by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Shot tube is the true barrel
- The shot tube
- What keeps the BB from rolling out the barrel?
- A spring!
- That’s all, folks
Today’s report was suggested by a question from reader 45Bravo, who asked, “How does the shot tube retain the BB then, if not by a magnet?” That’s a good question and I know if one person wants to know there are hundreds of others who haven’t asked, but also want to know.
Bear in mind that when the Red Ryder first hit the market around 1939, there were no rare earth magnets. They came along in 1966, and have been advancing ever since. So the question remains — how do the shot tubes of older BB guns work?
They work by gravity. They work by the same principal that the magazine of the first Gatling Gun used, back in the late 1860s. Gravity pulls the cartridges (and the BBs) down, so all that’s needed is a chute to guide the ammunition to the loading/firing mechanism. It’s a little more complex than that, but not much. And it’s all mechanical.