This Week – Plinking

I got my first airgun for Christmas this year. Consequently I’ve become a little airgun obsessed over the last week. This is a phase that will pass, but in the meantime let me just share a little of what’s been going on.

This is the third shooting device we’ve acquired since moving to the hi-desert two years ago.

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First we got a longbow a year and a half ago…

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…and then we got Tania a pistol crossbow.

Now we’ve added an airgun action-pistol to our collection.

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I got a Umarex Legends P.08 (Luger style) double-action CO2 BB pistol. It fires around 410 fps and the magazine holds 21 BBs. It’s all metal except for the handle covers and weighs a satisfying two pounds. The video reviews say it’s a very accurate action-pistol. I think it looks very cool.

I found myself spending a lot of time in the days preceding Christmas Eve looking at things like gun holsters for a Luger P.08 airgun pistol, downloading images of targets for plinking with an airgun, watching videos about airguns… visiting lots and lots of airgun websites, reading reviews of guns and stuff. Which is pretty weird for me because I tend to be rather agnostic about guns – I’m neither for or against them, I just don’t like being around them. Until this last week…

I’m blaming it on the desert. It’s just fun to shoot stuff when you’re in the desert. Stuff like cardboard targets and aluminum cans that is – we’re strictly against shooting live critters here. The desert just seems like a good place for plinking.

Plinking refers to informal target shooting done at nonstandard targets such as tin cans, glass bottles, and balloons filled with water. The term is an onomatopoeia of the sound a bullet or other projectile makes when hitting a tin can, or other similar target, referring to the sharp, metallic sound, known as a “plink”.” – Wikipedia

For days I made cardboard targets in anticipation of Christmas Eve, when Tania would be home during the day so we could do some plinking.

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The cardboard targets don’t quite “plink” when you hit them, it makes a sound more like “thawop”, and wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had hoped. The 0.177 caliber BBs just slices through the cardboard – “thawop” and disappear into the straw bale behind the targets. The targets barely move, even the ones I built to (hopefully) move when shot. Those are called “reactive targets” when they do something when they’re hit.

The aluminum cans turned out to be much more satisfying on our first day of plinking. They spin around and fall over. They make a nice plink sound that echos off of the boulders that surround us. Very reactive.

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Actually every shot from my new airgun echos off the boulders. It’s sound is like a medium loud nail gun. A loud “phfff” of the CO2 pushing the BB out of the barrel. Lot’s of “phfff-thawops” and “phfff-plinks” echoing around the gulch this morning. I alerted our nearest neighbor about our plinking plans, as a courtesy. Which is very good because we fired around 200 rounds today until it got too cold to continue.

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Having been a life-long agnostic about guns (except for a short period in 1976) I’ve been observing myself getting rather obsessed with this new plinking machine with some amusement. It’s the kind of thing that would of only happened because we live in the desert, because we have so much room, so much space to shoot without worrying about the neighbors getting hit by stray BBs. Back in Long Beach I wouldn’t have even considered whether plinking was a fun idea or not. It was just out of the question where we lived.

Which is why I blame it on the desert… in a good way.

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One Comment

  1. michael whyte

    Get yourself a good .22 target pistol. Either the Ruger Mk II or a Browning Camper. I have the camper, and love it. Both are built for plinking and are very fun to shoot. More responsibility, but inexpensive to shoot. I think the desert would approve!

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