The cobbler’s children have no shoes

This report covers:

  • How does that apply to BB Pelletier?
  • Which one?
  • Diana 27
  • Rat
  • More
  • If only…
  • Tomorrow

I have an interesting one for you today and perhaps it’s one you can identify with. Let’s get started.

These days I don’t know if a person has heard a particular saying or not. Let’s start there. The cobbler’s children have no shoes comes from an ironic tale about a cobbler who is so busy making shoes for his customers that he has no time to make shoes for his own children.

How does that apply to BB Pelletier?

Well, BB writes about airguns. And BB has airguns. Many are his and some are on loan from Pyramyd Air and other places like Crosman, Umarex and so on. There are probably 30 or more pellet guns just in BB’s office. BBs office is at the front of his house and faces the street.

Just outside BB’s office is a narrow strip of garden/accent land that separates the house from the lawn. Many homes have hedges in this place, but BB has purple fountain grass plants and Texas red Yucca plants. The Yucca plants have long stems on which grow the distinctive red buds. Last week BB happened to glance out the window and he saw a small rat climbing one of the stems. No problemo! BB Pelletier is an airgunner. He has pellet guns — lots of pellet guns!

Which one?

Let’s see — that one is sighted in for 25 yards. This one is sighted for 50. That other one hasn’t been shot for accuracy yet and it doesn’t have sights. The one over in the corner was shooting great at 25 yards but BB needed the scope for a different test, so all it has now are the iron sights it came with and BB doesn’t remember where they are sighted in.

Diana 27

Hold the phone! BB has a Diana 27! It’s not as accurate as a 10-meter rifle, but it can keep all its shots on a small pellet tin at that distance. And, if BB sneaks around the corner of the entryway to his house, the rat will be about 15 feet away. BB will have to shoot left-handed, but he should be able to do that. Now, where is that Diana 27?


Oh, oh — where is that rat? In the several minutes BB took to consider all his options, life happened and the rat moved on. So BB wised up — a little. First he went to the hardware store and bought some rat poison that he placed in strategic places around his home. Next, he realized that owning several dozen airguns is no guarantee you’ll have what you need when you need it. Owning one airgun that is sighted in at a distance you know for certain, and a gun you can shoot offhand with reasonable accuracy, and a pellet you know is accurate in that gun is a much better solution.

Shop PCP Rifles


But wait, there’s more. If you are sighted in to hit dead on at 25 feet, where will the pellet hit at 10 feet? What about 15 yards? It’s not enough that the gun is accurate; you have to be accurate with it! Shucks, there’s always a catch, isn’t there?

If only…

If only the rat had cooperated and snuck up to the front of my rubber mulch target box, and if only he had given BB time to set up his MTM shooting bench and sandbag and grab his TX200 Mark III with the Tony Leach tune and the Meopta scope, plus a tin of JSB 8.44-grain domed pellets. I could have chosen which whisker to shoot off! Yeah, but the rats around my house are uncooperative — always have been.

Are you getting my point today? I know a lot of you shoot at home, either inside the house or just outside, but how many of you have that one airgun that’s set up to do your dirty work? Is it an airgun that you know quite well? Tell me about it, please.

This experience has put me in mind of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner that goes, “Water, water every where, and all the boards did shrink. Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.”


Tomorrow will be a very special report. Reader hihihi and reader shootski, I’m giving you fair notice to gather a crowd, for tomorrow will be your day. You’ll see. ‘Til then…

51 thoughts on “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”

  1. BB. I definitely feel where you are coming from! Every time I get a new air gun that needs a scope, which is pretty much all of them except pistolas, There is a trickledown effect. I tend to lean towards cheaper optics for the most part and have a few stock spares that most people throwaway or pitch into a drawer never to see the light of day. I give them all the best chance I can before giving up on them though as most of my shooting is sub 20 yards.

    It seems like I spend half of my shooting time sighting in a scope that is new or one that has been passed down the line from one gun to the next. Good thing I enjoy the process! I do always keep my HW30s with a Bug Buster on the pedestal and ready to go though for light duty as well as my Avenger .22 for heavier lifting.

    See ya Saturday at the show. Keep an eye out for an ASP20 for me, will ya?

  2. B.B.

    Last autumn a rat tried to eat through a screen to enter my bedroom, near a kitchen. I was awoken at 3am by a strange scratching sound. I got out of bed. By the moonlight I could see the intruder. . I went and got my weapon of choice, fumbled for the pellets in the dark. Cocked and loaded. The intruder was still there climbing between louvred glass windows and the screen. I tried to have a downward aim angle somewhat similar to the louver angle.
    I fired. Glad I did not break any glass and went back to bed. The next morning I expected to see a big hole in the screen. Nothing visual. Had I dreamed it all? I opened the door, and 2 feet away lay a rat with a small red dot on its side.

    The Diana LP-8, fiber sights and all, is the PERFECT tool for that kind of shooting.


    PS It was non-replaceable rubber soles that doomed cobblers.

  3. B.B.,
    Well The ASP20s are ready as well as a number of DAQ Outlaw Pistols. The DAQ .410 is aired up finally and six brass shot shells are loaded with the 6mm or so silver sugar pearls that were standard on white wedding cakes when i was young. You know the ones with a Bride and Groom on top. Karen called me the other day and asked if I still wanted the extra brass Hulls we had talked about some many months ago. I just sent Dennis a note and check ordering twenty more brass Hulls as all my various components are finally here. I’ll bet you could have just picked up my Camp & Garden put the brass bead on the rat and at anything from ZERO to 10 yards dropped the rat with the sugar pearls! The DAQ .410 Shot Pistol is POWERFUL at short range and the pattern is really good too…as expected.
    On to the cobbler’s lack of shoes; apparently the COVID 19 Pandemic put the vast majority of Cobbler Shops out of business. Folks just wore their slippers, Hausschuhe, flip-flops, or went barefooted! Dang!
    Fortunately we have a Farrier for the horses and cobblers for The Ceremonial Guard, The Fife and Drum (Service Men and Women who still wear shoes with leather or at least repairable soles some of the time around here.) all kept on wearing boots, shoes, horse shoes, keeping the trade alive. Thanks for the reminder my Lucchese dress boots need new heels.
    “Tomorrow will be a very special report. Reader hihihi and reader shootski, I’m giving you fair notice to gather a crowd, for tomorrow will be your day. You’ll see. ‘Til then…”

    Standing by, both powder and air are dry.


    PS: for water when in a survival situation in my Sea Kayak/SailBoat/Motor Yacht i carry at least two of these: https://www.landfallnavigation.com/aquamate-solar-still.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw7KqZBhCBARIsAI-fTKKSHCWN9m_quuqQ-csZoFo21nN1YHP85evDxctAw8ptTffx8__UFK4aAiO0EALw_wcB
    more if more people more stills for more fresh water.

  4. Instead of “…that one airgun that’s set up to do your dirty work?..”, I have a non-lethal trap, set up to feed the rat while it’s waiting to be relocated. Thanks for reminding me to re-bait it… 🙂

    I remember meeting an ex-cobbler who lamented the low price of new footwear. Although he could repair any, it had become uneconomical.

    I too have a relatively cheap, plastic-fantastic airgun that is not worth repairing. It’s destined for the dustbin, once I have dismantled it (because I’m curious to see the innards, and to see if there are any components worth keeping). 🙂

    • Because it’s toylike (in my mind), I forgot to mention that I do have a reliable and lethal airgun that is always loaded and usually close by, ready to rid me of flies and mosquitoes.

      • I have one of those! I also have the laser sight on mine. Although she bought it for me, Mrs. RR will not let me shoot it inside. She does not want the salt all over the inside of the house.

        • Ah yes RidgeRunner, the salt sometimes shows, particularly on smooth surfaces like tiles, table tops, etc.
          Though she herself would only fry them on an electric racket, my boss says she nevertheless prefers salty flies to live ones. 🙂

          • What a powerful wrist (!) RidgeRunner, no need for batteries. 🙂

            I broke one too: by whacking little bloodsuckers on hard surfaces. Taping up the cracked plastic handle only postponed the inevitable complete destruction. 🙁

            Instead of controlling my swatting enthusiasm, I learnt that those horizontal bars out of the broken electric racket are surprisingly stiff (a bit like bicycle spokes) and make handy little s-shaped hooks… 🙂

          • FM,

            The salted rats are a great idea. We can send the salted rats to China. There they are considered a delicacy. This may help to improve relations between Xinping and Joe. Also, we would get rid of the rats.

    • That was quick.

      Update: the pictured little furry fella likes peanuts and is now a short drive away.

      I’ve been wondering all day what tomorrow’s article might be about. Mentioning reader shootski and myself in the same sentence has me nervously intrigued. Hmm… 🙂

      What do you think, is Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) going to give us a lesson in projectile rotation?

  5. I had a pair of Justins resoled a couple of years back.

    As for ready to go airguns, I have four. All are mounted on the wall of my great room. One is over the fireplace. All have their favorite pellet hanging with them in Wilkins’ pellet pouches. They are the Webley Senior, the Webley Service MK II, the 1906 BSA (over the fireplace) and the FLZ Millitia. My go to is the Millitia. Anything at any range out to 25 yards is mine.

    Of course, I rarely shoot anything except small spinners and feral soda cans. I usually let my “pet” black racer handle the small vermin around the house on the outside, which “he” seems to be pretty good at. The dog keeps most other larger critters at bay, except for the deer. She cannot catch them, so she rarely chases them.

    For the rare times some unwanted vermin manage to come inside, I break out my Izzy.

    • RidgeRunner,

      Would have thought you would be shod in 11″ Double H Barry to ride your bike.
      I wore Justin Roper in brown with my Aviation Greens, Khakis and black plain toe with my Blues. The Bates started making a Wellington in brown and black that was of better quality for the ame or less money.


  6. My .22 HW100 is the go-to pester that is always ready for action. For mice and chipmunks at close range I use my 10 meter pistol.

    As far as the different rifles/different sight-in I work around that by not sighting in at an arbitrarily range like 25 yards. Most of my airguns are setup for their best point-blank range so they all hit within 3/8″ of the line of sight anywhere from the Near Zero (16-18 yards) to the Far Zero (34-38 yards). Within that range I don’t need to compensate for the trajectory. Find that approach to be much easier than trying to remember how each rifle is setup. I do a lot of sniping at close range to know my hold-under at less than the Near Zero distance.

    It’s good to practice shooting off your “other side”, I’m right-handed but I try to be more ambidextrous when I can. A bit of proficiency from the other side is helpful – last year a cataract in my dominant eye forced me to shoot “lefty” and I managed fairly well.


  7. I have two airguns that fit the bill for this. The main one is a Huben K1, and the other is an HW-30S set up with both peep sights and a quick mount 4X AO scope . . . .

    I have mentioned the Huben before – it is an amazing gun than is easily adjustable on the fly. Mine is a .22 caliber and is set up to normally shoot 18.1 grain JSBs at 890 fps, but a quick turn of the power wheel can shift that easily between about 960 and 500 fps. The higher power level is typically reserved for switching to Redesigned Monsters, which is shoots amazingly well – but is overkill for most of my shooting which is at spinners and paper. The lower power is used all the time to battle chipmunks that mess up things near the foundation of my house. I have learned the hold overs for this close range “combat” at low power and it works wonderfully, but I have been considering trying out adding a separate “battle sight” to better serve this purpose. Having 19 semi-auto shots on board is wonderful, too.

    The HW was set up for that same purpose before I got the Huben, and it works very well at it – although it is not used much that way anymore now that I have the Huben. The scope sits on a Weaver adapter base so it goes on an off very repeatably. The scope is sighted for 25 yards, and the peep is sighted for 10 M shooting, thus needs minimal holdover adjustments for close range pesting. I typically keep the scope mounted on the gun, but can pop it off quickly if needed for close range pesting duties if I am not comfortable with the larger hold over needed with it on the gun. I have tried a few “see through” rings but none seem ideal for lining up with the peep sight, so I have to take the scope off to use the peeps properly.

    The Huben gets almost all the use anymore since it is so versatile and fun to shoot. It is quite accurate, but not as accurate as my Air Ranger or my purpose built benchrest (heavy) bottle-fed double regulated Marauder – if it was as accurate as those I think I’d end up selling everything else off as the one gun would do just about everything . . . although the HW will never be sold off, as it it such a fine shooter on its own and as a springer is a great plinking and back up gun.

  8. What I learned is that an airgun with sights clos to the bore (,i.e. iron sights) is much, much better to have around than a scoped rifle for the occasional pest.
    The iron sight rifle can be adjusted to shoot sufficiently straight from 0-15 meters. The scopes rifle is dialed to a rather specific distance, and not useful when a rat sits in your garage.

    • Mel83,

      I agree that sights close to the bore make it simpler…but;
      That is where holdover and holdunder cards with the D.O.P.E. on the stock or taped to the scope flip up scope cap with a milling reticle work.


  9. “If wishes were fishes, we’d all be throwing nets”. Since I retired down to beautiful Georgia where shooting an airgun outside the house is considered a curiosity and not a crime, I have managed to sight in all my scoped rifles from 10 yds to 50 yds with the reticle adjustment number duly recorded along with most favored pellet. Problem is, with the number of hawks flying around, I have not had a vermin problem to attend to.

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

  10. B.B. and Readership,

    Off Topic:. Has anyone noticed the Gunfun1 is only sporadically posting Replies?
    I have a theory for your consideration. Gunfun1 lives in Illinois and just recently two annonimus MEGA MILLIONS WINNERS came forward to claim that prize. From Illinois…
    Was Gunfun1 one of them?
    The timing is VERY suspicious!

    Of course he may just be busy!


  11. B.B. and Readership,

    The time you can live with little or no food is measured in months, the amount of time without water is measured in days, and of course without air to breathe is measured in minutes. I could help you with the food gathering, not much help on the air but on the clean source water i can easily extend your water lifespan by weeks if not more.
    Some of you may have learned how to get some CLEAN/PURE water with this simple method. It is in a desert survival blog but works in other places as long as you have some way to get a temperature differential between in inside and outside of the collector. It works: https://www.desertusa.com/desert-people/water-solar-still.html. If you backpack or have a Bugout Bag you need the easily packed lightweight sheet(s) of clear plastic (mylar®, polycarbonate, polyester) the rest of the materials are easily found; other than at sea.


    • That is a good thing to know . . .

      Related to that (from a public information perspective on drinking water), one thing I did many years ago and highly recommend is installing a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system at home, even (or perhaps especially) if on a city water system. I chose to do this after the Flint Michigan water problem hit the news – if you look you’ll find many other cities with similar problems. They all have one thing in common: the residents all learned that were being poisoned long after it started! So I decided to get ahead of any problem, and my family has been drinking water with no contaminants in it for years. I expect this could have positive long term health impacts for us, and likely can for you too.

      • AlanMcD,

        We all need to take Individual Responsibility for our Well-being. There are many systems available to make drinking water SAFE for consumption; most are VERY Expensive relative to even the Commercial product i Linked to which is mostly for use at sea.
        Sadly the Safe Water issue is currently a Mainstream Media flogged item for revenue and political reasons. I found it much cheaper to have my “city” water tested every year by a certified laboratory rather than run my total volume of water through an expensive system…to wash clothing, cars, water lawn with. On my well out West i have it tested quarterly and when there are soil disturbing projects that occur within my water zone above and below ground.

        The Still is for Survival probably when the politics and politicians create the next disaster!


  12. BB-
    I have quite a few airguns spanning the calibers and powerplants but my go-to in the ol’ late night rat scenario is my Marauder pistol in .22. It is a reliable rig just this sort of thing. I have a Donnyfl Sumo on it so I don’t wake the wife who is mortified by rodents. It has a short carbine stock and a 3×12 Bug Buster that I leave set at 6x power because it gathers just enough light at low magnification and because I know the holdover/under out to 30 yards (-2 @ 7 yards, 0 @ 10 yards, etc.). It has a 10 round mag so I don’t have to fumble for pellets in the dark. It also wears a short carbine stock for steady offhand aiming. The power (12-ish foot pounds) with JSB hades does the job with head or body shots and the Hades pellets expand enough at that power that they don’t exit. It shoots H&N Crow mags, and Predator Polymags to a similar POI and they all do a comperable job if those are the pellets I have on hand.
    I can’t be relied on to remember ANY of this so I have a simple dope sheet inside the scope cap that I can see when I flip it up.
    We get visited in the spring with rats migrating over from my neighbors hobby chicken ranch. I have more accurate guns but that little PRod rig just gets it done and I can operate it in the dark while half asleep.
    PS. The butt of that stock is from an old hand crank drill.

  13. B.B.,
    As time goes by, and I get more familiar with her, the Crosman 362 may become my go-to airgun. Yet, due to her years of usage and familiarity, my old Sheridan gets the nod for this category. While she may not be the easiest to pump (of my multi-pumps), she is very well-sighted in, with never a need for worry or adjustment; and I know exactly how to hold her to hit from 10 feet to 30 yards. Hence, at the moment, this old gal is still the gun to grab on short notice. 🙂
    Blessings to you,

  14. I have a P-rod always ready along with either a Crosman 180 or 160, both with receiver sights both bulk filled and always ready at a moments notice. Close up, receiver sight, but out aways, P-rod with Bugbuster 3-12×32 scope.

    See you Saturday at the show. Might even sell you an airgun or two. Or, buy one or two.

  15. Haven’t had a rat or mouse problem to speak of at FM’s latitude, but when the reptile pests show up, one or two shots from the .177 or 22 Maximus rifles usually do the job though these critters can take some battle damage. At the usual under 25 yard shooting distance, Crosman Premier .22 14.3 grain pellets work well enough and .177 JSB Exact Heavy 10.34 grain ones do the job as well. The .22 HW95 loaded with Baracuda 18s has claimed a few “iggys” too.

    Things are under control around here thanks to the other airgunner neighbors though not the case in other places.


      • FM has airgun, will travel, will do pro-bono. Surprised to hear this proposal from a Miami Beach gov’t type because that is not one of the most gun-and-hunt friendly places in the Sunshine State. Which may be part of the reason why the locals are overrun with these invaders. Orion The Iguana Hunter could cash in big if this proposal goes thru and he participates in the hunt.

  16. BB
    No secret here, my FX Independence with a simple Golden Image 4x dual reticle mil dot scope is always pumped up and ready for a few good shots. One dot up or down will cover my property. But, as I mentioned the other day I had to use my Diana P5 Magnum pistol, which came in a RWS Model 5 G Magnum box, for an extremely close critter in my cactus garden.
    Don’t know what it is, the target grips or the balance but I have been very successful at hitting everything I shoot at with this pistol. Up close anyway! And to be honest it has those glowie thingie sights, red in front and green in back that actually help when shooting at something in the dark shade.
    However I think the drought out here in the west has killed off a lot of pests and snakes!
    I just do not see much of them anymore. No water or any grass growing in the wild.
    Probably why rats are coming out of the wild and invading your space.
    Provide food and water and they will come. I now have deer drinking from my leaky garden hose.
    And as the saying goes ” No good deed shall go unpunished ” the birds are crapping all over my cars and the animals are licking morning condensation from my new car along with the birds bathing in it. Tell tail mud clusters all over it.
    Cleaning out my garage for another car to fit and sprinkling rat poison and mouse traps in there too. No real problems with the two legged critters so far. They all seem to headed your way in Texas. I think our wall was almost complete here in San Diego.
    Good luck !

  17. BB,

    I’ve never seen a rat on this windswept lump of rock I call home, but if I did, I would reach for my trusty HW35e.

    I swap scopes between rifles quite a bit (just can’t seem to leave well enough alone) but I keep the iron sights on all my air rifles zeroed at 25m.

    The 35e is unscoped at the moment. It’s about 11fpe at the muzzle with JSB Exact 8.44gr and the near zero is 10m. I set empty 50 round .22lr plastic boxes upright at 7m, 10m, 15m, 25m and 30m at the range the other day and hit each one first time aiming centre of mass.

    I love scopes, but there is something more satisfying about hitting a target with irons, not to mention a heavy air rifle handles better without a scope.

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