Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010


Time to bring the fight to NYC next.

For too long now, New York City residents and those of us who live in its shadow, have suffered from being denied the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense. This is tragically, why there are so many shootings in NYC, esp. in Brooklyn.

The old adage: "When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" is never truer in cases where people have been denied this basic human right, using the best tool in existence to do just that.

Crosman Airgunning

I finally had a chance to shoot my Crosman NPSS air rifle at the range yesterday. It's a .22 cal. break barrel air rifle with a Nitro Piston, instead of a spring, and a carbon-fiber-look synthetic thumbhole stock.

There's a bit of history with this particular air rifle that led me to learn how to tune and upgrade air rifles. The first thing about this air rifle was that there were spacers missing from the barrel's breach, where it pivots on the receiver. This led me to search high and low for correctly sized replacement spacers. I had called Crosman telling them about this problem, but they said that because I took apart the rifle, I voided the warranty. That's when I got angry, so I wrote a letter to the President of Crosman, who passed my letter along the head of their product development department. This gentleman was extremely understanding and accommodating and sent me new breach spacers, but by the time I received them in the mail, I had already found and installed brass washers (from Lowe's of all places) and installed them on my rifle. These brass washers were a perfect fit and had no free play whatsoever in the barrel. This led to the accuracy of the rifle printing 1.5" groups at 65 yards with Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets. Prior to that, it was all over the place due to the missing breach spacers.

One thing led to another and pretty soon, I found myself frequenting the airgun forums and from there, I learned to build a spring compressor that I used to completely disassemble my NPSS. When I got the rifle apart, I found that the piston seal was seriously gouged from the burrs on the punch-outs on the receiver tube. So I got myself a deburring tool and proceeded to cut away the burrs so that new piston seal I put on the piston sleeve would not become gouged when I put the gun back together. The replacement piston seal came, courtesy of Crosman. I also ordered a replacement NCT trigger by Steve Woodward. This new trigger really made a huge difference in accuracy. It comes back nicely to a second stage stop and breaks crisply as you pull through the trigger. One other thing I did was take a small conical Dremel sanding bit and flare out the pellet loading port so that the pellet's skirts would sit flush with the back of the loading port (breach).

After I put the rifle back together, I proceeded to put 2 tins of pellets through it. In the meantime, I went and ordered a chronograph and a pellet trap. When they arrived, I proceeded to put some 14.3 grain pellets through it. I was disappointed when the numbers came back averaging only 650 fps on a rifle that's supposed to get 1,000 fps with 9.9 grain, lead-free pellets. Even though there's a 4.4 grain difference betwen what I shoot and what it was rated at, there shouldn't be a 350 fps difference. Then I found out what was wrong - the nitro piston was losing power. Cocking effort became way too easy and pellets were being shot at around 300 fps.

So, I called up Crosman and spoke to my guy there and he said it was okay for me to send him just the nitro piston and he'll send me a new one. Because of all the work I had already put into this rifle, I was not going to take a chance that someone there was going to simply replace the entire rifle. So, two weeks later, the replacement nitro piston came and I quickly installed it and promptly put some pellets through the chronograph. I liked what I saw - 800 fps with 14.3 grain pellets.

Okay, so I finally got it out to the range yesterday. Now, I knew that the gun was accurate to start with, after I worked on its improvements, but the gun was putting Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets in a 1" hole (with a couple of fliers) at 100 yards yesterday. Holdover from zero at 20 yards was about 12", but once you figure out which mil-dot to put on the target, you'll be hitting whatever you're aiming at, minus the few fliers you're bound to get from a tin of pellets. Oh, I did clean the barrel with Goo Gone in between shooting 65-yard 1.5" groups and 100-yard 1" groups. That might have made a difference in accuracy too.

I am extremely impressed with this rifle and the excellent customer service I received from Crosman. Of all the airgun companies I have dealt with this past year, Crosman has, bar none, the best customer service ever!

Personally, I'd love to own a Benjamin Sheridan Trail NP XL, but the stock is a bit big for me. I could get the smaller version - the Trail NP, but I already have an 800 fps, .22 cal. nitro piston rifle. However, it's not out of the realm of possibility that I would go for this one because I like the stock.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Paper Tuning A Bow 101

This is a perfect tear through paper from an arrow shot off a bow that is perfectly tuned. It is one hole. The back of the arrow goes through the same hole that the point created. The 3 scraggly lines coming off the hole are created by the vanes.

This is an example of a bad tear from a bow that is not properly tuned. The point went in on the left and tore an elongated hole to the right where the back of the arrow completed the hole.

These two holes were created by the same bow. The problem with the bow were many - the cams were out of time; the drop-away rest was not correctly positioned at centerflight; the string suppressor was off-center and was shifting the bowstring to the right (and in turn, the nock end of the arrow) causing the back end of the arrow to kick to the right at the end of the shot cycle; the strings and cables were reaching the end of their life and will need to be replaced next year - the list goes on.

When a bow is paper tuned, windage will be consistent from 10 yards to 60 yards and beyond. If not, the arrow will shoot to the right or the left at further distances. In the example above, the bow before tuning will have shot the arrow to the right due to the string kicking the arrow to the right, at further distances, even though the shooter may have the bow sighted in at 20 yards.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Splitting Arrows And Other Things

For the past 7 years, I have immersed myself in my archery. I shoot with a compound bow with accessories only hunters use. I'm not into target shooting using scoped or magnified sights and I don't have use a 3-foot-long stabilizer, even though I own one. When I was first starting out, I knew almost nothing about bows. I bought the "best" bow that I could afford, which was a Reflex Grizzly. Reflex is the lesser quality brand by Hoyt. Mind you, this bow shot great for me, but not knowing anything initially about hand-shock, bow movement, bow noise, etc., I thought I had a really good bow for the money. (The Grizzly is on the right. My friend's Reflex Highlander is on the left)

I used to compete with guys at the range, one of whom was a real target shooter with all the aforementioned high-tech accoutrements on his bow. He was a real good shooter and would consistently score 300x on his league shoots every week. However, these shoots were no more than 20 yards. So he approached one night and bet me a dollar that I couldn't hit an M&M from that distance.

On my first attempt, I came pretty close, but I was just a hair away from it. And yes, the make it "interesting," the M&M was inserted into the foam targets, sideways. Well, for whatever reason, he didn't hit it either.

So, for the next half hour, we kept shooting at more and more M&Ms stuck into the target wall, until I finally hit it. Is it coincidence that it happened to be an "orange" M&M that I hit?

So I won a few dollars that night, but I was completely hooked on improving my game, so the speak. In the weeks, months and years to follow, I would continue to improve my shooting and increase my knowledge of archery. I eventually moved on to a better bow - the Bowtech Guardian. This was a radical new bow with a center-pivot design that eliminated 99% of the noise and shock when it was shot. This bow didn't move in my hand when I shot it.

Compared to the Guardian, shooting the Grizzly was like hitting an aluminum bat against a steel column. I quickly sold my Grizzly and stayed with the Guardian. It is one of the quietest and most shock-free bows I have ever shot. With this bow, I was consistently getting groups as tight as, or better, than this:

This is a paint chip of a cartoon character whose name rhymes with "Hickey House" from a big-box home improvement store whose name rhymes with "Dome Repo." It is about 1.5" in diameter with 6 of my arrows stuck in it from 20 yards. It was a real tack-driver, and before long, I was doing this:

This was my first "robin-hood" from 30 yards. There came others at different yardages with the most recent one from 80 yards:

This was shot from my Bowtech 82nd Airborne bow that you see me shooting in a previous post. I had just gotten a new set of arrows and these happened to be the first 2 shots I took with them from 80 yards. I was in the process of sighting in the bow at that distance, with my aimpoint being the bullseye on both shots. The 82nd Airborne is a really nice bow also, but it has something the Guardian doesn't have: speed. It is rated at 342 fps with a 300 grain arrow at 60# with a 30" drawlength. At my drawlength of 26.5", I can send a 300 grain arrow downrange at 303 fps. My Guardian only rated around 318 fps with a 300 grain arrow at 60# and 30" drawlength. A 300 grain arrow from my Guardian only gets me about 260 fps.

However, being the innovative schmuck that I am, I "improved" my Guardian with an aftermarket roller cable guard that helped increase my Guardian's peak weight from 62#* to 67#.

My saving grace that I didn't blow up the bow's limbs is that I am a short draw, so the limbs aren't as stressed at 26.5" as they would be with someone with a 28" or greater drawlength. Of course, in doing this modification, I voided the warranty on my bow, but I'm not concerned about that. If the limbs crack, I'll just get new ones that are 70# and change the roller guard back to the stock cable guide rod and slide.

Both of my bows are tack-drivers, but they woudn't be if I didn't have a professional bow tuner take me under his wing as an apprentice. Having been unemployed for over 18 months, I spend a lot of my time at the shop learning to tune bows and arrows between looking for a job (yes, arrows have to be tuned when you put broadheads on, but that's a topic for another day).

I also shoot a recurve bow with arrows fletched with feathers. Though they are not as accurate as a compound bow, a recurve's accuracy is mostly up to the archer. And I do have one "robin-hood" with my recurve at 20 yards, though I didn't take a picture of it.

* Bowtech's bows never come in at or below their 60# ratings, and are always 2 or 3 pounds over. At 67# and 26.5" drawlength, my Guardian shoots 385 grain arrows at 260 fps. The peak weight of my 82nd Airborne was 62# as well, when I first bought it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Comments To Top Shot Episode 3

I have been getting questions regarding the archery episode, being that I am a quasi-archery pro.

Here is what I observed:
1) The arrows they used were fletched with plastic vanes instead of feathers. Shooting arrows with vanes from a longbow will throw off the arrow's flight due to the vanes unforgiving nature when it comes in contact with the bow's riser and shelf. Feathers are traditionally used with traditional bows because they yield to the contact with the riser and shelf and not cause much arrow deflection from its target downrange. This was the main reason that the contestants could shoot consistently.

2) Having addressed the issue of vanes vs. feathers above, shooting arrows fletched with feathers should have the "cock feather" oriented perpendicular to the riser, i.e.: cock feather out. The cock feather is usually a feather of a different color than the other two "hen feathers." The contestants were shooting their arrows with the cock vane either up or down, which means that the arrow's nocks were not oriented correctly to the bow. This incorrectly oriented vane would have had the lover right hen vane deflecting against the riser and shelf. Right-handed shooters will have the arrows hit high left; left-handed shooter will have arrows hit high right.

3) Some of the contestants also weren't nocking the arrows correctly on the bowstring - some were nocking them too low. If you notice on the bowstring, there is a piece of brass wrapped around the string. This is called the "string nock" and sets the location to where the arrow's nock clips onto the bowstring. Nocking an arrow too low from the string nock will cause the arrow to come off the bow at an upward angle and hit somewhere beyond the target.

4) Plucking the bowstring: a lot of the contestants were plucking the bowstring, which means that they were physically using muscles to open up their fingers when they fired their bow. This plucks the string and will cause inconsistent shooting. What should have been taught by their archery "expert" was to simple relax the fingers of the string hand when it reaches the face, while continuing the rearward motion of the string hand. Relaxing the fingers would have allowed the bowstring to naturally leave the fingers straight and without eccentric movement (plucking) of the string. Kelly and JJ demostrated the best shooting form in this episode.

If the contestant were given the proper equipment during the archery part of the competition, the shots would have probably been a lot closer than what happened in this episode. Whether this was intentional or not, that's something only the producer and/or equipment purchaser would know.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Converting A B.S. Super Streak With A Nitro Piston

These pictures were taken over the course of 2 weeks and during different phases of fabrication and assemblage, using two different Super Streak air rifles, both of which were in .22 caliber. Once I had the guns apart, I deburred the receiver tube and thoroughly cleaned it out. Then it was to the shop to get the internal parts modified and a new one made. I ordered J. Maccari seals before I did anything and once they arrived, the fun began. At the shop,

the spring guide rod needed to come out from inside of the Piston Assembly, all the way flush to the backside of the top hat, so that the inner spring guide sleeve could be reused.

Here is the piston assembly minus the internal spring guide rod and before a new seal went on.

Then the back spring guide was cut where the flat part ends and the round part begins. There are two variations of this back spring guide - one has two flat surfaces on opposite sides with one flat surface closer to the stock link pin threaded hole than the other. This flat surface closest to the threaded hole is where you want to cut. When you cut this part, it will expose a hole where the ram rod will go through and where you will seat the new rear ram rod guide. Since there was no longer a spring, this part merely served to attach the stock link pin. A new rear ram rod guide was needed, so I made one:

Using a 1/2" diameter x 2-1/2" long hex bolt, I put it into a heavy duty drill press and turned down the hex head with a file until it fit into the receiver tube end cap,

and then a recess was drilled out the center about 1/16" deep to receive the gas ram's ram rod end.

Here, the modified back spring guide, which I will now call the "stock link pin block" has the rear ram rod guide inserted into it. Notice that I cut the hex bolt to the exact length where it wouldn't interfere with the stock link pin when it is screwed in to hold down the trigger assembly.

Here is the assembled nitro piston with masking tape shimming around the body to fit snugly inside the inner guide sleeve (that used to keep the spring straight when it was compressed). A 3/4" dia. brass washer was also turned down to 47/64" and was installed between the nitro piston body's end and the inner guide sleeve for uniform pressure to the top hat.

Here is the rear ram rod guide sitting perfectly inside the receiver tube's screw-on end cap,

The assembled powerplant with a new Tesla seal, a nitro piston inside the inner sleeve inside the piston assembly, with the ram rod through the stock link pin block and the rear ram rod guide sitting inside the receiver tube rear end cap. Assembly was straightforward: carefully insert the piston assembly without damaging the piston seal; push entire assembly into the receiver tube completely; insert stock link pin block (with the cut side towards the inside) and install the trigger & stock link pin using some blue loctite; then install the rear ram rod guide and receiver tube end cap carefully and tighten it down. Make sure the bear trap lever is properly reinstalled and then reinstall the stock, using blue loctite on the 3 stock screws.

Oh, and if you hadn't already done so, get yourself a GTX trigger from Airguns of Arizona ( and replace the crappy stock trigger before you reinstall the stock.

After all was said and done, the gun was shot through the chronograph. With 14.3 grain pellets, it was averaging 905 fps, and accuracy to 35 yards was much improved with pellets dancing all around a nickel-sized bullseye. All the movements associated with a spring were gone and all you felt and heard was the solid thump of the nitro piston. And as the guns were being shot, points of impact were going up, as I suspect the pellets were shooting faster due to the parts meshing together better.

Needless to say, both of my friends were ecstatic with their much-improved Super Streak rifles, which they used to call The Beast, because of the way it used to shoot. The beasts have now been tamed. Let's see now if they can pick off starlings at 40 yards with their Nitro Piston Super Streaks, like I was doing with my Theoben-upgraded .22 cal. Gamo CFX.

So, there you have it. A complete conversion of a Benjamin Sheridan Super Streak to a Nitro Piston air rifle. I have to give a lot of credit to David Slade of, Tom Gore of, James Maccari of and Steve Woodward, inventor of the GTX trigger, without whom, none of this conversion would have been possible. Thanks, guys.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any injury or death, to anyone who attempts to do what I have done in this conversion or any future conversion that I may post. Anyone following my instructions do so at his/her own risk. Modifying your air gun most likely will void the warranty and the user assumes the risks inherent in any modifications to his/her air gun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It continues to amaze what the Zero's administration is getting away with. They've "...banned all citizen journalists, photographers, bloggers, and other observers from the region. The few 'authorized journalists' of the mainstream media that are being allowed in have been instructed not to photograph or write about anything that could cast the Obama Administration in a negative light."

This goes against the very fabric of the First Amendment. It also shows you how fragile an ego the Zero and his administration has and is also a very good example of fearmongering to get people to capitulate more to the government than what the Constitution allows.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DELL Inc...

The ordeal I had with their "departments" was a nightmare, in trying to get warranty replacement service for a RAM module that went bad. This was their memory module, with their logo and sticker on it, with their brochure that came with it that said, "Lifetime Warranty."

You would think that getting an RMA number to get a replacement module would be a piece of cake, right? Wrong.

I was on the phone with them for TWO days, getting bounced around from no less than FOUR different departments and TEN different people. They never even had the courtesy to call me back when we got disconnected. One of their tech managers was even yelling at me over the phone.

So, the straw that broke this camel's back was when I got bounced to the last department and I get a recording saying, "Sorry, this department is now closed. Please call back during normal business hours." After having been on the phone for 2 hours trying to get someone to help, that was it. I snapped.

I packed up the RAM in the actual box in which they shipped to me, when I bought it in 2004, wrote DELL's CEO, Mr. Michael S. Dell a letter laced with profanity of which you have never seen, wrapped it all up and shipped it off. I hope he gets my message loud and clear that I will never buy another thing from DELL ever again. Hell, I told him I was even going to blog about this experience so the world will know what a shit company it has become. OH, get this! DELL's corporate headquarters information isn't even on their website. I had to find it using Google to search it. Do they have something to hide, or do you suppose they'd rather not hear from their customers at all?

DELL rhymes with HELL and that's where they should go. I'm done with DELL.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NYS Microstamping Bill...

...passsed out of the Assembly not too long ago. Now it's headed to the Senate. SB6005 is a nefarious bill that will do NOTHING to stop criminals from getting guns and using them illegally. What it will do is destroy our Second Amendment rights (what's left of them, anyway) in New York State. It will further destroy New York State's economy when Kimber is forced to lay off its workforce and move out of state.

Every years, this bill keeps popping up, and every year, it gets defeated. Let's do it once again, people. Those who know the value of freedom knows that it took men who did unspeakable things to win this freedom for us and for future generations. Bills like this, if they become law, will just be another nail in the coffin where our freedom is laying.

Wal-Mart Want To Be A Healthcare Provider...

...yet they don't even provide healthcare to their own employees.

Friday, June 4, 2010


In yet another attempt to suck up to dictators, tyrants, emporers and queens, people who are supposed to represent the American people just keep making asses of themselves.

The Tapestry Unravels

WHO is a joke, much like the idiots involved with this Global Warming/Climate Change garbage.

Just as the GW/CC idiots were in cahoots with our government to force people to comply with their scheme to control what we drive, what we eat, how to live our lives, etc., so too is the WHO in cahoots with big pharma/FDA to control the people. It is fearmongering on a global scale.

But,that's just what I think.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

England - A Giant Victim Zone

So much for the gun bans in England, where hard-working, law-abiding citizens are disarmed and forced to become victims to those criminals who don't turn in their guns.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#2 Pencil On Paper

I don't consider myself an artist, even though I went to an art high school. I'm a Virgo, and by nature, am very detail-oriented, so my brain doesn't work the way the "artistic" brain works. I like to build things with my own hands. I've build sheds for friends and family. I've repaired broken walls and ceilings to the degree that you wouldn't know that they were ever broken. I visualize in 3-D and how things come together to work the way they do. I'm pretty sure that if given the time and resources, I could build a better mouse trap, as the saying goes.
Even though I am neither tall, dark nor handsome, I do appreciate beauty in a human form, especially the face, specifically the area around the eyes. On the occasions that I deign to pick up a pencil or a pen and put it to pad, this is usually what results.

They say the eyes are the windows into the soul. This first drawing was one that I sketched from memory shortly after we met in 1995. I drew hurriedly to get what was in my brain onto paper to be preserved forever. She was one of my first loves and had the most soulful eyes when she was sad, but when she was happy, her eyes lit up the room and all the sadness would disappear. My sketch does not do her justice, but for me, whenever I look at this sketch, it stirs a longing deep within - a longing to hold her and stare into those eyes and a yearning to taste her lips once more.

The next one is of Vivian Chow, a famous Chinese actress/singer (because in Chinese pop culture, you really can't be one without being the other). I copied this from an album cover one day when I felt like sketching. Again, I don't think my sketch does her justice - she's much prettier on her album cover. She has beautiful eyes.

This last one is of another Chinese actor/singer - Chris Wong, and again, copied from an album cover.

Maybe one day soon, I'll sit down, pick up a #2 pencil, my art pad and start sketching again. It's been a long time since I've done any sketching of this type and I think I'm long overdue. My question is: "who shall it be?"

Prelude To Disaster

They approved of building a Mosque at Ground Zero, NYC.

Iran has 2 tons of enriched Uranium, capable of making two nuclear warheads.

No good can come from either of these events.