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 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • Crosman
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Marauder Field & Target
  • Adjustable regulator?
  • 1875 Remington revolver
  • Best for last
  • Whew!

Crosman

Let’s continue with our look at the new airguns and things at the 2017 SHOT Show. We will begin with Crosman. While I was gawking at the guns, Jesse Caster from Crosman came up and showed me everything you are about to see.

Benjamin Wildfire

The first thing I did was examine the new Benjamin Wildfire rifle. Based on the famous Crosman 1077 that is itself a copy of Ruger’s iconic 10/22 rifle, the Wildfire feels just as light as the CO2-powered rifle. I was hoping it would.

Benjamin Wildfire
New Benjamin Wildfire looks very similar to a 1077. The biggest difference is the longer reservoir.

That tells me that the trigger will feel the same. The 1077 trigger both cocks and releases the striker and advanced the 12-shot circular magazine to the next chamber. That’s why I keep insisting it’s a double-action revolver. The feel of the trigger is exactly the same as that of a double action revolver.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • What’s coming
  • Let’s get started
  • MP 40
  • Remington 1875
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Umarex ARX ammo
  • Umarex Hammer
  • Umarex Gauntlet
  • A shrouded Texan?
  • Other new things

Well, it’s that time again. Here I am at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This year will be the biggest one yet for new airguns. And when I say new, I mean really new designs. I’m not interested in a re-skinned gun that’s had other names in the past. There is so much stuff that is really new this year that everything else will get shoved to the rear.

What’s coming

Yesterday I was on the range with Sig and today I am out at Industry Day at the Range. That’s an event that allows gun writers to try out various new products at a gun range. Actually, it’s more than 50 ranges, all lined up, one after another, in a line that’s about a third of a mile long! A few years ago they started putting ranges on the other side of the walkway, for guns that don’t shoot as far — like shotguns and airguns.

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Why won’t my new air rifle shoot well?

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The barrel
  • AirForce Texan .357
  • Is JB Bore Paste safe in a barrel?
  • Why haven’t we heard of this before?
  • What is the accuracy limit?
  • What about brass barrels?
  • Leather shoes
  • What have we learned?

I have been writing this blog for going on 12 years, and before that I wrote The Airgun Letter newsletter for 9 years. In that time I have talked to thousands of new shooters about the accuracy (or lack of accuracy) of their new airguns. This subject comes up more with rifles than pistols, because when a pistol is inaccurate most people blame themselves. But what I am about to tell you holds true for all guns that have rifled barrels.

Today’s blog was prompted by a new reader who calls himself Geo Johnson. George has an RWS Diana 34 that he is having accuracy problems with. We went through the artillery hold, and since I can’t see him shoot I have to take his word that he is doing it right. It makes all the difference in the world if he is putting any pressure on the stock as the rifle fires, but I will assume he is not. I know that a Diana 34 is a very accurate air rifle, so what else could cause it to not be accurate? Loose screws are a possibility, but they are quickly checked.

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Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Gifts for $25 and under
  • Gifts for $100 and under
  • Gifts for $250 and under
  • Gifts with no price limit

First of all, to my American readers — Happy Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I hope you do, too.

With the holidays fast approaching we sometimes need help finding those perfect gifts. This blog offers some of my personal picks this year.

Gifts for $25 and under

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my book, BB Guns Remembered. It’s the perfect short story collection bathroom reader for someone who enjoys nostalgia. And this book makes the B.B. gun the star. At $10 it’s the perfect stocking-stuffer. If your airgunner likes to read, this is a good one!

Your airgunner may like a tin of Smart Shot Lead BBs. These BBs are on the large side and tend to be more accurate than steel BBs in many guns, plus they are much safer. Before ordering these, be sure to ask your airgunner if he has guns that can use them.

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Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol
Max Michel 1911 BB pistol from Sig Sauer.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Sig answers
  • The test
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Recoil!
  • Slide hold-open works
  • Sig BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Evaluation

Sig answers

Today is accuracy day for the Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol. I have heard on my last report about the shot count from Ed Schultz at Sig. He was surprised my pistol got so few shots per CO2 cartridge. His experience has been an average of 77 shots per cartridge, so my test pistol is definitely running on the low end. To be fair, it was a pre-production sample they sent me more than a month ago. The production models may be more refined.

He also mentioned that this pistol was not meant for competition. That’s understood, since there is no action p[istol competition for a BB pistol like this one. Sig would do well to start one, though. It would give buyers a reason to purchase a BB gun like this.

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Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol
Max Michel 1911 BB pistol from Sig Sauer.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading the CO2 cartridge
  • Daisy BBs
  • Sig BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Sig CO2 cartridge
  • Blowback is heavy
  • Trigger pull
  • Overall evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol. Let’s get right to it.

Loading the CO2 cartridge

The CO2 cartridge loads differently than any I have encountered. Remove the left grip panel and pull up on bottom of the flat mainspring housing to unlatch, then swing the housing out of the grip and down under the grip. Now the large end of the cartridge must be inserted into the grip first. There are two flanges at the bottom of the hole in the grip that are too small for the cartridge to pas through, so the large end has to be inserted above them and then dropped inside the grip. That’s the first departure from the norm, but there is one more.

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