The Bronco from Air Venturi – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Starting today, I’ll be in Las Vegas for the SHOT Show. I’ll be returning Sunday night, so I’d appreciate any help you can give in answering blog questions. Edith will be monitoring the blog, too.


Air Venturi Bronco is a delightful all-day plinking carbine.

The Air Venturi Bronco is a report I’ve been waiting to do for over 10 months. The new rifle is my own creation, and the execution by Mendoza has been fabulous. I got just what I asked for. I want to take a little time to tell you what I was going for, because it impacts this new model so much.

A year ago, I was musing about the Beeman R7. Anyone who’s into airgunning probably knows that the R7 is a highly stylized version of the Weihrauch HW 30S. It has the famous Rekord trigger and all the ease of cocking and soft firing behavior of the Weihrauch rifle, but it’s stocked in wood that Robert Beeman designed. It was important enough to become one of his famous R-series rifles, which are the guns that made the Beeman name world famous.

The one drawback of an R7 is the price. It’s just too high for everyone to afford. I don’t mean that as a criticism, either. Nice things cost money, and, in this case, the rifle is a very nice thing.

I wondered what could be done. Could an R7 be taken to China with any hope of returning in the same condition? No, I don’t think so. No slight to the Chinese, but their manufacturing processes are different enough that when they copied the Rekord trigger for other models–such as the B20 and B26–they didn’t get it quite right. So, no hope for a Chinese R7.

As for the Turks–are you kidding? They would want to put a 500-pound spring in it to get the pellet to come out at 1,300 f.p.s. They could do the wood, but forget the Rekord trigger. It just wouldn’t work.

Okay, so the R7 cannot be duplicated for a reasonable price. That started me thinking of other classic airguns and of course the one I settled on was the Diana model 27. That was an inexpensive rifle for its day, and even for today it still would be. The ball bearing trigger couldn’t be duplicated today, but why would it have to be? There are so many good triggers around that something else could be substituted.

That started me thinking about triggers. Who makes the best triggers for inexpensive spring air rifles? Well, we can probably argue that question for days, but one name has got to be on the short list — Mendoza. Their quirky two-bladed trigger is one of the lightest, crispest airgun triggers around. There’s only one problem with that reasoning. Mendoza already makes a bunch of fine models, so why would anyone want them to make anything else?


Mendoza’s double-bladed, two-stage trigger is light and crisp.

I had an answer for that. The one rifle they don’t make–at least the one we don’t see much here in the U.S.–is a low-powered all-day plinker. Their RM-200 comes as close as they get, but it’s still too powerful to fill my special need. It’s no Diana 27. Yes, I’m aware of the RM-10 that some dealers carry. It’s a great gun with a lousy stock, in my opinion.

Then, serendipity struck hard. Somehow I became aware that Mendoza had sent a youth model breakbarrel to Pyramyd Air for evaluation about a half year before. In fact, I had been asked what I thought of the gun. Well, I’ll tell you what I thought. The stock had a big kidney-shaped cutout through the butt. I thought the Mexicans had lost their minds! It looked like Cindy Lou Who had been turned loose in their stock design studio.

That goofy-looking gun was based on the RM-10 and was called the Bronco, strangely enough. When I heard the name, my mind started thinking “Western.”


Bronco is exclusive to Air Venturi.

I had recommended a “No Buy” to Pyramyd Air for the Bronco. Now, many months later, when I was looking for a nice youth model, someone at Pyramyd Air said to me, “What about the Bronco?” After playing 20 questions and seeing the gun for the second time, I had another flash of insight. It went like this:

  • I needed a good youth-model air rifle on which to base my updated Diana 27/fun plinking air rifle.
  • The Mendoza Bronco is such a gun, but it has a hideous stock.
  • If I could change the stock, the Bronco might be the gun I’m looking for.
  • Bronco…western. Western airgun…Beeman C1. Hmmm, I’m onto something.

I had the Bronco shipped to me and it was indeed close to what I wanted. It was a .22, but that was easy to fix. I found a stockmaker and sent him a photo of my C1, along with a list of stock specifications. What came back three months later wasn’t just encouraging, it was spot-on, or so I thought at the time.


Beeman C1 was a neat little carbine with a unique western look.

The plot thickens
At this point in the project, a couple people from Pyramyd Air joined me in the design, and it’s a good thing they did. They steered me toward more youth-sized dimentions. My original Bronco stock had a pull of 15 inches! I thank Pyramyd Air Sales Director Paul Milkovich for the 12.75-inch pull we now have. It’s a trifle short for an adult, but it feels great. It makes the rifle feel like the carbine that it really is. And kids down to 12 are going to be able to hold it. Edith, who is often a big critic of air rifle stocks, found the Bronco stock fit her just right. A Goldilocks stock!

But the stock is white!
Yes I know the stock is blonde. I asked for that specifically. After all, half of our spring rifle wood stocks right now have reddish-colored wood and the other half are dark brown. It’s time for a change. And the light color contrasts so well with Mendoza’s deep black metal finish. It’s a striking-looking air rifle.

I also asked for a rubber buttpad rather than a thick recoil pad. Mendoza supplied a beautiful black pad that matches the look of the rifle perfectly.

Another Pyramyd Air employee joined Paul in reminding me about the over-oiling problem many Mendozas have. Here was a chance to do away with that dastardly oil hole on the left side of the spring tube. If the gun needs oil, and they seldom ever do, then put a drop down the transfer port hole, the same as every other spring rifle on the market.

Then, the subject of sights arose. Paul and I are of one mind in disliking fiberoptics, so Mendoza accommodated us with a plain front post and a fully adjustable rear notch. Shades of the Diana 27! Finally, a basic spring rifle that can be sighted with some precision. Yes, there’s an 11mm dovetail that accepts a scope; and, yes, there’s also a scope stop hole, even though this is one rifle whose slight recoil probably won’t require one. But it’s there for you.


Rear sight adjusts in both directions.

There’s the wonderful two-stage Mendoza trigger that looks and acts so much like the Savage Accu- Trigger. Though it isn’t adjustable, it’s so light and crisp that I doubt many owners will mind.

There’s an anti-beartrap device installed; if you cock the rifle, you’ll have to load and fire it. It cannot be uncocked manually. The safety is automatic, but it’s ambidextrous and pushes off quickly with the thumb of your firing hand.

Speaking of ambidextrous qualities, the whole gun is 100 percent ambidextrous! I draw your attention to the high straight comb. No need for a Monte Carlo butt profile here. The straight line of the comb lifts your eye high enough to use a scope if you like. And no cheekpiece to spoil the Western lines. The C1 stock lives again!

This is really a carbine-length air rifle. Overall, it measures 39.5 inches. The barrel is 9 inches long, but the muzzlebrake, attached to a deep counterbore on the front of the barrel adds another 7.5 inches, so the overall length appears to be 16.5 inches. The weight is right at 6.5 lbs.

Notice the muzzlebrake. It’s twice the length of any other Mendoza brake. I asked for that to give you a good handhold when cocking the gun.

I’m excited about the new Bronco. It’s the all-day plinking air rifle I envisioned at the beginning of the project. But before I end today’s report, a final word about this “development.” I think it should be obvious to everyone that we did not start with a clean sheet of paper. We (I) started with a Mendoza RM-10. You can buy one of those right now, though the pull of the stock is way too short and it lacks all the features and design elements I have just shown you. But if you want one, they’re available.

I started with a developed gun because, let’s face it, it’s the easiest, fastest thing to do–not to mention the least expensive and least risky. The only real risk is that everyone will not like the Western stock or the blonde wood finish or the plain sights I selected. I think there will be people who don’t go for those features–either one of them or all of them. But I’m gambling that there will be thousands of airgunners who have been waiting for a small, lightweight spring rifle that’s easy to cock, accurate and feels right in the hands. A modern rendition of the Diana model 27, if you will. Not a copy, but a gun that captures the essence of what the 27 is.

And just to put this new gun into context, it isn’t a stripper-class Chinese bare-bones springer with lots of plastic. This is a fully developed air rifle with features carefully thought out. The barrel has a Mendoza pedigree, so it should be very accurate. The trigger is smooth and light right out of the box. There should be no need to take this one apart and smooth it up and relubricate it to make it something good to shoot. It comes that way. So, if the price seems on the high side, just remember that it’s on the high side of low. This is a thoroughbred, built as a shooter. An heirloom gun.

I also believe there will be thousands of shooters who don’t know Air Venturi from a can of Shinola, but who will like the idea of a Western-looking air rifle for their boy, rather than a harsh, buzzing 1,000 f.p.s. plastic clone. For them, and for you, I have a surprise. You see, this isn’t the only airgun I’ve been developing. Later this year, there will be a second rifle, the “father” rifle in this father-son combo. Now, that’s something we can all look forward to.

57 thoughts on “The Bronco from Air Venturi – Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    This looks like a winner to me.

    We just found our yet to be born grandchild will be a boy. Too bad it's too soon for his first air gun. (Would have gotten the Lady Recon otherwise.)

    Have a great day.

    Al Pellet


  2. Now you've gone and done it….A "BB"gun that doesn't shoot BBs.I think this will be a well thought out success.I can't wait to see Bronco's Daddy!


  3. Morning B.B.,

    Isn't it great when work is so much fun that you'd almost pay them to do it. I detected those feelings flowing from you through your key board while reading today's blog.

    Is the Bronco's daddy going to be a gun that you wrote a now very famious book about?

    Mr B.



  4. Maybe the Bronco and Bronco II. But the small one needs to be the II.

    I look forward to trying one of the Bronco's. Maybe Tom will be able to bring one to Little Rock.

    Edith, I wish you would come to Little Rock with Tom. I would love to meet you. Tom told me where you used to work and I bet you waited on me there but I didn't know it was the famous Edith.

    David Enoch


  5. Mr. B.,

    Pyramyd Air's blog tab takes me right to the blog. If anyone else is experiencing these or other blog issues, please post here.

    Edith


  6. Mr. B. wrote:
    "Is the Bronco's daddy going to be a gun that you wrote a now very famious book about?"

    As far as I know, there has been no famous book about the name we've selected for Bronco's daddy.

    Edith


  7. David,

    The place I used to work was not a retail store. It was a mailorder catalog, and I was the Internet Marketing & Content Manager. You're probably thinking of the store with the same name. However, the store & the retail catalog are 2 different businesses. The store pays for the privilege of using the name of the more-famous catalog venture.

    Edith


  8. I can't believe the timing of your report BB. for the last couple of weeks I have been looking to fill a gap in my arsenal, albeit centerfire. A light shooter, good for 100 to 150yds max, cheap ammo, carbine with the ".30 Carbine feel".

    I ended up with a 10-22 AND a .30 Carbine (the .22lr makes up for the .30 for cheap ammo, only if you buy them together!!) and now just on the looks of this Bronco, I HAVE to have it! the Stock is PERFECT, the sights are cool, gotta get one! thanks.

    dsw



  9. I saw the Bronco on the PA site last week, and was intrigued. Thanks for the additional information. It looks like a winner to me. I'm a big fan vintage of low powered .177 breakbarrels, and it's nice to see a new offering in this power range. The Diana 27 is in my opinion, one of the best designs ever made, with just the perfect balance of power, cocking effort, firing behavior, trigger and overall handling. A pretty high standard to compare to. In fairness, I think a healthy 27 shoots in the high 600s to low 700s, and the Bronco is advertised at 500, so the comparison isn't entirely valid. None the less, I'm thinking a portion of my tax return may be going for the first "new" air rifle I will have purchased in the last several years. Looks like something I will enjoy.

    Jim in PGH


  10. Excellent BB!!!! Very, very much so. I'm anxious to know the cocking effort in lbs.

    What a difficult choice if this would have been available when I bought my grand kids their IZH-61s. Two excellent youth guns recommended by the man! How torn I would have been making that decision.

    But you know, I'm thinking I will still get them one of these (you sure know how to take this little piggy to the market). They need an intro to a good break barrel and this looks like the real deal designed by a trusted aficionado.

    Edith, I have all boy grand kids but I still think your last paragraph should say young shooters instead of boys.

    WV: undyinge – my appreciation for this blog

    -Chuck



  11. BB,
    I've been virtually gagged with duct tape and stuffed in the cyber-trunk for the last week or so due to computer/network concerns, but I think I've got it fixed now. It was a real pleasure to see the poplar and oak stocked 25's on Friday — the oak looked much better than I would have pictured it and whatever Daisy used on the poplar came out well. My guess is that the oak wore out so much machinery that they had no choice but to get rid of that option.

    I like the concept of the Bronco, but as you guessed some of us might, take issue with some of the choices. The blond wood in primis, but that is personal preference and easily fixed. It also seems to me that the stock is too thick and the comb unshaped with a litte more drop than is perhaps necessary, most of which could be fixed whilst staining the wood:). I also think 13.75" LOP is still too long for most shooters, let alone young ones, if they are holding the rifle properly and/or wearing more than a tee-shirt. That last criticism I consider fact, but there are many that will disagree:).

    Anyway, I hope it will be a successful design for you and look forward to seeing how it shoots.

    Volvo,
    I'm sorry I missed the rifle/gun dialogue — one is for shooting; one is for fun.


  12. B.B.

    I think you and Paul made some great choices.
    Mendoza is a quality, low cost manufacture.. good choice #1

    Accuracy should be as good as can be had for the money.. good choice #2

    The double blade trigger is very, very good.. a little hard to get use to at first, but then it's a dream come true… good choice #3

    Personally, I'm not sure about blond for the stock color, but it's different and that's probably good too.. good choice #4

    Mostly all metal.. very good! Extended mussel break.. very good!

    I'm hoping it's shoots a JSB express about 600fps, but not over 625fps. 500fps might be too low for a starter field target kids gun… fine for paper, but not the steel knock over targets.. but it doesn't have to be everything for everybody! I have 6 of the RWS92, which fits that 600fps bill pretty well.

    You done good.. I'd bet a success is on the way for PA and Mendoza.. I'll be getting a few for the range here… even if just for paper targets..

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range



  13. I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this yet but BB has a superb multi-page article in the January color page Shotgun News magazine describing in detail both the Challenger and the Edge. Get it, Read it! It's worth it!
    -Chuck


  14. Good to see the report on this rifle. I feel that with the demise in Canada (and the 'States as well) of the Slavia series of rifles, there is a serious lack of easy shooters that are at home as much in your basement as in the field…yet are of a quality that is a serious step up from the Marksman/(cheep)Beeman's at Canadian Tire or Walmart.
    Now for what will probably will cause quite a stir up here in Canada…home of the phobic fear of all things gun related…and what will add fuel to the liberal attitude of 'there is no such thing as a good gun'.
    This happened yesterday only 1/4 mile from where I live.
    A middle aged woman, obviously high on something or other was reported brandishing a handgun and pointing it at people in her apartment building.
    Of course the cops showed up. She came running towards them, pointing the handgun at them and they did what they are trained to do…they shot her and she died.
    And of course what was her weapon of choice…looks like an airsoft with the clear plastic parts (the only kind you can own in Canada) painted black.
    The local newblogs are already full of:
    -stupid cops shooting a poor unarmed person.
    -ban anything that remotely looks like a weapon.
    IDIOTS!!!!
    CowBoyStar Dad


  15. Well, this has to be the most ridiculous article I've ever read about airguns.

    Someone that has fired almost every airgun known to man has designed an all day plinker with the most sought after features like a good trigger, adjustable open sights, an 11mm dovetail with stop for scoping, a large enough muzzle brake to actually help in cocking, only weighs 6.5 lbs. and the whole gun is 100 percent ambidextrous.

    Absurd. Who will buy these other than me.

    kevin


  16. Well, you guys seem to have got the idea! Except for BG_Farmer. The pull is one inch shorter than you stated. It's great for older kids as well as teens and adults.

    I had time to do the velocity test for the Bronco before I left for SHOT, so that's still to come this week.

    Don't think the Bronco does away with the IZH 60 and 61. It's larger, heavier and more powerful, so it's a completely different gun.

    I will bring MY Bronco to Little Rock, David. Just let them TRY to get MY gun out of my hands!

    B.B.


  17. Ms. Edith,

    I didn't mean the name of the Bronco's Daddy, but the type of gun that he is. However, I now have the feeling that I my thought on the type of gun was totally off the wall. I don't know why I thought it might have something to do with a with a Beeman R1, hence the reference to "the now famous book".

    Mr B.


  18. BB,
    My mistake — I misread the LOP, and 12 3/4 does make sense; sorry. I'm wearing my spare glasses, but I should have double-checked anyway. I'll still stand by my other remarks, but they are personal preferences. Most every wood needs stain, except Cherry, which will turn nice and black over time all by itself:).


  19. Mr. B.,

    Now I get what you were thinking. No, the R1 would not be the daddy to the Bronco. It would be a gun that would be similar & made by the same company…a father/son type of thing.

    Edith


  20. B.B.

    Well, here's your youth rifle that you were talking about. That's great that you were able to get a major manufacturer to complete your design–very satisfying. I understand that elite custom knife makers have that status in the knife industry. This rifle is close enough to my IZH 61 (which we now know from Josh's last installment to be the founding Adam and Eve gun of PA!)–and my 1077 for that matter–that I will have to enjoy this one in my mind. But I'll be interested to see how it does.

    So what makes this a Western gun: the name, the American stock with lack of comb, and the nonexistent pistol grip? This must be my cue for stocks so here go the research results of one of the most ignorant bloggers about rifles with the least hands on experience. Starting from the natural point of aim theory which is universal among elite shooters and makes obvious sense, one would suppose that your ideal pistol grip design would be one that matches the natural position of the hand in the shooting position. A quick observation shows that this has the trigger hand almost vertical (if the hand were grasping a pipe, the pipe would be vertical). This is backed up by a look at target rifles which have either a near vertical grip built into the wood stock like the iconic Anschutz smallbore and Feinwerkbau air rifles or a pistol grip like the Tubb 2000 rifle and the new tactical rifles. The message seems to be that if you want to hit a target from a rested position the more vertical the pistol grip the better off you are. Straight line stocks with no pistol grip would seem to be relegated to nostalgia.

    But what about the Winchester 1894? This most iconic of guns seems to have been surpassed in almost every respect except for its ergonomics (and reliability). Just about everyone says that this rifle is a delight to handle and feels very natural in the shooting position, and it's stock, like the Bronco's is utterly straight with no pistol grip. Edith is the key! What is she sensing about this rifle that makes it feel better to her than any other?

    to be continued…


  21. contd.

    Backing up to bonehead physics, my guess is that the rifle that is most symmetric–in this case meaning with the cleanest axis–is the easiest to move in different directions. Once you start dirtying the profile with a protruding pistol grip and an extended magazine, it gets clumsier. So the word "ergonomics" that is bruited around may have different meanings. For someone shooting a 20 pound gun from a rest, you want something that matches the shooting position. For field handling, which implies maximum freedom of movement in different directions, you want something clean and axial. One example of this are the old drill team routines with the twirling and throwing of rifles. That appears purely stylized now, but I suspect that it harks back to a time when movement of the rifle as in hand-to-hand combat or even lugging it over field and stream or on a horse was more important. For this you want an axially clean rifle. Thus, the much-trumpeted ergonomics of the M-16 which may be said to have almost generated this term only apply to the narrow case of holding the rifle ready to shoot. For any other kind of handling, it may not be that great.

    While dry firing my 94 last night, I tried to concentrate just on the shooting hand and perhaps that hand was not so comfortable twisted sideways up against the stock. But if it was uncomfortable, I didn't notice it. Maybe that is because the lever surrounding that hand gave me additional control over the rifle. Or maybe it is because ergonomics applies to the gestalt of the whole stock and cannot be reduced to one feature. Anyway, that's what I've come up with to justify a straight stock with no pistol grip.

    BG_Farmer, I'll be interested in your opinion. By the way, I'm glad you have not slipped away. We still have our little affair of the offhand shoot-off. :-) Who would have believed that Davis, CA which has not a drop of rain from March to November has been raining heavily now when I want to go to the range. All, I can say is that like the D-Day landing force, I'm ready to go as soon as the weather breaks. :-)

    Matt61


  22. Kevin,

    Can I trouble you for a quick review of your procedure for eliminating rust? I was searching for your description but couldn't find it. It started off with using 0000 steel wool… Thanks.

    Matt61


  23. Matt61,

    When I asked Tom to buy a used Winchester 1894 with scope last year, I found it very easy to shoulder the rifle and immediately acquire the sight picture. The Bronco has a stock and lines very similar to the 1894.

    I'm left-eye dominant. I also have a long, thin face and quite a long neck. EVERY rifle I've shouldered has given me fits. When I pull up the Bronco or the 1894, I naturally assume the correct position for my arms, hands, head & eye. It's uncanny. This is also the reason I told Tom that he's not allowed to sell or trade the Winchester (or the Walther lever-action rifle that copies the 1894).

    I often wonder if the 1894 is so popular because others also find the stock to be a perfect fit. Maybe so.

    Hopefully, the Bronco will have a similar following.

    Edith


  24. BB,

    Hope y9ou're having fun at the SHOT Show!

    I guess I should add my 2 cents…

    I agree with BG_Farmer's take on the stock. It's a little clunky. By that I mean it's a little heavy in the belly and grip. The blond wood kind of accentuates it's heaviness. The Beeman C1's lines are much cleaner. Straight belly and appears to not have as much drop at the heel. Didn't like the blond wood at first, but it kind of grows on you… :)

    Why do I tell you about the clunky stock? Because often things sell by first impressions, and that was my first impression. Although I like the specs for the gun overall. (I really like just about any gun that shoots straight and has a nice trigger!). It's nice to have a lighter gun like this that doesn't wear you out to shoot it a lot.

    If I was shopping and didn't really know that much about airguns, I would probably pass on this one due to it's appearance and keep looking for a "nicer looking" one with much the same specs. Then later I'd regret it and wish I had this one. But then, I never said I was clever or intelligent when it comes to buying things right the first time……

    But (we all know what "but" means, right?), the more I look at the picture, the more I want one………

    /Dave


  25. Could the bronco be some kind of pellet equivalent of the avanti 499 ?
    If not what would be ?
    No high velocity.
    No long range shooting.
    No hunting/pest elimination.


  26. Edith,

    By no means do you want to let go of your 1894. I understand Winchester just reintroduced a limited run of two versions of the rifle that start at $1500. They are also covered with engraving and gold lettering that are not my style. I am eternally grateful that my Dad, despite a complete ignorance of guns, put down about $200 for a 94 in the 1970s.

    Stephen Hunter, the author of the Bob Lee Swagger books, wrote in his remembrance of the 1894 that "it could find the perfect equipoise between the shooter and the target." So by no means are you the only one to appreciate its handling characteristics. Either you are being too hard on yourself or the 94 can somehow magically be all things to all people. Anyway, insofar as the Bronco has the 94's handling characteristics, I'd say it has a powerful ally.

    Continuing to muse on ergonomics, I'm led to wonder about the notion of how well a weapon "shoulders." This represents an interface between the free-swinging feel of the rifle and the way it supports the final shooting position. So, for the M-16, which is supposed to shoulder well, perhaps people are enjoying the final destination posture, and perhaps the otherwise clunky shape of the rifle is masked by its light weight. For the 94 people may be enjoying the way it swings lightly into position as well as, perhaps, some other intangibles for the final posture. Deep waters….

    Matt61


  27. I was considering this earlier, but I decided against it because it wasn't out yet and I really dislike the stock (I'm an old-fashioned reddish stock person). How does this gun compare to the Hammerli 490 as an all-day plinker, in terms of accuracy, etc.?


  28. BB If you have time tomorrow, Jan 19, I'm sure evryone would appreciate your first impressions of SHOT SHOW 2010 and any good "gossip" from the airgun makers..

    Hope to hear from you.

    Brian in Idaho


  29. Matt61,

    Eliminating rust will never happen. Bluing is rust.

    When left to the elements bluing (rust) accelerates. Our fingerprints and especially outside moisture left unchecked will accelerate the process.

    Think of bluing like a sunscreen on your skin. Protecting it from the elements is the best protection.

    Once your protective layer (think suncreen) is penetrated you're only able to put a bandaid on it for protection.

    Depending on how bad your skin has been burned you may be able to get away with some spray to ease the pain and then apply some makeup to "blend" the scarred skin to the unaffected areas.

    Unlike skin bluing won't heal.

    So you're left with a wound on your guns bluing that you, as the doctor, must determine how bad the wound is and how deep it has penetrated.

    If the wound is superficial you can use a soft cotton rag and some ballistol to remove the blemish. If the blemish is somewhat deeper you need a rag with some texture (like a polo shirt) to rub out the wound with ballistol. If the wound would form a scab you need a to try bronze wool with ballistol. 0000 Steel Wool is a last resort. The before step is a cloth with texture with a lubricant that has texture. Rubbing compound is very abrasive so I like to use mothers mag. Even though mothers mag isn't as abrasive as typical automotive rubbing compound if you rub aggresively with it you will arrive at bare metal quickly.

    Too many people treat the metal on guns like a fender on a car. Be gentle since bluing is not unlike your own skin.

    Let me know if I've answered your question.

    kevin


  30. Bg Farmer,
    Skipped over “virtually” at first and thought you had been taken for a ride Goodfella’s style. Glad you are ok.

    Appears many of my airgun requests have been answered, a PCP pistol, adult lever action, and more modest powered Springer’s to pick from.
    As far as the Bronco, it may be more Ford Maverick than Ford Mustang in appearance. I am sure many will forgive this, but being hopelessly superficial in some areas I may need to wait for the Bronco II version.

    Any chance you would want to own Sheridan Silver Streak C9 for shipping costs? I bought this as new old stock, so no warranty, and it shoots 4 inch groups at 40 feet. I cleaned it, tightened the stock screw, and tried three different types of pellets. So at this point I can’t sell it and have no need for a single fancy fence post, being more mechanically inclined, maybe you could figure it out?

    Shoot me an e-mail if you’d like it.

    Frank B,
    Give us a report on that USFT when you can, or let me know if I missed it.

    Volvo


  31. Matt,
    I don't really have anything to add to the pistol grip discussion; it seems like you did your homework:). Don't worry about the rain — whenever is fine. My rifle is 1/2 a patchbox, 5 inlays, sanding, stain, and finish away from its new incarnation, so my groups are still the same…you can win easy if you just use the force:). I'm cursed with nice weather this week:).

    Volvo,
    Just computer stuff:). Even in the 70's I knew the Maverick wasn't quite right– was so glad we traded up to a Granada:).

    The Sheridan is tempting. It sounds like the accuracy couldn't get much worse, which is where my skills shine:). On the other hand, I know less than nothing about Sheridans. Let me think about it for a bit.


  32. /Dave,

    Perhaps the photo is misleading. I'm sitting here right now with the gun, and there's nothing chunky about the stock. It's petite. I really hate to use that word because I believe it might turn off most men because it's a feminine word…but it's an apt description of the gun. As I pull it up to my shoulder, I acquire the sights immediately. You have no idea how many rifles I've held where it takes me several tries to line up the sights. With the Bronco, the sights are aligned & I'm ready to shoot the very second it's on my shoulder. It's amazing!

    Edith


  33. Volvo,

    You wrote: "As far as the Bronco, it may be more Ford Maverick than Ford Mustang in appearance."

    When I attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, several fraternities had a special event. All the brothers asked the ugliest, homeliest girls they could find to be their dates to a party. It was a contest to see who could bring the worst-looking girl. Many guys ended up marrying the girls from that party. It's amazing what transpires when you go from beautiful but vacuous to average but interesting.

    I heard that Eleanor Roosevelt was described as being the homeliest woman in any room. But if you spoke to her for 10 mins., she became the most beautiful woman in any room.

    Beauty is as beauty DOES. The Bronco may be your Eleanor Roosevelt!

    Edith


  34. Ryan,

    The Bronco is larger than the 490. It should have about the same power (see it tomorrow). The trigger is much better than the 490 trigger.

    As for accuracy, the test is coming in a week, after I return from the SHOT Show.

    B.B.


  35. Volvo,

    Have you tried recrowning the barrel on your C9? If not, that might be a simple enough fix. In any event, I would gladly forward you the shipping costs if you just want to get rid of it (and BG_Farmer doesn't want it) ;-)

    Cheers,

    Bobby


  36. Edith,

    The Maverick Mustang comparison was meant to demonstrate how two essentially identical platforms are perceived based on looks. The Mustang went on to be arguable one of most successful and recognizable name plates in auto history while the Maverick faded away like the AMC Pacer.

    Consider Dr. Beeman’s changes to the HW line other than the R-1; he added very attractive American style stocks to existing receivers and barrels. The Bronco is by no means the most beauty challenged lady in the room, but the little details could make a difference, like the upturn at the end of the butt stock.

    Hopefully it is a runaway success.

    Bobby Nations,

    Thanks, I will keep your offer in mind.

    Volvo


  37. Edith,

    It may be an illusion due to the angle of the photos, the light wood and lighting on all the photos I looked at. I know exactly what you mean by not having the sights line up on lots of guns when you first put it to your shoulder. Others are just natural pointers (instant love, I shot a S&W 10mm auto of a friend's that I couldn't seem to miss with!). Beings that I've only ever seen a Bronco online, it makes it difficult for me to check its feel. The photo on PA's site is from a better angle, but might include a tin of pellets next to it to give some scale. Just a suggestion. I would like to see this rifle succeed just for the accuracy and nice (I don't have a Mendoza to compare, but I trust yall's word). I was just giving my impression as if I were pretty new to the sport and doing some of my first shopping around/research because I'd like to see it do well.

    I'm still looking at it and thinking I may need one of these Broncos….

    /Dave


  38. woguph,

    I forgot to thank you sir for your kind invitation. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. I live on the East coast so it's nothing personal, just the distance.

    Perhaps you'd post some pictures, do a guest blog about your get together.

    M<r B.


  39. Oh, yeah – and be careful about the comparisons to the R7, the 27, and the C1! Next thing you know, it'll be circulating around the internet that the Bronco is a C1 stock mounted to a 27 action with the R7's trigger installed!

    Or something like that.


  40. As a latter-day 27, the Bronco has a long way to go. While a bit heavier, the Slavia 634 came MUCH closer to the mark.

    BTW, I would never recommend putting a drop of oil (petroleum based, I'm guessing?) into the transfer port of any springer.




  41. bbairguns.com,

    These little dealerships come and go all the time. They may be out of business or they may have changed service providers. There are too many of them to keep track.

    Their chat forum is still up. Why not ask them?

    B.B.



  42. The BBairguns home page & auction pages are either down or just plain gone. However, their Network 54 chat forum is alive & kicking. I saw recent posts. To find the chat forum, go to Google & do a search for BBairguns.com. When the results come up, click on the "cache" link. Once there, click on the "chat forum" link.

    Edith


  43. Thank you Edith. I did get there and found that others are having the same problem trying to access the site and they also have no ideas as to what or where it went.





  44. BB–enjoy your columns and podcasts immensley!! Based on one of your columns I just received a Crosman 451. Great gun, shoots beautifully, but I think it has the leak you referenced as easy to fix:"As long as it works, a 451 is reliable. When it gets out of order, it's a bear to repair. Not all repair stations can fix one, so check before sending in your treasure. A common problem was the nylon piston that actuates the slide – it will start leaking and lose energy. When that happens, the gun will fail to cock. That repair is an easier one than tearing into the whole gun." How do I get access to that nylon piston? I have the parts. Thank you for any help, Ed


  45. Ed,

    There are NO parts for these guns. A man in North Carolina is the ONLY repairman who fixes them. He lives in Winston-Salem and his name is Mike Ahuna.

    I don't have contact info for him, nor do I know if he still fixes these.

    B.B.



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