Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It still shoots straight after 30 years


I bought this Crosman Pumpmaster .177 caliber pellet gun back in the early 1980s to shoot pigeons that were crapping all over our cars.

My neighbors are having problems with squirrels and have taken to plinking them with what looks like an old Red Ryder Daisy BB rifle. I think the end result is the squirrels seeking sanctuary in our yard.

So I dug the Crosman out of the closet, dusted it off a little, and stepped into the driveway to see if the seals are still good enough to shoot.

I spied a squirrel right on our south property line – maybe 120 feet distant – gave the gun the maximum of 10 pumps, aimed about a foot over his head to compensate for the distance and squeezed the trigger.

To my amazement, he jumped straight up and then began flopping around.

My hope is that I just stung him because I’m not really comfortable with the idea of murdering squirrels that haven’t done anything to me or my property. But it was obvious to me that the lead pellet found its target, which I think is amazing for a 30-year-old air rifle.

I bought it around 1984 when I was living at 5009 N. College Avenue in Indianapolis. The house two doors north of us was in bad repair and the soffit had fallen off, resulting in pigeons roosting and breeding in the attic. This, in turn, resulted in an unusually abundant amount of pigeon poop in the neighborhood.

I solved the problem by going to the Glendale Service Merchandise and buying a Crossman Pumpmaster pellet gun and a Tasco 4x15 scope. The 15mm objective lens doesn’t gather much light, but it’s perfectly adequate on a sunny day.

Our upstairs windows, especially the one in Steve’s room, offered a perfect vantage point for sniping. I set the drapes so there was maybe a 2-inch opening and set up well back in the room. I had one of my sons go outside and listen for the pop of the air rifle and he confirmed it was absolutely silent.

I figure I must have killed 50 or 60 pigeons, leaving the 15 or so residents of Queen Rose’s house (yes, that really was her name) to wonder who was shooting those pigeons and from where.

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