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 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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Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana 34P
The Diana RWS 34P is a classic breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Drooper
  • Sight in
  • The groups
  • One last time
  • Different pellets
  • RWS Superdomes
  • BKL adjustable scope mount
  • Summary

Today I scope Geo791’s Diana RWS 34P and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We already know this rifle is accurate from the test with open sights. Today we discover how much it droops and whether enough correction is possible. Let’s start with the scope mount.

Drooper

I suspected this rifle was a drooper just because it’s a Diana 34. Most breakbarrels droop and all of the Diana 34s I have seen have had severe barrel droop. With some breakbarrels you can put shims under the rear of the scope to elevate it a little, but with this model shims usually don’t work — the droop is too great. If you used enough shims to raise it as high as it needs to go, you would damage the scope tube. So, I start out with a scope mount that’s made for a drooper. In this case I used the BKL 1-piece adjustable scope mount with 1-inch rings, because George has a scope with a one-inch tube. If this works I plan to send his rifle back to him with this mount installed, so all he has to do is mount his scope in the rings and sight in.

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FWB 124 air rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
This FWB 124 Deluxe is not the exact gun I’m writing about, but it is the same model.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • To scope or not?
  • Long sight-in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • That’s it
  • Open sights versus a scope
  • Summary

Before we begin I have sad news. A reader who often commented on this blog, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe, passed away on Jun 24. He had an accident a week before and suffered a brain injury that overcame him. He will be missed on this blog.

Today I scope the FWB 124 and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We last looked at this rifle on June 12, and it was tested with open sights at 25 yards. In that test JSB Exact RS pellets gave me a 0.889-inch ten-shot group and Air Arms Falcon pellets put 10 into 0.874-inches. Today we will see what effect scoping the rifle has. Many people believe it will be even more accurate, because most of the aiming error will vanish.

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Diana 240 Classic: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 240 Classic
Diana 240 Classic.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • The scope
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Summary

Today we examine the accuracy of the Diana 240 Classic at 25 yards when scoped. I think this will be interesting.

The scope

I mounted a nondescript Gamo 3-9X40 scope for two reasons. First, it was already in rings that would fit the rifle and second, it is the type of scope many shooters would mount on a rifle like the 240. This is the kind of scope that comes bundled in a combo, so I can’t give you a link, but we are talking about a $40 scope at the most. There is no parallax adjustment, so at 9 power the target was a little fuzzy, though I used a target with a one-inch red center that made centering the crosshairs easy.

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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 Arms Galahad: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Galahad
Air Arms Galahad PCP in walnut is a striking looking air rifle!

UTG 8-32 SWAT Mil Dot
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads
  • Crosman Premiers
  • UTG 8-32 SWAT scope
  • Summary

This final report has taken two months to complete. I went to the range one time and shot the rifle at 50 yards, but the wind was blowing on that day and the groups were not good. I felt that was due entirely to the wind, so I needed to try it another day. It took me most of the time to get that second day — a combination of other business and a lot of windy Texas days!

Today I am reporting on the .22 caliber Galahad-rifle from Air Arms at 50 yards. Naturally I shot off a rest. The rifle was shot on power setting 4 (there are 5 settings) and I refilled after every second 10-shot group. Let’s get right to it.

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