Big bore bullets: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

• The dumbbell bullet
• Did those bullets make a difference?
• Longer bullets must spin faster!
• Shorter bullets need less spin to stabilize
• Less contact with rifling reduces friction
• Summary
• Pyramyd Air Cup

Let’s look at big bore bullet design. I’ve written about this before, specifically in this report back in May 2007. And I told you about a big bore contest in which a smoothbore shooting special bullets out-shot many rifles. Let’s look at that first.

The dumbbell bullet
At the 1999 Damascus, Maryland, airgun show, we had a big bore shoot in which about 25 shooters competed. Among them was a father-son team of Bob and Mike Chilko, who each had a big bore gun they had made themselves. Bob shot a .398 underlever, and Mike had a front-pumper that had to be pumped 30 times for each shot. Both guns were smoothbores that shot strange-looking dumbbell-shaped slugs. The funny thing was that they outshot most of the other competitors for accuracy, which included hitting a 4-inch target at 40 yards. In 1999, that was a quite a feat for a big bore airgun — especially a smoothbore!

read more


A range day with BB

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• Some new big bore bullets
• How I test big bore bullets
• The 405-grain standard test
• Testing the 192-grain semi-wadcutter
• Testing the 350-grain conical
• Testing the 8mm Egyptian Hakim
• Testing the new Luger
• Summary

Sometimes, I have little things to tell you that don’t add up to a whole report. These things get worked into other reports where possible, but sometimes they just miss the boat. Today, I decided to tell you about several unrelated things that happened to me on the range last week. I’ll start with the big bore bullet test.

read more


Big bore bullets: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• What’s a big bore airgun?
• Hydrostatic shock
• Back to airguns
• Why, then, the great debate?
• What’s ahead?

What’s a big bore airgun?
While there’s no official definition, those of us who talk about airguns call .177, .20, .22 and .25 calibers the smallbore airgun calibers. From that, you can deduce that anything larger than .25 caliber is a big bore. A few years ago, there was actually a heated debate over this threshold, when a rifle made by the late Jack Haley in .257 caliber competed in and won the last LASSO big bore competition held in Texas. I hope to show in this report why that debate was so heated.

read more


New Pyramyd Air big bore!

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

There are lots of things happening that I can’t always share with you, and this is one of them. In two months, we will see the first Pyramyd Air big bore spring rifle. That’s correct — a spring-piston airgun that’s also a big bore.

To stay with the types of model names they’ve used for other airguns, they’ve decided to call the new gun the Earthquake. The first offering will be a .357-caliber rifle on a breakbarrel action. It will weigh 7 lbs. unscoped. It comes with open sights, but there’s a Weaver base permanently attached to the spring tube.

Pyramyd Air engineers used a customer focus group to design the new rifle’s specifications. It will cock with not more than 20 lbs. of effort. Because a carbine length is most preferred, the overall length of the gun will be 40 inches. The length of pull is adjustable from 12.5 to 15 inches, and the Lothar Walther barrel is just 12 inches.

read more


Lock, stock and barrel

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

When I was a youngster, I thought the term “lock, stock and barrel” referred to an old country store. The term was used to convey completeness or entirety. If someone did all of something, they did it lock, stock and barrel. I never read any explanation of the term, so nothing challenged my views.

It was only when I was in my 30s and was reading about guns a lot that I started to become interested in the old-time gun makers. Many of them bought the barrels for their guns and even more bought the locks. Then they assembled these parts into the stock that they made. There were, however, a few gun makers who made everything. They made the lock, the stock and the barrel.

read more


Benjamin Rogue ePCP: Part 5

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Benjamin Rogue epcp big bore air rifle
The new Rogue is simpler, more tractable.

Think of this report as a bonus. I thought I was finished with the Rogue after Part 4, but then Seth Rowland — the man who organizes the Malvern, AR, airgun show and also provides big bore airgunners with swaged and cast lead bullets — contacted me, saying that he had been following the series. He told me he had a couple different bullet designs, some that he swages and can control the weight and length of the bullet. He wondered if I wanted to test the rifle with some more bullets — this time from a source other than Crosman/Benjamin. He had no idea whether any of the bullets would work in the rifle, but he did know they were large enough to fit the bore well.

read more


Benjamin Rogue ePCP: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Benjamin Rogue epcp big bore air rifle
The new Rogue is simpler, more tractable.

After the last report, I spoke to Dennis Quackenbush about how the new Rogue I was testing. I explained that while it shot well with Benjamin bullets, it didn’t seem to group with cast bullets obtained from other sources. He first suggested that I try the old .38-caliber 200-grain lead bullet that we know as a police round here in the U.S.; but in the UK it was their substitute for the old .455 round. When they downsized their WWI service revolver to reduce the recoil, they substituted the 200-grain .38-cal. bullet for the much larger .455-caliber man-stopper they had in WWI. Unfortunately, they also knocked about 9 oz. off the weight of the revolver at the same time, with the result that the new cartridge and revolver kicked just about the same as the one it replaced. It was easier to carry, of course, and that’s always a consideration, but it wasn’t the man-stopper the older bullet had been.

read more