Gallery dart gun – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I want to share my Christmas gift with you. It came along as I was undecided what I wanted, and it presented itself so forcefully that I knew it had selected me.

A couple months ago, I put a bid on Gun Broker for a Primary New York City gallery dart gun made by David Lurch. I’ll tell you what kind of airgun this is.

When the American Civil War began, the North was hampered because many men coming to fight had no skills or even familiarity with shooting. In the South, it was the other way around. Shooting was both an accepted sport and a means of subsistence for many, so their soldiers needed very little in the way of training beyond familiarity with the arms they were issued. The Northern soldiers needed much more training.

At the end of the war, several generals such as Sherman and Grant agreed that American men needed basic training in the shooting sports to ensure that they would be ready to go to war if the cause ever arose. The National Rifle Association (NRA) was founded in 1873 for the explicit purpose of training American men to shoot.

The soldiers returning home after the ware were now well-inculcated in the shooting sports and didn’t necessarily want to stop. Across the Eastern U.S., shooting galleries sprang up in every village and town. It was not unlike the trampoline parks of the 1960s, or the go-cart tracks of later years, and lasting even until today. Shooting became the social thing to do, and everybody wanted to do it. Even women joined in as the galleries and shooting clubs proliferated.

In the galleries, the most common gun was the .22 rimfire, shooting either shorts or CB caps. But, there was another option. For much more than the cost of a .22 rimfire rifle, a gallery operator could buy an airgun that shot darts. Twenty-eight caliber was the most popular for these gallery guns at the time, though .25 cal. was also in vogue. The reason an operator might pay five times as much as a firearm to buy an airgun was because the ammunition was reusable. The cost to operate the gun dropped close to zero. Hence, these guns could make far more money than a rimfire in a shooting gallery.

Small wonder that gallery owners were willing to pay from $20 all the way up to $35 for a really fancy repeating airgun. Once bought, the guns needed next to no maintenance. They didn’t even need to be cleaned! And, the darts lasted almost forever if they were cared for properly. So, you had a gun you could shoot for nothing. That’s an airgunner’s dream…even today.

The guns were made by hand in several regions around the United States. They all have similar characteristics, but regional differences are very rigidly defined. An inexpensive variation of the gallery gun was cheap enough to be owned by individuals. This is the triggerguard-lever-cocking gun, or the bugelspanner. Perhaps, in the future, I’ll do a report on bugelspanners, but the subject of today’s report is a different type of gallery gun altogether. In Eldon Wolff’s book, Air Guns, it’s identified as the Primary New York City type.


David Lurch Primary New York City gallery gun.

The Primary New York City gallery gun is larger and much heavier than a buglespanner that might weigh 6 lbs. My example weighs 7.25 lbs. and is 44 inches long. The barrel is a whopping 21.5 inches long and does not affect the overall length that much because of a very compact powerplant.

The iron barrel is an untapered octagon. It measures 0.75″ across the flats at the muzzle, which leaves a lot of metal around the .28 caliber bore.

The powerplant is a spring-piston type that uses two volute springs butted against each other in tandem. What’s a volute spring? Take a flat ribbon of spring steel and wind it into a coil. The center of the spring will rise up like a pyramid. By butting two of those against each other you get a long, powerful stroke in a very short space. The only problem is that volute springs are much stronger than coiled steel springs and are also harder to compress.


Cross-section shows how two volute springs work as a mainspring.

The Primary New York City gallery gun overcomes this problem with a separate geared crank that meshes with an internal gear mechanism in the gun. Turning the crank in a circle compresses the springs and sets the sear. A single trigger blade then fires the gun.


The crank inserts in this hole and engages this gear to cock the gun.

To load the gun, the barrel pivots to the right, exposing the breech. There’s no solid lock up for the barrel, so some care is needed when shooting the gun to get the barrel aligned with the transfer port. The breech may be opened in this way at any time.


Simply twist the rifle to the right to open the breech.

The sights are atypical on my gun, as they’re a two-piece folding leaf type. One is for long range and the other is for close work. I would presume close range would be 10 meters and long range might be 50 feet, or so. The front sight is a post and bead that sits on a dovetail across the barrel.


An unusual two-leaf rear sight on my gallery gun.

I mentioned that these gallery guns were all handmade, which is the truth. No one ever set up a factory to turn them out in any quantity. But, there were a great number of makers back in the day. The maker of my gun was New York City gunsmith David Lurch, who was one of the most prolific makers out of a list of at least eight for this type. He made airguns from 1863 until some time in the 1870s, though he maintained a store on Grand Street in New York City until 1889. He and his brother, Joseph, were well-known makers of gallery guns during this period.


Clearly signed David Lurch. What you can’t see is the street number…157. That pins the production to after 1866.

The triggerguard and crescent buttplate are brass, once plated with nickel. The action is steel and also nickel-plated. The barrel is made of soft iron and was probably finished blue, though it has now gone to an even brown rust patina.

How I came to get this gun
This story is a wonderful one. As I said at the beginning of this report, I had placed a bid on Gun Broker for a David Lurch gallery airgun. My bid was the high one but didn’t reach the seller’s reserve. Two months later, I got an email from a man who had found my bid and had Googled my name to find out that I write for Pyramyd Air. He had a David Lurch gun and wondered what I could tell him about it. I told him all that I knew over several emails, and then he asked if I was interested in the gun.

I made him an offer after appraising the gun for more money than I offered, because in all honesty, if you find a buyer who is seeking this kind of gun, he is often willing to pay more. But we did pay him a very fair amount, and I asked Edith to turn this into my big Christmas present.

The seller told me how he came into possession of it. His father was a welder who was called to an old armory in New York City many decades ago to do some work. While there, he spotted a pile of guns awaiting destruction. He was given his pick from the pile and selected a very old military muzzleloader, a Trapdoor Springfield and this gun. It didn’t have the crank, of course, but was still a substantial gun.

For the remainder of his life, the father believed this was some kind of firearm, though he could never figure out how it worked. His son, who sold us the gun, believed it was an airgun. Until I gave him the information you’ve read here, he knew nothing about it.

Dennis Quackenbush makes cranks for these guns, and I believe I will have him make one for me. Even though I don’t plan to ever shoot it, it’ll look better with a crank in the hole.

52 Responses to “Gallery dart gun – Part 1”

  • Shellshock Says:

    Very nice gun. I like the way the barrel is octagonal, something about angles like that always seems to look better to me. Did it come with darts as well? Also I was wondering if you could help me clarify something. I found an old air pistol that someone had given to me a while ago. It’s a Daisy Powerline Model 1200 CO2 BB Pistol. I’m not entirely sure what I really have my hands on here and I was wondering if you guys could help? I also found my trusty Red Ryder I had gotten about 10 years ago. I loaded it up and tried to take a couple shots at a nice, thick cardboard box. It wouldn’t fire so I grabbed an old metal hangar and straightened it out. I pulled out a piece of a crayon that my younger brother must have jammed in there. As of now it shoots like it did before. Certainly helps pass the time in the BMX off season. Somewhat safe to shoot indoors at thick boxes and not have to worry about ricochet.

    Thanks,
    Shellshock

    • derrick Says:

      Shellshock,
      You should consider giving the gun a healthy dose of Crosman Pellgun oil ASAP.

      http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Crosman_Pellgunoil/222

      Put several drops on the seal inside the grip where the CO2 cartridge will be pierced. The piercing will blow the oil into the valve and lubricate the seals. This oil should be considered mandatory for CO2 guns. Don’t use anything else as a substitute for this oil.

      Here’s a full disassembly/maintenance post on Daisy 1200s:
      http://anotherairgunblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Daisy%201200

      • Shellshock Says:

        Derrick,

        Thanks for the link. I went out and got some pellgun oil today and I’ll probably take care of it tonight. I might need to run back there tomorrow to get some moly paste if I have the same problem you did. Thanks for the help and advice.

        Thanks heaps,
        Shellshock

  • flobert Says:

    To get an idea of prices, add a couple of zeros, $20 becomes $2000, $35 becomes $3500.

    $2000 will buy you a nice modern Feinwerkbay 10-meter rifle, but you still have to buy pellets, which cost now what .22s used to. The “operating costs” of the Feinwerkbau may well be more than the cost of the gun, over 5-10 years.

  • twotalon Says:

    An interesting offering you have for us there.

    I would bet that things might get a bit exciting for the shooter who would forget to remove the crank before firing it. It has to have happened. A wack in the face or busted knuckles??

    If you get a crank made for it, will you work on it to give it a somewhat matching ‘aged’ look?

    twotalon

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I’m posting this for a person who sent it to the wrong address:

    Hi Tom,

    I’ve been reading your blog at Pyrmid Air for years, and I have a question I don’t think you’ve ever covered.

    How are the barrels fixed in break barrel airguns, like the Beeman R9? The barrel site 3″ or so in the breech block. It looks like it has some kind of gnarling or fluting to index it in the breech block, and the breech block looks surprisingly thin at 3:00 and 9:00 when looking at the breech face. I can’t image they’re press fitting these in there…are they doing some kind of inductive heating of the breech block to aid the process?

    I bet this would be a good blog post….

    Merry Christmas!
    Glenn

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Glenn,

      What you are calling the breech block is actually the base block, and it’s the key to how a breakbarrel retains its accuracy. Yes, barrels are pressed in. They’ve been doing that for many decades.

      The base block always returns to the same place when cycled. A hardened detent is part of the reason, but also there are other hardened parts that don’t allow movement of the base block. Since the barrel is captive, it goes along for the ride.

      I hope this helps,

      B.B.

    • Vince Says:

      Actually, while many barrels are pressed in this is not quite universal. There are some that are also screw-in. The older Gamo’s with solid-steel barrels were like that (Models 220, 440, Shadow) as is the Benjamin Legacy and variants (Remington Genesis).

      There’s another exception – Mendoza rifles actually use the barrel as part of the base block, they weld a smaller block to the bottom of the barrel, at the breech, and the whole thing becomes one piece.

    • derrick Says:

      Glenn,
      Some of the barrels are also cross-pinned into the breech block. Many times, the cross pin is almost invisible after machining, polishing and finishing of the block.

  • Tunnel Engineer Says:

    TX 200 disassembled! More help needed!!!

    So, this weekend, I disassembled my TX200 in .177 to try to address the inaccuracy problems I was experiencing. Thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions. Every single one was invaluable.

    I cleaned the bore. I noticed that it cleaning was very easy; thus, I do not think inaccuracy was due to leaded barrel.

    I removed the mainspring, the piston, and the sliding compression chamber. I wiped the mainspring, spring guide and piston clear of the factory lubrication. I applied Moly grease on the sides of the piston seal and bearings, and in the back, trying to be careful not to spread any on the face of the seal. I have to say it was somewhat generous but not unlike what I think I have seen BB doing previously.

    I also applied Moly on the OD of the spring guide, just a light coating. I applied tar on the mainspring. Finally, I applied JM’s clear paste on the OD of the compression chamber. I never attempted to lubricate the inside of the compression chamber directly!!! I saw one of BB’s blogs applying Moly to the inside, but I did not want to risk it.

    I put everything back together. Wonderful thing about this rifle… it could almost be disassembled and assembled in the field with only a couple tools!

    I shot it three times until I could get a reading in the Chrony. Spring twang and vibration are gone, and so is the buzzing when cocking. Recoil was there but moderate. However, I am obviously having detonation. I got 1034 fps.

    Now the question. Is this normal and I should just fire it (five?) (100?) more times until it goes away? or should I disassemble again and degrease the inside of the compression chamber? Of course I am worried about what the detonation is doing to the seals

    At this point, I cannot tell you about the accuracy of course, but I am pretty sure that nothing I did intentionally will have any significant effect. So I am leaning toward the theory of the two faulty scopes or problems with the scope mount.

    Happy Holidays!

    T.E.

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      TE

      I like to ride the ragged edge of disaster, but I would just keep shooting it. Use some heavy pellets, that should help with the detonation. From what I understand the gun is shooting more smoothly now other than the detonations? Are your chrony readings consistent? Did you look down the barrel with a light when you had it apart?

      I wouldn’t bother with another disassembly/reassembly. You can do a good deal of degreasing the compression chamber without taking it apart.

      If the recoil feels different, you may want to experiment with different holds.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TE,

      I agree. Keep shooting and your gun will settle down. Every time they are opened up they like to diesel after assembly.

      It’s nothing. Shoot through it.

      B.B.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Thank you SL and BB. That was my feeling last night but wanted to confirm. I stopped after only three shots when Chrony finally gave me a reading. I did not even have a scope on. Tonight, I’ll put the scope on and check velocity numbers see if it calms down. Then, I will check accuracy, which was the main reason I did all this for.

        Taking guns apart is enjoyable. It just takes too much time!

        TY
        TE

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    Beautiful gun, BB! Just gorgeous. Get the crank made and shoot at least a few darts/pellets with it and let us know how it feels. I don’t think I would try to ‘age’ a crank. It’s a new piece, and all the aging in the world won’t make it 100 years older than it is. My thought is that any artificial aging would seem a bit dishonest. I’ve been to a lot of very old buildings which have been restored after age and war damage; the repairs are usually in a clearly different color (example: the bullet damage to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin) in order to preserve historical honesty.

    Doesn’t mean you should chrome the crank; just that you shouldn’t try to make it look like what it isn’t.

    My 2 cents.

    pete

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Pete,

      I need the advice of some very experienced people before attempting a shot through this gun. Volute springs are rugged, but to replace one could cost me as much as the gun cost. They would have to be hand made.

      I have shot an old Quackenbush gallery gun and a Haviland and Gunn from 1872. But both of them had coiled steel mainsprings.

      I would love to shoot it, though. Making darts should prove to be no problem, plus a number of friends have some of the originals.

      B.B.

      • pete zimmerman Says:

        I hadn’t thought through the possibility of breaking the springs. Yes, that would be a downer.

        Funny enough, I have a fingernail cutter that’s about 50 years old with what looks like a volute spring in it. Once upon a time, they were common… and cheap. ;-)

        It’s a gorgeous gun; Mazel Tov. Enjoy.

  • Paul Says:

    B.B.,

    That is a substantial looking gun for just shooting darts. I assume the maker’s intent was to produce a gun that would last many thousands of shots since it would most likely see gallery use. I also really like the octagonal barrel. A very nice find!

    Paul

  • Mr B. Says:

    Afternoon B.B.,

    I’ve been admiring this here to for unknown to me type of air gun. Is the wood to metal fit as good as what I see in the pictures? I’m guessing that the barrel is a smooth bore, but is it?

    What do the darts look like and how much do they weigh? How accurate are they? What type of targets were they shot at–you sure don’t want to pile one dart on top of another–wouldn’t be good for dart longevity. At least it never was for my Whamo blowgun darts.

    I wonder what they called the divot the crank put in your body if you fired the gun without removing what felt like the Hammer of Thor when it hit you?

    Bruce

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bruce,

      I still need to do a lot of research before I can answer your questions about the darts or their accuracy. Yes the gun is smoothbored.

      I can’t imagine forgetting to remove the crank, but yes, it would hurt if it hit you.

      B.B.

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    BB,
    Pretty rifle and in undisturbed condition. If you want Dennis to make a crank, just have him sign and date it, e.g., “Replacement crank for TG by DAQ, xx-xx-11″. That way, no matter how the crank looks, it will not be confused or later sold as the original. The standard “aging” treatment is cold blue, then boil or soak in chlorox — easy to spot. In this case, I would think the crank would have turned brown from so much handling — so maybe just put a coat of cold brown on it to knock off the shine and call it a day.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      BG_Farmer,

      Dennis blues his cranks, so no problem there. I will make no attempt to “age” the crank, as it will be obviously a modern reproduction.

      B.B.

  • DaveUK Says:

    Talk about fate BB.
    Bearing in mind the guns age and its close shave with destruction.That the son of the fella who saved it looked you up as well.
    Coincidence or a set of events put in motion to reach a specific point in time this Christmas ;)

    Derrick:
    It is a full bore,8 prong,stainless steel fondue including destructions…sorry instructions.

    Slinging Lead:
    I have foot muffs in a variety of clan tartan.
    Not sure which Clan?Check under your kilt.
    If you have a Big Mac and two quarter pounders then you’re a McDonald :)
    DaveUK

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Dave,
      I can’t think of any appropriate response to that last comment (just something about the dollar menu), but I wanted to let you know it was appreciated :) . Hope you’re having a good holiday.

  • AlanL Says:

    B.B,

    I know you were under the weather when I responded to your “what’s wrong with these pictures” post, but for my edification I’d still like to see your answers to that quiz!

    -AlanL

  • Frank B Says:

    BB,Wow,that really is a neat one.I researched alot about these in the Bluebook once I found out they existed….they weren’t as clear about the military tie-in,or I didn’t read correctly.I got lucky about 6 months ago on the Yellow.Someone had a .25 cal “Original Will” with plenty of the original nickel finish.
    The coolest part was the $250 price,which seemed like very little for a model that was copied by so many.Your diagram of the internal volute spring really helped me envision how mine works.I will be making some darts for mine because it was inexpensive enough to risk shooting it….I tried it with
    patched cleaning pellets and was impressed with the power this spring makes.
    Yours is a very nice present! I understand the New York examples command very good prices.
    Would you know if there are any sources for manufactured .25 darts?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Frank,

      I know of no commercial .25 cal. darts. The Original Will is a bugelspanner, which is called a St. Louis type gallery gun when made in the U.S. You have a tremendous bargain. It’s really worth a lot more than that.

      B.B.

      • Frank B Says:

        The craziest part of my good fortune is that I had time to check the Bluebook multiple times to reassure myself that I wasn’t mistaken about how good a deal it was! I have screwed myself up before and overspent in haste….sometimes you can blink and miss things,like that Whiscombe JW65 w/
        all four barrels for what was it,$2,500…….I missed that by less than an hour.Might as well have been a lifetime,slow as I type with one finger.
        I’ll cobble together a few darts with sewing machine needles and a paintbrush.It’ll be like tying flies.

  • kevin Says:

    A Gallery Dart Gun from the 1860-1870′s is a glimpse into the shooting sport that I’m not familiar with.

    The gun itself shows an elevated level of the gunsmiths craft. A 21″ barrel harkens to the time that longer barrels equaled greater accuracy but the sighting distance also helped. The compact powerplant is very interesting and the simple but apparently effective sear and trigger design are fascinating! The craftsmanship and attention to detail along with the lengthy career that David Lurch had in producing these gallery guns creates a vision of a broadspread desire for shooting prowess that I wish still existed today.

    Just got back from our place in the mountains. White Christmas with blue skies! So hot when we went skiing yesterday we didn’t need coats. Santa didn’t bring me a gallery gun but everything he brought my daughter needed assembly. I put together a Wii with every add on attachment that I think they make, a dresser in 5 boxes, an rc car with 100 parts, etc. etc. I’m going to have to have a private talk with Mrs. Santa. We fed the deer off our deck and watched a small herd of elk run over the north end of our property but the best part of Christmas was sledding with our daughter. We have a hill that no one else uses that’s about 1/5 mile long and we take turns following on the ATV and then riding back to the top for the next run. My kind of sledding. Hope everyone else had a great Christmas.

    B.B.,

    Your stock finishing praise didn’t fall on deaf ears. Guess I’ve got you fooled too. Thrilled to hear about the diet working to the point that it’s reducing the drainage. I’m so thankful. Your strength shall return. Be encouraged. I know for a fact that 100′s are praying for your completed recovery.

    kevin

  • kevin Says:

    Thought I’d mention one more thing since B.B.’s in the midst of a series on buying/selling/trading guns.

    I haven’t won a gunbroker auction for months. Before I left town I did a search for a few guns I’ve been looking for and narrowed the search to those auctions that ended on December 25th. I won 3 auctions including a very nice REMINGTON MATCHMASTER 513-T TARGET .22. It may be a coincidence but these were all very good prices. You may want to pay attention to major holidays and auctions that end on those dates to place bids you can live with. You may get lucky.

    kevin

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Now I am jealous! A 513T Matchmaster is a heck of a find! And of course I am also envious of your splendid Christmas retreat.

      B.B.

      • kevin Says:

        B.B.,

        Faded memories or faded eyesight.

        I owned a 513T back in the early 80′s. It had the stock peep and I had good eyes. It had a very accurate barrel. It was stolen from my chevy II station wagon while I was at the range. I was naive (read stupid). The 513T I just won has the stock peep sights. Won’t comment on my eyes.

        Years later when I could afford another accurate .22 I bought a anschutz 54. Yes, it’s accurate, heavy and purpose built. I remember the 513T being as potentially accurate even in its’ crude sporterized form. Maybe memories shouldn’t be challenged but I can’t help it. I’m excited to test my memory and faded eyesight this spring at the range next to the cabin.

        kevin

      • pcp4me Says:

        BB,

        Wow! Now that is what I call an INTERESTING gun! Don’t matter the accuracy OR the velocity! It is INTERESTING!

        I can not imagine ANY avid air gun enthusiast who would not drool over this gun and lust to own it!

        I mean just to shoot a vintage gun unlike others from a bygone era would be THE pinnacle for an air gun enthusiast!

        Man you have to be THE most blessed of the blessed! A wife that loves to shoot with you AND walking into so may sweet deals!

        Would you pray for me that some of that blessing would rub off on me?

        Please?

        Thanks and a Happy New Year to you!

  • Frank B Says:

    Kevin,what you wrote about your holiday sounded like Christmas in Paradise.I cannot fathom what skiing and sledding is like without mind numbing cold and layers of clothes,but it must be awesome.
    Our best tobbogan hill was almost that big,but you had to bail near the end,because the highway
    bisected the path a couple hundred feet away.
    God will be relieved when BB is back to 100%…..end all our nagging :)

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Yikes. I thought the barbed wire fence and the creek at the bottom of the sledding hill was bad! At least the fence prevented a dunking.

    • kevin Says:

      Frank B,

      Hope you had a great Christmas my friend.

      Your assumption about “mind numbing cold” when there’s snow on the ground in the high mountains is normal. Fact is, when you’re at 10,000+ feet in elevation and the sun comes out it’s very intense. When you’re two miles closer to the sun the warmth is felt quickly especially if there’s no breeze. In the morning it was 20 degrees and the snow was melting off the black asphalt roads. That gives you an idea of intense heat from the sun. Don’t misunderstand me, Colorado is a horrible place to live since it’s snow covered most of the year and residents attitudes reflect this dire existence. We’re very nasty folks. Don’t move here. ;-)

      kevin

      • Mr B. Says:

        kevin,

        That’s an awful briar patch you’re describing.

        Your Christmas sounded magical, may your New Year be the same.

        Bruce

        • kevin Says:

          Bruce,

          Thank you. May you and your New Year be blessed.

          I’m probably one of the few that still sees your undying devotion to the “old blog” comments and your timely responses. May God bless you for your commitment. You always make me smile. We’re old comrades in arms.

          kevin

  • EJBahnsen Says:

    Off topic: How does the RWS 350 magnum in .177 compare to your test in .22 caliber? Is there a place to find this information?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      EJBahnsen,

      We haven’t tested the RWS Diana 350 Magnum in .177 caliber yet. Mainly that was because of the extreme power potential of the rifle. It is simply too powerful to be entirely suited to the .177 pellet.

      But enough people have asked about it that we will be testing it early next year.

      B.B.

  • pcp4me Says:

    BB,

    Off topic here, but is there ANYTHING can be done to improve the trigger on a Sumatra 2500 carbine?

    This gun is SO good, but I feel it would be SO much better if it were possible to achieve a 2# crisp clean trigger pull with no creep or over travel!

    Any thoughts on how or who?

    Thanks!

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      pcp4me,

      It shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone to fix your Sumatra trigger. The Apelles A Team did wonders on the Career triggers. So did Alan Zasadny and J.R. Burrows.

      B.B.

  • pcp4me Says:

    BB,

    Another off topic question. I have asked this on other forums and no answers.

    My brother handed me an old Crosman 38 T that probably dates to the mid 60′s or early 70′s. He said “here, see if you can fix this for me?” And he wants to know what it is worth both before and after fixing it.

    I was really impressed with how well it was built and the quality of the gun.

    I took it home and examined it carefully. The seal at the CO2 inlet port seemed to be completely dry rotted Having nothing to lose I followed your advice and put 2 drops of pell gun oil on it. Three hours later the seal was expanded and looked like heck. Having nothing to lose I out a drop of Pell Gun oil on the tip of a cartridge and installed it.

    Much to my amazement it actually held gas with no leakage at all during the install. So I loaded pellets into the chamber and fired them. Much to my amazement the gun was firing hard! I fired the cartridge till empty and got about 60 good shots before power dropped off! After installing another cartridge and firing 18 shots I let it sit 24 hours and then fired it again. I got 55 good hard shots before the power dropped off. The gun was dirty, so I cleaned it up and cleaned the barred. Put another cartridge in and will wait 3 days to see what shot count I get then.

    So basically the gun is in amazing condition given he had not fired it or used and pell gun oil on it for at least 10 years.

    He now says he will probably sell it. Can you give me a ball park idea what it is worth? I estimate remaining finish at 85% – 90%. It chronographs at 425 fps with chp pellets and 485 fps with lighter 11.0 gr pellets.

    Also if you know what does it cost to reseal one if you send it out? Eventually it will need new seals. And what would the gun be worth after it was resealed? I may want to buy it from him and I really want to be fair to him without getting skinned myself!

    Thanks in advance BB.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      pcp4me,

      A Crosman 38T with most of the black pain and in working condition should bring at least $100. It’s such a nice gun. I like it a lot better than the 38C, which is the shorter-barreled version. In the box with the papers they bring in excess of $150.

      Of course they pale before the S&W 586.

      B.B.

  • Steve Cummings Says:

    BB,
    I have in my collection a Gallery dart gun like the one in your article written 12/27/2010.
    The gun that I have has engraving all over the spring chamber and trigger guard. The only markings that I have found on it with out taking it apart are the letters LV engraved on the top of the spring chamber. I am missing the crank at this time but the original owner is sure that he has it some place…….. I called the contact number for pyramyd Air and left contact info with Pat Berry ext 225. Any information on this dart gun, including value would be greatly appreciated. I would be glad to send pictures if you would send me an address.

    Thank you for your time!

  • cyrus biscardi Says:

    Great stuff, Volute springs have a quality that I don’t believe has been mentioned yet. Properly designed, these springs will have more power extended than compressed. Quite the opposite of any conventional spring. This gives you two advantages, 1, light sear pressures in the compressed state 2, high power at the end of the stroke where it is the most needed. You should be able to feel this when cranking, very high loads in the beginning, then diminishing as it reaches its compressed state. The power will drop of sharply as the spring is compressed back to its “Watch spring” condition when the energy is displaced radially as apposed to axially when exstened. Cheers.

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