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You need the experience

This report covers:

  • You Tube
  • Why read this blog?
  • So what?
  • Summary

This is a strange report. And it’s one that many of you need.

You Tube

How many of you use You Tube as a place to learn things? Raise your hands. I use it that way, too. It’s great for many things, but not for everything. Some things have to be experienced to understand. For example, you want to know what a nuclear blast sounds like, so you visit You Tube, looking for a report.

If you took the time to watch that film you got an idea of what I’m trying to say. There is no way that any audio speakers on earth can convey the sound of a nuclear blast. If they could they would destroy themselves, because it is the blast wave (the pressure of the sound) that destroys things with percussive force. And that wave moves out at 100 times the speed of sound — a fact I didn’t know until I watched that video.

Soooooo —- what does that rock band really sound like? You have their records, but is what you are hearing real? You rockers know that the answer is no. You have to be there to understand.

And so it is with a great many things. I can tell you that two plus two equals four and you can put coins or grapes on the table and see for yourself. But if I tell you that a TX200 Mark III is super pleasant to shoot — that’s a nuclear explosion.

I can tell you that Tune in a Tube really works, but once more it’s a bomb blast. You have to experience it for yourself.

Why read this blog?

If that’s true why bother reading this blog? Well, the answer is in that video I asked you to watch. There is no way you can know what a nuclear blast sounds like without experiencing one, but the narrator in that film goes to great lengths to explain what you cannot experience personally.

And that is what I try to do in this blog. On the days when I’m not testing things, like today, I try to explain what’s going on, so everyone will get a better understanding. I didn’t tell you about the guy at my church shooting gallery who walked up confidently and told me he knew all about shooting because he had shot an AR-15. Then his first comment on picking up the BB revolver was, “Man, this thing is heavy!”

Yes, it is. And a one-half-inch movement of the muzzle upon firing will throw the BB off by several feet at 5 meters.

Another guy — Mr. Vain who doesn’t like to wear his glasses — knows for certain that the sights are off on my revolver. That, despite the fact that they aren’t off for me or for several of the better shooters.

So — which one are you? Are you the guy who buys that Ultra-TestosterOH-NO! rifle at the discount store for $119 and then declares that pellet guns can’t hit the broad side of a barn from inside? Or are you the guy who watches, reads and learns before he buys an HW 30S, and begins a lifetime of airgun enjoyment?

THAT, my friends, is why old BB Pelletier jumps up and down and shakes his pom-poms when a Dragonfly Mark 2 comes out! That multi-pump is a nuclear explosion that has to be experienced to appreciate.

And again that is what BB was attempting to do when he described how it feels to shoot a TX200 Mark III that’s been tuned with a Tony Leach 22 mm piston.

I care about you guys. I appreciate that Jim in Keokuk, Iowa, only has the money (and not very much of that) to buy one air pistol. Mrs. Jim is as concerned with this purchase as he is, because the washing machine is starting to make noises that the repairman said are terminal. So I told Jim about the Beeman P17. I knew it was a good gun, and, if the bad luck gremlins got into Jim’s new gun before he got it, reader 45Bravo (Ian McKee) could show him how to reseal it for pennies (actually four dollars).

Just ask reader RidgeRunner if BB didn’t pester him into buying that ancient BSA underlever that founded RidgeRunner’s Home for Wayward Airguns. BB knew he couldn’t go wrong with that purchase, so he whipped out his magic wand and uttered his facilitating spell that made RidgeRunner go for it. And today Mrs. RidgeRunner trusts BB just as much as he does. She knows I will describe the nuclear blast to the best of my ability and also, if it is a fizzle, I’ll tell them.

So — what good does this do for the guys in Slovenia and San Francisco? These guys have limited access to airguns. They watch BB dance his happy dance with the Crosman Fire but, short of buying one, they don’t know what they don’t know.

Well, they do know a few things. They looked at the groups that BB says he shot at 25 yards. One was five pellets in 0.537-inches at 25 yards. That’s like watching the blast of a hydrogen bomb on You Tube. Obviously it’s loud and, from the size of the ships shown at anchor at the base of the fireball, it’s very big. How does that compare to the first atomic bomb blast at Trinity, New Mexico?  Well, let’s see. There were people standing in trenches 5.7 miles from ground zero at Trinity. If anyone had been within 5.7 miles of ground zero of the Bikini Atol test of a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb, they would have been vaporized.

Five pellets in 0.537 inches between centers is five pellets in 0.537-inches. Doesn’t matter who shot it; that’s what it is. If a 0.537-inch group at 25 yards is acceptable to you, there you go. It doesn’t matter how much gas costs in San Francisco or why, the Crosman Fire once put five pellets into 0.537-inches at 25 yards.

So what?

What I’m saying is, you have to look at the things you can see and then read about the things you can’t see. If someone says, “Dude, this thing is awesome!” How does that compare to 0.537-inches at 25 yards? The first one is a hydrogen bomb on You Tube and the second is as close as you can get to experiencing the reality of the blast without being there.


I told you that today’s report was strange. Whether or not it was one you needed is up to you.

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.

16 thoughts on “You need the experience”

  1. For those without access to that pumper, eg Europeans, there is somewhat of an alternative:

    Some while ago, when the Dragonfly2 had just come out, I tried to buy one from the U.S.A. but the seller declared my debit card unacceptable (and now sends me spam).
    So I bought what looks like the same gun and available in Europe: the precharged pneumatic ‘Artemis PR900W’.
    I also bought a regulator that sits inside the air reservoir, a barrel band / stabiliser, hand pump and a scope.

    After all that, it still gets less use than my springers.

    I guess sometimes one really has to try on the t-shirt to know if it fits. 🙂

  2. BB-

    I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s blog and have a suggestion. You were essentially managing a production line style of shooting experience. Having another individual take over the loading duties was wise. Might I suggest adding another one or two person team to prequalify the shooters prior to stepping over to your target station.

    The purpose of prequalifying is to insure that the shooter understands sight alignment and sight picture prior to sending a potentially damaging projectile across the room. I would suggest Nerf guns for this use. No worry about errant non-damaging missiles. Easy target setup- just a small stack of Solo plastic cups. The Nerf toys have rudimentary usable sights. By doing this off to the side, the participant isn’t subject to the ‘nerves’ factor of being the center of attention with ‘The Godfather’. The prequal helpers can observe the Nerf shooters and pass them over to you or hold them there for a bit of coaching. Should make your ‘real’ shooting line go quicker with a higher chance of shooter success.

    • pacoinohio
      Great idea! From my experience – nothing will stop idiots. The best way is to first determine that they are not on site 🙂 I put in a comment (BB’s shootking gallery) also my experience regarding safety when facing group of rookies. And what I did wrong (underestimated the potential level of stupidity).

    • Might I suggest having the “prequalifer” stay with the shooter all the way through the final stage of shooting the bb pistol. Two or three trusted trainers rotating with each new shooter.

  3. “Or are you the guy who watches, reads and learns before he buys an HW 30S, and begins a lifetime of airgun enjoyment?”
    Yes, B.B., I’m that second guy, who also bought the Dragonfly. 🙂
    I get what you’re saying here; thanks for a thought-provoking report.
    Blessings to you,

  4. I have noticed that when people express their negative opinions about others, make accusations, including name-calling, etc they are often describing themselves.

    I am also guilty of the above, especially when I feel strongly about someone. Having calmed down, I then realise how I projected thoughts about myself, onto others. I wish I could better control my emotions… 🙂

  5. B.B. and Readership,

    I wish I could fully comment on the Tube You item above that many of you no doubt watched. But I can’t directly. Instead i will provide a Parable (a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.
    “the parable of the blind men and the elephant” Oxford Dictionary.
    So once again the mongers of fear use the Nuclear Devil.
    Where is the Truth to be found? Certainly never fully on the test site or in the real World demonstration location. Just as in airgun testing you only gain limited virtual insight compared to actual REAL WORLD first hand experience.
    This is some Real World experience for comparison:
    Media/political hype or reality you choose!
    Also for those of you that want more reality dosages GOOGLE “Nuclear Fratricide”

    For hihihi, 1984 came and went but Airguns can be fun!


  6. FM’s airgun experience was quite limited until about 4 years ago. Then, finding a need for lower-powered shooters, started searching for basic information and also to find out what were the “latest and greatest” in the field of air gunnery. In the process discovering Tom’s blog. Would say that’s where the airgun experience began, first at an intellectual level and then, as more confidence was gained, at the actual physical experience level. One thing that has helped FM is that throughout life he has adhered to the Doctrine of Low Expectations so that when an experience exceeds that self-imposed threshhold it is followed by a feeling of deep satisfaction and enjoyment. So far that has been the case for every airgun acquired and fired. Do not confuse that with the concept of going cheap but expecting little. This speaks more to not expecting more performance and enjoyment from an airgun – or anything else – which is realistic in REAL world terms.

    Somewhat contradictory is FM’s tendency to set probably too high performance standards for himself, but that challenges him to keep on striving to do better and within realistic parameters, somehow he does most of the time. Keep on experiencing!

  7. BB,

    It has become, when you speak, I listen. I have learned much over the years here. The thing I learn the most about is I do not know everything. I also have learned to trust certain people to tell me the truth to the best of their abilities. If I still do not understand, it is on me.

    By the way, the 1906 BSA still lives here at RRHFWA. So does an HW30S.

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