Something from nothing

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • CO2Much
  • NASA micrometeroid cannon
  • High hopes
  • The need for speed
  • The tachyon solution
  • For the record

Airgunners are fascinated by what is possible from the propulsion of just air. One thing that gets lots of discussion on my social networks is how, in big bore airguns, the heavier the bullet, the greater the power of the gun.

CO2Much

I saw something similar almost 20 years ago, when Robert and Mike Chilco invented CO2Much — a CO2 smoothbore that shot a 7-ounce lead slug fast enough to generate 1,082 foot-pounds at the muzzle. That was what they were after — the power record. As far as I know, they achieved it.

NASA micrometeroid cannon

Then, there was NASA’s pneumatic cannon that used a barrel 98 feet long to propel a tiny projectile up to 10,000 f.p.s. They were studying the effects of micrometeoroids on spacecraft material for the moon mission. They knew that a longer barrel meant higher velocity in a pneumatic gun.

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Hatsan BT65 QE: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan BT65 QE
Hatsan BT65 QE

This report covers:

  • Uh-oh!
  • Shooting dynamic
  • Benjamin domed pellets
  • JSB King pelletss
  • Tried the solid bullet
  • The plan

I have quite a report for you today on the accuracy of the .25-caliber Hatsan BT65 QE precharged air rifle. This is a rifle I’ve long wanted to test because of its reputation for power and accuracy at a great price. Twenty-five caliber air rifles have become legitimate hunting guns over the past decade, mostly because of the improvements in pellets. It’s now worthwhile to think of a .25 instead of a .22 if all you want to do is hunt.

Uh-oh!

I actually went to the range a week earlier to test the rifle, but no matter which pellet I tried, the best it would do was about 5 inches at 50 yards. This rifle is really too powerful to test inside my house, so I skipped any 25-yard testing. Pellet after pellet went into large groups. I felt there had to be something wrong with the test rifle. Rather than report on a failure at the range, I contacted Hatsan, which sent me a link to one of Rick Eutsler’s videos on improving the accuracy of the rifle. After watching that video, I removed the barrel from the rifle and found that its crown had some damage.

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Qiang Yuan pellet comparison test: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Qiang Yuan pellets
Qiang Yuan is a pellet name that’s unknown in the U.S. Olympic pellets in the red box (200); Match grade pellets in the yellow box (200) and Training Pellets in the round box (500) below. These 3 will be pitted against equivalent pellets that are well-known.

This report covers:

  • Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets
  • Test design
  • Sidebar: My large cent
  • FWB 300S air rifle
  • FWB 300S air rifle: Bottom line
  • Crosman Challenger PCP air rifle
  • Comparing all the Qiang Yuan pellets
  • Bottom line

Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets

Today, I’m finishing the test of the Qiang Yuan pellets with a look at the performance of the Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets. I mentioned in Part 2 that the Qiang Yuan Match Pellets were pricy, at $32.48 for 500 (they come packaged 200 to a box). That made them less expensive than the RWS R-10 Match Heavy pellets, which cost $47.95 for 500, but they’re still a costly pellet.

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Airguns they should make

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Weihrauch
  • Crosman
  • Diana
  • Up for grabs — Umarex?

Today, I’m going to talk about some airguns I wish were made. I’m not talking about the fine guns of 60 years ago that were made of blued steel and nice walnut. I understand that level of hand work costs so much that it is practically impossible to build today — outside of a handmade proposition. What I’m taking about are airguns that could be made with very little risk or cash outlay by the manufacturers. The basis for some of these guns is in the inventory right now and require only minor changes to make entire new models that I believe shooters will embrace. This is how the Air Venturi Bronco was designed, and also how the $100 PCP was created.

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Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Droop — or downward slant
  • My point is…
  • I must care about this
  • Scope placement

This series examines the task of mounting a scope on an air rifle and sighting it in. Part 2 addressed mounting a scope, but it didn’t cover all of the problem areas, so today I’ll continue the discussion.

Droop — or downward slant

I will say that 80 percent of all the firearms and airguns I have examined have some degree of downward slant of their bores in relation to the line of sight of a scope that’s mounted on them. And I will go on to say that half of those are so serious as to cause problems. The airgun term for this is droop. The firearm world has no term for it and is generally ignorant of the problem. The single firearm that doesn’t seem to have this problem to the extent mentioned here is the AR platform. Perhaps the designers recognized the problem and solved it through engineering. I don’t know, but ARs seem to be relatively droop-free.

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Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Mosin Nagant CO2 BB gun
The Gletcher Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle (gun) is extremely realistic.

This report covers:

  • Piercing the first cartridge
  • Daisy BBs
  • Hornady BBs
  • Umarex BBs
  • Shot count
  • Trigger-pull
  • Some observations about the test gun

The first Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle I tested didn’t work out very well. I noted a gas leak when the first CO2 cartridge was pierced, and that started a list of problems that plagued the gun right up to the velocity test, where it failed altogether. So, I ordered a second gun from Pyramyd Air and that’s the one I’m testing today.

All the general remarks made in Part 1 still hold for this second gun. It’s just as heavy and rugged-looking as any Mosin Nagant firearm. But when I pierced the first CO2 cartridge I noticed a difference.

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RWS Diana 45: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

RWS Diana 45 air rifle
Diana 45 is a large breakbarrel spring rifle.

This report covers:

  • RWS Superdome pellets
  • Uh-oh!
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Time to stop and think
  • H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm head
  • Where we are

Today, we’ll look at the performance of the Diana 45 that we tuned recently. Although a new mainspring was installed, it has the same power as the spring that was in the rifle, so no vast power increase was anticipated. If there’s any increase at all, it will probably come from the new breech seal I installed. The old one was flat and hard, so the breech is probably sealing air better now.

The point of this tune was to eliminate as much vibration as we could. The rifle’s owner, Johnny Hill, did not like the buzz that came with every shot, and I told him that most or even all of that could be eliminated by tightening the tolerances inside the powerplant. At my request, he made a larger spring guide, and he buttoned the piston to take out as much vibration as possible.

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