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Learn how it works

FOXEdge The Claw karambit.

This report includes:

  • FOXEdge The Claw karambit   
  • Trouble!
  • Works for airguns
  • Diana 34 EMS
  • Sig ASP20
  • The Crosman 362 100th Anniversary rifle
  • Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I want to take some time to examine things we possess but perhaps don’t appreciate to their fullest. I featured the FOXEdge The Claw karambit knife shown above is my lead-in, so let’s begin there.

FOXEdge The Claw karambit    

One of my good friends at church is a retired cop. He carries a concealed pistol all the time and everywhere, because 30 years in law enforcement and getting shot in the line of duty taught him lessons he can’t ignore. He calls his pistol his American Express card and he won’t leave home without it.

The karambit knife he carries is an adjunct of this. You will notice this knife has two projections at the base of the blade where it meets the handle. They are for rapid deployment, so the blade is out the instant you draw the knife from your pocket. My friend does it without thinking. So, when he recently gifted me with a similar knife, I wanted to do the same thing.


The first several times I tried to deploy the blade the same way he does I almost cut my fingers! It wasn’t as easy as it looked. But I took some time to study the knife and finally after some practice the deployment method became clear and easy. I can now draw the knife and deploy the blade at the same time, but I had to learn how it works.

Works for airguns

This same principle works for airguns. I am getting some criticism for the number of times I’m writing about shooting the Gamo Hunter Extreme. Some readers want to see more of it and others think I have sold out to Gamo. It feels strange to be asked to write more about a certain brand of airgun and at the same time being asked to stop writing about the same brand!

Gamo Hunter Extreme
Gamo Hunter Extreme.

How can an obviously superior scope (Meopta) make the rifle less accurate than the Gamo scope that came bundled with the rifle? The answer is — it can’t. What CAN happen is what is happening before your eyes. I’m learning how the Gamo Hunter Extreme shoots. The Meopta scope just makes it easier to see what I’m shooting at. My reports have to end at some point but just because they do doesn’t mean I’m finished with that item. It just means I’m finished for that day. 

Diana 34 EMS

Diana 34 EMS
Diana 34 EMS.

I like Diana airguns. I watched over the years as their model 34 rifle evolved from a ninety-dollar El Cheapo breakbarrel into one of the most capable spring-piston airguns on the market. Then I tested the Vortek PG4 SHO tuning kit in it and found it to be remarkable. I installed that Vortek PG4 kit in RidgeRunner’s 34 and now he can’t stop talking about it.

RidgeRunner was going to sell his Diana 34. Now that it is doing what he wants it’s one of his favorites. In this case, he didn’t have to learn how it worked — how it worked was changed to become how he wanted it to work!

I reported on the Diana 34 EMS in 2021. At that time I liked the idea of a modular convertible springer, but not how it was marketed.

We have certainly looked at the Diana model 34 EMS closely this year. I think Diana launched the rifle incorrectly, but they had a major change of personnel in their marketing department at the time the rifle was launched, so that could explain it.”

“The modular part of the rifle doesn’t look so modular from the user’s viewpoint. The barrel is supposed to be changeable, but not by the user. The spring is supposed to be interchangeable with the N-Tec gas piston, but the parts for that don’t seem to have materialized. And the front sight that is fiberoptic is supposed to swap out for another sight that is nowhere to be seen. All are good things that never materialized this year.”

In my most recent report I said I was glad that SOMEBODY (Vortek) has made the EMS dream come true. Because of the work Vortek has done, the 34 EMS is becoming the rifle people thought they were buying. Does it perform well? I don’t know; I haven’t tested it yet. It seems like it shoots easier (less recoil and vibration), but please give me time to test it. I will tell you how it does when we get there.

Build a Custom Airgun

Sig ASP20

I also like the Sig ASP20. I think it is a fine breakbarrel that is perhaps the best of its type so far this century. It is one of the most natural shooting spring-piston air rifles I have ever owned — on par with the HW 30/R7. With the ASP20 there was no “learning” required. The rifle feels right, cocks right, has a great trigger and superb accuracy. I hope the Diana 34 EMS can deliver performance in the same ballpark.

Sig ASP20
Sig ASP20.

As far as Sig the company goes, I think they missed the boat on this one. Like Diana after the sale of the company, they lost sight of the airgun market.

I understand some of the reasons they abandoned airguns for firearms — their pistols are selling to law enforcement and the military as fast as they can make them. Do I dislike Sig? Absolutely not! I carry a Sig P365 as my concealed carry weapon, yet I was and still am a diehard 1911 man. I think the .45 ACP cartridge is worlds better for defense than the 9X19mm. But I carry the Sig because it’s extremely accurate, quite concealable and holds twice the rounds that a slabside Colt carries. I have practiced with the P365 for several years and now believe it to be my ideal concealed carry firearm. I can still outshoot the P365 with my Wilson Combat 1911A1, but not by much.

I do like Sig. I don’t like the fact that they abandoned the ASP20. Maybe it wasn’t in the cards for them to make it, but I wish they could have sold the rights and design to another airgun company, because the ASP20 is a no-learning-necessary air rifle! Of course to sell something you need a buyer and perhaps there isn’t one. That’s something I do not know.

The Crosman 362 100th Anniversary rifle

I tested the Crosman 362 100th Anniversary rifle and because the groups I showed were large there were comments that this rifle isn’t as accurate as a standard 362. Well, I’m not done testing it yet. I’m still learning how this one works. I need an accurate pellet and I need to know the number of pump strokes that work the best WITH THAT PELLET!

Crosman 362 Anniversary
Crosman’s 362 100th Anniversary Edition. 

Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr

Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr BB rifle is another airgun I needed to learn to shoot. In that case it was the ammo that made the big difference. The best BBs grouped 10 in 0.803-inches at 5 meters. The worst were 2.26-inches at the same 5 meters. That’s quite a difference and proof that ammo can make a huge difference in performance.

The Diana Octoberfest Gewehr.


Today’s report has been all about learning how something works. Sometimes it’s one thing and sometimes it’s another. And sometimes it’s several things done together. When I encounter difficulties with certain airguns I continue to test them to show you how testing can bring you closer to perfection. Other times I get frustrated by a certain airgun and just give up. That’s my human side.

I could go on and on with this topic. Over the years I have learned things about the Sheridan Supergrade, the Weihrauch HW 30S and the 50S, and, most recently, airgun darts. It just takes time and perseverance.


Spend the time to learn all you can about the airguns you have. It’s much cheaper and more rewarding than buying the latest and greatest.

81 thoughts on “Learn how it works”

  1. B.B.,

    Thank you!

    ”Spend the time to learn all you can about the airguns you have. It’s much cheaper and more rewarding than buying the latest and greatest.”

    I’m a poster child for how a Dark Sider can learn to shoot a springer well quickly; as long as it is a Gas Spring that has a shot cycle like either of my ASP20s!

    I’m glad you wrote this blog it clears up a growing misconception of mine.


      • BB,

        It would be interesting to try some Gamo Raptor lead-free pellets if you have any to see if they’ll actually hit 1600 FPS. You said you would like to do this on chapter 5 Wiscombe and Velocity blog if you could get a .177 Hunter Extreme. Well, you got one now 🙂

        • Brent,

          From Part 2 of the Gamo Hunter Extreme series.

          “The next pellet I tested was the Gamo Raptor PBA. These are the pellets Gamo advertises going 1650 f.p.s. from the Hunter Extreme. I have never seen that velocity from ANY air rifle — especially not from a spring-piston job. The last time I tested a Hunter Extreme it topped out at 1395 f.p.s. What will we see today?

          Today the Hunter extreme hit a max velocity of 1553 f.p.s. with Gamo Raptor pellets. That’s closer to the advertised velocity but still far short of it. The average for ten shots was 1419 f.p.s. which is good for a muzzle energy of 24.15 foot-pounds. The low was 1336 and the high was 1553 f.p.s. — a difference of 217 f.p.s. In my experience having tested three Hunter Extremes, this is typical performance and Gamo has never reached 1650 f.p.s. in a straightforward test. Maybe they could do it by putting oil down the air transfer port?”


    • Benji-Don, thanks for the tip. I have the regular 362 and I also just received the 100 year anniversary edition. I have some H&N Field Target Trophy pellets with 5.55mm heads. I think that’s the largest pellets I have.

  2. “Spend the time to learn all you can about the airguns you have.”

    Amen! And after reading about your karambit knife, I would extend that statement to all the guns and knives that we have and use and on which we rely.
    I have a Tanfoglio pistol that my wife gifted me for my birthday a few years ago; by modern standards, it’s heavy for a .380, since it is all steel (with a matte nickel finish). Yet that weight makes it an excellent shooter…provided you know how to properly use it.
    I’ve seen a few videos on it, where people complain about “too many safeties” on it.
    But once I used it a bunch, I figured out the manual of arms, and learned that this gun is well thought out.
    The forward “safety” is called that for import purposes (to score points); there is actually no reason to have this in the “safe” position…unless you are taking the pistol apart for maintenance; it is actually a take down lever, not a safety.
    As for the safety on the slide, this also should always be in the “fire” position whenever the gun is carried.
    You keep it on “safe” to rack the slide and chamber a round; then flip it off.
    Also, should you fire a round, and are now holding a pistol with the hammer back and ready to fire, you can engage the safety, then pull the trigger and ease the hammer down, knowing that even if your finger slips off the hammer, the gun will not fire.
    Fully loaded, with both “safeties” in the “fire” position, this pistol is very easy to deploy: pull it from the holster, and, with your pinky tucked behind the spur on the magazine, you can very easily cock the hammer; then flip your pinky forward and rest it on the front of the spur.
    The single-action trigger pull is excellent, and it’s a one-hole shooter at 7 yards (after I replaced the broken steel roll pins that hold the barrel to the frame with oversized solid stainless steel pins…an easy fix).
    The cocked gun is easily rendered safe by dropping the frame mounted safety prior to lowering the hammer.
    Once, I figured all this out (by trial and error and trying to reconstruct the thought processes of the engineers who designed this thing), I came away impressed with the design of this pistol.
    Yes, there are lighter guns that are simply point-and-pull pistols.
    But what can I tell you? I’m an old curmudgeon who likes his old-school all-steel pistols. 🙂
    Blessings to you,

    • Dave,

      I’m not a powder-burning guy, but I do find pistols interesting for their myriad types of action. That looks quite Beretta-ish. Is it DA/SA with a decocker? Does it have a pop-up barrel like the tiny “__Cat” Berettas in .22, .25 APC, and .32 APC?


      • D’Oh! I need to read more carefuly: “You can engage the safety, then pull the trigger and ease the hammer down.” Definitely a decocker SA/DA. It’s essentially a mini 92 or even a mini 84.

        How heavy is the SA trigger pull?

        • Michael,
          This little pistol is SA only; you have to de-cock it by lowering the hammer.
          (Yet the frame-mounted safety makes it very safe to do so.)
          The SA pull is about 5 pounds, and is also quite crisp.
          My wife is…crafty. She knew I had looked at this pistol at my friends’ shop.
          On my birthday, she waited till we had left the house, then told me I needed to drive her to their shop as she “needed to know how to get there” so she could go there with two of our friends (both former law enforcement) to get some ammo (nice story…very plausible. =>).
          Once there, I introduced her to Gary and his wife, Lexie; then I told them I wish my wife had told me we were going to be going to their shop, as I would have brought the cash (left at home in an envelope) to pick up that .380 pistol. Gary laughed, put the gun on the counter, and said, “Happy Birthday!” Yes, it turned out my crafty wife had been to their store the week before, and had arranged to get the pistol for my birthday. I definitely did well when choosing a wife. 😉
          Blessings to you,

  3. B.B.

    The few people who are thrust into “harms way” will only carry a SIG pistol. They say that Glocks are nice and sexy and light. But they trust their lives to a SIG, because they say when I need it, I know it will work. I am not a powder burner guy, but I found their thoughts insightful.


    • Yogi,

      I have no dog in that fight, but I’ve read the one good thing about Glocks is their reliable function. Sigs, I have also read, are somewhat unreliable, unless they are dropped, when they have a good chance of going bang. (Just kidding.)

      Why are those folks (remember, I own neither dog) wrong?


    • Yogi,
      I am with you on those insights. Back in my younger days, I ran a combat jujitsu school, and many of my students were cops. One guy, John (HUGE guy), had to carry a S&W .45 acp as his department’s issue gun. But he didn’t really care for it; hence, he carried a SIG 220 in 45 acp as a backup gun; and his backup to his backup (he worked the streets in a REALLY bad area!) was a SIG 230 in .380 acp.
      He told me that “SIGs are world class weapons, and I would [and he did] bet my life on them.”
      So yes, it would have been awesome if my wife had bought me a SIG 230, or 239.
      However, I have been married long enough to know that:
      “If your wife buys you a gun, or a knife, or an airgun, you tell her it is AWESOME!…it’s just what you wanted; and you prove that by using it all the time.” (so says the guy who’s be married 31 years. =>).
      Seen below is the Buck Spitfire she got me for our 30th anniversary; I use it so much that I broke the back spring and had to send it to Buck for [free warranty] repair. I didn’t even hint at this one; she thought it up all on her own…God bless her!…a Proverbs 31 wife, for sure. 😉
      Blessings to you,

      • RidgeRunner,

        Carried an issued Colt 1911 for years instead of a .38 revolver, then got issued a SIG M-11a1 for my LPA-2/SV-2, but now carry a full size Kimber USM1911-A1 every day unless i have my S&W Model 29 4 in .44 Mag” in a chest rig for hunting.


        • shootski,

          What so many forget that the US military went to the .45 ACP after we took the Philippines away from the Spanish because the .38 Special, which has the same caliber and power level of the 9mm, was not a man stopper. The only reasons the US military went to the 9mm is it is cheaper and common in NATO. The US military has also finally figured out the 5.56mm NATO is not a man stopper either.

          Mrs. RR is once again making noises of a camper for road tripping. I may let her talk me into it. 😉

          • RidgeRunner,

            I had attended the old style USN SERE School and understood the circumstances of landing in the wrong place during the Cold War. If i went down in denied territory i was not going to be captured.

            As far as the RV we looked at that and had plans to convert a 28′ 5th Wheel cargo/race car trailer into a custom and mobile 4 Season residence towed by a Ford F-650. They call them Toy Haulers now.
            Then my inlaws started their RVing and we watched in horror at how much money they expended on a series of mistakes.
            We found It is way cheaper to rent cabins or have a “Glamping” Company deliver and set up a heated (even air conditioned) fully equipped wall tent on a platform to our “camping” locations.
            Take a look at that approach with her before you jump into towing your little home around.


  4. Way back in ancient history, I learned to pay close attention to the teacher in math class. Because they usually explained WHY solving math problems was done a certain way. And I found that knowing the “why” helped when the few “curve ball math problems” inevitably showed up on the tests. And I have found that in troubleshooting issues of all types, knowing (as BB says) how something works is invaluable. To me, it is the equivalent of the “why” in math class. And I think BB is a good teacher who takes the time and effort to explain things in a way that most people can understand. Thanks BB!

    • I had a college professor in Calculus whose mantra was “Know more, do less,” and he’d break down and explain the mathematics. His mantra has paid dividends all through life.

      • Sean, you were fortunate to have such a good college professor. I got discouraged in college when some of the professors began to do away with classroom lectures and explanations, etc. In other words, they did no teaching themselves. It became a situation of buy the books, and study them yourself, then take the test. I said to myself: Why am I paying good money for tuition for this?

        • Yes, sir. I had some of those, too. The best one I had was a gentleman who was a career educator with a Masters (“I see no need for a PhD”) who taught my American Military History class. Showed up every day with nothing but a large mug of coffee, and he would spend the next 45 minutes captivating the class with his knowledge. No slides, no chalkboard, no “buy my book” (I had a professor that made purchasing his book a requirement for his class), no arrogance…just passing on knowledge. At the opposite end, I had a professor who taught my American History Since 1900 class in the Fall of 1990, and all he did was spend his 45 minutes three days a week railing about Jesse Helms. Never really taught us a thing. Oh, well. I’m so glad my son decided to go with a trades school.

    • Elmer Fudd,

      Was the best thing a Mathematics teacher ever taught me.

      or for Canadians and perhaps some others: the order of operations is BEDMAS (Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction). Some prefer BODMAS (B- Brackets, O- Order or Off), while others go with GEMDAS (G- Grouping).

      Saved my Math bacon often!


  5. BB,
    When I read todays topic and a few statements I could hear an echo in my head and wondered if I was a topic enabler every once in a while. My last Mag-Fire post for example. But then I realized, reading on, that you simply read every reply or post and find things that are worth noting, food for thought, or simply worth a new topic.
    You have stated that point many times but when it feels like you decided to run with something from a reader’s post, I’m sure it makes them feel like they have honestly made a contribution here.

    Posting a readers entire blog must feel like he’s receiving a graduation certificate.

  6. BB,

    Thank you for this one. I observed a tendency people follow even more recently. They don’t learn. They don’t want to learn anything. To make an opinion about something you need to spend a bit time, try things out. Today everyone has a race gun and shoot opinions 6x below one second. I think what you like to tell is that you need more time sometimes, even to have it to put yourself in a test. Is it called experience? Or is it just wisdom 🙂

    • tomek,

      Everybody learns differently. For some people it is hands on experience, others it is reading about it. Others it is reading(watching videos) about. Others it talking to people who are experienced (think Jimi Hendricks). The real question is, do they want to learn, really?
      All good! Most people are some combination of the above.

      What I tell youngsters is, “the more you know about the world, the more fun it is!”.


  7. Your friend and I have something in common. 30 year cop, retired from a mid-sized agency. Because of the things I’ve seen and experienced, I won’t leave my house without a handgun, a knife that I can open with my non-dominant hand, and small flashlight. Paranoid? Nah, more like “I know what’s out there, because I’ve looked it in the eyes.”

    When I worked the streets, my favorite knife was a Balisong, because I could open it with either hand, no matter how I grabbed it, but if you didn’t know how it worked, it was guaranteed to cut you.

      • Yes, sir. There was a time when we weren’t allowed to carry large maglights because of…reasons. And then I found that Streamlight made a nylon light in the same size that could take some serious abuse, and it was approved to carry. Saved my life one night when I got into a fight with a guy who was trying to take my sidearm. You can probably guess the method of implementation.

      • B.B.,

        Near the door, next to my Louisville Slugger, I have a 4xD-Cell Mag Light. :^)

        Two nights ago we were alerted by our Ring. From the video it appeared someone tried to steal our Kia Soul (most stolen car in America), but he saw the steering wheel lock and kept walking. By the time I had the MagLight and was out the door, he was gone.


          • B.B.,

            Heh, heh. No, not really, although my grandpa was a decorated detective (and eventually Captain) in a big city police department. There might still be a few bars in the downtown where my last name might get me a free drink or two if the owner is old enough. For years my dad’s last name was an automatic get out of jail free card.


  8. B.B.,

    I’m sure Benji-don is right about the oversized bore of the Crosman 362 100th Anniversary, but I also hate the front sight. It completely obscures the bull of the target!

    Eventually I might buy a Skinner sight to use on my 362. The likely options, their Bear Buster models and one of their thin front sights.


    • Michael,
      I think the single screw sight would work and is good looking. I like a brass blade, I have some on my powder burners. How is the accuracy of your 362? You may have already said but I can’t remember.

      I posted some target sights below on my 362.

      • Don,

        I can’t really tell how acurate my 362 anniversary is because the sight is so huge, I can’t tell where I’m aiming. It does seem accurate. I have tried aiming at a point below (with a bit of daylight in between) a six o’clock hold, and the groups were pretty small.

        The sight with the white line (also available without line or in solid brass, $32-$36) is, I believe, .07″ wide, .550″ tall, and 1″ OAL. The black ones are blued steel. Brass would be tempting in case I needed to grind it down or narrow it slightly.


        • Michael,
          I have a Henry model H001 in .22LR that came with a nice set of open sights.
          However, I see that their “small game rifle” (and carbine) both come from the factory with Skinner sights installed. My Henry is a wonderful plinker (often used with CCI Quiet rounds [as reviewed by BB], which give it airgun-level power); but if I get another one, I think I’ll go for a model with those Skinner sights; they look really cool! 🙂
          Blessings to you,

  9. B.B.,

    That karambit looks VERY cool in a mean-knife way, but as a modest collector of spring knives, just for owning, not carrying or using, I am an Out-The-Front guy. Granted, I have side-slingers, too, but if I did start carrying a spring knife, it would be an OTF with auto-retract.


      • B.B.,

        I have a few flippers like the Fox Claw, and with practice, yep, the blade deployment is very fast. Any difference between one at its best and say, a high-end Microtech OTF like a Glycon or Ultratech is frankly negligible.

        A number of makers, including Fox, make what are probably the fastest deploy-from-pocket folders, those with Emerson Wave hooks. The Fox 479 or Fox Dart are probably the fastest knives by Fox. They take a LOT of practice. Most you tube videos show people who are clumsy with them, but those that show experts have to be slowed down so that one can see what is happening. Someday, maybe I will splurge and buy a Benchmade or Spyderco Emerson Wave knife.

        Here’s the Fox 479 (good demonstration at 0:12): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4sAvwJS6WE

        Then again, the absolutely fastest deploying knives are fixed blades. :^)


  10. It has been said that just because you are paranoid does not mean someone – or something – out there isn’t out to get you. FM has been sold on the P365 for his CC pistol…thank you for enabling him into that decision, B.B. Good blog topic today; the subject seems obvious, but in these very distracted times it is sometimes necessary to point out the obvious.

  11. For those who may have missed gnom256’s critical comment yesterday, he included an appropriate link to his website. I struggled a little with my ipad’s translation of those observations but, nevertheless, found them rather very interesting.
    Thanks gnom256. 🙂

    If you would like to know more about how things-airgun work from an experienced Russian, I would encourage you to apply your translator here: https://gnom256.narod.ru/obzori.html (a list of links to many [!] articles on airguns).

    PS just over 3 years ago, gnom256 sent B.B. Pelletier some El Gamo David breech seals ( https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2020/12/el-gamo-david-breakbarrel-air-rifle-part-3/ )

  12. Here is a picture of a set of Daisy 753 target sights on my 100yr Anniversary 362. For a post front sight I would use the Crosman 2300s pistol barrel weight and post front sight.

  13. BB,
    On a lark, I grabbed a Crosman PSM45, which I hoped would be the “Red Ryder” of air pistols.
    What I have already learned in one day is: do not necessarily listen to the manufacturer.
    It’s a nice pistol; it is pretty accurate (for a smoothbore); but I could not get 20 BBs into it; I could only get 19, and in that case, #19 was right in the loading hole; I decided to try what other users had suggested, and use only 18 BBs in the magazine. At that, the gun is very reliable…IF you pull the slide ALL the way to the rear till you hear a very audible “click.” If you don’t do that, the gun will not go into battery; you will have to drop the magazine, and pull the slide to clear the stuck BB. It only happened once; the rest of the time, I made SURE to pull the slide ALL the way back. This gun is a ton of fun; I can hit soda cans at 25 feet (although I have to hold slightly to the right). At 20 yards, I hit a one quart paint thinner can, but I had to hold up all of the front sight to do that. I tried shooting a target at 15 feet (typical BB gun range); I pulled a couple of shots high, but then settled down and got six shots in something resembling a group.
    After I shoot this thing a bunch, I’ll likely take a file and file some material off the right side of the rear notch to fix the windage. The sights on this pistol are big and easy to see. It won’t even penetrate a red bull can from a foot away, although it did shoot through the cardboard on both sides of my target box.
    My chronograph is down for the count at the moment, but this thing does have enough power to knock over cans at 25 feet; so, I am happy with it for an in-the-house or a back-porch plinker. 🙂
    As you said,
    “Spend the time to learn all you can about the airguns you have.”
    That is some sound wisdom there. 😉
    Blessings to you,

  14. Knowing something is very important. I spent a lot of time with my Gamo CFX. I found the pellet and the way to hold it. I shot it many, many times. This is why I was able to shoot ten shot groups you could cover with a dime with it.

    I will be retiring at the beginning of next month. I do hope to spend a lot of range time with the old gals around here. I might even be persuaded to tell you folks about it.

    Take the time to learn what you have around you. It just might surprise you.

    BB, try those Ely Wasps in that 362.

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