About the Blog

Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

10m Air Pistol Progress

First, I thought I would post a 10m air pistol target and explain a little about the sport. Typically 10m (32.8 feet) air pistol matches are held indoors, using very precise pistols that quietly shoot .177"/4.5mm diameter lead pellets at about 500fps. on average. In a vice, a good 10m pistol will create a hole pretty much the diameter of a pellet, but a little wider is fine too. At 500 fps., these pistols are safe to shoot in many environments without lead risk or extreme backstop needs. A garage works fine!

I train at home on a 5m scaled down target, then go to my local club which has a nice 10m air gun range with targets on pulleys for easy changes. In Europe, even small clubs have fancy-schmancy electronic scoring systems where three audio sensors triangulate the precise impact point of the pellet by listening for its sound as it flies by.

In ISSF competitions, a men's match is 60 shots, for women it's 40. There is usually time for about 90 seconds per shot, working at your own pace. So there is no rush. And because the competition is indoors, wind does not play a factor. In my opinion, 10m air pistol is one of the purest, but also one of the hardest shooting disciplines.

It is also one of the "cheaper" shooting sports. A competitive pistol can be found for about $400 (and hold their value well), and after that pellets run about $7 on average for a tin of 500. A cardboard box with rags inside can do for a trap, or else steel boxes can be found for about $20, or be homemade.

As you can see, the 9 ring on a 10m target is about the size of a quarter. The 10 ring is smaller than a dime, and the X is the size of a pellet. A shot that breaks the ring of the higher point counts, so the target above has two 10s and three 9s. I use cheap target paper and a relatively low velocity pistol, so I tend to get tears in the targets instead of nice clean holes. Good target paper from Germany or a slightly faster gun gives nice clean holes, but hey, who cares!

Today's training session was a little odd. Here was the progression:

10 10 10 9 8 47 0.94
10 9 9 9 8 45 0.90
10 10 9 9 8 46 0.92
10 9 9 9 9 46 0.92
10 10 9 9 9 47 0.94
10 10 9 8 8 45 0.90
9 9 8 7 7 40 0.80

I started gangbusters with a 47, although I wasn't pleased with the 8. I was clipping along nicely at 90%+ for the first 30 shots. I was on a pace to break 540, managing the fatigue in my hands and wrists, and definitely feeling the benefits of the strength training I've been doing for them. But then shots 30-35 came, and suddenly my hands and wrists didn't feel strained anymore...they felt very relaxed. I couldn't get a comfortable grip. The shots were not on call. So I decided the best thing to do was to call it a night and go eat dinner with friends. No sense in practicing bad habits when you are not shooting well. It took me roughly an hour to shoot the 30 shots, as I abandoned a lot of shots. While I was shooting I listened to the weekly Torah portion commentaries on my mp3 player (I like rabbis Silberberg and New).

Overall I'm happy with the progress. When my hand and arm are feeling fresh, I'm popping in 10s and 9s. My hold is improving where the 8's are probably trigger errors as opposed to hold drift...I am getting a good 9 ring hold. I'll stick to the game plan and keep building strength and endurance so I can last the full 60 shots. Before I was tanking after 20 shots, now I'm up to 30...halfway there!

Sometime soon I'll write about Service Rifle training with the SCATT, and how my wife tolerates my AR-15 dry firing in the bedroom every night!


  1. You can’t listen to tapes while you shoot!!!! Sorry… print it out and read them Friday night in Shul!
    I can image you want to encourage beginners to shoot but the truth is most AP shooters here are using Steyr LP10s. I am using a new Steyr LP10-E (Electric trigger.) These pistols are all in the $2,000 area. New shooter should not get put off by this but they should know this is a serious sport!
    Here is Israel we reuse the practice targets. We take 2 targets and put them together so now holes show. Sometimes I patch with a black paper stick on… This way we are using the right paper because tears like you show effect your scoring.
    Thursday I tried to blast out shots every 30 seconds so I could try to shoot the Airgun eMatch but I found it too hard to really do. So I changed back half way through my regular training of 60 shots. (I shoot 1 shot every 60 seconds.) I shot as follows:
    I was disappointed that with all those flyers. (BTW: you mentioned 8 as a flyer… no way… 7 or 6’s are flyers… to get an 8 just means you are still tightening your circle of confidence.
    Total score 534. Only 1 point down from last time but not progress so I went back on Friday. Even though I had not finished cooking … and it is a shame because the last few targets I was thinking about finishing cooking for Shabbat … but anyway here are the results:
    Total of 547! Too bad I got that 6 but anyway I see I am back on track.
    Remember perfect results come from perfect practice. So next time I will finish cooking before I got to the range Friday afternoon. Hodesh Tov!

  2. Great shooting! You make a good point about mental focus--any time the mind wanders so do the shots.

    As far as the pistols, here is my view:

    Here in the US it is easy to obtain either a new IZH-46m, a used Tau-7 or a used FWB65/80/90 for about $400. Any of those guns can get a person on track to world class scores.

    At the higher levels, sure, everyone in the world is using the Steyr models which are in the $2000 range. And they also require picking up a scuba tank to charge, another $50 or so. I had an LP50 for a while, it was great, but I shoot my Tau-7 just as well. I ended up selling the LP50.

    I don't think they are any more accurate than the older guns though. I agree the Steyr guns are light, well balanced, and have excellent triggers. But I don't think anybody is hampering their development by using something else until they reach 560+, so I'm still going to advise beginners that $400 is more than enough to start with.

    Thanks for the tip on re-using targets. Targets are really cheap here, but your method of recycling is really great!

  3. Also, in a previous post a reader asked about a competitive Russian shooter, Moysey Itkis, who emigrated to Israel. Ever heard of him?

  4. I will ask about Moysey. Will advise.
    I agree with your 100% on a first pistol. But I have to tell you the Steyr is a dream. The first time I have every shot anything that does not move when fired. Dry or wet fire… It’s all the same.

    I started shooting air guns about 9. .22 Rifles at 11 in Boy Scouts, skeet and trap shooting into my mid 20’s. I knew shooting was not a sport I would abandon after some 50 plus years so. So I did not hesitate to get the Steyr.

    BTW: clubs in Israel provide you with free air and targets. (But we still try to be frugal with the targets.)
    Last results:
    Total 543
    I am happy with the 9… all I can say about the 7’s is I knew I shot them and where. So at least I am calling my shots. (Ah BTW: I use a spotting scope to train me to call my shots.)
    Will advise tomorrow night on Thursday’s range.

  5. Congrats on breaking the 90% barrier!

    I would not talk anybody out of a Steyr if they had the money. They hold their value extremely well here, although any time a new technology comes out (now the electronic triggers) the used prices take a hit.

    If someone has easy access to bulk Co2 then there are some really great used Pardini, Morini, and FWB Co2 pistols out there.

    Btw: Are there any licensing requirements to own an air pistol or rifle in Israel? Does it have to stay at the club or can you take it home? Which club do you belong to, do they have a website...would you or someone there like to write a guest article about it? Do the members compete internationally?

  6. Hi;
    Steyr: Everybody here seems to love them. I’m the only one with an electric trigger.

    CO2: The club provides CO2 as well.

    Licensing: You can get a license for an Air Pistol / Rifle. But generally they are only giving out 1 license per person. Therefore, most people won’t waste it on an air weapon when they prefer a self-defense pistol. However the club can then issue you a permit to take the club pistol home. That includes .22 target weapons as well.

    An Article: hmm, I am pretty busy. We will consider this. Contact me off list like you did before.

    Yes our club members do compete in internationally. I am sort of new to the club as I was busy raising kids and running a business. Finally after many years I decided to go shooting anyway. The sad truth is that Israel cannot seem to give up shooting on Shabbat. Frankly that is why I gave up training and competing when I could not shoot at a shoulder to shoulder match. Thirty years later we have more matches on Thursday-Friday but sadly still Shabbat is the main match day. Somebody told me recently the main problem today is the schools are open Friday AM until 12-13:00. So that makes it hard to shoot matches on Friday. I will have to write more on this topic. Right now I am hoping we will find a Red Heifer and Saturday shooting will come to an end.