Archive for March 14th 2011

As I mentioned when I announced the winners of the the amazing Uncle Jock reader appreciation free gun contest, there were a lot of great entries, making it hard to choose the winner of the gun.

Here are some of the other entries which are also excellent.

From Erik Scott: Vivian’s First Shot

I have been an airgun shooter all my life and it is only recently that I have had my most memorable experience with an airgun.  The funny thing is that I wasn’t the one doing the shooting.  For seven long years, ever since she was born, I have waited patiently for the day that I would introduce my daughter Vivian to shooting.  Searching through the numerous websites, I tried desperately to find the right rifle for her to start with.  I have to admit that I found many little rifles that would have probably worked fine for her but being the dad that I am, I wanted something nice.  It came down to making something custom for her.   It would have to be small enough to fit her and accurate as well.  Nothing is as rewarding as an accurate gun.  The search lead me to a precharged pistol which I was going to convert to a pint size rifle using some rough cut maple from a tree in our yard.  The gun came and I immediately went to work.  I explained to her as I measured and fit the wood stock to her, that this was going to be her gun.  I could detect a little apprehension in her voice and, quite frankly, it worried me a bit.  Would a kid who loves princess dolls like to shoot a gun?  I didn’t know.   For two solid weeks, every bit of spare time I had was spent sculpting and fitting the wood to the gun and to her.  Finally it was ready.  We loaded up the truck and headed out into the woods for the first session.  I explained to her about safety on the way there and that is important to always make sure the gun is pointed in a safe direction.  At our shooting spot I had her strap the sling on her shoulder and walk in with her rifle.  Again I went over safety as I set up some cans and clay pigeons.  We walked back ten or so yards and sat down and and I showed her how to load and hold the rifle.  I also explained how to squeeze the trigger.  Now was the time. That first shot.  How is this going to turn out?  Crack!  I watched in disbelief as the first shot smashed a clay bird.  Immediately, a smile formed on her face and she yelled,  “Dad!  I got it!”  I will always remember that moment.  She was hooked.  I was the proud dad, trying to hold back tears and watching as his child finds joy in something that he enjoys so much.  I look forward to many more times like this one.

 From Jim Guidici: Why I am Thankful for Airguns

Airguns have been an elixir for me over the years.
In my career building years, airgunning was a way for me to decompress from the stresses of work.   As time went on, I was in and out of airguns, due to the challenges of raising a family.  But whenever it got overly stressful, I always found relief with my airgun.  It relaxed me and allowed me to break away from the challenges of life.
Speeding ahead about 21 years, I found myself in a “forced” retirement situation.  At 60 years old, timing was not the best.  In fact, probably the worst time, given this was compounded by the worldwide economic crash.  I had never intended to retire.  Trying to find another job was impossible for an old guy.   I was very depressed.     Once again, airguns to the rescue.  I found the Yellow Forum, which introduced me to new friends worldwide.  I have joined an airgun club, and shoot weekly with my newfound friends.  I am now spending more time with my grandchildren.  I have introduced them to airguns, and purchased a BB gun for each of them.
It could be said that airguns have been a prescription, without the need for drugs, to help me survive difficult times, and enjoy what life provides, given it sometimes does not go as planned.
Airgunning has now become an addiction.  But considering what one can be addicted to, I believe I have found an addiction that has been a positive contribution to my life.

From Mark Stangl: Why I am thankful for airguns

I was first exposed to airguns at the age of 5, when my father gave me a Daisy BB gun for my birthday. After the safety talks, we worked on shooting positions, learning sight picture, and how to keep one eye closed while shooting. Then, once I was comfortable in those positions and could hold a sight picture, we were finally shooting. We spent hours together shooting targets and my working on my shooting skills. The basics I learned during those shooting sessions with my trusty BB gun carried me through a life of shooting enjoyment. As I grew older, there were other airguns added to my arsenal, including a Daisy Model 25, a Crosman 1300 Medalist II pistol, and a Benjamin .22 pumper. I started shooting firearms when I got to hunting age, but always went back to the airguns for practice and serious target shooting.  I enlisted in the Marine Corps at 20, and was stationed in Scotland for 3 1/2 years. I found a new type of airgun I hadn’t been familiar with growing up, namely the spring gun. I bought a Relum Rapide because it was all I could afford, and I was hooked. It also gave me an inroad to tuning spring guns, and with the help of  British airgun magazines, I was able to tune the Rapide into a good shooter. I later sold it to a friend to fund another rifle, and he soon was hunting successfully with the rest of us. I eventually worked my way up to an HW80 and a Diana Firebird 52, both in .22, which I tuned also. I spent much of my free time shooting and hunting the hills and farms in Scotland, with landowner permission of course. It was a rabbit hunters paradise, as there was no season, no limit, and could be hunted day or night. When I finished my enlistment, I moved back to the states and brought my airguns with me. I gave my HW80 to my brother, and a Titan Mohawk I had aquired to my father. We would spend many hours shooting together, giving friendly competition along the way. When my oldest son turned 5, I gave him my first Daisy BB gun and taught him the basics my father had given me. Airguns have not only given me much enjoyment in my life, they have also allowed me to spend good quality time with my Dad, my brother, friends, and my wife and children. I now have five children, with my oldest son being 20, and they all shoot airguns. Whether we’re shooting the Daisy Red Ryders, Beeman R7, or a Marauder, they all enjoy airgun shooting. But airgunning has always been about more than shooting and hunting, it’s been about spending quality time with some great people in my life. And it’s my thanks to airguns for that.

 From Bob Schlund: Why I am thankful for air guns

 A long time ago “Winter of 1958/59″ Santa Clause gave me the best Christmas present a young boy could ever ask for.
A brand spanking new Daisy Model 25 BB Gun.
 
As I opened this present with eyes wide open in wonder but well knowing what it was,,,pictures of hunters and cowboys raced thru my 9 year old head.
Geez I thought,,, I held in my hands a dream come true,my very own hunting rifle.
As I pulled it out of the box I was in total awe of what a thing of beauty it was !
 
All the while my father was explaining to me we have some learning to do son,,,Don’t cock it or point it at anything,and keep your finger off the trigger,,,that is not a toy gun or a pop gun it will shoot real ammo.
 
OK Dad ! ! I know,I know,, but when can I start learning about this thing??I want to try it real bad.
 
I almost fell over when he said right now son,lets go to the basement.
 
He had made a make shift BB Trap out of cardboard boxes stuffed with old Detroit Times newspapers.
 
He asked me to give him the rifle and have a seat and pay attention to “everything I say”
 
He proceeded to show me everything about this rifle.He then handed me the 25 asked me to remove the shot tube and load it up with BB’s.
Once full he asked for the barrel/shot tube.
 
He then asked me to demonstrate taking a shot at the target,keeping in mind everything he had just told me.As I swung the rifle around he said “You Didn’t Listen to Me Very Well Did You???”  Huh??? Keep that gosh darn  barrel in the air ALWAYS and your hand away from the trigger!!! OK Dad sorry!
 
We went thru this a few times before handing me the shot tube,,”this is it son load it up and if you make a mistake we’ll try this another day.”This is not a toy and can kill or injure someone if you do not follow gun safety rules at all times.
 
I managed to get it right,and took my first shot!
That was it I was forever hooked on air guns with out even knowing it at the time!!!
 
The combination of recoil,the whack of the BB hitting its mark and seeing the hole it left after impact,it was a WHOA factor I had never experienced .
 
Although my Dad has now left this earth ,,, that Daisy 25 is still with me.
 
It still brings joy to my heart everytime I pick it up! It somehow has the ability to take me back in time and spend a few minuets or even hours with my long departed Father ” Bless his Sole”.
 
Something no other object can do !

From Robert Schmit: Favorite Airgunning Experience

Back when I was a kid, my parents bought an old 100 acre dairy farm about 35  miles south of Buffalo,NY . My father was a forenisic chemist , who also was an avid upland bird hunter. Back in the late sixties and early seventies that area was one of the best pheasant covers in the state. As for me and my younger brother, that point was over-shadowed by a couple other features that were far more important to us. One ,was our large 3 story barn, the other a huge mulberry tree which sat in the side yard.
        My father  always had an interest in airguns. He had an early Walther LP53 pistol he’d brought back from a trip to Europe back in the mid-fifties, and had bought a Crosman 99 lever action CO2 rifle when we lived back in the city. He had taught us to shoot it in the basement. I had also received a Daisy 25 for a birthday before the move. Not being old enough for a real hunting license , my brother and I set about hunting the millions of english sparrows that inhabited the place with my daisy.
       It wasn’t soon after this that Dad bought my brother a Benjamin pump in .22 , and me a Crosman 1300 medalist pistol. I had wanted a pistol because of my Dad’s Walther ,which he had let us shoot a couple times, but it was off limits to us. I thought ,and still think,it is the most elegant air pistol that was ever made.The 99 was jammer with the old ashcan pellets and it took CO2  cartridges, so we didn’t use it either. Anyways,the new guns opened up new opportunities for us . Now we went after the big game , which for us ,were the rats and pidgeons that inhabited the barn. We spent hours stalking rats (which get VERY smart when they are hunted) , and pidgeons in the barn. We soon found that the Benji was the best gun, easily taking pidgeons at the top of the 45 foot barn, and stopping rats with any center body hit. The ammo of choice were the old English made “Bulldog” brand .22 cal pellets. They were much better than the Crosman ashcan wadcutters.We would toss the un-loaded  Benji up into the loft, and climb the ladder ,which were just scrap boards nailed to the face of the  beam that held the loft up. We would often lean the gun againist a bale of hay to get the leverage to get in the last couple pumps. Once it didn’t quite make it up into the loft when tossed , and it fell back down cracking the stock slightly. Didn’t affect its  working capibilities any. It’s durability has endeared MSP’s  to me to  this day.
       We also built a tree house in that mulberry tree mentioned earlier, and shot hundereds of starlings from it. Now, Dad ,the mulberry tree, which was struck and killed by lighting, and the old barn are all gone. We still have the property and I live only a couple counties away.  My brother has still got the Benji, and it still works. I’ve still got the 1300, the 99 , and Dad’s old Walther. I also have two small boys and my brother has a son, which we are building new airgun hunting and shooting memories with. Hopefully, they will remember their early shooting experiences, and keep them close to their hearts as I have.

And now you know why I had such a hard time choosing a winner.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

- Jock Elliott