They have the wrong twist rate!: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Then came big bores
  • What am I talking about?
  • Bullets don’t work like pellets
  • Bullet length
  • Why bullet diameters matter
  • Hard cast lead bullets
  • Putting all of this together
  • Last story

Before we begin I have some startling news from Umarex USA. Sales manager, Justin Biddle contacted me and told me the new Hammer big bore is regulated.! I certainly did not know that, because this is huge news. It means that those three shots it gets on a fill can all be at the same power level. I have adjusted the SHOT Show report (Part 6) to reflect this new information. And by a strange coincidence, this dovetails nicely with today’s report.

For many years I have written about black powder firearms in this blog, and I have included things like rifling twist rates in those articles. And for years people have written me comments that they appreciate a look at something different, but they would never consider shooting black powder arms or even modern firearms, themselves.

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Air Venturi air compressor: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi compressor

Air Venturi air compressor.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The state of B.B.
  • AirForce Texan .357
  • Otho is drafted!
  • This compressor is fast!
  • Water-cooled
  • Oil lubricated
  • Performance
  • Bottom line?

The state of B.B.

Time for a status update on old B.B. I had an annual eye exam last week and it turns out the problem with my right eye isn’t so much the retina repair as a cataract that is growing rapidly. The good news is it has reached the point where is needs to come out, so tomorrow I go in for a measurement for the operation. I expect the cataract to be removed very soon.

The problem I have had recently with open sights isn’t because of my retina operation. My glasses corrected that. But the growing cataract has degraded my prescription over the past 6 months to the point that no amount of correction is enough. I can still see through a scope well enough, but open sights have to be shot with the left eye. So, I am looking forward to this operation. Why do I tell you this?

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

  • Umarex USA
  • The Hammer
  • .50 caliber
  • Repeater
  • 4500 psi
  • Absolute zero
  • Second Zero
  • MP 40 BB gun
  • Umarex Forge
  • Trevox and Strike Point
  • Optical Dynamics flashlights
  • Still not finished

Before we begin I want to tell you about a blog series I will start this week. I have the new Air Venturi air compressor on hand and I used it for the first time yesterday. It works so well that I’m jumping the line to get the report started. You can expect to start reading about it this week.

The 2017 SHOT Show was the biggest show I have ever experienced for airguns. Some manufacturers like Crosman and Umarex brought out many new gun models and related products that are really different. Others brought out only one of two items, like the Gamo Swarm Maxim, but they are so significantly different that they deserve to be recognized. My work is cut out for me this year!

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Methods of power adjustment — pneumatics: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Pneumatics
  • Single stroke pneumatics
  • Multi-pump pneumatics
  • Precharged pneumatics
  • Short history of PCPs
  • Barrel length
  • Projectile weight
  • Barrel length and projectile weight together
  • Airflow
  • Springs
  • Valve stem travel
  • Valve angle and contact area
  • What’s the ideal?

This is the second part of a report on the methods of adjusting power in an airgun. Reader Riki asked for the report, and a number of other readers seconded his request. I wasn’t planning to also delve into CO2 guns, but several readers asked for that, and I will get to that in a different report. Today we look at pneumatics.

Pneumatics

A pneumatic airgun is one that uses compressed air to power the pellet. While a spring gun also uses compressed air, it is the method of compression that sets it apart from the pneumatics. In spring guns, a piston moves to compress the air at the instant of firing, where in pneumatics, the air is stored inside in a compressed state, waiting for the trigger to release some or all of it.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

  • TexanSS
  • Silenced?
  • New BKL mount
  • Gamo
  • Leapers
  • New 3-12X32 Bugbuster
  • T4 Tactical Compact Prismatic scope
  • The incredible shrinking dot sight!
  • Defense LED Light
  • Steel scope rings
  • More from Air Venturi

TexanSS

Here we go, starting at the AirForce booth, where the big news was the TexanSS, That’s right, kids, AirForce is giving us a silenced big bore!

Silenced?

Can you silence a big bore airgun? Maybe, but not in a package that’s small enough to hunt with. What you can do is reduce the report to the point that it becomes more manageable in a built-up area, and that is what has been done.

TexanSS
AirForce representative, Keeva Segal, holds the new Texan SS.

The TexanSS is an entirely new air rifle. The first offering will be in .45 caliber, but other calibers are sure to follow. The barrel length is 24.75-inches to fit inside the shroud. A shorter barrel means less velocity, and the rifle develops up to 400 foot-pounds, compared to the 500 foot-pounds of the unsilenced Texan that carries the title, “The world’s most powerful production air rifle.” You trade almost a foot of barrel for the quieter operation and still get more power than many big bores can offer.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

  • Air Venturi
  • Lil Duke
  • New Air Bolts
  • Hatsan
  • Semiautomatics
  • Big Bore Carnivore
  • Sun Optics compressor
  • The year of the airgun

Air Venturi

This was the first actual day of the SHOT Show, and the crowd was excited! I stopped at the Air Venturi booth first, so let’s see what’s there.

Lil Duke

First up was the Lil’ Duke BB gun. As you can see, it’s styled after the model 92 Winchester John Wayne carried in a number of his most famous movies, including True Grit. This is the one he fills his hand with.

Lil' Duke
The Lil Duke is bound to become a favorite.

The John Wayne airguns have been quite successful for Air Venturi. They had a second booth upstairs this year where they showed a number of their other John Wayne handguns, including a 1911 that Wayne probably carried in the Sands of Iwo Jima!

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

  • What I saw at Sig
  • What I didn’t see
  • Bucket list
  • Industry Day at the Range
  • Gauntlet
  • Havox
  • Gamo Swarm Maxim
  • Coyote Urban
  • There is more

Inn this report I will cover airguns I saw at Sig Range Day on Sunday, Jan. 15 and at Media Day at the Range on Monday, Jan. 16.

What I saw at Sig

Sig has been breaking into airguns over the past several years. This year they brought out the Max Michel 1911 that I tested for you back in November and December, plus they have now added the Sig P320 ASP pellet pistol. The 320 is unique in 2 ways. First, it has a 30-shot belt-fed magazine, so there are lots of shots on board. We haven’t seen a pistol with a belt-fed mag since Anics walked off the scene, years ago. This one is very slim, too.

The other nice feature is the trigger pull. Though it is a long pull, it is 2-stage and incredibly light. Yours truly was able to nail targets with this gun at respectable distances.

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