Convert-A-Pell: Any good?

by B.B. Pelletier

Let’s look at something way out there, as far as mainstream airgunning goes. It’s called Convert-A-Pell. According to the research I just did, it’s sold direct off the internet. I’ll tell you everything I know by the end of this posting.

What is Convert-A-Pell?
Airgunners are as curious as cats. They are always thinking of things that relate to airguns, so it’s no surprise that someone thought of powering a pellet with a primer! Actually, this method of propulsion dates back to about 1840, when the first experiments that used percussion caps and very small lead balls were performed. They quickly evolved into a percussion cap that had a ball stuck in it, which was the grandfather of the rimfire cartridge. So this has been done before – many times. Convert-A-Pell is just a modern adaptation of an old process, with an interesting twist.

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Spring has sprung!

by B.B. Pelletier

Pyramyd Air just sent out a “Spring has Sprung” email promotion that has a special discount coupon attached. The slant of the email seems to be airsoft, but I’ll capitalize on their title and talk about spring air rifles today. A reader who calls himself “twe” says I should address the questions posted to the February 7 blog, HW97 & HW77. Many of those comments asked for comparisons between airguns, probably because that day I broke my rule of NOT comparing one airgun to another. I would now like to explain why I don’t compare airguns.

This is the problem
People say, “I wish you would compare the TF99 with the HW97. And, could you also please list the good and bad points of the Gamo Hunter 1250?” That’s like saying, “Please compare a Corvette to a Toro 5010 riding mower, and could you also list the good and bad points of a shrimp boat powered by a marine Detroit Diesel Series 60? I’m especially interested in the possibilities of interstellar travel using matter/anti-matter propulsion.”

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Bulk-fill: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Today is the last post on this topic unless there are questions.

Small bulk tanks
Small bulk tanks have been part of bulk-filling airguns from the beginning. Perhaps the best-known is Crosman’s 10-oz. tank that accompanied their rifles and pistols back in the late ’40s and early ’50s. It was also marketed as a tire inflator to be carried in the car, because those were the days when tires went flat for reasons of their own.

Crosman’s original idea was that shooters would send their empty tanks to a refilling station – BY MAIL! – and wait patiently until their return. Sounds good in the conference room – doesn’t work that way in the real world. That’s where the 20-lb. tanks came into the picture. People were unwilling to wait for their tanks to be returned. Because they’re so simple to fill at home with the right equipment, many of them began doing just that! Pyramyd Air sells bulk CO2 tanks as well as CO2 adapters to connect to certain airguns.

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Bulk-fill: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, we’ll learn how to move the CO2 from the large bulk tank to a smaller tank or to the gun, itself.

It takes an adapter
To connect anything to a 20-lb. CO2 tank requires an adapter to connect the big tank to whatever it fills. The threads on the big tank are always the same 1/2″ National Pipe Taper threads (NPT). The threads on the tank or gun you are filling can be anything, including metric, as many of these guns are now coming from outside the U.S. Twenty-five years ago, adapters weren’t much of a problem. The Crosman model 190 gas tank was the most common small tank that needed to be filled, and it has 1/8″ NPT threads. The guns it filled had female threads to match the tank, so bulk-filling was a pretty straightforward process.

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Working with bulk-fill CO2 guns

by B.B. Pelletier

We have discussed bulk-fill CO2 guns several times in this blog. It’s time to talk about how they are filled. Last week, we got a question about this from Jim. Since the answer is not straightforward, I thought it was time to talk about it in some detail.


My 10-meter target pistol runs on bulk CO2 or powerlets. I have set it up for bulk-fill. Gas is stored in the grip.

Meet my 10-meter pistol
My 10-meter pistol is powered by CO2 and can use either 12-gram powerlets of bulk CO2. I have been running it on bulk gas from the beginning – about seven years. I find the bulk method gives me more control over the fill, so I know when it’s time to top off. The importance of knowing the status of a CO2 fill is crucial in a match.

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Smith & Wesson 586 & 686 revolvers

by B.B. Pelletier


Every bit the Smith & Wesson revolver, this model 586 is a jewel!

I’ve often referred to these revolvers when talking about other models, so today I decided it was high time to give credit where it is due. The S&W 586 and 686 revolvers made by Umarex are the best CO2 revolvers that have ever been made – bar none! They represent the standard by which all other CO2 revolvers are judged. Yet because of their cost, these wonderful airguns are not as popular as the others, which is a real shame. Because it is my opinion that the S&W 586 and 686 revolvers are the absolute top of the Umarex pellet pistol line!

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What is that wisp of CO2 at the muzzle?

by B.B. Pelletier

This one comes from a comment made by Canadian reader Wild Wild West. “Speaking of whisps of CO2, I am not sure if you or any of the other Nightstalker owners have noticed, but on my Nightstalker with a fresh bottle and during the first 100 or so shots, I do get quite an annoying blast of CO2 following each shot.”

Yes, you will see that on many CO2 guns, and today I’d like to examine why.

Liquid or gas?
The way some CO2 guns are designed – whether it’s a full powerlet, removable bulk tank or new AirSource cartridge – it’s possible for liquid CO2 to flow into the gun’s valve when the gun is held level. The liquid CO2 cannot maintain its pressure once it’s released from the confines of the tank, so it flashes to gas wherever it happens to be. If that is inside the valve of a gun or even beyond the valve and inside the gun’s barrel, the CO2 does not have enough time to completely expand before it hits the outside air – still expanding. Because it cools as it expands, it instantly condenses the moisture in the air, creating a fog. The moister the air, the more fog is created.

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