Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

Daisy Red Ryder
Daisy Red Ryder.

This report covers:

  • Why velocity today?
  • Oil the gun
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Umarex Precision Steel BBs
  • No Smart Shot BBs
  • Cocking is different
  • Summary

This is our last look at Daisy’s Red Ryder, and how fitting that it comes just in time for Christmas. Every year tens of thousands of Red Ryders are sold in this nation. It’s almost an established part of the holiday season and is certainly a rite of passage for a young shooter. The Daisy company certainly thinks so, as the Red Ryder is the mainstay of their business and has been for a great many decades. No doubt there will be some changes made by the new owners at Gamo, but let’s hope they have the good sense to leave the Red Ryder alone.

read more


Sheridan Supergrade: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sheridan Supergrade
Sheridan model A, also called the Supergrade.

Sheridan Supergrade: Part 1
Sheridan Supergrade: Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Crosman Premiers
  • Sheridan Cylindrical pellets
  • Now, for the interesting stuff!
  • Pelletgage
  • Too many variables!
  • Trigger
  • Results

I think today will open some eyes. I know it opened mine! Today is accuracy day with the Sheridan Supergrade I borrowed. I’ll get right into it, because the surprises came during the test.

Crosman Premiers

Though no longer made, Crosman Premiers in .20 caliber are some of the most accurate pellets I’ve ever used. I started with them. It’s 10 shots at 10 meters from a bag rest. I pumped the gun 5 times for each shot. The Supergrade has an adjustable rear peep sight that should be more precise than the open sights on my Sheridan Blue Streak.

read more


Mosin Nagant M1944 BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Mosin Nagant M1944 BB gun
Mosin Nagant M1944 BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Correction
  • Install CO2
  • Daisy BBs
  • Air Venturi Copper-plated steel BBs
  • H&N Smart Shot BBs
  • Shot count
  • The sling
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation

Correction

In Part 1 I told you the true barrel length of this Mosin Nagant M1944 BB gun is around 5 inches. Someone called me on that so I measured it again today. Now I am reading a length of 15.5 inches. The real barrel is buried deep inside an outer jacket that conforms to the appearance of the firearm barrel, so measuring is done by means of a thin cleaning rod. I’ve gone back and corrected Part 1 to reflect what I’ve learned.

Install CO2

Today is velocity day. This BB gun is rated to 427 f.p.s., which is very brisk, so take precautions to eliminate bouncebacks. Let’s begin by installing one 12-gram CO2 cartridge.

read more


Diana model AR-8: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR-8 N-TEC air rifle.

  • The rifle
  • Big!
  • Inexpensive?
  • Sights
  • Scope base
  • Trigger
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

The full title of the rifle we are looking at today is the Diana AR-8 Professional Success. That’s right. Apparently the Germans have hired Koreans to name to their airguns. Remember Shin Sung — Good Luck for Dignified Masterworks?

The rifle

The rifle I’m testing is a .22, but it also comes in .177. The serial number I’m testing is 20067725. The name AR8 is derived from the Blaser R8 Professional bolt action rifle, though that firearm bears little physical resemblance to this air rifle. Perhaps they mean similar in performance within the airgun world.

The AR-8 has a gas piston unit — the Diana N-TEC piston. That is a unitized piston assembly with an internal gas spring. I tested one before in the 340 N-TEC, and I know how nice it can be. Let’s hope the AR-8 tests just as well.

read more


Plan B

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • DB Cooper
  • What does this mean to you?
  • Range bags
  • How to spot a newbie
  • Riddle
  • The moral

I started writing today’s blog at 6 am, and three hours into the test I encountered a drop-dead fault with the rifle — something that has to be repaired. So, the test had to end and I was already well into my work day. What to do?

I’ll tell you about the problem when I finally do the review. Today I want to talk about having backup plans.

DB Cooper

When DB Cooper hijacked the airplane and bailed out over southern Washington state, he must have known the FBI would fool with the four parachutes they supplied him. My squadron of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment (over a thousand men), spent a month searching the probable impact site with the FBI. The airplane’s flight recorder told us when he left the plane (time, altitude and airspeed) and the weather data for that evening told us the trajectory. We searched for a small crater in the steep mountains and discovered very little of him. If he did crater, it wasn’t inside the search area. We did find the remains of another possible homicide, though, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

read more


Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Velocity
  • Hobby
  • Disassembly
  • Tuning tip
  • Build quality
  • It worked!
  • Oil the piston seal
  • Velocity after lubrication
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • Trigger
  • Impressions

I’m diving right into the Mauser 300SL. Today will be velocity day, plus I will try to treat the mainspring(s) with Tune in a Tube. Lots to do, so let’s get started.

Velocity

If I don’t test the velocity of the rifle before trying to tune it I know many readers will be upset, but I’m only going to test a single pellet. That will give us a before/after comparison with Tune in a Tube. However, the way this rifle vibrates, there is no way I’m not going to try to calm it down. It’s supposed to be a target rifle anyway, so raw velocity is not important.

read more


Sheridan Supergrade: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sheridan Supergrade
Sheridan model A, also called the Supergrade.

Sheridan Supergrade: Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Test 1
  • Unscheduled test
  • Test 2
  • Test 4
  • Pump effort
  • Accuracy next

I was able to borrow a Supergrade Sheridan for today’s test. Since we all compare this rifle to the Blue Streak anyway, I decided to run the same test that I did for my recently rebuilt Sheridan Blue Streak.

This rifle was made in 1948 and as far as we can tell, it has never been rebuilt. When the owner received it, the valve wasn’t operating correctly. So he opened up the rifle and cleaned all the parts he could see. The valve was not disassembled. He also lubricated the gun, and it started shooting for him.

read more