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What’s really new?

Dragonfly 177
Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2.

This report covers:

  • When I was a kid
  • Back to Akron
  • So what?
  • Airguns?
  • Okay
  • Affordable
  • Or, play their game
  • Yet to come

I will not be writing a new report on Monday because New Year’s Day is one of the four holidays I get off each year. So this one will have to last you until next Tuesday. Take small bites and chew for a long time before swallowing!

Today is all about the state of airguns in the world in 2022/23. What’s new and what’s REALLY new.

When I was a kid

When I was a kid I lived in a suburb of Akron, Ohio. In those days Akron was called Tiretown, USA, just like Pittsburgh was called Steeltown. In those days the world didn’t have any color. Everything was black and white. You can look at all our old photographs and see that for yourself. And up in Cleveland a young disk jockey by the name of Alan Freed started calling rhythm and blues music “rock and roll” in the early 1950s. Before long the title caught on.

Back to Akron

So I went on a school field trip to Goodyear, a tire manufacturer where we were shown how tires were made. We didn’t go to Firestone or to Goodrich, who also made tires in Akron. Goodyear was the biggest and their blimps were always in the sky around my house.

In 1839 Charles Goodyear invented the process of vulcanization that makes it possible to manufacture natural rubber products that last. He never saw his invention widely used because he died at age 59 in 1860, but in 1898 Frank Seiberling founded the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, which he named in honor of his invention of the process that made it possible.

So what?

So, in 1965 BB was at Lake Tahoe for an early Christmas when the snow started to fall. My bus trip back home was cancelled and I was stranded for several days. On Christmas Day, with 14 inches on the ground and more falling, BB was offered a ride out of the Tahoe Basin by some friends of his aunt. He jumped at the chance, because he wanted to get back home to San Jose and have his second Christmas.

They had a Mercedes sedan, which was a nice heavy car, but it was shod with those fancy new Michelin radial tires from France! Now, BB knew tires and he also knew that Akron was the only place where tires were made. France? Forget that! France was where you went for good cooking and art — not tires. Radials had only been around since 1948! What a gimmick! Nobody used radial tires. Give me good old Goodyears or Firestones. And to drive in the snow we put on chains. In fact, California mandated tire chains and the Highway Patrol stopped all cars trying to leave the Tahoe Basin that day, forcing them to put on snow chains if they wanted to attempt the grade out of the Sierras.

The driver of the car I was in had chains because he knew this was coming. So he dutifully put them on the rear wheels and I helped. Then we proceeded down the road, which was starting to climb at this point. A half mile later he stopped the car and removed the chains. He said he had Michelin X radials and didn’t need snow chains. Now, I was an Ohio boy who had seen chains used on tires in snow every year. I was also an Akron boy who knew that radial tires were a scam! Better gas mileage? Longer tire wear? Rounder tires? Hooey! Give me good old Goodyear tires that were fortified with Tufsyn!

Tufsyn

Anyhoo, after the chains were off we proceeded to drive out of the Tahoe Basin on snow that was 4 inches deep on the highway. The snowplows couldn’t keep up! The Mercedes driver even slammed on his brakes and we watched the sedan stop quickly in a straight line. BB was astounded! Several years later California caught up with technology and revised their law that said you either had to have snow chains mounted OR radial tires to drive in heavy snow. Yeah, we had studded tires too but after you were out of the mountains you quickly dropped to near sea level and you would have to remove them.

Airguns?

What has any of this to do with airguns? Everything, as it turns out. Because you can either have a superior product like radial tires or you can have fancy names like Tufsyn, but you seldom get both. The Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 is an excellent example of that! And please try to understand — BB likes American-made multi-pumps. He really does. In fact he went out of his way to promote the new Benjamin 397 that isn’t even called the 397 by Crosman anymore. They call it the Benjamin Variable Pump Air Rifle and, as we discovered in an experiment that was NOT cheap, a conventional stock out-performs the new tricksy synthetic stock that features a high comb, making sighting with the factory open sights impossible. BB spent his own money to procure a fabulous curly maple stock from reader Vana2. Once it was installed the factory sights could be used. But the accuracy was still just okay.

397
I spared no expense to make the Benjamin Variable Pump Air Rifle accurate. Hank’s stock makes it a thing of beauty, but the accuracy, while good, is just okay.

The Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2, on the other hand, is superb! It is the Michelin X radial of the multi-pump world, and no amount of Tufsyn can make it otherwise. It pumps easily, it’s accurate, it has an adjustable trigger and, because of how easy it is to pump, it is the only multi-pump on the market that can be scoped and shot reasonably.

Build a Custom Airgun

Okay

BB, we will concede your point that the Dragonfly Mark 2 is a brilliant air rifle. But this report is supposed to be about technology — not just one airgun. Well, have you considered the Air Venturi Avenger? Haven’t my tests of BB’s Goldie made a favorable impression?

Yes, BB, but there is nothing new about that technology. Everything on the Avenger has been done before.

Yes, it has. But at what price? What’s new about the Avenger is that you get everything it has to offer — accuracy, power, a barrel shroud, a user-adjustable regulator, an adjustable trigger and lots of shots at good power for $350. Before the Avenger you had to pay over a thousand dollars for all of that on the same airgun.

Remember back in 2008 when Crosman gave you the Benjamin Discovery with a hand pump for just $400? The rifle by itself was $250. This is another case where the best feature was the price, though this time Benjamin did give you a rifle that filled to just 2,000 psi. That made filling with a hand pump easy. And that technology wasn’t new, either. Tim McMurray had already given us the USFT rifle that filled to 1,600 psi and got plenty of powerful shots. What the Discovery did was put it into a package that was affordable.

Affordable

Speaking of affordable, remember in 2017 when Umarex gave the world their new Gauntlet — the world’s first Price Point PCP? They gave us the gun, BB gave us the acronym PPP.  And what was that, you ask? It was an air rifle that was a precharged pneumatic (PCP) that was also a repeater, was shrouded with an active silencer, had an adjustable trigger and stock, was accurate and came with a regulator — all for less than $300. Lord, how quickly we forget!

Or, play their game

Ooooo! Here comes the the new .30-caliber Jaw-Buster Mashemflat Magnum. It shoots big pellets that are so expensive you need a second mortgage to buy a tin, and a hand cart to transport them. For an additional twenty thousand dollars they will erect a small barn on your lot so you will have a place to shoot — inside of.

Yet to come

I could go on. Well, why don’t I? There are new pellets hitting the market every month and many of them are very accurate. There are new scopes with such clarity that no amount of money could have procured them two decades ago. I’m still awaiting the next breakthrough in the air compressor arena, though the price reduction from $3,000 to less than $1800 for a big one and $700 for a small one is great progress.

Sig almost gave us a world-beater with their ASP20 several years ago. They left the building, but that leaves the door open for everyone to reinvent all that wonderful technology —OR LICENSE IT FROM SIG!!!!! You don’t have to try to remake the ASP20. Make something even better! And stop sending your new-hires to the Orient to buy things they don’t understand.

Or continue doing business as usual and watch as the bottom line evaporates. You know, back in the year 1900 there was some company that made the best buggy whips money could buy. You can find out all about them in a dusty museum somewhere.

Happy New Year!

91 thoughts on “What’s really new?”

  1. “You don’t have to try to remake the ‘whatever’. Make something even better!”
    B.B.,
    That’s some great advice; I only hope some manufacturer is listening and takes it to heart.
    Happy New Year! 🙂
    dave

    • “That’s some great advice; I only hope some manufacturer is listening and takes it to heart.”
      Not to sound too pessimistic but as long as the ‘Bean Counters’ is in control of the purse strings that horse will never leave that gate.
      Can I say that Sig tried with the ASP 20? But the price of entry was too high given it was being compared to what Germany had to offer.
      It appears Sig just threw their arms into the air and walked away from that niche market.

      Happy New Years Ya’ll.

  2. Interesting analogy.

    Actually, the wheels on our car do not even go round and round, according to Mercedes in Toulouse, who told us a story of our tyres not being circular. I suspect, either they did not check the wheel bearings as asked, or, more likely, a misunderstanding due to my poor french. Result: vibrations! Grrr… 🙁

    Anyway, that gave me a great idea: instead of reinventing the wheel, why not make them perfectly round?! 🙂
    ——————
    Same with airguns. Instead of reinventing the airgun, why not make the current ones work perfectly?!

    One barrier to quality that keeps on rearing it’s ugly head is money.
    I wonder what could be achieved right now, if the so-called ‘bean counters’ were told to stay away?
    If only, eh… 🙂

    • 3hi,

      Let the engineers run amok without consideration of costs? You would have some very nice airguns that nobody could afford. A prime example is Rapid Air Weapons. I had one of the originals, before the company was bought by AirForce. It had the sweetest trigger you could possibly imagine. It was capable of 1 MOA at 100 yards. The quality was top shelf. No expense was spared in its production. When I bought my .357 HM1000X, the going price was $2100.

      Fast forward to the FX line. Supposedly, these are very nice, if you take the time to fiddle with them. They are very expensive, most likely due to the very high Swedish taxes used to support their version of Welfare. Unfortunately, there are quite a few other airgun companies that have discovered that we stupid Americans will pay for these outrageously priced things, and they charge similarly outrageous amounts for their airguns. Now, there are some really nice airguns starting to come out of Eastern Europe that are very well made and not near as expensive. You have to shop around though. Some of the distributors and dealers here in the USA are jacking the prices waaaaaay up to match similar quality offerings.

      This new stuff coming out of China? There are two companies that have learned to make products that will sell in the USA. The quality is not there, but the features and the basic functionality that we desire is, at a price many can afford. Will these airguns be around one hundred years from now? I doubt it, but with today’s throwaway society, it does not matter. I also do my best to not support communist dictatorships.

      The point of my rambling is that if it were not for the bean counters keeping the engineers in check, none of us could afford this hobby. As you have noted, quality costs.

      • “Will these airguns be around one hundred years from now?”
        RidgeRunner, that is the question! Like you, I gravitate toward older classic guns; the Haenel model 1 I got from Frank is going to turn 85 in 2023, and she still shoots just as well as she did the day she was made. Ditto for my 100-year-old Geco Carabiner. Although an “inexpensive” youth gun in its day, inexpensive did not mean cheaply made. With a little TLC, it will still be shooting 100 years from now. It’s the only gun my wife let me hang up in the bedroom, LOL! Old world quality counts for something. 🙂
        Happy New Year of shooting to you,
        dave

    • 3hi,

      There are probably more airgun companies in Chinaland that are starting to learn, as there are other Chinaland companies that are starting to improve their quality to meet standards outside of their country. The prices are also going up.

      • RidgeRunner, what strong views you have !
        Mine differ. 🙂

        For example, I do not remember what exactly I paid, for any one of my airguns because I don’t care.
        Owning and using an airgun of interest, is my pleasure. 🙂

        • hihihi,

          I’ve always said that the one time price of the rifle is cheap in comparison to the on-going cost of the ammunition I shoot through it. It’s the price of admission and cost to play. 🙂

          Was talking with a guy and we were comparing the cost of airgunning to his paintball hobby. Not surprisingly, there is a scale of investment from entry level to serious shooter and the cost of a good paintball setup is similar to that of a good airgun.

          Think this is true for many hobbies with interests like golf or skiing (or whatever), the costs being similar for the different levels of commitment. I’m a serious fisherman and I would (definitely) not want to do a review of my investment in fishing equipment LOL!

          Cheers!
          Hank

    • Hi3
      It seems that you have hit the nail with your saying;
      “why not make the current ones work perfectly?”
      For me it goes side by side with Tomek’s
      “denial to the trash”
      Oh well; I suppose it’s our ” Old World ” mentality, not so bean counter friendly but more human friendly.
      A Very Happy New Year for Everyone
      Vassili

  3. B.B.

    Now when it snows in the Sierras, CHP requires either chains of 4 wheel drive. Radial snow tires are not sufficient.
    May your pearls of wisdom be heard and comprehended in 2023 and beyond,

    Happy New Year,

    -Yogi

  4. Funny, just remembered I had Atlas tires on my ’56 Mercury back in the 60’s. They were advertised as “The Round, Round Tire” They did not require any balancing when installed.
    So they said.
    Well Barra Airguns certainly has taken a technological leap forward with their 400E AEG Select-Fire steel BB rifle.

      • RR
        Got a point there. However, they are the first to come out with a fully electronic CNC machined automatic fire BB rifle. The Evanix Speed is a PCP with electric fire control and the rest are Co2 or PCP’s
        It’s a well-made plinker fun gun that saves a small fortune in the long run. In CO2, a compressor or hand pump action with 1,000 rounds per charge at around 400 FPS. A new option at least and a good start.

        I thought about getting a good heritage quality accurate springer and joining the crowd. A Gentlemans Airgun!
        One that’s not a magnum, a plinker, unless you want to, or toy. A good target rifle but not a dedicated 10 meter one. Accurate out a bit more.
        But the Diana 35 Commemorative is very close to being my Diana 350 Magnum and the 34 has some mixed reviews.
        Any suggestions for a very good, pleasant to shoot, medium powered ‘New” air rifle? I do not want to have to rebuild one. I did not pay too much attention to blogs on them, and I do not want a custom built one. Thanks.

        • Bob M, I immediately thought of an Air Arm TX200 III with a suitable scope.

          However, if you require open sights, then any Weihrauch springer that catches your eye. 🙂

          Oh, and if you’re not fussed about calibre, then, in my experience, the .22″ tends to shoot just that little bit nicer than a .177″.

          • 3hi
            In hindsight it sounds like a no brainer. I have been here long enough and should have figured it out. Decided to get the Walnut TX200 with the premium scope package. Thanks for replying. I would probably require a scope on anything these days.
            Read BB’s ten-year old blog on it and decided before I reached the end.

            The blog was a bit different back then. With Edith there I felt like I joined a family. Mis her casual comments and the regular blogger names have changed as well.

            Tom,
            Thank you for pressing on. You have made the Air Gunners world a special place.
            I may even become one 🙂 with a new TX200 in hand, but I fear I may have just opened the door to collecting high end traditional airguns.
            Looking for the better things in life as I grow old, I guess.

            Have a fine, prosperous and happy new year!
            Bob M
            Formerly known as ‘Coranado Bob from Santee’ in my biker days.

          • CONGRATULATIONS Bob M ! 🙂

            Warning: nowhere on the air rifle does it confirm it’s calibre, at least not on mine! Not a problem? Hmm… the following experience of mine is, I think, worthy of repeating:

            I too ordered the walnut version, and in .177″ calibre (the .22″ calibre version I would have preferred was marked ‘sold out’).

            The paper/email trail confirmed my order and delivery and yet, what I didn’t know at the time of unboxing, admiring and first shooting to zero the new scope was, I held in my gloved hands, to prevent finger prints on the particularly attractive metal, a .22″ calibre air rifle!

            Pellets loaded really easily, the shot went a horrible, horrible BANG ! and with a jump so fierce it tossed the very firmly mounted brand new scope onto the concrete floor. I actually mouthed the noise that is written: AARGH ! 🙁

            Incredibly I actually continued to, effectively, dry fire my TX200MkIII until I finally discovered the truth. 🙁

            I now have a still beautiful airgun but with questionable internals, ie I have no idea what damage all my dry firing has caused, and a scratched, dented and generally beat up scope that, amazingly, still seems to wok ok. [emoji mixed feelings]

          • hi3,

            We can get you through this. I have done the same thing many times.

            The TX200 is so easy to disassemble that you are about to discover what a great choice you made.

            Both you and biker Bob from Santee have made BB jealous. I have the pretty rifle but my beech stock has been used and abused for over two decades. I also don’t have the neat fish-scale checkering that both of your rifles have.

            BB

          • Ah yes Tom Gaylord, I had contemplated opening up my TX200 and while I’m at it, install a tune kit. I remember struggling to find where to buy the one by Tony Leach that worked well for you, and then kinda postponed the idea.

            I agree that the fish scales are “..neat..” as are the floral embellishments.
            Maybe Pyramydair would like to thank you, for TX200 promotional work, with a stock exchange? 🙂

  5. LOL! I would really like to find the quality of some of these old gals around here at a price I can afford. It ain’t gonna happ’n. Back in 1906, a dozen or so working stiffs would pool their money and buy ONE BSA. I could not possibly afford this air rifle if it was made with the same materials to this same level of quality today. It would be very expensive. I guess this is why I like these old gals.

    A Most Joyous New Year To All!

  6. A little bit off topic. I recently acquired a Beeman 800 / Diana Model 6 air pistol that needs resealing. You folks provided me with the information of whom to contact to have it resealed, but as is typical with me, I have misplaced such. Would someone be so kind as to point me in the right direction, again?

  7. Although already a couple of years old, I think the really fertile area of “new tech” in airguns is with the hammerless valve system. Currently these are only on high end guns like the Huben K1, LCS SK-19, and Leishy L2. But they are absolute game changers in terms of capabilities for the guns that are built around them.

    I have a Huben, and it is amazing in so many respects. I really like the L2, and since PA sells it I’d love to see a review of it here on this blog – the L2 is one of the few guns I could see acquiring, having a Huben and thus having its capabilities become a sort of new “baseline” for me in what I want in an airgun.

    I expect this tech to begin to move more into the mainstream in the not too distant future . . . time will tell, but it definitely counts as “new” in this space.

  8. >>> Make something even better! <<<

    Think we need to define "better".

    Unfortunately the engineering effort to make something "better" is usually focused on maximizing profits by reducing the quality to the minimum (barely) acceptable level. Seems that short term stock holder benefits take precedence over long term customer satisfaction, loyalty and repeat business these days. Pride in workmanship is a rare commodity.

    A product may be well designed but the sloppy tolerances, cheap hardware and low grade materials intended to save a buck in production results a poor quality item that will wear out sooner than it should.

    You can get some quality back though. I will upgrade hardware, add washers and shims, remove burrs and sharp edges during the "some assembly required" stage of preparing a new product to make it "better". I'm putting back in the extra "costs" that the manufacturer cheaped out on.

    The way I see it, an airgun (regardless of price) needs the same parts (breech, barrel, stock, etc. etc.) and manufacturers (deliberately) choose the level of quality they are marketing. Thanks to BB and Pyramyd AIR that we can read the reports and make wise purchasing decisions!

    So what is "better"? A new airgun or a new model or new technology is only "better" if you really need that functionality because your current equipment is not meeting your requirements.

    IMHO, it's easy to get sucked in by advertising claims. The new FX Panthera is very exciting technology but I don't participate in the competitions it's designed for or pest ground squirrels at extreme ranges so (reminder to self) it's not better than what I already have. …But then I may open a new "sniper" category at VARACC 🙂

    As far as "better" goes, in-between junk that should be sold and overpriced status symbols there are products that are good value for the money. It's a matter of finding what meets your needs. I'm happy that we airgunners have such a wide selection to choose from.

    Sorry for the ramble, the soap box is free now 😉

    Happy New Year all!
    Hank

    • “Pride in workmanship is a rare commodity.”
      Hank,
      Yes! That is sadly the case these days!
      Years ago, I had a Smith & Wesson .38 Special target revolver with 6″ barrel. Not only was she extremely accurate and a real beauty (externally), but when I took her apart for a good inspection and cleaning, I found that her inside surfaces, things no one would ordinarily see, were hand polished…that was real 1950s pride-of-craftsmanship!
      Fast forward 40 years to my Smith & Wesson 686; I took it apart and checked the internals…not polished, of course; but the outside looked really good, and the fit, finish, and function was great (my son has it now as his camping gun); they only worked on what people would see…too costly to do otherwise.
      As for that old S&W .38 SPL, the one with amazing craftsmanship, well, sadly, I sold her for a song to a friend who fell in love with her (after a long plinking session with her at an old gravel pit =>). He’s a pastor now, and a real detail-oriented guy, so I’m sure he treating her with the respect that ol’ gal deserves. 🙂
      May your New Year be filled with much happy shooting,
      dave

  9. We get to see the Goodyear Blimp floating thru the neighborhood once in a while. Years ago you could book a ride in it, but no more – now it is only for “special passengers,” by invitation. It is based south of us in Pompano Beach. By the way, the first set of radials FM had on a car were Pirellis, on his ’68 MG Midget.

    As for marketing quality to the mass market, seems to non-genius FM far too many people are happy enough with the cheap-and-disposable concept, which makes it hard for a manufacturer to make products that achieve the right balance between quality and what the mass customer base is willing to pay. There is an anecdote, possibly apocryphal, about the late governor of Georgia (USA), Lester Maddox, who was supposedly once asked if he could do something about improving conditions in Georgia prisons, to which he replied “sure, find me better inmates!” You want better products? Find better customers. Who know what it costs to get the quality and durability in a product. Oh, the humanity!

    Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year to everyone! Keep on truckin’ and shootin’.

  10. B.B.,
    What’s Really New?

    Not BIBENDUM
    aka, Michelin Man

    “They had a Mercedes sedan, which was a nice heavy car, but it was shod with those fancy new Michelin radial tires from France! Now, BB knew tires and he also knew that Akron was the only place where tires were made. France? Forget that! France was where you went for good cooking and art — not tires.”

    https://www.townfairtire.com/blog/10-fascinating-facts-you-didnt-know-about-the-michelin-man.html

    My first experience with radial tires was on my 1960’s (Race car with no real model year) Alpha Romeo Giulietta. And then on my “snow machine” a 1968 VW Karmann Ghia with a swap out Porsche Boxer engine. I run Michelin X Ice current generation snow tires in the Winter on my Viggen and Aero on all four corners even though they are front wheel drive. I did run Goodyear radial snow tires in the past. My Street Slicks are waiting for temperatures to get back above 50° F consistently.

    Quality that most of you want: one source is still D. A. QUAKENBUSH

    href=”https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Quackenbush%3a+the+man+for+big+airguns%3a+he+got+his+start+right+here+in…-a0287636652

    If you owned (The Godfather of Airguns® does; at least two of them!) a DAQ I know you would have a Happy New Year! You could probably get permission to display it on the wall of your choice, LOL!

    So have a Happy New Year already,

    shootski

  11. B.B. and Readership,

    I have harrumphed a number of times when folks have suggested that SOMEONE should…
    “Sig almost gave us a world-beater with their ASP20 several years ago. They left the building, but that leaves the door open for everyone to reinvent all that wonderful technology —OR LICENSE IT FROM SIG!!!!! You don’t have to try to remake the ASP20. Make something even better! ” And now B.B. has gone and said it too!

    HARRUMPH, HARRUMPH, and HARRUMPH!

    It would take a unique group just like the SIG AIR team’s mix of firearm and airgun engineers as well as investment into equipment that is probably only cost effective for a high volume and quality shooting arm manufacturer to have on the plant floor. There is a corollary case that I am also well informed about that I want to share with all of you.
    SAAB/Scania started life as aircraft builders and has real success building aircraft of different types but especially fantastic high performance fighter aircraft. Of interest to us is that when aircraft production demand idled engineers and builders the management authorized designing and building automobiles. This caused SAABs to always be considered quirky. The cars incorporated many features from the world of aircraft such as disk brakes, seat heaters, multi valve heads, tuned intake/exhaust, computer engine management, direct ignition, electronic fuel injection Two of the most interesting things were the engine counterbalance shaft and the Turbocharger. Those showed up in the Swede’s, Born From Jets, cars decades before the rest of the World’s automotive industry even thought to try. General Motors sought to get SCANIA to license the unique technology and SCANIA balked. So GM bought up SAAB stock and eventually had enough to gain control of SAAB. SAAB quality went down in a short decade as GM bean counters cut the quirky stuffing out of SAAB and soon SAAB died strangled by the BIG GM!.
    SO is their hope to have an ASP20 or something better?
    Maybe. But I really doubt it; given the unique synergy of engineers and quality production equipment combination. If you doubt my speculation reread Tom’s visit to SIG Report and see for yourselves..
    I truly wish the ASP20 could be produced and if something even better would have been possible in the Mk 2 ASP20, Mk 3 ASP20, Mk4 ASP20 i would have been over the Moon. (Remember I am a dyed-in-the-Wool DARK SIDER!)
    B.B. still thinks he got egg on his face because he sang the ASP20 praises so loudly.
    I know he wasn’t a Shill for SIG…those guns can shoot… airgunners (And sadly many an Airgun Scribe) just had a hard time swallowing that a FIREARM manufacturer could show them how to build a better Sporter Break Barrel; really a shame how small of them!

    Remember I (Dark Sider) have the groups to know and you all have seen B.B.’s groups that were outstanding and from a SPORTER no less.

    “What’s really new?”
    WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN?
    The SIG ASP20 was a genuine NEW begining!

    shootski

    • Shootski, Tom should not feel bad about singing the praises of the ASP20 as appears it is/was an outstanding air rifle. FM did fear SIG’s refusal to make parts available to owners and/or repair shops would not end well. The wary and cautious new/old airgunner therefore chose to pass on it. Have faith, given today’s technology, someone will see an opportunity, reverse-engineer it and reproduce parts at reasonable cost. Already there are seals available for it. Maybe this is a pipe dream, but dreams are a no-cost exercise in hope.

      Don’t get excitable FM going on the toxic effects of bean-counters on product design, development and improvement! Ladies and gentlemen, FM has left the soapbox. Speaking of improvement, his New Year’s resolution is to do better and be a better human. Happy New Year!

      • FawltyManual,

        I’m all tranquilo.
        I suspect you are a pretty good human being already! But don’t let that stop your improvement.
        Have the groups of 12 grapes ready for Midnight! Learned to do that decades ago while living in España! And, NOT on TIKTOK, LOL!
        Wishing you and yours a Happy, heathy, and prosperous New Year!

        • Tranquilo is good. Thank you for the kind words. My mama tried her best to make me a decent human bean, hah! We have the grapes and imbibed a little celebratory Tio Pepe, which the Tarheel Lady learned to appreciate during her scholarly year in Spain a while back.

          Cheers! Salud! Ein Prosit! Hope that covers all if not most of the blog brother-and-sisterhood.

  12. Just watched a video on the FX Panthera target slug gun. We are in for an exciting airgun future if any of their technology bleeds over to the rest of the manufacturers.
    They say it will be the basis for other purpose-built airguns. Costly Hi-Tech is taking off.

    • Bob,

      I’m following the new innovations introduced in the FX Panthera with interest.

      I’m not into the competitions it’s designed for and there aren’t any colonies of ground squirrels around here but I’m thinking that the Panthera would be an ideal sniper rifle for long range plinking. Accurate guns are interesting and an air rifle capable of shooting 1 inch spinners at 100 yards (or soda cans at 300 yards – not by me LOL) is definitely interesting.

      I’m not an early adopter so waiting for the MK2 will give me time to build up a Panthera fund. Hope that a non-competition version with a large forward mounted reservoir will become available. The (relatively) low shot count is not really a problem for plinking but I’d rather not be tethered to a tank or be jumping up to refill too often.

      I have to keep in mind that the Panthera is not a “pellet gun” but a dedicated slug gun and I need to decide if I want to cross that line and invest in that technology. I have pellet/slug rifles that are 80-90 yard 1 inch group capable and it will be a while (if ever) before I would find them to be the limiting factor. Guess that I’m trying to see where the (technology) line is and if I even need to cross it. The Panthera uses the same barrel liner system as my Impact MK2 so installing my “pellet liner” and detuning to appropriate velocities would be an option but that kinda beats it whole purpose. Just being able to experiment with the platform would give me weeks of entertainment and would justify the investment. I’m obviously still undecided LOL!

      I was pleasantly surprised though, the local supplier lists the .22 caliber, 700 mm Panthera for several hundred dollars less than an Impact MK3.

      Wondering when the other airgun manufacturers will start designing something new and innovative instead of just repackaging old technology in different fancy plastic stocks.

      Anyway, just kinda thinking out loud here… feel free to ignore my mumblings 😉

      Hank

      • Hank
        No doubt the Panthera is a specialized airgun for pro shooters. In the video they mentioned possible additional tank volume, but they did mention they moved the air fitting to the rear for tethering to a bottle or air supply. I was impressed by the way the designer created it, improving air flow for slugs with a bigger plenum and valve I believe. Solving problems, I did not know existed.
        I imagine future purpose-built airguns will be designed around a chassis instead of creating an entirely new airgun.

        • Bob,

          Agree that the Panthera is purpose designed for competitive shooting but also think that it has the potential for a wider audience.

          Speaking of a modular approach, have you ever looked at the FX Dreamline? In addition to barrel and caliber swapping the components can be swapped to make a conventional, tactical or bullpup configuration.

          Hank

  13. A Happy, Healthy, and Blessed New Year for B.B. and all of you out there. This Christmas I gave away one of the Crosman Mark II pistols that I resealed and tuned to a new airgunner along with a supply of CO2, targets, a tin of pellets, shooting glasses, and a rubber mulch pellet trap. What’s new? A warm feeling that I have promoted, in a small way, our sport.
    Peace and love to you all.

  14. Thought somebody might be interested in this. I now have this on my Oktoberfest.

    I originally had this on my 362 with a steel breech but it now has a peep sight on it. Pyramydair carries it but they are out of stock. Here’s a link. /product/crosman-williams-rear-sight-notched-blade-elevation-windage-adj-3-8?a=2008

    But here is a picture of it on my Oktoberfest. I did have to cut about 5mm off the elevation adjustment to get enough down adjustment without hitting the stock. I didn’t this way so wouldn’t have to notch out the stock. Other than that it bolted right on.all I did was slid the Oktoberfest rear sight of the dovetail on the Oktoberfest tube and clamp it on.

      • Looks good and should be effective. Was shooting the HW95 yesterday and kept shifting between one and two-eyed shooting. Surprisingly, despite the slightly distorted sight-view with both eyes open – the effects of retina detachment in the left eye – the shooting was more accurate with both eyes open. Thinking of trying B.B.’s reading glasses idea next and Hank’s dab of paint on the front post, perhaps even Teflon tape though that could be a challenge to do.

        Stubborn FM wants to stick to the stock fixed sights. By the way, tried .22 JSB Straton 25.39 grain pellets in the HW and it was spitting them out with authority and decent accuracy – decent enough for FM, that is. 😉

        • FM
          Thanks and I now have a halo red/green dot sight on my hw95 I recently got. I have one on my hw 50 also. Definitely both guns are liking the sights. Or should I say old Gunfun1 is liking the dot sights on them. Nailing 12oz. cans out at 50 yards and in with both guns.

          Oh and I like the Williams sight on my Oktoberfest for ease of adjusting the aim point now. The Oktoberfest factory (plastic) sight is no good way to say it but the sight is a joke.

          • Now that’s an idea, though still set on working them eyeballs out. Next on the playlist will be the HW30 – haven’t shot it enough yet but we’ve been away. Also the Covid bug got us, at last, but we’re ok. As Mrs. FM put it, “this was Covid Christmas.” No worries, the Great Physician had our backs all along. The best of health to you and all ye merry airgunners in 2023!

        • FM
          Hw30’s are great.

          Definitely waiting to hear what you think of yours when you spend more time with it.

          And my wife is sick right now. They test at where she works (nursing home), she tested negative for covid.
          I hope I don’t get it. I go back to work tomorrow night.

          • Ack! Hope you don’t get it either and she gets better quickly.

            Took out the HW30 for some exercise this PM – not a bad thing to do on the last day of the year and with good weather to shoot in, no-brainer for FM. Put 20 pells thru it at 25 yards, just plinking at cans and other odds and ends. Went with Crosman 7.9 grainers and JSB Monster 10.34 gr domed – the ones you had sent me with the Maximus .177; seems Little Weihrauch likes those JSB’s though FM needs to adjust the sights a bit to the left. It is a sweet one to shoot.

            Health and blessings to all!

          • GF1 and FM

            My HW30S gets best scores at 25 yards with both AA and JSB Express 7.87 grains. That said it isn’t pellet picky and does well with almost anything.

            Hope the health issues are better and Happy New Year!

            Deck

          • Decksniper – recommendation noted and appreciated. Going to shoot next time without prescription glasses, with eye protection, of course. Went hunting for reading glasses yesterday but what FM found was a little pricey. Just trying to work out the eye/sighting technique before doing any more sight adjustments.

            Couldn’t get this posted under your comment but figured GF1 would not mind letting FM borrow his soapbox.

      • Gunfun1,

        I really like that rear sight too! I have a few rifles and pistols that use thar sight with target, “V” , and peep.
        So is there enough room to just relieve the wood of the stock to allow the sight to be adjusted without using your method of cutting metal? Especially if the stock could get a better finish if needed?
        Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

        shootski

        PS: I hope Mrs. GF1 gets better right quick and you dodge the stuff altogether!

        • Shootski
          Thanks and she is getting better.

          And yes the wood on the stock can be notched. I didn’t want to alter the stock. I wanted to keep the Oktoberfest looking original. The little bit I cut off the sight is not hurting the function of the sight at all. And to me cutting the metal was easier than notching the wood. I’m pretty sure I would of needed to take the action out of the stock if I notched the stock to do it right. Cutting the metal was the quickest easiest way that I could see to get the sight on the gun.

          • Gunfun1,
            Just as I suspected some of us would rather cut metal and some gnaw on the wood, LOL!
            Too bad the manufacturer didn’t supply that sight or something similar!

            shootski

  15. I am still mulling over whether to get an Avenger or not. The issues are a 4200 or so fill pressure versus available at the DPRoNJ house of around 3,000 psi. So how many decent shots do I get with a regulator set at 1900 psi and a fill of 3000 (appears at least 30 or more)? Plus, do I want/need another air rifle for the collection (well, of course. Duh!).

    Decisions, decisions. Happy New Year all. May the New Year be a better year than the one we’re leaving out with the garbage.

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

    • Fred,

      Just my experience/thoughts on a regulated PCP is that high fill pressure capability is good insurance and you don’t have to fill it right to maximum. It’s not like unregulated rifles where you have to have the right pressure to ride the bell-curve to get decent shooting.

      Available pressure may be 3,000 psi is at the present but with the prices coming down a 4,500 psi compressor could be a reasonable near future investment.

      Most PCPs are tuned to maximum power because that’s what many people go for. Tuning them down to practical levels (30ish fpe in .22 caliber) results in a quieter, less stressed airgun with a decent shot count. The Avenger looks like it would be easy to tune.

      Oh, and yes – you do need another airgun 😉

      Cheers!
      Hank

  16. I wish everyone here a very good 2023. May some of your resolutions be fulfilled and, most of all, may you remain as healthy as possible! 🙂

    We’ve just returned from celebrating the passing of 2022. It is now 03:05.
    My New Year’s Resolution is to improve my life, simply by sleeping more. So, with that said, I’m off to bed. 🙂

  17. You know those pellet catching boxes that have some metal silhouettes inside? They stay down when knocked over and pop back up again when the middle one is hit (pyramydair sells a version they call “Air Venturi Stampede Pellet Trap”)?
    Well, I was surprised that the trap part of the target, ie the metal box, lets lead escape through the rear.

    I was trying to knock down my boar silhouettes when a slither of lead splatter blasted through two overlapping metal sheets that make up the sloping back of the trap. It cut a nick in a can of white spray paint that I had thought safe behind the target.
    It looked like a puff of smoke, was kinda fun, but not actually what I wanted! 🙂

    This is my third attempt to post including a small picture (only 557 KB). Fingers crossed…

    • Having another go to show the pellet path into my resettable silhouettes target…

      edit: still can’t see any picture. Dunno if I’m repeatedly making a mistake, or what… I give up. 🙁

  18. The New Year started off well. The gift to my new deputy sheriff nephew-in-law was super-well received. I gave him a Glock 17 Gen 4 BB pistol to use as a trainer for his duty pistol of the same model. He was amazed at the similarity, and even the field stripping capability, which we used to good effect when it jammed on the Hornady BBs. We also tried Crosman Copperheads and Umarex BBs and not surprisingly, the Umarex BBs won out. We forgot to try the Dust Devil BBs, but there is always next time. I printed out the entire series of articles on it from the P.A. website for him. His wife (my niece) also enjoyed shooting one of my Crosman Mark IIs. That will be a future present to her.

    Next was my sister-in-law and her husband who got a Crosman Mark II target pistol. She really enjoyed plinking at the minincoke cans I had suspended from a piece of coat-hanger wire from about 9 yards. So did her husband. So three or four new airgunners this year.

    Finally a question. My brother in law has a small Ruger 5 shot revolver in .38 Special. I don’t see anything like it on P.A.’s website. The closest one is a Crosman or Dan Wesson with the snub nose barrel. Do you think that’s close enough to serve as a good practice gun for his self-defense Ruger?

    • Roamin Greco,

      The Ruger is a “hammerless) actually a concealed hammer revolver.; interestingly there don’t seem (I certainly don’t remember one.) to be any airgun hammerless/hidden examples that anyone has produced that I could find with Internet searches. Hard to fit a CO2 Cartridge in the space available could be one factor.
      I guess any airgun snubby revolver would be better than nothing. You get the short sight radius. The biggest thing that would be missing is that SHARP RECOIL of a lightweight small frame revolver! Something I dislike far more than shooting a full size with heavy and HOT MAGNUM loads any day.

      shootski

      • Thanks as always, Shootski, for your insights. I will have to check with my brother-in-law for a model number, but I recall that his .38 had an exposed hammer. And the release for the cylinder was a spring-loaded button that pushed in, not to the side. However, I think you are right, any of them would serve as a passable practice gun.

  19. B.B. and Readership,

    I’m celebrating my personal New Year today!
    This is the 74th anniversary of Earth being “blessed” by a bundled shootski arriving to terrorize the Vienna Woods and foothills.
    I received a rain check for the price of a PANTHERA/other shooting item(s) from my darling spouse of fifty years for when I decide on what caliber to get and IF i really need one.

    Meantime the Left eyeball continues to amaze me and the three different drops four times a day are SO MUCH FUN! BUT, I will continue to do them and give thanks for my good fortune.

    Keep those resolutions!

    shootski

    • Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag shootski !
      (Happy Birthday shootski!)
      Das ist ja nett, vierundsiebzig Jahre jung und wieder ein neues Spielzeug, auch wenn es schon recht heftig an der Börse zuckt. 🙂
      (74 years young and another new toy, though costly)

      I’m happy that you continue to value your cataract operation, including ensuring it’s successful completion.

      PS now I understand your familiarity with all things German (or as I now know, Austrian)… 🙂

    • Shootski,

      A very happy Birthday to you, hoping many more will follow. I hope also that your rain check will come in handy for whatever you decide to get.

      Mike

      • Mike in Atl,

        Thank you Mike!
        I hope the PANTHERA pans out and isn’t just a marketing . The early reporting with folks shooting what they are calling preproduction examples is really impressive; as always time will tell. I’m not looking for a competition airgun for myself but this looks like a potential interesting urban deer culling gun in .30 and a real kick booty Norway Rat and Nutria Sniper in .25 or more probably .22 caliber.
        I still think FX should look at a .22 BIATHLON version using 5 shot magazines since 50 meters should be easy and way more accurate than powder given the Polar conditions at events.
        Saddly getting firearms and even rimfire ammunition into and out of countries is only going to get more difficult for athletes.

        shootski

    • Shootski,

      Happy Birthday! I didn’t realize that your birthday was Weldgluckstag (world happiness day), too. There are so few of us! 🙂

      BB

    • Shootski
      Happy Birthday and a HappyNew Year.
      Even if you don’t buy the panthera you are blessed with the bond you have .with your spouse. God bless you and your family.

  20. Goodyear???? Really??? Nahhh BF Goodrich Baby! Hehe, I grew up in a small town of 20,000 in NE Oklahoma and half the town was employed by the BF Goodrich factory there, We moved away when I was 15 and the plant shut down the next year. Within 5 years, the population had dropped to about 11,000.

    Sadly, most of the best tires now are made in Asia, the Westlake factory in China puts Michelin to shame nowadays and I know as I buy about 50 sets of tires a year for my used car lot. I don’t buy the most expensive as I need to make a profit, but I do know quality and brands like Westlake and Lionheart are good tires!

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