Air canes

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • What is an air cane?
  • What was their purpose?
  • Air cane styles
  • One special air cane
  • Shooting air canes
  • Fascinating hobby

This report was requested by several readers after seeing a cased air cane in an earlier history report.

In the 19th century, the airgun world developed many curiosities, but none made more of an impression on today’s collectors than the pneumatic walking stick, or air cane, as it has come to be known. They survive by the thousands and fascinate all who see them. Today I’d like to examine the air cane!

disassembled air cane
Here we see a complete simple straight cane disassembled. From the left the parts are: the lower outer shell, the upper outer shell that is also the reservoir, the smoothbore barrel and lock, with the firing valve removed from the reservoir, the rifled barrel insert and the ramrod that doubles as the cane’s outer tip for walking.

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How and why airguns change over time

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • They don’t make ‘em like they used to
  • Are today’s airguns better?
  • 1. Technology — back then
  • Technology — now
  • 2. Understanding the principles — back then
  • Understanding the principles — now
  • 3. Company staff and leadership — back then
  • Company staff and leadership — now
  • 4. Market trends — then and now
  • Summary

Happy New Year! May 2016 be a good year for all of us.

They don’t make ‘em like they used to

Ain’t that the truth? Nothing is the same anymore. Usually when people discuss this subject they only remember the good things from the past. Things like the heavy metal Detroit muscle cars that had huge engines. They forget that those engines had to be tuned up every 10K miles, or that they often leaked oil.

As far as airguns go people remember blued steel and walnut stocks. They remember airguns that were made like firearms, and they both looked and felt like it. But a lot of facts are edited out.

Before 1970, an airgun that could achieve 800 feet per second (f.p.s.) velocity was considered a magnum. Today, the same gun would be a youth model, or at best an adult plinker. Today’s airguns top 1,000 f.p.s. regularly. The fastest exceed 1,400 f.p.s.

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Resurrecting a classic airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Your new air cane
  • Oh-oh!
  • But I saw this on TV
  • Back to reality
  • What can break on a vintage air cane?
  • Dialing it back
  • Does this really work?

Merry Christmas! I hope this day finds you smiling and joyful.

Today I want to discuss a topic that seldom arises, yet is at the forefront of every novice collector’s mind. Namely, “Should I (and can I) shoot my antique airgun?” Many of you will agree there is no one right answer to this question, because the answer depends on many things. Today I’d like to discuss a few of them.

Your new air cane

Let’s say you went to an airgun show and were captivated by a beautiful air cane that was still in its original case with all the accoutrements. When you saw it for the first time your heart melted and your wallet popped open with unaccustomed speed. You wanted this air cane!

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The best of B.B.: Can nitrogen be used in PCPs?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The argument
  • Liability
  • So, is nitrogen dangerous?
  • Oxygen can kill you!
  • So what? We’re talking about nitrogen
  • What about other gasses?
  • Show some respect

Tomorrow is Thursday, December 24. It’s Christmas Eve. On that day I’m running a special blog that allows you readers to do most of the writing. We will all tell which airgun we would like to receive for Christmas, and I will start it in the text. Be thinking about the one airgun you want the most this year.

I realize that not all readers celebrate the Christmas holiday. But don’t let that deter you from commenting. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this exercise is open to all readers.

I’m running some Best of B.B. reports to give myself some time at Christmas. I have family and guests this week, and I can’t get to the computer as often as I would like. This report was first published back on January 15, 2008. I have updated and added a few things to it for today.

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The Modoc big bore from Air Ordnance: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

MODOC
The Modoc from Air Ordnance is a new single shot big bore in 9mm.

This report covers:

  • What is the Modoc?
  • The difference between 9mm and .357 caliber
  • Aluminum barrel!
  • Long barrel
  • Air cartridges
  • 4500 psi
  • The gun
  • Open sights
  • Weaver bases
  • Air cartridges
  • Open sights
  • Summary

Today we take a look at an unusual air rifle — the Modoc from Air Ordnance.

This is the first time I have written about an airgun from Air Ordnance in this blog, but it isn’t the first time I have tested one. Several years ago I tested the SMG 22 belt-fed carbine they produce and wrote it up in a feature article in Shotgun News. Indeed one of the main photos on my website, The Godfather of Airguns, shows me holding that gun. My buddy, Otho, was so impressed when he shot it that he considered buying one.

What is the Modoc?

The Modoc is a 9mm big bore single shot air rifle, built on what looks like a Remington rolling block action. It isn’t, of course, but the action is steel. It uses an air cartridge instead of a reservoir inside the gun. There are many things about this airgun that are different, and we will consider them today. The first is why Air Ordnance decided to market the Modoc as 9mm instead of .357 caliber, when every other big bore maker on the market has switched over.

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The first pneumatic gun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • First air compressor
  • Condensing chamber/reservoir
  • Valves
  • Controlling force
  • Sealing against air loss
  • The first air valve
  • The rest of the gun was easy
  • Performance
  • When did it happen?

I just finished reading about the Wright brothers quest to fly, and I learned some things. For starters, I never thought about their first flight — how did they know what to do? There was nobody to teach them because mankind hadn’t flown a powered airplane yet. So how did the Wright brothers learn to fly?

Don’t answer that. That was a large part of what the book was about. But do you see a parallel between the Wrights and the person who built the first pneumatic airgun? He had no one to copy, either. He had to do everything himself, because pneumatic guns didn’t exist yet.

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Shooting the Air Venturi Wing Shot air shotgun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi Wing Shot
Air Venturi’s Wing Shot air shotgun is a serious new player in a very small field.

Air Venturi Wing Shot Review

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Shooting impressions
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • First and second test
  • Test with bullets
  • Ammo
  • Third test
  • A good 25-30-yard wing gun
  • Summary

Today I begin a report on the Air Venturi Wing Shot air shotgun. This is not only a new product, it may be the first air shotgun I have tested that is really worthy of that title. We shall see as this test unfolds.

This isn’t the first report on the Wing Shot. You were treated to an early look by guest blogger and Pyramyd Air employee, Derek Goins. Today we start a detailed examination.

Description

The Wing Shot is a .50 caliber gun. It is smoothbore, and has a screw-in choke tube at the muzzle that reduces the bore size by 0.07 mm. We will see today what that does to the shot pattern.

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