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Education / Training B.B.’s Pistol Comeback Attempt: Part Three

B.B.’s Pistol Comeback Attempt: Part Three

FWB P44.

Part 1
Part 2

Today’s report covers:

  • The adjusted trigger
  • Dry-firing
  • The stance
  • Problem with a fill
  • The test
  • Target 1
  • Target 2
  • Still wobbling
  • Target 3
  • Target 4
  • Target 5
  • More weight?
  • Grip adjustments
  • Summary

Today we look at my 10-meter target pistol comeback attempt with new eyes. I learned several things since last time and today I’ll show them to you.

The adjusted trigger

I adjusted the trigger pull lighter in Part 2 and it really paid off. It now breaks at 522 grams, which makes the trigger much easier to control and to “wish off” (make the trigger fire when you want it to without consciously squeezing it harder). I’m not there completely yet, but I’m making progress.


Dry-firing is basic and essential to training with a target pistol because it causes you to gain muscle memory, breathing control and sight alignment. It is an essential key to wishing off the trigger. In the past I shot 60 shots dry each day and one round of 60 with pellets each week. It takes all that and more to raise your scores to the competitive level.

The stance

In Part Two I showed you a picture of a woman standing and holding a pistol. I said at that time that I needed to bend back slightly to stiffen my frame. But when I examined that picture closely I noticed she was not bending back. She was bending sideways. That’s because she was stranding with her shoulders more perpendicular to the target than I had been. So this time I tried to perfect my stance.

P44 woman
This woman is in the traditional 10-meter pistol stance. She wears earmuffs to keep from being disturbed by other competitors.

I practiced the new stance (it’s more perpendicular to the target than before) during my dry-fire sessions. I also tried to increase my number of shots in each session. As a result I seemed to settle down and be steadier on target than I was before. That gave me confidence to try this live-fire test today.

I am shooting 5 shots per target from 10 meters. Naturally all shots are one-handed as that is the rule for 10-meter target air pistol. I’m still shooting Vogel pellets that are unsized. I told you last time they range from 4.48mm to 4.53mm. I now see on their website that these bulk pellets are nominally 4.50mm. Whether the pellets I have are that size or not I still don’t know, but I do need to start sorting them by head size and testing all of them to determine which head size is best because I’m starting to improve.

Problem with a fill

I wanted to fill my pistol’s air tank and wound up spending two hours chasing my tail. The bottom line is Pyramyd AIR had what I needed to fill the tank and I have now ordered it.

The problem is FWB includes a 200 bar adaptor with the pistol and both my carbon fiber air tanks have 300 bar threaded holes. They both leaked air and would not fill my pistol tank. I still probably have 80-100 shots of air remaining in the tank and the male Foster to 200-bar DIN adaptor I ordered that connects to my pistol tank should be here before I run out. Fortunately I had filled it several years ago when I owned a 200-bar 3,000 psi scuba tank.

Tank adaptors
The P44 tank adaptor in on the left. The pistol’s tank screws into it. You can see that The end that goes into the high pressure air tank doesn’t reach as far into that tank’s valve hole as the 300 bar DIN adaptor on the right. No wonder it leaks when it’s attached to a 300-bar valve.

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The test

Let’s get started with five shots per target. The wadcutter Vogels cut round holes and as much as I wobble there will be no difficulty seeing all five shots. Remember that I am not measuring group sizes in this test; I’m scoring the target instead.

Target 1

On target one I shot one 10, one 8, one 7, one 6 and one 5. The score is 36 points out of a possible 50. The highest shot barely broke the scoring line to register a 6.

P44 target 1
The first target was a 36/50.

P44 1 detail
This closeup shows that the pellet broke the higher scoring line.

Target 2

This time I kept all my shots inside the black bullseye. There is one 9, two 8s, and two 7s. That adds up to 39 points out of 50.

P44 target 2
Target two scored 39 points out of 50.

Still wobbling

I was trying different stances during this whole session. But I was still wobbling like before. So on the next target I tried “sniping” the bull as my pistol was lowered past it. The results weren’t good.

Target three

Based on what reader Remarq said in the comments to Part 2, I tried to snipe the shot as the pistol was lowered past the target. The result was a disappointing score of 31, the worst of this session.

P44 target 3
When I sniped the target I shot a 31.

In fairness I told Remarq that this sniping technique could no doubt be learned and improved upon, but it was foreign to me. As for lowering the pistol to get on target, that is what all 10-meter competitors do. Maybe there are some people who bring the gun up and stop when the sights reach 6 o’clock, but I never saw them in the regional level where I competed.

Target 4

I continued the new way of standing on target 4, but I was really wobbling! Then, in the middle of that string, I spaced my feet so I wasn’t standing as perpendicular to the target. That steadied my wobble. As far as I could tell I was standing more perpendicular to the target than during previous tests, just not as much as the woman in the photo.

On this target I scored a 32. That’s two 8s, one 7 one 5 and one 4. The three shots in the black came after I shifted my stance back to less perpendicular, as far as I can remember.

P44 target 4
When I stood less perpendicular to the target I was steadier. This target is a score of 32.

This was exciting. Not only was I wobbling less, I was shooting longer without tiring! My final target was the best of the series.

Target 5

My final target was a score of 43 — the best of the series. That’s one 10, one 9 and three 8s. This new and different stance was bringing me back to almost the score I used to shoot.

P44 target 5
The final target was a score of 43/50.

More weight?

After shooting today I wondered whether I need to increase the weight of my pistol to slow the movement. I will look into that.

Grip adjustments

I also see some sight and grip adjustments I can make that will change the way the pistol holds. I will also look into that.


I’m coming along faster than I expected. No doubt I still have a long way to go, but this FWB P44 pistol is so much better than the Chameleon I competed with that it will no doubt add points to my average score.

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.

44 thoughts on “B.B.’s Pistol Comeback Attempt: Part Three”

  1. B.B.,
    Now you are influencing me to want to download a 10-meter air pistol target and try a group on it.
    I’m sure it would be much larger than yours; I’m used to always shooting two-handed! 😉
    Blessings to you,

  2. B.B.

    Do you rest the fat part of your last digit of your trigger finger?
    I have heard of people using either the tip of the trigger finger or the first joint.

    Please show a diagram of wha your feet look like now when shooting.


    • Yogi,

      I place the pad of the trigger finger on the trigger. I find that the joint causes me to twist the pistol.

      As for the feet, let me get it right first, then I’ll show you. But we are all made differently and I think foot placement is an individual thing.


  3. It seems that the Tau Brno 7 came just in time. As soon as BB shows the diagram Yogi asked I will attempt to put some pellets inside a target paper, attached to a large backstop…

  4. BB,

    I am following VERY closely following this series as I wish to greatly improve myself with my Izzy plus since I have also allowed the Beeman 800/Diana 6G to move into RRHFWA, I need to become more proficient with them. Yes, I know I should concentrate on one, but I will likely never compete and there are just too many airguns around here that are begging to be handled. I also have to think of the other air pistols and air rifles. All the old gals around here enjoy their trigger time.


  5. I find that training using a blank white target shrinks my groups significantly as I’m not distracted by the black.
    I also use reduced size blacks occasionally (aim small, miss small!). On my last attempt I was able to get 7 shots within a 9 ring sized black, and call the other 3 fliers before they hit the target. I felt ‘in the zone’ on that occasion!
    Just need to work on repeatability now, as I’m not very consistent.

  6. The adapter included with my FWB P8X confused me as I’d never seen a direct to a SCUBA tank fill setup before.

    All my fill adapters/probes are modified with Foster QD connectors, for the P8X I got an Air Venturi SS Female DIN Adapter With Male Quick-Disconnect that works well


  7. Tom,

    Forgive me if you mentioned it before, but how much does your pistol weigh (with full bottle)? I ask because I wonder if in addition to dry firing you might spend a small amount of time each day holding a light weight with your body and arm in the firing stance.


  8. BB,
    I have become intrigued by the high technology of airguns that are being produced these days. This started with me reading about the FX Impact Mk3, FX Panthera, Skout Epoch, and the Daystate Red Wolf. I know RAW and other manufacturers are also entering this arena. I think the development of these guns and others has been a result of the interest in long range bench rest competitions. These guns feature duel regulators, large plenums, and some ingenious valve systems. This has also pushed the ammo companies to produce low BC slugs and barrel makers to produce barrels designed for these slugs. Of course, the slugs require more power to push them than pellets and that pushed the development of the above mentioned plenums, duel regulators, and more sophisticated valves. Some of these guns are now producing 1/2 MOA groups at 100 yards and close to MOA at 300 yards outdoors in field conditions. I can’t help but be impressed by the results.

    I am trying to figure if this relates to me or not. I enjoy accuracy as much as the next guy, I do have a 100 yard range, and quality fill equipment. But, I have always enjoyed the low power, short effective range, and simplicity of airguns. I have no interest in bench rest competition, or as I have found, field target, for that matter. I am a plinker at heart.
    Sorry for the long ramble. I would like to see some blogs on these new guns.

    Have a great week,
    David Enoch

    • David,

      Like you, I’m a plinker and have no interest in competitions. I enjoy my low power springers as much as I do my high power PCPs.

      I’m also impressed with how airgun technologies are developing and am curious about slugs and slug capable airguns.

      To that end, rather than sit on the sidelines and watch others have all the fun I’ve invested in an FX Panthera. I figure that the hours of entertainment value justifies the cost of admission and I can always sell it to recoup a good portion of the cost if I want.

      I’m enjoying the Panthera as a bench gun, it’s different than anything I have. It’s quite challenging to hit a 1″ spinner at long range – you have to read the wind. That adds a whole new dimension to plinking.

      I like the FX Impact as well. It’s more versatile than the Panthera and also slug capable.

      Lots of other choices on the market that I’m not familiar with.

      Low power, close range snap-shooting small targets is fun, I’m starting to appreciate the challenge of deliberate, long range plinking.

      Just a couple of thoughts,

    • BB

      Like David Enoch I would like to see some reports on these long range airguns. Nope, I won’t be buying one but I can understand those who have and will.


    • David,

      PCPs in 100 yard competitions seems almost like cheating. ;^)

      Twenty years or so ago there were on occasion 100 yard bench rest competitions for Springer Class. The one I read of was won by a FWB 124, and another was shown on you tube a few years ago with just one entrant, shooting a stock TX200. All he had to do was put a pellet on the target (which he did) to win.

      There is a you tube video of an Australian gentleman up on a hill shooting a couple hundred yards down into a valley. He hit the target (it might actually have been a bucket) using a Gamo Shadow 1000!

      Then again, I own three bows, two recurves and a longbow. (Like PCP compressors, compound bows look like lunar modules to me.) :^)


  9. B.B.,

    “I’m coming along faster than I expected.”
    Great! Now i need to ask if you do Visualization?
    If not, why not?
    The degree of visualization can be from seeing a good bullseye result to trying to visualize the entire shot cycle from start to finish in ultra detail.
    Begin with the pistol on the table all the way to when the pistol is back on the table. You want to start with general details and over time you want to build up to the point that every minute detail is visualized.
    This is POWERFUL training and match preparation medicine.


  10. Vana2,
    The Panthera interest me too. And it is available locally at a new airgun store and they are also authorized for FX repairs. Last night I started watching some videos on the new RAW 1000x chassis gun. AirForce is also local to me and I know several there. I am most intrigued by the low pressure valve system in the Skout Epoch but is a grand more than the others and I don’t think it is available in 22 cal yet.

    Are you shooting both slugs and pellets in your Panthera? And what barrel length and caliber did you get? If I buy a Panthera I would want a front bottle with 600 mm barrel in 22 caliber.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      A .22 Panthera with the 600mm barrel is probably the best solution if you want to shoot pellets and slugs. The 500mm has a smaller plenum and it comes with a pellet liner.

      I got a .22/700mm so I can swap barrel liners with my Impact which gives me several options for both airguns. A 600mm would be plenty as there’s more than enough power available.

      The shot-count with 300cc, 250bar standard bottle is not bad if you are shooting at moderate power levels (60 fpe = ~36 shots per fill) but a second bottle sure is convenient to have. Installation took about 15 minutes, lots of videos how to do it.

      I’m experimenting with slugs at the moment but plan to try pellets as well. I’ve heard that the .22 JSB Monster Redesigns do well in the slug liner and as plan “B” I have a pellet liner (different twist rate) to try as well.

      I like the external adjustments on the FX airguns, makes them easy to tune.

      I considered the RAW HM 1000x LRT airgun a while back. It’s a beautiful airgun but it was not tuner friendly (disassembly required) – it came factory tuned in standard power (18 g pellets) or the HP version (25 g pellets) and the dealer against trying to make adjustments. It has the power but I think that it’s setup for pellets.

      Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
      Good luck with your choice!


  11. BB

    Does the grip angle of your target pistol(s) allow for a more relaxed hold with less muscle tension than the more vertical , .45 style grip angle of a P1? Additionally, is the pistol’s balance point strictly a matter of preference or is there a real benefit to barrel heavy designs?

    • Remarq,

      The grip angle FORCES a more tense muscle strain. A muzzle-heavy balance is a plus, because the pistol wants to point up.


    • Remarq,

      To me the slanted, target style grip angle is more natural and relaxing, positioning my thumb as an extension of my wrist. For example, one of my best feeling-in-the-hand air pistols is my Healthways Plainsman.


      • Michael,

        That grip angle looks similar to the Ruger Mark series of .22s which is more open than the target style grips on my Daisy 717 and Crosman 2300t.
        From pics I’ve seen, some match pistols have an even more open grip angle that would come close to eliminating a wrist break and straightening/flattening the thumb.

  12. B.B. and Readership,

    OFF today’s TOPIC but airgun subject.

    A few months ago as some of you may remember there was a major disturbance in the airgun suppressor World when DonnyFL (USA based maker of airgun suppression and other devices) seemed to have been closed down.
    I certainly want to be legal and looked into what was required to make the government happy.
    Breaking NEWS DonnyFL is back to selling Airgun ONLY suppressors but the new wrinkle is only through Distributors. No Canadian and Australian sales but other International sales are back on! To include a new Great Kami Moderator intend for .45 – .72 caliber POWERFUL Big Bore PCPs.
    It seems tha the BATF bit off more Case Law issues then it could chew!
    I for one am glad and hope to get some more definitive information since the BATF did nothing to help airgunners with how to “get legal” instead they just seem to have walked away from the MESS they created.

    More on this as i get more legal opinions to clarify this BATF created mud pie.


    • Shootski,

      Are they not now the BTAFE as they added explosives to the mix. Probably does not matter just hope that the airgun moderators are not regulated by them. Pyramyd AIR offers some DonnyFL adapters so it would be cool if they also offered the silencers. A long time ago I worked for a company and one of our customers was the BTAF, we called them the BBB, Boze Buts and Bullets, I guess we can now call them the BBBB, boze buts bullits and bombs.


      • Mike in Atl,

        Interestingly on their WebPage they are still only BBB since it clearly remains a three letter (ATF) organization! I guess they are waiting to get another letter to increase their overreach to Somemores.


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