Springtime Springer...
 

Springtime Springers - an old guy's perspective  

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JW652
(@jw652)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 50
2018-04-16 17:42:07  

   OK. I am, unabashedly,  a springhead. Have a lot of PCPs too, but they don't light my fire like a fine BSA break barrel or another walnut and steel springer.

   Although it was spitting snow this morning and the wood stove is chugging in the mudroom, we have had a lot of nice, warm sunny days to shoot. So last week I took a peek at the airguns and pulled out an old favorite - a 1988, .22 Theoben GP, wearing a Leupold model 8, 8X scope with a reticle and reduced AO focus from Dick Thomas at Premier Reticles. This was my first FT rifle and purchased it from a guy at the '88 Nationals in Indy, hosted by Gerry Thomas.

   Gerry and Carol Thomas ran a shop called World Class Airguns that introduced a lot of us to quality rifles and FT. These are very fine folks with a business model that was the exact opposite of the Good Doctor. No flash - but a monthly newspaper/catalog that was just as exciting as the CA Glossy. I once asked Carol how they managed next day service, basic tuning, and making things right if there was a problem with a purchase. She replied that "Gerry insists on treating customers the same way he would like to be treated". They were true friends as well as vendors. Still are.

   Anyway, out came the Theoben and old tins of Barakuda  and H&N Trophy pellets that were bought every two weeks with a money order purchased at the Credit union when the paycheck was cashed. The rifle had sat in the safe, unmolested since last fall. It had been zeroed @ 50 yds with (14.3 gr) brown box Premiers and I figured it would still be close. The first shot was centered but an inch high. The next ten tore a ragged hole out of the center of the target. My smile did not wear off for the rest of the night. For me, there is something about a good shooting springer on a green spring day that makes you feel that all is right with the world.

   If anyone would like to share their springer experiences, I, for one, would like to hear them.  Good shooting - Farmer Steve

  


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dbowling
(@dean)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 39
2018-04-16 18:00:16  

used to get pellets thru World Class Airguns back then if I remember correctly..shot field target at Marion County Fish and Game for 3-4 yrs with Anthoney Storey when he ran the shoots.


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sd5782
(@sd5782)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 29
2018-04-17 07:03:21  

Nice to see other avowed springer guys. A quality springer is a fine mechanical instrument with pride of ownership. After a proper setup they don't need much attention; just exercised on occasion. I am not sure if the same holds true with the PCP or pneumatic.

I dug out an old American Airgunner magazine from Summer 1988 and saw an add for World Class Airguns.They were promoting "the Cuda" and also Sportsmatch mounts. Air rifle Specialists from Elmira NY had a Theoben ad picturing the Eliminator gas ram but also offering the Sirocco Classic and Grand Prix. 

There was a one paragraph article on the 88 Nationals in Indy won by R Boyce. A fall 1988 American Airgunner article was a look at the 88 Nationals in Indy and a little info on guns and ammo used. Open class was won with a Shamal PCP and Barakudas with a score of 94, while Open-Standard was won with an HW77 and Superdomes with a score of 91. 

 


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randy_68
(@randy_68)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 80
2018-04-17 08:15:25  

I have a few pcp's and a few springers. I still love the simplicity and relaxation of shooting a springer and enjoy taking them out hunting once in a while.  My FWB 124 is such a pleasure to shoot and when I want to relax that is the one I pick. My 52 is a little bit too much as it is heavy but it is a very nice gun. I have owned a bunch of different ones over the years from HW, Beeman, Crosman, Air Arms, RWS FWB etc. One gun I haven't owned yet that I always wanted is an HW97 and I may get one at some point.


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DavidEnoch
(@davidenoch)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 262
2018-04-17 12:50:06  

Due to a hurting shoulder and neck and eventual shoulder and neck surgeries I have not shot much in the past year.  This spring I have been pulling out airguns.  I started with the easiest cocking springers and I am working my way up.  I took out a steel receiver IZH60 first.  It put a smile on my face with two hits on targets too far away.  Lucky shots, but it put a smile on my face.  Next I pulled out a wood stocked Slavia 634 along with a Paul Watts Slavia 630 Long Stroke.  The 634 needs some smoothing out as it is new old stock but the Paul Watts long stroke was smooth as butter.  Next time out I shot an old HW50S, the original, not the newer model.  Next time out was my first of the spring with a scope.  It is my Diana 27.  Such a sweet rifle.  And, to bring us up to date, the last time out I shot my favorite springer of all times, a BSA Supersport Lightning.  This gun has also been tuned and is sweet.  It also is scoped. I still have a few more springers to get to.

I was shooting the Supersport Lighting at 35 yards from a bench.  I was hitting the spinner in my 3/4" Quad Target consistently but could not manage to hit the 3/8" Quad spinner very often.  That got me to thinking about springers.  Others my disagree but I have to back off a little and just realize that my springers are not as accurate as my PCPs and be happy with what they can do, and not be disappointed at what I cannot do with them.  I appreciate how simple it is to shoot them; just grab the gun and pellets and go.  I appreciate their quietness, and how easy they are to load.  I also appreciate that they make me a better shooter.

 

David Enoch

The jury is still out on deciding if my shoulders can take shooting my springers or not.  My shoulders have hurt more since I started shooting again.

 


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MDriskill
(@mdriskill)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 131
2018-04-17 13:39:28  

Well if you looked up "springer geek" in the dictionary, it might have my picture! We will not speak of how many are at my house now. And I've long been a particular fan of the "medium power" springer sporter rifle, which back in the day meant roughly 700 fps or less.

WCA was a great outfit! Loved dealing with those guys, always courteous, fast, polite, and helpful; your contrast to the Good Doctor pretty much nails it. 

Gerry introduced me to perhaps the greatest under-the-radar, medium-powered springer of all time, too: the Anschutz 335, which they sold under its "Crosman Challenger 6500" alias. Got one from WCA, loved the thing and still trying to figger out why I sold it! But I've replaced her with a gaggle of HW 30's, 50's and 55's; Diana 27's and 35's, and assorted Webleys of the same ilk, so the spirit lives on, LOL.

There's just something about the elegance of a self-contained powerplant and quality workmanship that never gets old. Just you, the gun, and the actual projectiles needed to shoot all day long. I shoot primarily for fun and relaxation and, with the exception of my old CO2 Hammerli Master pistol, have just never had a hankering for guns with external life support.

 


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Nevada
(@nevada)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 21
2018-04-17 16:02:59  

I shot one of Doc Bob's R8s in 1981....bought one and an R1 not too long afterwards....airgun knowledge was scarce out on the sagebrush ocean in those days....as were chronographs...so I believed my wandering POI was above 1000fps and the wandering part was my shakey shooting....

None of that was true...much like most of Dr. Bob's hype...

Feinwerkbau is the brand I've chosen to own, keep and shoot...hot rod FWB300Ss and a lone 124...these springers never have to apologize for any accuracy issues....easy to cock and easier still to achieve exceptional accuracy....

I have PCPs and air...but I am still in love with a self contained tack driver and enjoy my sproingers and shoot them more than all my other guns combined.


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Shambozzie
(@tharris281sc-rr-com)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 106
2018-04-17 16:51:07  

+1 Jw652 on the springers.  I have a cricket compact, cz 200t (12) fpe, and a few other pcp's. For pure fun and pleasure nothing tops quality Springer time. Only have 2. A FWB 124d @ 13.8 fpe and a Rws 54 .22 @ 21 fpe. Collected a bunch of election signs. Painted them white and glue paint balls to them. I start placing at 35, 45,55 or what mood strike me. Can go out to 70 yds. The FWB is amazing out to 70 yds. I understand why they call it the Air King. My buddy came by with his new gauntlet 22 talking trash. At 70 yds the assault on paint ball let him know who is still the King. A Springer that shoot like a pcp and dust a lot of them. Both guns wear swfa 10x MD scopes.


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chardosmith
(@chardosmith)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 36
2018-07-05 17:42:10  

Count me in on the springer love.  While a nice PCP can be extremely accurate and "easy" to shoot, a quality springer just makes me smile.  Attending three AG shows this year,  I have sold a couple of PCPs and found 4 springers,  all with aftermarket internals and walnut stocks (well one is Myrtle)!

-Arnold-


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ekmeister
(@ekmeister)
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 450
2018-07-05 22:30:19  

I like hearing about people who also bought from World Class Airguns.  I bought an RWS52 in .22 caliber from them back in 1993.  I didn't remember the owner's name, "Gerry", but I guess that must have been who I dealt with.  (Let's assume it was based on your post).

I was and still am a fan of 'magnum' springers.  The word "magnum" seems a little funny now that PCP power levels have actually become the bar for the sport and/or hobby, but it's a word I still use because I'm talking about their power in relation to OTHER springers. 

My first magnum adult spring gun was a Marksman 70--think "Beeman R10"--that I bought back around 1991 from Marksman.  I had a gun shop owner buy it for me from Marksman.  Marksman wouldn't sell directly from me due to a dealer issue in my area.   I shot and ate several fox squirrels that I got using that rifle.

My .22 caliber RWS 52 came next as I had circled it in my WCA catalog-newspaper, and I was drooling.  I was definitely a fan of high velocity, so I asked Gerry if he would test a couple of specimens of the rifles he had in stock and ship me the one that shot the fastest--I know, that's pretty pathetic and he should have said, "No".  But, as you said, he was a good guy.  He was totally cool with the request and did exactly that.  Mine shot light .22 pellets at almost exactly 900 fps, just like the spec in the catalog.

In my case I also liked the Beeman catalogs back then, and soon had my eye on a used R1.  I talked to my old Marksman contact who was working for Beeman by that time, and he gave me an incredible deal on a rifle that didn't look used in the least.

I enjoyed all 3 of those rifles, learning to tune them a little at a time because I liked to tinker--always have.  All 3 ended up good shooters, with better springs, guides, and better lubes, etc.  I added a couple more springers over the period of the next several years, but all got sold when I was forced to move out of an apartment complex that started out nice, but severely degraded later, as in homicides (plural).

I'm happy to say that I have springers again.  Both are magnums.  One is a .22 caliber RWS/Diana .34 Panther that I swapped for and tuned, while the other is a Chinese SM-1000 in .177 caliber that also would up being a good gun once I tuned it.  I usually choose .22 caliber these days, but the latter rifle was a gift.  I just want to say one thing about the SM-1000: I read a post on this forum that said someone did a test using a powder-burning rifle and 'proved' that the condition of a barrel crown doesn't matter at all when it comes to getting good accuracy.  OK, I wasn't there when the test was done and I don't know the person who did the test or the report, so I'll leave it at that.  But, it was only AFTER I re-crowned the barrel of my SM-1000 that it started shooting very-tight groups.

So I own 2 nice springer rifles now.  I put my favorite Tasco model scope on both, and I expect them to hold up because their recoil is 'medium' at the most.

Back to something that was mentioned in the post that got me to post mine here: if World Class Airguns and Beeman were still producing catalogs, I'd be happy to obtain and peruse them both at my leisure.  Those were some good times and it was some good reading for a techie-guy like me. 

Safe and Happy Shooting!

Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister

https://www.airguntunemeister.com/


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sonnysan
(@sonnysan)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 163
2018-07-05 23:50:17  

Theoben Grand Prix's are very rare, especially in FAC.  Incredibly I acquired one after many months looking for one in the second hand market.  That was 20 years ago.  Post of a picture of yours, as you do not see them talked about often.  People hang on to them until the estate sale.

Another line of guns at the pinnacle of springers are the Venom guns.  Other than Mike Abernathy's creations, those guns are incredible.   


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r1lover
(@r1lover)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 39
2018-07-06 09:45:02  

Yup.  I still have some old Beeman catalogs and even older Robert Law Air Rifle Headquarters catalogs.  I'll pick one up now and then and revisit simpler, more innocent times.


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Tim Ward
(@lefteyeshot)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 35
2018-07-07 10:51:32  

A springer- the beauty of simplicity. Ekmiester, I think your SM-1000 is the same gun as my B21. Love it. I'm going to our monthly fun shoot next Saturday and just want to take a few guns. I'll be driving my little two seater Solstice. It's hard to decide between the B21, B40 or the 56th and 470th. And I'd also like to take a B3 and B4. Love'em all.

Without hope, without fear


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Tim Ward
(@lefteyeshot)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 35
2018-07-07 10:51:33  

A springer- the beauty of simplicity. Ekmiester, I think your SM-1000 is the same gun as my B21. Love it. I'm going to our monthly fun shoot next Saturday and just want to take a few guns. I'll be driving my little two seater Solstice. It's hard to decide between the B21, B40 or the 56th and 470th. And I'd also like to take a B3 and B4. Love'em all.

Without hope, without fear


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bReTt
(@brett)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 75
2018-07-07 23:34:04  

I like shooting spring guns so much I just bought a HW50S off of the classifieds.  Tracking says Monday delivery.  I can hardly wait!  

 

I recently came back back to my first “quality” air rifle, a Beeman R9 .22 cal.  I am in the process of detuning it to 12 fpe.  If the British can shoot 12 fpe .22 spring guns accurately, so can I.  I think it should prove to be fun.  

 

56971462 C734 4B3C 8602 1382013131A1

Ice cold milk and chocolate chip cookies any day!


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Jim in SWMO
(@jim-in-swmo)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 215
2018-07-08 08:48:15  
Posted by: bReTt

I like shooting spring guns so much I just bought a HW50S off of the classifieds.

Hey Brett, I saw that HW50S and if I didn't already have one you would have had some competition for it, lol. I think you're gonna like it. And with a bit of TLC it may just become one of your top favorites. I really like the one I have. Easily one of my favorite shooters.

IMG 1873 1

Mine has a JM SG2 kit with the factory seal inside and the shot cycle is so nice that it passes the "pellet on turret" test. And BTW, be sure to give the 7.87gr AA Express a try. Mine loves them. It's spitting them out at 765fps for about 10¼fpe. You can see how it did with them in this link. Granted, it's only 9yds in the basement and I was seated and using a tripod for a rest, but it's one of the most consistently accurate springers I've got.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thedianawerkcollective/rainy-days-and-airguns-just-rambling-t14130-s10.html

BTW, there's a factory HW50S stock on the classifieds right now for a good price if you want to replace that one. But if you plan to dress it up like your R9, IMO, the Hw50S is definitely a worthy candidate. 😉 

And another BTW. There's a lot of info on the HW50S on the British forums. Besides searching for "HW50S" also search for "HW99S" since that's what it's called there.

Anyway, enjoy that "new to you" 50S when you get it. I'll be watching to see what you think of it.

Edit: I forgot to mention that since it looked like that HW50S was of current manufacture it most likely has the insert in the cocking lever to prevent the galling issues. But if you should have any issues with that, here's a relevant thread about it on the BBS.

http://www.airgunbbs.com/showthread.php?828946-HW-99-cocking-problem

"You've come far, pilgrim."-------"Feels like far."
"Were it worth the trouble?"-----"Ah, what trouble?"


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ekmeister
(@ekmeister)
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 450
2018-07-08 18:02:54  
Posted by: Tim Ward

A springer- the beauty of simplicity. Ekmiester, I think your SM-1000 is the same gun as my B21. Love it. 

Yes, I'm 99.9% sure it's the same rifle.  It's sort of a cross between an RWS 48 and an RWS 52.  It just shoots a wee bit slower than those (never figured out why because the stroke length and chamber ID are the same, but that's OK).  I kind of wish mine was in .22 caliber--I think that was the B22 model--but mine is still definitely a keeper in .177 caliber. 

Safe and Happy Shooting!

Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister

https://www.airguntunemeister.com/


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Brettl
(@brettl)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 32
2018-07-08 23:11:51  

Brett, Where did you get that stock it’s really nice? 

PS like the name....


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BilliamB
(@billiamb)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 8
2018-08-11 11:55:55  

Anthony Storey! Now there's a name I've not heard in years. Never met him, but I admire his work. I still own a couple of his Tasco 36X scopes. Time to dig those out and use them again. 


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ribbonstone
(@ribbonstone)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 238
2018-08-12 10:49:44  

Kind of shamed me into it.

Glad you posted.

Had gotten wrapped up in PCP and co2 during the summer,and pretty well neglected the springers for the last 3 months.

Put away all the other projects, picked a springer out of storage yesterday, gave it a dusting/cleaning, and shot it off and on all day.

Warmed up with a dozen shots, just plinking dirt clods, old bits of tape on a back stop, weeds....just to see if it was still sighted in well enough to hit paper.

Did periodically shoot paper, but most of the time just shot spinners, animate targets (plinking paintballs or empty 12gr. shells), an old Gamo F.T. crow, and getting back to apper by the end of the day.

The lay off really did hurt results...took awhile to get back into springer shooting (even a mild one).

1st set of targets (shot 3 5-shot groups) at 20 yards averaged a pretty terrible .63" Two fliers out of 15 shots really added to that average.

After most of an on-off day os plinking (it's hot...shot in little half hour sittings...maybe 4 or6 sittings...call it (by looking at the pellets left in the tin) 120-140 shots.

2nd set of targets averaged .48" at 20 yards.

This morning, plinked/spinners for about an hour in the cool of the morning. Rifle seemed to stay put. Cut that newly opened 200 count tin down to 32 pellets left.

3rd set of tagets averaged .36"....which isabout as well as I've ever done with this rifle, even after 6 weeks of springer only practice.

(.36" looks more impressive in .25 than with .177 holes)

 

So evidently, like learning how to use a stick shift, you'll kind of suck at springs after a long lay off...but it comes back much much faster than the effort it took to learn it.


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Skillet
(@skillet)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 44
2018-08-12 14:52:31  

Still luv shooting springers. PCPs kinda bore me, too danged easy, MSPs ... those can become more like work.

Co2... some great guns, but pierce a ctg and ur committed to 30 shots.

But springers, now... give me a fairly light, hard-hitting example, and I’m good for hours of quality plinking, and no guilt😊. More challenging, too. Takes a bit of practice to get back in form. You’ll be more deadly with your cartridge-guns for all that springer practice..


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willy1
(@willy1)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 33
2018-08-12 16:00:19  

OK that does it"im going back to my HW-35 and TX 200""


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 151
2018-08-12 17:11:04  
Posted by: Skillet

Still luv shooting springers. PCPs kinda bore me, too danged easy, MSPs ... those can become more like work.

Co2... some great guns, but pierce a ctg and ur committed to 30 shots.

But springers, now... give me a fairly light, hard-hitting example, and I’m good for hours of quality plinking, and no guilt😊. More challenging, too. Takes a bit of practice to get back in form. You’ll be more deadly with your cartridge-guns for all that springer practice..

Well, probably every springer lover should own at least one PCP, like a Career 707 and a manual hand pump, to appreciate the simplicity of a quality precision spring-piston airgun !

Love my springers !

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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ribbonstone
(@ribbonstone)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 238
2018-08-12 20:15:07  

I will shoot them more often, but not to the exclusion of the other types.  


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IHMSA80x80
(@ihmsa80x80)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
2018-08-12 23:40:50  

There's some names I haven't heard in awhile. I knew Anthony Storey, met him at Marion County Fish & Game, where I learned to shoot handgun silhouette. Didn't do any of the FT shoots there, though. And Gerry Thomas of World Class Airguns...great guy. I bought my RWS 5G from him back in 1986.

After moving to Northern Kentucky in 1986, I found a small, local airgun shop and bought a Marksman Model 70 in .20 caliber from them. I like that springer, eliminated lots of vermin from the back yard and took it to a couple FT events here. 

Picked up a couple of Benjamin-Sterling HR-83 springers, in .177 and .22, around 1991. Love both of them. I scoped the .177 to use in my 10-meter basement for .22 Rifle silhouette practice, and left the .22 with the Williams sights for the same competition practice with iron sights. Neither of them have been shot outdoors until this summer.

We have a very nice outdoor shooting range here, covered line with concrete benches, and lately I've decided to take my airguns with me to try them out at 25 yards. It's been a lot of fun so far, trying different pellets, getting them zeroed. I also plan to extend their shooting out to 50 yards.


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dcw
 dcw
(@dcw)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 61
2018-08-13 09:57:19  

I still have the first "real" springer I bought in 1990...an RWS 52.

I also still have and like the Beeman RX and HW 90 series and have a AA ProSport.

I do have and shoot PCP's, too.

I like 'em all... 🙂 


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BilliamB
(@billiamb)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 8
2018-08-14 05:14:19  

Just started shooting my JW80 and JW70 after a 20-year layoff. I'd forgotten just how good the damn things are. All my other springers--wonderful as they may be--pale in comparison.

The JW70 was purpose built for FT work, and is chambered for now hard-to-find .20 caliber pellets. I never competed seriously, but I'm glad I bought the rifle as it is tuned to a 20 ft.lb. sweet spot that makes it a joy to shoot at 50 yards.

My JW80 is John Whiscombe's original prototype, and is so marked (it has no serial number). What it does have are all four barrels: cals. .17, .20, .22 and .25. I mostly shoot the 80 in .22 and .25. The three-stroke progressive cocker does get a bit tiring, buy you get used to it with practice. The first two strokes are easy; the final one is a bit tougher, but nothing compared to cocking a CrowMag/Eliminator.

As I said, I have a lot of truly wonderful springers, but these Whiscombes have spoiled me rotten.


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