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Air Guns Where, oh where are we going?

Where, oh where are we going?

Diana 27
The Diana 27 represents the airgun world BB Pelletier grew up in.

This report covers:

  • Old eyes
  • Slugs
  • Air pistol power
  • Spring-piston velocity
  • Accuracy
  • Summary

On June 14 guest blogger Ian McKee showed us a 50-yard group of ten slugs that measured 0.158-inches between centers. When I started shooting adult airguns in the mid-1970s I wouldn’t have been able to hit a target that far away with even one shot!

Airguns have come a long way in just 50 years. I wonder where they will be 50 years from now.

Old eyes

Some of you readers haven’t been on this planet for 50 years, so things seem different to you. But allow an old codger to share his thoughts and observations for a bit. I won’t be here to see things a half-century from now but many of you could be. Given the advancements I’m about to share, where do you think the technology will take us?


I have to start at the point that caused me to write this report. Twenty years ago the air gun slugs we know today did not exist. But slugs were historically the projectiles that airguns shot, at least up to 1900.

Up to that point shooters had been shooting projectiles called cat slugs that were straight lead slugs with hollow tails — not unlike the first pellets Sheridan sold for their pellet rifles. And in the late 1800s the Quackenbush company gave us solid lead slugs that had a thin piece of felt on the tails, They were called felted slugs.

cat slugs
Cat slugs.

The diabolo pellet (wasp waist and hollow tail) is what made modern airguns as accurate as they are. Way back in the very early 1900s the diabolo pellet changed airgunning forever. And that isn’t all. In 1905 BSA partnered with Lincoln Jeffries and the modern air rifle was born. With the diabolo pellet coming to the market at the same time, airguns were instantly transformed. Overnight airguns that formerly couldn’t hit trash cans from 25 feet distance were able to hit small targets at 50 yards (150 feet).

Vintage BSA.

Diabolo pellets are stabilized in flight by both spin and the high air drag their wasp waist and hollow tail creates. That high drag made them short-range projectiles at best. Airguns weren’t powerful enough to shoot projectiles that were stabilized by the spin alone that rifling gives — until now.

Other airgunners have been shooting modern airgun slugs for several years, but through Ian’s guest blog we got to see just how accurate they can be. Obviously the times have changed. Where is airgun ammunition going?Where will we be in years to come? 

Air pistol power

Airgunners in the United Kingdom can not own an air pistol or CO2 pistol that develops more than 6 foot-pounds — the legal limit for an air pistol in those nations. Certain spring-piston pistols are borderline verboten because they might exceed the legal limit as well. The Weihrauch HW 45/Beeman P1 and the BSA Scorpion used to be the two bad guys UK shooters talked about, with the BSF S20 running a close third. But precharged pneumatics have thrown a monkey wrench into the works because they can develop over 150 foot pounds of energy (Quackenbush .45-caliber single shot). 

When I was a kid in the 1950s, we thought Benjamin multi-pump pistols and Crosman CO2 pistols were the bomb. They don’t hold a candle to what can be purchased today. Where is this going? Will air pistol power continue to rise as time marches on?

Spring-piston velocity

I watched when the airgun velocity wars started in the early 1970s. I remember when 800 f.p.s. was the velocity “barrier.” And then certain air rifles broke through. The FWB 124, BSF S55/60/70 and the Diana 45 were the first three through and the HW 35 was a close wannabe. Then in 1981 the Beeman R1 hit the market, with its sister Weihrauch HW 80 close behind. Suddenly the top velocity moved up to 940 f.p.s. and then in another year to 1,000 f.p.s. and then in another year or so to 1,100 f.p.s. And then Gamo happened. Gamo started advertising spring piston guns that hit 1650 f.p.s. I have personally never seen a spring piston gun shoot that fast without a boost from exploding oil or something similar. But I have seen velocities above 1,550 f.p.s., so I think 1600 f.p.s. is possible, but I doubt a pellet can reach 1,650 f.p.s. without a boost from a chemical explosion..

And where can this go? Well, in the case of air power, we have probably gone about as far as we can, because there are physical limitations to how fast air can propell something. I have heard of someone shooting a pellet over 1,700 f.p.s., but his rifle was tethered to a helium tank. 

There is no doubt in my mind that velocity sells. I was at an airgun show decades ago when a 20-something potential buyer pointed to a rifle on my table and said, “How much f.p.s.?” I could have lied and sold that rifle then and there but instead I tried to convince him that hitting the target was the thing to aspire to, not how fast it shot. He just walked away. So Gamo knows what buyers want and it is f.p.s. But since airgun f.p.s. will never go above 1,600, the marketeers will have to think of something else. Maybe, after 40 years of talking to them. they will start using muzzle energy instead of velocity. I remember when the rifle called COTooMuch launched a 4 ounce lead slug fast enough to top 1,000 foot pounds. Where will this all go? I have no clue. Maybe one of you readers knows?

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo


I’m gonna finish with this one. I started this report with accuracy, but I was really writing about airguns shooting slugs. Now I just want to talk about accuracy. In the 1970s my FWB 124 could put five pellets into an inch at 10 meters. Then, quite by accident, I discovered the artillery hold and the 10-meter group sizes for the same air rifle shrunk TEN times! The rifle didn’t become more accurate; I discovered how to shoot it more accurately.

In the late 1960s Crosman sold a model 160 pellet rifle that could put five pellets on a quarter at 10 meters. Call it a three-quarters of an inch group. In 1996 when the Crosman Premier pellet hit the market that same 1960’s model 160 could put five into one-quarter-inch at the same distance. The rifle didn’t become more accurate, the pellets got better.

And now in 2023/24 the Air Venturi Avenge-X has come to the market. This time the rifle got better. Where will we be in the future?

Dr. Frederick Mann spent 37 years of his life trying to find the rifle and the conditions under which each bullet would go through the same hole at 100 yards. He wrote his findings in a famous (to shooters) book titled, The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target.

It’s a shame Dr. Mann never met me because I know how to make it happen. Shoot the first shot at the target and the next four at something else downrange that won’t get marked by your pellets when they pass through. Then lie about what you’ve done. It will appear to anyone watching that you have put all five through the same hole. And that is the only way I know of doing it. I did that as a joke on Ed Schultz (he worked for Sig at the time) when I tested the ASP20 with other writers at Sig in 2018. He watched my target through the spotting scope, unaware of what I was doing. Yes, I did confess after he had bought it.

That being said, airguns are becoming more accurate all the time. Where will it end? Where CAN it end?


Today I have described how things in the world of airguns have changed in my lifetime. I’m wondering where they will go next. Can any of you tell me?

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.

95 thoughts on “Where, oh where are we going?”

  1. Like we talked about the other day, numbers sell.

    There is an airgun company that is marketing a 480 bar (7000 psi) compressor. For under $1000.

    I own one of their guns, but I have not laid hands on the compressor.

    Will it reach that pressure?
    Will it do it on a regular basis for the next 5 years without having to be rebuilt?
    Probably not.

    But now that the capability to economically fill to over 300 bar has been raised.

    The air rifles trying to use that technology will surely follow.

    This company is making big waves in the benchrest competition arena with the Red Panda.

    That target rifle does not fill to that high of a pressure. But give them time…

    And MONEY!


      • It an and has been done.
        But numbers sell.

        There are always people that have to have the latest and the greatest even if it’s just for bragging rights.

        They may never say what the downside to that latest technology is.

        I love Airgun’s, all of them vintage, modern, cutting edge, especially like prototypes.

        I do keep up with what the newest things out there if I can do nothing else other than just report them to the readers..

        I have several friends that live on the cutting edge of Airgun technology. They are currently in Utah at the Rocky Mountain Airgun challenge.

        I keep trying to educate them and enable them about the vintage guns.


        • Ian,

          Although at RRHFWA I tend to “collect” the “old technology”, I do try to keep abreast of the “latest and greatest”. Unfortunately, most of the time I am not really impressed. Yes, I do see the advancements in the refinements of manufacturing and I am well aware of what is being done with ammunition, but true advancements are not readily forthcoming. Most are really incremental.

          When I can shoot sub-MOA at one hundred yards with a sproinger, I will be impressed.

        • FM,

          I would really like to see that. Unfortunately, that requires serious thought and more importantly to manufacturers is investment of finances in research and development. That will only happen if more people such as yourself insist on lower pressures by buying only “low” pressure airguns.

          TCFKAC has a leg up with their having produced the Disco, Katana, Marauder, Maximus and now the 3622. They also have gee gobs of experience with CO2, which operates at about 1000 PSI and sproingers, which also operate at around that pressure.

          As I said, it will take the use of a little gray matter and more customers wanting “low” pressures for manufacturers to do such. The manufacturers operate on money. If we the customers give these manufacturers our money for “low” pressure airguns instead of these ever-higher pressure ones, they will pay attention.

          I do have to give TCFKAC and most of the Turks credit though. They have mostly kept their fill pressures at or below 3000 PSI.

            • FM,

              Gamo has several problems to overcome. You would think that their purchase of BSA and others would have helped them some, but the powers that be are not really paying attention.

      • RidgeRunner,
        Ditto for me too. All this higher pressure stuff is like putting bigger gas tanks on a car. How about a more efficient design that can get the power without using so much air??? That is why I liked the Disco and the new Crosman that fills to 2000psi. But yes why not 1000 psi.


        • Doc,

          That is exactly what they are doing. There is a big demand for higher and higher shot counts. They either have to put larger “gas tanks” on their airguns which also increases mass or increase the operating pressures at which the “gas” is stored.

          With higher and higher pressures available from the compressors, why not utilize the higher pressures in the airguns? The “patches” are easier to apply than giving time and money to true R&D, most especially if the customers are willing to pay for the “patches”.

          If we the customers truly want “low” pressure airguns, that is what we need to buy. The manufacturers need to see that is where the money is. I have been known to buy some very expensive airguns in my time. Give me a top shelfer that also operates on “low” air pressures, and I will buy it. At this moment I have only one air rifle that operates at above 3000 PSI and it is for sale.

          One of the very first things I look at when considering purchasing a PCP is the fill pressure. The shot count is way down on my list; so low I usually do not concern myself with such. The only times a high shot count is really that useful is when you are shooting targets all the time or bragging about how many shots your airgun has.

          Do you truly want “low” pressures? Then only buy “low” pressures.

  2. “I did that as a joke on Ed Schultz (he worked for Sig at the time) when I tested the ASP20 with other writers at Sig in 2018.”

    BB, that’s hilarious! I’m sure he got a kick out of that, just as I did reading about it! 😉

    • dave,

      What was really funny was Ed was watching that hole through a spotting scope and telling me he could see the edges of the hole move each time I shot! 😉


      • BB

        LOL! That is hilarious and also a good example of truth being what Ed wanted it to be and convinced those pellets were passing through that same hole. Not a knock on Ed since we all are susceptible to believing what we want to believe.


      • B.B.,

        You have done that to Boy Scouts as well if i remember correctly…for SHAME!

        On the PA MOS Challenge i shot my SIG SSG .177 ASP20 and ASP WHISKEY3 scope using JSB 10.3gr KnockOut SLUGS and one of my 25 targets was a one hole 5 shot; i discarded it from consideration (BECAUSE OF THE LIKELY DISBELIEF) selected another that clearly showed multiple POI but still sub MOA.
        I know it was totally a case of statistical luck and had little or nothing to do with my skill (All the greater than MOA targets proved that!) or the SIGs actual precision with SLUGS.

        I believe the actual gas laws are operative for the maximum velocity limit. I believe the design of projectiles, ergonomics, sighting systems, and the stability/repeatability of powerplant operation is the area for remaining improvements.


        PS: EDIT works for me.

  3. BB,
    You’re asking the wrong guy.
    When I told my little brother tonight that our fridge doesn’t have an ice-maker, that I have to pour water into the trays and put them into the freezer to make ice, he said, “You’re living in the dark ages!”
    After talking to a Minnesota cop and another guy who worked at Interarms for 15 years, I went and bought an old Interarms PPK/S (stainless .380) that’s 30 years old yet looks like it was never fired. True, it’s a 95-year-old design, but it’s accurate, reliable, and fits in the front pocket of my jeans…I love it!
    (As my bro said, I’m living in the dark ages!)
    With all the modern airguns out there today, I still find your old Diana 27 to be a thing of beauty, and I love the looks of that vintage BSA; I’ve watched some Youtube videos of them being fired, and I’m impressed.
    I do like accuracy, but I’m a plinker at heart…plus, I’m living in the dark ages!
    Hence, while I do enjoy reading your blog and seeing where airgun technology is going, the next airgun I buy will likely be in the 80 to 100-year-old range. 🙂
    Blessings to you (from the dark ages =>),

        • Michael

          Ditto with the trays,, and I might have you beat on the telephone. We have a wall phone ( some may not remember what that is) that was installed when we built our house in 1976 and it is still in use today. The number predates it as it was my wife’s number when we met.

          Why we still use a land line when we both have cell phones can only be understood by those who lived half their lives with that being the only choice. I understand the appeal of using technology that predates me.


          • Michael and Ed, you all are making me feel better! My little bro had me thinking I was the last person without an automatic ice cube maker! LOL 🙂

            • FM has an automatic ice cube maker but no automatic transmissions to worry about in the vintage wheels around here. On the other hand, Mrs. FM has been put on notice that if the 2005 Mazda van her Worser Half drives craps out, his next machine will have a manual shifter. However, that van seems on track to outlive the driver.

              • FM,

                These days a manual transmission is considered an anti-theft device! ;^) Automatics took a lot of fun out of driving.

                We will never again get a fridge with an ice maker in the door. The second-to-last one died after the second year and stared at us, mocking us, for the next 15 or so years.

                The last one (which we still have) is so loud when it makes ice, it can wake me up if I’m taking a nap in the next room.


              • FM, due to automatic ice maker issues in the past, my wife has made me the latest replacement for them…I may not do the job as quickly, but at least I don’t break down! 😉

              • Michael, I concur; our last ice maker developed a leak that caused many issues, and that is why my wife opted not to get another automatic one, and, instead, to me me “the official ice maker!” 🙂

        • It is a real shame that most companies do not pay closer attention to us old curmudgeons, but they are chasing the dollar. The younger folks who do not really know what they are talking about are shelling out the bucks.

          • Ridge,

            You already know I’m with you on the value of sproingers. They are my favorite leisurely afternoon plinkers, perfect for targets and feral soda cans ans i sip iced tea or a beer. If I want to rock and roll, I have plenty of CO2 air guns to pick up. Great for spinners and such.

            Both have been around for a long time but still put a smile on my face.


            • Michael,

              For many years I have enjoyed sproingers. I am more recently a convert to CO2, though I am still not a “rock ‘n’ roller” with such and not likely going to be. I also own several other different kinds of PCPs, but I myself prefer a much slower rate of fire.

              I on occasion do try out different magazine using airguns, but this ol’ country boy still prefers the single shot and probably always will. If such is available, it is not uncommon for me to use a single shot tray with my magazine users.

              NOTE TO WORLD: Magazines are another point where modern airguns can be improved. Manufacturers need to figure out which type works best and go with it. Most will pay outrageous amounts for your airguns, so what if your magazines cost a lot. Just provide airgunners with the optimum performance and those who spend such outrageous amounts on your airguns will buy them.

  4. We’re adding to knowledge all the time. Then again, a lot of shooters don’t take advantage of the available knowledge. 12 year old me didn’t know why the Marksman pellet rifle cost more than a Marlin .22 at K-Mart, but now I do.
    I suspect most of the increasing number of powerful air handguns will be set up and used as mini-carbines. Way easier to shoot well!

    • OhioPlinker,

      I do know what your ID here is, but I have to share this with you: it is close enough to something else, every time I see a comment of yours I can’t help thinking “Rollercoaster of love / Rollercoaster oohh oohh oohh!” ;^)

      Good times.


  5. BB,

    Thank you for this blog. I think the physics will make the development to stay at certain (high) fps, but the functionality and accuracy will have to go further.

  6. I said it before, I think we have reached peak performance with airguns and today’s technology. Small refinements in ammo and airgun design are all we can look forward to until an entirely new way to shoot is invented.
    If necessity is the mother of invention, what is necessary now that we don’t have? Perhaps more built-in accessories?
    I went for broke with an accurate, finely detailed, high powered, select fire, fully adjustable, silenced, tactical PCP that has a secondary ‘regulated’ air storage tank to assist with rapid fire and a removable titanium multi-shot rotary mag.
    Oh yes, a scope that can lock on to a target and only let the rifle fire when the target is in alignment. That would be nice. Got big bucks?

  7. Most of my “collection” is from the “dark ages”. The only real advancements I have seen over the years is the refinements of manufacturing and the materials used. Do not sell these short. Those in the know are moving away from the utterly ridiculous high velocities to improved accuracy. The newer polymer stocks are less affected by the weather and far cheaper than a nice piece of walnut, though being from the “dark ages” I just ordered one with a nice chunk of wood.

    I did leave out the real advancements in projectiles. Much research is being expended on this subject as it is likely to be where the improvements in further accuracy is obtained. Projectiles are just not the same anymore, thank goodness. I still have the first tin of pellets I ordered. Really? The lack of standardization and QC is incredible. I have not purchased any pellets from that company since. Today you can purchase pellets that have each been hand inspected. With modern manufacturing technology, even this is being left behind.

    This old, fat, bald geezer does not have a crystal ball, so I cannot say where the next big advancement will be, but I suspect it will be with sproingers. I do think all the pieces are there, we just need someone to put them all together.

    Until then, I will just have to return to my “dark ages” and continue to grow my “collection” of antiques.

  8. Once upon a time, in the not-too-distant past, if an airgunner wanted to shoot sub-MOA at 100 yards, that airgunner was going to spend two grand or more on their shooting setup. Nowadays that can be done for well under one grand. True, the country of origin of this airgun is well known for utilization of slave labor and government subsidies, but eventually the cost of all of these advancements will filter down to us commoners. Profit margins dictate such.

    So what if an airgun can launch a gazillion pellets per second and hit a bullseye at five thousand yards? If us commoners cannot afford such, these and other refinements will quickly fall to the wayside.

    Now, where is that feral soda can?

  9. Personally, I would appreciate better trigger mechanisms and better factory sights on the less expensive guns. I think that today’s technology might help make this more feasible while still keeping the costs reasonable.

      • Of course the manufacturers need to make a profit. However, I would prefer a little less eye candy if that cost were spent on better trigger devices and/or sighting systems. I believe that those two items are critically important to better shooting capabilities.

        • Elmer,

          Two factors are involved in this. Most of the manufacturing companies of these airguns are populated by people who are not shooters. They have no clue to what is or is not a good trigger or sighting system.

          The other factor is the ignorance of the customer. Most people do not shoot very often and do not know that the trigger is lousy or the glowy thingy sights are only good for close, quick shots. “This air rifle comes with a scope!”.

  10. One thing that might be a bright spot is that I have been noticing distinct separate versions of existing guns like the Ruger Air Hawk, now being sold as a 490fps version, like the Ruger Air Hawk 490. Most of these that I have seen are made by Umarex. Now, I do not know if this is market exploration to see if lower powered guns will sell or more likely Canadian versions that are also sold here in the USA. Wouldn’t it be nice though to see options that focus on lower fps but increased accuracy?


    Uggh..getting real tired of having to re write comments when it shows I am logged in only to hit submit and lose the comment because apparently, I am really not logged in. I am going to have to get in the habit of copying everything I type before I hit post I guess.

    • Honest Bob

      To appreciate the future, one must understand the past

      I think the more development in lower FPS airguns the better. I personally use low power for darts / bolts.Not a fan of pellets, like BBs, love darts. My space is limited to 5 meters. Better accuracy would be welcomed as well as all metal / wood builds. Would love to see more development in smoothbore technologies. I like to shoot like it’s 1899 and the perfect customer for a 200 / 300 dollar modern in current production dart shooter.

      A boy can dream

      Kind Regards


  11. One advancement I’m hoping to see soon is a clear and reliable method for controlling moisture inside PCP’s that doesn’t turn away would be buyers of PCP’s.


      • RR

        Right or wrong I sometimes put a drop of chamber oil in the fill port. I also bleed the air out of compressor before, during and after filling. But there is not a consensus on using the chamber oil.


        • Deck,

          I on occasion use a drop of chamber oil myself when filling PCPs. Not only is it a rust prohibitor, but it will also help to seal very minor o-ring leaks. I have been told that the chamber oil can affect the function of the regulator, but I have not noticed such.

          It may or may not be necessary, but I also have an additional output filter on my air compressor. If I have clean, dry air to start with, I am likely to have less issues down the road.

  12. Looking forward I can see trends that are likely to continue. I doubt there will be any significant advances, just slight variations and improvements on what already exists.

    The biggest change will likely be in the cost of the equipment. The rifles ,, even the cheaper ones, are becoming more more accurate. The compressors producing higher pressures with better reliability. The pellets being held to tighter tolerances.

    I suspect that one of the things we will see in the next decade is the higher prevalence of semi auto pellet rifles. Full auto will always be a niche item tho, IMHO.

    I do expect the pressures to go higher and the velocities, while they may not exceed BB’s estimates, will certainly climb closer to it. But, there will almost certainly be someone who builds an air powered rifle that does go higher as an experiment,, or to prove a point. The challenge is there. And once achieved, others will emulate it.


    • I just commented as a reply to RR. I do not see the option to edit it. If I remember correctly, there used to be one there for 30-minutes after posting a comment. However, it usually didn’t allow me to edit anything.

  13. What worries me is that as airgun become more widely appreciated and commonly used for hunting, especially big game, some will be used for something anti-social and then they will be regulated like firearms. Especially the semi-automatic or select fire types.

    P.S. Edit function works but took a moment or two to appear.

    • Roman Greco,


      Folks have been shot by bb and pellet guns since i was a kid almost 70 years ago; a VERY FEW have even been killed or severely injured.
      In all that time jurisdictions with a few outraged citizens have asked for and gotten outright bans of the “toy guns” and scourge of good order and decency.
      Airguns are not protected by the 2nd Amendment (according to many) not because they aren’t actually ARMS but because they are considered to be toys in the United States of America. IF what you fear would come to pass then we airgunners would be within our rights to force them to be considered to be the TRUE ARMS that they have always been.
      So that leads to the question: What organization(s) exist, other than dedicated individuals, to take our case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary for resolution?

      Do you (any airgunner’s name here________) belong to one of these organizations, TODAY?

      shootski belongs to BOTH.

      WHY DON’T YOU?


      • I do not think that any rational individual would consider any of my air arms to be “toys” Particularly the long guns I own ALL have the capacity for a fatal shot to another individual. Maybe two of them are less than able, my Daisey Model 25 and my Octoberfest BB Air Rifle? Were I to, however, injure anyone with either, I have no doubt that the local judge would not see that action as with a toy.

        My air arms are not capable of the ranges of powder using weapons, of course, and that works well for me in my 10 Meter basement range. I enjoy target shooting. I can, if needed, take that skill outside of my home to eliminate any pests that are doing harm to my property or that of my neighbors (if I am asked). BTW, we’re not talking large pests, but rabbits, squirrels, and other smaller critters that might roam a suburban landscape.

        I grew up with air arms on my late uncle’s Illinois farm. He taught me the use of a Crosman pumper in .22 in order to eliminate pesk birds both roosting in and pooping in barns and cribs. I wasn’t going for a roaming deer, just keeping the food process for livestock free of potential vectors of illness.

        If I were to injure someone with my air arms, they would be taken VERY seriously by courts. My air arms AREN’T toys are are of higher energy than most. They are locked up in an air arm locker.
        As arms, they are, by definition, capable of causing serious harm, injury or even death of people. They are NOT toys at all.

        • LFrank,

          Unfortunately not all in the USA feel (or believe) as you do. Just this past May in King County Washington a woman took a Crosman .177 pellet rifle and shot her 51 year old philandering boyfriend. He staggered outside and shouted: She shot me! Call 911. The postmortem reports that he had one pellet enter his BACK and lodge in a lung. Cause of death was given as exsanguination (he bled out) no report by the media that he was gunshot. She is reported to say: it was only a pellet rifle and also that it wasn’t loaded!

          Yup! I still believe most in the USA know they are just toys.


          • We are in a dilemma of a sorts: on the one hand, we do not exude the lethality of most powder arms, and avoid many of the limitations on arms that are linked to firearms, but we also can end up with irresponsible and criminal persons using an air arm in a dangerous or murderous way that would apply the strictures to us. People who purchase air arms for defense and then use them, I suspect, would move us ever so likely to firearm limitations.

            There’s a part of me that thinks some kind of education component needs to be appended to air arms. It’s been a tenant of air arms that we AREN’T dangerous like the firearms, BUT is that slipping away with the new orders of PCPs? The popular notion is that air guns don’t pose criminal value in society. I wonder if this kind of thing will continue?

            Consider this…. I have an Hatsan 135 breakbarrel in .25 caliber; I suspect that it is perfectly capable of mortal shots when well placed. If some criminal uses this in a crime and drastically hurts, maims, or kill someone, I suspect that a legal sea change would be in place. That could even happen if I stopped a home invasion, even as justified, with the .25 rounds. Reaction in public can be more traumatic than reason.

            So….do we who are old hands at responsible air arm use need to take the lead – quietly behind the public – to form an education process and requirement that would reinforce the notions of responsible air arms use and safety. Link a curriculum to businesses reinforcing this, we might be ahead of any public attempts to deal with a subject that most know virtually nothing about.

            I don’t know how we could form a curriculum that would lead to examination and certification as well as ethical businesses who would require certification of their customers. What do suspect, however, is that we who have years, if not decades, of experience with our air arms don’t responsibly manage air arms, then politicians and activists who don’t know much of anything about them will try to manage and rule.

          • Shootski
            When I used the term “weapon” for an airgun in this blog I felt that I was attacked. Maybe you could help me and explain why an air GUN or air ARM is not a weapon that can hurt or kill. I ask you to help me with my English because I trust you understand other people’s culture better than most.
            By the way when you had that “problem” when landing in Helenicon it migh have been better if the Naval attachee asked for an expert urologist in Athens. We have some of the best around here, I know that first hand, unfortunately.

            • Bill,

              Your suggestion on the Greek Urologist is a good one; the Urology “doctor” at the US Army Hospital in Germany was on a contract and Turkish; i could go into details but that would just list errors like putting X-Rays out of order and even backwards on the light wall! Going to the Bethesda Naval Hospital most likely saved my flying career.
              Now on to a far more thorny issue: Marketeers and many Airgunners, particularly in the USA have never impressed me with their conceptional Logic/psychology: https://www.unicist.org/conceptual-thinking/conceptual-psychology/#:~:text=Conceptual psychology deals with the,what they intend to do.
              A more informal way of putting it is to view their thought process as very Ostrich like…
              As in: bury your head in the sand so that the bad things don’t happen.

              This is just my opinion.


            • Bill,

              What I said to you wasn’t meant as an attack. It was a cultural perspective. Here in the United States, we are permitted to own firearms. Many airgunners call them “powder burners” and I also “attack” them, because firearms have a legal definition and “powder burner” is a made-up term that has no legal meaning.

              The term WEAPON in the United States has a specific meaning. While it isn’t as legal as FIREARM, it is construed to mean something that can cause serious or grevious injury. Our Constitution gives us the right, as citizens, to BEAR ARMS, which legally means FIREARMS. Airguns are specifically not considered to be firearms under our laws.

              That is what was behind what I said to you.


  14. “ Bring back the Girardoni with modern/improved innards and perhaps redesigned stock – you’ll have your 1000< PSI air rifle”

    I have asked the question of why a modern adaptation of the Girandoni hasn’t been made. I think the AirForce platform might be ideal for the project.

    David Enoch

    • David
      “I have asked the question of why a modern adaptation of the Girandoni hasn’t been made. I think the AirForce platform might be ideal for the project.”
      When I expressed these exact thoughts here, it must have been a year or so, BB found them out of reality. I still think there’s a sound logic on them though.

  15. In a strange sort of way, I believe we should be grateful for the movie, “A Christmas Story”. “Ralphie, you will shoot your eye out”.
    It made it clear to all that airguns though not inherently deadly can be dangerous and cause harm when mishandled.
    I believe that belief is still pervasive in society. ‘Dad, why are you still playing with airguns. I don’t know any grown men who play with them”.

    Fortunately, airgun casualties are few and far between and probably chalked up to a failure of someone to follow save shooting procedures. The stories are not all that interesting to read. They have no idea how airguns have evolved unless they are into shooting sports.

    Stories of deadly shootings are thought to be freak situations involving luck, good or bad.

    Fortunately, high powered airguns are not routinely sought after to commit crime and way too expensive for kids to acquire.
    As long as we continue to frown on airguns being used as personal defense weapons, we may be secure in our shooting sport. But with the advent of powerful hunting rifles and all the sales hype we may be in trouble. Again, they seem to be in the hands of responsible hunters. Hopefully it will remain that way.

    • Bob M

      I, personally, hope that the “public” continues thinking of air gun as toys. As soon as it becomes common knowledge (a highly overrated commodity) that they are as powerful as we know them to be, there will be an outcry by some to regulate and possibly ban them.

      I don’t care if someone thinks my pastime is childish. Better that than having my backyard considered too small to shoot my air rifles, or being cited for improper transport of them. The less rules the better.

      We, air gunners, are a small enough segment of the population that we “travel unnoticed” in regard to regulations. While it may not be what is best for the manufacturers, I would much prefer we continue to keep a low profile.


  16. For me I’ll take accuracy over horsepower.

    But maybe a hybrid airgun using multi power sources simultaneously will boost things horsepower wise. But for me the gun still has to be accurate.

    Only time will tell.

    • GF1

      I’m trying to remember how you control moisture in a PCP. Was it a drop or two of non petroleum chamber oil in the fill port every 20 fills? It seems to me there are two different schools of thought dividing experienced commenters: 1- Chamber oil in the fill port prior to filling. 2- Use of filters only.

      Proponents of the latter claim that Chamber oil can cause regulators to malfunction. But others say they have not had that problem. What say you?


      • Deck
        The synthetic oil drops in the air pressure chamber was to keep the o-rings lubed. To me over lubing could cause regulator issues.

        As far as moisture goes something to catch moisture would be best on the compressor.

        And I will agree with what BB has said if I’m remembering right the moisture should shoot out of the gun as you shoot it.

        • GF1,

          Dennis Quackenbush and I did test for what you said and we found it to be true. We blew out some amount of water from one of his big bores with just five shots. I don’t remember if that rendered the reservoir dry or not.


      • Decksniper,

        I waited until you got a reply from Gunfun1 before commenting.
        First what kind of regulator were they using? Piston or diaphragm/open or closed needs to be answered. What type of spring(s)? And finally what did the manufacturer recommend…IF anything.
        The most common failure point in regulators is particles trapped between the pressure holdback point (seat) and discharge orifice. If those particles are hard enough they will eventually score that surface (often Delrin) causing bleed downs. The turbulent flow of the gas will also overtime damage the seat. The greater the pressure drop the higher the velocity of the flow and the higher the chance of turbulence.
        These no lube folks are typically the same people that don’t have a clue about corrosion and what actually are the initiators for it.
        The Practical Machinist recommends Silicon Oil for regulators and O-Ring Lube (if regulator uses o-rings) which is typically Silicon oil based with a soap for thickening.
        Finally what were the reported failures and how were they verified to have been caused by Silicon Oil?
        Also Gunfun1 says, as dry an air source you can get is always best but even QUALITY Dive Shop fill6 air is not 100% dry.
        I will add one more thought: O-Rings in Very High Pressure systems absorb the gases they hold back over longer periods of time and are damaged when the pressure is substantially and quickly (like in PCP airguns) lowered. That pressure drop and the gases exiting the O-Ring body can actually tear them apart.


        PS: I have used food grade Dive Grease on my SCUBA regulators for the past 65 years.

        • Shootski

          Thank you for putting my concerns about nonpetroleum oil to rest. On this and other occasions I have gently tried to get a back and forth pros and cons going on this site. I don’t know what type regulators the sometimes commenter had. He is a long time reader and respected in the airgun world. Hoping he will see this and respond.

          Being pneumatics I would expect any excess silicon oil to be blown out the barrel of a PCP along with moisture.


          • Decksniper,

            Less is more in almost any lubrication.
            Most folks incorrectly think More is always better.
            One of the few guns that over lubrication with quality sauce seems to work most of the time is Eugene M. Stoner’s Automatic Rifles; but not in COLD or fine sand/silt conditions.


  17. I believe the days of having to choose between power and accuracy are coming to an end.
    It may be true using old technology, like springers, still being produced today, that have improved in power beyond their ability to be compatible with accuracy, but PCPs and improvements in projectiles have significantly improved both and they are now compatible.

    I know there are exceptions, but “You get what you pay for” may be the new, old, saying. How much accuracy and power do you want and what options you desire?
    There still remains the problem of finding THE Pellet or BB that makes the most of the package. However there seems to be a lot of information out there to narrow the choice down.

    I believe old ‘Things’ are only sought after by people who remember them from their youth. Once that generation fades away so does interest in the item. Collectors may be the exception but to be honest I don’t much care for the diecast models of a 1929 Rolls Royce or a 29 Stutz Black Hawk that I inherited from my stepfather. Muscle and exotic cars spark my interest.
    Springers will remain in the minds of air gunners for many years to come. They are still an economical way to get what you want, just not a top-of-the-line item in competition with the latest and greatest.

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