Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Airgun Gizmo’s:

Click click click

“A gadget, especially a mechanical or electrical device considered to be more complicated than necessary”

My mother would tell us “all things in moderation”. Simple advice, but surprisingly truthful. Like most youngsters, I would need to learn for myself. The legal drinking age was 18 at the time. I found a couple drinks made me a much better dancer at the Agora or Urban Cowboy, but when I first partook in a little more than a moderate amount, the results were as expected. One night when I was arriving home at a late hour I took exacting pains to avoid waking the dog which in turn would wake everyone. I held on to the car for support and tried to close the car door with just a thud. It works ok, but the thumb of my right hand has been closed in the door. Not so bad, I can just open the door, but it is locked. If you can picture the scenario I need my keys that are in my right pants pocket.

For fun, hold your kitchen counter with your right hand and try this seemingly simple exercise. To further complicate things this is young Volvo with skin tight Jordache Jeans. I eventually release my throbbing thumb, but not until I first drop the keys trying to unlock the door using my uncoordinated left hand. Too bad there were no remotes for car doors at the time, my thumb is black and blue for about a month and serves as a gentle reminder.

So to summarize the long rambling intro: a Chrony, scale, AO scope, and Chairgun software are all good in moderation. Just don't over indulge, you could hurt your thumb.



• Test any gun on arrival to establish its health

• Find out the results of a tune, good or bad

• Determine pellet energy to learn usable hunting range

• Find the sweet spot quickly for a PCP


• Shoot a PCP from full to empty and publish the results

• Expect the gun to shoot at published velocities and complain when it doesn’t

Good old F-1 is still going strong

The back has taken many hits from long distance shots, but it still works fine! 

This is what saves the Chrony from certain death



• Critical part of the energy calculation ( .25 caliber Rhinos are about 2 grains below advertised weight)

• Judge pellet quality based on consistency


• Weighing everything all the time

JSB Match Diabolo Exact Jumbo Heavy .22 Cal, 18.1 Grains.... close enough



• Spend as much time on it as I do on exercise


• Spend as much time on it as my kids spend on their cell phones

AO Scopes

• It’s all good

Actual view of target

Close up

Click the elevation up to here

No need to change windage

The results.

Now if this was a big Gamo target I would forgive you for yawning, but this is a ten meter bull’s-eye. (they come five to a sheet) You can see the .22 caliber pellet above is larger than the aim point and the numbers are tiny like a pen tip. If this was a 20 + ft lb PCP you should also make faces. But the rifle was my current R7, a .20 caliber with a 3 x 9 Bushy. The shot for this was made last week, the R7 is fantastic for “fake” long distance practice.
Pay no mind to the bird feeder to the left or the fact that the R7 can hit an English Sparrow in the eye at that distance.

Now, give me your good and bad gizmo list


  1. Volvo,

    Holy crap! I couldn't even see a 10M target at 45 yards at 9x. How did your reticle not completely obscure the bulls-eye? Nice shooting!

    That's one well-placed bird feeder. Your target looks temporary(?), but I'd be lying if I told you my own target and bird feeder aren't in similar proximity to one another. At least the unwelcome pigeons and sparrows get a good meal before they die.

    - Orin

  2. Yes, the target is temporary and just their so I can get a zero at that range. I used the other 4 bulls and about 6 shots before I decided it was good and shot this on the final. You don’t see any of the details at that distance, just shoot for the center of the black, I was resting my elbows also.

    I would love to see a competition where everyone has sporter weight, completely stock, sub 8 ft lbs rifle shooting out to 50 yards with low power glass because that is a real life condition. I am guessing those 19 pound rifles with 50X don’t see much real action, or the only pest that allows you to get 10 meters away is more than likely a family pet.

  3. Volvo

    Yes another impressive shot, but you do come from Shootingville USA so one might expect such results. I have heard that Shootingville public schools forgo the formalities of math, history, social studies, literature, etc etc in favor of a rigorous marksmanship program. So don't be so smug.

    Aren't you guys right across the river from Funkytown?

    Hmmm.. air gun gizmos? First on my list of needless technology is the Beeman Pellseat.
    [Wisely discontinued] Kevin pointed out a ballpoint pen works fine. If you need the ball-shaped end, use your glass cutter, it is less nerdy.

    Next on the list is the illuminated reticle. Yes, it is cooler then all-get-out. For about 30 minutes. I will admit it is good to have when you absolutely positively have to shoot airguns in the middle of the night. Most of the time it is useless and adds cost to the scope, and takes up the space where the AO turret should be.

    Then you have all the tactical doo-dads to add on to tactical looking rifles. Oh yeah, SWAT teams always default to the air rifle. If you want an AR-15, wait until you are 18 and buy one.

    Anything else? Oh yeah, automatic safeties. To H E double hockey sticks with em. Do you know how many times I have been dead-steady on my target and then squeezed the trigger only to feel that awful hard mushy feeling? Twice! Let me decide when to put on the safety. These things are made for adults afterall, yes?

    Good gizmos? Barrel shrouds, LDCs... you catch my drift. It's nice to be able to shoot inside and not disturb the cat. The laws against them are rediculously absurd.

    Then, there is fish-scale checkering. It is widely known that insanely jealous types will disparage the epitome of airgun artistry, however right thinking people inevitably accept that it is indeed the pinnacle of luxury airgun embellishment.

    From your #1 fan, SlingingLead

  4. S.L.,

    Have you done any tuning to your TX?

    I'm thinking about ordering a spring guide kit from either JM or Vortek. My objective would be to remove any remaining twang that hasn't simply "gone away" after somewhere around 1500 cycles, and maybe even smooth out the firing cycle a little more. Actually, I guess it's only been around half that many rounds since I replaced the piston and breech seals with Maccari parts.

    The last time I opened it up, the washer on the rear guide was loose and gritty feeling when I rotated it – which I don’t think I’m supposed to be able to do – and inside the piston (where the spring goes) was disappointingly coarse. I polished the piston innards up as best I could with graduating sandpaper (up to 600 grit) wrapped around a piece of pipe, but it's notoriously hard to get in there with that spring guide in the way. There are still some pretty deep machining gouges that remain. I think an outer spring guide "sleeve" is what I really need, which I believe the Vortek kit comes with.

    Anyway, what are your thoughts?

    - Orin

  5. Slinging Lead,

    Crap. I thought I was being humble with my explanation of the shot. If not, I figured sharing the fact that I have shot the Chrony about 70 times would add some humility. Oh well.

    I believe Kevin recanted his position on the Pellseat, however I could be wrong. Personally, I find it dresses up my pocket protector like nothing else can.

    We are on the same page as far as the rest of your list, with the exception of the fish scales. As much as I try not to, invariably the tartar sauce comes out when I hold one.

  6. I avoided the beeman pellseat mostly because of it's affiliation with beeman (ultimate purveyor of gizmo's) but secondarily because of cost.

    I'll admit I was wrong. The cost was right (Thank You again Volvo) and the results on my springers can't be argued with. I used the cap on a bic pen for a long time but the inconsistency and occasionally damaged pellt skirts when seating the pellet went away with the pellseat and so did the "flyers".

    As far as gizmo's, I'd list the bullzeye pro optical booster as the latest snake oil that I'm embarrassed to say I bought into.

    A close second, with apologies to SlingingLead, are automatic safeties. Another unapplauded thank you to all the liability barristers out there that breed like rats.


  7. Volvo,

    You got just enough room to put a 40' mango-shaped swimming pool in that there back yard of yours. Make for even prettier pics with your targets behind it!


  8. AlanL,

    I wish we had enough sunshine and warm weather here to make a pool practical, but we don’t.

  9. How about lasers? They're fun to shine at something far away at night, but pretty useless on airguns, if you ask me. But because I'm a male that is endlessly and helplessly fascinated with gadgets, I would like to know if anyone has any experience and/or opinions on the following:

    Laser Bore Sighters
    Green Laser Sights
    Laser Genetics ND3 or ND5

    - Orin

    WV: joyangle. WTF?

  10. Orin

    I am sorry I didn't see your question until now. No I haven't had any tuning done to my TX yet. I took it apart and did my best to put it back together correctly, but that is about it. I took the oportunity to clean the barrel with JBs from the breach side and I added moly to all the appropriate surfaces. I looked for burrs and rough surfaces but couldn't seem to find any. I seem to remember the inside of the piston being honed. I did not seem to me a sleeve would fit in mine, but that is based on my increasingly failing memory.

    I was planning to have it tuned, but I don't know if that's going to happen now.

    When I finally get some heavy tar, I plan to take it apart again, and use better quality moly this time.

    I never had a problem until this happened. (Scroll down to Feb. 21 at 6:37 pm) That is when I took it apart for the first time.

  11. Orin,

    Lasers. I tried one on the RWS 850, and then moved it two one of the many non-descript Crosman CO2 pistols where it was better suited. Lasers are fun but lack accuracy for rifles. I would like to pick a Crimson Trace grip for my little S&W 60 in .357 someday.

  12. Volvo

    There is nothing humble contained in the paragraph under the photo of the target. You Shootingville guys swagger even when you are trying to be humble. You should hang out with Derrick more, he's got it down.

    As for hitting the Shooting Chrony 70 times, I thought you were bragging again. You Shootingville guys are also notoriously mean.

    Much of your advertising seems to be targeted toward the strip-club set. You really have us airgunners pegged. In spite of your monumental hubris, I am considering a purchase of the The Big Butt Book.

  13. Volvo,

    You know I like technical gizmos. This one is not airgun related, unless you're contemplating making a new stock. Nick & Derrick-- you got kids around that like to come into your shop and play, right?

    Check this out:
    sawstop video
    This man's invention is to be applauded. As are his cojones.


  14. AlanL,
    That video is crazy, thanks for the link.

    As a sales guy I have learned to give the public what they want. I had no hits on pellets and targets, but guess what is selling?

    Sir Mix a Lot would be proud.

  15. S.L.,

    Man, your description of the ads couldn't be more true. I figured Amazon keeps track of what everyone clicks on, so it's no surprise I keep seeing Maxim and Playboy. But The Big Butt Book and 399 Breasts have taken it to a whole new level. :)

    Thanks for the update on your TX. I remember that fateful day, but I think I might have still been lurking in the background on the PA blog. Also, I consider this blog pretty laissez-faire (that's not an insult, Volvo - I like it that way) so I wasn't expecting an immediate response. I know where to find you if I need quick answers.


    Thanks for posting the heads-up. And once more, I have to commend your clandestine interjection on the PA blog - "related topic." You are the master of stealth!

    The only laser I currently have mounted is on my Crosman 357W, and since it obscures the cheap plastic sights that deliver better accuracy, I’m seriously considering taking it off.


    Dude - sweet video! Thanks.

    - Orin

  16. Orin,

    Yeah, I could not resist 399 Breasts, cause I need to figure out why it is not 400. Don’t they come in pairs of two? Maybe it's a large single?

    Don’t feel guilty previewing the material since you are actually on an airgun site.

  17. Review of the .25 cal benji m:

  18. Here's some smokin' deals on Nikko Stirling scopes if anyone is in the market...

    I bought the 6-24x56 Nighteater with LRX reticle for under $100. I wish they'd had the extended mil-dot with side wheel, but the only side wheel combo has FT reticle. Oh well.

    - Orin

  19. Orin

    I read some comments about the Nighteater scopes from Wacky Wayne on the old PA blog awhile back, he was not impressed. He seemed to think you had to go to the top of the line to get a good scope from Nikko. I will say that is a tempting deal with the sidewheel.

    Chuck and Mr B. both purchased this scope and discussed it a little. It sounded pretty cool.

    It's always out of stock though. }:-(

  20. S.L.,

    Thanks for that. I figured at sub $100, even if it is only ok, I can stick it on top of the Trail XL-1100 that I'll probably end up selling, and not lose much in the long run.

    I have a Leapers 6-24x56 that I'm really happy with, which stays mounted on the TX200. I figured I can at least try this one out and see how it compares.

    Again - thanks for passing on the feedback. Oh, and cool mad face. :)

    - Orin