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Preparing for the Gunslynger

Today reader Ian McKee whose handle is 45Bravo tells us what he did to train for the Pyramyd AIR Gunslynger event.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

Take it away, Ian

Preparing for the Gunslynger

by Ian McKee

Pyramyd logo

In my last blog report, there was some interest in what goes into preparing for an event like the 2023 Pyramyd AIR Cup. This report comes with a caveat. It isn’t meant to be a step-by-step way to prepare. Everyone has their own methods of doing things, gear preferences, budget and free time available to train, plus access to a shooting area or facility for practice. This is just the way I prepared for the Cup with the equipment, resources, and time I had available. Your mileage may vary.

Choosing the events

When they announced there would be a 2023 PYRAMYD AIR CUP I was excited. When the last one was held was in 2019 I was not in a position to attend.

I looked at the events, Field Target, 100 yard Bench Rest, and the Gunslynger speed silhouette event. With only 6 months to prepare, Field Target was out because I didn’t feel that confident estimating range, and my little CZ 200S going up against people from around the world who live and breathe this event have specialized multi thousand dollar rifles set up just for it.

100 yard benchrest — I plink and play at 100 yards, but haven’t practiced it enough to be good at it. Doping the wind (DOPE is an acronym that stands for Data On Previous Engagements) for pellets traveling 900fps at my airgun range where I normally shoot is surrounded by trees on three sides. It’s almost like shooting indoors. To compete in this event I need to shoot a lot more on an open range to improve judging the wind. 

Gunslynger prep range
The airgun range where I normally shoot is well protected from the wind.

The Gunslynger speed silhouette — 55 yards maximum distance. There are 20 targets total, the smallest is about the size of an American quarter (25mm) and is shot at 10 yards. They get bigger from there. It’s an all or nothing event — you either hit the target or you miss. There are no scoring rings, no alibis. You clean the rack or you don’t. That’s the type of shooting I normally do.

Also a deciding factor was the Gunslynger match was to be shot on Friday afternoon, leaving ample time to visit the vendors, test new equipment, and meet and talk to many people and competitors from all over the world. 

Gunslynger Cloud
Jeff Cloud working hard with an Air Arms TX200 springer in the Gunslynger event.

Which division? 

Springer? Nope, not with an AirArms Pro Sport that has a short cocking lever.  

Single load PCP? Either of my .22 caliber JTS rifles are more than accurate. So is my Daystate Wolverine and my ancient Gunpower Stealth. I tried these, and  all of my PCP rifles in single-load configuration against the clock. Try as I might, I just could not get as smooth as I thought I should be to be competitive. I would invariably put a pellet in backwards or sideways and had to stop to clear the jam. No bueno.

Magazine fed PCP? That I could do. I had enough magazines for the JTS rifles to shoot the entire stage, with shots left over for when I would miss (I KNEW I was going to miss, it was just a question of how many times.)

The Daystate only has 1 magazine, and at a cost of $120 for each magazine, having extras was out of the question. 

The rules

You had to use a magazine, the first mag could only have 10 pellets loaded in it, and the safety officer made sure of that. You could load as many pellets as you wanted in the rest of your magazines. 

I started practicing, and was getting smooth, and could clean the course in less than 90 seconds. 

I had done some security camera work for a friend and he paid me with a semiauto .22 caliber AEA HPSS Plus that he had bought and shot a few times until he grew bored with it (and he grew tired of going through a tin of pellets as fast as a 6-year-old  goes through a bag of M&M’s). For me it was just a novelty to burn ammo and have fun. Plus, I have very little invested in it.

One day I was using the AEA plinking with friends and was hammering 2×4-inch steel silhouettes out to 75 yards as fast as I could acquire the targets. I was shooting head-to-head with my friends who were shooting FX rifles, and I was leaving them in the dust.

The it dawned on me — re-read the rules. NOWHERE did it say you could NOT use a semiautomatic airgun. I messaged Tyler Patner to make sure and he said yes, it was legal to use one in the event. 

I set up my Air Venturi Airgun Slynger Metal Silhouette Targets, at the competition distances, and cleaned the course with ease. I had found my event, and the perfect gun for that event. 

In practicing I found the red dot I had on the rifle to be less than ideal, so I switched to a UTG 4x12x44 ACCUSHOT SWAT scope. I tinkered with my velocities of the airgun to get the greatest number of accurate shots I could get per fill which was 55 shots and the magazines I had for the rifle held 56.

The next hurdle was holdover. I zeroed the rifle for 55 yards, and found that at 10x magnification, I could hold 1 dot under the center crosshairs, and be dead on for the 10 yard bank of targets, at 25 yards I had to hold 1 dot over the crosshairs, and the same hold for 40 yards, at 55 yards it was a dead center hold. Easy peasy, one under, one over, and dead on. 

The last thing was the sequence, I tried shooting far to near, but with the scope set at 10x, when I transitioned to the 10 yard targets I spent precious time searching for the tiny targets with such a high magnification. I switched tactics. I started with the crosshairs on the first target at 10 yards, as I moved to farther distances the larger field of view would make target acquisition easier and faster

In theory, at the “GO” command, I would load my first magazine which contained 10 rounds, and clean the 10 yard bank, transition to the 25 yard bank and clean them, reload to my 17 round mag, and clean the last 10 targets with seven pellets left over. 

In actuality, during the match, with the person beside you knocking the targets over like a ticking time bomb, I invariably forgot to count my shots and fired a couple blank shots after the first 10, before I remembered to change mags.

The last part of the preparation was practice. This past summer in Houston, we had many days where the actual temperature was well over 100 deg. F. (37 deg. C.) with some days hitting 108 (42 deg. C.) and higher. Heat warnings were in effect until 9pm or later so shooting outside was miserable. I had to find another way. 

I had a target that could be shot at 10 meters, but had the silhouettes sized to appear as if they were at the actual distances.

Gunslynger targets
You can adjust the print size of the target to match the 1 inch scale at the bottom.

Coupled with the cost of pellets, I took a tip I had learned from the Olympic shooters — dry fire practice! Olympic shooters spend many hours daily practicing their stance, sight picture, release  and follow through. But may only shoot one card per day for record.

So that’s what I did in the evenings when commitments allowed, set my target in the trap, set my equipment up, and practiced sight picture, trigger pull and follow through, I would do this several times, then I would shoot one or two 20 shot targets for score. 

In total, I shot about 500 rounds that way, but as the match drew nearer, I knew I had to venture out some evenings to shoot the actual distances. 

That sums up the challenges I faced in deciding what event to compete in, and what equipment choices I made based on what I had at my disposal and within my budget. 

Now that I know what to expect for next year and have time to prepare more, I intend to shoot the 100 yard Benchrest, probably with the new Air Venturi Avenge-X Tactical I‘ll also shoot the Gunslynger match with either my current semiautomatic, or possibly a newer gun if the opportunity presents itself. 

After I shot the match, judging by the interest of the employees and shooting team members of the importer of the rifle I used, I do predict there will be more semi automatic entries next year in the mag fed PCP division, especially after seeing what could be accomplished by a half blind 60 year old, with a discontinued gun, that retailed for $500 when it was sold new. 

Shoot Safe, Have FUN!


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.

85 thoughts on “Preparing for the Gunslynger”

  1. Ian,

    Not to hijack, lovely prep for the competition.

    Has PA finished their “upgrades”? At least 5 times in the last 3 days when I try and go here it says comeback later we are doing upgrades. Other people have the same experience?


  2. “… especially after seeing what could be accomplished by a half blind 60 year old, with a discontinued gun, that retailed for $500 when it was sold new.”

    Good one, man! Yeah, I’m sure you raised a few eyebrows by thinking outside the box.
    This is a very interesting and detailed report; thank you! 🙂
    Here’s hoping you kick some serious booty next year,

  3. Ian
    Once again congratulations. You proved that a100% sound mind can overcome age and vision problems.It also seems that the AEA semi auto platform was/is a simple successful one, despite any small defects.
    As always a very enjoyable reading.

    • Dude, you live in Ohio, of course you need to be there!

      Even as a spectator it is something to see, you will meet many people from around the world, and many of the people from YouTube that you may watch their Airgun videos.

      Some of the vendors give away some swag, hats, sample pellets, all sorts of things.

      You will also get to meet many of the wonderful Pyramyd AIR staff that make all of this happen.

      I look forward to seeing you there next year!


  4. Ian,

    LOL! That is an awesome report that you have put together.

    What is really nice about it is that you do not need to spend an incredible amount of money to have a “winner”. A little time, familiarity with your choice of equipment and practice can go a long way.

    I hope you do well next year.

      • Ian,

        I do understand. I will often drop into “the zone” where I am totally focused on what I am doing. If my concentration if broken, it can be almost impossible to return. During those times when I am by myself at my shooting bench, I can produce some awesome groups. When others are around or I just do not have the time to settle in good, I just plink.

        Something else I have noticed is there are many airguns out there that are every bit as accurate as their more expensive cousins. This is why time and again there are examples of inexpensive airguns giving the “big boys” a run for their money at these competitions. The most expensive toys do not necessarily win the race.

        As you have pointed out, some of these folks devote their lives to these competitions. Sorry, I have other things to do.

  5. Another great guest blog! Bravo, 45Bravo. Shootski will appreciate the dry fire practice, I’m sure. And I appreciate the 10 meter target set up to give you realistic sizes of the silhouettes all in one 10 meter target. Can’t argue with the results! I agree with Bill, but there’s no hope for me; I am not 100% sound of mind. ;o)

  6. Question for all:

    Should one desire to participate in the springer division, what training regimine might be appropriate, since dry firing is inadvisable?

    Also, how would one calculate the proper size of the silhouettes on a ten meter paper target to simulate the Gunslynger distances? My initial effort looks a lot different than Ian’s sample. But I know my chicken (the 10 meter target in Gunslynger) is the right size (bigger than Ian’s paper target) because I traced the chicken life size. Here is a picture of a paper target similar to Ian’s, the life sized gunslyger targets and my draft attempt at a 10 yard paper target with the other targets sized proportionately for the appropriate distances. I set them all up at 10 yards and took the pic on 10x with my phone. Sorry for the picture quality (or lack thereof). I was wondering if the math oriented among us and let me know how to calculate the relative size of the targets at the relevant distances. Thanks.

    • Size changes inversely proportional to the distance. In other words if you have two targets that are the same size, and place one at 10-meters and the other at 20-meters from the viewer’s position, the one at 20-meters will appear to be half the size of the one at 10-meters. Hope that helps. I would like to have a properly sized target for 10-meters to practice with in the basement. If we can create a digital file that can be printed that would be awesome!

    • Roamin Greco,

      sorry, but I can’t help with target size calculations to simulate distances. 🙁

      Shooting silhouettes, or at least a version thereof, is one of my plinking pleasures. 🙂
      I am lucky to have an ~50m outdoor range to play in and here I have a box with 4 metal knockdown shapes and the resetting paddle in the middle – endless fun. 🙂

      However, if I, for some reason, had to limit my plinking to a much shorter indoor range, then how, if it’s even possible, could I simulate the need for elevation changes to simulate greater distances?
      Also, how to simulate windage?

      So far, all I can think of is using two target cards together:
      Front card, visible to the shooter, shows the target at an appropriate size for a particular distance.
      Rear card has the same sized target but offset…
      … to simulate the holdover needed for that particular distance. Therefore this is the card used for scoring. 🙂

      Sound good? Sound do-able?
      As ever, the devil is in the details, and here that means, working out the ballistics for the precise offset for the scoring target card. So, how much higher, or lower, than the visible front target does the, invisible to the shooter, rear target card have to be, to simulate a particular airgun and pellet and distance?
      This should be a perfectly possible calculation but is perfectly beyond me. 🙁

      I think the much easier question to answer, is, ‘how can we simulate windy conditions indoors, including gusts from random directions and at random strengths?’
      Simple: we can’t ! 🙂

      • Hihihi, once one works out the trajectory as Ian had, and the hold over and under for the various targets, then it would be a matter of printing two sheets of targets like you suggest: an aiming sheet and then right behind it, a scoring sheet with the targets where they would be taking the hold over and hold under into consideration. As for wind, I could come over and start talking to you….

    • Elmer is correct. I am planning to do something similar, so with the help of the calculator:
      Distance Relative size
      10 – – – 1.0
      25 – – – 0.4
      40 – – – 0.25
      55 – – – 0.182
      In other words, multiplying the actual size of the 40 yard target by 0.25 gives its equivalent at 10 yards.

    • I actually think the target I have are figured for regular air rifle silhouette distances, not the proprietary distances of the Pyramyd Cup,

      Standard distances are 20 chicken, 30 pig, 36 turkey, 45 yards ram.

      The cup distances are 10, 20, 40, and 55 yards.

      But since I knew my hold overs, and were only shooting at 10yds for practice, I could only hold on the10 yard dot, and concentrate on center mass when actually shooting the paper target

      It was as they “close enough for government work”.


      • If your scan is black and white only, not grays are, you can eliminate a lot of data and get a better image to share, or perhaps post to a site where it can be downloaded.

        On second thought, perhaps the preprinted paper target is copyrighted.

        • I originally had it as a .pdf file, but can not find it anywhere, but I had printed off a bunch of copies and put them in a portable file folder.

          Where I keep a bunch of targets for fun shooting with friends.


    • Roamin Greco,

      “…since dry firing is inadvisable?”

      Yup, that is what we have have always been told!

      NO Dry Fire!

      I never gave it much thought until getting my SSG SIG ASP20s; although unlike coil spring powerplant airguns they can be kept cocked for hours if not days at a time; perhaps some even for months! But Dry Fire is still discouraged if not totally avoided.

      Does anyone know of a DOCUMENTED TEST of a Coil Spring powerplant to failure?

      There are many WARNINGS from major manufacturers and all kinds of “good advice” on forums as well as videos and comments about torture tests of Gazillions of dry fires with no bad outcomes as well as stories of piston, spring, and other failures…but NO DIRECT EVIDENCE photography of any of this…that i can find. There are other reports that some manufacturers “say” it is okay…check your Owners Manuel…with no further information posted!

      It makes mechanical sense if the piston seal is smashed into the end of the chamber that it might be damaged just as detonations causing high temperatures might also be damaging to some materials more than others.

      Given that i don’t want to smash my piston repeatedly it would seem that a SIMPLE properly sized restrictor insert into the chamber/barrel of some fashion would allow the claimed gas cushioning to happen.
      But why hasn’t this been done? Or has it and the Patent bought up by Big Pellet. LOL!
      Am i missing something…
      or is it a matter of projectile sales…hmmmm….


    • David Ding from UTG took this as I walked off the line after round 1, he was surprised to see I use his scopes!

      I had chosen not to include a photo, as it is not a model Pyramyd stocks.


      • Thanks man. We all love PA but no one can stock everything, especially discontinued items so I doubt they will disapprove. Appreciate the picture as I had looked it up but everything referred to it as a pistol so I wasn’t sure if I was looking at the same thing. Good shooting friend!

        • Ok I wil give you one, the photo shows it with a 3d printed moderator on it I was testing/designing, but wasn’t used in the cup

          The gun is completely stock, other than a fake carbon fiber wrap around the shroud, and adjusting the transfer port to increase the shot count, with minimal loss of velocity as it ships from the factory it is overgrown gassed, meaning it uses more air than necessary to facilitate reliable functioning.


  7. Target size is the other way around. For instance, if your target is 1″ at 10 yards, then at 55 yards it will be larger – perhaps 5.5 ” (1″ divided by .182 if Henry is correct with his scale). As for 45 Bravo, you’re only 60? Ahhhh, you’re just a kid! 🙂

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

  8. Fred, perhaps I wasn’t clear. What I am trying to accomplish is to make a single sheet of targets that you can post at 10 yards, but simulates how the targets would look at the various distances. So while the ram is the largest silhouette, since it is set so far away, it appears small. So on my 10 yard target paper it has to be printed smaller than life size. My question to the group was to confirm smaller by how much? Here is a sample of what I shot up the other day with my TX200 Mark III.

    • I think that, if you have the actual targets that would normally be placed at the appropriate distances, you could place them individually on a copier and use Henry’s multipliers to enter into the copier and copy them at the various sizes and then have the appropriate sizes of the silhouettes to place on your 10-meter paper target.

  9. 45Bravo,

    Ian thoroughly enjoyed reading your Guest Blog.
    I believe you are 100% correct about upcoming competitions having semiautomatics becoming commonplace; the cat is out of the bag!
    Your hard and thoughtful work on and off the competition venue certainly deserves a BZ (Bravo Zulu) flag hoist.

    Thank you and good shooting dry or live!


  10. Readership,

    LOL! For those of you debating the size to print your targets read the words appearing at the top of the practice target Ian posted in his Guest Blog.

    Now please put on your Thinking Caps.

    This is a PERSPECTIVE problem and NOT a SCALE issue.

    NRA has scaled the targets for the distance they are shot in competition. The 10 Meter Practice Target is sized for how they will be visually perceived at each of the ranges they are placed for competition; as long as your indexing inch line at the bottom measures an INCH you are good to go.
    ALSO! The above perception FACT will be true for eyeballs and assisted (magnification of any power) as LONG AS YOU USE THE SAME EYEBALLS or THE SAME POWER OF MAGNIFICATION each time.

    YOU all are overthinking.

    One more try: Ian (45Bravo)already told you as much above in his Guest Blog.
    Ian wrote: “I had a target that could be shot at 10 meters, but had the silhouettes sized to appear as if they were at the actual distances.”


    PS: if non NRA rules apply to your Silhouette Game then you need to find the applicable practice target; typically found on their Home site or in their Rule Book.

    • Shootski, I agree, and would add that the people who made the target for the NRA (that Ian posted) performed the same exercise that Henry and I have described to arrive at the appropriate sizes of the silhouettes.

    • shootski,

      Perhaps I misunderstood but Roaming said “to accomplish is is to make a single sheet of targets” so I was assuming that he wanted to make his own targets. All your other points are valid.

      • I saved the image that Ian posted to my computer and opened it with Photoshop. It shows an image size of: width = 4.985” and height = 6.805”. If I scale the image up so that the width = 6.5” and height = 8.861” (constrained proportions, aka aspect ratio), then the 1” scale at the bottom of the image measures 1”. It prints well on an 8.5” X 11” standard piece of paper and has approximately a 1” border all the way around the image.

  11. Shootski:

    Respectfully, the preprinted target 45Bravo has and the similar one that I have do not say what “rules apply to [that target’s] Silhouette Game.” So I am trying to make an “applicable practice target” for the Gunslynger game.

    I know the Gunslynger chicken silhouette is shot at 10 yards, so I traced the steel chicken silhouette onto the paper at actual size so it is the right size at 10 yards. As you may be able to see from my very blurry picture, the preprinted target chicken is a LOT smaller than the Gunslynger 10 yard life-sized chicken and the tracing on my draft target sheet. So this exercise is not just about making the line equal to an inch. It’s about making an applicable 10 yard practice target for the Gunslynger game, which is played at 10 yards (chicken), 25 yards (pig), 40 yards (turkey), and 55 yards (ram).

    Oh, and I don’t know what the actual sizes are of the NRA silhouettes vs. the Gunslynger ones sold at P.A.

    • Ian posted this in a reply above:

      “Standard distances are 20 chicken, 30 pig, 36 turkey, 45 yards ram.

      The cup distances are 10, 20, 40, and 55 yards.”

      Due to the above differences, the NRA targets would not be exactly accurate sizes for practicing for the cup. But were good enough to suit Ian’s purposes.

      And your idea of possible differences in the silhouettes themselves versus the NRA silhouettes is a good question. Since you have some actual Pyramyd Cup sized silhouettes, they can be used for an accurate reference for this project.

      Henry posted the following above:

      “ Distance Relative size
      10 – – – 1.0
      25 – – – 0.4
      40 – – – 0.25
      55 – – – 0.182
      In other words, multiplying the actual size of the 40 yard target by 0.25 gives its equivalent at 10 yards.”

      The only discrepancy I see is: whether 20-yards (per Ian) is correct, or it is 25-yards. If needed the math could be adjusted for 20-yards. Please keep us posted on your progress. Someone (PA?) could sell the resulting targets if they wanted to.

    • Roamin Greco,

      Was busy yesterday with a HIIT workout with my PT, waterproofing the Viggen’s cloth top for the Winter, and then mowing before the rains came but have a few more bits of intelligence to share with you for your endeavor.

      Direct from the PyramydAIRCUP Gunslynger Rules:

      FOR Mag-Fed Division PCP Shooters

      Each shooter will have 20 (five of each chicken, turkey, pigs and rams) 1/10 scale NRA metal targets that must be KNOCKED down.
      Targets will be placed as follows:
      – Chickens at 10 yards
      – Pigs at 25 yards
      – Turkeys at 40 yards
      – Rams at 55 yards

      *These airgun silhouette targets are 1/10 the size of big bore silhouette targets, and are traceable to NRA’s Full Scale Standards for Steel Silhouette Targets.

      I don’t know what theat traceable means? Perhaps Tyler Patner can answer it for us.

      But if Air Venturi as the supplier:

      Air Venturi Airgun Slynger Metal Silhouette Targets

      Includes silhouette targets of chicken, pig, turkey and ram, 1/10 scale*
      Designed only for pellet rifles and pellet pistols
      Targets are constructed of 1/8″ heavy-duty steel
      Never shoot your targets with anything but lead pellets or low ricochet lead BBs
      Ram 2.75″ x 3.5″
      Turkey 1.5″ x 2.5″
      Hog 2.5″ x 2″
      Chicken 1.25″ x 1.5″

      Are the actual dimensions direct from PyramydAIR Web Page.

      Hope at least some of that is a little helpful.

      I’m going to go shoot my .177 #28 Benjamin Discovery with the Crosman 0410 Targetfinder Rifle Scope still mounted from the last shooting my daughter did with it back at least two decades ago! Still held the apparent 1,800PSI charge all that time…maybe it started at 2,000PSI but who knows…not me.
      I’m going to shoot off the bench at 25 yards and see what happens…should be fun regardless. Then i’ll mount a way better scope/mounts and compare ;^)


  12. Ian, I think we belong to the same range. PSC ? I have been to the Air Rifle range but never shoot there. Mainly shoot my air guns at home and Firearms at the range. I need to try my hand at longer distances. With all the work going on at PSC the air rifle range is one of the few sure bets on being available.

  13. Like the “David vs Goliath” theme underlying this good read; anything is possible when you work hard to hone your skills and learn to squeeze the best out of what you have to work with – that’s FM’s takeaway.

  14. Thank you, shootski. I have one full set of the gunslynger targets. Taking actual measurements of the targets and taking actual tracings with an ultra fine pen for the computer to scan. Final test might be real-world with the resulting printed target set up at ten yards and with the gunslynger targets set up at correct measured distances in the background for comparison.

    • I saw some of the Air Venturi SLYNGER targets at Walmart this morning and decided to purchase one. Here’s a photo of the back of the package:

      The specified distances are different than the distances used at the Pyramyd Cup competition. Example: Chicken is specified to be at 20-yards (for air rifle) by the instructions on the package but Pyramyd’s distance is only 10-yards. And the chicken that comes in the package measures about the same as the one that Pyramyd uses (1.25”x1.5”). But the other target sizes and distances vary (inconsistently). Anyway, I think this probably explains why the 10-meter paper practice target that Ian used is so much different (it appears to me to be trying to mimic the appearance of the targets at the distances specified on the back of the package).

      • Elmer Fudd,

        The range prescribed on the back of the package pertains to Metallic Silhouette rules where the shooter is shooting offhand. Gunslynger is operating on a different set of rules where the shooter is firing from a bench. I do agree with your premise though. Shooting the ram at 55 yards even from a bench is not a picnic.


        • The Pyramyd Cup rules on distances are different than those stated on the package, with some closer and some farther away. The chicken is only half the distance (10-yds versus 20-yds). The pig is only slightly less distance (25-yds versus 30-yds). The turkey is only slightly more distance (40-yds versus 36-yds). And the ram is significantly more distance (55-yds versus 45-yds).
          The sizes of the targets are similar but not exactly what I measured (especially the turkey, the one I purchased measures 2.75”x 2”. Therefore, some are easier and others are more difficult; no consistency just different rules. A 10-meter paper practice target that simulates the actual PA Cup rules will need to look quite a bit different than the one that Ian used. The chickens will have the largest difference in size. Yes, I tried shooting at the target I printed based on Ian’s photo at 10-meters. It takes a very accurate shot to hit the small targets.

          • Thanks, Mr. Fudd. Here is a copy of my draft target. Still needs refinement, but I think I’m on the right track. I’ll have a better one that can be printed soon. I want to include the yardage info and a reference to the scale.

            • Thanks Roamin Greco. That looks great and appears to be about what I had mentally envisioned. Looks like you have included red vital organ kill zones for good measure. I’m impressed!

            • Nice work, I will trust everyone’s math skills, which are far superior to mine.
              My intentions while using the target for practice was to just have a ballpark size visual reference of the targets to rehearse at 10 yards .

              So I could concentrate on sight picture, trigger pull, follow through, then to acquire the next target.

              Do remember, I was shooting and practicing with the scope set at 10x.

              When rehearsing with dry fire practice, yes I used the hold over sight picture to engrain it into my muscle memory.

              When I was shooting a card for score, I did not hold over for the longer distances when actually shooting pellets. I held at the 10 yd mark for all the targets.

              I didn’t think only one round of targets would interfere with my muscle memory.

              I hope your corrected target when finished is popular.


  15. B.B. and Readership,


    Interesting day of blowing out the cobwebs from my Benjamin Discovery too long neglected in the gunroom. Roamin Greco’s recent acquisition got this all started so blame what follows on him!
    Conditions were sustained west to northwest
    winds at 16 mph, gusts to 35 mph,
    falling temperatures and dewpoints throughout the day as drier air raced in. Periods of Sunshine and clouds racing by caused light conditions to change often.
    But all that didn’t really matter since the Crosman 4×16 scope the 0410 Targetfinder was unable to hold a ZERO. Not really all to surprising since it was bought new decades ago for perhaps US $4.00 and this hunk of mostly plastic is currently sold for about $15.00 or less. It has been decades since i have shot a worse scope and that was this same scope.
    The Benjamin Discovery is equiped with the original Crosman barrel and i don’t believe it is a LW or even fabricated with the currently used Crosman technique of honing and then rifling the bore. It was bought by me because of the enabling of the Godfather of Airguns in very early 2008 and is #28. It also was about the time of my first posts on the Airgun Academy Blog. I had talked with folks about the air rifle and read about the beginnings of it in my Airgun Letter subscription. I had been part of the Dark Side for well over a decade and just knew in my gut that this was the beginning of the Common Shooters PCP Era. But back to the bench.
    I started out sighting in with three H&N .177/4,5 caliber 0,34g/5.25gr Match Green pellets at 10M and then quickly moved out to 25M. The Discovery has a loud report but the Crack and almost instantaneous Clang at the steel trap told me the alloy pellets were going Supersonic. (I didn’t bother to set up a Chronograph.) The scope seemed to be working far better than anticipated…for the first few shots…
    So I moved to the #1 target. The first three shots formed a touching horizontal line. Then the next six pellets moved right and down but stayed together; that could have been a change in lighting…or not. A Singleton at the very bottom of the roundel was the last of ten pellets. I moved to #4 and it just went to pieces. So i decided to refill to 2,000PSI.

    The fill from a Carbon Fiber 4,500PSI Cylinder was going well and the two large cylinder/fill device gauges were reading matching pressures as well as the small gauge on the Discovery. At 1,800PSI i heard it…escaping air! I continued to fill to 2,000PSI hoping it would seal…sure it will…LOL! A quick check of fittings and dump knob nothing. But it was obviously (happens to almost every Discovery) coming from the guns pressure gauge or the fitting.) It leaked down to 1,800 and the hissing stopped. Okay, maybe this leak is a gift from Providence to keep Valve Lock in check…Nah!

    I will fix the leaking fitting and/or replace the gauge if needs be later.

    Back to the bench with a tin of old RWS Meisterkugeln Kal. 4,5 mm/0,53g or Cal. .177/8.2 gr. to see if they will cure the Supersonics and maybe overcome the SCOPE too…Nah! Quieter but Scope still wins.

    Target #3 started out SO GOOD with a nine that almost touched the 10 ring! Of course that was just because a GUST of wind blew it to there ;^) the next nine proved that. Okay half turn UP and quarter turn LEFT. On to Target #5. Pressure was still well into the (Air) Green zone not CO2 green zone; this rifle is dual fuel after all can’t get conused! The pellets however didn’t follow the bread crumbs to #5 they went on Walkabout to meet up with the first few holes from the initial sighting in!

    So i called it a day.

    I will fix the leak while i wait for the scope ring adapter or rail(s). Dismounting the Crosman TARGETFINDER 0410 4×16 “optical device” will be a PLEASURE. I’m going to go with a PICATINNY base adapter from UTG or a Dovetail to PICATINNY adapter rail and probably mount a ASP WHISKEY3 scope.

    It was fun getting to shoot under less than perfect conditions with optical gear that is challenging to say the least. I think the Discovery will prove to be a real shooter with one of the modern domed pellets at surprising distances.

    More on the Reunion with the .177 Benjamin Discovery when it is not leaking and has a proper scope; i may even try and shoot it with the glowie thingies it came equiped with before i mount the optic.


    • You are welcome, and thank you for sharing your experience. Please take a few pics when you tear into her. My Discovery is a used gun purchased at an online auction, and I really don’t know what I’m in for, except a lot of pumping and a cardboard box moderator for the basement.

    • Great work on the blog Shootski!

      Remember, the Benjamin has been in the corner for over 20 years, and the O-rings have not had any lubrication.

      So once you started exercising them, they stretched and compressed and moved around and now need a little attention.

      So your next blog is going to be the reseal, I look forward to it.


      • 45Bravo,

        Ian i suspect you are correct. Most certainly in the long term. She has been a Gun Room Queen for far too long not to have suffered some sealing issues.

        I put 2 drops of RWS Chamber Oil in the Foster Fitting and filled it to 2,000psi. Shot a number of blank shots and then put 1 more drop in the Foster Fitting and refilled the Discovery to 2,000psi. It has apparently stopped the fast leak down to 1,800psi! I am now doing a 48 hour leak down test to see if there is slow leaking to look for and eliminate.
        The horrid 0410scope is off and P AIR has shipped the 11mm to PICATINNY base adapters and a set of 11mm rings as a fallback ;^)


  16. Roamin Greco,

    thank you for making shootski write a ‘blog’. 🙂


    I enjoyed reading your Benjamin Discovery experience.
    Personally, I probably would’ve given up as soon as I discovered the leak, and yet, you rose to the challenges and continued. 🙂

    Anyway, I am now keen to read Part Two !

    PS Interesting to see the numbers ‘1’ and ‘7’ (target card notation). I assume it is the way you were originally taught?

    • Hihihi, your welcome. My pleasure.

      I am as keen as you, to read Part Deux

      PS if you look carefully at Shootski’s pic, you will see tiny numbers next to each bullseye.

      • Roamin Greco,

        You will also see that i mislabeled the pellets on #1 and #4 are actually the H&N alloy.
        I will try a drop or two of chamber oil into the Foter Fill port to see if it will swell the packing on the pressure gauge fitting first.
        The rifle wants to shoot way more than the “scope” thing. I will shoot it with the Fiber Optic sights next.

        If i go into the gun i promise pictures.


    • hihihi,

      I had two tins of .177 wad cutter pellets alloy and Lead (Pb) that i wanted to try; i mislabeled my target sheet on #1 & #4 those were the H&N on #3 & 5 with NULL hits (that was the POA/general area the “scope” was ponting…) as you can probably tell i’m not used to results that look like that; even in the wind.
      The West winds today are 15 with gusts to 25mph (24kph/13kts and gusts to 13kph/22kts) so no shooting
      today instead it was a kayak Downwinder morning.
      The Fetch orientation was perfect so the waves were running about 3′ to 4′ (around one meter) and the rides in the EPIC 18X Sport were fast; luckily there is a wind sheltered channel for the return upwind each time.


      • I just enjoy it, just take an outstanding D Oktoberfest series, bäää bääääng removed all the target with tremendous noise reload and reload again, guys this is fun!

      • 45Bravo,

        Great blog and a nice hack on getting your dry fire practice at 10 yards. You said that your paper target was meant to give some scaling so you could get an accurate sight picture and to practice target acquisition. As much as has been made of how big each animal is at such and such distance, I find myself wondering if you gave any consideration to the distances BETWEEN each of the five examples of each animal and scaling that to the various distances. I seems that would be useful in building muscle memory for the competition, but if they’re placed at random distances apart on the actual field of fire, I guess it would be less useful. Is there a uniform spacing between each chicken, for instance, at the competition?


        • Hello, honestly I didn’t think that far into it, I just wanted to have a general size representation on a single sheet of paper that was convenient and I could use in my house, or patio area.

          The actual targets are evenly spaced, below is a link to their website.


          Just as you practice for dove or duck hunting by shooting clay pigeons, the clay target is not an actual representation of the bird you encounter in the field, nor does it fly in the same manner, it just gets you back into the “swing” of things…

          The same with the paper target, I just wanted a target that I could get crosshairs and pellet on target.


          • Ian,

            I totally get the comparison to wing shooting and I hope you understand that I wasn’t criticizing anything that you did. It was just a question that occurred to me that wasn’t asked by anyone else, so far, in the discussion. I would still like to know if the animals are placed at a standard and uniform distance from one another and what that distance is, if you know. I might have enough “Geek” or “Nerd” left in myself to want to create a totally scaled target for my fellow Geek/Nerds to train with. LOL


            • No I wasn’t thinking that at all.

              I do understand the nerd/geek thing I do that myself in some subjects.

              I am just am amazed how much attention the target is getting.

              I was just needing a reference to practice aiming indoors in the evening and not have to melt in the Houston summer.

              I sincerely thank everyone who has devoted the math skills I do not possess to create an accurately scaled target.

              Many people will find it useful and will get great enjoyment out of it even if they never compete in the competitions.

              They can watch a video of the event, record the time it took for that person to win and then “compete” against the best without ever leaving their back yard!

              At this point in time the speed needed to win is not at the Olympic level of say the rapid fire event, but with more semi automatic entries in future years, and the ever increasing skill level of the competitors it may eventually get to that time where if you miss even one target you are out.


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