My new AR-15: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Today’s report is both an object lesson, and a summary of what we’ve been studying for so long — the fact that ballistics, though often difficult to understand, are also precise and repeatable. It may not sound like that until I summarize at the end; but trust me, this is a lesson for all airgunners.

As the title says, this report is about my new AR-15. If you’re just finding this report for the first time and are interested in the AR, you owe it to yourself to read the first three parts of the report, linked above, before reading today’s message.

It was another very calm day at the range — perfect for testing a little experiment I’d cooked up. As you know, I do not shoot factory ammunition of any kind in my rifle. I did prove that it will function with standard factory 55-grain Remington .223 rounds in the last report, but the accuracy was horrible. I put 10 shots into about three inches at 100 yards. So I use the word “function” here to connote that the rounds fed through the magazine and action smoothly, as designed. I would never consider shooting them, other than for this test!

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Beeman HW 70A air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Beeman’s HW 70A breakbarrel spring pistol.

Okay, there’s some interest in this Beeman HW 70A, but many of you have avoided it like I have. Let’s see what it can do.

First, the cocking effort. HW advertises 21 lbs., however the test pistol registered 27 lbs. on my bathroom scale. While that may not sound like a lot, remember this is a close-coupled pistol, so there’s no long lever like you have on a breakbarrel rifle. So, 27 lbs. does feel like a lot.

The trigger-pull, on the other hand, is very light. The test pistol releases at just 2 lbs., 3 ozs. And that’s after I adjusted it to be heavier. I’d gotten it so low that it surprised me when it went off. That felt too dangerous; but where it is now feels pretty good.

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Walther 1250 Dominator PCP air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Walther 1250 Dominator
Walther 1250 Dominator

“A poor man’s PCP!” That’s what “they” said about the Hämmerli 850 AirMagnum CO2 repeater. It has many of the features shooters were looking for — repeatability, accuracy and a huge number of shots from the 88-gram CO2 cartridge it used. So they called it a poor man’s PCP; and before long, someone converted one from CO2 to air. They liked it that way, and a boutique industry was born.

But Walther, who makes the Hämmerli 850, was paying attention. If people wanted the rifle to use compressed air, they could build the gun that way from the start. The result — today’s test report on the Walther 1250 Dominator.

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How does rifling twist rate affect velocity and/or accuracy? Part 7

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This is Part 7 in this lengthy test series that looks at the effects of the rifling twist rate on both velocity and accuracy of a pellet rifle. Today, we’ll look at the 1:22 barrel, which means the pellet will turn once in each 22 inches of barrel it traverses. Of course, the Lothar Walther barrel in the .22-caliber AirForce Talon SS rifle I’m using is only 12 inches long, so the pellet doesn’t even turn one time before it leaves the muzzle, but that twist rate sets the pellet in rotational motion as it flies through the air to its target. The rotational speed will be less than what the 1:16 factory barrel imparts, and much less than the 1:12 barrel we have also tested.

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Beeman HW 70A air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Beeman HW 70A air pistol
Beeman’s HW 70A breakbarrel spring pistol.

I’m about 19 years late on this report. The Beeman HW 70A air pistol was around in 1994 when I started writing about airguns, and I ignored it — finding other guns to occupy my time. I guess there are several reasons for that.

For starters, this pistol always looked large and rough to me. I never saw one of these guns close up in the early days, and I certainly never shot one; but I did see the BSF S-20 pistol that looked for all the world like a small air rifle — cut down and fitted to an outlandish wooden pistol grip. I projected that image onto the HW70, as in the catalog photos it looked very similar.

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My new AR-15: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Before we begin, I have some news about my buddy, Mac. Many of our long time readers know him from the work he’s done on this blog. Mac has been ill for several months and hasn’t been able to go to work for quite a while. He’s getting some medical tests done, but the prognosis doesn’t look real good according to his doctors. Mac and his wife, Elissa, can use your prayers.

Now, on to today’s report.

I was out at the range with my new AR-15 this past Tuesday. For those who aren’t familiar with what I’m doing, this series is about me acquiring a firearm I’m totally unfamiliar with and learning how to use it well. I have to go through the same confusing research on the internet and in magazines as a new airgunner who’s trying to make sense from the conflicting reports he reads about the airguns. Since I’m more familiar with airguns, I thought this unfamiliar firearm would be a way for me to identify with the new airgunner.

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Are you new to airguns?

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is for those readers who are coming to this blog to find out what airguns are all about. We try to keep things open and free on this blog so you can ask any questions you might have at any time. There’s no need to remain on topic, like many forums demand.

I’m seeing two different types of new readers these days. The first is a shooter with a lot of firearms experience behind him. He knows his way around guns, but he’s heard some interesting things about these modern adult airguns and is curious to learn more.

This person already has a good foundation in the shooting sports, so a lot of things will seem very familiar. He will understand about the effects of weather conditions when shooting. He knows the importance of a good sight picture and trigger control. So he is already well-grounded on the basics, yet there will be some things that completely surprise him.

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