IZH 53M air pistol: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

The IZH 53M air pistol looks like it stepped right out of the 1950s. It’s a modern breakbarrel with a retro look and feel.

Accuracy day for the IZH 53M air pistol, and it’s a day with some good surprises. I want to talk about how this pistol shoots, so I’m going to skip the drama of finding a good pellet, because of the three I tried, only one stood out. That was the one I played with the most.

The sights work fine!
No need to worry about the sights anymore. They shoot to the point of aim and have plenty of adjustment in all directions. They’re also very crisp in the right lighting, which is strong light on the target and the shooter in relative dark.

read more


New BKL mount adjusts for barrel droop: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

It’s been half a year since I did Part 1 of this report. I always meant to do today’s test, but other things seemed to crop up every time I was ready. I did make an excursion in another direction to test BSA’s 2×20 pistol scope using another mount on the Beeman P1 air pistol. Such is the tangled life of the airgun blogger!

New territory!
Today’s report takes me into fresh territory with my Slavia 631 breakbarrel rifle. I had earmarked it as a testbed rifle for testing the accuracy of lead-free pellets a long time ago, but the lack of a scope mount caused me to substitute the Whiscombe rifle at the last minute. You see, the Slavia air rifles all share a common problem when it comes to mounting scopes. They have dovetails that are among the very widest on the market. Most 11mm scope mounts will not expand wide enough to fit the 14mm dovetails (they are still called 11mm, which creates a world of confusion among buyers who try to scope their rifles) that are standard on all Slavia breakbarrels. Even for me — with a drawerful of specialized airgun mounts and prototypes — the Slavia remained a gun I could not scope until this new BKL mount hit the market.

read more


IZH 53M air pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: If you missed out on Pyramyd Air’s first shipment of extra Dan Wesson speedloaders with 6 extra cartridges, they’re back in stock.

Part 1

The IZH 53M air pistol looks like it stepped right out of the 1950s. It’s a modern breakbarrel with a retro look and feel.

Let’s look at the velocity of the IZH 53M air pistol. I wrote about what a nice, calm pistol this is in Part 1, and several readers responded to that. Many of you seem to like airguns that are well-behaved. I also made a comparison between this pistol and the BSF S20 that looks so much like a rifle cut down to fit a pistol grip. If you ever shoot that one, you’ll discover that it’s really a pussycat in lion’s clothing. Though it looks big and mean, it really shoots just as calm as you could hope for — like our test pistol.

read more


Are vintage Sheridan pellets better than modern pellets?

by B.B.Pelletier

Announcement: Mathias Moe Varga is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card.

Mathias Moe Varga submitted the above photo of Miles Alexander Varga, who got in some shootin’ with his Crosman XT air rifle.

Today is Friday, and I’ve already written a couple reports this week that belong on a Friday blog, but a question came in from a shooter who will probably never read this report — yet, it was so intriguing that I wanted to answer it for you today.

This shooter owns a vintage Sheridan multi-pump pneumatic, and he’s been perplexed for years because .20-caliber Crosman premier pellets are not carried in stores. He remembers the old cylindrical pellets that used to come in the red and white tins and later in the yellow plastic boxes, but he doesn’t know if any .20-caliber pellets are still being made today.

read more


Beeman RX-2 Elite Series Combo air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Around 10 or 11pm tonight (12/15/11) Eastern time, the server for all of Airgun Academy (including this blog) will be restarted. Hopefully, it’ll be unnoticed and everything will march along just fine. If something does go wrong and everything goes offline for a while, please know that people are working on it.

Part 1
Part 2


Beeman’s RX-2 is a handsome air rifle. The brown laminated stock looks perfect.

Here we go! Today is accuracy day for the .25-caliber Beeman RX-2 Elite series combo air rifle. Before I start shooting groups, though, I thought I would adjust the trigger. In Part 2, blog reader SpringGunner commented that the screw inside the trigger blade is what determines the location of stage two. It’s a very small Allen screw, and the one in the test gun is so deep inside its hole that it can’t be seen.

read more


Choked bores and tapered bores

by B.B. Pelletier

This subject came up as the result of a comment I made about choked and tapered bores. It turns out that gun makers were having this same discussion 140 years ago with pretty much the same results.

The best gun makers of the 1860-1910 timeframe (and Harry Pope for just a little longer) all either taper-bored their barrels or choke-bored them. I will describe each of these conditions in a moment. There really isn’t much difference between choke-boring and taper-boring, but the slight difference that does exist allows us to talk about each of them as a separate issue.

Most gun makers (or barrel-makers, because in many cases — like Pope, a man did not make the entire gun) did taper-bore their barrels. But that wasn’t what they called it, so the fact that they did it got lost because of the subtleties of the language.

read more


IZH 53M air pistol: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

The IZH 53M air pistol looks like it stepped right out of the 1950s. It’s a modern breakbarrel with a retro look and feel.

I finally got a “round tuit.” I said I would test the .177-caliber IZH 53M air pistol years ago, but something always came up. So, today, we’ll start a look at a gun that turns back the clock on airgun design.

This pistol is a throwback to Diana’s classic model 5 pistol, as well as several other less well-known air pistols of the past. I would say that it resembles the pre-war Diana 5, but some aspects are quite modern. However, from the standpoint of the spindly barrel and calm firing behavior, it’s closer to the pre-war gun than to the post-war pistol that ultimately morphed into a 700 f.p.s. powerhouse.

read more