2014 Toys That Shoot Airgun Show: Part 1

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

Best airgun show I have been to in a very long time! Not because I sold a lot — I didn’t. But I met a lot of nice blog readers, got to see some airguns that are extremely rare and got to acquire a couple nice vintage guns for future blogs.

Dennis Quackenbush told me this show would be a good one, and he was right. As soon as the doors opened to the public, the place was packed. From what I saw, people had money to spend and weren’t afraid to pull it out.

The Findlay show is very heavy into vintage BB guns; so if that’s what you like, it’s one of the 2 best shows for that. But they weren’t all Daisys. There were many other rare models, including a super-rare Quackenbush Lightning.

Quackenbushes
A table loaded with Quackenbush airguns! John Groenewold, who wrote the book “Quackenbush Guns,” had tables at the show.

Quackenbush Lightning
The Quackenbush model zero, also called the Lightning, uses rubber bands to power the sliding compression chamber that moves on the fixed barrel. It’s the rarest model, with fewer than 10 complete guns known.

I mentioned there were rare airguns at this show. That Quackenbush Lightning was one of them, but there was another that I was shown privately. It is a Giffard Deluxe Target model that, until I saw it, was unknown to me. The owner, who is an advanced collector and asked for privacy, graciously allowed me to photograph the rifle.

Giffard Deluxe Target
You’re looking at the action of an 8mm Giffard Deluxe Target rifle that may be the only one in the U.S. Giffards are not common, but this one is virtually unknown!

This rifle is almost entirely hand made. Gold inlays on the barrel tell you the care they put into it. A rifle like this cost three times what a regular Giffard cost at the time (1870s & ’80s)!

Giffard Target Model The bottom of the triggerguard of this special target rifle is actually a palm rest for offhand shooting!

They went on and on…
Being at this show was like taking a stroll through Dr. Arni Dunathan’s book, The American B.B. Gun. At every turn, you saw cast iron and folded-metal BB guns from the genesis of the sport/hobby! You had to be there to appreciate it completely, but trust me when I tell you this show was a treat for the American BB gun collector.

BB guns
Atlas, Matchless, Columbians — the guns in this photograph are worth a fine used car!

Not everything was old
Toward the end of the show, Dennis Quackenbush asked me to come to his table and photograph a rifle he had just delivered. When I got there, I saw a rifle unlike anything Dennis has ever made. It’s a muzzleloader that he usually will not produce for reasons of safety — a slight air leak at the breech could fire the bullet into the shooter as he is loading it in the barrel, or anytime afterward.

Dennis did make the metal parts for this airgun, but the entire design was the brainchild of Mike Paulus. Mike took the design to Dennis and asked him to build the gun, while Mike made the stock on his own. Then the two were married into what looks for all the world like a vintage muzzleloading black powder rifle. Good job, Mike!

Quackenbush muzzleloader
This muzzleloader designed by Mike Paulus and built by Quackenbush is stunning! Mike put a vintage-looking Malcom scope on top to complete the image.

Old friends
I recently shared with you a story about my first AirForce rifle. It had no power adjustment wheel, so I put an o-ring under the top hat to “tune” it. Those were the days. Well, imagine my surprise to see the old girl on a friend’s table at this show! He had added a wood stock to her, and it was like seeing your old girlfriend necking in the back seat of a convertible with somebody else!

AirForce rifle
This was my first AirForce rifle. It has no power adjustment and the wood stock parts are new; but underneath, I still recognize her.

Then, my friend told me something wonderful. He said that I could have my old Air Arms Schamal back for what he paid! Some of you know this rifle is one of the most accurate air rifles I’ve ever shot, plus it has a gorgeous walnut stock with presentation grain.

My wife, Edith, has promised that she will buy back the Shamal for my birthday later this year. Naturally, I’ll give you a complete report!

Good friends
Besides the guns, the best thing about this show was the people I met. When he introduced himself as Twotalon, I walked around the table and hugged the man we all know so well through the pages of this blog. He was there with Mrs. Twotalon, who was gracious enough to smile and put up with the boring minutiae us two old codgers shared.

the Twotalons
Twotalon and his wife stopped by my table and introduced themselves.

That triggered a rush of blog readers, who came so fast and furious that I failed to keep track. But Derrick is one reader I met years ago at a Pyramyd Air function. He updated me on what he’s doing these days. Before he left the show, he laid two air pistols on my table and told me to give them to young shooters! Shades of my late friend, Mac, who often did the same thing.

Derrick — I gave those guns to the show organizer, Dan Lerma, who knows a lot of deserving young people, several of whom were helping run this very show! I know they will find a good home.

As the crowd was building at my table, Mitchell from Dayton came by and introduced himself. He wanted an autograph on his Blue Book of Airgun Values, which I was happy to do. But he told me he was at this show to find his longtime dream gun — an FWB 300! There were several on different tables, and I pointed him toward them; but when he returned in half an hour, it wasn’t an FWB he was carrying. He had an Anschütz 380 in his hands! Now, that’s a fine target rifle, as well; but then he flipped over the rifle and showed me the real reason he bought it. Someone had skillfully carved a ram’s head on the right side of the butt, and he was completely taken with the art!

carving
This ram’s head carving on the stock of the Anschütz 380 clinched the deal for Mitchell of Dayton. I can understand the attraction!

Before I go…
There will be at least one more section of this report, but I want some time to process all that happened at the show. However, if I can leave you with one key memory, it would have to be just prior to the opening of the doors when all the dealers stood as the Boy Scouts installed the National and Ohio State flags in the hall — and then several hundred Americans pledged allegiance to the flag. That was followed by a brief prayer of thanksgiving for this wonderful event that was about to unfold.

Sort of says it all, doesn’t it?

164 Responses to “2014 Toys That Shoot Airgun Show: Part 1”

  • Reb Says:

    That Lightning looks like a modern day Bronx Zip Gun! Does it have a compression chamber?

  • Reb Says:

    Gunfun And RifleDNA, What’s this talk about a Crosman/FXIndy? Ya’ll been peekin’ at my notes? Let’s build one! Steel compression tube(strength) brass breech and barrel(corrosion resistant) round ball repeater with hollow bolt probe GRT3 trigger and we’ll build made to spec stock(s).

    Reb

    • Reb Says:

      It would cost more air but we could also make it self loading!

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      Reb
      Where you been? I have preached this about Crosman building a independent PCP for a long time.

      The thing about it is if Crosman does it. It will be I’m pretty sure half of the cost of the Fx but still will be a quality product. That’s the way Crosman does it.

      I think mostly its because they have a a ear in it. Somebody that knows how Crosman works is out there listening. And if you look at what has happened through time they will usually build it. And yes there has been failures by company’s through time. Byt if they didnt try we would only wonder…or try ourselfes as you said.

      And I don’t know what equipment you got. But it would take me a little bit of time to produce a gun. Let alone a 3 stage pump that’s Incorporated into a gun if you know what I mean.

      • Reb Says:

        3 stage?I thought it was 2!

      • Reb Says:

        Like B.B. did with the$100 PCP,sometimes-proof of concept and a single prototype delivered to engineers for proper butchery is required in order to force them to realize an unfulfilled niche of the market still lurks for a certain product and potential profit and is being left untapped. And if you do all the work for them the only problem is,”how do I get my money?” Hmm, 3stage? Tell me what you know.

      • Reb Says:

        The tools I have at my disposal, include but are not limited to, saws, files, hammers Dremel, various drivers and bits, imagination and desire for self gratification. (No gigglin’!)

  • Gunfun1 Says:

    BB
    I don’t know if this is a hard question to answer or not. Is your old AirForce gun the one and only made without the power wheel adjustment? Ask’n for no particular reason. Just would like to know.

    The show looked like it was another story in time to be told.

    This was the closest show to me and I didn’t/couldn’t go. I can only relate to how you feel about attending to what I was involved in. The car world. Its just always good to see old faces and find out whats been up. And to meet new people and learn about some new Ideas. Well and to meet people you talk to and may never have the opportunity to see. Well and the guns.

    And like the car world. All the history that it is still out there floating around. I wish I would of kept some of my old cars as well as other things that went away for numerous reasons in time. How and the heck will my grand kids ever know (no I’m not a grandpa yet) about this blog about airguns or even the old cars. How can this all be preserved for other people to know ?!!?

    But it sounds like it was a fun time as always and can’t wait to hear about more.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      GF1,

      Yes, that AirForce gun was called a Talon, and originally had no power adjustment. I got it in the year 1999, and the Talon SS came out at the end of the next year.

      B.B.

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    That Giffard is awesome! I like what Dennis put together there also. Where do you find a Malcom scope?

  • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

    That Giffard is absolutely breath-taking! Looks like it belongs behind glass in a museum. You can clearly see the amount of hand-fitting and craftsmanship that went into producing something like that prior to the turn of the 20th century. I wonder what the people who owned that rifle originally would think of it being photographed and displayed on this thing we call the internet? Truly a time capsule. That Quackenbush muzzeloader is quite the rifle as well, I don’t remember seeing it at his table come to think of it, but then again I looked at more airguns in 2 hours than I manage to see for the rest of the year combined. Even still, the highlight for me was of course meeting the man himself, Mr. Gaylord and even Twotalon. Between that and finding the perfect 10M match gun to take home made for a memorable day. Like BB said I was on the hunt for a 300S, but I’m not exactly upset for having to “settle” for a LG-380, believe me! I just didn’t consider I’d be able to afford one, so deals were definitely to be had there if you just looked. Not too bad for my 2nd airgun show ever I don’t think. Take care everyone…

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Mitchell,

      That Quackenbush muzzleloader was a gun Dennis delivered at the show. In other words, it was pre-ordered. He didn’t display it on his table. If he hadn’t called me over to see it I never would have seen it, either.

      B.B.

      • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

        Ah, I see. I know my memory isn’t nearly what it was, but I’m glad to know its not *that* bad. Haha.

    • /Dave Says:

      Nice score on that 380, Mitch! I like the ram’s head!

      /Dave

      • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

        Thanks Dave, I really couldn’t be happier with it. The only problem now is that fine airguns like this and my IZH-46M are really spoiling me. If it ain’t accurate, it ain’t interesting.

  • goatboy Says:

    The Shamal is coming home. That’s fantastic news, i bet you can’t wait. Lets hope it’s an early birthday present.

    Best wishes, Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Sir Nigel,

      I doubt it will get here early, but look for something in September.

      B.B.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Sir Nigel,

      No early birthday presents around here. If you weren’t born early, your gifts don’t come early :-)

      Edith

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Would have been great to talk to you all day, but you had a business of sorts to run.

    Good meeting you.

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      I enjoyed our talk as well. And you can tell from the way I bolted from my chair to buy that El Gamo 300, you didn’t keep me from anything!

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.

        Now you went and let everybody know you bought a Gamo . Going pig hunting ?

        twotalon

        Diplomacy was never one of my stronger points.

        • Michael Says:

          TwoTalon,

          First, great to be able to put a face to the handle!

          Second, if memory serves, the Gamo 300 is a smooth little shooter at about only 6 fpe, definitely NOT a Hunter Extreme, more like an air rifle for adolescents/young adults, but supposed to be pretty accurate at short distances. Think an all-day shooter for paper and plinking.

          Michael

          • twotalon Says:

            Michael…

            Yeah…I am justa seedy looking old geezer.

            Don’t know a thing about this old Gamo (el Gamo) that B.B. picked up. Maybe he will blog it for us.

            I have a thing about the Gamo advertising tactics, gimmicks, and shills . The infamous pig hunt still tops my list.

            twotalon

            • Michael Says:

              Twotalon,

              Well, you look less seedy and less old than I do, that’s for sure, LOL.

              I agree about their marketing shenanigans, especially their claimed velocity hype. And that pig “hunt” video they did is nauseating to me. There is nothing humane about shooting a 40-45 pound animal with a sub-30 fpe gun.

              But I think the El Gamo 300 might go back to the ’80s or even the ’70s. I don’t know when they dropped the “El” from their brand. Gamo might have been a totally different company back then in terms of the way they conducted advertising and such.

              Look at how different a company Crosman is today compared to what they were in the (GASP) 1970s! They did some of their best designing and manufacturing in that decade, especially the first half of it.

              I do hope B.B. does a report on the Gamo 300 if it is what I think it is — an air rifle in the realm of the Air Venturi Bronco, which I like very much.

              Michael

            • Michael Says:

              Twotalon,

              I almost forgot to mention that in the picture, it looks like your wife and you are playing Rock-Paper-Scissors! She got you with that round!

              Michael

              • twotalon Says:

                B.B. did not tell me to shut up so he could take the picture.

                twotalon

                • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

                  Wait, you guys mean I can’t take my Gamo 440 deer hunting? The box says it shoots 1000 fps, that should be plenty, and I even got those pointy “hunting” .177 pellets last time I was at Wal-Mart! Drats!

                  • twotalon Says:

                    Mitch…

                    You gotta use them pretty gold colored pellets ! What you are shooting will be so impressed about what you are using that it drop dead . ……
                    But really, the whole idea is silly. The only way that it worked with a pig is that those pellets are rock hard. Otherwise they would just flatten against the skull. And it was done VERY close….if it was really done at all and not faked. That pig looked drugged to me.

                    Leave the big stuff to a gun with some horsepower…a LOT of it.
                    I have joked about having a Gamo Shadow and some Raptors so I am ready to go pig hunting. One problem….there ain’t any wild pigs around here. So it’s back to Burger King for lunch.

                    twotalon

                    • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

                      Haha, I thought it was only birds and fish that were impressed with shiny objects. You learn something new everyday! In all seriousness though, airgun hunting is wonderful as long as you stick to airgun quarry, or you bring something packing some serious foot pounds of energy. I’m not really a hunter myself but the few times I have went out hunting, deer or otherwise, I bring at least a .30-30 if not more for the task at hand.

                  • twotalon Says:

                    Mitch

                    Always good to use more than needed . Lucky shots with guns that are too light do happen, but should not be attempted on a regular basis.

                    Ran out of room in the thread there.

                    twotalon

                  • Reb Says:

                    If you’ll put a drop of cooking oil in the pellet skirt you’ll be alright.

            • Reb Says:

              Just finished doing some research on it, Looks like an accurate mid power, mild mannered gun with almost enough power for small game, like the Slavias and Bronco.

      • Reb Says:

        I’ve been looking for an excuse to try a Gamo! This one looks like it would give a good first impression!

      • Reb Says:

        I can’t wait to hear about this gun, From what I’ve read so far today it sounds almost perfect for me.

    • RidgeRunner Says:

      I am glad to see you did make it to the show!

      • twotalon Says:

        RR

        Yeah, I made it. Got to meet B.B. and his somewhat home brew $100 PCP .
        B.B. got to find out that I look worse than he does.

        twotalon

    • kenholmz Says:

      TwoTalon, glad you made it to Ohio. I am glad to see you and your better half here. ~Ken

  • Mike Says:

    That show looks like a great time. You never know what will pop up. I attended a gun show last Saturday. On one of the tables was a full box of .32 rimfire ammo. It was the Navy Arms brand that they had loaded in Brazil around 1990. they haven’t been made since. I picked them up for a friend that has a Stevens Favorite in that calibre. They were $43.00 but on line they go for up to $80.00………if you can find them! He was very happy to get them.

    Mike

    • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

      Most people have .32RF rifles rebored and chambered for .357mag/.38spl if they want to shoot it regularly, but you certainly don’t do that to a rifle thats still in nice enough shape to have collectibility value. Its kind of a shame in a way, I could almost see a modern plinking rimfire in a bit larger caliber enjoy some success these days, but only if they could keep the cost down. Maybe those two things are mutually exclusive and I’m just dreaming?

    • Reb Says:

      I had a sot or 2 at getting one of these guns but getting ahold of ammo was the deal breaker. Has anyone figured out how to reload rimfire cartridges yet,even the benchresters?

  • Jeff Hunter Says:

    Amen…..”shot show”?

  • kevin Says:

    “Someday, every airgun in your collection is going to belong to someone else. You only “own” them for a brief period and then they’re on the block again. Don’t fret about this–it’s how you got them in the first place.” Tom Gaylord, Airgun Revue #2, page 86

    Guess the reason you don’t have to fret about this is because a great wife will buy them back for you. ;-)

    kevin

  • David Enoch Says:

    A Giffard is on my bucket list. I don’t know how I will pay for it but one day I want to do that. I saw a nice one a few years ago for about $1200 but I suspect they bring more now. I loved that deluxe model you showed. That may be the nicest I have seen. A person on the Yellow that has a Giffard made a cylinder with a regulator to bring the pressure down to C02 pressures and the gun shoots great. I think his was around 30 caliber and he was shooting round ball.

    I got my Shamal running a couple weeks ago. BB, You were right, I love it. The trigger is at least as nice as my USFT Hunter. My Shamal is a .177. I don’t have the right pellets for it. I get pretty good groups with 8.3 grain JSB Exacts but Larry says it used to shoot best with CPH pellets. At 30 yards I am getting 4 out of 5 pellets in a one hole group but I always have one flier. I tried some of the heavy JSB pellets but it didn’t like them.

    My Shamal only has a 2″ long muzzle brake looking thing on the end but the gun is surprisingly quiet.

    I am excited for you that you are getting your Shamal back. I look forward to reading about it.

    I hope to see a lot of you in Malvern in a couple weeks!

    David Enoch

    • Reb Says:

      David , Have you tried the boxed Premiers? It sounds like if this gun likes CPHP, It would probably enjoy all the pellets being formed from the same die and this may eliminate your random fliers. Good Luck!

      Reb

      • kevin Says:

        Reb,

        The boxed premiers heavies in .177 are what David was referring to (CPH=Crosman Premier Heavy). Not CPHP (Crosman Premier Hollow Points).

        David obtained the Shamal from Larry Durham (LD). Larry got the best accuracy in that gun using CPH. David is a very experienced airgunner and hit a home run with this Shamal.

        kevin

        • David Enoch Says:

          Reb, thanks for trying to help. I should have spelled out Crosman Premier Heavies instead of just writing CPH.

          Kevin, no kidding on the home run. Larry (LD) was very generous to let buy it at a price I could afford. I will be at Malvern is a couple of weeks so maybe I can pick up a box of Crosman Premier Heavies there. I may pick up a tin of Kodiaks too if I see any. If not, I will place another order to Pyramyd.

          David Enoch

          • kevin Says:

            David,

            Let me know if you’d like a handful of .177 CPH to try before you buy a whole box. Might even be able to find a few .177 kokiaks/barracuda’s to throw in so you could test them.

            kevin

  • RifledDNA Says:

    That looked to be a great show, twotalon looks like a great guy to go shootin’ with, and everyone ended up with great guns… can’t beat that! Hopefully some of these awesome shows will stop in new england some time soon, Im feeling left out! One thing about your talon B.B., she sure changed style huh? I personally wouldnt have picked that color dress but then again I don’t ask much in the way makeup from my girls…. as long as they don’t shave their eyebrows off I’m happy! Lol

  • Reb Says:

    My bad, Just trying to help.

    • kevin Says:

      Reb,

      No problem! I like that you’re trying to help. That’s what makes this place great.

      I was also trying to help with a little clarification.

      Doubt you’re going to find much information on the Quackenbush Model Zero/Lightning. Very rare. Many of the Quackenbush guns shot darts or round balls. Low velocity, i.e., I think LD’s Quackenbush push barrel was doing around 200-250fps. Here’s another article B.B. did on Quackenbush airguns:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2010/05/vintage-quackenbush-airguns/

      kevin

      • Reb Says:

        A dart gun would be on the money! We’ve got a nice horsehair dartboard set up at his place . we started with throwing them then blowing and I modified a fire extinguisher with a schraeder valve in the valve-body. My compressor is good for 150psi and the red-zone starts at 300, so, safe enough. I’ll have to take the Chony one o’ these days!

  • Reb Says:

    B.B., I’ve been looking for ANY information on that model zero, Apparently you’re the only one to ever write about it. Just stuff like what does it shoot, how fast,and what the compression chamber looks like. I’ve got one of those expanding waterhoses that a friend asked me to incorporate into a projectile launcher and this looks like it would fit the bill perfectly! I assume that power is adjustable depending on strength and number of bands. Can anyone help me? I’d like to see something neat come from this project and definitely be willing to show the results.

    Thank You!

    Reb

  • Jerry in Texas Says:

    What a great article! I really enjoyed it and look forward to the Texas show in September. Can you give us a little preview of what to expect? I have been to many “gun shows”, but never had the opportunity to go to a gun show that featured air guns.

  • Michael Says:

    B.B.,

    Totally off-topic, but I have a question for you and anyone else with an opinion on this. It occurred to me after my briefly mentioning the Gamo Hunter Extreme above.

    Everyone knows (or ought to) that when one is cocking a break-barrel springer to hold the barrel near the muzzle firmly with one hand while inserting the pellet into the breech with the other hand.

    What do you think of this alternate loading method, which granted, would only be appropriate if one is using tight-fitting pellets: a) break the barrel open from the latched position without cocking it, b) insert the tight-fitting pellet, and c) cock the barrel and return it to the latched position, visually noting while doing so that the pellet remains in the breech.

    To me this seems a safer way to go about it, especially with a magnum springer that might snap right out of one’s “firm grip” if the anti-bear trap fails, regardless of how firm his or her grip is.

    Michael

    • twotalon Says:

      Michael

      I have tried that .
      In most cases, the breech will not open far enough for you to load it without pulling down harder on the barrel. You get into a wrestling match with the gun in an attempt to hold it open far enough. Gets dangerous for your fingers. You will be at a very poor leverage point.

      twotalon

    • Vince Says:

      I really don’t think that’s quite so necessary with breakbarrels. I only had one gun ever slam shut on me while loading it – a Daisy Powerline 1000, which is a pretty heavy hitter. As the barrel launched upwards the reaction slams the gun downward, pulling the breach away from my loading fingers very, very quickly. Didn’t even come close to pinching them.

      But the forearm coming down so hard gave me a fair bruise on my leg…

      • twotalon Says:

        Vince…

        The butt ugly 1000 with the plastic stock (Hatsan) ?? Got one . It sucks.

        twotalon

        • Michael Says:

          The one Daisy Powerline 1000 I saw looked kinda like the current RWS 34 but with a slightly more square, blunt-ended forearm section.

          Were those made for Daisy by Hatsan?

          Michael

          • twotalon Says:

            Michael..

            I know the newer ones looked different, with a wood stock I think. I got mine at China-Mart a long time ago. It’s hideous looking and made in Turkey.

            twotalon

            • Vince Says:

              Yes, that’s the one. I’ve had two, and they were both extremely hard-hitting and very accurate. And, as you mentioned, they are terrible guns. Seems odd to say that – but (as you know) they are harsh, noisy, hard to cock with rough triggers, not very well made and not very reliable. The ones I had just happened to shoot very well – but it was such an unpleasant experience, it didn’t really matter than much.

      • twotalon Says:

        Vince

        Maybe you missed my point….

        When you try to hold the breech open just far enough to load it when it won’t stay open far enough by itself can be hairy.

        twotalon

        • Michael Says:

          Twotalon,

          I have tiny little youth breakbarrels, medium sized ones, and two magnums, a Beeman GS1000 with the good trigger and — please no jokes — a Gamm-OHH SOCOM Extreme that I got new in the box in trade for two leaker pellet pistols, basically for $75. That Gamo SOCOM Extreme is actually a really good shooter with Eun Jin 16.1 grain round noses. It has no twang or vibration, just a heckuva THUD.

          I’ve never had a breakbarrel that after the detent was cracked open lacked the room to put a pellet into the breech. Even the couple I’ve had with a ball detent instead of the usual chisel catch have had plenty of room. And I have fingers as thick as corn silos.

          Is there a danger that the barrel might snap up from spring pressure at THAT stage? There doesn’t seem to be any mainspring tension on the linkage at that point.

          Michael

          • twotalon Says:

            Michael…

            The ones that I shoot don’t crack open far enough. Would be handy if they did.
            Maybe I should go through the whole pile to see which ones do open far enough without help. Will probably do it tomorrow just for grins and give you a tally.

            twotalon

            • Michael Says:

              Twotalon,

              After I wrote the above I thought perhaps after making such a definite statement I should go down in the basement and check to make sure.

              Well, I do have one air rifle that does not open up far enough at first break to insert a pellet, but it is a medium-powered one with a slightly unorthodox mechanism. The rest all do what I claimed, though.

              The method I describe, if it is indeed safe and not bad for the gun in some way, seems simpler, easier, and slightly faster to me.

              Also, not that I would ever do it, I suppose someone could put the gun on safe, crack open the breech slightly, insert a pellet, close the breech without cocking the gun, and for whatever mysterious reason, leave the uncocked gun with a pellet in it for shooting later.

              I would not ever do it because first, I can’t think of a reason for doing it, second, it just seems hazardous to me, and third, I would be concerned about some chemical interaction between the steel alloy of the barrel and the lead alloy of the pellet over time and ending up with corrosion of some kind screwing up the barrel.

              Michael

              • twotalon Says:

                Michael

                It’s common for me to load my R7s and R9s, then uncock them (because I can) . I do this when hunting and have no idea when I will get a shot. I load and uncock my PCPs all the time.

                twotalon.

                • Michael Says:

                  Twotalon,

                  There you go! If you could keep a powerful springer loaded when you are pest hunting and have to cock it only once instead of twice . . . . Granted, it maybe doesn’t make a lot of difference, unless it’s a 58 pound cocking stroke like some spring-powered, hog-killing behemoths.

                  I still wonder if there is a reason not to do the loading before the cocking if it is possible with a given air rifle.

                  Michael

                  • twotalon Says:

                    Michael

                    It will work O.K. as long as the pellet fits tight enough. I would not put it in storage like that though.

                    Keep an eye on it to make sure the pellet stays where it belongs.

                    twotalon

                  • twotalon Says:

                    Michael

                    I should add that what my tactics will be depends a lot on subtle differences in the situation . I often do a complete reversal for no apparent reason, but there was a reason.

                    twotalon

                  • Reb Says:

                    I’m sure the safety engineering department would throw a fit,but now it’s mine!

        • Vince Says:

          Perhaps I was off base – I was assuming that loading a pellet without cocking the gun was a safety thing. If it’s intended as a procedure for airgun hunting, obviously my comment makes no sense!

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Michael,

      Some guns open wide enough to load that way — others don’t. There is noting wrong with doing it that way, except with a breakbarrel Whiscombe. Do it that way with one of those and you’ll get a vacuum fire that will destroy the gun.

      B.B.

  • Reb Says:

    It seems like I recall loading my Slavia 618 without cocking it, if that’s what you mean.

    • Reb Says:

      This gun was also easy to decock and had No anti-beartrap, I don’t even remember a safety! It was a low powered gun but ran circles around all the other pellet guns that my coworkers soon dedided they needed! ;)

      • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

        I just love my little 631. Its no powerhouse, but its easy cocking, light weight and excellent accuracy out of its broached barrel makes it the perfect little backyard plinker. I had to pick one up after reading about them on this blog, and its everything BB said it would be and possibly a little more. Paintballs off of golf tees at 25 feet are a breeze, and no pop cans within sight are ever safe when I have it out.

        • Reb Says:

          Any idea how much power it’s putting out? I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a small,lightweight, mild mannered break barrel in.22, for hunting purposes( enough power for squirrel and maybe rabbit or armadillo).
          Any good recommendations?
          Thanks

          Reb

          • twotalon Says:

            Reb

            If you want to take out armored-dillos, use a big bore centerfire or run over them with a gravel truck…..preferably fully loaded.

            twotalon

            • Reb Says:

              I took one with a slingshot and a penny! Fish weren’t bitin’,No other ammo available and we was hungry!

              • twotalon Says:

                Reb

                Go with the road kill. They are flattened out real nice to cook on a pizza pan in the oven. You can bake them as is or peel them first . Depends if you want them extra crunchy.

                twotalon

        • Old Gunner Says:

          Mitchell, or B.B., I read B.B.’s article about those paint balls on golf tees too, but I thought he said 25 YARDS not 25 feet. I have been practicing at 25 tape measured yards shooting at a dime sized target. I am getting better at it but no way a paint ball at 25 yards with consistency at the present time. Was it 25 feet?

          • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

            I would back up to 25 yards but I simply don’t have enough room in my backyard. He probably does shoot them at 25 yards. Like I said its not even a challenge that close and its a fun reactive target…

          • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

            BBs throw away groups are about what my good ones look like most of the time too if that means anything. Haha…

      • Michael Says:

        Reb,

        I do mean loading it before cocking it. Not cocking it, loading it, and then decocking it, but breaking open the breech, inserting the pellet in the gap (provided with that model rifle the breech is fully exposed), and then cocking the gun and returning the barrel to the ready position.

        Is that what you do with your 618?

        Michael

        • Reb Says:

          I used to break it open and just as the cocking linkage engaged I could slip the pellet in and return it to locked position without cocking, leave it in the corner til the opportunity arose, then cock and shoot. There were no safeties on this gun. the forestock was cracked on both sides when I got it, probably the result of pulling the trigger to close the breech. Don’t ask me how I know.

        • Reb Says:

          When I had one :(

      • Reb Says:

        Ralph was also a neighbor who rode to and from work with me,went to Wally’s in ’99, and picked up the only other break barrel in the bunch.This little black plastic gun with decent fiber-optic, target sights on it would’ve been close had the front sight not been so big. My first shot with his gun was @ 40 yards a shootNsee pastee dead center! Anyone have any idea what this gun was? It was a little more powerful than my 618, but not much. I rescued one just like it about 8 years ago, while cleaning up a rental property owned by my father, the pivot bolt was missing so I shoved a decking screw through to try to cock it. When he saw that it worked he snatched it from my grasp…Grr

  • duskwight Says:

    Great event and great blog!

    I wonder what those early Quackenbushes shot. Lead balls? Early “cup” pellets?

    duskwight

    • Reb Says:

      I don’t remember which gun it was but,one came with 2 extra springs, I assume, one for target and one for game, so I’d imagine they saw plenty of both.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      duskwight,

      They shot darts, and lead slugs.

      B.B.

  • Matt61 Says:

    Wow, some pretty original airguns at that show.

    Gunfun1, it would seem that bows and arrows can be even more accurate than guns. I’ve heard that some longbow shots can shoot pennies out of the air with instinct shooting.

    Matt61

    • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

      I’ve heard that too, but one can only imagine the training and practice it takes to get to that level is pretty serious.

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      Matt61
      It amazes me how some people can shoot like that.

      I can’t hit a 20 inch target at 25 yards with a bow and arrow.

      But when I was a kid we use to throw empty oil cans in the air and I could hit it with my wrist rocket slingshot. And with my old .22 cal. rimfire rifle. Go figure.

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      Matt61

      You owe it to yourself to check out Byron Ferguson on YouTube. He easily takes out aspirins thrown into the air by his wife, and also drops of falling water.

      He also demonstrated splitting one arrow with another (take that Mythbusters) and hitting the bullseye after deflecting the arrow off of several walls.

      Best thing about him is his modesty about his extraordinary talent.

      • Gunfun1 Says:

        SL
        I seen a program on tv with him doing trick shots.

        And over the weekend I saw a program about Fred Bear the maker of the Bear bows. He also was a fabulous shot. I was talking about that with Matt over the weekend and asked if anybody saw the program. Did you see it SL?

      • Reb Says:

        That’s who I was looking for!

  • 103David Says:

    B.B.,
    Reading this review is like watching the kids and the dogs playing in the park out back…it can’t help but give a grin :)
    Makes me some jealous, too:)
    David

  • hawaiian eye Says:

    B.B.
    The answer from AGH was they discontinued velocity tar,and the heavy tar listed is the replacement and very close to velocity tar.
    Stan

  • SteveInMN Says:

    SIXTY Benjis for a rubber band gun?!?!?!??

    Seriously???

    I do not care a whit how ‘rare’ it is.

    Get.
    Real.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      SteveInMN,

      Then you probably aren’t the target market for this gun :-)

      Edith

    • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

      It would have to be a museum or someone with a boatload of money and a private collection of the rarest guns money could buy to drop $6,000 on something like that, but as unlikely as it seems, those people do exist. I’d sooner carve my own rubber band catapult myself out of old wood pallets and pocket the $5,999 I had left over. (Assuming $1 for rubber bands of course!)

      • Reb Says:

        You go girl! Lemme know if you need tubing.(the expanding waterhoses are about to hit the secondary market!)This stuff is TUFF!

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Mitchell in Dayton,

        There are a surprising number of collectors who have extremely valuable guns and very deep pockets. I recall Cecil Whiteside (now deceased) used to roam the halls of airgun shows, and he told me brought anywhere from $10K to $50K cash with him.

        Both B.B. and I have seen people standing in the aisles of airgun shows bidding on vintage guns that don’t look like anything special. One person who did that was Fred Liady. In fact, he said he’d just open his wallet & let the person take out what they wanted. While he was just joking, I know how expensive some of the guns were. And it wasn’t just one person trying to buy it…there was often a bidding war.

        Edith

        • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

          Thats astonishing. Must be something else to not only be wealthy, but be into collecting expensive things. Sort of reminds me once when I was in Las Vegas (I’m not rich, I just used to work alot of overtime before I became disabled from a work injury) and I was watching people play roulette. This scruffy grungy farmer type in dirty overalls saunters up to the table, which was a $500 chip minimum bet table to begin with, and I begin thinking hes lost and walked up to the wrong table. Oh no, how wrong I was. He proceeds to pull out a staggering roll of $100 bills from one pocket and tosses it to the dealer. Not even 15 minutes later when he had spent all his chips on the order of $10K, he reaches into the other pocket, retrieves another giant wad of cash and repeats the procedure, only this time he hits a couple numbers. He gathers up his chips, and makes a beeline for the cashier. No one so much as batted an eyelash, but I have to remember I’m in vegas where 10 grand is pocket money to some people. Nowadays I’m living comfortably by very meager means, but sometimes I think we all wonder what our lives would be like if we had tons of money.

        • kevin Says:

          Once upon a time I thought that the market for giffards, air canes, old quackenbush’s, etc. was inflated because there’s such a narrow, niche market of collectors that for the most part are getting up there in years. Once they go, their collections will be dumped on the market with few takers and value will plummet.

          In my mind, this prediction of tumbling value for high end collectible airguns was also justified since most of the current, younger, affluent, addicted airgunners with deep pockets were more into shootable pcp’s and I expected the current airgun collector market would be more interested in stalker, bowkett, etc.

          Boy howdy was I wrong. The prices paid at Cecil’s airgun auction was retail or beyond. This event proved how wrong I was. There remains a healthy demand for these rare, older and in many instances unshootable airguns.

          kevin

        • 103David Says:

          In my speckled careers…
          One day, my soon to be ex-wife announced that she was to attend the Wimbledon tennis matches and I was to be the financier for this project. Initially I was most enthusiastic about her desire, until I learned it included a return airfare. Damn, I somehow already knew it would not be so easy to get rid of her.
          It became necessary to obtain additional temporary employment and I found myself associated with probably the worst human being I’ve ever met, not actually in jail.
          To make the story short (as was he) his normal daily attire included $10,000 dollars in $100 bills in his left front pocket (for those walk-in spur-of-the-moment sub-rosa {questionable} purchases,)and a .25 caliber Colt semi-auto pistol floating around, pointed inward, unholstered in his right front pocket.
          There actually was a pool among the employees as whether it was to be the IRS or the Colt that would ultimately take his (Add your guess here) away.
          While my employment there was blessedly short (though I learned more about sales in six weeks than I’d learned in the ten years before) some years later I learned it was the IRS that got him. Probably hurt him much more than the Colt ever would have.
          Anyway, one of the things I learned there is that cash money, right here, right now, is what the military refers to as a “force multiplier.” In other words, if you go to a show/flea market or whatever, purge your memory of the phrase, “Is a check okay?” And “Do you take credit cards?”
          Upon hearing the reply to “How much?” And it’s “$300.” You might be surprised how often your reply of “How about 10 $20 bills” will be rapidly accepted. Hence the cash-in the wallet strategy.

    • Michael Says:

      Steve,

      It comes down to what someone, in this case it would probably be a wealthy someone who already has a mind-blowing collection, is willing to pay.

      Me, I think of how many mortgage payments I could make with $6K, but to a high-end collector, it might be a bargain. Look at the Giffard. Consider that the Giffard Deluxe and one of those ten known Quackenbush Zeros wouldn’t get you a Girandoni in trade.

      And if it’s that it uses rubber bands that makes it not worth $6K to you, fair enough, but consider the Hodges catapult gun from the 1840s. It wouldn’t surprise me if a pristine one of those, rubber bands and all, wouldn’t go for more than $6K.

      Finally, one man’s $6000 is another man’s 6 cents.

      Michael

      • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

        “Finally, one man’s $6000 is another man’s 6 cents. -Michael” Ain’t that the truth?

        • Michael Says:

          Mitchell,

          That ram carving on your LG-380 is VERY cool.

          I understand your desire for the 300s, too, as I have a couple of those in left-hand. One’s a standard target model, and the other is a 300s Mini. I find I’m going to the Mini more and more as it’s about 1 1/2 pounds lighter than the other.

          Now that you have one of the three ultimate 10 meter springers, you’re going to have to complete the trio with a 300s and a Diana 75! Man, there’s no stopping NOW! :^)

          If I ever see an LG-380 in lefty that’s not too pricey . . . oh yeah right, like THAT’S gonna happen.

          Hey, with that unique ram carving, you have to name it. Ram Jet?

          Michael

          • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

            When I first got into airguns around the turn of the millenium, I browsed the web looking for anything I could find about them, and even at that time, everyone held the FWB 300S as the quintessential springer for paper punching duty. It was at that point I vowed to own one someday, but once I saved up the cash for one, I blew it on a RWS M54 because I was still afflicted with magnum springeritis. After life threw me a few curveballs I went back to my airgun hobby a little older and wiser and now appreciate lower powered guns a whole heck of alot more. I saved some money again and went to the show on the hunt, but when I found that 380 I knew it was the ticket even before seeing the neat carving on the stock. You are right though, my itch for 10 meter rifles still isn’t completely scratched and I’m still going to have to source a Feinwerkbau. Honestly I’m curious how well a Walther LGR shoots now too, as I love my IZH 46M and would love a fine rifle equivalent. As for naming my rifle, I tried thinking of something teutonic or Bavarian and came up with nothing. Anyhow, I think I’ve posted enough for today, haha. Have a good night everyone..

            • Michael Says:

              Mitchell,

              You might consider a Feinwerkbau 601 or 603 rather than the Walther LGR. The 600 series, especially the 601, usually are an extra one or two fpe than the LGR, and they are MUCH easier to cock than the LGR as the LGR cocks in the wrong direction — away from your body — for maximum leverage.

              My 601 (cocks towards the shooter, for maximum leverage) cocks slightly easier than does my Avanti 853 single stroke. And as for that, no single-stroke, including the Avantis/Daisys, cock as easily as a 300s. A 300s, at 11 pounds of effort, can be cocked with the shooter’s index finger. (Just don’t make the rookie mistake of using the release latch to cock the lever. One needs to grasp the actual lever for the good of the gun.)

              My joke about the 300s (although not the Mini) is that it takes only 11 pounds of pull to cock it, which is the same number of pounds the rifle WEIGHS. :^)

              Frankly, if I could have only two 10 meter rifles, including PCPs, in lefty, they would be my FWB 300s Mini and a lefty Anschutz LG-380. They are both recoil-less (to the shooter) and cock effortlessly.

              The Diana 75 would be my third choice, but they are complicated enough with their giss system that the time will soon come when only a few people in the world will be genuinely qualified to rebuild ‘em. The 300s is much simpler, the LG-380 in-between in mechanical complexity.

              Overall, I feel Feinwerkbau, Anschutz, and Steyr stand together as the very best 10 meter target guns, quality-wise and design-wise over the past 30 or so years. Then Walther just a hair after.

              But unless your middle name is “Annie Oakley,” you won’t ever outshoot any of these 10 meter guns.

              Michael

              • Michael Says:

                Actually, something occurred to me that Kevin touches on that I completely forgot above. The FWB 600 series are impossible to scope without a permanent, value-reducing modification of cutting the breech cover back.

                The REALLY cool thing about the LGR is that it is the most scopable of ‘em all. (Although I have two of my FWBs, one 300s and the 150, scoped, and both were scoped easily without modification, as your LG-380 ought to be as well.)

                Sorry about that oversight in favor of the LGR.

                Michael

          • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

            How hard is it sourcing left handed models by the way? Do they really sell for a little less than right handed guns?

            • kevin Says:

              Mitchell in Dayton,

              Fewer left handed models made usually means rarer and usually means higher price in more sought after models. Don’t expect a discount and when you find a left hand model in the gun you want don’t dally. Jim Edmondson had a left handed model Walther LGR for sale a couple days ago on brad’s. You can email JimE at x.troutdr “AY” gmail.com or call him, 818-451-8864

              kevin

              • Mitchell in Dayton Says:

                I’m not left handed actually, I just noticed in the blue book it says to discount some for left handed models an awful lot. I get that left handed models are rarer but at the same time the target buyer market is fewer as well, so I was just curious. I already bugged Jim E. a couple weeks ago, and I’m sure I will again once I have some more money to make a deal with! Thanks!

                • kevin Says:

                  Mitchell,

                  The blue book is a good reference but it’s not a bible ;-). Not uncommon to see desirable left handed models sell for more than the same right handed models.

                  The Walther LGR U is a wonderful airgun. They changed the 10 meter Olympic game for air rifle. I like that they’re easily scoped and the LGR U allows the cheek piece to adjust high enough for a very good cheek weld while permitting the scope to allow clearance for the flip up pellet loading port.

                  If you had a Diana 54 you probably won’t mind the unusually long side cocking lever (when compared to a FWB 300 or Anschutz 380) on the LGR. They’re wonderfully accurate and very easy to shoot but are at the low end of velocity even for match guns. The good news is that they’re very cheap to reseal.

                  Kevin

                  • Michael Says:

                    Kevin, you said a lot in favor of the LGR simply when you wrote, “while permitting the scope . . .”.

                    They are scopable whereas the FWB single-strokes are not.

                    I forgot about that.

                    Michael

                    • kevin Says:

                      Michael,

                      Don’t discount the FWB series of side lever springers if you want to scope them. The RT series were built for scopes not match sights for example.

                      kevin

                • Michael Says:

                  Don’t believe the Blue Book on that! I have five Feinwerkbaus in left-hand, and each was at least a little more than if it were identical in condition but in righty. They are an early Beeman FWB 124, a target 300s, 300s Mini, 601, and, drum roll please, a 150 with tyrolean (yep, lefty tyrolean) stock.

                  Jim Edmondson is a great guy and excellent source for 10 meter springers, especially FWBs. He is a regular on another, easily searched and found airgun board known for its classified page.

                  Michael

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Mitchell,

          I remember seeing three BB guns sell for $41,000, cash! That was at the old Roanoke show.

          B.B.

  • hawaiian eye Says:

    Reb
    I’m not familiar with a sliding breech, but you can only contact ARH through e mail no phone #’s so you have to ask specific questions and I only ask about velocity tar they do have something called clear tar and they have a lubrication package with heavy tar, clear tar & moly. I only asked about velocity tar.
    There saying the package deal sells for $22. Plus shipping
    Stan

  • hawaiian eye Says:

    Oops too much velocity! I better slow down!

  • kevin Says:

    Get some dramamin and take a video tour of the Findlay show courtesy of Seth, “blackhog down”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkemdTNuyV8&feature=youtu.be

    kevin

    • G & G Says:

      Kevin,

      I just wanted to thank you so much for telling me about Al in Yulee, Fl. and his airgun club. I contacted him and I will be shooting with them for the first time this Saturday. The club’s name is North Florida Shooters. I am really excited about it. Thanks again.

      By the way, I finally sprung for one of those fancy European guns. Man, it is accurate. Although, I may actually be shooting better with one of my Air Arms. I am very in tune with it right now.

      G&G

      • kevin Says:

        G & G,

        Really happy to hear you’re getting together with other airgunners! Those are my favorite times. Guys that share the same interest and share airguns are special times. The shooting part at our get togethers is informal and fun too.

        Good for you. You’re taking the sport to a new level.

        Hope you find the time to update us about your new airgun experience!

        kevin

        • G & G Says:

          Kevin,

          I’ll do that. These guys have a competition shoot to begin with. This month it’s PCP’s and CO2 guns. Then the rest of the day is fun shooting and just hanging out. I’m really looking forward to it.

          Again, thanks so much.

          G&G

  • G & G Says:

    If there is another mid-power breakbarrel that I hope B.B.s new Gamo shoots like it would be the Weihrauch HW30S (R7). That little gun impresses the heck out of me. My favorite breakbarrel.

    G&G

  • Chris Says:

    Tom, it was a pleasure meeting you after reading your blog for so long. Wish I would have gotten a chance to chew your ear off a little more but there were a lot of people trying to talk to you. Maybe i’ll get a chance next year to hear the story behind that dime of yours…….

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