Collecting airguns: Scarcity 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Success!
  • Reality
  • How rare is rare?
  • Second gun
  • The big one
  • A defective design
  • USMR
  • History is the point
  • Scarce gun number 2
  • The difference
  • Celebrity association
  • Moral?
  • Is it real?
  • Sow’s ear
  • Don’t fall for it
  • Market-driven scarcity
  • Summary

Success!

This history section of the daily blog is a big success. Many readers are interested in collecting and learning about vintage airguns, so I am starting a series on collecting. There will be some things that you have seen before, but I hope to put it in a new light. And I have some new things to share, as well. I have already identified several topics for reports, so this promises to be a long one! I won’t run it consecutively, though. I’ll weave in in amongst the reports on historical items of interest. In the end I may turn it into a feature for “Firearms News”.

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Millita breakbarrel rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Millitia rifle
Millita air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Adjusted the sights
  • H&N Finale Match light
  • Artillery hold
  • Summary

Okay, it’s accuracy day for the Millita. Time to see what the old girl can do.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bag rest at 10 meters, using open sights. I also tried it one time using the artillery hold, so we can compare.

JSB Exact RS

First up were 10 JSB Exact RS pellets. This is the one pellet I shot both ways — rested directly on the sandbag and also held with the artillery hold. All shots were with a 6 o’clock hold. This first test was rested on the bag.

Ten RS pellets went into a group that measures 0.929-inches between centers at 10 meters. The group is a little low and to the right of the bull. I decided not to adjust the sights yet.

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FWB 124 air rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
This FWB 124 Deluxe is not the exact gun I’m writing about, but it is the same model.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • To scope or not?
  • Long sight-in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • That’s it
  • Open sights versus a scope
  • Summary

Before we begin I have sad news. A reader who often commented on this blog, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe, passed away on Jun 24. He had an accident a week before and suffered a brain injury that overcame him. He will be missed on this blog.

Today I scope the FWB 124 and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We last looked at this rifle on June 12, and it was tested with open sights at 25 yards. In that test JSB Exact RS pellets gave me a 0.889-inch ten-shot group and Air Arms Falcon pellets put 10 into 0.874-inches. Today we will see what effect scoping the rifle has. Many people believe it will be even more accurate, because most of the aiming error will vanish.

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Millita breakbarrel rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Millitia rifle
Millita air rifle.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Another find from Findlay
  • It’s a rifle
  • Description
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • It’s been lubricated
  • What we have

Another find from Findlay

Today we start looking at an air rifle that I know very little about. I bought it from someone who walked into the Findlay airgun show, earlier this year. In the Blue Book of Airguns on page 593 it is called a Millita-style air rifle. While there are many different air riflesmade in that style, I think the one I have is the real thing!

The seller didn’t know very much about the rifle and the buyer knew even less. But the rifle seemed to be complete and sound and the price was fair, so I took the plunge. I knew I would be testing it here and probably one of you readers could tell me all about it. I will tell you what I have been able to find and you can fill in the blanks.

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How much polish…?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Is it worth the effort?
  • Ray Apelles
  • Sucked in
  • What was done
  • The point
  • Wasting time with the best of them
  • Time isn’t for sale
  • Get real
  • Treasure hunting

…to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse?

Is it worth the effort?

Yesterday’s report inspired this one. In testing the BSA Meteor Mark I, I discovered more about myself than I did about the airgun. When that happens I pay attention, because you can never know too much about yourself.

I discovered that when all is said and done, I don’t like investing time and effort in something that was dredged up from the muck, just to prove a point. Because, what am I proving? That spending a lot of time and money can make any airgun a good one? Or, am I just proving that I am an eccentric?

This isn’t something I have known all along. I spent many years doing stupid things — chasing rainbows and unicorns. I guess we all have to do that to learn what matters in life.

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FWB 124 air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
This FWB 124 Deluxe is not the exact gun I’m writing about, but it is the same model.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The motivation
  • What did I get?
  • Now what?
  • Why???
  • The lesson
  • History
  • Long stroke piston
  • Summary

I had planned to tear into the Beeman R8 again today, to see whether removing most of the special new grease I put in when I lubed it would improve the velocity, but I’m not at home so I can’t do that. My other plan for today was to begin telling you about another new/old airgun I found at the 2017 Findlay airgun show. That I can do, so here we go. Let’s look at an FWB 124.

The motivation

Before I begin describing the gun I want to tell you why I’m writing about yet another FWB 124. I have already written about so many of them! The last report was titled A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 and ended in February of 2011. It was a 15-part report that probably turned many readers off because it went on too long. I vowed never to write about the 124 again, but that was before this year’s Findlay show.

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Beeman R8: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The beginning
  • What is a lube tune?
  • The rifle
  • Initial impressions
  • The plan
  • History
  • Summary

When talking about guns that become favorites, they say the airgun picks the shooter. Actually they say that about a lot of hobbies. This R8 certainly picked me — and then steamrolled me into submission!

The beginning

I was at the dinner/reception the evening before the 2017 Findlay airgun show last weekend when Tyler Patner and Kristen Coss from Pyramyd Air walked in. I went over to say hello and Tyler asked me a question about an old airgun they had brought to sell. Actually they brought about 50 old guns and a lot of vintage Beeman pellets that they received in the purchase of a dealership. I asked to see the list and noticed a Beeman R8. That is an airgun I have never directly tested, though my Tyrolean breakbarrel that’s one of my all-time favorites started out as an R8. That one was tuned, and I always wondered what a standard R8 would be like, so I cut a deal for this rifle, sight unseen.

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