Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It all started with

A Daisy BB gun. A lever action beauty with a magazine that held 50 BBs and a shoulder strap.
Reloading the magazine was a workout for the fingers and thumb just to get the damn thing out of the gun and back in. The report from the muzzle upon firing sounded like someone was spitting a whisker hair out of their mouth and the projectile velocity was so slow you could actually observe the trajectory of the BB as it flew to its target, but I thought I was big shit with that little gun.
But, I'd seen the pump pellet guns at the local sporting goods store. I lobbied Dad to get me one for what seemed like forever. The day finally came, and of course, my younger brother, by three years, got to get one as well. (There is no justice in this world).
We're at Oshman's Sporting Goods and I'm slobbering over the pellet guns. The Benjamin .22 cal, or the Sheridan 5mm? I happened to see the loads for both guns. The Benjamin pellets were bigger, but thin walled and mostly hollow. The Sheridan rounds were a solid chunk of lead with a small cup in the back end.
That pretty much sold me.
My brother chose the Benjamin. I took the Sheridan. A box of Sheridan pellets, 500 rounds, would fit in your jeans back pocket. Plastic box with a small dispenser opening to let one or two pellets out at a time.
The Sheridan 5mm was a bolt action, single shot, air pump pellet gun. The instruction manual said the maximum number of pumps was 10. I don't think I ever fired it with less than 9 pumps.
I learned how to shoot iron sites with that gun. I don't use the term "gun" loosely.
I'd hunted the creek bed next to the house every free moment for quite some time. The report from that Sheridan was louder than a .22.
One day I got curious and took the time period equivalent of the internet (phone book) out to the backyard.
I leaned it up against a pine tree, moved back about 20 feet and pumped the gun the max 10 times.
The entry hole didn't look that impressive. I picked up the book and looked at the backside to see if it had exited. Nope. Then I started flipping pages. I found the pellet about half way through the 4 inch thick phone book. My adolescent brain went, "Hmmmm...Yep". I walked away with sense of satisfaction and dropped the phone book into the outside trash can so Mom wouldn't find it.
I still have that Sheridan 5mm pellet gun. The seals are all shot, but I don't think I'll ever throw it away. I guess my children will have to do that after I pass.

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