An air rifle for a new airgunner

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Accurate gun
  • Who you gonna call?
  • Maybe this isn’t for you
  • When airgunners mature
  • What brought this up?

Today, I want to talk about air rifles that I recommend for new airgunners. Young or old, these people all want the same thing, whether they realize it or not. They want an air rifle that’s fun to shoot. They want a springer for the simplicity, even if they don’t know what that means. And, they want a rifle that’s relatively accurate.

Accurate gun

Some of you probably think I’m an accuracy snob — that small groups are all that matter to me. It’s true — I do like to see small groups. But do you know what my favorite air rifle is? It’s a Diana model 27 in .22 caliber that probably can’t shoot better than three-quarters of an inch at 10 meters on its best day. For the new readers, that means putting 10 shots into a target 33 feet away, in a group that can be covered by an American quarter. I have air rifles that can do the same thing at 50 yards — 10 meters isn’t that far.

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Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Use a bigger target
  • Don’t look through the sight when adjusting it!
  • Don’t go too far!
  • Don’t adjust on the basis of a single shot
  • Don’t change the reticle!
  • What have you learned?
  • Big bore match at the 2015 Texas airgun show
  • Coming tomorrow: Log-in to make a blog comment

I was at the range last week with my brother-in-law, Bob, who was visiting us for the Fourth of July. He brought his Colt AR-15 to get my help sighting-in, which I was glad to do. He has had a lot of problems sighting-in this rifle with optical sights, and I wanted to see what they were firsthand. Boy — am I glad I did! I think some of you will be, too, because this experience made today’s report.

Bob had already gone through several scopes on this rifle — never being satisfied with any of the results he got. This time, he had a dot sight mounted on the gun, and the mounts allowed him to also see the rifle’s standard peep sights. An AR-15 is hard to boresight (align the bore of the rifle with an optical sight) because you can’t see down the barrel. With a bolt rifle you can simply remove the bolt and look down the barrel while aligning the scope’s reticle. When the bullseye appears to be centered in the barrel at the same time the crosshairs are centered inside the bull, you’re boresighted. A shot at this point should strike pretty close to the bullseye.

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Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana model 23 air rifle Diana 23 was a find on Gun Broker. The finish is bad but the gun works well.

This report covers:

  • An update
  • Step 1
  • Rust
  • Step 2: To buff or not?
  • Pits
  • Steel wool
  • I’m not done prepping
  • Cold blue

Many of you are interested in working on vintage airguns. To this point, I’ve shown you how to tune several spring-piston guns and I’ve touched on the subject of cold bluing, but I have not discussed it in detail. This series will go into the refinishing of the metal parts of a springer, including how to apply a deep cold blue that lasts.

An update

The last time we looked at this Diana model 23 breakbarrel, I’d disassembled it and shown you all the bad spots. I said then my plan was to refinish the rifle. Today, we begin by cleaning the parts. I’m only showing the spring tube, but all the steel parts are treated in the same way.

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Ballistic coefficient: What is it? Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Review
  • Today’s discussion
  • Round balls
  • Conical bullets
  • Smokeless powder
  • A big point
  • Shape
  • Round balls — again
  • The bottom line

I’ve taken 11 months to return to this subject of ballistic coefficients (BC). That was in spite of some tremendous interest in Part 1 of this report last May.

I’m purposely avoiding all discussion of mathematics, which is difficult, since ballistics is a discipline that heavily employs mathematics. But I’m not qualified to write about the math; and, more importantly, I know that 99 percent of my readers would be turned off if I were to write the report that way.

Review

Last time we learned that the BC of a pellet:

• Is an extremely small decimal fraction compared to the BC of a conical bullet.
• Varies with the velocity of the pellet.
• Varies with the shape (form) of the pellet.

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Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Droop — or downward slant
  • My point is…
  • I must care about this
  • Scope placement

This series examines the task of mounting a scope on an air rifle and sighting it in. Part 2 addressed mounting a scope, but it didn’t cover all of the problem areas, so today I’ll continue the discussion.

Droop — or downward slant

I will say that 80 percent of all the firearms and airguns I have examined have some degree of downward slant of their bores in relation to the line of sight of a scope that’s mounted on them. And I will go on to say that half of those are so serious as to cause problems. The airgun term for this is droop. The firearm world has no term for it and is generally ignorant of the problem. The single firearm that doesn’t seem to have this problem to the extent mentioned here is the AR platform. Perhaps the designers recognized the problem and solved it through engineering. I don’t know, but ARs seem to be relatively droop-free.

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Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

• What we’re doing
• Many things going on
• First things when mounting scopes
• Clean the gun and mount
• The mount
• Installing the mount
• Install the scope
• Install top caps and screws
• Align the vertical reticle
• Time to tighten the caps

What we’re doing
Today, I’m going to mount a scope for you and show some of my mounting techniques. These have been available for 10 years in the Pyramyd Air articles pages as a 3-part series — Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Many things going on
I’ll also add some things to this report. For starters, I’m making this a multiple blog by also reporting on the new Diana Bullseye ZR recoil reducing scope mount. And, I’m installing this mount on the BSA Supersport SE that I promised would have a Part 4. Another benefit! Finally, I selected the Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle for the rifle. The special trajectory reticle can be useful when shooting rifles at different distances. Aeon also has the same scope equipped with other reticles.

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Things you can do to make your new airgun better: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

• Shoot it!
• Test it!
• Clean it — maybe
• Oil it — maybe
• Keep your hands off!

Today, I’m going to look at precharged pneumatics (PCP). Maybe you thought these came ready to go right from the factory, and in many ways they do; but even with this powerplant, there are always things you can do to make the guns shoot better.

Shoot it!
The first thing is something most people are going to do anyway — I just want to make you aware of how it affects your gun. Shoot it! Don’t take it apart to see how it works and if you can “correct” all the flaws the “stupid” factory left in the gun when they made it. Don’t send it off to be tuned. Just shoot the thing, and it will get better.

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