Collecting airguns: Condition 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Numismatics
  • Coin grades
  • Back to guns
  • 1894 Swedish Mauser
  • Is refinishing bad?
  • Cleaned coins
  • Three types of collectors
  • Different finishes equal different wear patterns
  • Last story
  • Summary

Today’s subject is one of the big ones in collecting. However, it must be understood in light of the intentions of the collector. Are you collecting because you enjoy airguns? Are you collecting as an investment? Or are you collecting to make money? The answer to these three questions can sometimes drive the issue of condition.

Numismatics

I will start with coin collecting and then transition to firearms and airguns. There are thousands of times more coin collectors around the world than airgun collectors. And, in the world of collecting coins, condition is one of the most fundamental issues. Let’s get specific.

read more


Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is a guest blog from reader Dennis. He may have a handle, but I don’t know what it is.

Today he presents an air rifle he really enjoys. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now over to you, Dennis.

Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

By Dennis

BSA GRT Lightning XL
BSA GRT Lightning XL SE.

This report covers:

  • Introduction
  • The rifle
  • The optics
  • The shooter
  • Issues and solutions
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Introduction

The BSA Lightning was reviewed a few times a few years ago [However, not on this blog — as far as I can tell, Ed.]. The results were mixed. One had no idea whether or not the gun was a keeper. Well, she is for me, and I want to tell you why.
I love this gun! It is beautiful and accurate. It is light and ergonomically designed. Yep, I love her, but getting to this point was difficult. The courtship was long and tortuous. Let me take you instead by the straight and narrow path directly to the end which is quite good.

read more


Gamo Swarm Maxim: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading
  • The feeding mechanism
  • Velocity JSB Exact RS
  • Gamo PBA Platinum pellets
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Back to JSB RS
  • What about dry fires?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the new Gamo Swarm Maxim multi-shot rifle. Of course this rifle is so different that we will also be looking at several things we don’t normally see. Should be an interesting report.

Loading

I was concerned about loading the magazine because I have some experience with other multi-shot breakbarrels and none of it is good. But the Swarm magazine loads like any rotary PCP mag, so there is no worry. Like most of them, there is an o-ring that’s around the entire rotary wheel and part of it intrudes into each chamber to hold the pellets. Consequently, they don’t just drop in. You have to push on their bases a little to get the heads past the rubber.

read more


Dinosaur ballistics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Reading room
  • Discussion
  • The absurdity of sub groups
  • What lit the candle?
  • Why?
  • Advertisers
  • 10-shot groups and dinosaur ballistics

Yesterday’s series on collecting was a story that just burst out of me. I couldn’t stop it — it’s writing itself. Well, today’s report is the same way.

Reading room

Like so many of you I have a dedicated reading room in my house. It’s a small room across the hall from my office, and I go there periodically throughout the day to sit and ponder the meaning of life. I also do other things, but they aren’t the subject of this report.

I was in my reading room last Friday, flipping through the pages of the September 2017 Guns magazine, when I came across a statement that stunned me. It was the caption to a table of group sizes for the .22-caliber Ruger American Rimfire Target rifle. I’ll present it here and then discuss it.

read more


Collecting airguns: Scarcity 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Success!
  • Reality
  • How rare is rare?
  • Second gun
  • The big one
  • A defective design
  • USMR
  • History is the point
  • Scarce gun number 2
  • The difference
  • Celebrity association
  • Moral?
  • Is it real?
  • Sow’s ear
  • Don’t fall for it
  • Market-driven scarcity
  • Summary

Success!

This history section of the daily blog is a big success. Many readers are interested in collecting and learning about vintage airguns, so I am starting a series on collecting. There will be some things that you have seen before, but I hope to put it in a new light. And I have some new things to share, as well. I have already identified several topics for reports, so this promises to be a long one! I won’t run it consecutively, though. I’ll weave in in amongst the reports on historical items of interest. In the end I may turn it into a feature for “Firearms News”.

read more


Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 5V pistol
Diana model 5V pellet pistol.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Guest blog
  • Mine is .177
  • Rifled
  • Condition
  • Trademark
  • Grip/Stock
  • General description
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Summary

Today we start looking at a Diana 5V pellet pistol that was made before World War II. While it uses the number five in the model name, it is completely different from the Diana model 5 air pistol that was made after the war. I wrote about that one in a three-part report published in March of this year.

Guest blog

We had a guest blog by Fred, formerly of the People’s Republic of New Jersey back in 2010. That one was titled Finding a Diana 5V air pistol, and it was a one-part all-inclusive report. Fred’s pistol was a .22, and as he noted, the Blue Book of Airguns only mentions the gun in .177. That’s a reminder to you collectors that the Blue Book is not the final authority. It’s good, but it doesn’t address everything.

read more


Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gletcher Stetckin APS BB pistol
Gletcher’s Stechkin blowback BB pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Velocity day
  • Piercing pin
  • Daisy BBs
  • Slide stays back after the last shot
  • Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs
  • Umarex BBs
  • Shot count
  • Don’t count on the brand of CO2 cartridge!
  • Recoil from the blowback
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Velocity day

We learned a lot about the Soviet Stechkin select-fire pistol in Part 1, or at least I did, when researching it. Today we discover how powerful this Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol is. I will also comment on the trigger and the blowback feel.

Piercing pin

The pistol is rated to shoot at 410 f.p.s., so let’s see what this one will do. Before we dive in, though, let me give you a peek at the piercing pin and corresponding CO2 cartridge seal.

Stetckin BB pistol piercing pin
The piercing pin is hard to see because it’s slightly out of focus. It’s a hollow tube that’s ground on an angle on one side to have a pointed tip on the other side. The green around it is the seal material that the face of the cartridge pushes into.

read more