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Ebb & Flow of hobbies

Started by Alan, March 23, 2022, 02:33:50 PM

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Alan

One perk of owning and/or using a web site, is the ability to express one's knowledge of your favorite subject, especially your hobby or hobbies as the case may be. For example, I have an amateur radio related web site (www.k0bg.com), which has been live since April 2004. It's basis is operating amateur radio from a moving vehicle, both from a how-to, and doing so, in a safe manner. It has its distractors, but don't they all?

As for the AirGunGuild, I sort of inherited it by default. I've explained how and why that came about previously, so I won't reiterate the reasons. However, several good things came along with the inheritance, and the major one was Steve Dampier, our illustrious webmaster. It is for that reason, web-mastering, that Steve was made equal partners in the enterprise. I might pay the bills, but Steve makes it run. We're all better off as a result of the latter!

As evidenced, I, like others members of this site, have more than one hobby. I have amateur radio, Steve has his boat-building hobby, and Kevin (Steelhead) has his fishing hobby. If you missed the point, we all like airguns!

There is one thing about airguns I wish to express my views on. And views, which I believe, are shared with others, yet unmentioned. I'll do my best to explain this by example. But first, I think it is important to distinguish between a hobby and a fad.

I may be incorrect, but I've always thought that a hobby was a pastime you spent most of your life enjoying. A fad on the other hand, is a short lived indulgence which comes around, but swiftly diminishes like a cake of ice.

Once upon a time (mid 70s really), I took up roller skating, as a means of exercise. And one, I could take with me as I traveled about the world indulging in making living. Depending on where I was traveling, I either took a pair on indoor skates, or a pair of outdoor skates. At the time, roller skating was once again on the gravy train, as it had been several times since the late 1800s. At the time, there were about 20 roller rinks in the greater Denver, area where I lived, including two private ones, run like county clubs. Nowadays, there are three major ones, but they're not the frequented like they once were. Calling them a hobby is perhaps incorrect, so let's call them
"extended" fads. After all, someday they might have a resurgence.

By now, you probably assumed that airguns might be a fad for many, albeit a life-long pastime (hobby) for others. Whichever stance you've taken, you'd be correct! All this said, I also harbor a fear of sorts, for all of us into airgunning. In short, it is the eventuality of firearm-like laws.

For example, our northern neighbor Canada, have introduced bill C-21. This bill, as written, will affect every gun owner in Canada, including airgun ones! Some opponents described the bill as taking away your Daisy Red Rider! Perhaps, but there are reasons for this.

UMAREX® is one of the largest firearm manufacturers in the world. Their series of CO2 look-alike pistols and revolvers have become very popular. Especially so, due to their low MSRP. As a result, nefarious individuals are using them to perpetrate robberies. They can get away with this, as most of these late-model replicas are all but indistinguishable from the real thing! To my knowledge, the FBI hasn't published data on their use in robberies, but if the trend keeps up, they soon will.

There is another aspect of the above, which isn't well known. Since UMAREX makes the real thing, duplicating the various models into a CO2 airgun isn't an expensive undertaking. In fact, a few models can be converted into the real thing (firearms), with the addition of a few unregistered, and easily obtained parts! From UMAREX retailers yet! This fact is true of some airsoft weapons too.

I'm partly to blame, I suspect, as I have switched over to using slugs, rather than pellets. Adding just as much insult, are high-powered, large-bore, airguns. Some models easily exceed 500 FPE! Add in a dose of reality, by using low cost, superior noise-suppressing devices, and we're in everyone's spotlight!

As airgunners, we need to stay observant to changes in laws governing all weaponry, which directly and/or indirectly, affect our hobby. And if we don't? We'll end up as a fad, rather than a hobby!
Alan

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).

Tinkerer

Well spoken Alan.  Thank you!
Glen

Steelhead

Well spoken. Although your image may have slightly diminished with the roller skating (picturing Alan in polyester bell bottoms and a wide collared shirt skating backwards under a disco ball while the Bee Gee's belt out 'Stayin' Alive'), the evolving airgun 'hobby' is a good topic.

As a relative newcomer (the last 5-6 years or so) to new age airguns, I've been told a million different things and received a ton of advice, both good and bad. One thing that's irked me is the perceived 'under the radar' scenario that airguns may or may not have in certain areas. Using terms like bullet, slug, lead, hollowpoint, etc. is taboo in certain circles. For example, the low power .177 backyard or field shooters have chastised the big bore guys because of 'drawing attention' to their 'sneaky' hobby.

To play devil's advocate, all airguners could have just continued to shoot Red Ryders and nobody would care. But like all things we make them stronger, faster, more efficient, etc....just like we've done with automobiles, electronics, and just about everything else under the sun. Airguns are now serious weapons (even the small bore) and along with that comes the consequences which translate into potential changes to legislation.

I have purposefully distanced myself from that (the debate of the above topic) That has a lot to do with I know longer frequent GTA. I received some pressure from members to not use words like 'silencer', 'bullet' and the like. Not to mention the owner of GTA is a wormy, conniving, narcissist and I don't like lending any support even it's just views on the site. But that story has been covered ad nauseum.

I admittedly don't chase down airgun info as much as I did in the recent past. I have all of the guns that I need (can't believe I said that) and especially after the purchase of the FX Impact .25 I'm not 'searching' for the magic pill for hours on the sites. I have picked up my big bores in some time (weather, gear still packed from moving) but I don't shoot even close to as often as before. I will again soon though. I still shoot the FX .25 on the average of 3-4 times a week.

I'm starting to see airgunners wanting to work together more. Unfortunately, there has been an unwarranted disconnect between different types of airgun shooters for a while. I think the time has arrived when it's clear that we're all on the same team and legislation affects us all. I see the same thing when fishing a river sometimes; you have one guy at the top of a hole throwing a lure, one guy in the middle bouncing some eggs, and a guy at the end swinging a fly. Completely different approaches with vastly different gear, but they're operating under the same rules of chase. We fishers used to fight about that (who's 'water' is whose) and some morons still do, but we realized that we're better off united than divided. I think that's something that's tangible that airgun shooters can do; drop any agenda we have, unite, and be active.
Airforce Texan .308
FX Impact MKII .25
Benjamin Discovery .22
Benjamin Prowler .177
Texan .50
Sam Yang 909s Light Hunter
Born Wild Shooting Chair
Air Venturi compressor

Alan

One of the things I didn't mention, but should have....

The airgun hobby—it is really a business model enjoyed by a myriad of suppliers—drastically needs its own form of an NRA. It matters little what it is called, as long as it has the (our) hobby in its sights and sites. A good example is the lack of a standard for so-called Foster fittings. Imagine if the hobby had an organization like SAAMI? We's be using industry-standard and safety-rated fittings! Seemingly, our efforts (and HAM's) in this regard have fallen on deaf ears!

By the way Kevin, I'll dig out a photo of my getup when I skated in competition. Even you might be surprised!
Alan

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).

steveoh

Excellent post Alan and as usual great responses.

I have a LOT of hobbies errrr obsessions that ebb and flow, get put on back burner only to surface years later.

My first big hobby / passion was photography. For several decades I seldom left the house without my Nikon F2 with 28mm or 21mm lens or the Graflex XL Super Wide in tow. Of course these days my phone is with me always, and the camera on board is good enough most of the time. I spent a good portion of my life in a darkroom as I saw that to be the final moment of choosing an image and printing it to emphasize the vision I had at the decisive moment of pushing the shutter release.

Later pinhole photography, collage / photomontage was the the natural progression for me, and finally Installation using other skills I had including wood working, computers, audio, lighting etc. I even build ornate wooden cameras and sold them for pocket money while in school.

Music. Played drums in bands for years. I still sit behind the kit and bash hell out of them.

Airguns. Wow. Started at about ten with a Diana 177 springer. Came back to airguns maybe 7 years ago, and am hopelessly addicted.

Hobbies are passions, that sometimes evolve into business or profession.

Hobbies can make for a richer life.



Quackenbush .58 Outlaw
Shooting Chairs
Vallejo Ferry Schedule
DAQ .458 LA Outlaw Rifle
DAQ .58 LA Outlaw Rifle
FX Streamline .25
FX M3 Impact 700mm Sniper .25
Benjamin Bulldog .357
QB-79 .177
Crosman 1322
Crosman 1377 - HoRodded 10 FPE
Diana Model 27 (childhood airgun)
Tolman Skiff
Airgun Calculator

Alan

I won't admit one profession I used to enjoy. But it did start as a hobby of sorts.
Alan

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).

bnowlin

My air gun hobby has lasted longer than any so far.
Bobn