A newbie blunders into airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

Today we have a guest blog by a new airgunner who goes by the handle NewBlue19. It’s important to see airgunning through a new shooter’s eyes, and I welcome all guest blogs like this. I found it eye opening, and I think you will, too.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Take it away, NewBlue19!

I’m impulsive by nature. Despite being in my thirties, I’ve never outgrown that trait. In early November 2011, I was reminiscing about how much fun I had shooting a cheap pellet rifle with my dad that he had purchased when I was about 12.

I immediately went online, searched “air rifle” and was rewarded with thousands of sites selling, reviewing and recommending assorted air guns. Some were vendors while others were forums for experienced shooters. YouTube offered hundreds of videos of 12-year-old kids nailing a can from 60 yards away. I was hooked, and an hour later had placed an order for a Remington NPSS in .22. It had digital camo stock, a 3-9x scope and a raised rubber cheek piece! I had no idea what kind of shooting I was going to be doing; but with this awesome-looking rifle, I was going to be the terror of my backyard. read more


Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This series began with the earliest sights that were both primitive and simplistic. Then, we looked at the evolution of peep sights, starting back before 1840 and progressing to around 1903.

There’s a lot more to be said about both open and peep sights. It was at this point in time that they each began to develop along separate lines. I think I need to concentrate on one type of sight per report to keep things straight. In today’s report, I’ll look at open sights from around the middle of the 19th century until today.

Open sights evolved rapidly after the American Civil War, which ended in 1865. Not that all the innovation was done in the U.S., mind you, but that was a time when the world of firearms was advancing though technological stages, and the sights kept pace with everything. Other wars around the world at the same time drove the armies of many nations to push the limits of firearms; and we got smokeless gunpowder, fixed cartridges, breechloading arms and eventually repeating firearms from this era. read more


Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

In Part 2, we learned that the peep sight has been around for a very long time. But following the American Civil War, the entire world became intensely interested in shooting for about 60 years, and target shooting was at the top of the list. World-champion target shooters were regarded like NASCAR drivers are today.

Because of all this interest, the common peep sights that were already at least 50 years old, and perhaps as old as a full century, started to change. By 1870, designers were innovating again. One of the most famous innovators, and the man whose designs are still impacting battle rifles 125 years later, was Col. Buffington of the Springfield Armory. In 1884, Springfield selected his sight for the U.S. .45-caliber, single-shot military rifle — the gun we call the Trapdoor. read more


Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Leslie Foran is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card! Congratulations!

Leslie Foran (aka Desertdweller) took this winning photo of his grandson Nicky Crocker shooting a Daisy 856.

Part 1

Today, we’ll look at peep sights. Do you think a peep sight is a modern invention? Wrong! Despite what Wikipedia says, peep sights date from at least as far back as the 1840s and perhaps even a half-century earlier. There were sights enclosed in tubes during the American Revolution (1775-1783), but those had not yet reached the full development of the sights I will discuss today. By 1840, peep sights were being offered by a great many rifle makers. read more


Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Edith has been after me to write this report for over a year. I’ve been researching it and believe I can do it some justice, but this is a large topic. And it’s a fundamental one — like learning to shoot a handgun one-handed.

I’m going to make the case that the scope sight has destroyed the potential of more shooters than anything else. Not that scopes don’t work, but that they work too well. It’s my opinion that every shooter who is able (and that’s a lot more people than are willing to admit it) should first learn to shoot with open sights; because in doing so, they learn the fundamentals of breathing, trigger control, follow-through and perhaps many other basic components of accuracy as well. read more


Sharing airguns with your spouse

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I’m giving the floor to my wife, Edith. Over the years, we’ve noticed that many blog readers don’t always have the support of their spouses when it comes to buying airguns or even shooting in the house. How you introduce someone to shooting is very important. If you’ve done it wrong, initially, all may not be lost. Here’s Edith’s take on it.

Sharing airguns with your spouse

by Edith Gaylord

How many of you have a spouse who doesn’t want to touch your guns, may be afraid of your guns and possibly even suspects that your guns could cause harm even if no one’s holding/using/touching them? read more


Why do you need a scope level?

by B.B. Pelletier

I’m writing this report because I saw from the comments on the accuracy versus velocity test that several readers do not know what a scope level does. And where three people speak out, there are three hundred who are reading and remaining silent.

They say that there’s nothing more zealous than a convert, and I expect that is true of me when it comes to scope levels. I have understood their need for a long time and even conducted a fairly extensive cant test back in my Airgun Letter days, but it was my .38-55 Ballard single-shot rifle that really drove the message home. That rifle came with a bubble level, and it’s far more precise than the levels we find on air rifles today. The bubble moves very slowly, making it important to check the level just before you begin the squeeze; because what looks like a level gun one moment can change slowly to a canted gun if you don’t watch the level. By contrast, the scope levels I’m using with airguns have bubbles that move very fast, are much easier to see and are far simpler to work with. read more