I’m from China. Do you know my name?

by B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Vince has been very busy! Last week he gave us a 2-part guest blog, and this week he’s given us another blog. Like mysteries? Get out our magnifying glass and help Vince uncover the name of this air rifle.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

I know there’s something to be said for mystery, even when it’s balanced by intimate familiarity. Still, I REALLY want to know what to call you.

‘Twas a dark and stormy night — or not — when she came along in as innocuous a manner as possible. I had spotted a “dump sale” on one of the sites (don’t remember which), where a fellow was getting rid of four bottom-feeder Chinese guns. I believe he had a business, and these guns didn’t move — but I’m not positive about that. In any event, the airguns included a pair of Industry Brand B3 rifles (.177 and .22, a cult gun if there ever was one), an old half-eaten Industry B7/QB51 (folding-stock breakbarrel missing the stock) and this orphan. It’s a nondescript Chinese sidelever that I thought at first might be a KL-3B Fast Deer (another cult gun that was sort of a flash in the pan about 5 years ago). But no, there was no safety on the starboard side above the trigger. Then, I thought it might be an old TS-45, which I always wanted for no particular reason. But the stock shape didn’t seem quite right. No matter, I’ll find out when it gets here, right?

The package finally comes into my possession, and I start going through the box. The B3 rifles were what you’d expect — ugly. Turns out that the .177 version has about the same velocity as the .22, and the accuracy with either was rather tepid. The .177 was sold off for $15, and I kept the .22 just to have one.

But that sidelever….



Well, the price was cheap enough. Are those serial numbers? Who knows!

Even up close, I’m not sure what it is. There are some numbers stamped into the wood near the buttplate. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t a model number of any sort. I looked on the compression tube and found the obligatory Made In China (NO! REALLY?) stamped in the metal along with the just-as-obligatory Chinese characters. Above that is some sort of mountain range motif. Maybe Snow Peak? I don’t see any snow. Don’t see any scope dovetails, either.


The logo isn’t exactly on par with Diana throwing away her bow and picking up an air rifle.

So, I’m thinking, “I shall call you Pointy, and you shall be mine.” But that’s kind of a stupid name for a gun, so I’ll continue examining the rest of the rifle for clues.

I was always under the impression that Snow Peak was an early manifestation of Industry Brand, but the gun does NOT seem to have that special lack-of-attention-to-detail that distinguishes (extinguishes?) the early Industry guns. Even the stock — while the varnish on it is applied unevenly and is a bit orange-peeled — isn’t hosed down with that orangish-brown goo that Industry used in abundance.

Next, I looked at the sights — the AK47-style sights. The rear has a push-button slider with markings at each position for elevation, and no windage adjustment. While the front sight is adjustable for windage (with a punch or an AK47 sight tool) and elevation (again, with the AK47 tool):



Front sight is fully adjustable, rear sight is adjustable for elevation only.

For afficionados of cheap Chinese (guns, not food), this smacks of the old BAM B4-2 underlever that bore a passing resemblance to the inferior Industry B3. That makes me think about the BAM XS-B7 — the sporter version of BAM’s old XS-B3-1 AK47 lookalike sidelever:


The new gun sorta looks like this…in some ways…but not really. (Photo courtesy of the former Pellettrap website)

No, the stock shape is all wrong. The XS-B7 does NOT have the AK-style sights, but it does have a safety in the triggerguard. Pointy doesn’t have one at all. It makes do with an interlock that keeps the shooter from pulling the trigger when the arm is open, but that’s about it.


One last detail. My gun has a fairly substantial set of sling swivels mounted on its underside.

The gun comes with a full set of sling swivels. The rear screw on each swivel is actually one of the bolts that holds the action to the stock. I don’t thing they’re going anywhere. Despite the differences in stock shape, with these swivels I’m again leaning toward calling it a TS-45.


X-ray of the TS-45 trigger shows it’s the same as the B3.
(from Tuning a cheap Chinese airgun – Part 2)

The TS-45 has the same trigger as the B3, which has the trigger blade holding the sear in place until it’s pulled. Even without taking the gun apart, I can tell that Pointy has a simpler direct sear.

At this point, I’m flummoxed. So, I set the whole ID issue aside and just started shooting it.

The gun itself is very much full weight and size at 6 lbs., 14 oz., and 41 inches overall. As you’d expect from a sidelever, it balances well (since the cocking linkage is close to the shooter), and the pull length of 13.5 inches is well within the average range for adults. The sight is clear enough, with plenty of depth to the slot in the rear sight, although the notch is a bit too wide for the front post.

Side note: Why do some manufacturers get so danged stingy with the depth of the rear sight notch? Am I alone in finding that an open-leaf sight with a really shallow notch is a pain to use?

Anyway, holding and shouldering the gun doesn’t feel bad at all, the stock seems well proportioned. Meaty without being fat, it’s probably a good compromise for a variety of hand sizes. The not-so-smooth finish on the stock actually makes it easier to grip. Poor man’s checkering? Uh, yeah…that’s it.

Of course, old Chinese guns aren’t known for mechanical refinement. Pointy’s direct sear trigger (with a 6-lb. release), graunchy cocking cycle and dry, hollow-sounding firing cycle do nothing to dispel this reputation. And, I discovered something else the first time I cocked it — this gun is SHARP! Literally. They didn’t do much to bevel the edges at the end of the cocking lever. Ouch! Not rough or uneven, mind you, and not enough to cut skin, but darned uncomfortable. Glad it doesn’t take more than 20 lbs. to cock it.

I started punching paper at 10 meters so I can start adjusting the front sight windage. And, that’s when the rifle started doing things like this:


Just when you think you know how a gun’s gonna shoot…it does something like this.

Hmmm…. that’s about a .32″ group with Crosman Premier Hollowpoints. With open sights. Guys, laugh if you wanna, but this passes as a very good open-sight group for me at this range. It did the about the same thing with a group of 5 Gamo Match pellets and a little worse with RWS Super-H-Point and RWS Diabolo Basic pellets

So, whatever it is, whoever made it — they certainly paid attention to the barrel. What else did they pay attention to? Well, now I’ll get down and dirty to find out.


The action is dirt simple.

What am I seeing? The mechanism is certainly basic enough, with the direct sear trigger pivoting on the same pin that holds everything together. The stampings are straight, and the spot welds all seem to be spot-on.


Out come the main pin and parts.

Once apart, I found the expected leather seal, and the general mechanism is reminiscent of the horrid Industry B1 and B2 rifles I’ve worked on. But wait! Something’s different! That pin! That 5mm pin that holds everything together and holds the trigger!


The 5mm pin that held it all together.

Notice anything strange about the pin? It’s STRAIGHT! That’s strange, because every old Industry gun I’ve worked on with the same arrangement also had a bent pin (metal too soft). But not this one. What else did I notice? The sear mating surfaces weren’t significantly worn.


The sear mating surface wasn’t worn to a nub.

My experience indicates that would CERTAINLY be unusual on an Industry rifle. In fact, the sear faces on the old Industry B1/B2 guns can wear so much that they start shooting without you.

That rear guide seems to be machined out of a solid piece of steel, rather than fabricated from a sheet metal tube and a washer.


The rear guide isn’t the usual cheap manufacturing process I’m used to seeing.

The piston seems well made, and the piston rod is STRAIGHT and centered in the bore of the piston. All in all, I’m now certain that Industry didn’t make this gun.

Pointy was dry as a bone when I took it apart, so the gun goes back together with the typical moly goo I use. Since it’s a lower-powered gun, I didn’t bother with tar on the spring, but the leather seal did get roughed up and soaked in 30-weight oil. Cocking and shooting behavior is smoother, and the velocity seems to have stabilized in the mid-500s with Crosman 7.9-grain pellets.

But, I’m no closer to identifying the gun. So far, the sights and general build quality still make me think that it’s related to the old BAM XS-B3/B7 rifles, but now I’ve got pictures of the innards! So, I go perusing the internet til I find an exploded view of the XS-B3 variant so I can compare the general construction.


Exploded view of the XS-B3.

After noting some of the details — the rear guide and spring retainer, the trigger, the construction of the beartrap and of course those sights — I believe I now have part of the puzzle. Pointy is probably a product of the BAM factory before it was actually called BAM and provided the basic design for some of their subsequent rifles. I’m also guessing that this gun was produced at a less frenzied pace than their guns today, affording them a bit more time for QC.

So, I know where you’re from, and I know where you went, and I know you shoot well. But, I still don’t know your name. Who are you?

96 Responses to “I’m from China. Do you know my name?”

  • pcp4me Says:

    BB,

    Wow, this is frustrating. I read an article about this gun with in the last month. It had a lot of pictures including that twin peaks mountain trademark.

    Now I can’t find it to same my life!

    My first impression was that it was a variant of the TS 45 and I am not sure that is incorrect. My first thought was TS 45.

    Tomorrow I will see if I can find the article.

    • pcp4me Says:

      Another good possibility is a “fast deer kl-3b” rifle but I can’t find pictures of the fast deer, just descriptions.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      pcp4me,

      I am certain this is a TS4. I have one very much like it, only the quality of this one goes beyond anything I have ever seen.

      B.B.

      • Vince Says:

        Do you mean a TS45?

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Vince,

          Yeah, that was what I meant. Not the modern one, of course. I have an older one that was sold in the U.S. in the late ’70s and early 80s. It’s a different-looking rifle than yours. My stock is more svelt than yours, but the metal is almost identical.

          Rear sight is identical. Front sight is identical. My Mountain logo is styled different than yours and only Chinese characters are on the gun. I’m pretty sure mine is a generation older, but I got it from the late Paul Landrith who imported them and sold them by the hundreds back then, so I know it’s the first TS 45.

          B.B.

          • Vince Says:

            Is that the one you modded with a Lothar Walther barrel and blogged a few years ago?

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              Vince,

              No, this is a much older one, and it is entirely factory. It had to be changed because it didn’t have an anti-beartrap. Paul Landrith had a couple dozen left in the 1990s when I saw him at the Little Rock airgun show and I managed to wrangle one out of him, after promising to never let go of the cocking handle when loading.

              Would you like to see it? I can arrange a closeup inspection, at your convenience.

              B.B.

              • Vince Says:

                Sure! Perhaps a long-lost aunt or grandfather or something…

                I’m guessing this is the one you blogged, then, in Sep. 09. It shot a .909″ group (6 shots) at 25 yards with Gamo Match – one of the pellets this one did well with.

          • pcp4me Says:

            BB

            Yep, should have gone with my gut feeling. As soon as I saw it i thought “TS 45″. So I guess I remembered what gun it was from the article, but cannot find the article. It looked exactly like the one Vince has except the twin mountain trade mark was slightly different.

  • Mr B. Says:

    Vince,

    Sorry good buddy, but I’m no help, except to say had a picture of those twin mountains in my mind before I read pcp4me’s post. But that is all she wrote. I’ll sleep on it and see if maybe the brain fairy with help me out.

    Bruce

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    Vince

    If I could shoot groups that good with open sights, I would think the gun was possessed.

    As you are aware, Chinese airgun manufacturers have a storied history of building initial offerings to an acceptable if not particularly impressive level. Then they slowly let QC slip so the company can soak in the gravy of increased profits.

    Could it be that this is a pre-production model, or a salesman’s sample to show distributors what they would (not) be getting? It certainly seems strange that a rifle meant to be sold to the public would not have the company name somewhere on the gun.

    This must really be a dilly of a pickle if one of our resident airgun gurus is asking for help!

    Personally, I like the name ‘ Pointy.’ Knowing the Chinese penchant for putting a B in the model number of airguns, you should call it a BP-G1 (Brandolini Pointy Gun).

    • Vince Says:

      I know what you mean. I was foolin’ around with my HW30, and with a nice, light hold it put 5 in about a 1/8″ group at the same range. And that was with Gamo Match pellets and open sights. That might just be the last time I ever shoot that rifle – because when I can’t do it again I’ll have to admit that it was luck!

  • Milan Says:

    Nice group :) ! My guess is -it is Chinese Slavia :) !Kidding but there are good stuff from China this is one of them. Hyperproduction is a real problem with Chinese merchandise .

  • twotalon Says:

    Vince..

    That looks like a pretty fair attempt to make a good airgun (for Chinese).
    Won’t make any guess as to what it is.

    twotalon

  • twotalon Says:

    O.K.
    After many failed attempts with blue Loctite at keeping the front trigger guard screw and the stud that it screws into from shaking loose on my 97K, I am open to suggestions.
    A couple things had previously been mentioned, but can’t remember what they were.

    So what can I use on the SOB to keep it from loosening up? Where can I get it from. This is the only screw coming loose.

    twotalon

    • Vince Says:

      Vibra-tite VC3. You paint it on the bolt threads, let it harden, then reinstall it. In my experience it is easier to use effectively than blue locktite – not as sensitive to the threaded hole being a little dirty or greasy.

      • twotalon Says:

        Where would I get it from? An automotive store like NAPA or Autozone?
        I can live with the small amount of buzz that I am getting with the replacement spring and guide, but having the accuracy go squirrely on me on a frequent basis is getting me really pi….

        twotalon

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      TT Yes, what Vince said…Vibra Tite.

      Saww some on Ebay or try Fastenal and/or McMaster Carr, all on-line.

      Unlike Loctite anaerobics that actually glue parts together, this stuff fills voids and acts similarly to a nylon insert in a nut. A kind of insulator / dampener as well as bonding agent.

      • twotalon Says:

        Got a little bottle on order fron Fleabay. About the same price as McMaster-carr.
        The 97K seems to like the screws snug but not super tight. Gets squirrely too far either way.

        twotalon

        • Brian in Idaho Says:

          Let us know how it works for you a) do the screws stay put and b) how hard is it to unscrew them later!?

          I’m thinking that the stock screws need a dab of this stuff too, that’s the two screws that tend to loosen up on my 97K, although my trigger guard screw has also loosened occasionally.

          • twotalon Says:

            If they stay tight for a whole tin of pellets I will be happy.
            May take a while to find out. Winter tends to be cold and very windy. Basement shooting is not too good….the scope won’t focus close enough.
            I do get a little back yard plinking between starlings. The FTT seem to hold the wind fairly well.

            twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      twotalon,

      Have you considered upsetting the threads on the screw?

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        I don’t want to ding the threads if I can help it.

        twotalon

        • Pete in the Caribbean Says:

          twotalon,
          If all fails, try some thread tape(plumbers tape). You can put it on as thin or as thick as you like-less than USD0.50 in my neck of the woods. All the screws on my TF89 were shaking loose. I used some and have not had any problems since.
          Hope it helps
          Pete

          • twotalon Says:

            That’s a possibility too.
            I have the plumbing tape and some of the anti-sieze tape for my LK93 breech plug. About the same thing, but different color.
            Will try the thread goop first.

            twotalon

    • Toby T. Says:

      twotalon, Have you tried red loctite, or is that a no no in the airgun world? (I don’t know) I have been a mechanic a long time and when the blue doesn’t quite cut it, try the red. Just a thought. Toby

      • twotalon Says:

        Some of that stuff does not break loose easy enough.
        I have some goop on the way. It should do the job.

        twotalon

      • Pete in the Caribbean Says:

        Toby T,
        Make sure you read all the warnings and cautions on the package. If you use too much of that stuff you may end up having to heat the two parts to 450-500 degrees F to get them apart- not a good choice for airguns with wooden stocks. That is why i ended up using the plumbers tape.

        Pete

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    Vince,
    I don’t know that it necessarily has to be BAM or Industry. The mechanical designs in the early days seem to be (have been?) shared with whatever “government production facility” is involved. I’m not even convinced that BAM is a single plant/corporate entity in the sense that Industry (Shanghai) is, for that matter. Know anyone that reads Chinese? — that would be a start.

    • Vince Says:

      Actually, since writing this I’ve aquired a newer XS-B3 (same gun as in that exploded view) and I was right – absolutely, positively the same basic design. The compression tube is identical, including the location and size of the loading port. A lot of other details also coincide… except that the gun reviewed here is actually machined a little better.

      • BG_Farmer Says:

        Vince,
        My point was that BAM didn’t necessarily build yours, even if a BAM model is identical to one you have mechanically. The designs are common to many factories, it seems. For example, see the Snow Peak page:
        http://www.china-airrifle.com/index.html
        They build many of the same models as Industry and BAM. The logo on your rifle looks like I remember the Snow Peak logo looking a couple of years ago, but it seems they have changed it.

    • pcp4me Says:

      BG_Farmer,

      From what the article said I am pretty sure it is a BAM.

      • BG_Farmer Says:

        PCP4Me,

        I didn’t believe the article or Vince’s inductive conclusion about it being a BAM. Just because it is in writing doesn’t make it true. No offence to Vince — he presented the evidence honestly.

        Actually, it is not BAM; it is an Jianshe/EMEI (which is a mountain in China — interesting read about it), as I was getting close to suspecting after AJ’s clue, but couldn’t prove, being almost completely ignorant of how to read Chinese (well, I know 3 characters now — only about 6000 left). Due to the mountain symbol (i.e., the Chinese character), I knew it almost certainly wasn’t BAM.

        Check Oliver’s comment of 5 Jan. 2011, 2:29 pm. I owe him a beverage, as this was itching at me mentally since I saw it.

        • Vince Says:

          If a predecessor to BAM didn’t make it, then BAM took over the design. I’ve not seen any other Chinese rifles built on the same pattern.

          • BG_Farmer Says:

            Vince,
            The factory on the web-page Oliver links to is the maker of your rifle, not BAM; it seems like a very much current facility, not a predecessor to BAM. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Jianshe dwarfs BAM and Shanghai put together, but may not export so much of their production to the US. Somehow all the factories share designs (“communally”) and probably production data, probably via a central office, although some of the factories may design things on their own for specific customers(e.g. Shanghai). Note how many of these companies produce B1′s and B3′s. We have no idea how many factories may have produced a rifle similar to your EMEI at the time — it was 30 years ago by the looks of it.

  • mikeiniowa Says:

    That is one of the variants of the B-7, made by all the factories in China years ago. Looks like you got one that was new and hadn’t been shot….

  • Frank B Says:

    I’ll go out on a limb…..too small to hold me and guess that the Chinese characters roughly translate to
    “NOT for export to America”!

  • Brian in Idaho Says:

    Vince, great article. I liked your mystery novel approach to this subject.

    I took the “quality plunge” recently and bought a TF79 (QB78 target model) and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. Fit, finish and even the woodwork surpassed what I had expected. Of course, the gun is a near identical model of the 160 Crosman, so the Chi-Coms had a great gun to mimic, I am just surprised at how well they did it. And, in the trigger assembly, the parts are actually better finished than most of the Crosman guns I have had apart; as the parts actually look like die castings, not poorly sheared or stamped metal as you might see in the 13XX and 22XX guns.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Brian,

      I am about to do a complete report on the TF 79. How about some help as I do? Comments, suggestions?

      B.B.

      • Brian in Idaho Says:

        BB
        You betcha. I’ll put together some bullet points with observations, comments and suggestions based on what I have learned so far.

        Will email you with a word-doc later today, ok?

      • pcp4me Says:

        BB,

        Whoot! You are finally going to do a report on the TF 79. It is also sold as the AR2078. Mike Melik has said he will do a new MM tuned one for me for an insanely low price as I don’t need the bulk fill parts. I already have those. He is going to replace all the seals with better more durable ones. Also tweak it for more power and accuracy and better trigger.

        To me a MM tuned gun should be the ultimate TF79/AR2078.

        Looking forward to your report!

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          pcp4me,

          I have done close to a full dozen reports on both the TF 78 and TF 79 over the years. My report should still be on the Compasseco website. This is just a refresher for this blog.

          B.B.

  • Robert from Arcade Says:

    Vince : I looked at two Chinese rifles at a flea market a couple years ago that had the same markings on the gun that you have but they were break barrels. Had the serial numbers on the stocks also ( maybe added to keep track of inventory?), and no dovetails on the receiver tubes , and no safetys . My XS-B3 is also the same inside as your gun , except it has a synthetic seal. Mine was bought new in 2008 ,Robert.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I’m posting this question for someone who sent it to the wrong address:

    Hi Tom,

    I expect you are a busy man, so I’ll make this brief. Can you point me to any sort of info on how to adjust the trigger on an RWS-94? I’ve spent hours searching the web to no avail.

    Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    • Vince Says:

      Mike, the rearmost screw is the tension adjuster. I believe the other one (the real small one that’s immediately behind the trigger blade) adjusts the length of the 1st stage travel – turning it in shortens it.

      You’ll probably want to adjust it so that it fires with very little movement right after you feel the 2nd stage of the trigger pull. The tension adjuster – what I like to do is to adjust it so that if I pull the trigger through the 1st stage and up to the 2nd – but without firing the gun – and let go of it the trigger returns to it’s normal position. If the tension is too loose the trigger will just sort of hang limp and the gun will be on the ‘knife’s edge’ of going off.

      The 94 doesn’t have absolutely the best trigger around – but properly adjusted it can be pretty darned good… much better than an unmodified Gamo or Crosman Quest.

  • Mike Says:

    I vote for an early model TS-45. It’s similar to one I had in the past. I still have a late TS-45 that is a real POS. I don’t shoot it any more since you can’t trust the sear to hold. Like your rifle, it would really shoot with the right pellet. So it has a good barrel even thought the rest of the gun is a D-.
    I’ll probably take it apart one of these days since it’s not safe as is and see if the sear can be adjusted.

    Mike

  • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

    I find the whole ‘chinese’ thing to be such a conundrum.
    Personally, I buy as little chinese as possible…not so much because of quality (lead and melamine aside ;-) ), but because I think we should support local workers.
    That being said…they sometimes put out something worthwhile.
    Last year I bought my two sons the BAM AK each. They like ‘army’ stuff…figured it would be good step up from their Red Ryders powerwise and that eventually they would be replaced by a couple of ‘quality’ pellet rifles.
    On one of them the pivot on the cocking lever fell out when I took it out of the box…didn’t give me a good feeling.
    Did a quick basic teardown of them to clean out the grease they pack them in, replace the pivot with a small nut/bolt that fit and sighted them in at 10m and got the same results as you…one fairly ragged hole.
    Now, a year later and probably a couple of thousand shots at each I’ve found that at 30yds they give my Slavia a run for the money accuracy-wise…they have functioned flawlessly and they look pretty cool.
    The only downside is I’ve actually tried to bribe my youngest (at 7 he still finds the Red Ryder easier to cock) out of his gun…but he’s not buying it.
    I may have to buy one for myself.

    Oddly enough I just had the ‘chinese’ deal come up this Christmas with guitars.
    (guitar people can tune out here…they know all this)
    My oldest (10) has decided he wants to be a rock star. So we decided on a guitar from mom and dad (Santa was bringing the Steel Storms…but they can’t just get weapons for Christmas presents).
    I went to the music store just down the road and asked what they had for reasonable money, expecting to be sold crap for what I could afford.
    Here’s what ‘chinese’ got me.
    The iconic Fender Stratocaster…starting at the very basic $800 and going into the statosphere for signature models.
    Well Fender has a sub-company called Squier. Statocasters and Telecasters made in China.
    For $200 we got a Squier Stratocaster with a small amp, tuner, case and strap.
    Held up next to the US made Fender I couldn’t see a difference. When the salesperson played them I couldn’t hear a difference.
    Now I know there will be a difference…both in sound and quality that a trained guitarist would be able to point out. But as the salesperson said…lots of guitarists in lots of bands play Squiers.
    Unfortuntely I fall into the area I think many do…I’d like my son to have the Fender…I’d like to own nothing but Weihrauchs and Dianas and Air Force guns…but the paycheque doesn’t allow it.
    And with a little research and maybe a little gadgeteering some of the Chinese stuff allows me to have my toys at a price that doesn’t mean we eat nothing buy Kraft Dinner.

    • Malcolm Wrathmoore Says:

      Tell him to forget the guitar and get him a set of bagpipes!!

      What? No?

      ;)

      • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

        Malcolm…funny you should mentione the ‘pipes.
        Though I’ve yet to visit there myself, my ancestors (grandfather/mother) are from the Aberdeenshire area of Scotland.
        One of my favorite songs is ‘Mull of Kintyre’.

        • Malcolm Wrathmoore Says:

          I’m actually only a small percent scottish, being I’m mostly Irish. When I found that small link to the highlands, I went a little nuts and bought a set of bagpipes.

          As of yet, my piping is about as good as my aim.

          • Slinging Lead Says:

            A little more than 50% Scottish here.

            One of my favorite phrases, “If it’s not Scottish, its CRAP!” (from SNL)

            I find the pipes to be absurdly beautiful. My favorite bagpipe song is of course, ‘Scotland the Brave.’

            My hat is off to anyone who can play the pipes, it aint easy. Not even a wee bit.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      CBSD

      I’m feeling your “pain” too. I held off for the longest time on these Chi-guns but, have quickly become enamored with the TF79 target rifle I recently purchased. As BB pointed out some time ago, the QB78 type guns and variants fill a void that Crosman left with the exit of the model 160 as we originally knew it years back. In fact, the TF79 is (in some ways) better than the Crosman quality due to the lack of learning curve for the Chinese and the final version of the 160 that the Chi’s copied.

      The QB rifles have had great reviews for several years re their value vs cost, and the all metal and wood construction has a bit of nostalgia to it. And, for about $150 you don’t feel too bad about tinkering and customizing, especially with all of the mods and aftermarket stuff that is available for them.

      I am going to send BB some of my observations and comments about the TF79 rifle for his upcoming product review.

  • David Says:

    I think I might have an idea on that Mountain Symbol ??
    I bought a couple cheap B3-1′s a couple years back and they had the same symbol on them….. I purchased them from southsummit.com.
    If you look at their website you will see the same symbol up top at the left corner.
    Any chance they have these stamped for their company or do it themselves ??

  • Victor Says:

    Vince,

    When I saw the mountain symbol, the first thing that came to mind was FWB. FWB also uses a mountain symbol. I doubt that there is any relationship though.

    Victor

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    The FWB logo is not mountains. It’s a nifty combination of an A and a W — for :Westinger and Altenberger,” the name of the company’s founders and the official name of the company.

  • Malcolm Wrathmoore Says:

    Off topic,

    I’ve always been a sucker for lever-action guns. the RR needs to be kinda’ held up at an angle when cocking to ensure that a BB gets loaded. I was wondering, does the Marlin Cowboy need to be held up, or can it be cocked while held against your shoulder?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      malcolm,

      The Marlin Cowboy was very fussy about feeding and did need to be elevated to seat a BB.

      B.B.

    • J-F Says:

      Altough the lever on mine is becoming smoother and easier to cock I don’t think it was ever made to be that easy to cock but apart from the end cap which REALLY looks goofy it’s well made and feels more solid than the RR it’s just too damn cold outside to test accuracy yet but it seems to be better than my model 25 but not as good as the RR.
      I also got myself a very nice Webley Alecto/Zoraki HP-01 wich is truly wonderfull and for the first time EVER I was able to find an airgun cheaper in Canada than in the US thru a small importer close to me.

      I also got myself a very nice Umarex made Colt 1911 pellet gun for Christmas/birthday very nice looking and shooting pistol.

      What did you get for Christmas? We know Tom got a wonderful rifle, but what about you ?

      JF

      I also got a nice gun safe to put most of my air rifle and stuff in (guess my wife got tired of seeing pellet tins, pellgun oil and CO2 powerlets all over the house LOL).

      • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

        Santa brought me a Umarex Beretta M92B. I specifically wanted it because of the power increase over my existing CP99. Umarex lists the Walther at 360fps, whereas the Colt and Beretta are 425fps.
        I’m part of a group that shoots a scaled down (for air pistol) IPSC course. Our targets are ranged at 7,10 and 15 yards. At 15 yds the extra velocity definitely helps.

        • J-F Says:

          How do you like the Beretta? I love the 1911 and was thinking of also buying the Beretta (there’s a used one for sale on the C.A.F.), I currently have the Beretta Elite II and the grips are a bit too large to be comfy for my hands, where the 1911 seems to fit my hand perfectly. There’s also a used CPSport for sale locally at 80$ it will probably sell for 75$, I can hear it calling me (pssst look at me, I’m not too expensive and you already have a lot of clips that fit me ;) ) but the double action only is almost holding me back.

          I wish my dad err santa had given me a Steel Storm… I’m sure the neigbhors would love hearing it in the summer time.

          J-F

          • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

            I like the Beretta but have to admit I do find the grip a bit too large…will likely find a place for the Colt sometime in the future. I really like the Colt but purchased the Beretta strictly because it seem everyone in our little shooting group has the Colt. In hindsight I wish I’d gone with the Colt to begin with…the grip on the Beretta really is large for my hands (which ain’t dainty).
            I really like my CP99. The interchangeble backstraps (it came with three) really makes it easy to find a comfortable fit.
            If only it was 425fps. And had a longer barrel. The Colt and Beretta have 4″ barrels, the Walthers (CP99 and CPS) have just under 3″ barrels. The combination just doesn’t seem as accurate at the 15 yd distance.
            BTW, I’ve shot my friends CPS. Every bit as accurate at the nearly twice the price CP99.
            If you can get past the double action.
            Which isn’t as easy as it first seems. Something in the construction of the gun makes the double action of the CPS about twice as heavy as the double action on the Colt/Beretts/CP99.
            I find that action shooting requires a two finger pull on the trigger. It’s as accurate as its big brother, but it takes practice.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I got a 1377c. As soon as it opened it, visions of mods danced in my head. :)

  • DaveUK Says:

    Hi Vince,
    For a brief moment I thought I could be of assistance.
    The front and rear sights,plus stripped of it’s stock,unmistakably BAM.
    Then of course,you covered that possibility further in the report.
    Nice to see the stripped down XS-B3 featured.I’m sure there weren’t that many parts when I put mine back together :)
    DaveUK

  • ajvenom Says:

    I’ve seen a TS-45 on the yellow sight one time. (Their search page is currently unavailable.)

    It had the mountain symbol
    Chinese letters “Mount Emie”
    Chinese letters “Made in China ”
    English “Made in China

    This one appeared to be a higher quality, mid 80′s, TS-45 air rifle like Vince’s.

    I’ve heard of a snow peak B-7, but the symbol usually looks like a triangle made of 3 separate figures. It may have the Chinese letters “Made in China’ underneath. I don’t have any links to any pics.
    The snow peaks seem to be made in Shaoxing, China’s number one airgun manufacturer by volume.

  • Pete in the Caribbean Says:

    Vince,
    There is a Web Site that sells QB rifles and a brand of pellets called THE PEAK- the same three peaks on the top left hand corner of the tins. The Chinese manufacturer is printed on the bottom of the cover (I think). Perhaps Mr Archer can provide some answers???

    Pete

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Pete,
      That is good idea. I can’t make out the second character on the pellet tins. The first character (on the pellet tins and Vince’s rifles), the one that looks like a trident is the character for “mountain” (~=peak?), I think — never tried to decipher Chinese characters before. If it is Mount Emei, as on the one AJ refers to, it probably is not Shaoxing (Snow Peak), but the second character on the pellets doesn’t appear to resemble the one on the rifle — see what you think.

      • Pete in the Caribbean Says:

        BG_Farmer,
        When it comes to Chinese, I only know 3 characters.
        #1….Chicken fried rice
        #2….Curried chicken
        #3….Sweet and sour pork
        Pete

        • Chuck Says:

          I was going to take the picture to the Chinese buffet tomorrow to see if they’d interpret the Chinese symbols but it looks like ajvenom already figured it out.
          -Chuck

      • Anonymous Says:

        I too own an EMEI, a great .177 SideLever! Mine is like the picture ath the head if this string.
        Mt EMEI is a CHinese Ski Resort today…
        The Mountain stamp is just like the header for the Mt Emei Ski Resort.
        The sights aren’t regulated to any particular range in feet or Meters, Kinda weird! My rifle is likewise very accurate, a fact I give to the barrel which is evidentlly a GOOD one!
        The rifle reminds me of an African Safari rifle so I mounted a Nylon Sling to mine and call it the “Safari Rifle”. I really enjoy it!
        The trigger on my EMEI is very crisp and lets off with a sharp break, aiding the good accuracy that the rifle displays.
        I think the EMEI is a pre-runner to the Famous TS-45 and it is not related to todays CHinese Sidelever offerings.
        ZVP

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          ZVP,

          Be sure to read tomorrow’s blog, because a large cache of these has just been found. You can buy a brand new-old-stock TS-45 once again!

          B.B.

          • Anonymous Says:

            Finally this thread has given me the answers I have been searching for, for so long!
            I doubt I’d purchase another EMEI because the one I have has been such a mistery and shoots so well! Why mess with the living legond it has become?
            Excellent photography in this Blog! Your clear photos show exactlly the differences that this rifle has from other (later) models and so the related Sidelever species we have today.
            Lacking a chrony I can only estimate my rifles velocity but it shoots alongside other 700plus fps.177′s I own. I am really impressed with the high velocity and flat trajectory of this rifle! Pellet impacts are likewise impressive from this Asian!
            The 18″ barrel is of high quality and very accurate.So far it shoots almost any pellet I stuff into it, giving benchrested groups similar to the ones you have shot and posted here.
            Overall, I am really impressed with this rifle and it is well worth the $25 that I invested in it (bought used) and I am pretty sure it sold for 3 times as much when new!
            The EMEI is so unique within the reputation of inexpensive Chinese airguns that it deserves a spot of it’s own! Perhaps this new flood of these rifles will reenstate loyalty to Chinese Sidelevers?
            Thankyou and all posters for all this wonderfull information on the rifle and for finally getting this information located in a central point for referance!
            ZVP

        • Vince Says:

          Actually….

          http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/?s=TS45&search=Search

          This gun IS a TS45… just a well-made TS45, as opposed to a not-so-well-made TS45.

  • Frank A Says:

    The Chinese rifle in question looks identical to a .177 – TS-45 ELITE model I purchased the summer of 1987 from MIDWEST Sport Distributors for $ 49.95 – this firm was located in Missouri at the time and their catalog had a variety of products all the way from air rifles, air pistols ( made in Italy) other Chinese rifles listed were models 61, 62 and B3-1 MAGNUM as well as blow guns. One of the accessories listed was a mount adapter that could be attached at the rear sight for easy addition of a scope – I did not purchase the item -wish I had …My rifle is quite accurate at 10 to 15 meters and although I do not think the advertised 800 FPS is realistic I would estimate around 550 FPS .Yes the wood finish is kind of funky, but the whole unit does the job. I still have the two catalogs I received from MIDWEST that year – makes for interesting reference material -

  • Oliver Says:

    I have the answer! What you have is an EMEI sidelever. EMEI make decent match guns these days, an perhaps military weapons too: http://www.jianshe-emei.com/en/jsxw/htmlContent/enmtjj125.shtml but at one time did produce both this and the B3 AK47 look-alike. The mountain symbol is similar to Snowpeak and in fact there were two versions of the EMEI logo. The thread you were looking for is on the Chinese forum. Here is the link plus several others: http://www.network54.com/Forum/181748/message/1286821978/Looking+for+help+finding+EMEI+side+cocker+parts+and+informationhttp://www.network54.com/Forum/113813/message/1285211349/Is+this+a+TS45-+%28pics+attached—%29

    It might have once gone by the designation B17. I too have one of these, imported into the UK by Titan airguns back in the 80s, it was given a screwed on scope rail and set into a really nice beech stock. While the trigger and innards are a bit grunchy, all the examples I have heard of shoot really well, and the nice tapered barrel just sets the gun off. Shame they stopped making them. Very interesting to see the stock, there are several styles as far as I can see.

    An early Chinese gun worth keeping! Funny, it was only yesterday I was thnking about this.

    • Vince Says:

      BINGO! That’s IT!!!

      For your NEXT assignment…. wait ’till I blog the Cabanas air rifle….

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Oliver,
      Thank you. That has been driving me crazy since I read the article, but the Jianshe web sight didn’t turn up on my searches for “emei” , and YF search function was down.

  • TheBBA Says:

    B.B.

    I have an airgun that looks just like the XS-B3 but is a repeater & has a mag extending from the bottom
    just like a real AK47, but the mag is rectangle not banana shaped & looks more like a mag for M-16.
    It’s a .177 cal. side lever, with the folding stock, & it came with a reloading tool & pellets, & the pellets are the same shape as the Rabbit Magnums. It appears that those are the only shape of pellet
    that will work in that mag.

    In all my years of collecting, I’ve only seen this very one that I bought.

    Now I know the name of it, but am just curious if you do? he-he

    Let me know,

    TheBBA

    • Oliver Says:

      I know exactly what you mean, it used to appear on the Shanghai/Industry brand website and was always said to be the true training rifle for cadets. I can picture it in my minds eye. I have never seen one and I’m afraid I don’t remember what it was called. I willsee if I can find out.

    • Vince Says:

      I believe that’s an XS-B8

  • TheBBA Says:

    Vince,

    I was actually looking for the name of it, as it has a name as well as a model number, but you’re correct on the model # from what I can tell. After I saw your post, I Googled the # & finally found a pic of it. It’s weird, because I’ve Googled the name before & could never find anything on it, although there’s a pic engraved on it, of what the name is. I’ll give you a hint… It’s an animal.

    It’s a great gun. Very heavy but fun & hard hitting. I have a friend who wants one, but I haven’t been able to find a place that sells them. I think they may be discontinued.

    I did find this though.

    http://www.airgunforum.ca/forums/topic36017.html

    P.S.

    BTW… This blogs old format used to alllow you to request that you get email notifications when someone replied to a thread you posted in. Is there a way to do this on this new format?
    (Forgive me, but I haven’t been online much the last six months.)

    TheBBA

  • MountainGun45LC Says:

    I have one of them. is a EMEI – Mod.EM 45B – 2A in .177!
    That´s sure.
    Mountain

  • Gordon Says:

    I came from China,and I really know what it is,this brand called “E MEI” which is name of a famous mountain in Southwest China,this factory was at Sichuan province,and the moutain is also in there.In 1980s,E MEI was popular airgun in China.

    • Vince Says:

      As it should have been. I’ve had a number of lower-end Chinese guns, and this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. I’ve heard other shooters say the same thing about this gun.

      This particular gun was also produced by other factories, but they were not as good. Do you have any idea why the E MEI – produced guns were better than the others?

  • Kit Davenport Says:

    The TS45 also sits in my gun case. I have had it for over 20 years now. I can solidly hit/blow through soda bottles at over 30 yards. I also have one of the BAM XS B-3 with a foldable stock. It isnt as acurate but is a fun little plinker. I have enjoyed this thread and solving this mystery. I am ready to move on to a Crosman or Webley now, but these two Chinese air rifles have been a lot of fun. I am debating to sell them or hang on to them for grandkids. But thanks for a very interesting and informative thread.
    kitcarson

  • David Says:

    I have this exact model. The rear sight was not put on square; it would lean to the right. So I ground it off with a wheel, down to the bottom portion which is spot welded to the barrel. I used the remaining edges to act as a dovetail scope mount so now the gun has a Leapers red dot. The gun shoots about as well as reported and does good even at 40 yds popping plastic water bottles on end. Loud rattly gun when shot. I was thinking the same thing about the cheap finish being good for better grip– that’s why I never smoothed it.

    Good article.

    But I never did know… that ratchety-looking thing under the breech, before the trigger… is that an anti-bear-trap? Thanks.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      David,

      Yes, if I understand which picture you mean, that is one part of the anti-beartrap.

      B.B.

  • JohnFagan Says:

    I just aquired a EM4 5B-2A It has the same E mountain logo with that mod # just under the made in China There is also a number on the stock 8902152. It is identical to the one you describe and looks exactly the same as your pictures. Stock, sights, sling swivels, lever, finish everything. I cleaned it up with 0000 steel wool to remove light barrel and receiver rust and also was able to smooth out the stock finish. The globs of uneven finish rubbed right off and it looks very nice considering. They could do this at the factory. As you said it is very well make and shoots well. the but plate has the letters EMI I assume that is the brand The mountain logo goes along with that. the long right leg of the mountain could be the I. Your article has the most info I could find on this gun. I am trying to find out more about it including the date of manufacture and approx. value.
    Any insight you could provide wold be appreciated.

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