Some frank talk about optics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Dot sights — the good and the bad
  • The downside of dot sights
  • Dot sight summary
  • Compact scopes
  • Compact scope summary
  • High magnification
  • Summary of high magnification
  • Know the limitations of your equipment

Last week I asked for help determining how to test and evaluate a set of scope rings and a new scope. I got some good suggestions, but there was also a lot of discussion about optics that I would like to address today. I’m calling this report “Frank talk about optics” because this is what I would tell you if we were speaking privately. I’m not trying to sell you anything today. I just want you to consider some fundamentals when you select an optical sight.

Dot sights — the good and the bad

A dot sight shows an illuminated dot inside an optical tube that can be placed on a target of your choosing. Let’s start with the good stuff. I am preparing to demonstrate the Air Venturi Air Bolt system to the public at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show this coming Saturday, and I mounted a dot sight on the Sam Yang Dragon Claw 500cc rifle I’m using. I needed a sight that is quick to acquire the target and also very reliable, so I selected a red dot sight.

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Beeman Double Barrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman Double Barrel air rifle
Beeman Double Barrel air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Gamo acquires Daisy
  • Beeman Double Barrel air rifle
  • Double barrel?
  • Description
  • Initial impressions
  • The rifle
  • Barrels
  • Stock
  • Metal finish and plastic
  • Sights
  • The manual
  • The trigger
  • Upcoming tests and challenges
  • Impression so far

Gamo acquires Daisy

First the news. Yesterday, July 5th, Gamo Outdoor SL announced the acquisition of Daisy Outdoor Products. “This is the beginning of a new chapter in Daisy’s history”, said Joe Murfin, Vice President of Public Relations. Indeed, it is. It will be interesting to watch this new association as it grows into a new entity.

Now, let’s look at an air rifle that’s unusual.

Beeman Double Barrel air rifle

Today I begin my review of the Beeman Double Barrel air rifle. Let me start by mentioning that’s not its real name. The Chinese owners of the Beeman company actually named this unique air rifle the Dual by Beeman. However, in light of the fact that there have been several rifles called the Beeman Dual Caliber air rifle over the past several years, the stage was set for mass confusion.

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Sig MPX pellet sub-machinegun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Sauer MPX sub-machinegun
Sig Sauer MPX sub-machinegun is a heavy, solid airgun.

This report covers:

  • Wow!
  • Description
  • Match pellets
  • Back to the gun
  • Accuracy
  • Sights
  • 30 Pellets — how do they do it?
  • Manual needs revision
  • Overall evaluation

Today we begin looking at the MPX sub-machinegun from Sig Sauer. This is a different airgun, in that it is is being manufactured for, distributed by, promoted by and sold by Sig Sauer themselves. In other words, this airgun is one Sig is proud of — and in case you aren’t a firearm shooter, Sig is very proud of everything they make and sell.

I waited patiently for this gun. I know others beat me to the punch, but their enthusiasm may have caused some problems. A few guns were allowed to go out without the company’s stamp of approval. I watched as that happened and I waited until things were right. Sig tells me they are right now, so the airguns I will test for you are the ones Sig is proud to sell.

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Can a fixed-barrel airgun have barrel droop?

by B.B. Pelletier

This report is in response to a comment Pyramyd Air got from a customer who doubts that fixed-barrel airguns can ever droop. His position is that they can only have droop if the barrel is heated in some way (as on a firearm that fires very fast) or if the gun is assembled in a shoddy fashion.

He said he believed barrel droop is only commonly found on breakbarrel airguns, which is why he said he would never own one. He thought that droop was mostly caused by the metallurgy of the barrel.

Today, I’d like to address the subject of barrel droop in detail. It can be caused by many things, but poor metallurgy isn’t one of them. Barrels do not bend from cocking, despite what some people may think. It is true that a barrel can be bent by human force, but the force required to do so is much greater than the heaviest cocking effort on the most powerful magnum airgun. So, poor metallurgy is not a contributor to barrel droop.

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2012 SHOT Show: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

This is the second of my reports on the 2012 SHOT Show. There will certainly be at least one more after this, and perhaps even more, as there’s simply too much new information to pack into a single report.

The state of the airgun industry in 2012
Before I get to some specifics, I want to make a general observation. This year’s SHOT Show was different for me in a major way, because I saw for the first time that firearms shooters are beginning to understand airguns as never before. In the past, I always had to start my explanations with the cooling of the earth’s crust and then progress through the age of the dinosaurs because each firearms person I talked to thought of airguns as either toys or BB guns. This year, a lot of them were clued-in on what’s happening. They weren’t surprised by the accuracy we get, and they knew about big bores. A lot of them had some airgun experience and more than a few asked me the same kind of questions that I get from long-time readers of this blog.

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Crosman’s new M4-177 multi-pump air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

As you read this, I’m at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. I’ll be there all week. In fact, today is Media Day, where the media gets to go to an outdoor shooting range in Boulder City and shoot the guns displayed by manufacturers, importers and distributors. Since I won’t be monitoring comments much of this week, I would appreciate it if our regular readers would help answer them. Edith will still monitor all the comments but may not have a chance to answer many more than she already does.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Crosman’s new M4-177 is a smart-looking M4 battle rifle lookalike.

How many of you remember that I said I would come back to the Crosman M4-177 multi-pump air rifle and test it at longer range with a dot sight? Well, if everything went right, Mac and I are out at the range in Las Vegas at the SHOT Show Media Day today, but while we are seeing and shooting all the new guns you guys get one more look at this one.

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New BKL mount adjusts for barrel droop: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

It’s been half a year since I did Part 1 of this report. I always meant to do today’s test, but other things seemed to crop up every time I was ready. I did make an excursion in another direction to test BSA’s 2×20 pistol scope using another mount on the Beeman P1 air pistol. Such is the tangled life of the airgun blogger!

New territory!
Today’s report takes me into fresh territory with my Slavia 631 breakbarrel rifle. I had earmarked it as a testbed rifle for testing the accuracy of lead-free pellets a long time ago, but the lack of a scope mount caused me to substitute the Whiscombe rifle at the last minute. You see, the Slavia air rifles all share a common problem when it comes to mounting scopes. They have dovetails that are among the very widest on the market. Most 11mm scope mounts will not expand wide enough to fit the 14mm dovetails (they are still called 11mm, which creates a world of confusion among buyers who try to scope their rifles) that are standard on all Slavia breakbarrels. Even for me — with a drawerful of specialized airgun mounts and prototypes — the Slavia remained a gun I could not scope until this new BKL mount hit the market.

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