Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Do you have a "GO-TO" airgun?

By B.B. Pelletier

Last week's post about my old Silver Streak brought some comments that reminded me of an important concept - having an airgun that one can always go to in case of an emergency. Today, I'd like to tell you about one of mine.

My Blue Streak looks old compared to today's model.

Sheridan Blue Streak - my first go-to airgun
Although I've been an airgunner all my life, I didn't hold on to the guns of my youth, so the Blue Streak I bought in 1978 is the airgun I've owned the longest. As I mentioned in the Silver Streak post, I wanted a Sheridan as a boy, but it wasn't to be. As an adult with some control over my discretionary funds, I finally satisfied that itch.

The Blue Streak turned out to be everything I hoped for - and more. It was so smooth to pump compared to the Benjamin I remember having as a kid - a front-pumper pistol that I could barely work!

Push down the S for SAFE or the F for FIRE.
If the stock were off, you would see
that these two buttons are on a single rocker lever.

Sheridan - the best of the best
I have the model with the rocker safety that I believe is the pinnacle of Sheridan design. It's so easy to operate and the safety is manual, allowing me to decide where it should be. In my opinion, that's how all airguns should be made!

The stock is the full Mannlicher with a slightly fatter forearm that takes some of the effort out of pump strokes 7 and 8. Later guns have a forearm that swells where your hand grabs it, but mine is uniformly thick the entire length.

These two tips keep 'em like new!
Uncharacteristic for me, I read the owner's manual, which instructed me to always keep one pump of air in the gun to keep the valves shut. I did, and that's probably why it still works after 28 years and thousands of shots. I also oiled the pump mechanism periodically (with Crosman Pellgunoil), so the inlet valve seal and O-ring are as fresh today as when they were installed.

There are lots of .20-caliber pellets to choose from
When I bought the gun, only Sheridan made .20 caliber pellets. Robert Beeman changed that a few years later, when he decided that .20 was a perfect compromise between .177 and .22. Other types of pellets soon became available. Another 10 years passed and the British airgunners also embraced the caliber. Then, nearly every pellet maker in the world began to produce .20-caliber pellets.

Early Sheridan pellets standing on their yellow plastic box.

I've never been tempted to put a scope on my rifle, as I find the open sights accurate enough. My best shot was a one-shot kill on a cottontail rabbit at about 35 yards, and the gun proved very effective! Several times I considered installing the Williams peep sight, but I always chickened out. I've had several other multi-pumps with peep sights, including a Supergrade Sheridan, and I didn't find any of them to be more accurate than my Blue Streak.

That brings me to my final point. My Supergrade was no more powerful nor accurate than my Blue Streak. That's probably why I tend to go to the Blue Streak when I need to Git-R-Done! You can still buy a Blue Streak today. Although the design is different than my old gun, it still has the same power and accuracy.


At December 08, 2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB. Thanks for this bit of nostalgia on the Sheridan. I actually received the object my hearts desire the Xmas of 1959. I still have my Sheridan and despite its age, it operates quite well. In fact, I seem to maintain tighter goups at 30' with my old Sheridan than my much newer springer models. In the looks dept, I think the old Sheridans are far more attractive looking than the new models.



At December 08, 2006 12:50 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Thanks for the feedback. I wrote it for you.


At February 07, 2007 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, i have a new bluestreak c9a and it says do not oil on the air hole. is that what you are speaking of to keep the seals good? i already leave one pump in it anyway just to keep the valves closed. please let me know what i need to do to hand this one down to my grankids, its the best pellet rifle ive ever owned. i can shoot beer tabs free standing at 15 yards and would love to continue doing that. thanks alot:)

At February 07, 2007 10:40 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Flip the gun on its back and open the pump handle. Look at the long slot in the pump tube. At the end closest to the receiver you will see the pump head starting to emerge. This is where the oil goes - right through the pump tube slot.


At February 10, 2007 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks bb. i found the tube slot and apprieciate the input. by periodic, how often do you mean?after 250 shots as the manual suggests for oiling the other mechanisms? let me know if you can.


At February 10, 2007 1:43 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


You cannot over-oil the pump seal, so every 250 shots is fine.


At June 03, 2007 12:39 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

This seems like a great gun to start my younger kids out with, it appears that it is still manufactured, in essence is this the same gun you're discussing or is something seriously lacking in the newer ones?

At June 03, 2007 12:43 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

As a follow-up forgot to ask another question, where do you order or buy the pellets at?

At June 03, 2007 12:52 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


This model has evolved since it was first offered in 1949, but it hasn't really been cheapened in any way. Today's gun does look different, and the trigger is harder to pull because of liability laws, but the gun still delivers the same accuracy and power it always has.

The best pellet at this time is the Beeman Field Target Special in .20 caliber. Pyramyd Air sells them and you get the fourth tin free. In a month or so Pyramyd is supposed to be getting a JSB .20 caliber pellet that I expect to become the new number one.


At March 10, 2008 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a .2 co2 pellet gun that has "co2 blue streak" 5m/m stamped on one side of the barrel(near the back) and sheridan products inc. on the other. I've looked it up but haven't been able to find its value. How much is it worth?

At March 11, 2008 5:30 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

You have a Sheridan model F. In perfect condition, it's worth about $125. In average working condition, it's worth about $75-90.

It's in the Blue Book of Airguns, a book that's available on this website.


At September 11, 2008 8:52 PM, Anonymous ro said...

i have a model 347 .177 cal. we just got it working yesterday by following your advice on oiling the pump valve. i used this rifle EXTENSIVELY in 1986 when i got it putting thousands of pellets through it. it sat unused for 18 years at my parents house and i really wanted to get it back working again(which we did :)) i am now 36 and what a joy it was to see that old benjamin can still ring true with the accuracy it had over 20yrs ago. one problem we see is that it leaks air out when you pull the the pump to the top. is that normal and if not do you know of anyone that can fix it and put it back in pristine condition

At September 12, 2008 6:15 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Your rifle's intake valve is leaking and needs to be repaired. If you had kept a pump of air in the gun while storing it, it probably would still work.

These men can fix your gun:

George Pena in TX. George is at heligun1@msn.com or 512-863-2951.

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365

Rick Willnecker in PA. Contact him at http://www.airgunshop.net/ or call 717-382-1481.


At September 12, 2008 5:10 PM, Anonymous ro said...

B.B thx for the quick response. old ben still works as a matter of fact we just came back in from shooting it. :) but i will contact all of those gentleman you named here and hopefully get old ben back to as new as possible. i forgot how much fun it is to shoot old ben and now teaching my son with a 20+ yr old gun is icing. man i am glad i found this sight your advice is spot on!!!! thx a bunch.

At September 12, 2008 5:24 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Two more things. After you get it fixed always store it with a pump of air in it and oil the pump head with Crosman Pellgunoil twice a year.

Do that and your rifle will never need fixing in your lifetime.


At November 23, 2008 11:23 PM, Anonymous danielortiz said...

We have an old blue streak that is no longer holding air when we pump it. how do we fix it?

At November 24, 2008 9:18 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You send the rifle to a repair center to get it fixed. Here are two good places:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365

Rick Willnecker in PA. Contact him at http://www.airgunshop.net/ or call 717-382-1481.


At November 12, 2009 3:27 AM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...

Believe it or not, for anything 30 yards or less, my "Go-To Gun" is my RWS 850 Magnum.

At 30 yards or less, it's dead on, has a good amount of power, I have two 10 shot clips for it, & it get's the job done for most things.

I DO have a funny feeling, that once I get my Marauder dialed in... THAT will be my new "Go-To Gun".


At November 12, 2009 7:52 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You are in agreement with Paul Capello, who also loves the 850 Air Magnum.


At November 13, 2009 3:06 AM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...


That's interesting to know that, that's Paul's go to gun too.

Like I say... For a 30 yard gun it's VERY accurate & hits pretty hard. Put that with a couple of extra 10 shot mags & the 88 gram CO2, & I think it's a great gun for the money.

I am surprised that the Marauder isn't his go to gun though. Do you know why not? Overkill is the only thing I can think of, but since you can dial the M-rod down, I'm VERY curious why he's sticking with the 850?

Any ideas?


At November 13, 2009 7:03 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Just that it's handy and it was his first. With winter settling in, though, I'm sure the Marauder will take a more active role. Paul lives in the Catskill Mountains and it gets very cold there.


At November 14, 2009 1:38 AM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...


Yep with that cold, I'm sure he'll turn to the Marauder.

Thanks for that tidbit.


At December 15, 2009 9:56 AM, Blogger Jonpaul said...

I’m a moderately serious collector, but my go-to airgun and my “if you could only pick one to keep” airgun is my Crosman 700. I’ve had it for about 30 years now and it was my first step past the world of BB guns. I even wrote a Crosman contest entry story about it for their “Summer House” a few years ago. I love that thing.

At March 31, 2010 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo BB, Your story about the blue streak sent me in search of the one I got in the mid 60's. Hadn't seen it in 20 years.Finally found it in my brothers cabinet shop full if dust and dirt. It would not hold air and sounded you were pumping sand thru it. It looked like $h*t! I should have hit my brother. Cleaned it, oiled the seal, refinished the wood, put a centrepoint on it, found some beeman pellets that work great and WOW! Works like a champ! Thanks Mike from Wash. state


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