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BB’s funnies

This report covers:

  • Lewis and Clark
  • The truth
  • Longer barrel accuracy
  • The truth
  • CO2 leaks
  • The truth
  • Another leak trick
  • Another way to end CO2 leaks
  • Summary

Today I want to have some fun. Here are some hypothetical events that mimic reality. I’ll use them to illustrate my points.

Lewis and Clark

We know that explorers Lewis and Clark carried a repeating airgun on their Voyage of Discovery that began in 1804 and lasted until 1806. The late Dr. Robert Beeman identified several parts in his Girardoni repeating air rifle that correspond with entries about repairs made to the airgun in the Lewis and Clark journal. They show that his rifle, now donated to the Army War College, is possibly the very air rifle they carried. If so that would make it the most valuable rifle in the world, because that repeating rifle so shocked the Indians they met along the way that the explorers were left alone. Could the Indians have wondered whether all the expedition’s arms were repeaters? Possibly. At any rate, the explorers lived to return home.

Lewis and Clark may have carried a Girardoni air rifle on their expedition.

What Lewis and Clark did not know was there were two Indians who witnessed an early airgun demonstration and had thoughts about it. Chief Pardonmy Wind and his son, Shuffleoffto Buffalo, talked about how to get more power from the air rifle. Of course all that follows is an English paraphrase, as I don’t speak Indian.

“You hear-em little ringy-dingy after magic rifle fire?”

“Don’t talk silly, dad; I speak Indian. Are you referring to the ping at the end of the shot?”

“Yeah! What if we could build a de-pinger and install it inside the magic gun’s valve?”

“That could work. We could pick up perhaps 50 to 75 f.p.s.”

“What-em f.p.s.?”

“Dad, stop it! An f.p.s. refers to the little spirits that ride on the bullet after it leaves the muzzle. Oh, look! They just bounced a bullet off that tree and dropped my squaw, Seeing Stars. Well, at least tonight the headache will be real!”

The truth

The truth is, or seems to be, that de-pingers not only do not work; they actually increase the size of the pings after the striker opens the valve to fire the airgun! How do I know? I know because I saw evidence of it for myself at AirForce Airguns a few weeks ago.

ping test
Part of the test instrumentation AirForce has set up to monitor the performance of their new arrow shooter. While testing this way AirForce discovered that depingers usually increase the magnitude of the pings! They didn’t test just one airgun; they tested several!

We know that airgunners develop all sorts of gizmos to “improve” the performance of their airguns. I once had to rebuild the valve of an AirForce rifle that “Mr. Condor” had destroyed with his new and improved striker hammer. He was on the forums telling everyone what we had missed when designing our rifle, as he was rapidly hammering his into a pile of junk! He brought it to us in a couple paper bags and the frame had been hammered so much we couldn’t repair it. We fixed the rifle and sent him home with it working, but he could never again use his “improved” striker, because it had hammered one of his frame holes oblong.

AirForce is one of the few airgun manufacturers that actually conducts tests on their products. They don’t wear white lab coats like everyone expects because Ton Jones, who does a lot of the testing, doesn’t want to cover his tats. But the testing is genuine. That’s how they get 800+ foot-pounds from a big bore filled to 3600 psi, while their competition fills to 4,500 to do the same.

Longer barrel accuracy

Everyone “knows” that longer barrels are more accurate than short ones. They have to be, don’t they? I mean they control the pellet or bullet for a longer time, and control is the name of the game. Right?

The truth

A barrel does not “control” a pellet in the same sense that a dog trainer controls a dog. Once the pellet leaves the muzzle, it doesn’t matter whether it has been in the barrel for 10 inches or 30; it is now a ballistic missile and subject to the same physical laws.

AirForce Airguns states that their Talon SS with a 12-inch barrel can shoot one-inch groups at 50 yards. They say the same for their 24-inch barreled Condor. Once again, this is from actual testing on real airguns, and in this instance I did the testing.

A spring gun gets all of its “push” in the first few inches of the barrel. Gerald Cardew pointed out in his book, The Airgun from Trigger to Target, that only the first six inches of the barrel are needed for a spring gun to achieve maximum velocity. His experiments were conducted in the mid-1970s. Although springer technology has advanced since then, today’s spring-piston guns probably don’t use more than the first 10 inches of barrel for top velocity.

After that, the pellet coasts the rest of the way. Yes, friction with the bore slows the pellet somewhat, but the amount is so small that it doesn’t amount to anything. Spring-gun barrels are made longer than 10 inches because they are used as levers, as in breakbarrels. And, on all rifles, a shorter barrel just doesn’t look right. That’s why the underlever TX 200 from Air Arms hides its nine-inch barrel inside a longer shroud that also muffles the sound of the shot.

Elmer Keith demonstrated to the U.S. Army that an arms-room M1911A1 (in other words, a loosey-goosey semiauto pistol) was accurate enough to hit a man-sized silhouette at 200 yards every time. And I demonstrated in Germany that I could hit an American football-sized dirt clod at 50 yards when shooting a snubnosed Colt Agent revolver, when I used Keith’s method of holding the firearm.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

CO2 leaks

“All CO2 guns leak.” says your shooting buddy, authoritatively. “I should know. I have ten of them and every one leaks.”

So you ask him when he last put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of a fresh cartridge before piercing it.

“Crosman whaaaaat?”

The truth

All CO2 guns do not leak. But all of them can easily be turned into leakers. Just fail to add that drop of Crosman Pellgunoil to the tip of each new powerlet and watch what happens. In fact, here is a cheap tip.

How to pay bottom dollar for used CO2 guns

A trick that experienced airgun collectors use to pay less for CO2 guns is to look for leakers at gun shows and garage sales. They carry several CO2 powerlets with them. When the owner says he doesn’t know if the gun holds gas, they can slip a powerlet into the gun then and there! When the inevitable leak turns up, the price reduction for a leaking gun can be very dramatic!

Sometimes, oil will not fix a leaker. In those instances, resealing the gun is the answer. But, you’ll still get a price reduction when you try this trick. Use Pellgunoil when you’ve gotten the gun home to see if that’s all it takes to seal it up tight again.

Another leak trick

Many CO2 guns have face seals that the small flat tip of the cartridge sits against. This soft ring seals the gas that flows from the cartridge into the gun’s valve. People screw their cartridge in too hard, thinking that force makes the seal, when a combination of the soft face seal and Pellegunoil are what does it. Screwing in the cartridge too hard and leaving the cartridge screwed in for a long time work to squash the face seal so it can’t seal properly. That is one common way for leaks to begin.

One more way to end CO2 leaks

I’ve said this many times, but it’s still true. Use automatic transmission stop leak oil instead of Pellgunoil. I have “fixed” 50 percent of the leakers this has been used on — both CO2 and pneumatics.

Now, I use a product called Bar’s Leaks, but all products made for this job should work.

transmission sealer
Automatic transmission sealant works to stop slow gas leaks in CO2 guns.


There. I had a little fun and possibly somebody learned something today. I had a new reader comment a couple weeks ago that I should address fundamental airgun issues like this. Well, over the course of 18 years I have — many times. But it’s helpful to come back to the basics now and again.

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.

94 thoughts on “BB’s funnies”

  1. Kemosabe of Airguns,

    What mean: “increase the size of the pings”???
    PING is a sound. Have volume level (db), have frequency (maybe some couple of harmonic frequency also,) and have duration?
    Which make BIGGER PING?


    PS: always believe de-pinger be HOGWASH!
    Not mention name of chief hogwash salesman!

    • shootski,

      Me speakem with forked tongue.

      I was referring to the height and duration (volume of air discharged and length of time the valve remained open) of time that occurs after the valve does its thing. That instrument in the photo measured that and gave us a look at the valve’s performance.


  2. “Well, at least tonight the headache will be real!”
    B.B., I’m familiar with the real story behind your hypothetical dialogue, but that’s hilarious! 🙂

    • Siraniko,

      After the firing valve does its job, it bounces several times. Each time is a “ping” which refers to a time when the valve is not supposed to be open.


    • Siraniko,

      There are a number of theories that have big math involved. At Subsonic/Transonic flow through an orifice (valve) there is considerable turbulence (Reynolds number/Lightfoot flow theories) that make aerodynamic noise (jet noise) but since our valves only stay open for microseconds it sounds to us like a PING instead of the thunderous ROAR of a large diameter turbojet. The sound is contained both downstream in plumbing to the Transfer Port and upstream in the reservoir. Theory says the sound wave(s) is(are) attenuated by being forced to make sharp turns (≥ 90°) around sharp boundaries; but that kills flow velocity.
      That’s the best I can do without a smallish book of big formulas.


  3. Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), what Fun! 🙂

    If I may add, in the sense of the beginning of the fourth month:
    I thought hunting aristocracy wanted to promote the art of one-shot-one-kill of a stationary grazing animal. So they organised shooting competitions where the target was a “bullseye”.
    I also thought, “long arm” means the shooter needs long arms to hold the long barrelled gun.
    And “My foot!” means surprise when they discovered how accurate the gun was with a barrel so long (and heavy) that it had to be held by the shooter’s feet (while lying on the ground).
    For practical reasons, they put an end to barrel lengthening to reduce the distance to target and just moved closer, eventually settling on 10 metre competitions. 🙂

    Sadly there was no lesson to be learned in my bitta fun above, except I can be a silly sod. 🙂

  4. Tom,

    A few thoughts/questions.

    Lock time and holdover become more important as barrel length increases. True?

    Are 100% of used CO2 air guns advertised as “Untested” in fact leakers?

    I excuse CO2 guns that use 8 ounce bulbs from the above question. Those are probably genuinely untested. That reminds me. Even tea-totalers who collect vintage air guns should appreciate the recent resurgance of coctail culture. Charging soda bottles requires the continued production of 8 ounce CO2 bulbs. Have a Highball, support a hobby!


    • Michael, I know your question was directed to B.B., but I can’t help but to throw in my 2 cents (now 3 cents due to recent inflation :o)). I have been prowling auction sites for several months now looking for good deals on Crosman Mark I and IIs that I have learned to reseal and use as gifts to folks interested in learning to shoot with a pistol. MY experience is not 100% of “untested” CO2 guns leak. I would put the figure at about 85%. Many come from local estate sales and the reseller does not have the ability or knowledge to test them. However, if they don’t leak, they will soon, because they have often been neglected or not shot in so long that the seals become hard and fragile. So I have an inventory of at least 2 full sets of new urethane seals.

      At the other end of the spectrum, I bought a brand NEW Beeman AR2078 (made you guessed where)about 2 years ago, but the seal at the piercing cap gave out within the year. It turned into white, shredded crud. I have a round tuit here somewhere to replace ALL the seals in that gun.

  5. BB,

    It does seem to me that more airgun manufacturers should read Gerald Cardew’s book, or at least give their R&D a little more slack on the leash. Perhaps then we would have more TX200s on the market. It has been shown that some of us will spend the extra money for nice sproingers. AND FIX THOSE TRIGGERS!

    Something else these sproinger makers should give thought to is reducing the friction those long barrels have by turning those FX barrels around. I do understand break barrels having the length of barrel they have. Personally, I wish some of them had longer barrels. Why not have the rifling only in the first couple of inches with the rest of the barrel being smooth bore?

    • RR: I think you have it reversed. Such a barrel as you ponder should be smoothbore until the last inches to impart a spin. Putting the rifling first followed by the smoothbore would likely stop or severely retard any spin. However, given the diabolo nature of most pellets, that depend on the suttlecock stabilization, it probably wouldn’t make much difference.

      I have a Gamo Viper shotgun (a novelty, in the main). It shoots pellets quite accurately despite being a smooth bore because of the nature of the pellets. That’s not unlike most MBT, Main Battle Tank, cannons that shoot a sabot shot through the smooth bore. It works because the shot is an arrow-like projectile.

      • LFranke,

        This is for a sproinger. Ideally the smooth bore would be slightly enlarged, but I think we would be asking too much of the manufacturers. FX used to make their barrels as you suggest. It took them a long time to figure out how to make them “accurate”.

        The smooth bore will offer less friction than the rifled barrel, most especially if the manufacturers use the same method as FX did to impart the rifling. As BB pointed out, most of that barrel is for leverage anyway.

        The early Mattelomatics had “smooth twist” barrels. They could almost shoot around corners. Do not try to hit a bullseye with them. 😉

  6. Heap good blog today, Tom be Good Humor Man. FM – AKA Chief No-See-Um by his small tribe, make following observations:

    1-American airgun make ping but, do Chinese airgun make pong? Let the Elders counsel on this wisely, no pressure.
    2-No-See-Um did not fail to heed advice on Pellgun oil for Crosman 38T. But he did perhaps overdo the tightening and not always removed the spirit-cylinder from gun. So, spirit escape from face of Great Seal. Find Great Seal tightening ring loose. Tighten. Improve. Yet, spirit still escapes, but slower. Find ring still need more tightening – torque off No-See-Um a bit. Must fix and retest. Perhaps next time spirit is contained, Great Seal happy.
    3-After all this, FM AKA Chief No-See-Um conclude a) he no Chief; b) he is really Tonto.

    “I speak English, I learned it from a boook!”
    -Manuel, in “Fawlty Towers”

    • We need a lot more Thors running around today. Given the abuse of workers by the CEO class maybe a few appointments with ball peen hammers would make those gangsters more cautious about abusing workers?

      You and I share some Viking heritage. My maternal grandmother was a Nelson and legend was that that the Swedish side was from maritime locations; all the better to “visit” the Irish and English. So my tribe tends toward cod, pillage and plunder????

      I take with interest the discussion of Indigenous Peoples. I claim no genetic relationship but I did graduate from Miami University (that’s OHIO, folks, not the U of M in the swamps). MU has a relationship with the Miami Tribe that was moved (likely by that SOB Pres. Jackson) to OK. The Tribe’s children can come to Miami U and the latter has established an office to help the tribe preserve the Miya-Mia Language (a dialect, as I understand it of the Algonquin tongue).

      MU used to be known as “The Reskins,” and while I get the PC removal, we also removed an identification with the native peoples. Now, MU is the “Red Hawks,” and that leaves me a bit cold. I have often wondered if we had dropped the “Redskins,” and simply called ourselves “The Miamis” if we could have maintained our “heritage at arm’s length” without being abusive. However, it is what it is. I am glad, however, that the Miami Tribe and the University had and have a long, long bond, particularly in helping preserve the native tongue as well as welcoming and supporting tribal youth to study at the Univeristy. I think that the last count was 69 native students on campus working on their degrees.

    • Paco,

      As a member of what you call the First Nations (an American Indian) I can speak for my people. I am one-eighth Algonquin Indian, a tribe that was wiped out by smallpox long ago. We are the blond-haired, blue-eyed Indians of North America.


        • Paco,

          You are Algonquin, too? Wow! I never met another one outside my family. My grandmother on my mother’s side had a French Canadian father and a pure-blooded Algonquin mother. I guess she was one of the last pure-blooded Algonquins around.

          I was told when I was a kid in the 1950s to never mention that heritage because people looked down on Indians — even blond-haired blue-eyed ones living in Ohio.

          My grandmother was an antique dealer and always had lots of arrowheads and flint knives in her shop. She looked Indian, too.


          • Tom and Paco,

            I am also of a tribe of the Algonquin diaspora. I am one-eighth Potawatomi. My great-grandmother was full-blooded Potawatomi and from the Lac-du-Flambeau area of northern Wisconsin. She was my mother’s paternal grandmother.

            The Algonquin peoples (which spread into many tribes over a long time) eventually made it to what became Ohio (and Quebec, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota) but seem originally to have developed into a fully-formed culture (language, art, religion, social structure, etc.) in eastern Canada, which is where most descendants of Algonquin peoples live today. (“Assembly of First Nations – The Story”. The Assembly of First Nations. Archived from the original on 2009-08-02)

            So Tom, you are originally Canadian! :^) I don’t know what the blond hair / blue eyes trait comes from, but perhaps it is because of the deep connection between the Algonquin tribes and the French and then French-Canadians. You are very likely of French ethnic heritage as well. Bon Jour! It is also very likely your ancestors (and not too far back) were Catholic, too.


            • Michael,

              I knew about being Canadian. My grandmother was born in Canada in 1886 and moved to New York when she married. My grandfather, Tom Alvord, published a small newspaper or magazine with L. Frank Baum.

              Many believe the blonde hair and blue eyes of some (not all) of the Algonquin comes from the Vikings who came to that area around 1,000 a.d. And ironically, it was probably the French Canadians who infected them with smallpox and ended their time.

              My family was all Catholic on my mother’s side. I was raised Catholic.

              And you are now the second Algonquin I have known outside my family.


              • Tom,

                Ah! Vikings! Quite the mutt, in addition to being part Indigenous, I am one-quarter Danish from my paternal grandmother. She had a brother, my great uncle, named Thor (short for Thorvald). He died a few years before I was born, but evidently he was a mean, scary, quiet, and taciturn guy. He actually did keep a ball peen hammer under the seat of his car. The story is that it was a tool of his trade. He was a traveling security provider for organizers of his union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Yep, my great uncle was a Wobblie enforcer.


                • We need a lot more Thors running around today. Given the abuse of workers by the CEO class maybe a few appointments with ball peen hammers would make those gangsters more cautious about abusing workers?

                  You and I share some Viking heritage. My maternal grandmother was a Nelson and legend was that that the Swedish side was from maritime locations; all the better to “visit” the Irish and English. So my tribe tends toward cod, pillage and plunder????

                  I take with interest the discussion of Indigenous Peoples. I claim no genetic relationship but I did graduate from Miami University (that’s OHIO, folks, not the U of M in the swamps). MU has a relationship with the Miami Tribe that was moved (likely by that SOB Pres. Jackson) to OK. The Tribe’s children can come to Miami U and the latter has established an office to help the tribe preserve the Miya-Mia Language (a dialect, as I understand it of the Algonquin tongue).

                  MU used to be known as “The Reskins,” and while I get the PC removal, we also removed an identification with the native peoples. Now, MU is the “Red Hawks,” and that leaves me a bit cold. I have often wondered if we had dropped the “Redskins,” and simply called ourselves “The Miamis” if we could have maintained our “heritage at arm’s length” without being abusive. However, it is what it is. I am glad, however, that the Miami Tribe and the University had and have a long, long bond, particularly in helping preserve the native tongue as well as welcoming and supporting tribal youth to study at the Univeristy. I think that the last count was 69 native students on campus working on their degrees.

                  • LFranke,

                    I am acquainted with “Miami of Ohio” (Oxford, OH, yes?) and have walked its campus. My brother-in-law was a professor there about 20 years ago. I was unaware of their relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Thanks for sharing all of that.


        • Paco,

          Coincidentally, this is a subject I spent much of the holidays researching and reading up on as my understanding and knowledge of this subject is lacking. Some of what I learned has to do with how indigenous peoples think of themselves and what they call themselves.

          Like many peoples, “American Indians,” “Native Americans,” and “First Nations” people have among them many different preferences as to what they should be called. For a brief time very recently “American Indians” became preferred by a small group, but now it is overwhelmingly considered offensive. “Native American” was a popular inoffensive name for many decades, but it is slowly being considered archaic by many who devote their lives to the anthropology, history, and social activism of the peoples in question.

          Today “Indigenous People” is considered a term inoffensive to nearly 100 percent of indigenous peoples of North America. It is emerging as the go-to label. Of course, for many generations Indigenous people have referred to themselves, among themselves, as “Human Beings,” not in a genetic sense but in a cultural and spiritual sense.


      • Tom,

        From what I gather, there are still Algonquin peoples in Canada in particular, although yes, they were ravaged by white man diseases more than most, which is saying an awful lot.


        • I understand to what you were referring. Most of North American tribes were just that. A bunch of warring tribes that made slaves of each other. The further south you went, the worse they were.

      • You must have been taught the new Florida American History in High School!
        First Nations, the first immigrants to North America, came over the Asian-Alaskan Land Bridge, 10,000+ years ago. No visa, no return ticket….

        Back to Airguns,


        • They were warring tribes that made slaves of each other and frequently died of diseases before they became very old. The noble red man was not so noble as many of the Lefties like to tell themselves.

          Now we can get back to airguns.

            • RR

              Nobody lived very long back then. George Washington was an out layer and he lived to be 67 years old.
              North American Indians were not very war like. South American Indians were.


              • Yogi,

                Most folks are not very warlike! But Northern Indians played Lacrosse (they called it stick ball some missionary came up with the name Lacrosse) to practice for war and on occasion as a substitute for going to full blown warfare. They played on VERY LARGE playing fields with much bigger teams. Play went from Sunrise to Sunset with No Substitutions; passing the projectile to avoid body or stick chek was considered cowardly!

                Yup! Not Warlike but they did have wars.


          • RR —
            I’m not Canadian either, though I worked there for a long time. I suspect that pacoinohio is also not Canadian.

            My point was that Paco was not inventing something new, that “First Nations” was standard just over the border.

            In Canada. I say “First Nations” because that is both the official term and common usage. In the US, “First Nations” is not often used, but it is both respectful and descriptively accurate. If I need to talk about ethnicity, I try to refer to people using the label they prefer. I notice that Tom and Michael use “Algonquin”, specifying a specific tribal group. That seems to be a common preference.

            • From what I understand, I have a little Cherokee in me.

              I applaud you for attempting to not be offensive. I also try not to be, but I am too old of a curmudgeon to bend over backwards for anyone. I am an American. The “first nation” people are American. The “black” people who were born here are American. The asian people who were born here are American. The “brown” people are American. Some of them may be South American or Central American, but they are American.

              Being an old curmudgeon, I do not use hyphens in identifications. Either you are an American or not. If they choose to call themselves something or other using a hyphen, they are more than welcome to go live in the other country they refer to in their self-appointed identification.

              Now, having said all that, if I were to identify myself as something with a hyphen in it,
              I am an Appalachian-American.

  7. BB, Off topic here, but may be interesting to some. I have a chance to buy what appears to be a very early Air force airgun. It is marked “Auto-Numatic Corp. Pre-Production Prototype ” also marked ” 9th Annual International Airgun Expo Roanoke, Virginia October 1999 “. I’m in Roanoke and wonder if this may have been presented to Fred Liady for his work organizing the show. Its kind of rough, but looks like it can be cleaned up. I have a few pictures, but the owner asked that I not post them online. I could email them though, if you would like to see them. Being this old, do think Airforce would have parts to put it in shooting condition? In any case, a very intriguing piece of history.

    • fishoot,

      That gun was sold by John McCaslin, the founder of AirForce Airguns, at that show. I was there with him. It was not presented to Fred Liady, though he may have bought it.

      Before that John’s airguns were all labeled GunPower, a UK retailer.

      Would AirForce have parts to get it working again? They might have a few. Call them with specifics.


    • fishoot,

      I live in New Castle. I remember Fred Liady myself. I would be tickled to meet up with you. Does AirForce have the “old” parts to restore it to original? Maybe. I know the person who could find out. At the moment I own a Talon SS that was one of the first ones made. If they do not have the “original” parts, they will likely have what is necessary to put it in shooting condition.

      I would very much enjoy seeing this “old bugger’. If you should send me the pictures, you and the owner may rest assured I will not post them online. I would also enjoy meeting up with you and the owner. My email is burke93 at tds dot net. You can probably figure it out from there.

  8. BB, please do tell more about the holding method!

    “I could hit an American football-sized dirt clod at 50 yards when shooting a snubnosed Colt Detective Special revolver, when I used Keith’s method of holding”

  9. Since we’re on the funnies today, let’s skip big bores ;P They’re not funny, they just have a lot of (hot) air …

    “That’s how they get 800+ foot-pounds from a big bore filled to 3600 psi, while their competition fills to 4,500 to do the same.”

    • Mister AP,

      I’ll do better than that. Here is a report where I show
      pictures of how it’s done.



      • That is just terrific!!! Need to find somewhere to try it out!!!

        Wonder how a variation of it would work—a very steep angle, so the shot has a very parabolic (?) path, to hit a relatively close target, say 30-50 yards away. Probably could use the same somewhere to try it out.

          • pacoinohio,

            They do work both ways! That is why it is smart to (hide your flash) move off your X regularly. I loved the tracers in the underwing .50 caliber MGs and even better on the 30mm cannon.


            • shooski,

              I get the same effect shooting BB and pellet guns that are sub-250 fps, especially sub-200 fps. Among my most accurate (in my hands) plinkers is my Daisy 179 Peacemaker, which is an unusually hot example with a muzzle velocity around 160 fps.


      • Tom,

        The last comment by sscoyote in your linked blog has the explanation in ballistic solution and terms. Really a well done comment. Especially for those that want to go a little deeper.


  10. BB conjectured, rightly, that: “And, on all rifles, a shorter barrel just doesn’t look right. That’s why the underlever TX 200 from Air Arms hides its nine-inch barrel inside a longer shroud that also muffles the sound of the shot.”

    Other reasons for maintaining otherwise overly long barrels in air rifles might include aid in achieving balance when shooting from three point support (shoulder, palmrest hand, trigger hand), and maximizing the sight line. I measured the true barrel on a 10m FWB 800W (X) and it is about 16.5″; the apparent barrel length, ie. the shroud, about 26″. With the rear sight where I like it, the sight length is about 35″, providing maximum shot precision. The same principle would apply to almost all rifles – except for the spray and pray evolutionary scions of the Tommy gun.

    Thinking on it for a moment, sniper rifles have long barrels, assault rifles comparatively do not. Form follows function in well designed systems.


    • goodenuf,

      Depends on powerplant JE. Longer barrels (to a point) on PCP and Multi-pump result in more MV (Muzzle Velocity) as well as potentially much higher Energy from heavier (greater Mass) projectile.
      On firearms: “sniper rifles have long barrels, assault rifles comparatively do not.”
      The sniper is looking to shoot either a much larger Mass projectile at a much greater range with flatter trajectory at reduced TOF (Time Of Flight) or both. That requires a larger propellant load which is typically more efficient in a longer barrel. The assault rifle shooter is looking for more rounds per second out the barrel to much shorter ranges; one projectile in barrel at a time becomes the constraint.


  11. While I suspect there will always be someone to take offense at almost anything, our constitution protects offensive speech. I think we need to develop slightly thicker skins.
    But, getting back to airguns, there is pinging, and there is hammer bounce, and they are not the same.
    The ringing noise heard in rifles with larger diameter air cylinders must be some sort of resonance vibration of the tube upon the sudden release of air. This is “pinging.” I purchased two rifles, (both based on B.B. reviews), that pinged so loudly it was embarrassing. It was so bad that a fellow air-gunner took notice and applied a fix.
    The solution was to jam a very large, stiff, bottle brush into the air tube. It worked wonders!



    • Jane Hansen,

      See my reply to Siraniko toward the beginning of the comments. Quite a bit of research has been done over the years on the topic of pneumatic system noise.


    • Jane,

      I have been known to have very, very thick skin. Good thing.

      As for the pinging, both are correct. Some is caused by reservoir resonance and some is caused by hammer bounce. The bottle reservoirs are less likely to be affected by resonance but can be affected by hammer bounce. A well-designed valve will not do this. The long reservoir on some air rifles will indeed resonate, as you have found out. Your friend showed you one of the solutions to such.

      • RidgeRunner,

        Lol! PING! BRAP, BRap, brap!!!
        When my family moved to the USA in the early 1950’s i was called any number of things since i spoke a dialect of German. Did anyone care that their anger or insecurities might be way off base…Nah!
        Folks need to look deep inside themselves for identities rather than what others call them; my dad told me to just let it roll off my back like water off of a duck. He also taught me how to defend myself from those who chose to do more than verbal attacks.
        Making it illegal, hate speech, or a WOKE offense just doesn’t change or help things get better for anyone.


        • shootski,

          The opposite of “woke” is asleep. And who is making verbal attacks illegal? Are you offended by someone describing what you say as “hate speech”? Perhaps you should “just let it roll off [your] back like water off of a duck.”


            • Shootski,

              As some here have expressed a desire for us not to comment on anything other than airguns, I have refrained from doing so unless made welcome to do so by political and social comments made by others. By using the word woke, presumably negatively, you opened the door for my following explanations. Indeed, you implicitly asked for me to respond to your last comment, perhaps remembering I am an authority on the English language by ten or so years of formal study.

              Therefore, anyone upset by the following should keep in mind that you invited it, and I am merely fulfilling your request.

              You wrote, “Michael, I don’t find WOKE in the declension of wake or awake. Nor can i find it as an antonym. shootski”

              You would not find “woke” by looking specifically at pure, infinitive verb forms. “Woke” is in its usage adjectival, a noun modifier related to verbs as a participle. You also would not likely find it in reference sources published more than a few months ago, for it is nonstandard und recent in its adoption by English speakers. It no doubt will appear in all future editions of major dictionaries, at least from 2023 or 2024 on. I am no longer on the editorial/advisory board of a dictionary, so that is an estimate.

              First, “Woke” is a nonstandard American English adjective (not verb in its contemporary nonstandard usage). It is synonymous with the indicative past participle, “awoken” in the secondary definition pertaining to “awakening” spiritually, psychologically, philosophically, and in values but not in terms of physiological consciousness.

              For my source I will use myself. I am a retired professional grammarian, having two Masters degrees in English and having taught English (composition, literature, and grammar) at the college level for 30 years. I still carry the title “(Full) Professor Emeritus of English” at my former institution.

              I was trying to be ironic in saying the antonym of “woke” is asleep, as asleep is the antonym of the participial “awakened,” “awoke,” and “awaked“ (archaic, I believe).

              The above definition I provided for “woke” is for its usage by apparently progressive Americans. Conservative Americans, by denigrating the word and using it derisively, indicate one of two things. Either they do not know what the word means, or they are arguing in favor of a values system I, neither Democrat nor Republican, find indefensible. Either Republicans don’t know what woke means or they are advocating its opposite, an embrace of ignorance, stupidity, sadistic cruelty, and inhumanity, an endorsement of unprovoked violence against innocent people and the denying of basic civil liberties to anyone who disagrees with them.

              Conservatives couldn’t possibly intentionally denigrate solid, undeniably traditional American values, correct?

              Thank you very much for providing me an opportunity to re-enter my old wheelhouse!


        • What?! WOKE don’t work?! All this time I thought it was OK to talk hate, do violence, steal, kill and destroy as long as you voted Democrat! Pookey. Now I have to rethink all this mess.

              • RidgeRunner,

                Well, I’d prefer things here not get political. (To me climate change is not political but knowledge vs. ignorance, and racism is not political but good vs. evil.) And for the record I am not a Democrat. I consider political parties to be partly at fault for the divisiveness in this country and have no use for them. Furthermore, I do not follow politics very much.

                Nevertheless, if you are arguing that only Democrats get away with crime, you will have to provide supporting sources that are legitimate (not propaganda from one side or another — I’m an experienced researcher and fact-checker). Otherwise, you have been misinformed and it is disinformation as far as I’m concerned.


    • “I think we need to develop slightly thicker skins.”

      Jane, have you ever been unable to hail a cab because of the color of your skin? Have you ever been kept from seeing on-market real estate because of the color of your skin? Identifiably Indigenous women are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the national average. (https://www.bia.gov/service/mmu/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-people-crisis) You?

      “While I suspect there will always be someone to take offense at almost anything . . .” Many of the slurs on this page today are far worse than “almost anything.” And being protected by the Constitution does not in itself make something right, or civilized, or frankly, less evil.


  12. Hey Shootski,

    I don’t buy it – I don’t believe the sound is being caused by air flow through or at the valve, nor am I convinced that it is due to the hammer bouncing. I could be wrong, but before I let them stuff a brush in my rifles, I did a few simple experiments.
    If it’s hammer bounce, it would go away at the pressure drops, when the hammer stops bouncing, it didn’t.
    If it was air flow through the valve, it would not go away when we clamped a turn of leather around the air cylinder to kill any resonance or vibration, but it did. The ping can be stopped from the outside!
    My theory is the tank is a bit like an airplane – a big tube that expands and contracts as the pressure changes. When charged to 3000psi, it expands. Then suddenly air is let out, and the metal rapidly contracts a bit. This contraction is the first iteration of a series of vibrations we hear as a ping. Anything that stops that vibration at the first few cycles, (before we hear it), will kill the ping. It’s the only theory I have than explains what I observe.

    The air flow theory involves computational fluid dynamics – the rocket science stuff. CFD isn’t really good enough to predict ping yet.


    • Jane,

      Your theory on ping is one I can accept. I agree that everything on models of dynamic fluids is still not there..room for other theories.. I looked at the valve/orifice flow since I play a range of Saxophones (Saprano – Baritone) and know how flow allows you to go well beyond the octaves that are obtainable as designed.
      There are many ways to attenuate vibrations for sure.
      I flew an aircraft that tried to shake (harmonic vibration) itself apart until some ME added a probe with bb shot on one of the horizontal stabilators and eliminated the shake problem.
      On the Hammer/Striker bounce you wrote: ” If it’s hammer bounce, it would go away at the pressure drops, when the hammer stops bouncing…” It might.
      I will posit that IF the valve is a well balanced design as supply pressure drops the return spring and remaining pressure will still push the Striker/Hammer back with sufficient energy to compress the Striker/Hammer Spring potentially causing the telltale brap report from the muzzle. If the timing is such that the striker/hammer spring is opposed to the valve stem just right they will cancel and bounce will end. When that happens i couldn’t presume to guess.

      I’m lucky my DAQs are all ping free but my 1st generation Marauder has had PING issues in the past.


      PS: unlike Tom I don’t believe Striker/Hammer bounce has anything to do with PING. It does waste pressure.

  13. I have at times proclaimed to be a member of a fictional indigenous people’s tribe called the Fagawai. I would stand on top of some high place in the desert and shield my eyes from the sun as I scanned the horizon and make in known to all who may hear, “We’re the …….. !” But in reality, I have a great deal of Pollock in me.
    It doesn’t really take six of us to change a light bulb. You know, one to hold the light bulb and five to spin him around. One strong guy who can hold me up and not get dizzy spinning around does just fine and it helped to have a thick hat low on my forehead in NYC with all those polls sticking up out of the sidewalk in my way. Especially in icy conditions.

    I have an early PCP that pings ridiculously loud and believe it is tube resonance and a hard metalic hammer strike combined. Wondering if someone was going to mention that bottle brush cure. Been a while.

    • Bob M-

      I certainly enjoy eating fish- pollock, among many other species- as much as anyone, but I certainly wouldn’t claim that fish were a great part of who I am. Perhaps you were intending Polock or Polack as referencing one of Polish descent. 😉

      • Paco
        You know lately I have been pulling words out of the air that have the same sound and using them inappropriately. They said my stroke only affected the part of my brain that controls balance, but who knows. May be something fishy going on up there?
        Just pick any spelling in the translation of the insulting German term but if you lived in Brooklyn, it was just one of the many common slang terms that everyone used to identify people.
        Many of these terms may vary between offensive, derogatory, neutral and affectionate depending on a complex combination of tone, facial expression, context, usage, speaker and shared past history. I am also part Kraut and Brit and who knows what.

          • BB,
            I’m sure there is some humor involved in your question, but it went right over my ‘head’. All foreign languages ended with my grandparents.
            Just found out my English grandfather’s name ‘Long’ is Norman. Another, ‘Lovette’ is Anglo, Norman and French and Czechowicz and later Klenowski is the Polish. But my surname Muller is all German. Oy Vey, a regular New York mutt. 🙂

  14. We need to reply to Michaels taking offense at my thicker skin comment –
    The issues he speaks of- hailing cabs, discrimination in real-estate transactions, and of course murders are not included in the constitutionally-protected speech and words on these pages. Those are illegal acts.
    We should keep separate actions from words, as Ben Carson once reminded me “stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. We should encourage people to express their thoughts and ideas regardless of how much we may find them offensive. We can never hope to understand alternate points of view if we drown them out with false righteousness and condemnation. Who is to say what is right and wrong? Alexander the Great was not considered wrong in his time, and 200 years from now, people may think us utter barbarians for slaughtering and eating animals….

    • Jane,

      I will gladly respond.

      I think it goes unchallenged that the persecution people face both collectively and individually affects their emotional response to language intended to hurt them. Names do indeed hurt people, sometimes leaving lifelong scars. The sticks and stones rhyme is used to give parents something to say to their bullied children. It has some, albeit meager, value in that, but in my opinion, which of course I am free to give, it serves little use otherwise.

      As for the freedom of speech, again, being protected by the Constitution does not necessarily make something right. Legal does not mean the same thing as moral. While I would fight to protect your right to say something, I am under no obligation to try to understand or appreciate it.


    • Jane,

      I apologize for not adding my specific expriences in presponse to your views.

      I have been beaten, literally, with sticks (well, clubs) and stones. I have had my bones broken by others. I have also been called names. The broken bones healed long before the sting of the names did.

      I have also been discriminated against because I am as God made me. I am certain that tangible discrimination made me more psychologically vulnerable to slurs than I otherwise would have been. Furthermore, violent speech has itself incited violence, and such speech is not protected by the First Amendment.


    • Jane,

      Americans should know that every right protected by the Constitution has limits. Any law student can go through the Constitutional Amendments one by one and extemporaneously provide exceptions to each. No right, not one, is absolute, including the First Amendment:

      “There are exceptions for speech that incites people to violence, but they are very narrow.” (uwm.edu) “Limitations based on time, place, and manner apply to all speech, regardless of the view expressed. They are generally restrictions that are intended to balance other rights or a legitimate government interest.” “In the United States, some categories of speech are not protected by the First Amendment. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Constitution protects free speech while allowing limitations on certain categories of speech.[1]

      Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising. Defamation that causes harm to reputation is a tort and also an exception to free speech. Hate crime convictions in the USA rely on a form of unprotected speech in which the perpetrator is penalized for explaining (explicitly or implicitly) their motivations.

      Along with communicative restrictions, less protection is afforded to uninhibited speech when the government acts as subsidizer or speaker, is an employer, controls education, or regulates the mail, airwaves, legal bar, military, prisons, and immigration.” (Wikipedia.org, secondary sources for the wiki

  15. I think Michael gets to the core of the problem. Sure speech can “hurt”, but does one’s rights end at anothers feelings? Certainly not. And speaking of moral, would not society be better if we all indeed felt some moral obligation to try to understand another’s point of view?

    • Jane,

      I am not certain you understand me entirely. “Would not society be better if we all indeed felt some moral obligation to try to understand another’s point of view?” No. I have a legal obligation to allow someone to spout off, for example, Nazi bull spit. They have that right. But I will not be a better person for listening to their evil bile. I would not dream of censoring them, and I would refuse to be subjected to their execrable viewpoints. They have the right to express their views, and I have the right to ignore them.

      “Sure speech can “hurt”, but does one’s rights end at anothers feelings?” Yes, if they are demonstrably harmful and with malicious intent. Intentionally harmful speech is not entirely protected by the 1st Amendment, for which I have provided definitive documentation above. On the subject of protected speech in the United States, your argument has been disproven on the facts.

      And hate speech is not the only sort of speech that can cause harm and prove illegal. If someone, or even an organization, such as a website or television program, publicly defames another with malicious, inaccurate speech, and that person commits suicide, there might be a case for prosecution.

      Sources: “Woman on trial for texts ‘driving boyfriend to suicide'”. BBC. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017. Seelye, Katharine; Bidgood, Jess (16 June 2017). “Guilty Verdict for Young Woman Who Urged Friend to Kill Himself”. New York Times. Retrieved 17 June 2017. McGovern, Bob (16 June 2017.


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