Lots of ground to cover today, so let’s get started. Have you ever wanted one of those “systems” guns? You know the ones I mean — guns like the Thompson Center Contender. It’s a wonderful idea — you can own just one action, yet make it into many guns through the installation of different barrels, stocks and so on. Great idea. Fabulous concept! But it’s not practical.
Notice that I didn’t say it doesn’t work, because it really does. You can take off the .30 Herret barrel you used to take last year’s whitetail and install a .22 long rifle barrel for silhouette shooting next weekend. It really does work just that easily. But you won’t do it.
Today’s report is a guest blog about the advantages of airgun hunting by Pyramyd Air employee Derek Goins.
If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now, over to you, Derek.
This report covers:
Some things to consider…
Like a Carhartt-clad stone I sat motionless against a large oak tree, a rifle braced on my knees. The reluctant morning sun was just peeking into the horizon, bringing relief from the swirling fall winds biting at the back of my neck. A rain the night before left the ground soggy, the moist air heavy with the smell of earthworms and rotting leaves. Earwigs and tiny beetles fled through the humid dirt as I shifted my feet in an attempt to thaw my toes.
Back on August 10 we looked at how JSB makes pellets. Today we will look inside the H&N factory and see how they do it.
Improvements at the molecular level
“If we want to improve the making of pellets, we have to do it at the molecular level.” Those words were spoken to Dr. Robert Beeman when he toured the H&N factory in the 1980s. As a major buyer of their product, Dr. Beeman got to look inside the operations of manufacturers like Haendler & Natermann Sport GMBH (H&N). They told him at that time that with all the technical controls on the process of making pellets, any future improvements would have to come at the molecular level.
We last looked at a military airgun on Monday, when the U.S.S. Vesuvius dynamite cruiser was examined. Today I will get more personal and look at some of the trainers the military has employed to train new recruits. This subject is huge, and will become its own special section of the airgun history project.
Two different directions
When we speak of military trainers there are two very distinct paths. One leads to the training devices used by the military to train their personnel. The other path is a private one, though no less real and important. Those are the trainers that were built to order, one at a time.
The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.
The history of airguns is fascinating to those who enjoy applied creativity. But sometimes when creativity is carried too far it becomes a liability. And that’s the case with today’s guns.
Rocky Mountain Arms Corporation
In the 1970s the Rocky Mountain Arms Corporation (RMAC) created a little gun for kids who wanted to shoot with their fathers. They referred to it as a .22 caliber, though it shot a number 4 buckshot that is really 0.24 inches rather than 0.223 inches in diameter. That didn’t matter because a 5-pound bag number 4 buckshot was available for a few dollars. For that you got thousands of shots. Nobody worried about the size of the ball that much.
Airgunners are naturally curious, and when it comes to their ammunition, their curiosity piques. Today we will take a look at how JSB, the Czech Republic pellet manufacturer, makes pellets. This report was made possible by information and photos supplied by JSB.
It begins with lead
The process naturally begins with lead — a lot of lead. JSB buys lead in ingots that are at least 99.97 percent pure. They melt this lead and add a small amount of antimony for optimal hardness and to prevent rapid oxidation. This process is entirely controlled by them so they know the quality of the end result.