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Air Guns Will a better airgun be more fun?

Will a better airgun be more fun?

This report covers:

  • Universal appeal
  • The big question
  • Remember the Fire
  • Wrong question
  • Not done yet
  • So?
  • En el otro mano
  • Something more
  • Summary

Will it make me a better shot?
Will I be prouder to own it?
Will it make me stick to airguns longer?

Today is truth time. Either tell the truth or hide behind a bush while the big folks talk.

Universal appeal

In most areas of interest there is a cachet or appeal that good equipment has. The fisherman is proud of his lightweight fly rod that makes a 3 pound smallmouth bass feel like a monster lunker. He tells you he can put his practice fly inside a gallon pail at 45 feet on a windless day.

On the other hand you have never fly fished and your only experience is with a medium weight spinning rod and open-faced reel. On a good day you can put your lure within three feet of your target at 30 feet. But you are eager to learn how to fly fish.

So, is that $95 combo set (fly rod and reel) going to serve you as well as that $950 G. Loomis NRX T2S freshwater rod and $165 Sage Spectrum C reel?  Will you be able to cast flys under that overhanging willow that’s next to the deep bass hole without snagging the tree branches?

You have saved up for a major tool for your woodworking shop. Your best buddy does well with a ShopSmith, but he tells you their table saw attachment isn’t very good. And a table saw is what you really need. You have been making crafts for your wife’s church group for a couple years, plus you made a nice pair of end tables for your living room. You want to get into making some nice furniture for your kids’ homes.

So it is decided — you need a table saw. And then comes the question. Do you buy that Delta portable contractor’s table saw for $649.00 (it comes with a stand on wheels at that price) or do you buy that Delta 5000 table saw with the cast iron table and cast iron wings that costs $1,652.85? The larger saw would handle longer wood and would make the big cuts easier, but it’s heavier and not as easy to wheel out of the way when you need to put things into your car. Did I mention that your garage is also your workshop?

You have graduated college and are looking for your first real job. You look into a private security position where you cannot carry a sidearm openly, but you can carry concealed. Do you skimp and buy that Bersa Thunder .380 for $237.49 because any sidearm is better than none and they are now making defense rounds for the .380 ACP, or do you splurge and get a Glock 27 in .40 S&W for $539.00 because the .40 S&W is the better defense round and Glock makes a handgun that many law enforcement agencies favor?

The big question

This is today’s topic — is it better to skimp and save or is it better to go all out and get the best you can afford? I could probably stop right here and you guys would have a load of things to say, but I’m not done stirring the pot.

Remember the Fire

We have been following a fictional shooter who is new to airguns as he broke in and started testing his new Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle. He has stuck with it and persevered. Was it worth it? Well, if he had bought a TX 200 Mark III from Pyramyd AIR his experience would have been different. That much is certain. However, since a TX 200 has no sights and needs a scope, he would have spent another $150 for a decent scope. So $780 for the rifle and $150 for the scope that hopefully came with rings he can use (they need to have 11 mm bases to fit the rifle), he’s out at least $930 to get into the game. Instead of $140 he spent about seven times as much. Did he get seven times as much joy/fun from his purchase?

But wait, the Fire didn’t cost him $140 because he also had to add the 3-12X32 Bug Buster scope to the deal for another $180. He didn’t know that going in but it quickly became apparent that the Fire’s scope wasn’t cutting the mustard. So his purchase wasn’t $140, it was $320. At this point the TX is only three times as much. Is the TX bundle three times better than the Fire with the better scope?

Wrong question

As we skip along the primrose path of life with our picnic basket full of daffodils, happily thinking that life can be reduced to a balance sheet, we miss the point. The point is not which rifle/scope combo is better, or even which table saw/fly rod setup. What we are actually buying is experience. Our newbie airgunner is not so new anymore. He can now tell you what it’s like to break in a new breakbarrel air rifle. He can tell you the difference between a cheap bundled scope and one that costs some money but has a good reputation. He knows how hard it is to shoot a rifle that has a vague trigger.

Our newbie is now wise enough to pass by the flashy boxes of air rifles at the discount store, laughing at the promises of 1,300 f.p.s. because he knows what kind of triggers they probably have. If THIS man were to now get a TX200 Mark III with a good scope, he would appreciate it for what it is! And it was his experience with the Fire that made him who he is.

Hunting Guide

Not done yet

And our newbie is not finished with his Fire just yet. He has more to accomplish. He wants to find that best pellet. He wants to verify the best hold for the rifle. He wants to learn that trigger so it doesn’t release with so much surprise. He wants to get that Fire air rifle cooking like she looks. At that point a mature airgunner is born. He may not know everything, in fact there is a whole world of new experiences awaiting him. But when it comes to spring piston airguns, he knows a lot. And the Fire is just the first spring-piston airgun he has ever shot. Put a TX in his hands and listen to him wax rhapsodic!

So?

So, what’s the answer, BB? Should I go for cheap or should I get the best every time?

And BB says — it depends…

Of course it does. How much do you know about the “thing” you are buying? If you are a total newbie, first do some online research. And know that when you do that you aren’t looking for advice about the thing you are considering, at least not at first. Your first concern should be who you should listen to. Is he/she trustworthy? This is why I went ballistic when Optics Planet pulled their sneaky bait-and-switch routine with the Labradar. EVERYBODY else on the internet, including Labradar themselves, said the thing was out of stock. Only Optics Planet put it into my cart when I ordered it. Then — A FULL DAY LATER — they came clean and told me there would be a one to four month wait for my “order” to be filled. I already told you that they can’t legally charge my credit card until they have the item I have ordered, and as it happens the business card I used for the order expires next month. So, if the “order” was filled in three months, Optics Planet would have to inform me at that time that my card had been declined. That, my friends, is subterfuge. It’s a lie. And that makes Optics Planet liars and BB doesn’t deal with liars — at least not knowingly.

En el otro mano

When someone tells me seven good thing about a product and two that they don’t like, I start to think I can trust them. The good ones even tell me the reasons they are saying what they say. Them I believe.

Then I make my choice. Is it the right one? Probably not. But it will be a lot closer than if I just went to Wally World and looked at the pretty boxes. And there is something more.

Something more

When I learn about my new thing — I change. I’m no longer the me that started out. And that has a bearing on where I go next, as much or more than the thing itself has.

Our intrepid airgun newbie is moving fast into the ranks of an experienced shooter,  and we get to watch how he does it. That, in turn, should help us with our airgunning experience.

Summary

There have been several of these different reports in the past few weeks. The one on Materials was a good one as was The cobbler’s children have no shoes. And it probably began with Teaching versus showing, back in September.

This one is perhaps my favorite report of the 4,680 that exist. I hope you like it too.

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.

79 thoughts on “Will a better airgun be more fun?”

  1. B.B.,

    “What we are actually buying is experience.”
    No not really buying!
    What we are getting is entry into a exclusive group that is sharing and mentoring. Things don’t give us the experience that the sharing our passion with like others does. Not exactly like us of course and hopefully better than we are is the road to the best EXPERIENCE.that is life.
    Everyone has some thing they are better at than I am or you are.
    I need to find what that thing that they have the knowledge, learning, experience and desire to teach me and I believe most of us here are similar..
    I have been blessed often in my life to have found good mentors often.
    I am forever grateful for this blog of yours and the readers YOU attract who become regulars.

    shootski

    • My friend Shootski, by obviously being late you beat me and our friend Siraniko (we have started our next day).
      Indeed I would comment exactly on that phrase of BB; buying experience.
      And to answer the question of our friend Yogi below, why bother with bad experience, I would use one more phrase from BB; is my choice the right one? Probably not. That’s life, for most people at least.
      One more thing. As the answer to the topic will be different from each one of us I can only say this; I used the word “friends” today. This is how I really feel for some around here, (hope that the persons mentioned are not insulted). Any good experience in life is worth it, even if there are better ones going by or waiting ahead.

  2. Now to answer the questions.
    Will it make me a better shot? It could.
    Will I be prouder to own it? Probably
    Will it make me stick to airguns longer? That’s found in the individual and never the thing.

    Today is truth time. Either tell the truth or hide behind a bush while the big folks talk.
    “Why am I here?”
    James Bond Stockdale

    And they mocked him out of ignorance!

    shootski

  3. “Will a better airgun be more fun?”
    B.B.,
    That is such a great question, especially if we take into account that a “better airgun” need not be a really expensive airgun. Working around the mini-farm, I don’t get a lot of free time; sometimes I just have a few minutes here or there. And since I’ve started leaving the Crosman 362 as a garage gun (and since I go in and out of the garage 50 times a day), it’s been getting more of a workout than many of the other airguns here. While not expensive, I’d put it in the category of one of the better airguns I’ve owned in that it’s light, easy to handle, easy to pump (not as easy as the Dragonfly Mark2, yet still pretty easy), fairly powerful and quite accurate. Also, the trigger on mine is pretty decent and the gun is just a ton of fun to shoot.
    When I dig out my HW30S and shoot that, it’s in another category in terms of the trigger, in particular, but I wouldn’t say it’s more fun to shoot, it’s just a different kind of fun: the HW30S, being scoped, is much easier to hit with; the 362, deliberately left with the receiver sight, requires a lot more concentration to hit the small plinking targets…but I’m OK with that. I may scope it someday, but for now I’m enjoying it as it came from the factory.
    Great topic for a report! 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  4. B.B.

    Junk is junk. You can dress a pig up, but it is still a pig!

    If the lack of quality diminishes the experience then you are just wasting your life!
    Make it worthwhile or why bother????

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      I totally agree that “Junk is junk” some would add that one man’s junk is another’s treasure. Personally I’m not so sure that in projectile launching gear that is applicable. Dressing up a pig can be done with occasional good results. If you saw Pretty Woman that could be considered instructive in my book. The Fairy Tale Cinderella, or Aschenputtel, or “The Little Glass Slipper”, is a folk tale with thousands of variants throughout the world. The protagonist is a young woman living in forsaken circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune, with her ascension to the throne via marriage. is another that comes to mind.
      RRHFWA is a good place for this kind of lady.
      Quality is an interesting concept for me. I have flown a good many things that were designed and built by the lowest bidder… occasionally they have been fantastic flyers right out of the box or after a number of upgrades and enhancements were incorporated.
      Some times it is the journey that brings us the greatest joy and other times it is receiving a thing as near to perfection as we humans are capable of creating.
      I think i get where you are coming from; you want a beautiful Spring Piston Gun that makes you shoot your best! But remember, we are all coming from different places and are traveling the Airgunning road with many byways, detours and exits.
      Vive la difference! Is what makes this place great.
      Happy shooting this weekend,
      shootski

  5. Tom Gaylord, thanks for today’s article. I look forward to reading many, many comments… 🙂

    My take on the various teasers is:
    It’s difficult but, my decisions are always (!) better if I make them without worrying about money.

  6. BB,

    I’m just going to hide among the hedges and eavesdrop on the conversations of everyone. The experience one accumulates along the journey we have undertaken will surely be worthwhile when shared for those who have just begun.

    Siraniko

  7. Let me tell you the story of a man named, no, not Jed . . . but of myself as I transitioned into the world of airguns. I’d Shot weapons, both heavy and light, during my vacations in Vietnam during the fabulous ’60s. We’ll. . . I didn’t want to do that again. Hunting was out for me. I’d dabbled in firearms over the years, but found no real place where I could readily shoot them. My brother, a police officer, kept me qualified with a pistol which, to this day, is kept for protection of hearth and home. Then, a few years ago, a friend invited me to go shoot pellet guns with him. Soon, I was hooked. He helped me decide on a reasonably priced rifle. This turned out to be a nice Sheridan MB2260 in .22 cal. I came to love it’s open sites and it taught me to shoot. Targets were set up at various distances and I got to where the pellet pretty much landed where I intended for it. I found and almost zen like peace in the desert hills of our gun range. As an aside, we have since turned our range into a reasonably good FT range with the help of BB and this blog. Last year we had our first meet and nine shooters came out. One of the ladies that came out is now as addicted as the rest of us. She purchased a Sheridan just like mine. Now, back to my evolution. Although my Sheridan is a fine rifle, as an addict, I needed more. First came my three handguns, fun, but not enough. I studied and decided on, of course, a TX200. I had to scrimp and save, but that’s what I “wanted”. I ordered it from Pyramyd in the Fall of 2020. After a interminable wait of 4 months, it arrived just after the New Year. I polished and waxed it. I learned how to properly add my new Hawke scope to it. I watched videos on this rifle until I couldn’t think any more. Then, I took it out and shot it. I returned home to polish an wax it some more. I’ve surely become one of Ballistrol ‘s best customers. Boy Howdy, does that bluing shine! I’d never shot through a scope before, but I’m learning. The TX200 can most certainly out shoot my skill level . . . but I’m learning. Windage and elevation no longer befuddle me. MOA, well, perhaps I’ll figure it out one day yet. The target hidden behind the branches of a tree no longer intimidate me as it once did. The clowns face 75 yds. away and up on the hillside is no longer much of a challenge, although his shiny red nose still misses my pellet upon occasion. The NRA bullseye targets at 25 and 50 yds. are still my nemesis at times. I want hole in hole, EVERY TIME, dadgumit. Perhaps my airguns are trying to teach me patience, something my wife of more than 52 years has failed to do. She’s still trying, just as I’m trying out on the range. Come on out to our range and let’s shoot some targets together. Orv.

  8. OK, my friends, I just wrote a long, soul-searching response to today’s blog,and it has just disappeared! I sent it, and then while proofreading it,I edited a grammar problem and, poof . . . it gone. I’m trying to not have nasty thoughts invade my brain, but dang. . . this is enough to put me off my feed. Orv.

  9. Hey friends, I was just posting a long, soul-searching blog response, when POOF . . . it’s gone! I was proofreading it, and following a quick edit . . . It’s disappeared. Computers generally don’t like me much . . . but this? Dang!

  10. My grandmother gave me a beautiful German doll for my tenth birthday. The most especial birthday ever since she made me a dress to match the dolls’ and a piñata. She told me that she had been wanting to give the doll for many years but she thought I was old enough to take good care or her ( the doll was given to her by her grandmother. ) I was never into dolls or dresses but I appreciate my grandmother’s efforts to fashion me into a proper lady. I was a tomboy. Runned with the boys instead of the girls. My grandfather thought me how to ride a horse and shoot. None of the males in the family were into shooting so my grandfather left me all his guns. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents (both my parents worked.) They had few things but most were of the highest quality they could afford. I have most of them (furniture, pots, pans, kitchen knives etc). Quality lasts for ever plus the items remind me of them every single day. Amongst my grandfather’s guns were many airguns. Such classics as an FWB 124, HW 50s, Beeman R9 and R7, Diana 35 and 27. Having grown up with these classics made of wood and steel I cannot see myself owning today’s offerings made mostly of plastic. I came across an HW 50s from the early 1970’s this past weekend. Few rust spots and dings in the wood, otherwise is intact. Have not opened her up yet but needs to be released (pellet does not leave the barrel) paid $125.00 for it. For another $50 or $75 for parts, I will have a rifle that will last a couple of generations more. Tell me, today, for around $225 can one purchase the quality of an early HW 50s. I am not a great shot or an experienced airgunner,however, my advice to new aigunners is to read the blog familiarize yourselves with what a quality airgun is so when opportunity presents herself snatch it (my resent purchase of that HW50s). Even if not operational, by following B.Bs tutorials and the advice of others here you will have an airgun that will.last for ever for less than today’s offerings.

    • Alex2no,

      It sounds like your grandfather left you with a very high quality problem to deal with. Hum, which gun should I shoot today? I agree that this blog is a great resource. I actually “dabbled” in airguns in the 1980s but none of my friends were interested, so I just let the interest fade away until I discovered this blog and the people it attracts. It’s just more fun now because of the sharing.

      Half

    • “My grandfather thought me how to ride a horse and shoot. None of the males in the family were into shooting so my grandfather left me all his guns.”
      Alex2no, how blessed you are that you had such an excellent grandfather. 🙂

  11. Most of my airguns are “second hand”. Many are probably sixth or seventh hand. I have some new airguns, but not many. One I have is superbly accurate. It has an awesome trigger. It is also very nice eye candy.

    I just traded it off for an air rifle that I know is less accurate, does not have as good a trigger and is not very pleasant to look upon. Why did I trade it off? I was bored with it. There was no challenge. There was nothing to learn from it.

    Part of me misses my Gamo CFX. I learned soooo much with it. It was my first airgun. I shot it for more than a year before I bought another. I learned how to modify the trigger to make it almost decent. I learned what particular pellet it liked (it was VERY pellet picky). I experienced hold sensitivity and learned how to deal with it. I had it converted to a gas spring and found out that this was not the way to go with a light air rifle and had it changed back.

    Before I had purchased that Gamo CFX, I had done a lot of research. Years in fact. During that time, I had met and started reading BB’s blog. It was one of his articles that convinced me to buy the Gamo CFX. Before I finally sold it, I could put ten shots in my target at 25 yards and you could hide that group under a dime.

    I have learned soooo much here and I thank BB and all of you for this.

    Ramble over.

    • Totally agree. I find it far more rewarding to get good results from a cheaper/less refined piece. I have a modern PCP rifle, and although it’s far from top of the range, it’s boringly accurate and pretty soulless to shoot. My Gamo Delta Fox GT Whisper is one of the cheapest kid’s guns available in the UK, but it puts a smile on my face every time!

    • RidgeRunner,
      I was thinking about you and your stable of old gals this afternoon as I was out shooting that 1938 Haenel model 1 I got from Frank; there’s something really cool and soothing about shooting these old gals; the quality is high, but the sights are simple open sights; these rifles beg you to get up off the bench and shoot them offhand. And it’s really cool to shoot rifles that were made before we were even born, yet shoot as well today as they did when they left the factory…yes, there’s something to be said for Old World European craftmanship. 🙂
      Good shootin’ to ya at RRHFWA,
      dave

      • Thanks Dave,

        I enjoy sitting on the steps of my back porch, leaning back against the railing and shooting at spinners and feral soda cans strewn about the yard.

        You say their sights are simple, but most of these old gals have really sophisticated sights. The 1906 BSA has a rear V notch that helps to rapidly center the front sight in and the front sight is a perlkorn type sight with a point on the top of the perlkorn which allows very precise shot placement.

        Keep in mind that scopes are relatively new to the shooting world. Even newer are these squared up open sights, which I personally despise. Once you train your eyes and mind to use peep and open sights, a scope becomes “child’s play”. I may be over simplifying things, but to me scopes are for quick and long-range shooting.

        I do not like glowy thingy sights because I normally shoot with far more precise open sights. The glowy thingy sights have their place and I guess they are fine for quick, close range body shots, but I am more likely to try a head shot between the eye and base of the ear.

        Dot sights are better than the glowy thingy sights, but not by that much. They are getting better, I have to admit though. I would like to try one of the “dot” sights that use a triangle. that may provide a very precise aiming point.

        Lasers? Really? They are great in the movies, but are very limited in real life.

        Just give me some good quality open or peep sights and a high quality, low powered scope for long range shooting. My eyes aren’t what they used to be.

        • RidgeRunner,
          Perhaps “simple” wasn’t the best word, maybe I should have said, “sophisticated, yet uncomplicated.” 🙂
          “The 1906 BSA has a rear V notch that helps to rapidly center the front sight in and the front sight is a perlkorn type sight with a point on the top of the perlkorn which allows very precise shot placement.”
          Yes! Those are exactly the type of sights I have on the Haenel model 1, and, in the process of refining the front sight on my Crosman 362, I filed that sight from a square to a perlkorn configuration; and now, with the open peep sight on the rear, I can sight in on some really small targets…very cool; and that’s the reason I left the 362 without a scope; she’s accurate and a ton of fun as she is; the stock may be synthetic, but it’s well-proportioned and it shoulders well for off-hand shooting. 🙂
          Keep those feral cans a-hoppin’,
          dave

  12. Boy, is this ever a loaded subject! I guess my one comment would be something along this line. If you have 20 yards of shooting range at your disposal everyday, and you aren’t likely to get many opportunities to shoot at further ranges, then an inexpensive gun that gives one hole accuracy at that range will make you happier than a very expensive gun that can clover leaf at 50 yards. This very clever Friday blog is probably going to break a weekend record for comments.

    Half

  13. Buy used! Select one that meets most of your wants.

    This blog is better than any others I have seen for making airgun shooting an incurable habit. Getting educated while having fun reading it is the reason. BB and folks who comment here have converted me (mostly) from a powder burner to a compressor of air.

    Deck

  14. With my (too) many interests I’ve found that “good” equipment is preferable to poor quality stuff that you have to struggle with. Poor equipment can quickly lead to frustration and loss of interest so it important to buy wisely.

    Seems that for everything there’s a cost/quality graph that starts at “junk that is not worth buying” and goes to “way overpriced for what it is worth”. Guess that “what it is worth” is up to the individual and their level of interest… I tend to buy at the “serious amateur” level 🙂

    Finding the acceptable level of “good” is the real challenge and that is where mentors who (like the great people we have on the blog) share their knowledge and experience are so valuable.

    Hank

    • Hank,

      This is a good breakdown of many things, including the present subject. There is a point where most “things” cost far more than what they are worth. I myself have fallen into that trap, such as with my HM1000X. I would much rather shoot my old FLZ Militia.

  15. I have owned a Gunpower Stealth for many years, for those that are not familiar with the Gunpower brand, according to BB, they were the first guns made by Airforce airguns, but were shipped to the UK as sub 12 ftlb airguns. (Their legal limit in England unless you possess an FAC (fire arms certificate).

    And if I remember it right at BB’s prodding Airforce renamed them and upped the power and started selling them here in the states, and as they say the rest is history.

    The Stealth is in .22, and with the UK 12ftlb tank it gets about 500 shots per 3000psi fill.
    Over the years I had a Weihrauch .177 barrel cut down for it, and it was amazingly accurate as well, I have added a standard Talon tank to the kit, and it shoots at 20ftlbs, and a condor tank, and it hits 30ftlbs, put a co2 adapter and tank on it, and you get 10 ftlbs.

    It is an amazingly versatile gun.

    Over the years I occasional think I may sell it, because newer, prettier and more “interesting” guns have come my way, and it gets relegated into the corner.

    Now to the meat of this story, I put that Gunpower stealth on the table at the Texas Airgun show to see if it would drag any interest, and just see if it would get any comments.

    Two young employees from Airforce airguns were looking at it, and fawning over how different it is from the current production Airforce line.

    They called John McCaslin, the owner of Airforce over to look at it.
    We got to talking about it and it’s history, it is serial number 667, and the person I got it from told me it was one of the guns displayed at the SHOTSHOW when they were first introduced.

    He confirmed the serial number is in that range where it could have been displayed at SHOTSHOW, and that it was in the serial number range of the first batch sent to England. (so it went on holiday to Europe for a while before finding its way back home to Texas..)

    That just added to my pride of ownership, and reaffirmed why I will never part with that gun.

    But the second part of that is when I take it out and shoot it, it is reliable, accurate, quiet, flexible in its power and applications. And just plain fun to shoot.

    I have owned guns ranging from the Marksman 1911 spring pistol with the tip up barrel, (the airgun everyone has owned, but will not admit to it) all the way up to FX and Daystate.

    But I find myself drawn towards the underdogs in the airgun world, the Air Venturi Avengers, and the JTS Airacudas, the pellet guns that won’t break your wallet, but give excellent value for the money spent.

    I have been helping with testing the Preproduction Airacudas, and the first production run should be in country any day now.

    /blog/2022/08/the-airacuda-max-part-1/

    So to answer the question, will a better airgun be more fun?
    That is something only YOU can answer, fun can be had with a used and abused smoothbore Crosman 760, or with a $5000+ Whiscombe..

    Oh and I feel cheated, I did not get a chance to shoot Larry’s 1810 copy of the Giradoni…
    Next time, someone please tap me on the shoulder and say come with me…

    Shoot safe, have fun..
    Ian

  16. Ah, the perils of counterfactual thinking . . . would I have been better off having done something other than what I actually did? There is no real way to know . . .

    As far as “advice” goes, I think Hank nailed it: most people would do better off getting something better than the basic item, but not the best thing out there – if you can even figure out what the “best” of something is (and if you are new to the endeavor, you almost certainly can’t know what matters most to you anyways). So get something “pretty good” and if after a while you find that you learn that the differences matter to you, consider yourself lucky to have found something that matters to you and then move forward accordingly.

    In my case I had shot multi-pumps in my youth, and as an adult homeowner found a need to dispatch pests and discovered break barrels as an option about 15 years ago. I bought a Crosman Quest and went on a painful journey much like BB’s Fire owner – although without the benefit of this blog (at least initially – I found it while battling with the Quest). That led to a huge amount of learning, discovery of PCPs, then more learning, building guns from parts, and acquiring some very fine airguns as I found this to be a hobby that for me should stick with me for the rest of my life.

    I can contrast that with someone I know that got introduced to airguns by shooting someone’s FX Wildcat, and he liked it, so he bought one. It hits what he aims at, so is very happy and has not “progressed through the addiction” as I have. He spent far more than I did to get into the hobby, but far less than I have to date. And I’d guess that even though he enjoys his one gun, he probably gets less enjoyment out of it than I do out of my “collection” (well, spends less time with it anyways). And he never got into the forums as he had no reason to do so – as a side note, I have always maintained that people that buy something and find it does everything they expected well generally don’t go looking for information about the topic as they are already satisfied. I find the forums and this blog to be a wonderful way to “extend the hobby” – I often find I get great satisfaction out of “not shooting my airguns” by spending time on the hobby in these other ways.

    So, to the counterfactual: What if I had bought something better back when I got the Quest, like the Diana 34 I have recommended to many friends (I don’t have one, but should have bought it instead of the Quest but tried to save some money)? Or how about this – the Quest actually did what I wanted and gave me 5-shot cloverleafs at 20-25 yards without much difficulty (it never did – the best 10 shot groups at 20 yards with the best technique I could ever muster were just under an inch, with a rested artillery hold, even after tuning and working on the barrel and crown). If it did what I wanted I expect I would have had my “tool” in hand and that would have been it (like for my friends with their 34s). End of pursuit, as I had done what I wanted when I made the purchase.

    I did not buy that airgun looking for a lifelong hobby – but I got that hobby because of two facts: A – it was not a good gun (but seemed like it should be), and B – I’m stubborn and determined at times. Together, both of those facts led to this hobby for me, and I feel better off for it.

    So do I think a better airgun will be more fun? I really can’t say one way or the other for certain.

    That’s my two cents – well, maybe a few more than that . . .

    AlanMcD

    • Alan,
      My story is quite similar to yours. I had a Crosman 147 multi-pump as a teenager. I had great success with that air rifle. That was back in the late 50s and early 60s. My ex son-in-law broke the pump pivot pin while I was at work (Grrrr). For several years I didn’t shoot any of my guns and had no interest in hunting any longer. Fast forward to 2013.. I had built three bluebird nesting boxes along the back of my property line. Sparrows were harassing the bluebirds terribly. After some research, I learned how vicious house sparrows are to our native birds. I came home one day to see a sparrow fighting with one of my bluebirds taking the bluebird to the ground. I declared war on sparrows at that point.
      My search began for an airgun to protect my bluebirds. After reading a lot of reviews, I purchased a Crosman Nitro Venom in .22 caliber on Amazon. I sent two back, one for blemishes in the finish and one for the POI so far off I could not zero it. The third one was a keeper but had a horrible trigger. I ordered a GRT-III trigger ($32) for it and that solved the trigger issue. Then I learned what an adjustable objective lens was and the included CenterPoint scope did not have one and I was not able to get a clear image at 20-25 yds. I did not feel this air rifle was accurate enough for my needs. More research needed.
      After a lot more research and reviews, I decided on a RWS 34P in .22 caliber bundles with a very nice Hawke scope with glasses reticles and front adjustable objective lens. Oh boy! Now I was in business. All the reviews indicated very good accuracy. My goal was to consistently shoot 1″ groups at 25 yds. I struggled with this quality break barrel until 2017 when I discovered this blog and the Godfather of airguns. Several of the good folks here tried to help me and I learned that most break barrel airguns require the “artillery hold” to be accurate. I tried every hold possible and several different pellets but the best group I was ever able to achieve was 1.5″ to 2″ at 25 yds. I was very frustrated and after several postings in the blog, Mr. Gaylord took pitty on me and offered to check my Diana 34 out if I would send it to him for testing. I agreed and sent the rifle. The Godfather did a six part review of my Diana 34 here in the blog. He negotiated to get a Vortek Kit for my rifle at no cost and he installed it. He did find the main spring had broken coil on the end. He tested my Diana with several pellets and demonstrated that it was capable of 1″ groups at 25 yds with the RWS Superpoint 14.5 gr pellet and the barrel was good. He sent the Diana 34 back to me at that point.
      Oh boy, now I was really in business. The Godfather had tuned my Diana 34 with a Vortek Kit and even showed me the most accurate pellet for it. It was as smooth as butter now and I had every confidence that I would be able to shoot my goal of 1″ groups at 25 yds. Well, it didn’t happen and my groups were still in the 1.5″ plus. I was missing as many sparrows as I was hitting and it just was not doing the job I needed to do…protecting my bluebirds from sparrows.
      In 2018 ChrisUSA and others here in the blog suggested that I try a PCP. So, it was back to more research. The price range of PCP airguns and fill options varies widely from less than $300 to more than $2000 for the rifle. Having worked as a quality professional for over 40 years, quality is extremely important to me. I never cheap out on things, nor do I buy the most expensive. I look for a balance of quality and value for the dollar. So far, I had spent over $400 for two break barrel airguns and scopes. I had been reading this blog for a couple of years and had learned a great deal about airguns and supporting equipment.
      A few months after getting my Diana 34 back from Mr. Gaylord, I purchased a Gamo Urban PCP, a new UTG 3-12×44 side focus scope, and a hand pump. One of the determining factors for purchasing the Urban was that it is basically a BSA Buccaneer with a hammer forged barrel renowned for accuracy. I was confident in the quality because the Urban is manufactured in the UK by BSA and they are known for building quality airguns. I felt then, and I still feel the Gamo Urban is one of the best values in PCPs.
      I invested another $500 in the Urban PCP, scope, and hand pump. Now my total investment is over $900. Buying inexpensive airguns in the beginning has ended up being expensive in the long run.

    • Alan and everyone,
      My story is quite similar to yours. I had a Crosman 147 multi-pump as a teenager. I had great success with that air rifle. That was back in the late 50s and early 60s. My ex son-in-law broke the pump pivot pin while I was at work one day (Grrrr). For several years I didn’t shoot any of my guns and had no interest in hunting any longer. Fast forward to 2013, I had built three bluebird nesting boxes along the back of my property line. Sparrows were harassing the bluebirds terribly. After some research, I learned how vicious house sparrows are to our native birds. I came home one day to see a sparrow fighting with one of my bluebirds, taking the bluebird to the ground. I declared war on sparrows at that point.

      My search began for an airgun to protect my bluebirds. After reading a lot of reviews, I purchased a Crosman Nitro Venom in .22 caliber on Amazon. I sent two back, one for blemishes in the finish and one for the POI so far off I could not zero it. The third one was a keeper but had a horrible trigger. I ordered a GRT-III trigger ($32) for it and that solved the trigger issue. Then I learned what an adjustable objective lens was and the included CenterPoint scope did not have one so I was not able to get a clear image at 20-25 yds. I did not feel this air rifle was accurate enough for my needs. More research needed.

      After a lot more research and reviews, I decided on a RWS 34P in .22 caliber bundled with a very nice Hawke scope with glasses reticles and front adjustable objective lens. Oh boy! Now I was in business. All the reviews indicated very good accuracy. My goal was to consistently shoot 1″ groups at 25 yds. I struggled with this quality break barrel until 2017 when I discovered this blog and the Godfather of airguns. Several of the good folks here tried to help me and I learned that most break-barrel airguns require the “artillery hold” to be accurate. I tried every hold possible and several different pellets but the best groups I was ever able to achieve was 1.5″ to 2″ at 25 yds. I was very frustrated and after several postings in the blog, Mr. Gaylord took pity on me and offered to check my Diana 34 out if I would send it to him for testing. I agreed and sent the rifle. The Godfather did a six-part review of my Diana 34 here in the blog. He negotiated for a Vortek Kit for my rifle at no cost and he installed it. He did find the main spring had broken coil on the end. He tested my Diana with several pellets and demonstrated that it was capable of 1″ groups at 25 yds with the RWS Superpoint 14.5 gr pellet and the barrel was good. He sent the Diana 34 back to me at that point in July 2017.

      Oh boy, now I was really in business. The Godfather had tuned my Diana 34 with a Vortek Kit and even showed me the most accurate pellet for it. It was as smooth as butter now and I had every confidence that I would be able to shoot my goal of 1″ groups at 25 yds. Well, it didn’t happen and my groups were still 1.5″ plus. I was missing as many sparrows as I was hitting and it just was not doing the job…protecting my bluebirds from sparrows.

      In 2018 ChrisUSA and others here in the blog suggested that I try a PCP. So, it was back to more research. The price range of PCP airguns and fill options varies widely from less than $300 to more than $2000 for the rifle. Having worked as a quality professional for over 40 years, quality is extremely important to me. I never cheap out on things, nor do I buy the most expensive. I look for a balance of quality and value for the dollar. So far, I had spent over $400 for two break-barrel airguns and scopes. I had been reading this blog for a couple of years and had learned a great deal about airguns and supporting equipment.

      A few months after getting my Diana 34 back from Mr. Gaylord, I purchased a Gamo Urban PCP, a new UTG 3-12×44 side focus scope, and a hand pump. One of the determining factors for purchasing the Urban was that it is basically a BSA Buccaneer with a hammer forged barrel renowned for accuracy. I was confident in the quality because the Urban is manufactured in the UK by BSA and they are known for building quality airguns. I felt then, and I still feel the Gamo Urban is one of the best values in PCPs.

      I invested another $500 in the Urban PCP, scope, and hand pump. Now my total investment is over $900. Buying inexpensive airguns in the beginning has ended up being expensive in the long run.

      I have now owned the Gamo Urban for over four years. It has never leaked a pound of air. My bluebirds could not be happier. They have had many successful fledgings with no more harassing sparrows. I rarely miss one at 25-30 yards. The Urban is capable of ten shot groups of under 0.5″ at 30 yards. What more could I ask. It’s perfect for my needs. Thanks to Mr. Gaylord, Pyramyd AIR, and everyone here in the blog who freely share their experience and help others.

      Geo

  17. BB,
    My most fun times with an airgun are:
    1. Shooting at a small pill bottle hanging from a tree with a Slavia 618 that I picked up at a pawn shop for $10. I had to fashion a rear sight for it from a chunk of aluminum.
    2. Shooting plastic dinosaurs off of fence post with a Crosman Mk 2 pistol.
    3. Shooting tiny spinners with a FWB 300S.
    This is enough to make my point. Fun can come at any price, size, and weight. All that is necessary is to adjust the target, distance, and expectations to match the equipment.

    From your examples, I pick a cheap spinning rod. I am torn on the wood working equipment as I had a Shopsmith with a full set off accessory machines and now have a full complement of stand alone tools. I enjoy individual tools but miss the simplicity and small footprint of my Shopsmith.

    I have friends that don’t enjoy plinking. Some are only hunters and quality is usually required for that. Some are competitors and only enjoy shooting as practice for competition or for competition itself. Most competition requires quality equipment and quickly becomes a technology race.

    I am a plinker and can have fun with any airgun I can get my hands on.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      When I bought my Slavia 618 (new) $10 got the gun and a dozen boxes of pellets 🙂

      The pellets didn’t last long but I still have the 618 and shoot it regularly.

      You summed it up nicely…
      >>> I am a plinker and can have fun with any airgun I can get my hands on. <<<

      Hank

    • “I am a plinker and can have fun with any airgun I can get my hands on.”
      DavidEnoch,
      I really like that line, and heartily concur! 99.99% of all the airgun shooting I do is plinking, just for fun.
      And what’s wrong with that? Nothing.
      Even old “Honest Abe” himself did some plinking on the White House lawn with the Spencer carbine.
      Hence, I’d say we are in good company. 😉
      Blessings to you,
      dave

  18. B.B. and Readership,

    I always find it interesting when folks find a shooter boring because it is too precise or accurate. I find those are exactly what I want in order to learn the WIND (and other environmental variables) better. I realize that seemingly at shorter ranges it doesn’t become as much of an issue to read the wind to most.
    I guess i’m lucky that i embrace shooting in the wind because just by itself it never ever fails to make my sessions interesting. If I add in longer range and going for sub MOA i doubt i will ever be bored.
    Go find some wind this weekend; It does a shooter good!

    shootski

    • I agree with your assessment – I just figure that these people only shoot rested and at short distances for the gun. They simply need to up their personal sense of challenge with the gun. My Air Ranger is such a gun at least out to 50 yards or so – if I miss, then I know that “I” am the cause. If I never miss with it, I’m simply not challenging myself enough – and yes, I can see how that would be “boring.” But that is a simple problem to solve. Fortunately for me, any form of offhand shooting raises the challenge enough to end the boredom! 😉
      BTW, here are ten shots from it rested at 55 yards on a very calm day – too bad one got away from me. I suppose since I never got one yet that was a “one holer” for the ten shots that I should keep working at it . . .

      Alan

      • AlanMcD,

        As BB said nice shooting…but of course you are cheating with that Daystate, LOL!
        If your plain jane OffHand shooting ever gets boring you can just XC Ski in to the range and choose prone or standing. If you don’t use the skinny skis you can just do push-ups or BOSU BALL Burpees before you shoot; a favorite of my son, daughter-in-law, and mine to shake up the shooters at a regular range when the snow is gone.

        shootski

    • Shootski,
      So what you are saying is that you enjoy achieving great accuracy with adverse conditions. And an extremely accurate airgun is just a starting point. A challenge indeed and that can be fun too.
      But when the wind is totally unpredictable all the time, like at 2,700 ft altitude in the mountains switching winds from the west and east and every which way the peaks influence it, you are fighting a losing battle. More power to you. It deters me from even trying. Always a hit or miss at distance.
      Catch the latest about jet fuel contaminating water for decades aboard Flattops. Cross your fingers.

      • Bob M,
        “But when the wind is totally unpredictable all the time, like at 2,700 ft altitude in the mountains switching winds from the west and east and every which way the peaks influence it, you are fighting a losing battle. More power to you. It deters me from even trying. Always a hit or miss at distance.”
        I have flown a good number of Sand Blowers (very low level training flights) sort of like the Maverick movie tried to show.
        I do wonder how many camera drones they lost filming those sequences!
        From my time kayaking and rowing dory seat time in the various Intermountain West deep canyon rivers i learned to read the turbulent winds and warm and cold advection from side canyons and the rolling winds that roil the canyons everywhere else. Fortunately there actually are patterns if you do it enough that reveal themselves from what looks like utter chaos to the unpracticed.
        With airguns if you find the right backyard or open range area you can get a scaled down version almost anywhere if the winds blow just a little.
        As far as aviation fuels in the water I remember the salt water showers so common on the fossil fuel boiler boats with old technology evap and condenser plants. On a Nuc there is only one reason for fuel or salt water and that is human error controlling the pipe manifolds.
        I had fuel drip from a test drain onto my back unknown to me until about a half hour into a hop when it hit my skin after traveling through my thermals. It caused a chemical burn about the size of a silver dollar…I almost ejected us! Gritted my teeth and got the three wire anyway. My RAN was a happy guy.

        shootski

  19. This place is evolving into something far and above the simple reviewing of airguns. You’ve done well Godfather..
    The way I see it, starting out with poor to good airguns not only motivates you to get more involved in improving your performance as well as the performance of the airgun, It allows you to appreciate the performance of an outstanding airgun much more . Not to mention purchasing better ones along the way.
    Is a one hole wonder boring? I would say yes for target shooting but if you are trying to dispatch a critter it’s accuracy is extremely helpful and rewarding.
    The act of shooting an outstanding airgun is not what I would consider fun. The reason you are shooting an airgun for, determines the fun factor.
    Plinking or informal competition with some friends would be fun. Target or hunting may be satisfying and rewarding, but not fun in my mind. Things can get serious there.

    I remember asking BB why someone would by an airgun that needed tweaking and modifying to make it better instead of spending the extra money and getting one that is already there? Well some people just enjoy tinkering and modifying airguns to get that performance from an airgun that is much more affordable. … If they can. A fun challenge.

    I live in a different airgun world. I don’t have to trade or sell one to get another. I enjoy the fun parts I mentioned above, but also enjoy a little target shooting to get an airgun to perform to the best of its ability. But wont do much to improve it’s mechanics. I’d just get a better airgun.
    If I like what I see in an airgun I’ll buy it and then decide which category it falls in when shot. But then again, I like replicas so that “Like what I see” falls right in place. And I will always go for one of my most accurate airguns when I am eliminating pests, usually my FX Independence, if I have the choice. I have a lot of airguns and consider myself a collector but not of the old traditional ones, newer ones, of all types to use as I feel like. And some are just a collectors challenge. like having one of every Colt SAA airgun they made. Still missing one !
    So, will a better airgun be more fun.? To some extent it may help you have more fun at what you are doing with it. It certainly won’t add to your disappointment in achieving your goal with one. But working your way up to a better airgun will certainly improve your satisfaction in having one and using it.
    As for all those appearance mods I often do,? Just my fun challenge to move an airgun into a military looking replica.

    • I have a wonderful Slavia631 which I used for shooting out to 10 meters. It’s a lot of fun
      But I wanted more and got a Walther LGR match rifle, and put a scope on
      Turned out it is so accurate, it is less fun shooting it. And because of the high scope, it is actually less accurate out to 10 meters when shooting at a distance which I didn’t measure before.
      So turns out the Slavia 631 serves me better for my shooting. Plus the lgr is left handed (I’m a southpaw) while the Slavia allows me to shoot with friends and my sons.

      • Mel83
        Sounds like you got the wrong kind of “More” ?
        Your combination of more was evidently not compatible with your need. You have a more accurate airgun that is less accurate for your specific need.
        I did mention that a one hole wonder could be boring for target shooting. Just my opinion. Unless you take advice from Shootski and shoot at targets further away for a bigger challenge.
        A ‘Better Airgun” does not have to be limited to better accuracy. Many other features can make a better airgun. Just make sure it is ‘Better’ for you, and your type of shooting needs. Looks like it wasn’t in this case.
        For example. You could get a multi-pump airgun if you don’t like recoil of a springer but if you hate pumping it up for every shot for the sake of less recoil did you get a better airgun? Someone else may think it is worth it and think it is better.
        Better could mean different things to different people.

        In this case the person may have been better off with a Nitro Piston, so they say, less recoil. Still uncomfortable to me just in a different way. If it were me I would go for a single pumper or multi-pump PCP in this case. But then you will have different operational features to deal with. A less powerful springer may even be a ‘Better’ airgun if recoil is your only problem.
        But accuracy seems to be the thing here for improvement with a Better Airgun.
        Just don’t get a super accurate rifle to improve your pistol shooting 🙂

  20. I have airguns you can shoot the eye out of a gnat at 100 yards, and I have airguns you could not hit the broad side of a barn while standing inside. I understand BB’s obsession with the Diana 27.

  21. This enjoyable discussion got the juices flowing so yesterday, Holy Smokes!, FM pulled out the HW95 and put 50+ pellets thru it, in the process tweaking sight elevation a little bit – seems better; this was at 25 yards. Next time a little windage adjustment will be in order. Getting there! By the way, HW appears to like RWS Field Line Superdome 14.5 gr pellets best.

    HW was the second airgun FM acquired, the first being my late cousin’s Crosman 38T .22 which he gave ‘lil cousin 50+ years ago. The very first one was a Daisy Red Ryder which sort of doesn’t count since mom and pop would not let mischievous FM shoot bbs thru it. The same cousin who later owned the 38T took me shooting when

    • Sorry for the double, incomplete post – this was not WordPress for once, but our stupid Lenovo Yoga with the weird keyboard configuration that causes things to disappear or get out of whack when one’s fingers accidentally stray into what seems to be a minefield causing nasty things to happen and making FM want to put a pellet thru the screen. Except he is deterred by the fear of Mrs. FM’s reaction were that to happen.

      • FawltyManuel
        Don’t feel alone with those dropped blogs. I have a good hp laptop and think I need to keep my left hand behind my back sometimes. Really hate it when you spend a lot of time looking for the right things to say and deciding which words to use only to have it all disappear in front of you.
        Another problem I have is the Cursor jumping back into some random place in the previous entries and you find yourself continuing the entry in a totally inappropriate place. Going back to change a word can be dangerous as well. Especially if you already sent your comment. And you never know what you just did to cause it, other than moving your left hand someplace. May be a reaction when your using the pad with your right hand at the same time ?

        • Bob, do you use a mouse with your laptop? If so, you should turn the touchpad off. It’s a real PITA when you are typing, and you brush your palm across the touchpad and the cursor jumps to an unknown locations. I have had clients with this same issue.

          • geo791
            No I do not use a mouse with my laptop, but you just reminded me, my daughter bought me two of them. One shaped like a Ford GT40 and the other was a Lamborghini. Wonder where they are?
            I just pay more attention now when I’m using the laptop. I did notice that my letter ‘I’ seems to refuse to show up in upper case without paying special attention to how I do it.
            May be the shift key but it only happens with the letter ‘I” ?

            Now if I could just stop being lazy and hitting the key next to the one I want things would be OK.
            Thanks for your help.
            Bob M
            Looks like you also had an unintended comment send on this blog too.

  22. BB-

    You have quite the rant going about Optics Planet and LabRadar’s failure to secure sufficient parts to build their products. I checked the OP website even though I have no interest in owning a LabRadar. The ‘regular’ models are not accepting back orders, however the Lite model does allow you to put one in the shopping cart as you did. Directly below that, is a blue highlighted tab allowing you to check estimated delivery time. It indicates a one to three month delivery window. You still went ahead and placed the order. As a courtesy, Optics Planet then contacted you to verify that you still wanted the order, given the delay in fulfillment. Sorry I’m not seeing anything close to warranting the ‘Liars’ label. As an aside, over the years, I’ve purchased from Optics Planet and those transactions went fine. A few years back I made a purchase from PA where they dropped the ball. I will still shop there though.

    • Pacoinohio,

      I read your reply twice to be certain I got the gist of it.
      This is BB “RANT” ISSUE: “Only Optics Planet put it into my cart when I ordered it. Then — A FULL DAY LATER — they came clean and told me there would be a one to four month wait for my “order” to be filled.”
      OP calls the no Bluetooth LabRadar an LTE? In the World of mobile Long-Term Evolution…and the other definitions in Urban Dictionary are NOT Family Blog appropriate! The manufacturer’s name for that model is LITE. I would not get the LITE model since it won’t work with the LR App unless you have a physical connection; also the price difference is tiny.
      It appears that the regular model now has a Backorder in the buy RADIO Button! The OP “LTE” model does not.
      B.B. needs to tell us if he was ordering the “LTE” or Standard Bluetooth unit.
      I suspect OP has changed there page but not corrected the name of the LITE unit.
      I checked for an informative page on purchase POLICY and it is not easily found in one place and VERY incomplete…that alone is a RED FLAG for me.
      Glad you have had positive purchasing experience with them.
      As far as LabRadar the online information is full of LabRadar HATERS and Fan Boys! I always wonder how many actually own and use one and how many of those reviews are from low life competition?
      LabRadar has a steep learning curve even for someone who spent time in the World of RADAR and Mach+ pacing. I can only imagine what it is like for a low tech type of person who doesn’t read the manual or Quick Start Sheet trying to figure out how to use it next to the .50 BMG shooter.

      shootski

      • Shootski-

        Yes, OP calls it LTE, instead of Lite. As you, too many permutations of LTE to share on this family friendly blog, although several that I remember paraphrase Marie Antoinette’s famous reply.
        My post above was made a day or so after I had checked the OP LabRadar page. Shouldn’t have relied on memory. So, ‘regular’ LR – can be back ordered, but with a warning about extended indeterminate delivery time. The LTE (Lite) can be ordered with ‘check availability’ blue tab beneath.
        Both options to order indicate that delivery to Tom is ‘out there’ somewhere. I’m sure Tom is disappointed. We are a society expecting instant gratification. I don’t see that OP had to ‘come clean’ about anything. I checked with MidSouth, a company I have used for about 40 years, and they are not taking back orders for LabRadar.

        • pacoinohio,

          I’m perhaps a year younger than Tom and understand what his expectations of service from merchants probably are. I have no idea how old you are Paco so i’m not aware of your life as customer experiences. In B.B.’s and my early experience the phrase: The customer is always right! was the watch word of successful merchants; even if it wasn’t always true. When you walked into a brick and mortar store you could expect a quick, Can I help you from a clerk!
          Or the owner greeting you and asking what you were in need of. Once that need was established the owner/manager would introduce you to the clerk who was most knowledgeable about what you had come to purchase or do it themself if you happened to be a regular and valued customer.
          If the item wasn’t in stock calls would be made to determine availability or to place an order with the distributor or more likely the manufacturer. You would be given a date it would be ready for pick-up or told that you would be called as soon as it arrived. Oh, you paid with CASH, charged it to your account if a regular, or put the item on Layaway for a small fee if you couldn’t pay all of it immediately..
          Paco, have you ever had that kind of service?
          It was not something that would have surprised folks my age in the sixties and first half of the seventies and before.
          As far as: “…paraphrase Marie Antoinette’s famous reply.” Most folks don’t know that the Cake she (purportedly) was talking about was the flour/grits mixture that bakers strew into/onto their baking pans to keep the dough from getting stuck to the pan.
          It is a different World today and the transition happening during my lifetime for much of that which has changed for the worse,, in my opinion, is neither welcomed and i believe for the good of most of us.
          Relatively it appears that the middle class is the target of both the forces of socialism and the monied power elites. The only thing that has changed from her day is a switch from Nobility to Political Elite returning us to feudalism with no promise of military/police protection for the Serfs and Vassals in return for their labor, Fees, and taxes.

          Not a Sermon…Just a thought!

          shootski

          • Shootski-

            I trail you and Tom by several years and well remember the retail experience you describe. It is available at fewer and fewer establishments each year. The big box, self serve retail model sure seems to rule. The important key to retail happiness is communication. Whether I walked into the store or called on the phone, effective (ish) real communication was occurring. Nowadays, emails, electronic order taking, etc. have removed the human element and its effectiveness.

            I concur with much of your thoughts regarding ‘Elites’. We in the middle class definitely have a target on our backs and seem to be easy pickings for our ‘betters’.

  23. This enjoyable discussion got the juices flowing so yesterday, Holy Smokes!, FM pulled out the HW95 and put 50+ pellets thru it, in the process tweaking sight elevation a little bit – seems better; this was at 25 yards. Next time a little windage adjustment will be in order. Getting there! By the way, HW appears to like RWS Field Line Superdome 14.5 gr pellets best.

    HW was the second airgun FM acquired, the first being my late cousin’s Crosman 38T .22 which he gave ‘lil cousin 50+ years ago. The very first one was a Daisy Red Ryder which sort of doesn’t count since mom and pop would not let mischievous FM shoot bbs thru it. The same cousin who later owned the 38T took me shooting when this critter was about 10 – pretty sure one of the guns was a Daisy bb pump, probably a No. 24? The other was a single-shot breakbarrel, seem to remember it was a .177 but don’t recall the make. So the journey began with American-made airguns, mostly built of metal, wood and not much plastic. One could say that “imprinted” on FM a bias for that class of air arms, including the vintage look.

    Regretfully, waited too long to get back into the sport, being sidetracked into the firearm and vintage vehicle pasttimes but, better late than never, as has been said. When FM did it was motivated by the necessity of dealing legally and safely with the non-local yet local reptilian invasion. Now that we have the online universe – for better or worse – FM decided best to engage in some research to avoid pitfalls and not walk into the hobby blind as had been the case with other pursuits in the past. In the process, discovered Tom’s blog which became the main course in FM’s curriculum at Airgun University. The blog, together with other resources tapped, led me to choose the HW95 breakbarrel as FM’s first official airgun purchase – no regrets! Very satisfied with the “price point” and quality of the HW series; the HW95 won’t be the last in residence.

    The journey continued with a Benjamin Maximus .177 PCP and that was courtesy friend Gunfun1 who did his best to take FM to the Dark Side for enlightenment and succeeded, so that FM decided he’d like to get his hands on a .22 version and despite long odds succeeded in getting a NIB Hunter model. Quite happy with both. Now the dilemma has become…so many places to go, so many airguns to choose from! But believe have figured out what works well enough at this stage of life in terms of price/quality/performance. Along those lines, the Airgun Tempter has struck again. FM has been looking at the HW90…it’s about experiencing different things, right?

    OK, time to shut up – can see the audience yawning.

  24. I have to admit I am more of a tinker than a plinker, I do enjoy both though. I enjoy getting a mediocre airgun and making it shoot better.

    The P17 although a good airgun to start with can easily be made better. A little work on the trigger and some polishing on the crown and leade can improve the shootability of the pistol. I have gifted quite a few of them.
    I have also resurrected a few airguns that were missing some parts like an Apache Fire-Ball-Texan that I did a report on. I also enjoy making reactive targets. That said I also enjoy shooting my RAW HM1000X; trying for MOA at 100 yards.

    Recently I have not found time to work on airgun tinkering. I have been trying to do more testing of my low pressure pellet gun for a few months. I hope to report on it in the next week or so.
    Don

  25. Ordering and paying, Airguns and parts.
    A while back when I was on an airgun binge. P/A would contact me to re-validate a credit card over the phone before shipping pre-ordered items.
    That disturbed me because about the same time someone in Ohio was using my credit card. I was assured nobody in P/A would do that.
    I never had to pay out for the items but had to change my card often. Enter Pay Pal.
    Only problem with them is they pay on the spot and a lot of ‘Airsoft’ companies can keep you waiting for nearly a year, after you paid. Especially for some of the very high end replicas.
    So what do you do? ….. YES !
    Credit card for back orders, Pay Pal for in stock items. But I have decided to CNX old orders that need revalidation and securely reorder them instead.
    Optics P has been good to me. Good people come and go in companies.
    Airsoft on the other hand, they sometimes get a single batch of something and it’s never available again. Like those BB Replica Race Guns I have.
    Perhaps they know the market better than I and realize purchasing limits ?

    Wow, Just sitting here and I watched my Cursor move it’s location on it’s own ! It jumped into the middle of a misspelled word. Another find … If you accidently drop your pointer below the blue line in the Message box you could actuate the ‘Send A Comment’
    Middle finger of right hand on pad accidently slides cursor down, left thumb touches pad and bam you just sent your comment.

  26. B.B.,

    When you get your LabRadar realize that clutter on the range and within the main beam and side lobes will degrade the signal (pellet reflected radar energy) to noise ratio. This is especially true for objects similar to a corner reflector which will cause the signal to noise ratio to worsen quickly. The first to suffer detection issues will be .177 projectiles and eventually all projectiles as range to them increases. In a nutshell, the more open, flat and uniform in texture downrange conditions the better. Metal objects in the vertical, especially angle iron and steel I Beams, are the worst for reflectivity.
    It signal to noise should not be a big issue at typical airgun distances but beyond 50 it can impact continued detection of certain .177 pellets. Back in the days of monochrome cathode tube oscilloscopes displays, typically green, we refered to that as: “Lost in the GRASS.”
    Mounting your LabRadar directly over or under your muzzle seems to get the projectile into the main beam quicker according to some folks; I have never had an issue with placing it out to the sides as long as you get it as close to the muzzle-target line extended.as is practical.
    Best of all the ambient lighting has nothing to do with the operation of the unit and detection of the projectile.
    You and the Readership are going to love what it does for your testing reports!

    shootski

    • shootski,

      Well that saved me some time in learning the thing. I already have the bench stand to set it near my muzzle and the airgun microphone for triggering. I got the battery pack and the padded case, too.

      BB

    • Shootski,

      Been using a LabRadar Lite for about 6 weeks and am very pleased with it. Quick to setup and hasn’t missed a shot yet, just sits there quietly collecting data. 🙂

      Know what you are talking about. Because of tall plants, target butts and trees adjacent to my shooting lane, I’ve seen some degraded SNR (Signal Noise Ratio) numbers for downrange data. Talked to LabRadar and they were very helpful in explaining things. Basically, if the SNR (abruptly) drops below 12 the data beyond the point is compromised.

      With my current (permanent) range setup I get good data to 40ish yards which suits my needs fine as I’m usually just looking at muzzle velocities.

      Might have to rethink that approach now that I have detailed downrange data available. Since velocities and stability are intertwined, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on these numbers. If I want extended downrange data it’s easy enough to put up a temporary bench overlooking a clear lane.

      Overall, I really like the LabRadar. Compared to other chronographs it is much more convenient as I can align it once and go about tuning and shooting without having to fuss with it all the time.

      Hank

  27. “… is it better to skimp and save or is it better to go all out and get the best you can afford?”
    Well B.B.,
    I have been giving this a lot more thought.
    I spent the afternoon shooting my .22 HW30S (my equivalent of your .22 Diana model 27 =>); I love the craftsmanship displayed in this little rifle; the Rekord trigger is a joy, the gun cocks easily with one finger, the rifle is not hold sensitive, and I can hit empty .22LR cases with ease at 15 yards (with the 6X BugBuster scope).
    While not a powerhouse (7.5 fpe), it is a phenomenal plinker. If I could only keep one air rifle, this would be it.
    For air pistols, my $50 PA Crosman 1377, which I upgraded with a 12″ .22 barrel, a match trigger, target sights and custom stocks can’t be beat; it’s got more accuracy than I can wring out of it, and it’s a joy to shoot. If I could only keep one air pistol, this would be the one.
    While they are not the absolute best I could afford, they set me back about a thousand dollars overall for the two of them, which is a fair chunk of change in my book. But are they worth it?
    Absolutely! They represent some of the best money I’ve ever spent in my entire life.
    One day, they’ll become family heirlooms; but I shoot them a lot, and I’m not ready to part with either one of them yet.
    This report really got your readership thinking…which is always a good thing. 🙂
    Take care & God bless,
    dave

    • Dave, your mini-review of the HW30S is probably the straw that broke FM’s Enabling Camel’s back. Gotta get one. A .22 should do. And before car repairs and related expenses lately put too many holes in the AAB – Airgun Acquisition Budget.

      • FM,

        IMHO the HW30 is a bit under powered for .22 and I’d recommend the .177 caliber.

        The Weihrauch HW30 (Beeman R7) is a wonderful shooter! I keep mine by the basement door and stop to plink every time I pass by 🙂

        Hank

        • Hank,
          My first HW30S (actually it was a Beeman R7 model) was in .177 caliber, and I loved that gun, even for hunting squirrels, at reasonably close range, 15 to 25 yards; with head shots, it always did the trick.
          FM,
          Hank has a good point, and I would not have considered the HW30S in .22 caliber, except for B.B.’s thoughts on his love of his Diana model 27, which is putting out about 450 fps in .22 caliber.
          Gents,,
          I can’t really explain it, but as much as I loved my .177 caliber R7, I love this .22 caliber HW30S even more; it’s the smoothest shooting springer I’ve ever shot. Broken in, the rifle is now shooting at a tad over 500 fps with its preferred diet of JSB RS 13.43 grain pellets. I don’t hunt or pest with it, and that’s why the power level is not a concern. This is, plain and simple, a fun-gun plinking rifle. It’s true that the trajectory is not that flat at longer ranges; but in the 10 to 20 yard range where I use it the most, it shoots reasonably flat. At 40 yards, I can hit pecans most of the time; but I have to hold up exactly 2 and a half dots to do so….and that’s why I say “most of the time.” There are no marks between the dots; hence, I put the vertical crosshair in the center of the pecan, then try to center it between dot #2 and dot #3. Mostly, I get it right; but I would certainly never shoot this way at live quarry….that would be too little power and too much “guess-timation”…not ethical, in my opinion.
          But as a dedicated fun-gun, I love this little rifle.
          And the bonus is, it was a gift from my wife; hence, the more I shoot it (while bragging about how great it is), the more “good husband points” I earn. And as any husband knows, you can never have too many of those, as there’s no telling how many of them you’ll need the next time you need to “bark your way out of the doghouse.” 😉
          Blessings to you both,
          dave
          P.S. The all-steel muzzle protector added 2″ to the overall length but I like the way it added to the balance of the rifle, and it made the already easy-to-cock gun even easier.

        • Thank you for that, Hank – and for your opinion too Dave. Had actually given that some thought. Now more inclined to go .177, since this would not be the gun for pesting/hunting purposes. Another thought is to get the fixed sights model – can always scope later. Speaking of scoping, this afternoon had a little time on my hands and finally zeroed-in the Ben Max .22 with the Whisky3 which FM installed the day before. First zeroed it in at 50′ shooting at 2.5″ diameter targets. Had it nicely sighted in to where even FM was achieving .33″ groups – note for the sniper-quality shots in the group: for FM this is Olympic match shooting level. 😉

          Then moved up to 25 yards and using Crosman HP 14.3 grain pellets still managed about a 1″ group – only had time for 5 shots by then. A little more tweaking perhaps is necessary but FM, he be happy. Again, thanks for the good advice.

  28. Roaming Greco – thank you for that link though it does stress FM’s internal Enablement Spring which must be released at some point! Since regretfully, for reasons beyond my control, won’t be attending the Newton airgun show after all, maybe this will be my consolation acquisition. Seems very fairly priced, a little steep on shipping; will ask the seller a couple questions and, depending on the answers, will see what happens.

    If anyone else here were to snatch it up, no hard feelings – just a “bravo!” from FM.

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