18 Aug

>Sportsman Surgery

Steven K. Ledin,

>Here’s a reprint from a couple years ago:

My favorite spring piston airgun is a Beeman R-1 anniversary model in .20 caliber. It has an ivory grip cap and used to wear an older Leupold 3-9 EFR without click adjustments (current scopes have clicks). The scope had my name engraved on it from the Leupold Custom Shop, and it was perfect and sexy and sighted in with Crosman Premiers at 25 yards.

I now shoot this rifle at three different distances, and wanted a scope with click adjustments and target turrets. I installed a Bushnell Sportsman 3-9 AO in a Beeman one piece mount and sighted it in at 10 meters in my basement range. I set the turrets to zero at this distance, and proceeded to sight in again on my spinner target outside my kitchen window at 17 yards, marking my new zero with some white-out. I then went to my other kitchen window and sighted in at 24 1/2 yards at my most used targets and marked another dot with white-out. The clicks are audible, tactile, and precise, and after thousands of rounds, I can still go from one zero to another and back again with perfect repeatability. These scopes are made to withstand the dual recoil of a spring piston airgun, but not necessarily with the significant recoil of a magnum air rifle like the R-1 or any 1000 FPS type gun. Maybe this scope is an anomaly being as perfect as it is, but I couldn’t be happier with it and consider it one of my favorites, and a steal for the low retail price I paid.

My normal airgun targets are the dots left from a paper puncher, or Keno cards from Vegas, but I came across a new target last weekend. TOMATO TERRORISTS! To my horror, tomato hormworms were wreaking havoc in my Shirley’s garden on her Early Girl and Beefy Boy Tomatoes. The buggers were as big as my middle finger and their handiwork was showing on a number of our succulent fruits. I plucked one off and sequestered it in a target area.

My turret was set at the appropriate distance, and the heft of the familiar gun steadied me as my heart pumped hard with the exitement of lead scalpel Sportsman surgery. Jesus hates revenge, but I am not him, and a tight smile curled my lips as I slowly pressed the trigger with a smooth incremental pressure until the sear broke and my follow-through continued the pellet on its way to my target. Exploding hornworms are not too dissimilar to exploding prarie dogs, except the liquid is green instead of red, and instead of crimson chunks and gore and fur it simply looks like someone spilled a key lime smoothie.

All in all, it was an effective way to sharpen shooting skills and vanquish vegetable vermin on a steamy suburban Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Back to Entries