Today’s report is a simple one. But it’s also profound. This is a diamond mine where the diamonds are laying about for anyone to pick up.
When we look at vintage and antique airguns, it’s more than just the guns themselves that hold our interest. It’s also the unique parts of the guns that can be special. Today I want to present a special trigger from centuries past that is still having an impact in airguns today.
Most of the information in this report comes from the excellent book, The Crossbow, by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey. It was copyrighted in 1903 and was reprinted by Barnes & Noble Books, Inc. in 1996.
Today we look at the velocity of the Bersa BP9CC BB pistol in dual tone finish. Remember, I mentioned in Part 1 that the short barrel (2.91-inches) would slow the gun down? Today we see if that is the case. ASG, who markets the gun, advertises it as a 350 f.p.s. gun.
Usually these BB stick magazines are easy to load. This one is okay, but a little fiddly. Pull the follower down and lock it in place, then load the BBs one at a time through a hole at the top rear of the mag. I see no possibility for a speedloader for this magazine.
The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.
When BB guns were new in the 1880s, they shot lead shotgun shot in the size BB. That’s where the name BB gun comes from. BBs were nominally 0.180-inches in diameter. Nominally means that they were supposed to be about that size and they were sorted by screens to ensure they were all close to that size, but let’s be honest — does it really matter whether a single piece of birdshot in actually 0.180-inches or 0.182-inches? Not to a shotgunner, it doesn’t. Maybe uniform shot gives a more uniform pattern, but there are other factors to consider, as well, and shot uniformity is only one of many things.
The history of airguns is fascinating to those who enjoy applied creativity. But sometimes when creativity is carried too far it becomes a liability. And that’s the case with today’s guns.
Rocky Mountain Arms Corporation
In the 1970s the Rocky Mountain Arms Corporation (RMAC) created a little gun for kids who wanted to shoot with their fathers. They referred to it as a .22 caliber, though it shot a number 4 buckshot that is really 0.24 inches rather than 0.223 inches in diameter. That didn’t matter because a 5-pound bag number 4 buckshot was available for a few dollars. For that you got thousands of shots. Nobody worried about the size of the ball that much.
The Bersa BP9CC is a small sidearm. It’s slightly larger than a pocket pistol, which is diminutive for a sidearm. It’s a close copy of the Bersa Thunder firearm that chambers the 9X19 (Luger) cartridge. The pistol I am testing is a two-tone gun with a silver slide and black frame. The slide is metal and the frame is polymer — similar to many new handguns today. Because the gun is small, the grip is both slim and comfortable for average adult hands.
Today I’ll talk about Edith’s shooting. When I met her in 1982, she wasn’t a shooter. She was very neutral on the subject of shooting. When we started talking about marriage I told her I was an active shooter and there would be guns in the house. She said she didn’t mind, but I had to teach her how to handle them safely. She told me the only shooting she had ever done was with a .22 rimfire Ruger pistol owned by her first husband. She said she didn’t feel one way or the other about the experience, but the little shooting she had done seemed like fun. So we started slowly on my Sheridan Blue Streak, learning the basics of safe gun handling.