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Looking at a Pellet Gun

For a few months I've been looking at getting a pellet gun. It'd be fun to shoot little targets in the basement. I used to do this from time to time as a kid, and it seems the same exact pellet guns are still for sale: the venerable Crosman Pumpaster 760 and the American Classic Pump Pistol. You can buy both for about $80 or less1.

Traps run $20 for the pellet-stopping variety. For $80 you can buy a trap that's supposed to stop .22, but I'd never shoot .22s in the basement. Yikes. Pellets are rather inexpensive, as are targets - and you can print your own targets, too.

As people who have read this site for awhile know, I believe guns in general aren't scary or dangerous. A little insight or knowledge goes a long way. I learned about guns - how to handle them, what the rules are, how to care for them, how to shoot them - as a kid. It's one of the things for which I'm most grateful to my father.

A little knowledge goes a long way. In Florida, a friend of mine was incredibly scared of guns. I think he'd seen someone get mugged in Miami by a guy with a gun once. I worked slowly with the guy and eventually got him to hold a handgun. I don't believe he ever accompanied me to the range, but it was a monumental shift in his perception too. I can't say for sure, but I think the shift was from a position of "guns are bad" to a position of "people who use guns badly are bad."

The rules of gun safety are clear, and simple. The first rule is simple:

Point the gun in a safe direction. It doesn't matter if the chamber's open, there's no clip in the gun, the safety's engaged, and your finger isn't near the trigger. Nobody ever, ever wants to look down the barrel of a gun. I don't even point toy guns at people (an obvious exception exists for squirt guns).

The second rule is typically "treat every gun as if it's loaded." That kind of goes along with the first rule. Other rules are "Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot," "Know what your target is and what's beyond and nearby," and so on. Common sense stuff that, unfortunately, isn't as common as you'd like.

Anyway, I think learning these rules is important.

And beyond that, shooting little targets in a basement is fun. There's not much to do in Erie during the winter months, or at 11pm on a summer weekday. It might be a year or two before I get a pellet gun, but I think I'll have one eventually.

After I buy a locking cabinet for the basement.

Footnotes

  1. One nice thing about the two Crosman models is that they have a built-in safety mechanism: if you're not strong enough to pump the thing you can't shoot them.

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