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The natural progression of a hobby (AKA stepping out of your comfort zone)

Today reader Ian McKee, whose blog name is 45Bravo, describes his experiences with airguns. 

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

Take it away, Ian

The natural progression of a hobby (AKA stepping out of your comfort zone)
by Ian McKee

Progression
A size comparison of .177, .22, .25, .357 pellet, .357 slug, and a .457 slug. 

This report covers:

  • Hobbies
  • I started out young
  • Stepping out of my caliber comfort zone
  • Stepping into a larger circle (pun intended)
  • Progressing into an even larger world 
  • Summary
  • Hobbies

We all have hobbies other than airguns and some may have more than others. From my years here reading this blog daily, I have learned there are many of us who love motorcycles and cars. Several are into various forms of radio-control activities and others are into timepieces. The list is endless. 

Sometimes when we get into a new hobby many of us dive in head first and buy all sorts of things we THINK we will need to enjoy the hobby, only to find out later that some of the things we bought are useful and work well, and others were a waste of time and money. [Editor — Can I ever relate to THAT!]

Others are very methodical and research everything before actually stepping into a new hobby. 

Sometimes you are into a hobby and never think twice about it actually being a hobby, it’s just something you do. For some people it’s tinkering with cars. For me it’s airguns.

I started out young

I fired my first firearm when I was five years old, it was my dad’s Winchester Model 50 12 gauge shotgun. I fired it at a can on the ground, while my dad held the forearm to support the weight of the firearm, I controlled the buttstock, aimed and fired. 

I got up off the ground, wiped the blood from my nose, and asked to do it again, and I still shoot powder burners to this day.

Shortly after that, my older brother gave me a Benjamin 312, and a tin of Benjamin pellets. He showed me how it worked, and with my limited strength I had to figure a way to pump it.  We set up a range in the backyard and I found the enjoyment of both the challenge and accuracy an airgun can give. From then on airguns were just something I did, like breathing. 

Many airgunners only know the pleasures of shooting .177 and .22 calibers, where ammo is cheap and plentiful, I was one of those for decades and was perfectly happy. Little did I realize I was languishing in my small bore world. 

Stepping out of my caliber comfort zone

Almost two years ago, I wanted a JTS Airacuda, but the only ones out in the wild at that time were the ones sent to testers and YouTube influencers. I found an influencer who I knew was willing to sell his testing sample after he had finished his videos. 

Unfortunately, it was in .25 caliber and you just don’t get as many pellets in .25 caliber tins as you do in the smaller calibers. Because when you purchase a tin, you are actually buying a certain weight in lead. The pellet count changes with the weight and caliber of the pellets. 

But since it was the only Airacuda on the market, and a full 10 months before the official public release, I bit the .25 caliber bullet and bought it. 

I knew .25 caliber could buck the wind better at longer ranges and carry more energy down range than the smaller calibers, but I had never experienced it in person. 

I have since embraced .25 caliber, and it is now part of the family. 

Stepping into a larger circle (pun intended)

After the Pyramyd AIR cup, through the graces of someone very special, I came into possession of an AirForce .357 Texan. I have been testing that caliber/gun combination, and have learned much in the last few months. Yes, it is intended for hunting, and it will get the chance for that, but I have learned it is also fun as plinking a caliber (not so much fun on paper, but it is great on steel!)  

Progression 357 Texan
A standard AirForce Texan in .357 caliber, topped with a UTG Accushot scope.

Side note, I thought .25 caliber pellets were expensive; .357 pellets are even more so. 

Some of what I am testing are cast bullets intended for .38 special handguns, as the Texan launches the projectiles at about the same velocity as the revolver. This Texan has a 1:16 twist, which puts it in the middle of the road between Colt .38 special handguns with 1:14 twist, and Smith & Wesson handguns (and most other manufacturers) that use a 1:18.75 twist rate.

I am going down this road with the mindset of trying things without buying .357 airgun bullets at retail, but what we as reloaders may already cast for, as retail ammo may not always be available. I welcome the input and suggestions from others that have either knowledge in this area, or may have already been down that path before me. 

Progressing into an even larger world 

While at the recent AirForce/Firebird Targets fun shoot I had the opportunity to shoot a .457 Texan SS (a suppressed version of the .457 Texan airgun) on steel targets at ranges from 50 yards out to almost 200 yards. I found the dueling tree at 100 yards to be quite a challenge. 

Progression 457 Texan SS
A .457 caliber AirForce Texan SS also with a UTG Accushot scope (I like UTG scopes on my hunting rifles.)

While not a viable hunting distance, the challenge of hold over was a lot of fun, and the 365 grain .457 bullet has quite an effect on the steel targets. 

I have since been graced with an AirForce .457 Texan SS of my own. My intention is to do some hunting with it. I have been invited to help thin a feral hog problem at a co-workers property, and an opportunity for an Axis deer hunt in the future, but the only stipulation from the land owner is that it must be done by airgun. 

Following the same path as the .357 project I do want to experiment with alternative .457 caliber projectiles. 

I have found the .457 Texan to be extremely accurate out to 100 yards with .365 grain hollow points, but those are a retail airgun projectile. I can get a higher shot count and still reasonable accuracy out to 75 yards with a .457 round ball that can be cast at home. 

Yes, there will be guest blogs for both rifles and the projectiles we explore together.

As I said, I welcome input and suggestions from anyone that has been down this road before me. I have experience with casting pure soft lead for projectiles used in muzzleloaders, and harder cast projectiles for cartridge handguns and rifles.

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Summary

As you can see I am embracing the larger calibers as both fun, accurate plinking guns that get lots of attention at both the airgun range, and the firearm range. And as a viable option to powder burners for larger game and pest control (at reasonable distances) than what we as airgunners are accustomed to using. 

I encourage everyone to step outside of your comfort zone, explore a new type of powerplant or new caliber that you may have been wondering what the hoopla is about.

Get into springers. Or buy an Air Venturi Seneca Dragonfly Mark II and experience the world of multi-pumps with one that is both accurate and easy to pump. Or cross over to the Dark Side with an Air Venturi Avenge-X PCP.  

Remember, on the Dark Side, we have cookies!!!

Shoot safe, Have FUN!

Ian

86 thoughts on “The natural progression of a hobby (AKA stepping out of your comfort zone)”

  1. In a somewhat but not entirely analogous way, I have stepped beyond my .177 fixation that started with my RWS/Diana Model 36. I moved onwards with a Diana 350 carbine – otherwise known as the great scope destroyer. In .177, I reversed course an purchased a Diana 430L from a western mail order house at fire sale prices. Instead of getting more beastly, I went “soft” and find a great deal of pleasure in a 12 ft. pd. underlever that puts them in the black again and again.

    To add to these springers, long guns, I’ve had a Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk in .22 for a number of years, which has been rather frustrating for accuracy and fore screw loosening. I added what is probably a real unusual piece before the Crosman in a Gamo Viper air shot gun and learned to reload the shot shells. It’s more of a novelty than anything useful, but it will surprisingly accurately fire pellets with the brass breech adapter.

    I added another Diana, one which is probably my most gorgeous piece, a 340 Nitro piston Luxus in walnut. It hits like a truck and is far more accurate in .22 than the Crosman. It is a joy to shoot and no twang due to the linear nature of the gas ram.

    My dark side was a wander into Turkey with an Hatsan Model 135 in .25 caliber: a most unhappy event. It took two rifles to get a good one and that second one a rebuild but with a gas ram. I finally discovered that Hatsan overbores its .25 caliber, but the JSB Exact Heavy Mark III is similarly oversized and an accurate combination was attained. However, I had a spread of pellets purchased while trying to find the “right one” that would never shoot in the 135.

    I lately purchased a Norica Dragon, not exactly in the price range of the Dianas, but surprisingly could shoot the actually properly sized .25 pellets and has a pleasant shooting characteristic. It’s lower powered than the Hatsan but hits with a thump.

    Pistols aren’t forgotten and I have them in .177 and .22; notably a Beeman P-1 (.177), an Hatsan M-25 Super Charger in .177, and the Browning 800 mag in .22. I have a Gamo P-45 in .177 that is now sold as an Air Venturi. Two real stinkers were purchased, a Benjamin Trail and the UMAREX Vortex.

    Lastly, I obtained a traditional German gallery gun in the civilian version, the RWS Oktoberfest. It is not to be taken too seriously but is unique to have and would probably make a good soda can chaser at short ranges. Better than the Daisy Model 25 pump-action but not pellet gun.

    So, without leaving the light and the expense of the “dark side,” I’ve a range of things and a very full arms locker aside of the 10 M range in the basement. Together, my air arms provide amusement and challenges when the bicycles are on the hooks in the garage and their tires are going soft in the winter cold.

    For me, shooting has been a relaxing alternative to the world I lived in before I retired as a social worker and chemical dependency counselor and interim pastor. Whereas those roles are imprecise and delayed in outcomes, shooting is almost instantaneous. Having clear outcomes is a good thing, particularly those that only depend on one’s own skill rather than the reactions and actions of others.

    Now what to do with all that spent lead now that a black powder buddy is out of circulation locally for a while…

    • My Benjamin Trail pistol was one of the most inaccurate airguns I’ve ever come across. The spring loaded breech plunger was the culprit–No lockup tension. A longer and stronger spring , some bronze pivot washers to replace the plastic ones and a longer trigger adjustment screw did the trick.

    • LF, don’t sell the Oktoberfest short, or any of them for that matter.

      You seem to have quite a collection, I am envious.

      If you get bored shooting, or things become boringly accurate , just move to smaller targets!

      Stand a .22 pellet on the corner of your target stand at 10m, then try to hit that with one of your other airguns.

      You will rediscover the challenge.

      Ian.

      • I don’t get bored. I shoot National air rifle targets at 10M, so the 10 ring is PLENTY SMALL (no THAT’S an oxymoron!). I’ve printed some targets of local pests and go for the kill zones. But, in the main, I’m well challenged by the air rifle targets for both long and hand arms.

        The Oktoberfest may well become a shooter. Given the recent shortage of N&N Excit Smart Shot, I have been unable for ONE YEAR to get enough rounds down range in it to have it level out and become predictable. Without that predictability, one can’t sight in the iron sights. BTW, I managed to fit on a Williams peep on the extremely short scope rail and that helped with aiming considerably.

        As an official “old fart” I was finding the cocking lever chassis to be greatly interfering with the sight picture of the supplied V notch rear sight. It would, for me, “get lost” in the hinge mechanism. Now, with the peep aperture, I have no issues with the rear right. I am beginning to understand that the rather thick arrow point front is a bit of a problem, but I will learn it.

        I have 6K rounds of the Smart Shot, so I will be able to conquer the Oktoberfest in the winter shooting season, to be sure. What makes this a bit more of a challenge is that I am shooting at approximately TWICE the distance normally associated with a gallery gun. 10 vs. 5 meters. Given the fact that I have NOT been able to get several hundred cycles of the power plant accomplished, things are still somewhat erratic. That too, shall pass.

        I have NO illusions that the Oktoberfest will EVER equal the precision of my Model 36, 350 Pro Compact, the 430L or any of the other branded long guns in the locker that take diabolo pellets. But, that’s not the point in the first place.

        I’m happy with it and gives me a new challenge; I just need a bigger target roundel!

        • LFranke,
          of those spring pistols you have, which to you like the best? You have a few, surprised you don’t have a Diana L8 to go with them. I have been looking into buying one myself as I have only owned C02 & Pump pistols.

          Doc

          • Doc:

            I have shot the LP8 when I visited a late friend some years ago in Cincy. It was a large and comparatively powerful pistol. It was large on the order of my Browning 800 Magnum (which is really an Hatsan) in .22 caliber. I had some problems with the Browning but they were resolved by an Hatsan recall for a safety problem. Got a new pistol for the price of shipping. I have been pleased with it. The only problem is the slippery scope “rail” that is cut into the compression tube not riveted on as a piece; opitcs tend to be jolted down the rail due to the considerable double-recoil forces.

            The best air pistol in the arms locker is the Beeman P-1, the amalgam of a 1911 Colt and the best of Weirauch engineering with the negative of a high price. It is in .177 and is better than I am; if it isn’t in the black it’s NOT the pistol. It is, however, best used in conjunction with a Beeman Pellet Seat tool which are out of production, but can be had through RAW as they now make a clone of the old tool. The reason for that is to “click” the skirt into the rifling so that the initial starting pressure in the shot cycle is reduced so that the breech seal isn’t blown out. The P-1 is sensitive to that since the seal is a thin, small O-ring – too much starting resistance causes a blowout.

            Perhaps the most powerful but also most economical pistol is my Hatsan Model 25 Supercharger in .177, next to its bigger brother, the Browning 800. The Supercharger just plain works; it is accurate and on par with, or maybe slightly more powerful than, the P-1. The only thing I have had to do with it is purchase left hand grips.

            Avoid, like a plague, the Benjamin Trail or UMAREX Trevox pieces. The Trail is junk and irredeemable. The Trevox seems accurate and powerful, but the trigger is so horrible it tends to have one pull off the point of aim. For the latter, I suppose that if one has the necessary skills, the trigger pull pressure could be ameliorated, but any trigger work is NOT for the inexperienced or untrained. The common denominator for these is Chinese manufacture. The Chinese ARE capable of fine work, but unsupervised and working to a price point, not so much.

            So….for a first break barrel pistol, on a moderate budget, my choice would be the Hatsan Model 25 Supercharger (with the gas ram). It does not disappoint as a lower-price piece. For the sophisticated taste, NOTHING compares to the Beeman P-1/Weirauch 45 that Tom Gaylord praises as an heirloom piece and the “Holy Grail” of air pistols – just buy a pellet seat tool from RAW when you order the pistol.

            If you are not a springer shooter, read the Gaylord instructional piece in the Blog Posts here related to “The Artillery Hold.” It is not just for air long guns but hand pieces, too. One has to allow the spring-piston works to “rock and roll” but without losing control. Tge trick is to maintain the sight picture longer than one might think necessary…

            • LFranke,
              Thanks for the insight. Very nice to know. Since I haven’t seen a Diana LP8 in person, I had no idea it was bigger than a Hatsan Supercharger. Whatever I choose, I would preferable want a holster for it. Not sure the Hatsan or Diana could fit in one. Maybe a pistol “sling” would work.
              And why would you suggest the Hatsan with a gas piston over the spring piston Hatsan?
              Thanks Again,
              Doc

              • Doc:

                The gas ram, in a springer, eliminates the “rotary” oscillation that is inherent in a coiled spring. It retains, of course, the fore/aft oscillation and resonances resultant from moving objects rapidly and stopping them abruptly.

                The smoother and likely quicker shot cycle becomes more important in an hand springer than a long gun since there is less mass in the piece to dampen some of the oscillations.

                The Hatsan M-25 Supercharge is, in my opinion, the pistol that Benjamin should have “made” by importing it under their logo from Hatsan.

                • LFranke,
                  Isn’t the Supercharger very hard to cock vs the others? PA lists the cocking effort as 58 lbs!! Also I only see the the springer version listed on PA now. Are the gas chargers going away maybe?

                  Doc

                  • Doc:
                    I haven’t found that to be oppressive on any of my springers. Of course, one side of me is kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger and the other side like Paul Rubin (may he rest in peace)! LOL

                    Seriously though, the Quiet Energy version has that built in suppressor that gives you a leverage advantage on the cocking stroke. My regular Super Charger came with two barrel ends; a short and a long. I used the long and it gives the same leverage, I suspect, as the moderator/silencer.

                    Know that the 58# is the max resistance, and as you come to the bottom of the compression stroke you are gaining some mechanical advantage not unlike a cargo strap tightener used on a truck or wagon. The trick is learning where your best bio-mechanical leverage points are as you get accustomed to cocking the thing and then sticking with it.

                    My worst spring gun for cocking is nowhere near the force-requirement of all the rest, it is my Beeman P-1/Weirauch 45. It is an OVER LEVER that ends up with a very short lever arm AND it cocks “in reverse,” that is, the cocking of the mainspring is by OPENING the arm not closing it. I have given myself a tad bit of tendonitis when shooting it obsessively. Fortunately, as the gun “wore in” and self-polished, it got somewhat easier, but it is still a “load,” because people are not as strong opening their arms OUT as opposed to closing them In.

                    I suspect that you will do well with the Super Charge with the Quiet Energy moderator built in (as a barrel extension). As you use the piece, you will condition yourself and it will get easier.

                    The thing you likely will have some fits about is how to clean the barrel. Cleaning pellets can’t be used since they will stick in the baffling of the moderator. Cleaning rods with brushes and loops for cloth strips will be necessary. And…BTW, I do advise cleaning an Hatsan bore when you get the piece to get the manufacturing debris out of it.

                    I hope this helps in your decision making. I see that the QE Super Charger is about $188 so it’s a good deal for a well-made piece. None of my complaints about any of my Hatsan products, to date, have had anything to do with fit or finish – only the overbore in .25 caliber.

            • Glad to know the Beeman pellet seating tool has been recreated. Another item for my Christmas wish list! I have seen the originals sell on eBay for $80!

              Along similar lines: I like the Pellet Pen that P.A. sells (perfect for break barrels), but they used to have an adjustable pellet seater tool that went on the back of it with a little retractable string and a neck lanyard. Wish they still had those pellet seater tools. Would make a great stocking stuffer or a promotional giveaway with the new logo. HINT HINT P.A.I.R.

      • Yes, you are correct, and I see no potential for going down the Dark Side.

        My comment was “MY dark side,” applying the term to the Turks; having been, to date a German and Crosman customer with two Spanish Gamos here to fore.

        The “dark side” of my springer was the Hatsan 135 in .25 Caliber that was the worst trial by airgun I’ve had other than the POS Benjamin Trail Pistol. I was saved from perptual “darkness” with the 135 by a comment on his blog where a contributor was complaining about the JSB Exact Monsters III in .25 fitting too tightly in the breech of his air rifle. I took a chance and ordered some and, voila!, the Hatsan became a shooter. I think it’s really a .26 Caliber or something???

        Please excue my nonstandard use of the term….

        I do that sometimes!

  2. OK, Ian, you got me. I’ll get out of my comfortable backyard zone of asocial distancing, and go to Diablo Rod and Gun next Wednesday morning for their “Airgun Wednesdays”, where there are other people (shudder!). I’ll see what it’s all about.
    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Yes, Mike go do it. You might be surprised with some of the other things that the members have, and enjoy.

      I wish a local range held an Airgun, Wednesday or something similar.

      After you return from there, why don’t you let us know what you found out and what you discovered?

      Ian.

  3. Ian,

    What a great blog! You hit the spot with the description of the hobby nature.
    My journey with shooting (airguns) began also when I was 5yo. For a long time, there was the cal.177 as “the one which makes sense” as the reasonable one for accuracy, velocity (in the kinetic energy limit range), pellets availability and price. I discovered .22 for myself not so long time ago. I think when once experienced you automatically tend to explore it to the very “sky is the limit”. Anyway, I love .22 cal now and I only can cry about the law limitation I’m facing here all the time. But the crazy Germans again: now they released some big bores with .30 pellets coming just out of the barrel or .50 rubber balls shooting gun, instead of pellets – to get the F certificate. Hahah – it is clear… like it is with all these export mainsprings available everywhere for all types of springers. Like it is with the export transfer ports… It is just a big effort to get the FAC license to just buy a “normal” airgun which you can’t use in your garden (according to law) but only on a certified shooting range / club. There is no sense for a big bore in some energetic limitation which makes it flat. All “normal” limitation for free airgun use like the approx.. 12fte limitation are already borderline for .22, makes the .25 almost senseless, not need to talk about .457.

    I can tell you for sure – if I could use the big bore I would definitely spend most of my time shooting it.

    • tomek,

      I am so glad I live on this side of the “pond”. It is really messed up over here, but I like it anyway. At least over here we CAN have something more powerful than F (I do have one), for now.

    • I have always wondered why in the UK people would buy sub 12ftlb .25’s but I can now understand after moving up.

      Even at sub 12, the hold over challenge real and very pronounced at moderate ranges.

      Ian

  4. Looking back, I realize my hobby is in collecting airguns and it all began anew when I retired around 15 years ago and was looking for a safer way to conduct pest control. Better airguns just kept coming out and sparked my interest.
    While looking for parts to repair my old trusty Daisy 1894, I discovered the new world of airguns, and this blog actually. And of course, the fact that a low powered bb rifle was not good for pest control.
    I have more than two of every type of airgun now except 10 meter and big bore. Neither are good for pesting and are too expensive for plinking.
    A lot of plinkers have acceptable accuracy and firearms still function well for hunting, if needed.

    I have moved out of my comfort zone in my auto hobby and right into a danger zone.
    We called fast Japanese motorcycles “Crotch Rockets” and I’ll call turbo charged, fast revving, exotic cars with 180 MPH speedometers Turbo Rockets. They do ‘everything’ faster than a big powerful V8, and you really need to change the way you drive and adapt to them to stay alive. Talk about riding a Whirlwind.
    You even need to think faster.

    • Bob M,

      I have been “collecting” airguns for some time now. That will likely come to an end (mostly) when I retire very shortly.

      I used to ride “crotch rockets”, but now I have slowed down a bit and ride my Harley.

      Get yourself a 10 meter air rifle or pistol of some sort. You will find it to be an exceptional indoor pester. I used to use an AirForce Edge (which is now in BB’s hands) and my Izzy for such. They are very accurate and do not produce much collateral damage.

    • Bob, you hit the nail on the head many years ago a Kawasaki GPZ was my preferred method of transportation.

      You definitely have to focus further down the road the faster you go.

      The most exciting thing I ever rode, was a Marine turbine technologies, Y2K motorcycle.

      It’s a crotch rocket with a turbine engine from a helicopter.

      That one you had to think well ahead of where you were, because when you rolled on the throttle, it took a couple of seconds for the turbine to spool up.

      When you rolled off the throttle, it took a couple of seconds for the turbine to spool down.

      Ride safe!

      Ian.

      • Hi guys,

        I think I must be getting old 🙂

        You US guys can own a lot of guns that I would need a permit (and good reason) for. But in Germany, I am allowed to drive as fast as I want to (in theory… if there is no speed limit on the highway and the traffic situation allows for it, which is becoming rarer).

        There were times when I always went as fast as possible. But nowadays, I find speeds significantly above 160 km/h / 100 mph pretty stressful, especially if there are other drivers on the road or the weather conditions aren’t great. Also there is the fuel consumption which skyrockets at very high speeds.

        I have a motorcycle license but not too much desire to buy a bike. I know how other people drive and if they overlook you, you don’t stand much of a chance.

        But then, I also like wimpy little airguns like the HW30S. I guess I’ll just turn in my “badass” card 🙂

        Stephan

        • Stephan,

          Hey, old man, I think you are watching the Amis learn what matters in airguns.

          As for driving as fast as you want, I remember coming back to Nuremberg from Ingolstadt doing 160 kph on my Jag sedan (an older one that failed the TUV, to be sure) when a Porsche 904 passed me so fast it rocked my car. Was he going 240 kph? Who knows? I let off the gas and slowed to 130 kph, having been humbled yet again! 😉

          BB

        • Never give up your card!

          Every country has its trade-offs, the ability to drive as fast as you want or the ability to own any type of firearm or weapon (for the most part) that you want.

          Hmmmm, trade-offs that sounds like a future blog topic.

          I may have to think on that one.

          Now that I’m older, I will take the owning weapons over not having a speed limit.

          Ian.

            • Stephan
              Keep that mentality. After all here in Europe there are not many enjoyable things left. I will try to use my airguns, not F, as long as I can even in my backyard, and drive my Mini as fast as I can, safely, just for the fun of it.
              Life is too short to make it even shorter.

  5. Great post Ian. My first foray into big bore was this time last year. I purchased a Umarex origin in .25. For the last twenty odd years I had been trapping armadillos and dispatching them with CCI CB longs ,these days the Origin .25 (with one of our buddy Terry’s printed moderators on it)is on armadillo duty here at Boudreaux’s island of misfit airguns and it does a fine job of it.
    for really big bore I still lean to PB. Loaded some 45/70 with hand cast .460’s last night for my Pedersoli “Long Range” Rolling Block last night. I recently installed a Lee Shaver Soule sight on it and plan to sight it in this weekend.

    • Hey Boudreaux! I used to have a Pedersoli Rolling Block in .45-70. I put a one ounce silver coin fearturing a buffalo in the stock. Unfortunately, it found a new home a very long time ago.

    • Oh no, Ridge runner has apparently enabled you to open a satellite branch for wayward airguns!

      SSC, I have owned a couple of Pedersoli muzzleloaders over the years I always lusted after one of their cartridge rifles but they were out of my price range.

      I’ve owned three 4570s in my life the first was an 1886 Winchester then I found it a gun show for a really good deal from a guy walking around looking for a magnum handgun. Did I have a deal for him?

      He ended up with a Thompson contender in 3030 Winchester, with an extra .223 barrel.

      And back in the 80s a gunsmith friend of mine took a Siamese Mauser action and revealed it to 4570 for me.

      It was fun and different.

      The last one I had was an H&R single shot.

      That one I quite enjoyed downloading to plinking load, velocities and using lighter bullets for a low recoil fun gun for Sunday afternoons at the range.

      • Gosh I typed my Island wrong. I think I got RidgeRunners approval sometime back 😉 officially we are “Boudreaux’s Island For Misfit Airguns” BIFMA.
        Last week We had some talk about Daisy #25’s . I received my second one, shortened the windage screw (so it would not hinder adjustment) and drilled out the peep to suit me then it would not act right at all. Last night it finally dawned on me that I forgot to clean the bore ………DOUGH. Sometimes I forget the most basic things but then my rememberer works again and all is right on the Island.

        • That’s OK.
          I should have read my entry before I hit send because I have big fingers and a small phone and what should have been re-barreled the Siamese Mauser to 4570 came out as revealed.
          Not what I wanted to say.

          It happens…..

          Ian

  6. LOL! Great little blurb you came up with Ian! This will most definitely stir things up today! Thanks!

    So, you have discovered the world of big bore? You are most definitely hooked on the Dark Side now! Muhahahahahahahaa!

    • Yes, I got hooked on the Darkside about 2013ish.

      And I left my multi pump and springer roots in the dust, unfortunately.

      Writing for this blog is allowing me to revisit those past times.

      Ian

      • Ian,

        I cannot turn my back on the world of sproingers, as my most recent blurb proves. I do like the Dark Side though. The very first airgun I tried to buy was a .58 Bison made by Gary Barnes. He would not sell me one, I guess because I did not know enough about them then. Now it is too late.

        I have a Texan LSS in .457 up here. I have heard there are hogs here in VA, but I have not seen any sign of them as of yet. We have idiots importing them and turning them loose so they can have something to hunt. If I was a farmer, I would start hunting idiots.

        I am just now getting to .25. I bought an Amada this past show. This promises to be a fun shooter.

  7. You are most definitely the Deacon of the Darkside!
    Other than hunting, you have not said why the bigger than .25 caliber is better at anything?
    Other than leaving a hole in your wallet….

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      He did indeed state why .25 and up is better. The mass of the projectile is less affected by cross winds than the lighter pellets. This is one of the reasons so many of the long range airgun shooters prefer the larger calibers.

      • RR

        Guys at my range split the edge of playing cards at 200 yards in a 10-14 mph wind with their .25 caliber ballon guns. Reading the wind is just or more important than reading your holdover correctly.
        Other than hunting, big bore are just a waste of lead…rant over.

        -Y

        • I would expect there are a lot of hunters and pesters who use big bores, and then the small bores for target practice. There’s room under our tent for other’s preferences.

          As for wasting lead, big bore addicts could shoot into rubber mulch traps and recycle the lead over and over and over by recasting their bullets.

        • Quick question Yogi, what is a Ballon gun?

          At the local public ranges I sometimes go to, airguns are a rare item.

          Always the enabler, I answer their questions, let them shoot it.

          The look on their face when they use a “pellet gun” to hit the same steel plate at 200 yards what they were missing with their 300 win mag is priceless.

          Most of them will only remember that they shot a 45 caliber air gun and hit a steel plate at 200 yards and it had a really big silencer on it.

          But others are intrigued and are looking for a challenge and come back for more.

          Yes reading the wind is very important, but a lot of powder burner shooters don’t take the time to learn that skill.

          Ian.

          • Ian,

            Ballon gun is a PCP. Glad I did not call it a Goon Gun,lol.
            At my range we split some time with the .22 LR powder burners. Yes PCP’s are much more accurate, and a darn sight quieter. Got wear “ears” when they are around…
            As for the fat guys at the range who are so impressed by .45 caliber and big LDC’s, do we really want them in our hobby? I don’t!!!!

            Let them them burn money as it goes out their barrels…

            -Y

            • I think I may not have communicated that well.

              Some of the people at the range will shoot it once and all they remember if they used a pellet gun to hit something really far away and had a big silencer.

              And that’s as far as their interest in the air rifle will ever go.

              Some people show a genuine interest in the hobby, and want to learn more.

              I’m always willing to share the enjoyment of the hobby and the capabilities of what it can be doing with anybody that’s willing to listen.

              Ian.

      • Haven’t shot the .25 HW90 that much, but still have enjoyed the experience even at full-power cocking effort. Seems will be the right backyard caliber for calming iguanasauruses around here.

    • And one of the main advantages or challenges, of a big bore Airgun is the holdovers.

      Everyone no matter what you shoot, everyone wants to be Matthew Quigley at long range with a really big gun.

      Airguns allow you to explore the challenges of holdovers, but at much shorter ranges.

      With .45 and larger calibers (.50, ..51, .72 an beyond)You can zero your big bore air rifle for 50 yards, and when you move out to 100 you better be ready for that 6 inch drop. (Depending on bullet, weight, caliber, and velocity..)

      Move it out to 150, and you have to learn that one, at 200 yards you’re playing mortar.

      Well, the listed distances will probably be out of the range of most peoples backyards.

      It is entirely feasible at almost any public firing range and when you show up with said air rifle, all the people on the fire line are asking you questions.

      What is it? How does it work? What does it shoot? How does it shoot and you have the chance to expose new people to the hobby.

      I can’t say honestly, big bore air guns are not for people that use a hand pump to fill their guns.

      If you do decide to get into it and use a hand pump, you can cancel your gym membership because this will get you in shape!

      Besides, it’s just fun and it’s different than what you’re used to shooting.

      AND you don’t have to use tweezers to get that tiny .177 caliber pellet in that small loading tray.

      Ian.

  8. A movie titled “The Joneses” was made in 2009. It’s all about the very common human trait and phenomenon of “keeping up with the Joneses.” (But there is a twist to the story in that movie.) I have found (first with guitars, and also home theaters, and now with air guns) that these types of forums and blogs peak our curiosity and we just HAVE to try out all the different products. So it is that I have very quickly collected more air guns than I ever thought I would. So be it. There will be more to come. One of my favorite aspects of this blog is the information, that enables those of us who want to know, how to maintain and repair the air guns. Anyway, another excellent post Ian! Thanks!

    • I am in a similar situation. I have to start a list of the airguns I have. I am losing track.

      Sometimes, I find an online auction for an airgun I like, and it is a lot of multiple airguns. I tell myself that I can sell the other airguns I am not as interested in and that will pay for the airgun I initially wanted. So far, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. For example, I bought a lot of 3 airguns consisting of a Diana 350 Magnum in .22, which I wanted for pesting, and it came with a Diana 24 J, and a Beeman R7 from the San Rafael address. I ended up writing a blog about the 24 J, It is a really fun little gun, and now I want to get the other related Models for comparison: 24D, 24 T01, etc., 240 Classic, and Two Forty. The Beeman R7 needed a breech seal and a Williams aperture to complete it, and I hope those small fixes increase its resale value, but I am still playing around with her. I may eventually disassemble her to clean and lube. This is but one example of my problem. At this rate, I may need to empty out a room for all the guns I am accumulating. But everything I have spent on airguns to date is still less than the most expensive purse my wife has purchased, so I’m still good.

      • Roamin, I tell my wife guns are like shoes not everyone does the exact same job

        basic black shoes don’t go with every outfit, and she understands that.

        But she reminds me that her shoes don’t cost $400 each.

        my response to that was they can if you want to.

        Yes, I even try to enable my wife.

        Ian.

        • Ian,

          That shoe thing will not work with Mrs. RR. She is not into shoes.

          As far as projectile mass recommendations for your .357, I cannot really help you there as I have only used the JSB pellet with any success and the HM1000X I had was tuned to that projectile.

          With .457, I have a Texan LSS. It seems to like 350 grain projectiles. I have been told by other shooters this is the mass I should go for with this air hog. I have shot some of the Air Venturi bullets in that mass range and have been quite pleased with them. I have a box of NSA I have not tried yet, but will be sure to let you know how they do.

  9. Ian, thanks for the thought-provoking blog. You are giving me a peek into what is in store for me. I am just about to stick a toe in the darkside with a used Discovery, while still being firmly into restoring vintage springers and CO2 guns. Also, I finally bit and got a wood stocked Crosman 362 anniversary edition. So I’m heavily into the collector aspect of the hobby as well.

    This could be a great Friday blog, with conversations going in multiple directions, so now I am excited to know what Friday’s blog will be.

      • I think that one is a bit wider than 11mm, and I have a Daisy 853 with a wood stock that none of my standard rear peeps (other than the Williams) fit on. The Williams sits too far forward for my liking, and although I ordered the Daisy plastic rear peep, I don’t know how long that will last. So I am wondering if the FWB rear sight will work better. We can talk about it off line. That, and I am always getting my hands on old airguns, and I like the rear peep sights.

        • Roamin: I had a scope ramp problem with my Beeman P-1 when mounting a pistol scope. I think it was UTG has an adapter that offers a solution. Might check them out.

          The adapter allows for an “odd” width ramp to be translated into a picatinny-style mount.

          The obvious disadvantage is that there is a rise in the scope optical axis to bore axis, but that can be accounted for.

          Again, I think it was a UTG adapter, but time has fuzzed up the recall…

  10. Great story; appeals to FM’s interest in the historical side of people and what motivates them to do what they do – good, bad or indifferent. Believe a lot of us who do not consider ourselves “people people” are not necessarily antisocial. We’re just selective about who we “hang” with; call it “social quality control,” if you like.
    Read somewhere that men bond together thru mutual interests – such as powder-burning and air gunnery.

    FM has met some really fine people through mutually-shared hobbies and has been fortunate to make good friends in the process. He’s learned a lot from them too. 🙂

  11. Ian,

    Good write up. You’ve definately “gone down the airgun rabbit hole.” You now own a .457 Texan SS??!!

    Since you are now into air hogs, it would be interesting to know about your evolution in air sources as well. Must assume by now you have a big compressor?

  12. Roamin: I had a scope ramp problem with my Beeman P-1 when mounting a pistol scope. I think it was UTG has an adapter that offers a solution. Might check them out.

    The adapter allows for an “odd” width ramp to be translated into a picatinny-style mount.

    The obvious disadvantage is that there is a rise in the scope optical axis to bore axis, but that can be accounted for.

    Again, I think it was a UTG adapter, but time has fuzzed up the recall…

  13. 45Bravo,

    Welcome.

    Ian, i read your most excellent Guest Blog last night a minute or so after it posted even though i should already have been in bed. I almost wrote a reply but thought better of it to allow the blog to unfold without my early input. It is without a doubt a very well thought out premise and the responses have been wonderful to read as well.
    My comment is about Big Bore Airguns.
    Yes, Yogi is correct that inside of 200 yards/meters on the range .25 caliber and smaller is practical.
    Who wants to be practical?
    Where is the fun in that?
    Everything costs something if this is your hobby and your not starving your dependents or mortgaging your future go for it if it brings you JOY!
    IF you can afford the cost of ammunition/air or make it affordable and have a place that you can shoot go for it.
    If you have a 200+ range available great not everyone has the luxury of the NRA Whittington Center https://www.nrawc.org
    or access to the USMC Quantico Ranges; but almost every US State has an ELR (Extreme Long Range) range and Tourists from other countries are welcome at many of them to include rentals (typically not airguns) to shoot.
    Intriguing discussion of what the motivating force is:
    https://www.longrangeshooting.org/articles/the-dummies-guide-to-long-range-shooting

    Thank you Ian!

    Bravo Zulu

    shootski

  14. “Indoor pesting”

    RidgeRunner, as a Mr. Fix-it I can justify keeping almost everything I ever have by figuring out how I may have a use for it sometime in the future. If I ever shot an airgun indoors, I would surely hit something of ‘value’.
    Even if I hit the pest it may go through it and continue on to destroy something.
    Heck, I removed a second bathtub for more storage space, and it is now residing in the rafters of my garage with all sorts of plumbing pipes and lumber and assorted ‘long stuff’.
    Not sure how many ‘Parts cars’ I need to have on hand to complete a mid-engine V-8 Kit Car, or repair and keep running one of three.

    Outdoor Pesting … Anything beyond a hundred yards is not really a pest. Just another critter in the wild. They need to be interfering with my life first. But I guess you could consider it preventive maintenance? Don’t think I can even see one that far away these days anyway.

    Come to think of it, a big bore airgun kind of defeats the purpose of transitioning to airguns, mine anyway. Except of course for hunting and whatever fun and games you can come up with using one … or, you are a Collector. Need to rethink this one.

    It’s not just the fast car.
    In an old V-8 you step on the gas pedal pull out and pass someone. No big deal.

    In a 4-Cylinder Turbo you down shift, step on the gas pedal and the turbo immediately kicks in and the tachometer heads for the red line. When you turn out to pass someone, you accelerate so fast you find yourself running off the road to the left before you have a chance to straighten out. Then the “Lane centering” automatically kicks in and takes over steering you back into the car you are passing. Once again, faster than you can straighten out.
    The side collision warning kicks in because of a fast-approaching vehicle on your side. then the rev limiter kicks in and shuts down the engine speed. You need to up shift fast in the middle of all this to keep moving.

    If you were cutting it close for oncoming traffic, head on, the impact avoidance system will put the brakes on and put you in an extremely dangerous situation. A head on collision. You need to get back in lane immediately and hope you have enough clearance between you and the car you just passed without running him off the road.
    But now the lane centering wants to keep you in the wrong lane with oncoming traffic and you need to fight it off. In doing so you over correct and start heading for the curb in the right lane once auto centering drops off. Then it kicks in again to avoid the curb and now you need to upshift again because you have red lined the engine speed again and are slowing down.
    It all results in a rapid, almost out of control, fishtailing session just to pass someone.

    Needless to say, you need to shut all that built in safety stuff off for performance driving.
    Too bad it does not automatically shut off when you press the steering wheel ‘N’ (Nürburgring) race padel.
    It tightens up the steering, suspension, clutch, throttle response and opens the exhaust.
    Unfortunately, it does not jolt the driver’s attention span. Need to wait for that burst of adrenalin.

    Almost forgot. Now I just fight the lane centering, slide over to the left to pass then floor it after getting lined up straight. New trick for an old dog.

    • Golly Gee Whiz, I must be an old dog. I would not own a car like that. That sounds like “the driving experience from Hell”.

      I have been accused of being a pack rat also. I am starting to learn to toss some stuff, but it is not easy.

      As far as indoor pesting is concerned, I live in a log home with oak floors. a 10 meter airgun is not going to do much damage with a miss and even less with a pass through.

      As far as outside, I do not shoot any critters at all, although I have been sorely tempted to thin out the bushy tailed tree rats around here for stealing my apples. Now I have a bear who tears the entire apple tree down. Mrs. RR tells me that they have to eat also. I note that she is not too happy when a hawk grabs up a baby rabbit or a black snake crawls up a tree and eats the baby birds in the nest though.

      I used to hunt in my younger days, but have not needed to for many years now, so I stopped. I still like to shoot and I really like to shoot long range. I have a variety of airguns to shoot in a variety of circumstances. I also like to “collect” the different “styles” in which shooting is accomplished.

      • RR
        A lot of my driving behavior is carried on from 69 351 Mustangs. These hot hatchbacks are an entirely different animal and I need to adjust. That story was my worst-case scenario and front wheel drive is another story, when you combine 275HP and steering to the same wheels at the same time things can get crazy. But I won’t be snapping any rear leaf springs with this one.

        My sister has tree squirrels all over her place in Florida and they are no big problem but out here in CA we have ground squirrels, and they stay on the ground and dig holes all over the place and try to live in your walls and cars if they can but mostly under boulders and they multiply fast. Fuzzy tailed rats. skinny tailed rats, gophers and rabbits. Nothing like being one with nature! But I must admit the long drought out here has thinned them out a lot or the Coyotes have been working overtime.

  15. Since Word Press has apparently “dropped the ball” again, I have been looking around at some other places. I saw an article about the new Benjamin pellets and have been asked about them. I have not tried them yet, but I am now curious that they offer the .22 pellet in the light weight version, but the .177 pellet is a heavy weight. I do understand that mass is a benefit when shooting long range, but with my .177 shooting, I am usually at 25 yards or less. That honker does not necessarily work well in my small caliber sproingers.

    I guess I will just have to wait until Benjamin gets around to making a light pellet in .177. I can do that while I am waiting for Word Press to get their act together also. I will not hold my breath for either.

  16. 45Bravo,
    “Because when you purchase a tin, you are actually buying a certain weight in lead. The pellet count changes with the weight and caliber of the pellets”
    Too bad the same isn’t true for firearm ammo. I hate it that my 22 mag. is higher than 9mm. And don’t get me going on the cost of my fav .410 vs 12 or 20 ga.

    Doc

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