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BB’s Christmas blog

wreath

This report covers:

  • Hank’s inspiration
  • To which I replied:
  • Open letter to airgun retailers and manufacturers
  • Fun
  • No excuses
  • Quit watching the other guy
  • BB doesn’t understand the box stores
  • Who understands?
  • The dreamers?
  • AirForce Airguns
  • Merry Christmas

Remember, I’m taking Monday off. I’ll be back with you on Tuesday.

This report is a Christmas gift. It’s a gift to all those airgun companies that are watching the blog to see what airgunners want, and I hope it’s also a gift to you readers who are the airgunners I’m talking about. Here we go!

Hank’s inspiration

Reader Vana2, whom we know is named Hank was the inspiration for this report. A couple days ago he sent me an email that read:

“Why is there even a market for airguns that are so inaccurate that hitting a soda can at [10] meters is more luck than skill? 

Can see (sorta) that Co2 replicas are “like the real thing” collectibles – especially here in Canada where pistols over 500 fps are restricted – but you have to admit that their “accuracy” leaves much to be desired. 

“Don’t know, maybe it’s because I still use a slingshot (my first real projectile weapon) as my “minimum accuracy point of reference”.  I’m out of practice but I used to shoot 1 inch groups at 10 meters and soda cans at 20 meters with a homemade slingshot. (Now that my cataracts are gone and I can see again, I’m getting back into slingshots – will be making a bunch this winter). 

“There are lots of reasonably priced accurate airguns on the market and I can easily justify the sticker price on an Air Arms, FX or Weihrauch airguns but IMHO, I think the Oktoberfest is poor value for the money. 

“Yeah, it’s each to their own. Maybe you can help me see the value in airguns that can’t match the accuracy of a slingshot.”

To which I replied:

“Hank,

“The answer is complex, but a large part of it is there are people who know nothing about airguns or shooting and they are in positions to make decisions they shouldn’t be able to make.

“Watch the movie Big to see a similar story about toys.”

On the website Hank said this to reader RidgeRunner:

“Do you try to sell a modified model  as something new (maybe to divorce yourself from a product that has a bad reputation) or do you want to take advantage of a product name by sticking with the original name?

“Guess that depends on whether “new and improved” means cutting manufacturing corners to increase profits or that there are technological improvements incorporated in the new model. 

“Seems to be a da–ed if you do, da–ed if you don’t sort of thing. People complain that FX is constantly improving their products but the market is demanding that they do so. Like the Impact development history… MK1 was a 33 fpe (in .22) pellet gun that became a pellet/slug 60 fpe MK2 that is now a 90 fpe slug/pellet  MK3.  FX could have continued making the MK1 (demand exceeded availability) but the followed their customer’s needs/wants for a pellet gun that could shoot slugs.

“So, do you make a good product, maximize the product life/minimize the investment for the best profits? Or do you adopt a continuous improvement model and hope to cover development/tooling costs by selling new models to people who always want the latest and greatest?

“Interesting thing to ponder.”

Open letter to airgun retailers and manufacturers

Today’s blog is an open letter to airgun retailers and manufacturers. This is my Christmas gift to you. Watch the move Big to see an illustration of what I’m saying. In that movie you’ll see what happens when people who like toys are put in charge of creating new toys. They don’t go by “market trends” or by what the other guys are doing. They go by what feels like fun to them.

Fun

Right now I can tell all of you three things that airgun buyers want:

1. A good trigger.
2. Accuracy.
3. Wood and steel.

Shop Benjamin Rifles

No excuses

Now, every airgun maker will tell you that these things are costly, dangerous and hard to create. No, they are not. What’s costly is trying to apply lipstick to a pig and then convince everyone that she is pretty.

Nobody has to say boo about a TX200 Mark III. They sell themselves. 

“Yeah, BB, but a TX200 is very expensive!”

Yes, it is. But that doesn’t mean that ALL accurate airguns with good triggers have to be expensive. Stop looking at what is and start thinking about what could be.

Remember the Benjamin Discovery? There was an airgun that was created around what could be — a powerful, accurate air rifle that could be filled with a hand pump and was affordable. Before it came to market there had never been anything like it.

The CEO of Crosman asked me whether I thought they could sell a thousand of them in a year. I replied I thought they could sell two thousand.  By the time the first year passed Crosman had run out of the 4,000 walnut stocks they had made for a different promotion but used on the first Discoverys. How many more they sold we’ll never know, but suffice to say the world of precharged pneumatics changed forever.

And the Discovery didn’t even have a good trigger! So what was the number one thing buyers did to their new rifles? They found ways of making the trigger better.

Quit watching the other guy

So company A sees that company si, I mean C, puts fiberoptic sights on their rifles. They sell a bunch of air rifles, so fiberoptic sights must be what people want. No — they aren’t. People want good adjustable sights they can see and hit things with. You don’t have to look far to find those. And they don’t cost any more money than those Christmas tree lights you want to hang on your air rifles.

BB doesn’t understand the box stores

Most of a large company’s sales are in large discount stores. They make sales of tens of thousands of units and, though the profit per item is small and the returns are one-sided (the box stores get to return anything and it MUST be credited, or else no more business), the company makes most of their money in that market.

BB understands. But you have shoehorned your future into a tiny box that has no way out. Meanwhile Air Arms will continues to make TX200s as fast as they can and they won’t be able to keep up with demand.

Yeah but they only sell a thousand per year, or so. Maybe even less. They are small potatoes compared to our company. 

Yeah, and where were you 25 years ago when the TX200 was even smaller than it is today? Didn’t you used to make a lot of the products you sell right here in the good old US of A?

Who understands?

In the People’s Republic of China there is a company in the city of Macau that knows how to make airguns that airgunners want. They called one of them the Nova Vista Leviathan and now Pyramyd Air calls it their Air Venturi Avenger, and lookie, lookie — who’s got the cookie!

And here is the deal. The PRC hates free enterprise because it puts to shame their governmental worldview (that communism is the best way to rule a nation), but they need the cash that is flowing into their nation and these guys are ones who are making it happen. Oh, well — we’ll build up a war chest and then put these shameful people in their place. And besides, we have many capitalist companies paying us large amounts of money to make whatever airgun junk they dream up. 

The dreamers?

And the dreamers are the guys and gals who came into these companies last month and were handed a thick file labeled “The Way We Do It” and put on planes to the Orient to meet with their counterparts. Their marching orders, “Get the cost as low as you can, then promise them 110 percent sales for another 2 percent off.” Our agreement says we can cancel anytime our sales don’t reach our projections.

Yeah, BB doesn’t understand this business! You go, girl!

AirForce Airguns

Meanwhile there is AirForce Airguns. Started on a bet, AirForce is so efficient at making what they make that even the Chinese can’t keep up! The Chinese are now making plastic toys that resemble AirForce air rifles because when they try to make the real thing they fail miserably. Why? Because AirForce looked at those three things airgunners say they want. They threw out the wood and steel but gave them the accuracy, a good trigger and something they didn’t ask for — power! And when competitors came along claiming more power, they turned up the tap. Their open-ended modular design makes it easier (not easy, you understand) to do this. And, they are light on their feet. They can do in months what their competition takes years to do.

Merry Christmas

Okay, big manufacturer, here is your gift. Hire ONE real airgunner and then listen to him or her. Maybe you already have such a person on your staff. LISTEN!

Start small with a single project. For example you may have a sample airgun that’s accurate and has a decent trigger. Start there. That’s how the Air Venturi Bronco was created. Mendoza had a nice youth rifle stuffed into a horrible Eurotrash stock. Air Venturi dropped the barreled action into a nice western stock and the Bronco was born!

If your project works, start another one. Continue with the box store business because you have to meet payroll, but carefully cultivate your small projects until a new line is born. 

I was asked in 2006 whether the market would ever recognize Crosman as a maker of precharged pneumatic airguns. I told them that in two years after the launch of the Discovery they would own a major part of the PCP market.

I have one word — Marauder!

Merry Christmas.

95 thoughts on “BB’s Christmas blog”

  1. “Right now I can tell all of you three things that airgun buyers want:
    1. A good trigger.
    2. Accuracy.
    3. Wood and steel.”
    Well, as usual, B.B. is spot on in his analysis.
    Yet I have to wonder if any big manufacturers will listen.
    My HW30S has ALL three of these in spades! It’s a fantastic rifle, and at $300 new, was a super bargain.
    “Hire ONE real airgunner and then listen to him or her.”
    Yes, yes, yes! This is fabulous advice!
    However, if you don’t want to do that, at least go out (or get someone on your staff) to secretly acquire an HW30S, then actually shoot it yourself, and think about, “This is how a good, quality, desirable airgun is supposed to be.”
    Then design something to emulate that.
    With the Crosman 362, the company hit it out of the park with a $100 air rifle that hits 2-1/2 of these criteria (they didn’t use wood for the stock; but the modular upgradeable design makes that forgivable). This rifle is accurate, and fun, fun, fun!
    I was a design engineer for 40 years; I made tons of pie charts and PowerPoint presentations; but I would beg you to shelve all that stuff; set your “marketing analysis” on the shelf, and follow B.B.’s advice. If you do, I predict that by this time next year, you’ll be handing out the bonus checks, and you and your employees will be settling in for a very Merry Christmas. 🙂
    Blessings to all,
    dave

  2. BB,
    I may well be one of the people that you are referring to.
    Following the pronouncements of a certain, unnamed, online enabler, I have bought multiple airguns. One gun is a .22 caliber Discovery, that I subsequently put a Maraouder trigger on (let;s see: 1. accurate 2. wood stock 3. steel parts 4. good trigger (now)). I subsequently bought a .177 Avenger (oops, no wood stock & more plastic parts, but I still like it a lot). I also really like “springers” (Diana 240 Classic .177 and Slavia 618) and enjoy shooting them, regularly in my basement range.
    What do my airguns tend to have in common? I think that they have wonderful value and I truly enjoy shooting them. Would I buy the latest whiz=bang polymer creation from China? I might, but I would have to be able to imagine that it would be an enjoyable experience to own (think: fit, accuracy and trigger).
    If Pyramyd Air would import the proper ammunition for the Oktoberfest Gewehr, it would probably be my next purchase. (It might be a struggle between that and a Dragonfly Mk2, but I really like my Sheridan!)
    “Value sells!”
    I must say, once again, that your blog is a highlight of my day!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope that the season brings everyone the peace and joy that is so greatly needed in these times.
    billj

    • Billj,

      How do you find the .177 Avenger? I have never seen one reviewed in that calibre. The .22 and .25 seem to get all the attention. What pellet do you find best in the .177 and what’s the optimal power level setting for it? Out to how many yards does it group well? Merry Christmas to you and all on here.

      • Bob,
        I really like my Avenger in .177! It is outfitted with a Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 ASP (using the rings that came with the scope).
        Since I only have a hand pump (and go to 3000 psi) I have the regulator set at the bottom of the green range (~1600 psi) and the hammer spring at minimum. This shoots Barracuda Match 10.65 grains at about 880 fps. The only target that I could find was almost a year old (in my range bag) and measured ~.305″ ctc for a 5 shot group at 25 yards (SS tray, sandbagged on a bench). I consider this a representative group.
        What can I say? The performance of this rifle makes me very happy!
        Thanks for asking.
        billj

  3. Fun, YES ! 🙂

    A really precise gun is what I would really like to have one more of!
    I own several, so I have ‘seen the light’, become ‘hooked’ and am still looking… 🙂

    Of course, a light and predictable trigger helps me shoot accurately but, for me, it also makes the act of shooting much more pleasurable, ooh-er… 🙂

    And I desire (!) my airgun to look like a gun.
    Which for the ‘caboy&injuns’ generation, of which I am a happy member, means, wood is brown and metal is between silver and black. Simple, eh?! 🙂

    I plink.
    My ideal airgun should knock down my targets at distances greater than I can throw it. One day I shall measure that, but until then, I imagine, the capacity to reliably puncture the bottom of a soda can at thirty metres and beyond.

    Sounds like I do not need a reinvention of the wheel, but I would love a perfectly round (!) one. Please. 🙂

  4. I hope every serious airgunner at some point in their life gets to shoot a 10M match rifle. Even if it is 50 years old, it has a better trigger and is more accurate that just about anything that is not a 10M match rifle made today!
    Hope Santa is good to everybody!

    -Yogi

  5. When Ed moved to Velocity Outdoors from Sig Saur, I had high hopes. He was at Crosman when they started the Discovery. He was there when they brought out the Marauder. When he went to Sig Saur, he helped them make what is arguably the finest gas spring break barrel air rifle.

    Since he has been with Velocity Outdoors, I have not seen anything. Is this company paying any attention to him? I doubt it.

    I bought a Maximus in .22, after the company quit making them. I wish I had snatched up a Discovery before they disappeared. Is the Marauder to go the way of the dodo also?

    Maybe I am a little different than most airgunners. I really like hitting what I shoot at. All of my airguns right now are single shot. I do not need, want or desire an airgun that spits out a bunch of pellets. Most of my air rifles have walnut stocks and lots of nice steel. Of course, a lot of them are from a time when they did such things.

    I am also a trigger snob. It is so nice to touch a fine trigger. Some of the triggers around here are not so wonderful, but I have the knowledge to make them such.

    Price. I would like to see the price of some of my choices a little more affordable, but I also understand that true quality costs. I have a considerable amount invested in some of my airguns. Why buy 500 pieces of junk when one nice airgun will do what I want?

    May all have a Blessed Christmas!

    • ” All of my airguns right now are single shot.”
      RidgeRunner, you’re “preachin’ to the choir” with me on that one!
      Well, my Umarex NRA Colt Single Action Army is a six-shooter, but that’s a special case.
      {Also, it was a wifely gift, and a single-hole shooter on the 5m range…can’t complain]
      Merry Christmas!
      dave

  6. There’s that saying: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink (think)”

    Seems that many airgun manufacturers have blinders on and only see one design feature the think is the key to great sales (like velocity) and focus on that to the exclusion of everything else. We’ve seen that hyper-velocity airguns are typically inaccurate, hard to cock and unpleasant to shoot – talk about turning off customers and killing future sales! Yes they’re fast, but it the attraction is short lived because it’s not fun.

    I like Dave’s suggestion that airgun manufacturers should buy a HW30 and use it as a model for their products. Heck, every executive should be required to shoot their break barrel rifle and the HW30 for comparison.

    Yeah, accuracy and a good trigger are important. I prefer wood and steel but understand that styling is a personal choice. As long as ergonomics and function aren’t compromised how it looks doesn’t matter as long as it performs well.

    Hope the manufacturers take note of BB’s suggestions.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year all!

    Hank

    • “Heck, every executive should be required to shoot their break barrel rifle and the HW30 for comparison.”
      Hank,
      What a great idea! That tops what I said. 🙂
      Merry Christmas to you,
      dave

  7. B.B. and Merry Readership,

    First of all my wish is for you all to have a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays!
    Next is to read
    https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2012/04/is-it-appropriate/
    this BLAST From the PAST Blog if you haven’t read it already!
    The CEO’s, Buyers, and MARKETING folks at the various Airgun Industry segments should also reread it….you did read it…almost a decade ago! It seems a few did; are they still in the airgun biz or did the successful ones move to “Greener Pastures” by now?

    Merry Christmas!

    shootski

  8. 1. A good trigger
    2. Accuracy
    3. BUILD QUALITY
    Why so? I wouldn’t like to exclude FX or AirForce airguns from the list. And because quality usually goes together with RELIABILITY, which, for me, stands ahead of everything. A gun has to go bang before it hits the intented target.
    Hasn’t it?
    Merry Christmas for you all.

      • Yogi
        I must confess that you, RR and Tom, are my great enablers. You have made me take a journey through D 350, HW 90, HW 30, D 48… Before these I only had, and always will have, the D54. Besides her Majesty there will be as her humble servants, the black LGV and the HW 45. And now I am very near to a brand new K 98 Mauser, springer off course.
        Thank you all for your help in my journey.

        • Bill,

          Would you mind sharing your thoughts about the HW90? It’s the only gas springer in Weihrauch’s line up and has been on the market a very long time, but for some reason one almost never hears anything about it. I think it is also the only premium Weihrauch which doesn’t sport a Rekord trigger. So what is its trigger like?

          • Bob
            The HW 90,in 4.5, was unfortunately the beginning of my journey in springers, D 54 excluded. So I really didn’t have the experience, or another springer for comparison, to evaluate it. Anyway as far as I can tell the trigger was very nice, not as the T01 I think but close to the Record. It’s a big and heavy powerhouse, 30 joules easily from the 4.5. I sure like the firing behavior, much more refined than steel springers of equal power. I traded for a D 350 in search for more power and better handling. Although the D 350 with Titan spring was an interesting lesson, for a small period, I wish I could have kept the HW 90…
            By the way I believe that a filling adapter is necessary accessory. Finally it’s highly priced, even in Europe recently, so I might prefer to get an HW 30 and an HW 85 instead of a 90 with adapter.
            Merry Christmas

          • Bill,

            Merry Christmas.

            30J is very powerful for a 4,5mm. Was the HW90 hard on scopes?

            I’ve never shot a HW85, but can tell you you won’t regret getting a HW30s. I have a Vortek PG2 kit in mine and a simple BSA 4×32 mildot scope on top and reach for it more often than any of my air rifles. It never fails to put a smile on my face.

          • Bob
            I didn’t have the HW 90 scoped for a long time to see the results on the scopes. In the, short period that I kept it I used a Dampa mount because I was aware of the rumors. It was really heavy with the Dampa mount and a 3-9X50 Hawke on.
            As for the HW 30, it was also traded, foolishly, in the quest for something sleek but powerful.

          • Rob Ryan, thank you, and a Merry Christmas to you too!

            My HW90 is in 5,5mm calibre, or 0.22″.

            Like Bill, I also chose a Hawke scope, which was attached via a shock absorbing Dampa mount.

            I discovered that a Vantage 6-24×50 is physically too big:
            a) the scope tube is too long to clear the barrel opening, even with the rear sight removed, and still be sufficiently distant to my sighting eye, and
            b) the scope’s 50mm diameter front raises it above my preferred sighting height.

            By the way, my HW90 barrel droops noticeably, more than the scope’s adjustment can cope with, needing the scope’s rear to be shimmed/raised in it’s holder.

            My HW90’s gas ram measured 10 bar, out of the box, and was a delight to cock and shoot and I therefore think, very kind to scopes.

            I then raised the gas spring pressure to it’s maximum 26 bar which completely changed the airgun! Difficult to cock and what an awful shooting sensation that was! I would imagine much too harsh for any scope.

            So, the HW90 can be anything between a super sweet shooter or a brash brute – owner’s choice. 🙂

  9. Can’t think of any other suggestions to give the airgun powers to add to the very good and sensible ones already stated. At the top of the list should be the “LISTEN to your customers” one. Well, FM will add one+one more – KISS (Keep It Simple Sir) and reliable.

    This discussion topic reminds me of the Volkswagen story and why the Beetle and its variants wound up being one of the most successful lines of vehicles in history. VW’s marketing was brilliant.

    Merry Christmas and a Season blessed with health, happiness and fun for all ye merry gentlemen and ladies.

    • FawltyManuel, I agree about VW marketing.
      I am also reminded of their testing to destruction efforts and this story:

      Once upon a time, several decades ago, apparently VW had built testing machines to, for example, open and close a Golf door until something broke. Then the door would be modified and retested.

      The surprise for me was that they did not strengthen failed hinges or whatever it was that broke, but weaken the strong parts. Anyway, this would continue until as many components as possible would fail, all at the same time.

      Today, whenever I see one of those old angular styled Golfs, I smile inside because in my minds eye, at any moment the car might disintegrate completely, leaving the driver walking down the road in his massively oversized shoes while still holding his steering wheel. 🙂

      • hihihi,

        hi3 wrote: “Anyway, this would continue until as many components as possible would fail, all at the same time.”
        That is using what is called the Bathtub Curve (basically a “U” shaped failure curve) with typical failures early in a product’s existence and then no failures for a given length of time followed by high failure rates at the end of usefulness. The idea is that the warranty covers the “infant” failures, then a long period of very low failures ending in the high failure rates at the end; it keeps the original purchaser happy longer, keeps warranty work to a minimum, and avoids the disaster of replaced subassemblies failing at unpredictable times every few weeks. Those failures occurring every few weeks is a Brand Killer!

        shootski

        • There is a story I heard in a Management course that after a few years of the production run of their model T, Henry Ford sent engineers to junkyards to study dead cars. Everything that had rusted or failed badly in them had to be improved, but anything that was in very good shape had to be downgraded to save cost. I remember that the bumpers were in the later category.
          I guess that ‘planned obsolescence’ or the ‘bath tub curve’ have been in place for a long time.
          Henry

          • Henry_TX,

            I remember reading about that in my Program Management courses.
            Certainly is a concept that goes along with the question: Is the glass half empty or half full?
            I actually prefer the glass half empty because I know where the other half went.
            Unless a product is designed and built for Preventative Maintenance Life Cycle then a Planned Obsolescence Life Cycle has the advantage of having a planned replacement date; which allows building in a savings schedule for replacement.
            Very few folks clearly understand Life Cycle costs for the items they purchase; to include airguns.

            shootski

          • Henry_TX, I prefer your story because, happily, it involves partial improvement of a product. 🙂

            What I learned from these examples is, that we have the choice to make things as good as we can.
            And that there are some who would lower the quality to deliberately create a thoroughly poorer item. 🙁

            My oldest airgun has survived it’s inventor, patent and even the manufacturing company because, I believe, it was originally made as best they could.
            That knowledge alone elevates it’s status. It is my “Precious” ! 🙂

  10. I’m not complaining. I see an airgun market broader and deeper than I’ve ever seen. Yes, amen to BB’s request of trigger accuracy and metal and wood, and amen to Bill’s request of build quality; maybe they can all be summed up as Quality, in a Pirsig sense. And we have that, more than ever before. If I do a product search on Pyramyd, for .177 airguns and checkbox just the manufacturers we know make only quality guns, there are well over a hundred models to choose from, just in .177. Throw in other calibers and the odd good models from the mass-producers and we have hundreds. Quality? Today we can find models with air springs that don’t break, indestructible plastic, a whole new tech in PCP, full auto action and don’t get me started on modern optics. Price? In 1970s a top of the line Crosman BB/pellet multi-pump cost around $30, and a quality European side-lever springer $300. Today those prices would equate to something like $150 and $1500, adjusted by the Consumer Price Index which lies, and a lot more adjusting by the price of a candy bar in the checkout isle. Nope, I’m not complaining at all!
    There will always be junk made for sale to those who don’t know better. It just gets easier to buy, everything is easier, and especially to buy junk. But it still is easier today to find and buy Quality than ever before, just have to look for it, and thanks to this blog we know where and for what to look.
    Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas and all the other flavors of winter celebration!
    Mike

    • B.M.
      Wisdom and reason.
      The fact is that the “Golden Days” of airguns may well be right now is lost to some. Perhaps it is just the effort needed to sort through the detritus in the search that frustrates so much.
      Ed

  11. B.B.,

    I totally agree with your list of priorities. I value an airgun that makes it easy for someone like me to hit the intended target every time. Think HW30S. In my view, the basic requirements are: mechanical accuracy, good trigger, good sights, good fit (ergonomics) and reliability. Personally, I like steel and walnut, but I am slowly adjusting to aluminum and plastic, if well done and in limited quantities.

    A few additional features in my personal wish list – now I am ready for the flames – are good open sights, picatinny rails for optics and regulators in PCPs.. Regarding the last one, I believe that the technology has advanced to the point that it is no longer an exotic device. I know that it adds complexity and could potentially fail, but the same could be said of PCPs versus springers, or electronic fuel injection vs. carburetors,

    A very warm (*) wish to everyone for the Holidays. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

    Henry

    PS (*) Warm in my heart, but my corner of Texas is below freezing now.

  12. I’d rather take good quality plastic stock over low quality wood stock. Hw30S has a synthetic stock version, and it’s still beautiful. I can live with synthetic stocks. But I cannot accept low quality triggers, barrels, or sights. And accuracy is a must of course; I thought I shouldn’t even have to mention that. The only job of a rifle is to hit the target. If that goal was not achieved, there would be no point of owning one. Would you buy a guitar that cannot be tuned? You cannot play any songs with it.

    If the stock is synthetic, then I am okay with plastic sights. Just don’t use any plastic parts on a rifle that is dressed up in some gorgeous looking Turkish walnut stock, for example. Would you buy a pair of stylish black Italian shoes and wear white socks from Walmart over them?

    Lastly, NEVER use any kind of fiber-optic sights on any of your airguns.

    * I had to edit. I forgot to mention the importance of having balanced power. Faster FPS means nothing for me. Leave the extra power for larger calibers.

    So… A quality barrel, sights without fiber-optics, balanced power, and a crisp two stage trigger.

    BB, RR, GF1, shootski, hihihi, siraniko, chrisusa, FM, and the rest of the readership, Happy Holidays to you all.

  13. B.B,
    As bad as the Christmas light sights (fiber optic tube sights) are, they are still better they the trend to no open sights. Ugh. I have had scopes, I currently own several red dot, micro dot, halo and laser sights. That said open sights are my favorite. When all else fails, open sights work. In fact when trying to decide between two guns, if most things are equal between them, I will choose the one with open sights every time. At least very least, offer it with open sights as an option. I am willing to pay more for them.
    Doc

    • Mildot52,

      You could just ignore his posts as I do because it is just another post to B.B.’s blog. Thing is I thought it would be a thoughtful blog about archery and testing different bows and crossbows, sorry not so much. Would not mind if it was a real world test of the archery equipment Pyramyd Air is offering.

      Just a thought.

      Mike

  14. BB,

    I’ve just noticed that the BSA Meteor Super comes with fiber-optic sights, so I will pass. The fiber-optic sights are every where nowadays, on shotguns, rimfires – and the list is getting longer. I won’t buy them either.

    Fish

    • >>> The fiber-optic sights are every where nowadays, on shotguns, rimfires – and the list is getting longer. I won’t buy them either. <<<

      Fish,

      Your choice to buy or not to buy fiber-optic sights but in certain situations they are useful.

      As kids, we painted our front sight (white in the summer, red in the winter) so that it showed up well against a brown rabbit in heavy bush in low light levels.

      In those conditions a (regular) scope was useless. You couldn't see the cross hairs; peep sights and standard sights didn't work well either. A RedDot, an IR scope or a low power scope with illuminated cross hairs could be used but they didn't exist back then so a dab of paint had to suffice.

      IMHO, it's a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. "Glow-thingy", fiber-optic sights are designed for fast target acquisition at close range in snap shooting situations. You wouldn't mount fiber-optic sights on a 10 meter rifle any more than you would mount a 24x scope on your shotgun… but they do have their place.

      Again, your preferences, your choice. Just a couple of thoughts from a guy who still paints the front sights on his plinking rifles 😉

      Cheers!
      Hank

      • “”Glow-thingy”, fiber-optic sights are designed for fast target acquisition at close range in snap shooting situations. ”

        Agreed. But not for me though. I don’t hunt. Also, on a cheap air rifle, on a cloudy day, will they glow at all? So, they have to be good quality. Good ones will be expensive. Weihrauch has a good solution. You can buy fiberoptics for their rifles. Expensive, but looks very good quality.

        • Fish,

          See my reply to Hank (Vana2) below about the Good Old Days and night fighting/hunting reticles and sights before Tritium and other sight lighting sources.

          Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

          shootski

      • Vana2,

        Hank wrote: “…scope with illuminated cross hairs could be used but they didn’t exist back then.”
        Actually, in a fashion, they did exist back then! Custom shops like Premier Reticle of Winchester, Virginia could paint your reticle with Radium you could choose to shine a flashlight into the Ocular to excite the Radium for certain conditions or just use the existing photons for other conditions. Premier Reticle was smart enough to only paint the rear of the wire others dipped the reticle which made you a target at night!

        Merry Christmas!

        shootski

        • >>> Actually, in a fashion, they did exist back then! <<<

          Shootski,

          Suitable for a pellet gun at a price a teenager could afford? 🙂

          Testor's enamel model paint was our go-to. They didn't even have fluorescent colors back then LOL!

          Merry Christmas!

          Hank

          • Hank,

            You’ve helped me understand the trend a bit. I’ve seen the fiber-optic sights on lever actions, muzzle loaders, rimfires, shotguns and etc… You’re right; most of those might require quick reflexes in sports like hunting or skeet shooting. If that’s the case though, then I hope this trend will at least leave the bolt actions alone. 😉

            Fish

  15. Ok I’ll give you a real insider story from a major German smallarms manufacturer.
    Many countries choose their military smallarms by some sheik/king coming over to gum factories, checking their guns and choosing by gut feeling. This is not a joke.
    So when some middle east king shows up at the factory and tests the guns on the shooting range, everybody is shivering and hoping that this dumbass who cannot hit the broad side of a barn would please please hit the target and believe it’s an accurate gun, and equip his military with it.
    Yes, this is how some armies in 2022 choose their sidearms.

  16. BB,

    I have an HW80 question. One of the videos at the bottom is about a 7.5 joule HW80 from Germany and the other is about a 12 fpe one – I think- from England. Both appears to be able to be disassembled without a mainspring compressor.

    https://youtu.be/qm1zFkS3Zts
    https://youtu.be/2dTCvlOdRMw

    Will an Hw80 tuned with the Vortek PG3K 12 FPE tune kit at the link below need a mainspring compressor during disassembly?

    https://www.pyramydair.com/product/vortek-pg3k-12-fpe-tune-kit-for-hw80-r1?a=9383

    Fish

    • Fish,

      I would put my $0.02 opinion as not necessarily. Most of the British air gunners don’t bother using a dedicated spring compressor from what I have seen.

      Siraniko

    • Fish,

      I wouldn’t know without measuring that spring. My guess is that you do =need a compressor. The Brits often don’t use them when they should, as Siraniko says.

      BB

      • BB,

        But he said in the video that he was pushing against the spring while untwisting the action – as the preload was high power. To be safe. 😉

        And your HW30S disassembly without the mainspring compressor was inspiring. I’ll still have to study it a couple of times to understand how you did it. Also, I thought you wouldn’t need the mainspring compressor as you were installing the HO Vortek tune kit on it. Am I missing something?

        Fish

  17. Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I do not post much but I read every blog and enjoy the comments as well. Be safe and hold those close to you closer.

  18. Recently received a link to a u tube video from the guys at Barra Air guns about their new AEG BB firing 400E AR. It was a question-and-answer session about their new 400E that explained why and how they decided to come up with it and how it works and any possible modifications. They also asked for any input from their customers or potential ones. Very enlightening and informative on both the pros and cons and their reasons for designing it as they did.
    These guys get it. I have since found more u tube videos on the 400E AEG AR select fire bb rifle. It’s a quality fun gun.

    They say bikers with analytical minds never really totally enjoy riding because they are always listening for tell tail signs of pending trouble. That strange noise. And I suppose I am one of them. Been taking things apart since I was a kid just to see how they worked.
    Depending on how you look at it, a curse or a blessing.

    I often ask people, ” Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what can I do to fix this or how can I prevent this from happening, instead of complaining about it?” … Crickets.

    My Christmas gift … Glowie Thingies … Black paint or Magic Marker!
    Use it all the time to blackout copper barrels in realistic replica airguns as well.
    Have fun in that white stuff? Snow, that’s it, if I remember. Been a very long time here in SoCal.
    Have a memorable Christmas! In a good way of course. I will never forget stepping out into the night in Ohio when it was 40 degrees below zero with my uninsulated Levi jacket on.

  19. Ice Chip Shooting
    Hey all fellow airgunners, it was 15 degrees F in my piece of Georgia today…far too cold for old dave to be on his shooting bench, and too cold to fumble with pellets while wearing gloves. However, since all the water bowls froze at the outdoor feeding stations, I recognized an opportunity when I tossed one of the ice disks on the ground and it broke into quarters…I was like, “Hey, targets!” Lacking snow, ice targets show up well against the dead grass. This was a perfect excuse to break out the old Daisy Buck BB gun for some ice target shooting; I’d stick the quarter sections point down in the grass, step back and start shooting. Eventually, you will break them into 1″ pieces; and pieces that size, if hit dead center, usually shatter into tiny fragments. I fired off about 100 BBs in 10 minutes…loads of fun!…but then I was too cold and had to go in. Anyway, this sort of answers Hank’s earlier question about airguns that aren’t super-accurate, and why they’re still around. Actually, this $16 airgun can hit cans pretty consistantly at 25 yards…but I have to hold up some front sight to do it. But shooting ice chips was more fun…for a short time, anyway. 🙂
    Christmas blessings to all,
    dave

  20. Merry Christmas everybody.

    And some news. I found out my Oktoberfest rifle with the Smart Shot bb is more accurate than I thought.

    I tried since I got it to shoot out at 20 yards or so. Sometimes I would hit a aluminum can and sometimes not. Well actually more times not than so.

    We got some snow the other day but it’s been like 5° Fahrenheit for the last 2 days. Well today we are having a warm spell. It’s like 15° right now. But anyway I have been shooting the Oktoberfest out at the 20 yards and found I’m shooting a couple inches low from seeing the impacts in the snow. I now hold the front post above the rear notch and I’m hitting a aluminum can every time now. Guess I should mention that’s shooting from my heated breezeway from the house to the garage and bench rested.

    Thought I would give a update and the Oktoberfest has been my most shot airgun since I got it. I recommend getting one. And the Smart Shot bb can be found if you look hard enough is all say about that.

    Have fun shooting and Merry Christmas again.

    • ” I found out my Oktoberfest rifle with the Smart Shot bb is more accurate than I thought.”
      Gunfun1, that’s good info; thanks for sharing that.
      Merry Christmas! 🙂

  21. Personally, I neither see nor expect any of our rulers boxing up anything (good) for us, so instead, I wish Tom Gaylord and You a very enjoyable ‘Christmas-Leftovers Day’ ! 🙂

    Here in the South of France, it has been an unseasonably mild, rolled-up shirtsleeves, 22°c in the sun day (Love It!) with next to no wind. Perfect plinking properties, except I’ve been partying… 🙂

    • hihihi,

      I would join in the consumption of leftovers but today is a Fasting day for me before my Left eye’s Cataract surgery scheduled for tomorrow.
      Enjoy the warmth and calm winds.
      Great evening for a walk on the beach strand!

      shootski

      • shootski, you really live healthier – for me, I have a suspicion that my bathroom scales are getting flatter ! 🙂

        I am so happy (maybe even a little jealous) for your soon to be, improved eyesight. Here’s wishing that the medical staff will be nice and caring people.

        Afterwards, please tell me/us how it went, ok? 🙂

        • hihihi,

          This is an “enforced” Fast.
          I do however Fast regularly and have for most of my life at times when it is possible.
          So far it is my Left eye only but i train to shoot using either eye so Left eye Cataract has gotten to the point it had to be done.
          The medical staff are used to treating warriors and my early reconnaissance tells me the two Opthalmologists who are doing my procedure to install a State-of-the Art lens are the best they have. I like and respect both doctors.

          As I recover I will share my experience with the lens replacement and the effect on my shooting and in general.

          shootski

  22. Decksniper,

    I am going for distance vision correction with a Premium replacement Inter Ocular Lenes (IOL) the Opthalmologists say that this most recent generation of IOL allow for much greater accommodation.than earlier mono focal IOL. The amount is dependant on your particular eyeball and muscle condition. It also allows for specific external lenses to be used to best focus which may not be the case for the multi focus IOL.
    So the full answer is that I will see how my particular case evolves.
    Fortunately I’m not faced with some doctor trying to upsell me on my choices.

    shootski

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