I’m all for helping others but:-

One person clearing a building,
homE, ROOM is widow(er) making 101.

There are a few ‘learned’ Spetsnaz / Special Forces level of military experience  on YouTube and other self promoting social media.
Showing how to clear a building / home / room.

Highly professional, explaining every move, the dangers, the techniques, how to avoid the fatal tunnel, and always with a successful ending.

Only I’ve got a question.
R U (and they) Nuts enough to think that’s it?

While I appreciate that any guidance is better than the untrained rushing in without at least the basics of House,  Building, and Room clearance.

  • Especially when you don’t intimately know the ground / layout you are entering.
  • Where the capabilities and numbers of who you are hunting is unknown.
  • Where you have no accurate knowledge of who is in that scenario
  • And how you can clearly differentiate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad guys’.
  • For someone who hasn’t practiced this until it becomes as natural as taking a shit.
  • Continuously and under expert tuition.

Is widow(er) making 101.

Not only for whoever the ‘good guy’ leaves behind because they got shot or knifed, or otherwise dead, but for the ‘innocent’ who think they are saved and may rush towards their ‘savior’.

An innocent, who is still probably a bit sound numbed (and maybe flash blind) from a discharged weapon in a confined space, and usually well high on adrenaline.

That savior, possibly in the same state of numbness and blindness, will almost certainly be reacting in primitive mode aka shooting at sudden movement, not the content, while still thinking:-

Is it only one bad guy or have they got backup!

So, to all of you budding Rambo / or whoever is Hollywood’s hero of today.
Do yourself a favor and stop thinking that a blue barrel course on a range or a weekend in a kill house a couple of times a year, or the quiet confidence of a professional on YouTube (or whatever),  is going to make you proficient enough to handle everything you come across.  Before you get dead or you ‘accidentally’ kill others.

Shooting Thoughts.

Knowing how to hold your weapon and how to squeeze the trigger.
That’s so important, but it’s just two things of the important PHYSICAL things about loosing off a shot.

BRASS is the most basic of shooting acronyms.
It lists all but one of the elements of taking a shot.
Arguably the most important one, FOLLOW THROUGH.

Still, for those who don’t know, BRASS stands for
B=Breath, R=Relax (and slow that heart), A=Aim, S=Stop, S=Squeeze, and the silent bit called FOLLOW THROUGH.

The actual act of aiming and releasing the shot needs a hell of a lot more consideration than BRASS-F.

It starts off with what you are shooting at.
It’s size, what angle it is to you and it’s relative elevation or depression. Is it moving and if so how fast and it’s direction relative to you.

How well it is lit, how clearly defined it is, and the contrast between the target and the background.
Do you have a full view of the target or is it partially obscured.

How far the target is, what the wind is doing.
That will change in direction or speed over range.
Not forgetting the ambient temperature, humidity, and that includes mist, fog, and rain.

The experts will include Spin drift, Magnus & Poisson effect, Coriolis drift, and a couple more. Important? Over a long range yes but for an average marksman out to 500 meters? 2 inches vertical and horizontal tops.
So make sure you have that to play with.

I’m going to add a few more things that can ‘aid you’ in missing the shot. Nothing physical, more ‘too many minds’.

Do you have a problem with the target selection?

  • The gender, age, its purpose, responsibility, or role.
  • Is this a surgical strike or have you been tasked to reduce the chain of command, over stretch their aid stations, or simply demoralize the troops and the civilian masses.
  • Are you under time pressure as in, is someone or something sync’d with your actions?
  • What’s in the background just in case you miss.
    Does that cause you any concern?
    In short, is your mind OK with the task of taking the shot?

Where are you shooting from?
Now you’re thinking camouflage and flash, noise, and dust reduction.
Unexpected foot, vehicle traffic, aircraft, and dogs.
Your IR signature.  Using a laser range finder, Radio coverage.
How you are searching for a target, your spotter, ranging accurately.

Let alone little things like where you can take a piss or even have a ‘poo’ without blowing your hide.

Who is the more important in the team.
The shooter or the spotter?

The next problem is what will happen to you when you make the shot. Confused? Shooting a deer or hog, probably little.
However, shooting at someone could become harmful to your health as it will may draw a reaction, aka retaliation. Be that from law enforcement, others present, or something they call in.

So you will need a damn good plan to extricate yourself as safely as you can, with support in place if required.

Wow. Point and shoot eh?
There is lot more than that to think about isn’t there.

So far I haven’t mentioned the weapon.
That you need to know intimately.
How to maintain it and, if necessary, repair it.
How it performs in any given scenario, hot, cold, wet.
The difference between the first and subsequent shots.
How different ammunition flies in different conditions.
The capability and limitations of your sighting system.

Then there is your capabilities for taking a shot, under all conditions, be that meteorological or your physical state, when under pressure.

Which reminds me of my training and a sort of funny.
I learned to always aim small, shoot slow, and usually got good tight groups. Which is fine unless you are addressing ‘of value, opportunity’ targets that pop up unexpectedly.

Thus I fell foul of one of the instructors who would speed up my rate of fire to what I considered was stupid as I was slapping the trigger as he constantly changed the target order, i.e. Target 5 (out of 8), Counting off “1, 2, fire”. Out to 300 m he was only happy if I kept within the center mass, 20 cm, 8 inches, across.

20 press ups for a late discharge, a fumbled mag change, a click on an empty chamber, 10 press ups for a dropped shot. So, for a LONG while, at the end of most days I was no longer young, fit, and stupid.

More Young, Knackered, and Hurting.

Maybe some of the more experienced triggers out there will be thinking 20 cm POI, at 300 m? Damn that’s poor, even when snap shooting. 

Like I care, and my arms still occasionally ache some 47 years on!


On the back of my post “A List of Steel”.

Following my post “A list of Steel”
Warrior Poet Society on YouTube did a bit on why you should get CCW insurance.

It’s got to be “a must watch” YouTube Post. (Link)

Only in the UK CCW isn’t allowed (unless you are a criminal).

BUT, if you own ANYTHING from spring, CO2, or PCP airgun, shotgun, firearm, crossbow, archery bow, and use it outside of a range, I would strongly recommend you get Shooting Insurance.

Read the small print carefully.
Sometimes how you shoot, what discipline you carry out, where, and what organizer cover is in place, could invalidate your personal insurance.

A list of steel.

I was browsing and came across yet another prepping and survival site. How unusual?
Na, not really, as they are popping up all over.
Only this one has been around for a while.

Anyway, the post was about weapon selection.
A comprehensive interesting list too.

Yet, I’m always get a bit thoughtful when I read such a list.
Not it’s content, more what happens if a reader copies the list into real life and fills their home with all sorts of short and long guns, and then takes them onto the streets or has to use them closer to home.

My thoughts are always ‘What if’ and this triggered a repeat of my thoughts about gun ownership and, more importantly, the cost of using one on another.
Anyway, my thoughts panned out as:-
I know there is a well documented rush in the US to get armed.
Something I do understand. Yet, there is a downside to it.
That’s not what steel you pick, it’s magazine capacity, or what load you use.
It’s the actual act of using it and the ‘sometimes consequences’ of doing so.

I say that as there is little more dangerous than an ‘inexperienced in combat’ person behind a trigger who has done a short course to allow that person to carry a handgun.

To deploy a weapon on the streets, even in the defense of others, is not just a question of what steel you carry, it’s what scenario you find yourself in and the heady knowledge that if you miss, or hit a bad guy and the bullet goes though. What damage you could do to another.

Sometimes the knowledge that you wounded or killed an innocent instead of the guilty will sit VERY HEAVY with the person behind the trigger. Sometimes the knowledge you killed a bad guy will also return to haunt you.

There is an old adage there.
It goes. “No good deed ever goes unpunished”

The consequences of a civilian taking life or simply getting it wrong can be life changing, let alone expensive.
A short browse through the web will tell many a tale of the pain and cost, (be that health, money, reputation, family, job, and sometimes freedom) that good people can experience when trying to help.

My experience to make such a statement?
Ex-Mil, ex-Pmc, with a few notches on my stocks.

So, there it is.
Once before I was accused of being anti-gun for expressing these thoughts. Only that person, and long term readers, discover in time that I am VERY pro-guns and I only ever feel relaxed with steel in my hand or about my person. Does that make me into some sort of unstable gun slinger? No, it never has, BUT I do know about the effects, and the long term effects, of doing what I did best. Making holes where I wanted them to be.

If you haven’t downloaded what you need, why not?

In Global Censorship and Financial Controls I was talking about the ongoing censorship of all things useful to survivalism and prepping, along with those little useful things which preppers, survivalists, and the bushcraft fraternity use as their ‘bibles’.

Today I was visiting one of my online survival reference library as I have lost my ‘growing veg in a greenhouse’ manual. An innocuous enough 12 page booklet. Only it wasn’t there as THE WHOLE DAMN SITE HAS GONE.

OK, things happen, a name change perhaps, so I went to another, and another, and another, reference source. ALL GONE!

Luckily the Field Manuals and medical sites I use are still there – For now.

Being paranoid doesn’t mean ‘They aren’t targeting you’, yet my interest grew as some of the YouTube, and other ‘helpful’ platforms I use frequently all seem to have developed black holes.

Are you getting my drift?
My own self sufficiency, off grid, FM manuals, survival, mechanics and machinery, communications, and medical library collection is pretty extensive, BUT, as per the title, with the ongoing woke and global censorship kicking in big time, if you are a few titles short of a basic library, now might just be the time to download what you need.

Luckily I’ve also recently downloaded all my other sites and  message boards interests and converted them to off line browsing. Although something tells me that TOR isn’t going to like the bandwidth I’ve been using.

Now there could be a reasonable and operational reason for what I’m finding BUT it is beginning to freak me a bit as I thought all this woke, cancel culture, censorship, national security, anti whatever B.S. was still in the talking stages.

Anyway, once might be an accident, twice could be a coincidence, but three times is almost certainly enemy action.


Long Gun or Handgun in Home Defense?

Browning HP 9mm Service Issue.
Actually I wasn’t bad with this particular steel and a 2 inch group slow fire at 20 yards was the norm. Up the speed to timed and reactive target exposures on multiple targets and for some reason the group sizes decreased to an inch to an inch and a quarter. Go figure? I couldn’t work it out.

Then, after a good few years the paper was dropped for muscle and blood. Only it’s funny how a bit of stress monkey’s around with your precision BUT center mass was assured out to 25 meters. (Note I’d grown up by then and thought ‘metric’).

Yet the hype behind the effectiveness of the 9 x 19 FMJ was never the same as advertised . However, the hours of dry firing and practicing tactical reloads helped a lot. In short, beyond phone box range, I found I was using at least half a mag per target 5-7 rounds. (Got to love that boxy 15 (-1) round mag)

Only a pistol jock was not me in real life as I’ve got slow reflexes but putting me behind a short carbine? Watch out, coming through!

And now we start!
Short carbine? More like an AK.

Now I know the preferred weapon to carry is a handgun and I have no problem with that, especially in public and a home invasion when you need act FAST.

There are however other options if you can get to a weapon before they can get to you. To that end I’m thinking about the ‘bump on the night’ which you go to investigate (aka widow making, aka house clearing).

A short carbine makes an impression on a bad guy way better than a spray and pray shotgun or a handgun with it’s notorious inaccuracy in a highly stressful, not well lit, fluid scenario.

So now I’m sitting waiting for:-
Too much gun, not easy to maneuver, unwieldy in use and hard to aim, and over penetration.

  • Firstly, too much gun may be right BUT you’ll love the 30 round mag if push comes to shove and multiple targets. I’m NOT talking going full auto. Semi auto with a carbine works well in most clearance scenarios.
  • Not easy to maneuver. If you KNOW the layout of your home, and practice, it’s usually perfectly maneuverable.
  • Unwieldy. In your shoulder at the low ready?

    That’s a VERY strong platform to quickly acquire and engage a target.
  • As for sighting? The advantage of a short carbine is you won’t encounter the grip and sight alignment problems of a pistol!
  • Over Penetration. OK, I agree and you have to be well aware of your surroundings. Only what’s the difference between a carbine and a pistol? Both need you to be background aware before firing.
  • The last point I’m adding from experience.
    The roar of a full bore cartridge, close aboard, when you are in a confined space is DEVASTATING to anyone in front of you. Unfortunately you will cop some of that sound pressure yourself but to the average jerk in front of you, it’s not going to be ‘nice’.

So why not a shotgun?
The double crunch of A PUMP ACTION is meant to melt the resolve of every criminal in the world. Actually you just told him exactly what he is facing AND, more importantly, where you are. Plus, I would remind you about ‘boxy magazines’. With the right handgun you can rip off 15 rounds in 20 seconds. The cyclic rate of an 8 cartridge pump? 16-18 seconds for all eight? Maybe.

Only now you are reloading while still taking fire.
Even if you can manage to do that, what you haven’t got in many designs is a detachable magazine so it’s one cartridge at a time aka SLOW!

I’ve never been in that position and hope I’ll never be facing someone ripping off rounds at me while I’m reloading a shotgun, BUT a 30 round carbine magazine would definitely give you a slight edge. What think you?

A footnote to calm the liberal, woke, and snowflakes.
There are other options which will give you time and possibly end the invasion before you have to engage.

Burglars and home invasion scum don’t like three things.
Sound bomb sounders both internal and outdoors, High intensity random strobe lights, and someone screaming high power noisy orders and white noise at them.

ALL THREE are way preferable to you going all RAMBO and trying to clear your home of intruders on your own.

All can be achieved cheaply (ish) and effectively with electronics while you are on a phone calling for help and getting ready for action. That and the addition of the way more expensive smoke cloak systems.

Thus I offer you gentle souls an alternative to GUNS!

Hunting. How much do you take?

More than 540 deer and wild boar were slaughtered by just 16 Spanish hunters who then  lined up their carcasses to pose for photos in Portugal.

Was it for bragging rights or 16 stupid a-holes? You choose.

Bottom line for me is I’ve always taken what I needed, never more.
Which is not an ‘I’m holier than thee” attitude but simply because I can always go back again.

It’s the same for pest control (rabbits in particular).
Some are paid to clear a site as far as possible and the law says that rabbit pest control is a legal requirement.

Only the survivalist instinct in me remains, take what you need and that’s it.
Thus I tended to offer to control the rabbit numbers for free.
Usually with snares or my PCP air rifle.
As a result I will take a couple and distribute the rest to others.
Yet I’m still mindful of “What about tomorrow?”
So occasionally, and maybe a bit naughtily, I would leave a couple of breeding pairs intact using the excuse that they weren’t there when I cleared the site.

All part of thinking about tomorrow.
The preppers mantra.

Airgun Telescopic Sights

It’s all about the recoil folks!

If you shoot a (PCP), single-cock, multi pump pneumatic, or a CO2 ‘sparklet’ air gun, YOU CAN USE ALMOST ANY SCOPE, subject to it’s overall power handling rating. The reason why is the recoil mimics that of a firearm i.e. recoil into your shoulder.

However, if you shoot a spring or gas ram powered air gun, the scope has to be designed for both these power options as the dual snap recoil (backwards as recoil and forward as the piston crashes home) will ultimately destroy a conventional scope.

Not only that, the Gas Ram system has one of the harshest snap recoils of any power system for an air gun so it will need an upgraded higher than usual power rating.

So what breaks? EVERYTHING!
Air gun scopes differ greatly to conventional scopes as, in the main, the optics are ANCHORED in both directions to cope with the snap recoil.

For optics read glass but not forgetting the adjusters, erector tubes (that holds the image inversion lenses), zoom that moves the erector tube forward and back, eye bell reticle focus (rear), parallax adjustment, adjustable objective lens (Front) and occasionally the reticle (usually printed on a disc although older scopes still having wire assemblies).

ALL need to be VERY robust and shock proofed / cushioned (usually with o-rings). The elevation and windage controls work on the erector lenses tube and against one or TWO spring assemblies in the better scopes. They will take one heck of a battering in a gas ram powered weapon.

Variable magnification scopes are now the norm BUT, for air gun use, typically no more than 100 yards/meters, my personal preference is a fixed magnification scope. Simply because there are less moving parts and the parallax is fixed at typically 100 yards/meters. Less moving, less to break.

However, if you do choose an all singing complex controls scope, especially for precision field target work, ensure it has some sort of parallax adjustment be that as a side turret adjuster or an adjustable objective (AO) lens for ranging and parallax correction. Both do the same job.

First or second plane.
Firstly with a fixed magnification scope, this isn’t a factor.
For variable magnification this is important because it changes the way you view the reticle.
A first focal plane reticle expands and shrinks along with the rest of the image as the magnification is adjusted, while a second focal plane reticle would appear the same size and shape to the user as the target image grows and shrinks.

Personal choice is again the name of the game here BUT I prefer the second focal plane.

So, what’s best? Nope, I don’t do that.
Like picking the prefect partner, it’s all down to personal choice.
Besides, I’m not qualified to make that sort of recommendation.
I see myself as knowing a little about a lot, and not an expert in anything.

Bad advice, when using piston powered air rifles.

A follow on to my last range report.

Noticeable that evening was one guy had a very powerful gas piston air rifle.
What was also VERY noticeable was the scatter gun results he was getting courtesy of the advice he was being given by the resident ‘ex-spurt’ who kept on telling the guy to use a rest when zeroing his new scope.

OK, what was going wrong?

Telling someone to use a rest with a spring or gas piston air rifle is good advice PROVIDING you instruct him how to use one, and preferably why!

One of the secrets of shooting these two ‘powerhouses’ is you cradle the weapon, and not hold onto it with any degree of force.

The why is because it’s impossible to fight the unique double recoil imparted to the rifle by the effect of a heavy steel piston flying forward. That motion gives you the familiar ‘shove in the shoulder’, followed shortly thereafter by the weapon trying to fly FORWARD as that air piston crashes into the air port which is directly behind the breech.

This double recoil happens with both the spring powered rifle and one that has a gas piston fitted. The only difference between these two is the recoil is HARSHER and FASTER with the gas piston.

So how do you hold it?

  • You aim the weapon using a natural point of aim supporting (cradling) the fore end without gripping the furniture (fore stock).
  • Your head is held using a consistent amount of pressure in your cheek weld. Same place every time.
  • The stock is tucked into your shoulder but NOT pulled back into your shoulder and,
  • When you squeeze the trigger, you must be very aware of not tightening your trigger hand grip or support hand ‘grip’ while you are increasing the pressure on the trigger and,
  • Being very attentive in maintaining an even direct (no sideways) pressure on the trigger.

Not forgetting that this system takes anything up to three times longer for the pellet to exit the muzzle when compared with a firearm, so you need to maintain your follow through way longer than a conventional firearm.

Easy eh? Like hell it is.

Only lets go back to supporting the rifle.
While it’s OK (and advisable) to use a rest whenever you can.
What you must be aware of is the support the rest provides must be for your support arm ONLY and NO PART of the rifle must touch that support.

If you are taking great care to let the rifle “do its thing”, the rifle will move predictably and consistently providing you aren’t trying to restrict the weapons movement on a rest, be that on a solid ‘wood’, bi or monopod, or backpack, support.

So, if you do use a rest to support the fore end, especially a hard rest, the rifle will fight you with way more force than you could ever hope to control.

Thus, you will miss, again, and again.
Only most people won’t like that and the natural inclination is to FIGHT the weapon for control which makes matters worse.

So what about slings?
The idea here is to lessen the load of the rifle on the forearm. It’s not to be used to force the rifle back into the shoulder. Sling use must be consistent because suddenly swapping from using or not using one will change your POI as the rifle will ‘ring differently’ under varying stresses. Don’t forget, these rifles like doing the same thing again and again, BUT if you are being inconsistent (sling one day, and a rest on the other) it will cause the rifle to fight you aka you will lose accuracy.

As for the scope? I’ll leave that for another day but will ask this.
Telescopic sights for spring or gas piston design are much more robust than those used for firearms. Why is that?

One Eye Or Two

Using One Eye or Both eyes is a growing discussion when training a new shooter OR converting a traditionally trained shooter to combat / self-defense shooting or hunting.

It all starts by checking which is your dominant eye. Why?
Because that’s the eye which see’s better and transfers visual data to the brain faster than the other.
Some would argue they KNOW which is their dominant eye.
While it is true that dominance is usually fixed by age 10, as you age, your eyes can differ in performance. As demonstrated by the need for two different magnifications in glasses. As a result eye dominance CAN CHANGE.
So do yourself a favor and check which is now your dominant eye.

How to find your dominant eye?
Extend your arms out in front of you and create a triangle.
Keep both eyes open quickly ‘frame’ an object further than 20 meters.
Now close your left eye.
If the object stays centered, right is your dominant eye.
Open left close right.
If the object stays centered, left is your dominant eye.

Only occasionally you may be left or right-handed with the opposite side as your dominant eye. That can become problematic, BUT however you hold your rifle, you always use the eye that is closest to the weapon.

Wanna change your eye dominance because you find you are cross handed to your dominant eye? You can change it over time by suppressing the dominant eye by using an eye patch. Something gun owners have been doing forever.

One eye verses keeping both open.

  • Most people find it easier and more natural when on a range.
  • It allows you to use your stronger dominant eye
  • It’s easier to sharpen your focus with your dominant eye.
  • EXCEPT, you will lose some of your field of view by only using one eye.

On the streets, in real life, it may cause you to not see the bad guy’s buddy as your FOV is restricted.

Using two eyes verses one eye

  • You regain your full field of vision thus preserving your peripheral vision. In a self-defense mode, that’s crucial.
  • Two eyes assists with ranging, elevation problems and wind speed calculations.
  • Two eyes allows you to quickly swap onto another target as you can already see it with your other eye.
  • However, some may find it more difficult to focus the foresight / reticle onto  target if you are not using your dominant eye.
    The good news is you can retrain your eyes to do this. (Eye patch)
  • Except, for some, that’s not always easy and, for them,  to convert from only using one eye to using both is an acquired skill.

Personally, if you are using a weapon for self-defense, I would recommend using both eyes open.

Buy German, buy Weihrauch!

I own a very loved 43-year-old 5.5 mm HW35 air rifle that had a problem. The leaf spring that holds the cocking lever unit firmly against the air cylinder on loading broke.

The first thing that has failed on this rifle it, having thrown many 1000s of rounds at furry things, working faultlessly over the years.

Although I could continue using the rifle, it didn’t like it and rattled and sounded ‘strained’ in use.

So, I emailed the UK distributor for a replacement spring but was told the item I needed was not “spared”. In short, I was left with the possibility of scrapping the rifle for a couple of Euro’s worth of sprung steel.

Was I going to do that? NO WAY IN HELL!

Then I had a thought and emailed Weihrauch in Germany asking them for a part number for the spring.

In the meantime I made four replacements out of some spring steel but found they didn’t last for long. Poor quality steel but that was all I could source locally.

Then in the post, from Weihrauch, came an envelope with A NEW SPRING, FREE OF CHARGE!

Wow, I am seriously impressed, and fired off a ‘Vielen Dank’ email to a European firm that has ‘gone well beyond’ it’s support limits.

In short, their UK distributor (Hull Cartridge) lets me down (named and hopefully shamed) but the German manufacturer turned up trumps.

I have had this problem before with UK firms regarding spares and repairs, and they quickly fell off my ‘preferred supplier’ list.

It’s like ‘UK’ excels in bad customer service, and that extends to white goods and electronic spares support.

Thinking purely about shooting, I know of a few other firearm and air weapon owners over the years who have had the same problem with repairs and spares. Some using friends in the US or Europe to source parts and send them directly to them. Little things like firing pins, springs, sights and trigger group components.

Yeah, I know something’s shouldn’t be mailed here BUT with the poor service options in the UK, sometimes a bench vise in the garage is better (if not the only way) than relying on sub-quality, well overpriced, ‘expert services’, and having to contend with the Draconian, OTT, gun laws in the UK.

Has this post turned out into a bit of a RAVE? Yep.
Only I think this one is well deserved.

Hare Rifle!

That’s what I call it.
An ancient 42-year-old spring piston HW35 Weihrauch .22 air rifle I keep for shooting hare as it’s the most dependable 30 meter air gun ever.
Two points,
I bought it in 1978, it has travelled around with me for all my service life and beyond, with me never once tempted to get rid of it and,

It’s been re-springed a couple of times, a peep sight fitted with the old leaf sight still fitted, and a new PTFE piston washer is all that has ever been changed.

It has literally NEVER failed me, until today. ARGH!
Yet a happy bunny was me as the HW35 is still made so there is no way I can’t get spares for it . . . . . Except what I need isn’t a ‘parts listed’ item.
Did I mention ARGH!

OK, parts diagram, red circle follow the arrow to a slightly bigger blow up.
That little tongue is actually a leaf spring and its job is to hold the cocking
Cocking lever unit (ul608) firmly on the air cylinder during the re-cock cycle, and that’s the little sucker that’s broke! Without it loading is a VERY graunchy experience so not good! 1 1/2 inches x 3/8 spring steel and, according to the old price list, 1.50 DM.

So, an email shot off to Weihrauch (in my best polite Google German) got a lovely reply, in English, saying that spring design was changed in the late 80’s and the new one won’t fit the existing unit.

In short a sort of ‘so sorry, buy a new gun’ type of reply!
And yes I’m muttering profanity as I type this.

I’m not beaten though as I’m a thinking ‘out of the box’ type of person so all I need is a 2-inch bit of sprung steel and my trusty Dremmel (knock off) type thingie with a grinder bit.

Only where to get the 1/64″ (15 thou) spring steel from?
Simple, ask Google, and up popped a supplier with exactly what I need.
Local to me (sort of) about an hours drive in real terms.
Price £2.54 plus £1.50 P&P.
Then I read the small print.
I have to open an account. Okay (ish).
With bank references. WTH.
And the minimum order for UK customers is 100 units.
WTH changes to WTF!

And once again, ARGH gets said with feeling.

So, I’m sat thinking “pass that box” while idly tapping the fitting with a set of feeler gauges and I had that lightbulb moment
I’ve got 3 sets of feeler gauges, two in imperial so there’s my steel. 😀
Does it get any better than that? No, it gets worse.

My Dremmel knock off from Lidl.
I’d forgotten I burnt out the rosebud grinders I had repairing something else.
A bit wary, I accessed the Lidl website to find them not listed 😦
Okay, Improvise time, but once again I have been stopped as the collet won’t allow for a standard Dremmel rosebud grinding stone.

OK, currently the rifle is reassembled and back in case.
That and I’m into plan 72 subsection Z in how to get around this ‘tiny tilt’.
While thinking “When exactly did German Engineering move from reliable and solid to ‘vorsprung durch technik’!”  aka high tech and no flipping use to anyone!

Least of all me.

PCP recharge and if I wasn’t knackered before, I am now.

Range night and pushing back the target.
And I was talking about running out of air.
“I haven’t stuck it on the pump yet (I’m too knackered) but when I do I’ll be seeing pressures of about 90 PSI from my usual (140 bar) 1960 psi. Anything between 80-90 PSI, depending on temperature, is around the pressure the regulator within the PCP gives up.”

So, today, I clipped the pump on and away I went.
Pump, pump, etc, the pressure gently rising to 100 psi and ‘click’, the PCP air valve opened and the feed line pressure dropped to match what was in the reservoir.

Gawd I’m good, a tad under 90 PSI (6 Bar).
And my heart sank. 134 Bar is about 250 pumps.
Still, I’m there, all connected up and away I went. 60 pumps later, sweat is streaming from me and it passes through my brain cell that it’s been a long, long time since I did some really meaningful anaerobic exercise.

So, I stopped to let the pump cool down (let alone me).

At 150 pumps I’m not feeling too grand and this time I stopped before I dropped. The gauge? 120 Bar (1680 psi).

Go on Paul, you can do it! (I really hate that voice inside my head).
30 pumps later, greying out, the gauge read 140 Bar (1960 psi).

SWMBO made me a mug of tea as I limply bled off the air in the feed pipe, wiped down the rifle, hung the pump up, locked everything up, took half a dozen, wall assisted paces to the couch and THUMP, I’m down, and the crowd (dog) went wild!
Memo to self.
Next time, take the damn pump!


Settling into the shot.
Use a comfortable support for the weapon (bipod, backpack)
Or at least learn how to use a sling. That sling must be Just tight enough to support BUT NOT inflict pain or any stress in the supporting arm/wrist.
Now maintain a comfortable hold on the weapon.
The support arm must not be under stress, not gripping the weapon, just supporting it.
The trigger hand lightly wrapped around the pistol grip or stock.
Establish a comfortable cheekweld
Ensure you have a good eye relief from the scope or sights.
Ensure the sights are aligned correctly with your eye without using neck muscles to force alignment.
Move your body NOT THE WEAPON to align the sights onto the target
USE NO MUSCLE FORCE to align the weapon.

Now starts BRASS

“B” Calm your BREATHING.
“R” RELAX before attempting the shot
“A” Establish your AIM point
“S” STOP and review your setup, (or take up the trigger SLACK).
“S” for SQUEEZE the trigger until the shot is fired.

It that it? Nope, there is one more thing and that’s called follow through.
Follow-through is the final step in firing the shot.

So what is follow through, why is it important, and how can you achieve it, and what’s in it for you?

  • Follow-through is when you maintain aim, breath control, hold control and trigger control until after the shot has been fired AND THE WEAPON HAS SETTLED BACK INTO FIRING POSITION.
  • Awareness and training will help eliminate an unconscious almost instant relaxation of your posture, and therefore your aim, that could shift your point of impact (POI). It all starts from when you settle down to take the shot as in the first paragraph. Any muscle stress you build up there could lead to a shift of the POI.
  • The gain of follow through is you will see where the weapons sights were aligned on after the shot and that will allow you to accurately ‘call your shot’ (have a good idea where the shot has gone). Over a long range, you may be able to follow the swirl in the air left by the bullet as it flies in relation to your sight pattern. That in itself will give you an indication of the effect of any wind.

So is it easy? For me no it wasn’t.
It took my father ages to train me to where I could accurately ‘call the shot’.
He was quietly, verbally, running through the setup, watching for stress, flinch, and muscle slump as the round was sent.
Yet the hours spent on doing that paid off BIG TIME when shooting at long ranges.

Now some advocate learning how to follow through will help you cope with sustained fire.
It may do YET I was a member of the one shot one kill club so rapid fire using a bolt action or semi auto rifle never came into it for me.

You might also note that the hold for maintaining control over a semi or full auto weapon in sustained fire is way different to counter the constant recoil and the cycling of an action than the precise application of one shot one kill at distance.

Same “sport”, two different techniques.
Precise has you aligning the shot from a supported position.
Sustained fire has you imposing muscle control over the weapon.

And finally.
I’m a rifleman more than a pistol user BUT the same basic techniques (less the sling) are applicable (if not more important) with pistols.

For those who know.

For those who know.

Do you know of this?
When everything’s right,
As you start feeling smooth
As your body floats on a bed so light

When your breath weighs nothing.
You hear your heart and feel it’s beat
It settling into that gentle cadence
When breath and heart are in sync.

As the pause of both drifts into you
And all goes still with no rush of time
You don’t feel the trigger or even it’s weight
And the click of release is louder than the report

You don’t feel the recoil and the picture’s still
You watch the spiral as it gently fades
With an absence of mind you see the strike
And only then do you cycle the case

At that moment does anything matter
The rain, the cold, or steamy heat
The insect noise or the sound of the wind
The sound of a butterfly wing as it strikes the sight.

You at rest, not tense, not asleep
Yet detached from the act, in total peace.
Then comes the noise and the spotters words
And once again you lay alert.

A new PCP pump

After 30 years it was inevitable that my big old RWS stirrup pump was going to give up, and it did, BIG TIME!

So I got the 6 ‘o’ ring repair kit ‘eventually’ from a supplier that blamed their supplier, who blamed another supplier for not providing ONE 6 mm OD, 2 mm thick, 1 mm hole high heat o’ring’. Did everything fit? Nope. it seems that despite the promises most of the kit was NEVER going to fit.

Ask me if I was impressed?
No, don’t bother, and yes they are off my Christmas card list.

So, I was stuck with one ‘part charge’ of air, 70 rounds worth, and no means to re-charge. Thus I had to buy a pump.

Amazon? No way in hell was I going to do that.
$39 dollars and expect the same longevity of service?
As for the write ups, the word CRAAPOLA! figured largely.
So I spoke to my friendly gun club and they had a 4500 PSI pump in stock. WTF, 4500 PSI? My rifle is only rated at 2000 PSI, burst max at 3000 psi. Still, the way I figured it, as I’m only running it at half full load (if that), it might stand the test of time.

14 pumps from 100 Bar later, I hit 140 Bar, 2300 psi.
Aw hell! I’m going to have to watch the needle VERY CLOSELY when charging.

Now I did get a bit of ribbing from another PCP owner.
How quaint, a stirrup pump” sort of thing, as his gun is ‘Bottle Fed’. Only I did get the last laugh as he went to the range, tried to recharge his beast, only to find his bottle was empty. Range fee paid, and nothing to shoot with. Did I smile?

More like:-

Fit the gun to you and not the other way around.

There’s all sorts of things I watch for with a new weapon as regards it fitting me, and it’s all about comfort and position.

What follows works for both left and right handed.

How to check the length of pull (LOP) for you personally and sizing the correct length of a rifle stock.

  • That will give you a ‘near as damn it length of pull (LOP).
  • Clear the weapon you think is right and now check your measuring,
  • Hold the weapon out straight with your stronger arm (it’s OK to use the other arm to help you) as you want to shoot i.e. left or right handed and put the pad of your trigger finger onto the trigger BUT DON’T PULL THE TRIGGER BACK.
  • Now bend your arm 90 degrees so the stock fits into the elbow.
  • If the stock fits nicely that’s correct.
    If you CANNOT bend your arm fully the stock is too long.
    If you do bend the arm and there is more than an inch, 25 mm gap between the butt and your elbow, the stock is too short. Thus you will be closer to the scope and scope bite may occur.

You can get butt pads to lengthen the stock but if the stock is too long, change the gun for one with a shorter stock and try again.

Cheekweld, another important factor.

It’s a sad fact that some shooters try to fit themselves to the weapon.
As such they are either pushing their cheek hard into the stock to align with the sights, or raising their cheek (thus their eye) off the stock to see clearly without vignette (shadowing) on their scope glass.

The comments in brackets are a suggestion if you cannot adjust your comb height by fitting a pad or by using an inbuilt adjustable cheek piece. Changing the height of the scope can work BUT it has it’s limitations. The higher the scope, the more you will need to ANGLE it so it slopes down towards the muzzle. This is because you only have so much adjustment in scopes to cover elevation. So just be aware it’s an option, or is it an assist, AND NOT a complete solution.

As for the OUCH. this happens when your stock is too short and your eye gets too close to the eye piece. Recoil from a moderately powerful weapon can raise the scope and drive it into your eye. This is a result of getting the stock length right. Too close and it can hurt plus cause a black ring right around the picture.

Too long a distance and you may exceed the correct eye relief (distance to the rear of the scope) and the viewed picture shrinks in diameter and a dense black ring fills the outer edge of the scope. That distance is a directly controlled by the choice of the LOP / length of stock.

So, what have we learned?
Get the cheek weld wrong and it causes stress in the shooters neck, shoulders, eyes, and that makes for erratic groups.

To avoid that, start with a careful choice of stock and how you mount sights.

Accessorise! What for??

There seems to be an obsession for hanging stuff off a perfectly good barrel.

So lets look at that.
The why, then the what and to what end.

The why?
Sound reduction.
One of the things that can bring trouble to your door quicker than dialing 911/999/112 is the sound of a firearm going off. If you are a hunter, you will well know the value of a muted report. It can cause confusion among prey if a weapon is well moderated allowing for secondary if not a tertiary shot.

If you have used your weapon in a tactical scenario, that quietness can save your life.

Flash Suppression.
This is a funny one because I could never see the need to fit a dedicated flash suppressor as I always shoot with a sound moderator fitted and it serves two purposes. Sound and Flash suppression. (plus a third purpose with airguns, it controls the air blast so cuts back on turbulence – (see end).

If you have used your weapon in a tactical scenario, that reduction in flash can save your life.

Muzzle Brake / Compensator.
One and the same most would say but not quite.
A brakes job is to reduce heavy weight recoil.
The effect is VERY directional and the deflected gases can be a heck of a giveaway in over hanging foliage, bushes, and dusty conditions.

Tactically, I’m not a fan of them and got caught out by that very effect once by having to use a standby weapon with one fitted.

A compensator to prevent muzzle jump.
But it comes at a cost in a confined area.
One hell of a thump to the ears.

As all of my work was in the open it wouldn’t have mattered BUT I have been in an indoor range where one was in use and had to stop shooting as 37 db ear muffs couldn’t stop the ‘shock’ of the reports. Plus when you are sniping at one target, spray and pray doesn’t come into it.

Science moves on.
The day of the hybrid, multi-function device, has arisen.
While I already use one, a sound suppressor, the more things a single device does, the less effective it is at “curing” a single problem.

Personally I say fit what you need for the task, not what is trendy.

And finally I return a problem prominently with air weapons.
That high speed uncontrolled blast of air onto the waist’ed skirt of a Diabolo shaped air pellet. It can literally topple a pellet with high velocity weapons.

They say that a picture says a thousand words so here’s how an air-stripper works. (And yes I’m hopeless at graphics).

So how does it work?

  • The pellet transitions out of the muzzle and into the ‘cone’ of the air stripper.
  • The blast of suddenly released so the VERY untidy turbulent air hits the base of the pellet but can escape out of the sides of the stripper outer case.
  • Result? The pellet flies out of the cone without the turbulent air and stability isn’t affected.

Secondary effects?
No reduction of noise and on a cold day, almost at dew point, an observer ‘may’ see a cloud of hot air condensing in a large circular disturbance (20-30 cm).

A minor problem? Not if someone is out there with a scope and they don’t like you very much.

The new scope is on and works a treat, except.

Used to a long eye relief scope, and ever hopeful, I just dropped it into the existing mounts, aligned the eye bell with the existing position and set myself up for a sighting in session.

What does the word ASSUME mean to you?
To me it’s a sort of acronym to not make an ASS out of U and Me, and boy I really did make an ASS oUt of ME today.

The old Tasco had a 5 inch eye relief while the UTG only has 3-4. So all I saw was vignette as my eye was too far away from the bell. 

That will teach me to take short cuts.

After that was sorted, and at 10 meters, the little scope was shooting 20 cm low and left. Why not bore sight it? One of the penalties of not using a bolt action.
As for using a laser bore sighter or a collimator?
The cost of those represents a lot of pellets. So I do it the old way. Start near and work backwards. Still six shots and it was centered.

Back to 25 meters. Another six saw me pile driving.
Only this was a day of errors and I suddenly thought “this doesn’t sound right”.
Although well regulated, all PCP’s show a fall off of power just before the regulator shuts down. That’s what I had picked up on. Out came the HP Stirrup Pump to find only 90 psi in the reservoir. Good aerobic exercise is my pump and I took it up to 150 bar (2175 psi) and threw a few more down range. To me it’s always a sign that you have a good PCP if the POI doesn’t change within the regulator’s range of operation and I was still pile driving 100 rounds later.

So. That’s all the magnification (3 to 12), the side focus, and adjusters for tracking errors checked. Zero has been set for 25 meters so I need determine the 55 meter (Max Maximum PBR Zero) POI at 25 meters.
What I did find scary is the magnification at 10 x to the maximum 12 x.
The why is the side focus gets really “tight” i.e. if you’re even slightly off optimal focus, only the center is crisply in focus and you lose a bit of your field of view.

Ultimately am I pleased? Yep, a good 8 out of 10.

New Scope and a learning curve.

This turns into a MATH HEAVY article.
(About halfway down).

Switching from a 34 year old, 100% reliable, 4 x 32 Tasco, with a 30 30 reticle is something I never wanted to do.

But now I’m a little old man, with tired old eyes, who needs glasses to see clearly and drive safely, and a second pair for reading.
So, 4 x mag is not powerful enough for me to aim accurately enough to drop a bunny at 50 m with a shot ‘just’ behind the eye.

Incidentally, I don’t wear glasses when shooting.
Focusing on the cross hairs using the fast focus is all I need to do.

Only the cost of good simple glass has SOARED and a plain compact Tac-adjust 10 x scope is out of my reach. Which has meant I’ve had to go all high tech, low price, i.e. a UTG Bug Buster 3-12 x 32 Side Focus Non Illuminated Mil-Dot Scope.

What I’m NOT happy about is the more moving parts there are increases the chances of something going wrong. So I’ve got fast focus, magnification, parallax (focus), elevation and windage. FIVE adjustments.

Anyway, all the ex-spurts out in blog world have probably started rolling on the floor laughing because to them it’s a cheap sub $100 ‘toy’. Well it may be cheap, but the glass is lovely and clear and it certainly feels robust.

Anyway, y’all know the type of ex-spurt I’m talking about..
The best of everything, usually on a credit card, in an attempt to look rich, cool, and knowledgeable. They hoping to hell that y’all be so impressed you won’t dare pass judgement on their poor weapons handling and shooting skills.

So, I’ve got a baby Mildot scope, with an ‘American Leapers’ manual, but made in China.  (Which will probably trigger yet another Twitter storm from POTUS!)
There is another thing on the scope and I don’t really know how to take it.
1 click is 1/3″ at 100 yards.

AND PHUT! My brain cell just blew!
As I’ve suddenly realised I’m going to have to speak “math”

I can think in Mils and metric but don’t like imperial units when thinking MILDOT. See my post Mildot Maths for the why.

Incidentally, did you know there are Russian Mils and US Mils?
In real life ‘science’ there are 6.283 radians in a circle (aka 2π).
(How geeky of me to know that).
Mils in shooting stands for Milli (1000ths) of Radians so you need to multiply that 6.283 x 1000. AND there’s the problem which encompasses basic math, different countries, and the Mildot system.

A circle is 360 degrees or 6282 mRadians and each mRad (Mil) is 0.573 degrees.
Which doesn’t make life easy for people with limited math skills (like me).

Anyway, the US military thought ‘sod that’ and their compasses use 6400 mils to 360 degrees thus their mRad (Mil) is 0.05625 degrees.
So how does that make life better?

Meanwhile the Russians, who are way better in simplifying things, use 6000 mils to 360 degrees. So their mRad is 0.06 degrees.
Still Tiny but MUCH easier to do math with.

Bottom line?

Take a mil reading when ranging using Mildot from the two opposites in the  world, and you’ll end up with two different answers.

US ranging on a 50 cm target (shoulder to shoulder) reading 1 mil = 500 meters
RU ranging on a 50 cm target (shoulder to shoulder) reading 1 mil = 468 meters.
A minor difference? After all, what’s 32 m between best (not) friends ?

In real life, at those ranges, it’s a 50 cm (18″) drop with a 7.62 x 39 aka a low belly shot.

So, back to that 1/3″ @ 100 yards.
Or, 8.5 mm at 91.4 meters.
Or, 9 mm (as near as damn it) at 100 meters.

I’ve got a little range at home, just a tad short of 25 meters.
So when it comes to zeroing my scope, it’s REALLY nasty math time.
The 1/3″ click at 100 yards becomes 8.47 mm at 91.4 m and 9.26 mm at 100 m
OR, 2.31 mm per click at 25 m, just over 4 clicks to the cm. Easy-peasy right!

No, not really!

A ‘get you close’ sight card for 1/3″@100 yd.
Why stop at 300 m? With a 7.62 x 39,
Would anyone want to shoot further?

So, basic (get you on paper at longer ranges) POI at 25 meters for:-
My PCP I use for pest controller out to 50 meters, and
A 7.62 x 39 ‘fun machine’ out to 300 meters.

“PCP”  PLUS 14.4 cm for a zero at 50 meters
“FUN” PLUS  5.9 cm for a zero at 300 meters

Lets do the 7.62 mm using US Mildot
At 300 m 3.3 mils compensation 16.6 cm
In Russian it’s just a tad over 3 mils.
OK, we’re only talking an inch but hey, there is a difference.

Range chart with elevation and windage.
What else should I include?

Windage dope for wind from various angles.
It’s the same anywhere in the world (thankfully)
15 degrees 1/4 value
30 degrees 1/2 value
45 degrees 3/4 value
60 degrees 9/10 value
90 degrees Full value

Angle shooting aka slope dope.
Once again, it’s the same anywhere in the world
It works out the actual range against what you are seeing.
( Weapon points straight up or down ) the range is zero
(  At 60 deg  ) the range is Visual times 0.5
(  At 45 deg  ) the range is Visual times 0.7
(  At 30 deg  ) the range is Visual times 0.87
( When Level ) What you see is what you shoot.

Leading a target.
There are so many ways of doing this but I stumbled on a simple formula.
Provided you practice a LOT!

It goes like this:-
Speed of target in MILS/SECOND x time of flight (TOF) in SECONDS = lead in MILS. Then you add / subtract wind correction in MILS.

So, watch your target move through the scope and range ‘him’.
Count how many mils ‘he’ moves in a second.
Now multiply that by the TOF (Time of Flight) for your ammunition at that range. That is your MIL LEAD.
Check the wind correction for that range and WAAS.
WIND ADD correction if moving with wind, and
Whe moving AGAINST the wind, SUBTRACT the wind correction.

That’s it, time for two paracetamol and a huge mug of tea.
(Because my brain cell is well fried)