Posted By admin on December 18, 2010
By: Bill Brice
Grackles (a taller and longer tailed blackbird) can be a nuisance. They can also be the catalyst that causes unforeseen events. When grackles became a nuisance inhabiting the large oleanders in my back yard, I naturally sought a way to scare them away.
A BB gun seemed to provide the desired solution, so off to Wal-Mart I went and bought myself a Red Ryder. It worked as intended, and soon I got rid of my grackle problem (by the way, no grackles were harmed in the application of my remedy).
So after the problem got solved, the Red Ryder took up residence in a closet for a long time. That is, until my grandchildren got old enough for me to teach them how to shoot. Once again, the Red Ryder proved to be the perfect tool to start with. So we set up a little range in the back yard and the instruction began, both for my 8 year old grandson and my 9 year old granddaughter.
The first few sessions went well, until I got the idea that mounting a scope on the Red Ryder would be the ideal enhancement to the gun, and it would make shooting a lot more instructive and let’s face it, a lot more fun. So I got out a piece of aluminum in the garage and started to work. Well, the aluminum proved to be a lot less cooperative than I hoped. With my hacksaw in hand, I got out a piece of PVC plastic pipe. Things moved along a lot faster after that. Within one afternoon, using a hacksaw to cut two parallel groves in a short length of PVC cut in half lengthwise, I fashioned a working prototype. The two groves were 3/8” apart, the same as standard dovetails I was familiar with, and these enabled me to mount a telescopic sight on the BB gun.
It worked well enough that after a few modifications, I decided to take my PVC prototype to a local machine shop and see what could be done with my model. The proprietor was receptive, and although he said he preferred to work from drawings and specifications, he agreed to produce for me a couple of mounts from aluminum. In a few days I picked up my new prototypes. These were really nice pieces, done professionally and fully workable. However, after some further testing at the Brice Backyard BB gun range, which by now had become a much larger and semi-permanent facility, additional modifications to the mount became necessary. With the help of the machine shop owner, these were accomplished as well, and further testing went on.
At this point I applied for, and received, approval for a provisional patent on the mount. After extensive market research to find any party who might be interested in my mount, I was advised to contact Chief AJ in Illinois. I was told that the Chief is a BB gun aficionado and expert. He has had a line of adult BB guns produced under his aegis by Daisy Manufacturing, one of which is called the Chief AJ Model. So I wrote to him and sent him one of my mounts and hoped for the best. Soon afterward I called him to get his reaction. He was very enthusiastic about my mount. He told me that upon receiving it, he installed it on one of his own guns and spent 4 hours shooting with it in his backyard. So I now had a great ally who saw merit in my mount and he was willing to market it. The Chief went on to find a manufacturer in Illinois to produce the mount in quantity, and we ordered up an initial run. They came out exceedingly well, and the Chief featured the new mount on his website.
The mount enables the Red Ryder, and the Chief AJ Model BB guns, to be equipped with any 3/8” dovetail mounted sighting device. I have one of each of these guns; one equipped with a scope and the other has both a red dot and a laser sight mounted in tandem at the same time on the same gun. Using the BB guns equipped with these sights enables the shooter to engage targets effectively out to 50 feet. The user manual accompanying the Red Ryder recommends targets be engaged at 15 feet, of course using the open sights. Installing the mount can be accomplished without any modifications to the gun. It is installed by first removing the elevation ramp from the rear sight, then slipping the mount under the rear sight and anchoring it with a small machine screw facing upward through the slot. A brass acorn nut anchors the front of the mount and provides a nice accent to the gun, in my opinion. The rear of the mount is anchored using the rear stock screw through a hole in the mount. A pair of pliers and a Phillips head screwdriver are all the tools needed to make the installation. And if one desires to return the gun to open sight configuration, just reverse the process. It’s that simple.
I also ordered up a couple of M-16 bipod attachments that work as a dandy platform to steady the gun in shooting. These also aid in increasing the number of hits and getting better groupings. I have given several mounts to friends and acquaintances and they all seem to enjoy this new way of shooting their BB guns.
My grandchildren have become familiar with proper shooting techniques, and my granddaughter has shown exceptional skill. I’ve built a larger and more elaborate BB gun range in my backyard, featuring bull’s eye targets, hanging targets and moving targets (stuffed toys hanging from a ceiling fan over the backstop). With carpeting I’ve used for backstop and ground cover, recovery of BB’s is possible. I like to think my range incorporates the highest level of care as recommended in the NRA Range Conferences. I find myself shooting more now than ever, and I don’t need to go to the high power range to practice my shooting skills. If I want, I can even recycle my BB’s, although some shooters may not recommend this practice. In any event, recovery of expended BB’s is easy. And with the optic sights enabling the shooter to shoot from the greater range of 50 feet makes it a lot more challenging and yes, a lot more fun!
Chief AJ: www.chiefaj.com