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Here comes the BIG one!

This report covers:

  • The situation
  • My first air compressor
  • Back to you
  • You WANT it!
  • Labradar
  • Remember the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Today we look at those large airgun purchases that all of us face. No matter what our financial situation may be, each of us eventually arrives at this point.

The situation

You have been admiring, wanting and even lusting after something that is outside your normal financial reach. It may be an airgun, or even a piece of equipment like an air compressor or a chronograph. Whatever it is, it’s a big one for you. Whaddaya do?

My first air compressor

I remember my first high-pressure air compressor. It wasn’t the Air Venturi compressor that I now use. It was an Omega Supercharger that I bought from Airguns of Arizona at the SHOT Show. When I looked at it and saw what it could do, I was flabbergasted! But the lady standing next to me was even more flabbergasted. Flabbergasted-ier? The lady was my wife, Edith, who knew the machinations I had to go through to get my carbon fiber air tank filled. I had to find a shop willing to do it and at times that entailed a 60-mile round trip to get to the one place that was both able AND willing to fill a non-diver’s air tank. Some places COULD fill the tank to 4,500 psi but they stopped at 4,000 psi. They always gave me some flimsy excuse that sounded like Melinda Dillon telling Darren McGavin, “We don’t want to waste electricity,” when she turned off the leg lamp in the movie, A Christmas Story.

Anyhoo, my wife had the business checkbook out so fast I didn’t see her move. It just appeared in her hand. That compressor was around a thousand dollars with my writer’s discount at the promise of writing a feature article for Shotgun News. But it represented freedom from dive shops and their self-imposed “regulations.” Now I was the one who determined how far to fill the tank and when, instead of a two-hour trip, it was a 15-minute journey into the garage, with 13 of those minutes just listening from my office as the compressor did the work. That compressor was a business expense that was instantly recognized as vital to the success of this blog.

Omega Supercharger air compressor
Omega Supercharger air compressor.

Back to you

Enough about me; let’s talk about you. Today’s report was inspired by reader shootski who commented yesterday, 

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”

So, you have been watching something and wishing/hoping/wanting to act on it, and now the Chancellor of the Exchequer has blessed the action. Whaddaya do? Well I HOPE that before you spend your hard-earned money on a major purchase you give it long consideration. When the money is gone, it’s gone and all you may be is wiser about why nobody should make the same mistake you just did.

I have written several reports recently about learning who you can trust and who you should not.  And there may be the impetus of need, like I just mentioned in my story of the compressor buy. My fear was the compressor would not live up to its operating hype, but there was no doubt that I needed a high-pressure air compressor. 

But with an airgun there is the idea that the one you want is really the one you want. We have no NEED of airguns, beyond the fact that they are a fundamental part of our hobby. This one over that one is simply an issue of choice. It’s that way for air compressors today too, but when I bought my first one it wasn’t. The choices were few, back then. In fact when I sprung for the Omega, it was the only game in town.

You WANT it!

Believe me, BB understands wanting things. He wants things, too. But when you want something it’s prudent to ask yourself why you want it. Is it something you have been tracking for a long time? Have you done your research? Or is this something people are talking about on the forums and you have money that’s burning a hole in your pocket? Let me give you a second example.

Shop PCP Rifles

Labradar

Okay, here I go again — selling the Labradar chronograph that Pyramyd Air doesn’t even carry. Why am I doing this? Well, a couple months ago I was at my rifle range, testing the velocity of a big bore air rifle. I couldn’t test the accuracy as well, because it would have taken too long to align the chronograph skyscreens with the target at 50 yards. I’ve shot up too many chronograph screens in the past to try to do that!

This day was also rainy and there were other shooters on the range. I had to position my skyscreens out forward of the roof on the range so they could “see” the sky, and I had to try to read the display with binoculars.

I can’t test a big bore in my house and at the time I had to test velocity separately from accuracy for the reason I just mentioned — until reader Hank clued me in to the Labradar. It’s a doppler radar that needs nothing downrange, so there’s nothing to get shot. Yes, the FX chronograph is also a doppler radar, but it has to either be attached to the barrel of the airgun or placed very close to it and it isn’t convenient to do that in a lot of cases. The Labradar was designed for the work that I do. 

Did I NEED a chronograph? No — I have several. Did I NEED a Labradar? Yes! If I could afford it (business expense) it has features that I really need.

Reader shootski tells me that he recommended this one to me a year earlier, but at that time I hadn’t had the experience I just described. So this time it was an in-your-face situation that drove me to make the purchase. I imagine if you lost an animal you shot at you could be driven to make the same sort of decision, maybe not for an airgun but perhaps a night vision scope or just a better scope?

Remember the Chancellor of the Exchequer

My neighbor, Denny, has been a lucky boy this Christmas. He received a new Kimber 9mm M1911A1. And Denny shoots a LOT, so he’s always buying powder, primers and bullets.

Denny’s wife likes to knit. In fact she founded a woman’s organization called the Knitwits and Denny tells me that they actually do knit (sometimes) when they get together each week. So he bought her a knitting machine for Christmas. It wasn’t expensive — about what you would pay for a nice progressive reloading press.

“Ahh, but Denny”, I said “yarn is her powder, primers and bullets!” I don’t know if he had thought of that before but he knows it for certain now.

Fair is fair, guys! 

52 thoughts on “Here comes the BIG one!”

  1. B.B.,
    Actually, I must be the odd man out. At this moment in time, there are no airguns, or equipment, that I feel I simply “must have.” The one thing I was missing that I DID want was a powerful and accurate multi-pump pneumatic rifle that could be easily pumped with a scope in place. So, now that “The Great Enabler” steered me toward the Dragonfly Mark2, I have just been hanging out and shooting the airguns which I already have. I still love reading about everyone else’s airguns here, but I don’t feel any crying need to add to the collection at the moment.
    In fact, I’m in more of a down-sizing mode, especially with regard to firearms. I have a nephew who just started at the Citadel. A few months ago, he bought a Savage .308, even though I tried to steer him toward their .22LR Mark II. But like many younguns, he didn’t listen, and bought a gun he can rarely use; he has to make special arrangements with friends to shoot on their large farm; the one time he shot it on my his Dad’s (6-acre) farm, the noise spooked his neighbor’s cows (and she was not happy). So I sent my brother (through an FFL) my Savage Mark II .22LR bull-barrel rifle (with the excellent accu-trigger), along with a lot of sub-sonic ammo; now, my nephew can shoot more often, and learn to shoot well; hopefully, that will jump start his Marine career.
    I don’t need a lot of guns; but I do enjoy having some cool guns (especially quiet airguns!), as well as having the time to enjoy them. 99.9% of all my shooting is just for the fun of it. πŸ™‚
    Wishing a blessed New Year, filled with much shooting happiness, to you all,
    dave

  2. Tom,

    Financial conditions keep me on the down low regarding airgun purchases. While I could build up the war chest I always look at what I want with a squinted eye and say what and where would I use it for and do I really need it?

    Happy New Year!

    Siraniko

    • “Financial conditions keep me on the down low regarding…”
      Siraniko, in my case, that would be “regarding everything”!
      I never used to think that way, but when I met (then married) an accountant, she got me to look at things differently. My wife has MS and CLL; hence, I retired (4 years early) from my job at the height of the pandemic to protect her. The only reason I was able to afford to do this is that I have “a Proverbs 31 wife.”
      Yes, I thank God for her everyday. If not for her, I’d likely have gone bankrupt years ago. πŸ˜‰
      Blessings to you,
      dave

  3. Ah Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), I think you are absolutely right in that we do not need airguns.

    Personally, I don’t actually need anything beyond food and shelter, which, for me, includes warmth, like clothing and heating, Therefore, all my airguns are just luxuries that, essentially, provide me with the scratch to my emotional itch, ie I acquire them to feel good. πŸ™‚

    That is why, price has nothing to do with my wanting a luxury/ airgun. A high price typically delays the purchase. πŸ™‚

    It seems that manufacturers/ sellers know and exploit this, by offering all their products for leisure, at a poor value for money ratio! Which brings me to the exceptional situation where I dwell on this display of greed. Which will irritate me, sometimes extinguishing my desire altogether. πŸ™

    By the way, I believe the very best value for money item that exists, is, a car. πŸ™‚

      • I absolutely agree! The bicycle has to be one of the all time winners in efficiency, value, or any of those metrics. Given that most people use a car to simply move just themselves from place to place, a bicycle can do it almost as fast in most situations for basically no added operational cost, and provide some well needed exercise along the way – all while transporting more than ten times its weight vs. a small fraction for a car or truck. It is one of the best inventions ever . . .

        But I do love my airguns!

        • Don’t NEED this bicycle, but would love to have it – German military bicycle used by the troops occupying the Channel Islands 1940-1945. The owner, a good friend, might part with it but FM perhaps does not need to know what he might ask for it at this time. It would probably occupy FM’s budget for a very long time…

          • FawltyManuel, without an attached saddle (is the one in the picture even German?) and the non-standard high-torque rear wheel, why, you would be doing him a favour to take it off his hands! Let money not sully your good friendship and offer to scrap/ recycle it for free, eh? πŸ™‚

        • Disagree – best invention ever is the thermos. When you pour something hot into it, it keeps it hot. When you pour something cold into it, it keeps it cold. “How do it know?”

          For those few of you who don’t understand, this is a joke.

          Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily in GA and is still debating buying an Avenger

      • I’ll simply agree to disagree . . . πŸ˜‰

        Especially given how most people acquire and use cars and trucks . . . I agree that they CAN be a great value, but a lot of people live a life of servitude to pay for their “cars,” and thus for those people they are a horrible value. I know many that are financially so far behind where they should be simply because they lease or buy too much vehicle for their needs. The difference between what I personally would call “smart” and “dumb” vehicle ownership can approach a million dollars over many folks working lives (when the difference in costs is saved and invested rather than just spent). . . and that certainly is not a best value product for them. I’ve never seen anything similar with bicycles . . . .

      • FM likes cars…and trucks, motorcycles, tracked vehicles, bicycles, and pretty much everything along those lines. Now as far as best value for money in the field of vehicles, will have to qualify that by stating (1) depends what you paid for it; (2) depends what it costs to maintain it; and (3) depends how long you keep it and how well you care for it. My late father-in-law, who could fix pretty much anything on wheels used to say “drive them to death” to get your money’s worth. But, this is not doable for most, FM included. Says the half-crazy man who still drives a 50-year old car. Guess you could say that’s his loco motive…aaaaaghhhh! Apologies to all for the pun-ishment.

  4. Until recent years, I have always used the moto “What am I going to do with this?” for my airgun purposes. After creating RRHFWA, I sort of through that out the window. I am starting to return to that philosophy and have pretty much ceased my acquisitions and begun to enhance and / or accessorize what I have. That concerns the “young gals”. The old gals are just fine as they are. The young gals are also the ones most likely to move to a new home, while the old gals are happy right where they are.

    I also have pretty much filled all the niches that I wanted to fill. Now it is time to satisfy the desires of “the Chancellor of the Exchequer”.

  5. Hi everybody,

    let’s not talk about things that we “need” πŸ™‚

    I don’t need any airguns. I also don’t need dozens of old computers or an assortment of Swiss Army Knives (some of which I actually carry) πŸ™‚

    By the way, here’s another Diana Twenty-One group for you.

    My friend ordered an assortment of different pellets which we shot in the Twenty-One to see which ones work best. Among the best were “Luman Classic Sport” pellets. I had no idea this brand even existed.
    They seem to be pretty well-made but leave some residue on your fingers when you use them (maybe some kind of graphite coating?). They were made in Lugansk, Ukraine of all places. I wonder what the company and its employees are doing right now…

    Anyway, my friend is getting fairly proficient with the Twenty-One and has found a way to find the point just before the shot breaks. I think for the time being, I can outshoot him with guns I’m familiar with, but he can handle the Twenty-One better than I can.

    Interestingly, these same pellets only produce ok results in my FWB300S and the HW30S.

    Not a bad ten-shot group for a cheap gun, is it?

    Stephan

    • And here’s another interesting one.

      My friend also ordered some RWS Meisterkugeln in 4,48mm head size.

      They weren’t especially great in the other guns we tried including the FWB300S but my HW30S sure seems to like them.

      I managed to produce this ten-shot group which for now is the smallest HW30S group I’ve shot.

      (I think I’ll be able to shoot a similar group with more regularly sized pellets, but it’s still interesting).

      • If this target card, dated December 28th, shows a group of about 0.3″ (7,5mm) centre to centre that was achieved shooting benchrested from 11yards (10m) on a becalmed day, then, I say: very nice shooting CptKlotz ! πŸ™‚

        PS same goes for your Diana 21 shooting friend πŸ™‚

        • hihihi,

          actually, I would say the HW30S group is a little smaller than that. The largest outside dimension is almost exactly 1 cm. Subtracting the pellet diameter of 4,5mm gives us a CTC size of 5,5mm or 0,21 inches.

          If I try very hard, I might be able to shoot a group that is a tiny bit smaller. The HW30S is very accurate indeed.

          Both groups are 10 shot groups shot indoor at 10 meters from a sitting/rested position.

          Stephan

          • Stephan,

            You need to search for smaller comparison coins! πŸ˜‰

            By the way, I own many Swiss Army Knives and I always carry one. It’s the best pocketknife a person could have, in my opinion.

            BB

  6. B.B.
    I have no space for any more airgun stuff. The only exception would be if you could convince Meopta to make a FT focused scope! Please get to work on them!!!!

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      I am working with them. They were surprised to discover that airgunners like their scopes. That’s why some of them focus down to 10 yards. Being a spring guy I assume you want a 16 power scope? What features?

      BB

      • In a perfect world, haha, I would like a 8-16 x 42/44 Side parallax scope with A wide, but strong, adjustment range. Resettable turrets are not required.. A MIL-christmas tree reticle. Optisan’s Mamba Lite has the perfect reticle, IMHO.
        Less than 24 oz, Weight. Hopefully quite a bit less. Typical Meopta optical quality. Springer rated. I would be willing to pay in the $500-1,000 range. I have space for one or two more scopes, lol.

        -Y

          • B.B.,

            I sent Meopta a question over four months ago using their web tool. I asked if my MEOPRO OPTIKA6 5-30Γ—56 RD FFP would stand up to my SIG ASP20’s recoil. I’m still waiting for an answer. It would really help their sales to airgunners if the published a list of scopes that are rated for the various power levels of springers.
            I haven’t had any problems with the scope on my DAQ Big Bores.
            I really like the scope.

            shootski

  7. You know successful people are often considered lucky by others when luck really has nothing to do with it.
    Planning ahead, sacrificing and taking advantage of opportunity when it presents itself is not luck. It’s determination to reach your goal.
    I got out of the regular Navy and took an administrative bust in pay grade from E6 to E5 to join the active-duty reserves just to get 4 years of training and experience on DC-9 aircraft even though I had experience with other large aircraft. It paid off, big time, and I retired from working at Lindbergh Field after another 20-year job with another pension, Social Security and outstanding financial investments for life.
    I tell people all the time, I have moved beyond needs and am into wants now, and it applies to airguns as well.
    I need to control my desires a little to avoid being what others may consider foolish but it’s hard when you don’t have to. I have way more coming in than going out these days.

    What I consider foolish is living beyond your means, being in debt and paying interest on loans. Just to keep up with the Joneses. That part really got to me when I crunched the numbers, never again.
    So now you know why I simply buy what I want for no particular reason other than I want it and It will make a nice addition to my collection …. The plan came together! πŸ™‚

    • Bob M, I must belong to the minority, for whom financial freedom came purely by ‘Lady Luck’.

      I call her Vickie. She provides me with the life of a ‘kept man’, which I do not think I deserve.
      Lucky is something I know I have been all my life. At least, so far… πŸ™‚

      However, I do not measure success in material terms. At all. For me, successful people are happy people. Typically they are in good company, ie not alone. πŸ™‚

      • 3hi
        Don’t kid yourself. You’re obviously doing something right and deserve it all. Just make sure you show your appreciation in return.
        In my early days women were attracted to me. Now it’s just people who want something fixed.
        All kidding aside, the sweetest words someone can here, “I don’t know what I would do without you”

  8. Tom,

    A wise person once said that happiness is mastering the art of desiring what you already have. Alas, I have not been able to do that very often. It usually takes very little time for some shiny new object to catch my eye.

    Michael

  9. >>> So, you have been watching something and wishing/hoping/wanting to act on it, and now the Chancellor of the Exchequer has blessed the action. <<<

    BB,

    The timing of the blog is unbelievable – at VARACC there is a new requirement for a long range dedicated slug airgun (FX Panthera). The Chancellor of the Exchequer has initiated the procurement and blessed the action. πŸ™‚

    …I'm still thinking about it.

    Hank

  10. FM’s Chancellor of the Exchequer has no beef on how Worser Half-Half spends his funds on “needs” as long as these come from the sweat of his brow. And she even allows him to tap into the Master Treasury here and there, within reason. Life is good.

    And what does FM need now? Funny thing B.B. used a PCP air pump to make his point today because that is the next acquisition contemplated. Oh, wouldn’t mind coming across another .22 Benjamin Maximus, one with the fixed sights, preferably NIB though don’t really NEED it – but it would bring a little more satisfaction and fun into FM’s life and that, we all NEED. Or at least can use a little bit of both in these interesting times.

  11. B.B.,

    Great topic today and really useful informative responses from the active Readership as usual!
    For hihihi: the Automobile is certainly a great invention.
    For rk: the bicycle is a stellar invention and the economics of ownership are an extremely strong point in favor of the nomination.
    My personal choice would be a motorized bicycle ;^)
    But I think eyeglasses and the subset of corrective lenses are a much greater economic benefit to mankind and a cost to benefit winner. Some Opthalmologists believe that 50% of mankind actually would benefit from correction. That percentage has grown dramatically with the increase in reading and other close work.
    For Denny: I hope you enjoy your 9mm Kimber M1911A1. as much as I have enjoyed shooting my Kimbers in .45ACP! I tried to borrow your Knitting Machine idea and discussed it with my knitting wife. She turned me down saying she prefers the handiwork over the output of a knitting machine. So i’m back to searching for the equivalent to return her birthday kindness.
    As far as the PANTHERA i am doing my analysis FX usually gets it right but not always. The platform approach certainly makes that a bit less risky and the FX barrel technology is proven.
    Surprisingly a non airgun product is/has also been on my list of want items for both of us and that thing is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) since I already have a number of Bag Valve Masks (BVM) as well as an Oxygen Cylinder as well as the required certification(s) to use them.
    I am due to refresh my Wilderness First Aide certification this Winter.

    shootski

    PS: FYI, a BVM is a far better device than a Rescue Breath Mask, direct Mouth-to-Mouth, or just chest compressions because it delivers about 21% Oxygen instead of perhaps 12% for Mouth-to-Mouth Rescue Breathing and nothing for just chest compressions. Obviously Regulated flow Oxygen delivered by a BVM is the IDEAL.

    • Dave
      Are you sure you’re not a “bot”? The internet is good at picking them out. Make sure your birth certificate does not have a warrantee period on the back. You’re obviously not a Cabbage Patch Doll! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      The blog site is getting a little crazy today. Bouncing me all over the place.

      My Swiss Army knife wasn’t ‘Cutting it’ when I went camping. Vienna Sausage only went so far so I added a Boy Scout snap together silverware set so I could eat my ‘Alpo’ ….
      I mean Dinty Moore beef stew or canned chili. But that’s what all the Bar-B-Q guys called it. Heck, they lived in Barracks. I could always BBQ at home.

      Besides they always got pulled over on the way home when those drug sniffing dogs at the Border Patrol check points went crazy after smelling all that BBQ meat on the grills inside. “These dogs are professionally trained and they know drugs when they smell them. Now pull over!” … “Sorry for the inconvenience Sir. Your free to go now.”

        • Dave, been in a good mood today. It’s not raining and my old shipmate with Dementia has had his eviction from the Navy marina postponed to next week.
          The Blog opened me up, despite the fact that UPS wont drive through a foot of mud on the road to make a PyramydAir deliver. Probably won’t deliver the TX200 either.

          May have to drive my little Hyundai Accent through it and pick them up. Front wheel drives are good at that. Roll on up to it, punch it in second gear and fishtail through it.
          Exciting, to say the least.
          Now I still need to figure out what to do with his 32′ sailboat that looks like a floating dumpster. Hording is one of the symptoms. He never could pass up a dumpster. Curse of a handyman.

  12. “By the way, I own many Swiss Army Knives and I always carry one. It’s the best pocketknife a person could have, in my opinion.” — B.B.
    Well B.B., I heartily concur with that; I’ve got a bunch of Swiss Army Knives (SAKs), and they get a lot of use. Also, I find that the model known as “The Waiter” is quite a useful gift for “non-knife people.”
    “The old ‘dave-brain’ ain’t what it used to be!” Hence, may have told you this story before (my apologies, if that is the case). Anyway, one Sunday at church, I heard it was my friend Rob’s 4oth birthday. So, when I ran into him outside the sanctuary, I gave him the SAK Waiter I had in my pocket that day, and said, “Happy 40th Birthday!”
    He was touched that I gave him one of my personal knives; and I picked up another to replace it the following week. A couple of months later, I saw him in the hallway at church, and he asked if I had my SAK on me. “Yes,” I said. Him: “Great; wait till you see the sermon today; you’ll see why. (We do the ‘see one, serve one’ thing at our church, so he’d seen the first service, while I was about to catch the second one.)
    It turned out our pastor, Pastor Jason, had asked his friend, Pastor Lee, to speak as a guest pastor that day. Pastor Lee is a big story-telling kind of guy. He told a tale of having to travel to Switzerland for a conference; he said he looked all over for a gift for his wife while he was there, but all he could find was Swiss Army Knives. Then he rambled into a side story, saying, “That reminds me. Why do they have those corkscrews on those Swiss Army Knives? I’ve always wondered that; but now I’ve figured it out. I always thought they were in case you got stranded on a desert island, and all you had was a case of wine. Yet I have since learned that the corkscrew is perfect for pulling out the middle sausage when you open a tin of Vienna Sausages.”
    After his sermon was over, I walked up to the stage, pulled out my SAK Waiter, opened the corkscrew, and held it up to him (while not saying a word). He laughed; I laughed; then I walked away.
    Rob and I asked Pastor Jason to let us know ahead of time if his friend was ever going to speak there again. A year later, he said he was coming back as a guest pastor. So Rob and I went and got him a SAK Waiter, and we also bought 3 tins of Vienna Sausages. Just before the first service, we had Pastor Jason call his friend aside, and we presented him with his SAK and a tin of sausages. Man, Pastor Lee was in stitches! He went on to tell the whole congregation the story of last year’s sermon and how it led to this year’s gift to him, which made him not only feel welcome, but also provided him with a snack for the way home! πŸ™‚
    Great stuff.
    Blessings to you,
    dave
    P.S. Below is the pic we had Pastor Jason take to commemorate the event.;)

  13. Wisdom is the hardest thing to pass on to younger generations and I guess that’s where ‘Old Sayings’ come into play. Statements from wise people that have stood the test of time and proved to be very true for people when the light bulb turns on in their head and they understand them.
    The 6P saying has remained imbedded in my mind and has enabled me to be successful in performing many things. And especially true in doing custom paint jobs.

  14. I am lucky in that I am the Chancellor and I have used and abused that role extensively the past couple of years on this hobby. I do think that I spent too much, but none of it is debt, so there is that anyway, all paid for up front.

    What I learned is that it is was the cheap stuff that I regret buying. The guns that just looked cool at the moment and were ‘only 100 bucks’ or so etc. That the shine soon wore off of and now they just sit, not even worth enough to package and ship to someone. I have given away several for this reason.

    It’s the pricier items that I have been most happy with and still am. I don’t even mean reallllly expensive either. I have $500 bucks in my Avenger including optics and bipod, yet it is easily top 3 of my favorites. Same with my BSA R10 TH Regulated PCP and HW30s!

    I too would prefer to downsize and do not have an eye on anything out there. I have finally reached just being able to enjoy reading about them without having to have them.

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