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CO2 Getting into airguns

Getting into airguns

This report covers:

  • All over
  • The rest of the story
  • So what?
  • Getting started
  • Avoid
  • Caesar

Today I would like to address getting into airguns. It seems like a simple subject for those already in, but try to remember what it was like for us. It’s not that simple.

All over

New airgunners can be veteran firearm shooters who want to see what airguns are all about. Or they can be those new to shooting altogether who have someone to teach them (see the series Teach me to shoot), or they can be people who try to get into airgunning on their own. Each of these people will need different things as they get into the hobby. But they all need to know the things I will address today.

The rest of the story

I’ll come back to getting started, but what I have to say next is actually a part of it. So, listen up!

Two weeks ago I watched a Sheridan Model A (commonly called a Supergrade) sell for $5,000 on eBay. Reader Cloud9 and I talked about it because neither of us had ever seen one go for so much. I am aware that prices rise on vintage collectibles over time, but seldom do they double like that in just days. At last year’s Texas Airgun Show I had my Supergrade for sale at $2,300. I figured if anyone was willing to pay that kind of money I would surely part with it. But $5,000? That’s a price I never heard of.

5000 Supergrade

Yes, in time I would expect a Supergrade to command that much, but it ought to take at least another decade to get there. And if anyone has $5,000 to spend, my Supergrade is available right now! However I also have a Dragonfly Mark 2 in .22 caliber that is:

1. More accurate.
2. More powerful.
3. Able to be scoped readily, and
4. Pumps easily.

Stay with me, new guys, because I’m closing in on today’s main point. But first, let’s look at a second eBay listing.

This one is currently up on eBay as this report is published. As you can see, the starting price for the auction is $2,700 — just over half of what the last one went for.

2700 Supergrade

And here is the first part of the description:

“Sheridan model A super grade, with Weaver G4 scope. Does NOT hold air, everything  else seems fine. This is the holy grail of American air guns. Rare and collectable. Very hard to find.”

Is it rare and hard to find? Absolutely. Is it collectible? Absolutely NOT!

And here starts today’s lesson. This rifle leaks — or at least that’s what the seller says. Well, surely you can get it resealed? Almost certainly not; and don’t call me Shirley. The number of guys who can repair a Supergrade valve is approximately equal to the number of jockeys who weigh 180 pounds and stand 6 feet tall.

And, by the way, if you haven’t spotted it yet let me point it out. This second rifle is missing its adjustable peep sight and someone has drilled and tapped the aluminum receiver to mount a .22 scope. I know that because I know Supergrades and I also know vintage .22 scopes. Let me show you the other side of the receiver.

2700 Supergrade scope
There it is — a vintage .22 rimfire scope with a mount that required the Supergrade receiver to be drilled and tapped. 

Number one — that missing rear peep sight subtracts about $500 from the value of the rifle. Think not? Find another one. Number two — drilling and tapping holes into the receiver of a Sheridan Supergrade takes it down from the $2000+ level to around $500-700. Why? Because it’s no longer collectible. Now it’s just a shooter, and, as I have pointed out, it’s neither as powerful nor as accurate as a $200 Dragonfly Mark 2.

I know I’m a crotchety old man who is out of touch with reality, but I do know something about collectibles. A Rolex Submariner wristwatch is collectible; a clone watch that copies it is not. A $400,000 Jaguar XKE is collectible, but put a bluprinted 350 Chevy V8 that has 150 more horsepower in the car and you just built a $10,000 rat rod — especially if you modified the car’s frame to accept the new engine. Believe it or not, back in the 1960s someone actually did install a 6 cylinder Slant 6 Dodge engine in an XKE. As I recall it was because, “The Jaguar engine is too costly to maintain and parts for the Slant 6 are everywhere.” Yeah! You betcha!

Drilling and tapping holes in rifle receivers is the biggest no-no in the world of collectible guns. And don’t think that if they have flush screws installed when they are’t holding something that it makes a difference.

This travesty is closely followed by scratching your name or social security number into the finish of a pristine collectible — like my 03-A3 Springfield.

Springfield
Ahh! Bubba and his electric pen! “I don’t care what happens to this rifle after I’m gone. Right now, it’s mine!”

That faint scratching on the receiver of my 03-A3 Springfield takes a $1,500-$2,000 collectible down to the level of a $600 shooter that’s in nice condition.

So what?

So– new guys — stay away from the vintage airguns unless you have someone knowledgeable to advise you. Just ask reader Michael about the issues involved when buying a collectible airgun. Michael — remember the saga of your Winchester 427?

Getting started

I’m advising you to buy new, or, if you do buy used, buy one that’s still being made. For example, a TX200 Mark III that sells new for $780 can be purchased used for $400-500. Just ask reader Jonah, who bought one at the Texas Airgun Show. Now as I recall there was also one selling for $850 at the same show but I think that one went home with its owner.

The next best thing is to wait until Pyramyd AIR has refurbished guns on their website. You can usually save close to $100 on these (for guns selling at the $800 price point) and sometimes they haven’t even been taken out of the box!

Leave the used FWB 124s and the HW55s for someone who knows what they are looking at. If you do decide to get one, make sure you have someone knowledgeable to help you. Do you remember the recent report I did on the FWB 124 that a man brought to the Texas Airgun Show, hoping to find someone to fix it for him? I took pity on Glenn when he couldn’t find anyone at the show to fix his rifle, so I took it home and fixed it myself, letting you watch over my shoulder. That 124 turned out to be the fastest one I have ever seen, let alone worked on. My point is, unless you know a guy, don’t be buying vintage airguns just because everyone says they are great. And no — I do not work on airguns!

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Avoid

Avoid airguns sold in discount stores. The experience will just not be that good.

Avoid airguns whose technology you don’t understand. BB’s rule is springers for everyone, multi-pumps as well; avoid CO2 unless you’re compelled; full-auto and black guns are just for cartoons and precharged pneumatics send you over the moon.

I recommend a breakbarrel spring-piston gun for most people, with the HW 30S and HW 50S at the top of the list. The older Diana 34 is a wonder as well, but the EMS has issues, read the blog; can’t you tell?

Ask your questions before you decide. It’s the same for airguns as it was for your bride. If you make a mistake it will help you remember; and you will know better what to ask in December.

Caesar

Caesar Augustus said festina lente (make haste slowly). That’s good advice for getting into airguns.

71 thoughts on “Getting into airguns”

  1. Wow, 5 grand..
    It looks like number two guy saw the final price of number one and wants to cash in.

    My step dad was a WWII Navy man, having served on the Missouri, everything he owned had his social security number either written with a sharpie if it was fabric, or etched with one of those electric engravers…

    Guns, tools, eating utensils, everything.
    Except one thing,..

    The engraver didn’t have his number on it because the sharpie had worn off….

    Hello everyone..

    Ian..

    • Ian

      I used my SS# for identifying my stuff back then, too. Of course that was long before identity theft was the thing it is now. Now it take a concerted effort for someone to get it out of me. Most of my doctors, dentists and hospitals want it,, but all they get from me is the last four.

      As for the Ebay guy,, he is like everyone else there. Ask as high a price as you can and hope a sucker bites. He is looking for the one who saw the first example go for 5 grand and doesn’t know enough about airguns to see the deception. Some lessons are expensive.

      Ed

  2. Tom,
    I like the way you describe the residual value:
    Number one — that missing rear peep sight subtracts about $500 from the value of the rifle. Think not? Find another one. Number two — drilling and tapping holes into the receiver of a Sheridan Supergrade takes it down from the $2000+ level to around $500-700.

    I’d just add Number three – it doesn’t hold air and finding someone able to repair it is pretty unlikely, therefore it is not even a shooter anymore… residual value: $0 except if you have one and you’re looking to replace your stock, provided this one is on good condition.

    Springers might not be the easiest to shoot for a beginner, even the TX or HWs, except if you get a low-powered rifle. I know the German limits of 7.5 J make them quite easy to shoot in any case. One thing is sure, when you learn to shoot a springer consistently good, then the other power plants should not be a problem. Started with low powered springers and in the next step a CO2 to finally land on the PCP side with all the required accessory myself…

    Made my own good and bad experiences, but BB was always of good guidance.
    Thank you for all your work, Tom.

    One last word on the report from yesterday, Lab Radar: from what I know, Radar technology works best with the least number of obstacles around (on a free field is best) since every obstacle or even nearby walls do reflect the waves (only the pellet should) and influence or even corrupt the measurements this way. Therefore most of the time unreliable when shooting indoors or with obstacles or walls close to the flight path of the pellet.

  3. Since today’s blog is somehow inspired by Deck’s yesterday post I would like to address his comments.
    Firstly Vana2 and Shootski provided a great piece of knowledge coming from experience. This is my advice to Deck’s friend; since he lacks the experience he must try to get some knowledge. This blog can provide tons of it if someone is willing to spend some (many) hours.
    One more thing is that he must be as certain as possible regarding what he needs the airgun for.
    Trying to use some different airguns would also be a great way to get some first hand experience.
    Finally the choice(s) should include personal taste. I cannot have an airgun I don’t like the looks of it. It’s part of a fun process after all.
    Closing I have to say that quality should be always a factor, even if he buys second hand. Tomek’s words put it exactly; Denial to the trash. Does anyone think that Air Arms, Airforce, Wheirauch, Diana (German) or FX have a reputation just out of luck or good marketing only?

  4. CBS,

    If you can frame the question properly with just a keyword the search function on the blog helps a lot. Your other choice would be to use Google to trawl through the entire blog repository.

    Siraniko

    • Better yet is to use Google Advanced search limited to this site: pyramydair.com/blog. That way the search includes reader’s comments and BB’s answers. The blog’s search box only searches B.B.’s posts.

    • Siraniko,
      Thanks but; MY question was pretty broad, difficult to put into 1 or 2 words for a search.

      BB asked me to be specific, …my reply is the current last post on the “people are listening” thread here:
      /blog/2023/02/people-are-listening/#comment-499854

        • You should be able to edit your post in the 30 minutes after you post it. A link should appear after you post that will allow you to edit it. The link says “Click to Edit” with a countdown clock after it.

          • Roamin,

            Just posted, and I looked carefully all over my screen,…nothing about editing. (…definitely within the 30 min. period.)??

            I’ll look again as I post this one.

    • I like Elmer’s choice of the ACOG sight. Good tough units. The carry handle mount- not so much. Better to start with a flat top for optics. Wonder what can he’s running?

      • Paco
        Agree with you. You definitely need a cheek riser with a carry handle and rail mount.
        Had to get a Colt slide on Delta HBAR cheek riser with the cutout for the charging handle operation for my A2 and it is a handful.
        I imagine the cartoon just went with the traditional familiar AR look.

      • pacoinohio,

        At least Fudd has the Lower so all he needs to do is swap out the Upper for one with a PICATINNY Rail.
        If his barrel is a good one he can cross deck it to his new Upper…so many options with a PLATFORM system to choose from! HARD to do much of that with Old School firearms and airguns.
        Heck he could even change calibers to .458 socom; but that might launch a lightweight like him into the next county.

        shootski

  5. Caesar Augustus said festina lente (make haste slowly). That’s good advice for getting into airguns.

    Indeed.

    As Bill has stated and a question I have always asked myself before I acquire an airgun is “What am I going to do with this airgun?” The first time I asked myself that question, it took me five years to answer it. In that time, I learned as much as I could about these things. There was still so much to learn and it has been a continual learning experience.

    If you are a newbie and have stumbled upon this blog, you have come to the best place to learn something about this pastime. You will learn more here than anyplace else. Do not be afraid to ask questions. This is a place of immense knowledge and experience and filled with people who are happy to share what they know.

    • “a question I have always asked myself before I acquire an airgun is
      ‘What am I going to do with this airgun?’ ”
      RidgeRunner,
      That’s the question I always ask myself.
      Often the answer is simply, “I will shoot it just for fun.” 😉
      Blessings & good shootin’ to ya,
      dave

      • Dave,

        Unfortunately, that has been the answer I have used to justify quite a few of the old gals showing up here at RRHFWA. I need to curb even that excuse. 😉

  6. Speaking of experience, how many of you have shot an airgun with a properly tuned Diana Giss system? I bought a Beeman 800 (Diana 6G) that needed new seals at the NC Airgun Show this past October and sent it off to David Slade at Airgunwerks. Well, it came home to RRHFWA yesterday and I danced with her a little bit yesterday evening.

    I have only one thing to say about it. WWWWOOOOWWWW!

    • RR

      I saw a Giss at this show and am glad you got it and brought out its potential. Congratulations!

      Have you had a chance to shake down your Diana 34?

      Deck

      • Deck,

        I am working on that. It should be an interesting read soon. 😉

        I guess I am going to have to do a blurb on this 800 also. I could not help myself with it. I talked the dude into letting me have it for $60. At that price I could afford to have it resealed. Now if I could just find some front sight inserts for it.

    • You are right RR, every time I get my G6 out of the cabinet I say the same thing. Besides the GISS, the trigger is amazing, without being too light it seems to read my mind.
      If I could only see the sights a bit better . . .
      Henry

    • RR
      I had the pleasure of shooting a friend’s Diana 75, for a military postal match (about 30 years ago). It was an amazing experience for me. I probably shot better scores in the offhand position than I had any right to. It was soo easy to establish position, line up the sights, take the shot. It was so easy to be ‘in the zone’ with it. No muss, no fuss, just shoot 10’s and X’s. It was a great rifle/system.
      Enjoy the Giss system.
      Bill

      • billj,

        I had the chance many years ago to get one of those air rifles but passed it by. RRHFWA was not established then. I was still dreaming of new ones.

  7. I liked shooting the airguns of- and at, a friend’s backyard. Then I also wanted to have one. 🙂

    I was shocked to see the prices of those things!
    So I settled for the cheapest thing I could find that still looked somewhat acceptable to me, a plastic peashooter pistol… which was ok, but nothing like as much fun. 🙁

    And so, with the acceptance of having to spend more, lots more, I finally got, from a very good dealership (Protek in the UK), an old -1935- Diana 27.
    Happy Days! 🙂

    • Yogi,

      I remember him being quoted on that;
      but the coach said it in English not Latin!
      If he had been a coach at a Catholic College his players might have understood festina lente or even when the Players at UCLA celebrate Festivus with gift exchanges; just not firearms or airguns, please.

      shootski

  8. Wanting to start off with a reasonable priced PCP without investing a lot in equipment? The Aspen Seneca. But I don’t think I would regret getting a Dragonfly MkII as a keeper.

    • Bob M

      I find myself checking reviews on the Aspen from time to time. If I ever get convinced the pumping parts will last I may buy one. Reviews are mixed.

      Deck

      • Deck Sniper
        I have two. Bought the Nova Freedom because I figured I could use it for plinking and save the FX Independance from overuse. Then I got the Aspen used at a great price to share. They said it would not hold air over night but I tightened the rupture disk screw and lubed it and never had a problem with massive leak down.

        They both have pump issues…after sitting for a long time. As well as the FX.
        Sometimes the pump appears to be inop, nothing there, then at other times it locks up halfway into the stroke. However, I have been able to return them all to proper operation with a little Silicone oil, letting it flow into the pump from the piston head area holding the barrel upright, and slowly working it out. Could be oil accumulating in there someplace too locking it up?
        I believe it all has to do with air bleeding off. I think the dead pump is the result of low stage air bleed off and the hard pump is high pressure bleeding down into it. But it is not a regular occurrence. Kind of odd. The first complete bleed off with the Nova was caused by a lose screw retaining the blow out disk inside the handle stow area also. Just tightened it.
        They all work well with moderate force during operation. Not too fast or slow.

        I would imagine they will last as long as any well lubricated hand pump over time but will probably need service eventually. Don’t know what’s in there. I don’t use them very much. Just don’t abuse it. There may be good company support?

        • Bob M

          I appreciate you taking the time to describe in detail how you are managing the pump issues. While my 4 multi pumpers are not dark siders, I have never had trouble with any other than my first Dragonfly and a Webley Rebel (8 years ago), both having been written about already.

          Thanks,
          Deck

      • Deck,
        I’ve had an Aspen for a couple years now, in .25. I’d suggest to wait for the Aspen Mark II. Mine was fun at first, but only really accurate on low power (~15 fpe). High power (30 fpe), doubles the group size, and I don’t know why.
        Then I put it away for a couple months, when the common pump issues cropped up. Upon disassembly, the high pressure seals on the Small Piston Assembly, Small Tube Assembly, Air Release Valve and Air Chamber Valve were decaying, and the brass parts in the high pressure area were green corroding.
        The good news is that it is simple to take apart, with a number of parts but there are parts diagrams around the Web, and seals are available (common metric O-rings). After polishing up the brass and resealing, it worked again like new. But I don’t really trust it. Maybe it would be reliable in the desert.
        Comparing that with my Dragonfly, since I can’t use the Aspen accurately on High power, I think the Dragon is the better gun: about as powerful as an Aspen on Low, lighter and much more reliable.

        • Berserkeley Mike,

          Mac1 airguns has Secret Sauce that seems to keep all the internals in brass and Bronze multi-pump happy. But they probably used really cheap rubber compounds on the O-Rings. But plain chamber oil would probably do the same. I remember from my early multi-pump days cleaning out snot like stuff way to often. I used wood dowels and old sheer nylon stockings to keep them up and running. I resisted buying Tim’s Secret Sauce (because all the hype on blogs is usually never true…) for years; once i used it for a time i never stopped using it on my multi-pumps.

          shootski

          • Mike,

            Try some modling clay around your barrel at/near the muzzle end. See if you have somendifferent harmonics changing your POI. You may find it dampens them out. Then you need to go looking to see if it is coming from other than just the barrel. It could be as simple as polishing the hammer/striker or coating the hammer/striker spring with Tune-in-a-Tube or Red Gear Grease.
            You are the first airgunner I have shared that last tip with…no extra charge.

            shootski

  9. BB

    Thank you for this timely report. I also say thanks to other enablers who are replying to my request to help my friend decide if an FX is a wise next purchase. He comes from a firearms background and regularly shoots skeet. He read yesterday’s report and will surely read this one. We went to my deck yesterday afternoon and had a broad chat about springers, single strokes, multi pumps, CO2’s and dark side pneumatics. Then we shot a number of examples of each including HW30S, FWB Sport, Ataman P16, FWB300S, Gamo Urban with the BSA barrel, Sheridan Blue Streak and Diana Chaser.

    He knows I like variety and accuracy obviously. We had a ball and it won’t be our last get together. But he also knows that FX can reach out further than most of my toys. He likely will depend on you enablers to help him ask all the questions. For certain he is a candidate to get hooked on airguns and may sign up so he can communicate directly with you and others who helped me over the last 10 years.

    Deck

    • Deck,

      Have him sign up.

      We here will be glad to share our experience so that he can get the best airgun to match his needs.

      Great that he could get some trigger time with your airguns, nothing like hands-on experience.

      One more thought is that he is likely going to want to have multiple airguns as he discovers various disciplines. Judging by your collection, you know this to be true 😉

      …Hello, My name is Hank and I have an airgun addiction.

      • B. B.
        He must help himself, by signing in off course. Then we are all going to provide any help we can. But we have to know his thoughts, preferences and maybe some more about him, like his physical ability. If he can lift to target an HW 90, then he could have a top quality break barrel airgun to grow with him for years. Beginning from 10 fpe up to 20+ fpe for the 75 yards.

        • I dream of owning one of those. I am getting too old and feeble for cocking that 20+ FPE, but I learned a long time ago that I do not need that much horsepower.

            • Bill,

              That is one of the primary reasons I want one. It is adjustable like many PCPs. I have lamented the passing of Theoben and hope some day someone else will bring back the adjustable gas spring.

              I have a couple of sproingers I am seriously considering detuning.

    • Deck,

      When I was starting out with airguns, I was going to have Gary Barnes build me a Bison. I am so glad he turned me down.

      Your friend does not want to start with a FX air rifle. He is not ready for it. He has waaaaay too much to learn about these things. He must first learn the fundamentals of airgunning. He would be much better off if he was to start with an HW50 in .177.

      I take all that back. Tell your friend to buy a FX Impact MK 3 or a Panthera. When he becomes totally frustrated with it, have him contact me.

      • RidgeRunner,

        He shoots firearms.
        What will he learn about: “…the fundamentals of airgunning.” with a break barrel that will help him understand a CO2, PCP, Single and Multi-pump powerplant?
        Having gone the opposite route and shooting Quality Adult Gas Spring Piston Airguns last.
        I’ll tell you what I learned.
        I learned that it is a workout to shoot (granted my ASP20s are 20+ foot-pound Magnums) for over 200 shot sessions. That you really need to work on extremely consistent hold to get under 2 MOA at any distance. That they REQUIRE springer rated scopes. That the gas piston at least gets rid of the spring torque-over that coil springers all have; PCPs don’t have any of that. And, they can amputate your fingers at worst and bend barrels at best if you aren’t trained to hold the barrel anytime it is broken open if you touch the trigger or even think about it.

        But getting one to shoot sub MOA at 50 yards with pellets and also bullets (slugs) can be great fun!
        But ONLY if you know in advance it will take a great deal of time and frustration. Something that will drive most newbie right out of airgunning!
        The newbies to airgunning don’t need frustration they are looking for success let them shoot powerplants that don’t make it too hard to get hooked on airguns we all love…i think.

        shootski

        • shootski,

          Those are all good points you have brought up. I guess my problem is I live in an area where decent .22LR rifles are cheaper than many decent sproingers. When you talk to most powder burners around here, they freak out about the cost of a PCP plus the support equipment. Many do not understand that you do not need 5000+ PSI to operate a PCP and “low” pressure PCPs are getting hard to find these days.

          Many of the powder burner community still think of airguns as “toys”. They think of Daisys and 760s, not Texans or RAWs. When you talk about the cost, they think how can a “toy” cost as much or more than their high powered rifles?

          Also, where do you find PCPs? Unless you know where to look, they do not exist. I spoke with a gun store owner a while back who was considering getting an air rifle. He thought Gamo was the best airgun manufacturer there was.

          Another thing to consider is many powder burners would consider 2 MOA great.

  10. B.B. and fellow readers. I love this topic as I am a newly addicted airgunner.

    I watched that Supergrade on ebay as well. Not sure what that buyer was thinking, but clearly the second guy was looking to cash in on the guy who came in second place on the first auction. If you are into vintage msp’s (multi-stroke pneumatics), take a peek at the American Vintage Airgun forum. Someone just put up a display of their collection of vintage “tootsie roll pumpers.”

    For beginners, I would recommend a spring piston break barrel with a rail for a peepsight or optic. Even if you know you will be getting into PCPs, you can take a springer and a tin of pellets and plink for 5 minutes or 50 and put it away without any hassle. An HW30S or 50 will always be a treasure to own. Even more so if you can find a refurbished one or a used one in excellent condition. I bought a refurbished Beeman R9 from P.A. at a very good price. It shoots HN Field Target Trophy pellets with the 5.53mm heads into a tiny ragged hole. So I can attest to those refurbished guns being solid options and they come up regularly. A spring piston will make you a better shooter because you have to have consistent technique and you have to relax, both of which help accuracy with all other power plants. Second choice would be the Dragonfly or the Crosman 362.

    I also have a Walther Terrus that is unusual among sproingers in that it likes to be held tightly, just like I hold my deer rifle, so that will be great practice for deer season.

    So you may get conflicting opinions, but you will take what works for you and learn. In the end, you can’t really go wrong by simply following the universal advice on what NOT to buy as your first airgun.

    • Roamin Greco,

      “Even if you know you will be getting into PCPs, you can take a springer and a tin of pellets and plink for 5 minutes or 50 and put it away without any hassle.”

      I truly don’t understand this PCP hassle concept?
      With a PCP 10M Target Gun (as well as many other PCPs) you walk out in your yard and shoot a few pellets or many and walk back into the house rack or case for another hour, day, week, or month many times. You can easily fill with a hand pump when required (but not very often) until you get so addicted you shoot tins worth of pellets every time you shoot!
      It will be more precise than you, me, and any 1,000+ readers of this blog!
      You stand half a chance to become an accurate Off Hand shooter with a PCP Target Gun! There IS NO Excuse for the results but the shooter!

      shootski

      • Forgive me, Shootski. All I know about PCPs comes mainly from what I have read here. And I also know that I labor under the draconian edicts of Murphy’s Law, which states that my PCP would need air after the 9th shot I take with it. I also know that I can spend $100 or so on a Diana 24 or some other vintage springer with warm, real wood, and then plink or target shoot to my heart’s delight without worrying about running out of anything but pellets.

        In my defense, I also said “you may get conflicting opinions.”

  11. Another related comment. I saw a bunch of air rifles on an online auction site that were calling out to me. Since the actual auction house was near my home (i.e. no delivery charges), I bit…hard. I purchased several airguns with the thought of cleaning them up and flipping them to fund my hobby. Weeeelllll, it’s not working out. I am falling in love with the little Diana Model 24J, and the Air Arms TX200 Mark III with the walnut stock and the Hawke 2-7 x 32 scope is in a word–awesome (especially since I was able to fix it and make it shoot again–my first spring powerplant disassembly).

    This spring, I am hoping to set up a 25 and 50 yard range in the back yard, so some of these newer residents will have a chance to stretch their legs, like the Diana 350 in .22 with a Hawke 3-12 x 44 scope. The mounts on that one are way too high for me, but I have her shooting small groups at 10 yards right now. Not bad for a gun that is notoriously hard to shoot.

    Part of that multi-gun auction listing was a vintage Beeman R7 with a Williams peep. She’s a shooter, but needs a little love on the outside. Since I have a modern Beeman R7, I may be able to part with one of them.

    Finally, I also got a FWB 124, because it is on every spoinger-guy’s bucket list, but it needs a new piston seal. Need to build that spring compressor first….

    And to think this affair all started with me wanting to teach my kids how to shoot and handle guns safely and the purchase of a $90 Umarex Embark, for which I researched and agonized over for weeks. She’s still a good fixed distance trainer for kids or adults who are small of stature (the stock is proportioned for small humans).

    Hello, my name is Roamin’ Greco and I’m addicted to airguns (not sorry).

  12. I can’t say I disagree with any of the typical advice, but I do often wonder about the normal advice about PCPs being kind of being too complex to start out on . . . something one is best to grow into after time in the hobby.

    My thought experiment goes like this: assuming one has a decent amount of “mechanical capability” (can / willing to do most car / lawn mower repairs on their own, even if guided by YouTube), which would you rather have to build from a kit to use as your first airgun – a basic PCP (something like a Fortitude), or a springer (pretty much take your pick here)? Looking at the parts and actions needed to get it shooting, I’d take the PCP. True – it also needs at least a hand pump, but those are not that difficult to master either.

    I sometimes wonder if we all over complicate things with PCPs . . . .

    • AlanMcD,

      BINGO!

      As a kid I did single/multi-pump and CO2 powerplants.
      Then moved on to firearms and duty in countries and places that wouldn’t allow my “civilian” arms to even enter the countries; so they were sold or put in storage.
      Once I went on Retainer Pay (some call it retired) i got back into airguns and bought my first PCP a 10meter Olympic target rifle. At first I used a pump and when my SCUBA Gear arrived back in the USA i got to stop pumping with a few fittings. I bought two Marksman BIATHLON trainers for my daughter and son; the first break barrel/spring powerplants ever! I did buy a few CO2, single, and multi-pump airguns out of nostalgia. The rest of my airguns are all PCPs from .177 to .58 caliber.
      I still own and shoot a bunch of firearms from .177 to .50 caliber as well. Non airgun/firearm i use a Sling but have been re interested by Hank (Vana2) in Sling Shots/Catapults.

      IF a person has some mechanical aptitude it certainly helps with dealing with Extreme High Pressure Air safely but all that can be learned by someone with a modicum of trainability.

      Thank you Alan!

      shootski

      PS: i do own and Shoot two SSG SIG ASP20 GAS Spring break barrel in .177 and .22 caliber that are the most recent air rifles i have purchased. Hank, the enabler, is trying REALLY hard to get me to buy an FX PANTHERA! I MUST RESIST, I MUST RESIST…I Must Resist…i must resist….

      • Shootski,

        I have to admit that the Panthera has really caught my eye too – it’s the only thing that has, since I got a Huben K1 almost 2 years ago – nothing else interests me enough with that as my new baseline. I’m sure I don’t need it, but I’m sure I do want one . . . but I’m not sure I’ll get one . . . 😉

        Alan

  13. I started with a Diana 27. A breakbarrel springer worked for me, because I had a great teacher who had also picked a great springer. Before I shoot the first time, I was tought to always hold the barrel while loading and how to perform artillery hold. Even today, that Diana 27 uses the original spring without a twang.

    If the first airgunner could be thought the importance of balanced power, safe loading practice, and artillery hold, and also could be convinced to buy a HW30S, then yes, a breakbarrel springer would be ideal. Not only does a new airgunner need a good teacher, he also needs to be a good student.

    Otherwise, I would recommend a Crosman 362 to start with. The first day, the only thing a new airgunner has to worry about should be aiming with a pair of proper iron sights, in my opinion.

    TX200 adds the scope into the first day learning list, and Dragonfly has a fiberoptic piece on the front sight. I’d pass them — my personal opinion.

    BB, a 2260, maybe?

    • Well, in my comment, I only thought of the new gunners, over all — as if the first rifle he shoots is an airgun. If the new airgunner already has, let’s say, plenty of 22LR experience, then TX200, HW50, and Dragonfly seem like better options for the start.

  14. When I hear about an outrageous bid/sale on these type sites I am led to wonder: What is to prevent someone from a sort of deceptive scam by setting an astronomical bidding goal, e.g. $5000 for a $2000 dollar item, not really expecting to get it, but gee, I’ll take it if I get it or some otherwise unreasonably high bid? The safety net is to buy it from yourself somewhere near the end of the bidding; maybe a sucker will bite over you, but in any case you have nothing to lose on the ploy. You could even legitimize the process by having an accomplice put in the high plateau bid.

    The rest of us are left to wonder why the Earth chose today to tip over on its axis.

    I don’t have any experience in these types of sales, so maybe there are controls I know nothing about.

    I guess age brings cynicism in judging the affairs of common man.

    JE, reporting from the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    • goodenuf,

      “The safety net is to buy it from yourself somewhere near the end of the bidding; maybe a sucker will bite over you, but in any case you have nothing to lose on the ploy. You could even legitimize the process by having an accomplice put in the high plateau bid.”

      It isn’t a really big loss but the Auction House (Site) usually takes a cut of the proceeds from the sale or charges a fee.

      But then in this case the House always wins: Best beats goodenuf!

      I’m getting more cynically inclined with every passing day too!

      shootski

      PS: you live on Vancouver BC the island or in the USA near Mendocino? Don’t tell me you live off shore and underwater in the Pacific Ocean…why would anyone choose to locate in such a place?
      Almost as good as Pompeii or Santorini.

  15. My advice–and I wish I took it–is do not buy airguns step by step. It ends up costing you more and clutters up your home. Buy an R7/HW30s (.177) and, if you like shooting, buy the PCP (.22) you really want (look at AA, Daystate, Weihrauch, and FX) and a $500 compressor. Optics are a wild card. I shoot at targets under 60 yards and get buy with a decent 3-9×32 or 40. Buy a lot of pellets and use your toys.

    • For me, the journey was as important as where I am ending up. I shot the heck out of that little Umarex Embark. Then I shot the heck out of the R7. Then I got air rifles for all the kids (different power plants) and after bedtime, I would shoot the heck out of those, too. Then I started refurbishing old Crosman Mark I and II pistols. The dark side is calling, too. Faintly right now, but I would love the ability to turn the power down inside a structure, for example, and then dial the power up when a bigger critter is wreaking havoc in the garden or the flower beds.

  16. If you simply like to shoot, I think that an excellent 4-gun battery would be: 1)an HW50s (in .177) for a low stress plinker, 2)a Dragonfly Mk2 (in .22) for a casual, paced, shooter, 3)a TX200 MkIII (your choice of caliber) for a gorgeous shooter (and eye candy) and finally 4)an FX (in .25?), with suitable compressor.
    With that group, you could indulge in whatever airgun shooting your heart desires, with nary a thought of having to junk anything. Quality throughout.
    Just my thoughts.
    Bill

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