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Don’t do as I do

This report covers:

  • So what?
  • Trigger snob
  • My duty
  • Okay — what else?
  • How does it fit?
  • However…

Last Friday reader Yogi asked me what I meant by a certain remark I left in the Part 4 report on the Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2. Here is what I said:

“I noticed that the Dragonfly’s trigger is still single stage. The pull is long and smooth. I can’t anticipate where the release is, but that doesn’t upset me as much as it sounds.”

And here is what Yogi said:


“Please tell us more as to why the single stage very vague trigger does not upset you? Not knowing when the trigger will release sounds terrible to me!”

Reader RidgeRunner stepped in and tried to answer for me. Here’s what he said:


“My wild guess is that he feels he is able to hold POA through the long, smooth pull. You must keep in mind that he pulls a bunch of different triggers all the time. Personally…ugh, but hey, I’m a trigger snob.”

To which I replied:


Yeah, I didn’t describe that very well. I think RidgeRunner said it as well as it could be said.


So what?

What I’m trying to say here is Yogi and RidgeRunner are right. A trigger whose release you can’t anticipate isn’t a good one. RidgeRunner nailed it when he said I was used to bad triggers. It’s like the guy who went to the doctor and said, “Doc, it hurts when I do this.” and then banged his head against the wall. The doctor told him, “Then stop doing that!”

What I should have said was I can work with a trigger that’s vague. Or, even better — the Dragonfly Mark 2 has an adjustable trigger. I can fix it! Let’s go back to Part 7 of the report on the .22 Dragonfly, where I said:

“At this time in the test the trigger stopped firing the rifle every time. I would pull and pull and nothing happened. I eventually discovered that if I wiggled the trigger blade back and forth the trigger would work, but I am quite sure I slightly threw several shots in this group because I was playing with the trigger.”

Later in the same report I wrote:

“BUT — the trigger issue is a concern. Earlier in testing I said how much I liked the trigger pull. Now, I just want it to be consistent. I guess I need to look into this.”

All I need to do now is read Parts 8, 9 and 10 of that report series and then adjust this rifle trigger the right way the first time! This BB Pelletier guy sure is windy! And he’s lazy, just like me. But when he finally tells you how to do something, it’s complete.

The deal

Yes, there is a deal. I have said it several times in this blog and yet ’til Yogi pushed my nose into it and RidgeRunner explained it to me through his remark to Yogi, I never realized it. 

I like the Air Arms S510XS PCP and the Air Arms TX200 Mark III because BOTH RIFLES HAVE SUPERB TRIGGERS! In fact, this is what I have said about both rifles in the past:


“The bottom line is the S510 trigger is extremely adjustable. It takes time and patience and a beautiful pull can be set as long as you are satisfied with the ranges (of pull weight and release point) that are possible. Fortunately I am. I reset the trigger to as close as I could to the factory setting and I was done.”

TX200 MarkIII

“Stage one pulls with 4.8 ounces. Stage two breaks at 9.7 ounces. Not going to do anything to this trigger!

“You can safely set the trigger lighter on a TX than a Rekord because of how the unit is designed. Yes, it was designed after the Rekord but it isn’t an exact copy. I’m going to leave this one as it is.

Trigger snob

RidgeRunner, it turns out I am a trigger snob like you. I just didn’t know it. But my two favorite air rifles are my S510XS and my TX200 Mark III. And of course I like my Diana 27 that has — you guessed it — a great trigger. 

Trigger snob, trigger snob!

My duty

While writing the blog I don’t have the time to adjust all the triggers as nice as they will go. Sometimes I adjust them just to report on the adjustments, but there are only a few rifles that are really set up for me. So I will continue to personally adapt to all sorts of triggers for the sake of this blog. But now we all know that BB Pelletier is a trigger snob.

Hunting Guide

Okay — what else?

Well, there’s always accuracy. Yes, BB likes accuracy like the rest of you. That’s why he is such a cheerleader for certain accurate airguns. His S510XS and TX200 Mark III, for example, are two air rifles he knows will always do what he wants them to. That’s great. Sit back in your easy chair and let the rifle do all the work. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all air rifles were like that? But they aren’t.

The recent report series on the now-discontinued Crosman Fire was a means of teaching you readers how to extract the very best from a low-cost breakbarrel. In the end that rifle performed, but BB had to jump through hoops to make it so. And you got to watch over his shoulder. Is it accurate? It can be, but it takes a lot to make it so. On the other hand I don’t believe the TX200 can NOT be accurate. So BB is an accuracy snob, too.

How does it fit?

When you hoist a rifle to your shoulder does it feel just right? Or do you have to adapt to its configuration like some human Stretch Armstrong?

Stretch Armstrong
Stretch Armstrong is a toy that stretches up to 4 times its length and returns to normal when tension is released.

Personally I don’t like being Gumbie. But things like thumbhole stocks and dropped forearm grips don’t give me a lot of choice. So I’ll adapt to test the airgun and then I’ll return to my classic airguns when I need a break.


Learning this stuff takes time and experience. And the airguns I really like are expensive, so it takes money, too. But this is my point. Velocity alone is nothing (to me) without accuracy. And a fine trigger makes the experience more enjoyable. I don’t need foot pounds of energy; I need pellets going exactly where I want them. To me that is what the shooting side of this hobby is all about. You may disagree with me and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how wrong it might be

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.

47 thoughts on “Don’t do as I do”

  1. BB,

    speaking of triggers and things not to do…

    How sarcastic can I be in a guest blog? Can I say a trigger is “a crime against humanity out of the box but improved significantly with use to a point where it bordered on ‘bearable'” or is that too harsh?

    I’m just about ready to send you my review on the Diana Twenty-One and 35.


    • Stephan,

      I once called the trigger in a new rifle yucky and my wife chastised me. I had to apologize to the manufacturer. I guess that was where the line was.

      You say whatever you like. 😉


      • The air gun reviewer wrote, “The Whappo Crappo air rifle’s trigger is atrocious. It’s heavy, long, indistinct, mushy and gritty. But after extensive adjusting I was able to slightly improve it.” ;^)

  2. BB,

    Here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns there are some absolutely horrid triggers. For some of these old gals it does not matter what you feed them or how you dance with them, they are just not going to put that pellet where you want it.

    Then there are those that have the sweetest trigger you ever put your finger on. There are some that you could not miss with if you tried. Some are just such a pleasure to hold, caress and shoot. There are a rare few that have it all. Those become “The Favorite”, the “Go To”.

    We are all looking for that particular airgun that does all we want. That is how most collections happen. Even you have a few “chosen” that you look for, hang on to, covet. The difference with you is you attempt to show us the good, the bad and the ugly of a wide variety of airguns, as we each have different things we are looking for.

    You attempt to wring the best out of each one, but you lack the time. Sometimes though, we see something there that appeals to us. Each of us is different. You attempt to show us a wide variety so that we can decide for ourselves what we want. Others may scratch their heads, but to each their own.

    If you must learn to dance with partners that step on your toes so as to show us her various qualities, so be it. No one said it would be all fruit cake and Hubs.

  3. I have often said, “I live in a different airgun world”. I will buy an airgun for any number of reasons other than accuracy and that kind of classifies me as a collector more than a shooter, at least in my mind. I will categorize the airgun for its use after I see how it shoots. And I like having all kinds of airguns as a collector. Accurate or not.

    Here is my obviously totally wrong opinion about shooting.
    You only need one powerful super accurate, and usually expensive, airgun. And I think every airgun enthusiast should treat themself to one. Even if it involves taking out an ‘affordable’ loan.
    You will know that it will hit what you aim at every time, if you do your part to make it happen and never have to wonder if it was the airgun or me.
    You will also enjoy knowing that you have one of the best airguns there is and not have to worry about modifications to make it shoot better or look forward to getting a better one.
    You will be absolutely happy you did 🙂

    When I first got my somewhat exotic Mitsubishi Twin Turbo 3000 GT VR4, slightly used and at a great price. The first thing that went through my mind was, so … this is what rich people get to drive and I missed out on a lifetime of driving excitement by being too practical in trying to save money. I love performance driving.
    I have no regrets and know I will not have any after getting my Hyundai Veloster N Turbo Hot Hatchback. There is no turning back now, and I do have other ‘less exotic’ cars, but fortunately I do not need loans these days.
    I believe it will be the same with ‘Exotic” airguns. You can always sell it if you have any regrets but at least you will know what it is like for once in your life to own one.

    • BobM,

      That is why I bought an HM1000X in .357. Out of the box it would shoot 1 MOA at 100 yards. It was so accurate I actually became bored with it and traded it off for a Texan LSS in .457. My goal is to tune it and train myself to shoot 1 MOA at 100 yards. It is almost there. Sometimes we like a challenge.

  4. Of triggers and things…. The best I have ever shot is my buddy’s !ZH46M. A very close second goes to my AlfaProj CO2 rifle. The Tau 200 is also on the list, as is, believe it or not, my QB79B. The simplicity of the historic crossbow trigger can be tuned to be absolutely predictable and very smooth.

  5. It used to be said that what people want is “a good two-dollar cigar.” Of course, the two dollar limitation means that no really good broadleaf or filler tobacco would be present in the stogie. Hence, an impossibility.

    Since purchase of my first serious air rifle in 1989, an RWS Model 36 in .177, I’ve spent a lot of money on the hobby. I’ve learned, by costly lesson, that the “two-dollar cigar” of airguns is quite as elusive as the mythic stogie! There is a real relationship between the amount spent and the quality of the product. Simply put, one gets what one is willing to spend (with, of course, the occasional exceptions to the good or the bad).

    I purchased a Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Pistol a few years back. I had great expectations for this piece. Those expectations have been thoroughly dashed. I later purchased a Trevox from UMAREX, again, going against sense, I had great hopes. Nope; although the latter is far better than the former. Today, the Nitro Trail is a paperweight, and the Trevox is only a ten-shot piece at the beginning of a shooting session because its trigger is stupendously exhausting. Ironically, in the gun locker all along were an RWS 5G TO1 and an Hatsan Model 25 Super Charger, both of which have superb shooting characteristics for just a bit more money per unit. One gets what one is willing to pay for.

    • LFanke,

      Being one who enjoys a good cigar now and then, I think it is up to about $6-$8 now.

      As for an airgun, you will either spend outright or spend in converting a poor one into a fine one. Take your pick. Sometimes the fixing up is almost as fun as the shooting.

  6. FM goes on record to state he likes his Rekord triggers just as they are. The triggers for Maximus I and Maximus II he can work with; must be true, he is able to hit targets, no bull!

      • If FM’s non-eagle eyes spot any, you will be the first to know. Was hoping to add a Maximus III .22 with the fixed sights to complete the collection here, but just ran into dead ends including a canceled order by Big Fish after their website listed one.

        • FM,

          Likely the only way you will get a new one is to special order it direct from Crosman. That may not even work.

          I am most seriously thinking of placing a want ad in the airgun classifieds in the hopes that someone out there would not mind parting with their .177 Maximus. Maybe after Christmas.

    • Mike
      A mechanics ability to adapt, overcome and postpone needed repairs is a curse we must live with.
      Like having your passenger pull left and right on the strings passing through the vent window that are attached to the windshield wiper blades.

      • Bob,

        Ah, vent windows, non power breaks and non power steering, the good old days when you actually needed some strength to drive a car, do not even mention 4 speed manual transmissions which I think no folks can operate now.


        • Mike, we did have power steering, in a mild way. Much bigger steering wheels!
          They also gave you something stiff to hold on to in a fast turn, or when you snap a twisted leaf spring while laying rubber and violently change direction and lock up your suspension and driveline, without really wanting to 🙁
          Time before bucket seats came in.

  7. Well, Ridge Runner has pointed out a downside of getting an extremely accurate expensive airgun. It may get boring always hitting what you aim at.
    So, I guess the best way to go is to get a cheaper, less accurate airgun and spend money and time fixing it up to …. always hit what you aim at?

    I get his point. It’s the challenge to make it do so that may be half the fun in the sport for a lot of air gunners. So, continue to modify ordinary airguns and change them into boring airguns that you sell off. If that’s what you enjoy.
    I believe it can be extremely challenging and impossible to achieve in a lot of cases.

    With that in mind, it’s always nice to know you have an airgun that will always hit what you want every time you need it to, like hunting. Be it one you purchased or created. Just don’t shoot it so much that it bores you to death. Spend more time shooting the less accurate ones that challenge your shooting skill.

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