If I were you…

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

A couple days ago, I was surprised to see a very technical discussion in the comments section of the Mosin Nagant sniper rifle written by our own Matt61. I remarked that I remembered a time when Matt was new to almost everything in the shooting world. He was exploring multiple avenues of the hobby and asking, in the words of another reader, “billions of questions every day.”

That got me thinking, which is sometimes dangerous, but always interesting. My thoughts ran to things like what I was like when I was just starting out in this world of shooting. It was back in the 1950s and ’60s and there was no internet, so I learned much of what I knew from reading books and magazines and by talking to whoever would tell me about guns. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any real shooters, and the stuff I did get was mostly untrue or outright lies that were calculated to keep me from trying out things on my own.

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Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine

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

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

Benjamin Marauder magazine

Marauder magazine

I’m writing this report for blog reader Michael and for all those who have trouble loading their Benjamin Marauder magazines. Also, Matt61 wrote that he’s read of numerous problems with this mag, and he hopes that I’ll show how it works.

Folks — the only problem with the Marauder magazine is that it isn’t straightforward, and the instructions how to load it are not clear. Loading involves a couple techniques that aren’t obvious or explained; but once you learn them, the magazine is easy to load.

Michael asked if Crosman had changed the mag. The answer is yes, but I bet 99 percent of airgunners have never seen the first magazine they made. The first Marauder magazine inserted into the left side of the rifle’s receiver instead of the right side. It was the mirror image of the magazine they use today. It worked perfectly, but it didn’t permit a scope with a large side-adjusting parallax wheel. So, Crosman switched the sides the mag works on very early in the life of the Marauder; and since then, it has inserted from the right side.

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How does rifling twist rate affect velocity and/or accuracy? Part 10

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Today, we’ll begin looking at the effects of the rifling twist rate on the accuracy of our test AirForce Talon SS rifle in .22 caliber at 50 yards. If you’re prone to jumping to conclusions before all the data is in, I have to caution you that today’s test will look bad because I’m testing the custom barrel that has the 1:22″ rifling twist. We know from the earlier tests that this barrel was most accurate at 10 meters on power levels zero and 6. Above that power level and also out at 25 yards, the accuracy of this twist rate broke down. So, it would be reasonable to assume that this barrel will give results that are even worse at 50 yards.

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Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 2

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

Part 1

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

This is a look back at an air rifle that has become iconic throughout the world — the Benjamin Marauder. The last time I looked at this rifle, I did it in my conventional way. This time I’m doing it different because I know more about the rifle.

My goal this time is to tune the Marauder exactly as I want it to shoot. I think there will be a great benefit for those who want to learn about PCPs to watch this as it develops. Today, I’ll test the rifle for velocity in the conventional way, except I won’t do a shot count — not today.

In the next report, I’ll test the rifle for accuracy at 25 yards, only I’ll stack the deck by selecting the pellets that I believe will be the most accurate. The accuracy test will tell me which one(s) to select. After that, I’ll test that one pellet for velocity and for the total shot count I can get.

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Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle
Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle.

Today will be a very interesting report, in my opinion. The Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle I’m testing turns out to be a fascinating airgun in many ways. Let’s get right to the report.

Today we will look at accuracy at 25 yards with the scoped rifle. The first thing I had to do, therefore, was mount the scope. The rifle came with a scope installed in a one-piece scope mount. Its vertical scope stop pin was already correctly adjusted to fit the stop pin hole in the raised mount on top of the rifle’s spring tube. That is rare, in my experience. Normally, the scope will be installed correctly in the mount but has to be taken out of the mount to sufficiently adjust the height of the stop pin.

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Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier  <a href=
Walther LGV Olympia was a top-quality 10-meter target rifle in the 1970s.

The weather cooperated yesterday and gave me a perfect day at the range, so I was able to shoot the Walther LGV Olympia at 50 yards. I also shot the Talon SS with the 1:22″ twist barrel before the wind kicked up and stopped all airgun shooting, so I’m on the way to the final test of the different twist rates.

I knew the LGV Olympia was never going to hit the target no matter what I did to the rear sight, so I placed two 3-inch bulls on a 2×4 piece of target paper and used them for sighting. The shots landed far below these bulls, of course. How far is an eye-opener. I took a picture so you could see.

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Rifling twist-rate primer: Part 1

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

Recently, we have had a number of questions about rifling twist rates that were attached to the twist-rate report. These questions are extremely important to the understanding of how bullets and pellets are stabilized, so I’m starting a tutorial on rifling twists today. I’ll keep adding sections as I see the need to explain more about the topic.

Today, I want to lay a basic foundation of what the rifling twist rate does. Blog reader Feinwerk asked if centerfire rifles (he said higher-power firearm rifles) had different twist rates than rimfire rifles, and the answer is yes. I’ll get to that, but let me start at a time when things were much simpler.

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