I like to say my first gun was a Marlin bolt action .22, given by my father as a working tool to carry on the farm. That’s true, as far as it goes, but only for a given value of true.
My first rifle was a Sheridan Blue Streak pump air rifle; Still made today as the Benjamin- Sheridan, and now a division of Crossman. It’s the only air rifle I know of with a .20 caliber bore (5mm). For years the pellets were just known as ‘
Squirrels and rabbits ran at the sound of the pneumatic pump on that air rifle. Squeek..wooosh…squeek..wooosh. Five pumps for target practice, ten for small game.
At ten pumps it’s pellet would make a squirrel go quiver-tail with any good hit. Out to twenty five yards it was good for everything from tin cans to rabbits. No fancy optics needed, just a good eye for a blade front sight
I learned that it would kill a woodchuck… something everyone else swore was near impossible. My method was simple….. I walked up on the chuck and watched him dive for cover. Examining his holes, it was usually pretty easy to figure out which way he would emerge, and which direction his head would point.
I simply laid down a blanket about ten yards away, balanced the Sheridan on a rock, and went prone for a nice nap in the sun. Inside fifteen or twenty minutes Mr. Chuck would rise up for a look see, and get a pellet in his ear for the trouble. A solid hit was required or he might come out of that hole very, very angry.
Dad said he never saw the like, and happily bought me more pellets, to a certain limit. Wasting them was not allowed, and any dropped in the dirt had to be recovered and washed off.
I wore out one
My son learned to shoot with a
Brings back a lot of memories too…. Like shooting apples from the tree…. and skipping pellets off puddles…. and ………