularly like the idea of the, new to me, “can race”! Sounds like an easily arranged and great fun game. 🙂
Yeah, I live in a rural area and the presence of rodents is a given. Fortunately we have a variety of predators (snakes, foxes, weasels, hawks and owls) that help manage them 🙂
Would rather have have rodents than bits of plastic littering the ground. Actually the birds do most of the cleanup.
Locally, the biggest problem at this time of year is nursing does – they are ravenous and eat everything! Nice to see the fawns though. Had a family (doe and two fawns) bedded in the front yard this morning.
Can races are great fun and can be quite competitive. …Shooting your opponent’s tin to knock it off track is permitted 🙂
Vana2, what a wicked can race rule ! 🙂
Love the sound of the visiting deer. The only time I saw one here, I managed to shoot it with my camera…
I wish you all a thinkfull and happy 4th of July.
A sincere wish from a European friend.
Unfortunately I cannot go out and plink at random targets but in our suburb backyard, with friendly neighbors, I just set a five bullseye target and have fun.
Imagine me, a mediocre shooter, keeping five pellets in a half inch group at ten yards with what;
A Diana 350, 4.5, 12 fpe, with a 12 inches barrel, silenced. With the long stroke spring she is a teacher, either with the Williams sight or a 4x optical.
I just hope that God and the rest of the family will let me pass the hobby to our first, coming next week, grandson…
There is nothing like shooting with a grandkid.
“There is nothing like shooting with a grandkid.”
Amen to that, RidgeRunner!
Sadly, all my grandkids are thousands of miles away; but I did get to shoot with them one time.
Bill, I hope your grandson gets to be an airgunner. 🙂
My quick and easy way to make spinners is to take spoons and bend the ends of the handles into hooks and set up a row of them in various sizes hung along a metal rod inside a shoebox or similar trap. The convex shape of the spoons tends to catch both BBs and pellets and drop them in in the box without ricochet. This setup is good for 15ft lbs-ish or less.
*Make sure to line the back of your box with enough material (several layers of carpet, a thick catalog, or multiple stacked magazines) to stop a shot that misses your spoons. Big ones, little ones, thick ones, thin ones- they will all produce different reactions and sounds.
Those spoons sure sound like fun.
I would appreciate a picture of that setup!
Cheap and durable. I pick them up in a salvage storefor next to nothing. From baby spoons all the way up table spoons make for challenging targets from 50-150 yds. Over the years I’ve had them hanging from trees , wired to the fence and just stuck in the dirt.
I’m fortunate to have woods on three sides of my property on a rural road, and gunfire is something heard often, as there are a lot of 2A supporters in rural North Carolina. I repurposed old pots and pans and hung them from branches around the edge of my property; unless you are looking for them, you don’t really notice them. Depending on where you are at, they will be from 15 yards to roughly 80 yards away from you, and they provide nice audible feedback. Important: The family knows that hanging steel is for firearms, and hanging pans are for airguns.
oh the fond memories you brought back. The Winchester 61 is one of all time favorite guns. I’ve had two. My first was very worn. It was slick (lose) and fast to pump due to it be worn. It was of my most accurate guns I’ve had. Yes it was that good. And it made no since. It had a groove cut in the barrel (groove cut into the rifling). Well it was dead on but the groove bothered me. So I sold her and bought a 61 that looked brand new. That one was hard to pump and was never that accurate. I was so let down. .I wish so bad I would have kept the old worn out one. I showed the old one to a gunsmith once to look at the rifling. He said no way this could be accurate. Well the rifle showed him he was wrong. He couldn’t believe how well it shot. I sold it to him. I also owned a couple Remington 550s. I like them also, but not like the pump.
I had plinking fun with my dad’s Diana collection growing up. All springers.
I said, “This time, let’s do something different.” I considered multi pumps and CO2s, but I am disappointed with their quality. Gladly, I haven’t invested in any of them. I researched the new Dianas and again, I am disappointed. The magnum Dianas are still awesome, although with that much power, I believe they are more suitable for .22 cal. I wouldn’t pick a powerful .22 air rifle for plinking fun. Gas rams would also be too powerful.
For outside plinking, Weihrauch air rifles are perfect: HW30/35/50 in .177 cal. HW95 would be the most powerful one for the purpose, I believe. With velocities up to 950 fps in .177, there are a few more in addition to the versions of 95: Air Arms and Weihrauch underlevers – If a large land is available for safe fun.
For indoors plinking, 499B might be a good option.
So, HW30/35/50 in .177 cal and 499B are my current plinking favorites among the brand-new products in the market.
Well, actually HW50 requires almost the same amount of effort as HW95 to cock. I haven’t tried an HW35 yet, but it has to be smoother than HW50 to cock – longer barrel, more efficient leverage. I say my short list for plinking becomes HW30/35 and 499B then.
HW35 is a must have.
The other advantage the HW35 has when it comes to cocking is the breech lock. No need to slap the barrel to break the rifle open; just release the latch with your left thumb and the barrel opens under its own weight.
Yeah, I know. Nice detail, right?
With the plinker Dianas, I had never needed to slap the barrel though. Diana 23, 27, and such break with one light stroke.
I gotta get me one of those old Diana plinkers someday, or a Diana 240 at least.
BB and the readers,
As the subject is plinking, I have a question for you.
Many years ago, I saw a BB gun at an amusement park. It was an accurate muzzleloader. I cannot remember if it was cocked like 499 or a break barrel or an underlever, but the guy was cocking it and then dropping a BB into the muzzle. I wonder what that BB gun could be. I thought about 499, but the sights were like the Red Ryder’s, not peep sights.
Happy and Blessed 4th to all in advance! FM’s first airgun was a BB Red Ryder which my mother and father let me have very reluctantly; my dad wanted the muzzle cap off so ‘lil FM could not shoot BBs thru it. Maybe that was a wise thing since a couple of similarly-equipped friends used their Red Ryders to snipe at some girls in the apartment building where we all lived. They lost their guns and got a butt-tanning, as happened in those days. The Red Ryder became a Cowboys-and-Indians play gun. Nice report! And if you dropped some 3-in-1 oil down the muzzle, you even got it to smoke.
Recall busting a bunch of plastic airplane models with my cousin’s Crosman 38T; it pretty well demolished them. In retrospect, seems stupid…guess FM got tired of ’em. Later, during the Firearms Period, loved to shoot plastic jugs and metal paint cans filled with water with the heavier artillery, ranging from .22 rimfire to .30,, 8mm, 7.62 and other calibers. That made an impression on FM – small entry hole, large exit one. Gets one thinking of consequences, as opposed to the video games today where you get the impression there are none after you make the target go “poof!” Those were the gone for good old days in S Florida when there was still a lot of open land many shooting spots being former limestone quarries with rockpits, providing good backstops and a supply of H2O to fill up the targets. Sometimes you found treasure – as in discarded washing machines and junk vehicles which were a lot of fun to shoot.
Now having a good time, when not trying to sight in the airguns – that’s serious business 😉 – shooting down the feral cans and other targets of opportunity; have built up a stash of empty CO2 cartridges, gonna try to exercise the old eyes and see if can hit them at 25 yards.
By the way, B.B., perhaps it is FM’s imagination-fueled-by-history, but seems the Hakim resembles the WWII G43/K43 semiautomatic rifle, except the Hakim has no detachable magazine.
I have an old pump action takedown .22 Savage with octagonal barely that was my dads when he was young and growing up in a little town (long since gone) in the woods in Oregon. His father had abandoned my dad, his sister, and their mom, and to say they were poor wouldn’t cover it. I think my dads Uncle gave him the Savage. The two of them would go fishing and hunting together, sometimes for many days at a time. Often if my dad didn’t bring home a rabbit, phesant, grouse, there would be no meat on the table. The gun has a knurled knob on the actipn,which breaks the gun into three pieces easily fitting into a pack. Open sights only, of course. When I was younger with good eyes and took the Savage to the gun range, I was pleased to see it was grouping nicely to 50 yards, and was a nice shooter with loads of “character”! Sometimes I think these types of guns were called gallery guns. Dad had contacted Savage at some point to see when he gun was made, and hey had replied early 1930’s.
A Shout-Out for help I received from Tech Support! 🙂
All this talk about plinking got me thinking about how I needed to do some more testing to find the best pellets to use in my Dragonfly Mark2. So, I went to do some testing (more on that later), but something seemed “funny” with the linkage; then I noticed that I was missing one of the 6 Phillips head screws which hold the forearm and pumping linkage together. I called PyramydAir 15 minutes before they closed (on a holiday weekend); I wasn’t expecting more than to leave a message. Instead, I got immediate help from Sarah at PyramydAir, who hooked me up with Stacey H at AirVenturi; in response to this pic I sent in, I will have the part pulled from stock on Tuesday to be mailed to me…not bad at all for a last minute call right before the 4th of July! Sarah and Stacey H, I thank you both profusely for your dedication to helping an airgunner in need!!! 🙂
Someone might wonder, “Hey, dave, why didn’t you Loctite those screws as soon as you got the rifle?”
Good point; but truly it never occurred to me. I always remove and [Blue] Loctite all the screws on a springer just as soon as I get it, to prevent them coming loose from vibration. However, on a pneumatic, I just didn’t think of it…silly dave! 😉
Maybe I should tighten screws on the Crosman 362. Thanks.
You’re welcome; and good point; I should do likewise. 🙂
I have broken a string on my dulcimer and my “new” Webley Junior needs a new sear because whomever had replaced the original one had failed to harden the new one.
Isn’t it supposed to be hardened at the factory?
Here’s one to keep this going…what’s the difference between plinking and mini sniping, and what would be your favorite mini sniping stories?
I believe formal mini sniping involved the use of 9mm shell casings at a set distance. Plinking is more informal with no set target or distance.
The term ‘Plinking” comes from the sound a BB or pellet and I assume a bullet may be included, when it hits an informal metal target … “PLINK !”
I’m not sure if shooting staples on a target at 10ft counts as plinking but it was a lot of fun in my bedroom when I was younger.
Today I like to plink at cans long distance on my fence ‘T’ posts, say 80 plus yards. Had a problem not hearing any plinks after a while and discovered pellets were going through the same ragged holes and had to replace the can frequently. Getting too old to keep walking back and forth I simply put a lot of cans on many posts and switched shooting at them throughout the event.
Well I found myself plinking at some smoke bomb balls today. While they was lit. Some made some cool spiral clouds when I hit them just right. Or they got blown to pieces with a direct hit.
Yep Gun PLINKING fun 1 is my middle name. 🙂
Got some of those round plastic fireworks that spiral up in the air like a helicopter blade then spiral down. Going to try some Wingshot 2 shot shell shooting with those in a bit.
Did shoot some of those jumping jack spiraling fireworks with the semi-auto Marauder. The Marauder stopped them quick in thier tracks with a couple quick double taps of the trigger.
And when it’s not the 4th of July Gunfun1 will settle for a dirt clod out at 50 to a 100 yards. Hedge apples are fun too.
Reactive targets is the name of the game in Gunfun1’s book when plinking. But got to target practice too. I would say my shooting consists of 60% plinking and 40% target shooting. Both are fun in thier own way. Then mix it up with different guns. But to say I guess my roots came from .22 semi-auto rimfire plinking when I was a kid. I always enjoyed that the most out of any of my shooting when I was a young’n. Anybody remember the old quart cardboard tin top and bottom engine oil cans. Those empty ones got plinked at when I was a kid.
I’m sure there is more if I can get the brain in gear. But you all know what I mean. Plinking with guns is fun.
Yep, remember those oil cans from when I used to sell them at my gas station job decades ago; you pierced them with a metal spout and hoped not to make a mess when pouring the oil into a customer’s engine. That gas station is still there and so is my good Ruger 10/22 plinker. That one goes to daughter, if she wants it, after FM fires his last cartridge.
Been thinking of making reactive targets using corn starch and some kind of small container, like those plastic Easter eggs you fill with treats. Just another dumb FM idea, probably.
Yep the metal spouts
Ice cubes make nice reactive targets too.
Another is blow up a balloon and place it in a tin can and sprinkle some flour or such on top of the balloon in the can. It makes a little poof cloud when hit.
A real cool reactive target I have shot at with air guns is the 2 liter soda bottle blaster caps. I launched one a easy 100 feet in the air with a pellet gun hit. My daughter videoed it. I’ll see if I can find the video and post it here.
Here is the tin can, balloon, flour target.
THWAK! LOVE IT!
Can’t find the bottle blowing up in the air but here is a video of the can, ballon and flour target.
And I’m going to try to post this from my files. Back when I made this video the blog didn’t have picture posting. So here it goes. Well just found out it still will not allow a video. Back then I had to post it on YouTube and post a link. Looks like the same now.
Tryed finding the videos on YouTube from back then. No luck. Will see what I can do.
Your ideas for reactive targets are awesome.
Thanks and have fun plinking.
Hey, thanks for all that – you could always try emailing FM a link. Recently someone returned an out-of-date soda to my friend who runs the vending business – told him I’d take it for a target; brought it home, shook it up and took a shot with the .177 Max. Made a nice, whirly geyser when hit but of course that kind of target won’t come around often.
Many good target ideas being shared here – FM’s head is exploding! 🙂
That brings back a memory. When I was young, parents had a party and had a couple of cases of carbonated beverages left over that was stored in our barn. After who knows how long, the bottoms started to pop out. I lined up a bunch of them on a plank and they made fun exploding targets. The .22 long rifle really made them frothy, as I remember.
Yep soda bottles are fun to shoot at. Full or empty. 🙂
This weekend’s blog reminds me of the below report from the past:
It was published on a Thursday and yet was able to have 157 comments. Since that day, have we had anything that would answer that demand? What do we have today in regard to BB’s concerns in that article?
The Umarex Embark and Ruger Explorer are pretty good. I have an Embark, and it could be a good all day plinker, but it has a lot of second stage travel and the bore is not straight with the sights. Another rifle from a different lot might be better, but the trigger is horrible.. I just bought a used .22 Daisy 230, which is a Milbro 23, which in turn was a copy of the Diana 23. It is going to become a great pinker, especially for a youth gun. I also have a Beeman R7, which is in my humble opinion a perfect adult plinker. I got it (gently) used as well.
Your Diana 23 is perfect for the job. I wish it were .177 though. Still, it rocks.
Not a big fan of Embark and Explorer, but at least Embark doesn’t have fiberoptics.
R7/30S is the best for adult plinking.
Since the article, we have lost the IZH. TR5 couldn’t replace it, and I believe it’s gone too. Diana 240 was awesome; I wish it would make a come back with iron sights. I think 240 is still on sale with fiberoptics in other countries. Diana 23 / 27 and such have been history for decades.
I wondered about the Diana 240, 250, 260. I see them all the time on ebay as I troll around the airgun section. I saw one reader review of the 240 on this blog, but that’s it. My understanding is that they are decent.
Never seen one. I read about it. If it had come without fiberoptics, I would have been interested in it.
Guess what I’ve just found out… Diana 240 is still sold on Midway USA for 99.99 + shipping. Diana 11 is also sold there with two different synthetic stocks. All comes in .177 and are advertised as 575 feet per second. If you can tolerate fiber optic sights, they would make fine plinkers. I wonder if we will see them sold here at PA as well.
Fiber optics can be dealt with. Flat black paint might work. But for plinking, the glory things are not an impediment.
Being a trying Greco myself I found out that it suits me just to take the fiber optic off and just insert a black cut to size oring in its place. That’s what I use on my cut down 350 magnum with the Williams rear sight.
Second thought, rifles like Diana 23 / 27 or HW30 could be good plinkers in .22 caliber too. In .22 caliber, they are under 600 FPS with lead pellets, so they will be suitable for indoor shooting as well – I could also drop the 499B from my list then. By the way, just saying, I would take a .22 HW30 over a 362 any day; in the long run, that will make a way cheaper decision – and I don’t put a price on accuracy.
The Diana 23 can be had in .177. I believe there are also smoothbore as well as rifled versions, but perhaps I am confusing them with the 25 or 27. More research is needed. Anyway, for target shooting, .177 is the best just because it is so inexpensive. If you are lucky to have a gun that likes the cheaper pellets like HN Econ II, you can have so much fun at 1 or 2 cents per shot. That fact always blows the minds of my powder-burning friends. But .22 is great for those of us with fat fingers. I agree with your last point, but don’t count out the 362 as a plinker. You can get plinking accuracy out of a stick 362 on 3 or 4 pumps, and then when a pest happens by, you can take it out at 7 or 8. If I could have only one gun I think it would be a 362 with a steel breech. My order for the steel breech is going in during the P.A. 4th of July sale.
.22 pellets are more expensive than .177 ones, but still, they are very cheap. Compare them to skeet / trap shooting. Yes, I would also stick with .177 for plinking purposes.
I’ve enjoyed my dad’s Diana 23 – in .177, rifled, adult size LOP, so much fun.
I think I would pass 362 even if it came as 367. I hope Crosman will do something about 397’s high cheekpiece.
Getting back to your original question, pickings are slim. But I think that’s the fault of the marketing departments. If they can invest R&D $$ on making faster guns, they can spend it on improving quality slightly to give beginners (young AND old) a satisfactory experience, and sell an accuracy war rather than a speed war. It doesn’t take much: decent trigger and decent sights, a decent barrel, and a shot of TIAT on the spring. Don’t they realize that once you hook someone in this sport, you have them for life and potentially their children? That is why B.B. has such a soft spot for youth guns. My 8 year old son just couldn’t overcome even a 12 inch length of pull and the inaccurracy of the Embark, which I discovered is mostly caused by the trigger. With a lot of effort, that gun can be a tack driver, but only at one distance. Now he says shooting is “boring.” But I am hoping that the new Daisy 230 with its cut-down stock and some Gunfun1-inspired reactive targets might cure that.
Daisy 230 is the cure for boredom.
O dear! Wrong blog:
I mistakenly added my plinking picture comments after the previous day’s blog, “Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2”.
If only I could move them here… OOPS and sorry! 🙁
My friend, you have a veritable airgun wonderland set up at your place. I will try to provide a link to your first comment, and if it doesn’t work, folks, just scroll up to the top of the comments section and jump to the previous blog. It’s really worth a look.
I think it worked. The date and time of your comment is a hyperlink.
Thank you, Roamin Greco, for your too kind words (!) and, of course, for providing a link to my lost comments. 🙂
Wondering if Tom has heard about a new BB line by gun that recently came out by Barra. Don’t know the model name, but it is a semi and full auto that is powered by a battery. Apparently the battery is one used in airsoft, and is getting over 1000 shots per charge. I’ve seen one YouTube review and read another. They are getting phenomenal accuracy out if them. They are spendy at $400 though.
Hi birdmove, I wonder if you’re referring to the Barra 400e?
I believe that’s the one.
I believe we might need a part two of this article: “Plinking Wish List.”
You reckon? And what would be in it?
Yes, I, actually, was serious. I’d love to hear your latest opinion about the air gun design that would make a dream plinker. After that, the readers could share their plinking wish list.
Maybe, it’s just me. It’s possible that I tend to contemplate about plinkers a little too much, so no worries.
Here it is:
I just had time to read the links. Great air rifle! I liked everything about Bronco other than its trigger. Of course, no Record trigger is possible at that price range, but if the trigger had been like Diana 27’s at least, Bronco would’ve been even better – in my opinion. Its fps was around 530 with ~8gr .177 pellet – makes it perfect for both in home and backyard fun. If 499B is sold for over $150, why wouldn’t a Bronco with better barrel and trigger for a tad bid higher than cheap? You did an amazing job with Bronco.
I think Daisy 753 could be turned into a nice plinker as well. The buttstock could be turned into something similar to the synthetic HW30S’s. The sights could be like the Bronco’s. And a crisp 2 stage trigger.
Well, it’s what it’s. Bronco is gone. Maybe its stock can live on Embark, so all sizes of hands can enjoy the grip.
R7 / 30S still is the perfect plinker, I believe…
Thank you for sharing the links.
WARNING! Pyramyd Air is trying to pass the Barra 400E off as an airgun! Stephen Archer of Hard Air Magazine has apparently fallen for it also.! They are not airguns!
Sure it is. The piston is just cocked and released by a small motor.
I stand corrected. Still would not have it, though.
Airgun or not it has a few problems, first 450 bucks for access. They say it can shoot 1000 rounds on a battery charge but the magazine only holds 50 rounds. If the magazine held at least 500 rounds it might be interesting. But may be not, does not catch my eye.
Mike in Atl, I think that some reviews are nothing but advertising for new airguns.
For example, 1000 rounds per battery charge might sound impressive, but is also misleading. because:
1. I bet no reviewer actually had 20 full clips at the ready to test shooting 1000 rounds consecutively (I wonder if their chosen battery could handled such a drain), and…
2. I think the claim also very much depends on the size of battery used, ie I wonder how many times a much smaller 300 mAh battery could cycle the action (in the reviews I’ve seen, they seem to be typically using a 2200 mAh sized battery).
However, the accuracy over 9 m, well, that really has impressed me! 🙂
Nine meters?! That is point blank range. If you cannot hit something with full auto at that range, you need to give it up.
I am sorry. I really do not mean to rain on anybody’s parade. I just do not have much use for these replica wanabees. It is a me thing.
The opinions expressed in my comments are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management or staff.
Now a minigun that shot pellets or bbs at +500 FPE would catch my attention. You could spray and pray then.
Check out the Air Ordinance. 22 caliber SMG pellet gun. I got one. They are fun.
500 FPE with bb….
Back from paddling the entire tidal Potomac River (to the Chesapeake Bay and back) a Bucket List Paddle. Got lucky and didn’t get too many thunderstorms to delay the trip. This morning was exceptional weather for the last leg to Little Falls the upper point that stops the tides COLD.
Happy Independence Day!
I may need to get in some .58 caliber (283 grain) round ball PLINKING today!
“Plinking” is what I did today. I shall share this with you in 3 pictures:
This one is to show you the target at a distance of about 25 metres. It’s just a piece of steel that I spray painted white.
And this is the rifle that I played with today: a VZ 47.
Resting the rifle’s left side against the door frame of my shed helps my right eye, you see, I am left eye dominant yet right handed. Anyway, for your interest, here is my best result today.
hihihi, at that distance, with open sights, that’s some good shootin’; and nice rifle! 🙂
I agree that my VZ 47, despite being a well used (!) example, is a nice rifle.
As for my shootin’, erm, I imagine it would be quite a challenge to match my result, but very easy to better it. 🙂
I wonder what a good marksman, like Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), could achieve with either a VZ35 or VZ47 (both of which he once said to be equally accurate)?
Also, I hope that StarboardRower will show us what these rifles can do, when he gets around to publishing his next guest blog instalment, “VZ 35 training rifle: Part 4”. 🙂
I’m here! Just late. Ha! 🙂 I’m replying here instead of to your comment below. The website won’t allow replies after the 4th level, it seems.
I like those pics of the vz.47. And your shooting! Well done. I really hoped someone would have as vz.35 or 47 in here. You made my day!
I have really struggled with what the “right” size group is for these airguns. I am getting something like 6″ groups at 15 yards, with the vz.35. Certainly, part of that is due to me. But I still feel like that is just too much dispersion.
The next blog edition is coming. I have a lot of concurrent efforts with the vz.35. One is evaluating technical performance of my particular gun. I believe there may be some things to work on, but I am working up the nerve to open it up. These are not simple guns. That will probably be the next blog.
Another effort is collecting more primary source info on them. This is where I really have been focusing. I have pulled in a lot of materials from the Czech Republic in the past 6 months. I have a research partner in Prague. I also went to the Royal Armoury in Leeds, England last month to see what they had. (The library and collections are available to the public by appointment.) As suspected, they had very little on the vz.35 and 47..
I probably need to make a trip to the Czech Republic to really close the loop and conduct additional research. That is a tall order…. Mrs. StarboardRower will need to approve such a thing, first! 🙂
Do you know much about the vz.47? I am helping another person with their research on that. They will be publishing a book on it!
Sorry StarboardRower, I can’t help with any further information, beyond describing my VZ 47:
I bought it in April this year for 580 Euros via the german auction site egun. Except for adding a strap – I’m using a leather one for the K98, attached upside down – it came complete and fully functioning.
By the way, with a serial number of 59040 of about 65k made, it must be one of the ‘newer’ ones. 🙂
I tried some low ricochet bbs I had for my bb guns, and found that the fingertip-blackening, “No. 10” / 4.46 mm, bare lead balls, made in Czech Republic performed best for me. Shame, because the copper coated ones are just sooo much cleaner / nicer to handle. 🙂
I wonder, is your VZ 35 showing signs of wanting a fresh spring? (waffencenter-gotha still have some VZ 47 spares and I wonder if that spring might fit)
I am also hesitant about dismantling my VZ 47, which I would do for a service and to understand why the trigger is so darned heavy.
Thanks for your kind words and interest in my VZ 47.
I’m amazed at how much effort you put into gathering information. Your motivation- and energy levels must be quite high, not to mention endurance! 🙂
Oh, before I forget, I Thank You (!) for so generously sharing the results of your research with us here. I very much look forward to the next guest blog… 🙂
Hi again StarboardRower,
I was wiping down my VZ 47 with a ballistol soaked rag when I noticed a peculiarity at the front of the forward sight.
It looks to me like someone adjusted the front sight to shoot true (in my case it’s offset slightly to the right), and then marked that position. Maybe this was even done before the gun left the manufacturer.
I’ll try to attach a picture of those stampings in the front sight and on the barrel.
Has your VZ 35 similar markings?
Great question and thank you for sharing that pic!
Yes, that is very likely an original factory-struck mark. It indicates the original windage adjustments to the front sight. It is typical of all vz. 35;s I have seen, without exception. I have not seen enough vz.47’s to really say if it is consistent with that model as well, but it is very likely to be the same as the vz.35.
The airguns were zeroed at the factory. The gun was fired, the front sight drifted left or right as required to align with an impact point, and after a final check, the two parts were “struck” with a vertical line to show how they were aligned at the time of manufacture, As an aside, there are surviving examples of an aiming device for a vz.47. It looks like a wooden cradle, of sorts. The gun is set in a jig on top. We will get to see this photo, I believe, in a forthcoming book on the vz.47! But out of respect for the author I will let him share the photo when he is ready. It is his photo and research is in progress!
While the user may certainly make their own windage adjustments after leaving the factory, I believe few did. (Elevation was assumed to be more variable, given the effect of gravity and changes in distance. Not so with windage.). CS Army regulations called for shooting the vz.35 at a range of only 15 yards for training. I imagine the vz.47 would be the same. At that distance, there is little argument for fine-tuning windage based on the conditions at the range for a given day.
I will speculate a bit more about the mark. I imagine that the front sight was subject to being bumped out of “alignment” in the field. The CS army knew this of course, and thus they made use of a front sight guard. It was the same clamp-on model they used for the vz.24 battle rifle. Still, with a removable guard, there was some risk that a errant drop or bump could knock it out of alignment. A visual indication of where it should go “back to” has some practical value.
Thanks StarboardRower. Your superb knowledge is almost intimidating. 🙂
Next time I plink with my VZ 47, I shall shoot from 14 metres (15 yards), to get an idea of what the Czech Military was after! 🙂
Additional photo of the vz.35 front sight protector. It is the same part used for the vz.34 battle rifle.
You will note the vz,47 simplified this part by going to more of a true “hood”. It is much more like the Mauser k98 pattern of front sight protection, and considerably simpler to manufacture. One of many efficiencies the vz.47 offered to reduce cost!
Thanks again, StarboardRower, for more excellent and detailed information, including pictures!
Here is an “… efficiencies the Vz.47 offered…” that I imagine did more than just simplify manufacturing:
using my thumb, I can easily and quickly slide the hopper cover back to confirm my remaining shots! Brilliant for someone who, while having fun shooting, can’t reliably count down from 15 or thereabouts… 🙂
Congrats on the purchase! What a great addition! I hope you will shoot it and enjoy it as a fine plinker. The parts for the vz.47 are more readily available than for the vz.35, So I wouldn’t be too afraid of wearing out a part and replacing it.
Here is one source for vz.47 parts if you find you need them: https://bvs.cz/soucastky_dily_cz_47.html
I have not used them. But they list many available parts.
I think you did well on the price. These guns are starting to command surprising numbers, especially in the central European markets. I did not know about that German site but thank you for sharing that. I would like to find owners in Germany and see if anything is known about what happened to the vz.35’s during the war. We know that some production continued and they were shipped back to Berlin for RAD usage. What I do not know is what happened to the CS army-inventory airguns. We can presume that they fell into German control with the other assets in the CS depot system., But I have no knowledge what the Germans did with them. Perhaps someone knows?
Thanks to you too, StarboardRower, for your VZ 47 spares link (bookmarked). Plentiful and cheap?
By the way, egun does not provide any sales history but swisswaffen does.
Sorry for the flood of messages back to you today. This is my fourth! 🙂
As for the spring, no… I think mine is ok. It seems to me that the inner leather seal (called a nozzle seal, in the original parts diagrams) has degraded. If you suspect yours needs one, I wouldn’t be afraid to change it, if you are willing. There are a lot of good parts still available for the vz.47.
But of course… only one way to know! And that is opening her up! Oh dear.,,,
Thanks again for the info on your gun. A “newer” serial number sounds good! Maybe in a little better condition?
And thanks for the encouragement on research and sharing info. I am working towards writing a small book on it! We will have to see how it goes… 🙂 Excited to bring more of the story to the English-speaking world! There is so little on it here.
StarboardRower, erm, “…opening her up…”, after you, Sir! 🙂
Blessed 4th of July to all!
I said I’d post results of some Dragonfly Mark2 testing, but got pre-occupied with the “honey-do” list.
Anyway, despite that it’s been hotter than blue blazes* and super humid, I did test 4 more pellets.
[*see the origin of that phrase here: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/529891/why-does-blue-blazes-specify-the-color-blue-and-what-is-the-origin-of-this-ex ]
I only had 2 sheets of lined paper left, so I split the pellets into two groups, a heavy and a light one in each.
Surprisingly, the H&N FT Green 9.75-grain pellets did not hit that far from the H&N FTT 14.66-grain pellets; hence, it was fortunate I marked the first group before shooting the second. I saw the same thing with the second target; the 18.13-grain JSB Jumbo pellets did not hit too far from the H&N Excite 12.75-grain pellets. However, in both cases with the light pellets, they did not shoot well, and I didn’t even bother with the full 5 shots for them.
The JSB Jumbo and H&N FTT both held a 1″ group at 25 yards. A better shooter with a good rest could surely cut that down; I am shooting from the bench, but just resting the rifle on my hand (which is resting on the bench) and my shoulder (in other words, shooting from a field rest position to see how it will perform in actual pesting).
I used 10 pumps for each shot, and despite the light effort, I was sweating like crazy when done.
I would have done velocity testing, but that’s when I noticed the missing screw on the forearm, so that will have to be another day.
So far, I have 3 pellets (adding in the JSB RS 13.43-grain pellets from previous testing) that bear testing at greater range; I’ll try them at 40 yards next. Yet, for now, I am quite happy with the rifle and the 4X Leapers UTG scope.
That reminds me; I made a pitch to the woman in sales at Leapers (Rachel, who sent me the new scope caps), asking that they might bring back the old fixed 6X BugBuster. She told me they have been working on a new line of scopes, based on customer inputs. You can see their new line of Integrix scopes here:
Back to the Dragonfly Mark2, she won’t be a frequent plinker; she’ll be a gun with which I plink to keep a hand in on being familiar with how she shoots. She is a relaxing rifle to use, I pretty much view her the same way I do my Hawken percussion rifle…a shooter for when you wish to relax.
And I hope you all get to relax and perhaps do some grillin’! 🙂
Good shooting and a blessed 4th to all,
And HECK here I thought Blue Blazes just meant a marking for a Spur Trail!
Easy on the Blue Blazes Dogs and Baked Beans Dave or you will be able to join the esteemed and ancient Order of the Blue Flame.
Roger that, shootski, LOL! 🙂
Suspect many have BEAN there, done that. Didn’t have an opportunity to plink on the Fourth, but that gave FM more time to think about the blessings of being here and have the freedom to plink and think. Hope all had a nice, relaxing day whether it was a holiday where you live or not.
Plinking is one of the best ways to relax! And get out of the daily stress.
Here in Germany, but also in my homeland Poland, many our friends have some strange opinion about guns of any kind, as they are “pure evil” for them, or at least “ohhhh gooooooshhhh shooting ohhhh”. It might be strange for you guys, but here in Europe people usually do not have anything to do with guns any kind. There is a big airgunning community, there are hunters, but outside of it usually nobody had a gun in the hand, even not once.
My point telling all that – EACH time the first time plinking with tomek for people with strange opinion is eye opening! Many of them even bought airgun shortly after this first time with me. I think I’m good at giving my passions further. It is a kind of fun they didn’t know and realized because they never tried it. It is always a great thing to watch them going fully out of the usual way, more and more excited shooting everything you can shoot at. I even usually do not shoot by myself helping them with the technique and just enjoying this event. The guys usually are competetive very fast trying to shoot small targets, where ladies usually get this “pure evil gun” attitude destroyed and after all they have to admit it might be even funny 🙂 It is just great show each time.
One thing I learned – I will never give any pistol to a rookie. This might be very dangerous.
Shooting is like throwing darts. The darts can be dangerous when used incorrectly. But hitting the target is a delight.
For us it is so simple. Imagine people with zero experience. A strong, sporty man who never had any gun in his hand. Except some plastic toys as a child. There are many who become this anxiety from parents. Similar as with spiders – anxiety without understanding. If you just show them your airgun compartment with 8 rifles, 4 pistols and crossbow, they just capitulate 🙂
What I mean with it might be dangerous is that the pistol in unexperienced hands may be easily pointed in any direction, unpredictable. I experienced it once, close to bad accident it was. The guy was just waving 15ftlbs pistol around and accidentally fired in random direction close to the rest of the group. The rifle is much more reliable for showing rookies how it should be done.