Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is a guest blog from reader Dennis. He may have a handle, but I don’t know what it is.

Today he presents an air rifle he really enjoys. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now over to you, Dennis.

Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

By Dennis

BSA GRT Lightning XL
BSA GRT Lightning XL SE.

This report covers:

  • Introduction
  • The rifle
  • The optics
  • The shooter
  • Issues and solutions
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Introduction

The BSA Lightning was reviewed a few times a few years ago [However, not on this blog — as far as I can tell, Ed.]. The results were mixed. One had no idea whether or not the gun was a keeper. Well, she is for me, and I want to tell you why.
I love this gun! It is beautiful and accurate. It is light and ergonomically designed. Yep, I love her, but getting to this point was difficult. The courtship was long and tortuous. Let me take you instead by the straight and narrow path directly to the end which is quite good.

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Gamo Swarm Maxim: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading
  • The feeding mechanism
  • Velocity JSB Exact RS
  • Gamo PBA Platinum pellets
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Back to JSB RS
  • What about dry fires?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the new Gamo Swarm Maxim multi-shot rifle. Of course this rifle is so different that we will also be looking at several things we don’t normally see. Should be an interesting report.

Loading

I was concerned about loading the magazine because I have some experience with other multi-shot breakbarrels and none of it is good. But the Swarm magazine loads like any rotary PCP mag, so there is no worry. Like most of them, there is an o-ring that’s around the entire rotary wheel and part of it intrudes into each chamber to hold the pellets. Consequently, they don’t just drop in. You have to push on their bases a little to get the heads past the rubber.

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Gamo Swarm Maxim: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Feeding is the problem
  • Issues
  • Scope
  • Trigger!
  • Silenced
  • The rifle
  • The magazine
  • Summary

Before we begin I want to draw your attention to the fact that Pyramyd Air has made it possible to post pictures to the blog. The Choose Image box is right there with the comments. This is something you have long asked for. I hope you will enjoy this new feature.

Today I start looking at the Gamo Swarm Maxim multi-shot rifle. This is a repeating breakbarrel springer — a type of air rifle that has never been very successful in the past. The problem is getting soft lead pellets to feed reliably without distorting.

Feeding is the problem

Gamo made several breakbarrel repeaters under the El Gamo name years ago and they were all quite fussy about the length and shape of the pellets they would feed. If you owned one you had to stock up on the pellets it liked because almost anything else would jam. These rifles were called by their titles with -matic tacked on the end. There were names like the Expomatic and the Gamatic as so on. They fed from linear magazines that caused the feeding issues. Anyone who has owned a Crosman 600 pistol knows what I’m talking about.

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How to make a spring-piston air rifle shoot smooth: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Legacy SE
The Benjamin Legacy SE.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The rifle
  • Important point!
  • The chase
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger
  • Accuracy
  • Summary

Today’s report should make an interesting contrast to the work I have been doing on Geo791’s Diana RWS 34P. By the end of this report I think you will see that American airgun manufacturers have the ability to make world-class spring guns. Let’s get right to it.

The rifle

Now I’ll tell you a little about the gun we have been looking at. The Legacy SE looks a lot like Benjamin Trail rifles. There’s no Weaver scope base because the Legacy SE was made years before Crosman began putting Weaver bases on their Trail rifles. What it does have is a set of conventional 11mm dovetail grooves with a single hole at the back for a vertical scope stop pin. Given the extreme smoothness and lack of recoil, that was good enough. There are no open sights.

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How do you know…?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • August’s question
  • Experience
  • How do you tell…
  • Expected power
  • Piston stroke
  • Age of the gun
  • Chronograph or other means of power determination
  • How do you know? — case 1
  • Case 2
  • Last point
  • The last word

Today’s topic tries to address a question I am sure many newer airgunners have at some point. How do you know when a spring gun need repair? It was asked last week by reader August, who lives in Germany. Here is what he asked.

August’s question

”How do I recognize that an older gun piston seal is going bad? From reading the blog I gather that I can chrony it. But this gun delivered until right before the final breakdown. Only the last five shots it became slower. On opening the gun I saw that the outer part of the plastic seal was detached from the rest and had blocked the spring tube probably causing the older spring to break.

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Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Umarex Throttle offers a lot for a little money.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Long time
  • Good trigger
  • Nice scope
  • Handling
  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • What to do?
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Something different
  • RWS Superpoint
  • What now?
  • Conclusion

I’m back. I said at the end of Part 3 that I wanted to test the Umarex Throttle air rifle at 25 yards and today is the day.

Long time

It’s been a long time since I shot the Throttle, so I had to experience it all over again. First I note that the rifle cocks easier (28 pounds) than the 16-18 foot-pounds of muzzle energy would normally require. Umarex engineers got that part right.

Good trigger

I do like the trigger. Though it feels heavier than I’m used to, it breaks crisply, which helps accuracy.

Nice scope

I found that I like the scope, although I had to adjust it for today’s test. Once the parallax was set I discovered that the eyepiece was way off for me. The crosshairs appeared double on the target. I unscrewed the eyepiece at least a quarter-inch and everything sharpened up. My aiming was precise from that point on. For a scope that comes in a bundled deal, this one is surprisingly nice.

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Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Rail Lock Compressor
The Air Venturil Rail Lock spring compressor is compact.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Attaches to scope rail
  • Enter the R8!
  • R8 out of the stock
  • Remove the Rekord trigger
  • Unscrew the end cap
  • Install the mainspring compressor
  • Removing the end cap
  • One last photo
  • Assembly
  • Evaluation so far

Today I start testing the new Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor. Many of you have expressed an interest in this tool, and I want to test it as broadly as possible, because all airguns are not made the same.

Attaches to scope rail

This compressor attaches to the scope rail on your airgun. It will work on both pistols and rifles — as long as there is a scope rail to attach to. It attaches to both 11mm dovetails and Weaver/Picatinney dovetails. The rails have to be close enough to the rear of the spring tube to allow the compressor to work, but that will become clear when you see the pictures.

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