How a vintage BB shot tube works

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Technology
  • Gravity
  • 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.

Technology

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?

Gravity

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.

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Teach me to shoot: Part 13

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack will start teaching Jamell, how to shoot a muzzle loading rifle.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • A fowler?
  • Jamell Fowler
  • A refresher
  • Flintlock basics
  • Description
  • Loading sequence
  • Speaking of ramming
  • Priming sequence
  • Flash in the pan
  • Wet weather
  • Next

DANGER: Today’s topic talks about loading and shooting a black powder firearm. Black powder is explosive, even in the open. Be sure you know what you are doing before using black powder!

I went with Jamell to pick up the custom flintlock she ordered. It was part of a trade for one of her sculptures, and she took pictures of the clay rendering she had made to show to the gun maker. He was thrilled with her work, which will be an 18-inch bronze of a mountain man facing a grizzly bear. Apparently he will owe her some money plus the gun, but I stayed out of their business.

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A rare Quackenbush pistol comes to light

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • From Airgun Revue
  • Wes Powers find!
  • Toy pistol?
  • Powered by rubber bands

I had a glitch writing today’s historical blog, so I pulled in this one from the past. Oddly, Edith did the same thing when I was unconscious on a ventilator in the hospital several years ago. At any rate, it belongs in the historical section.

From Airgun Revue

The following appeared in Airgun Revue #6, which was published in 2000. While this blog is kind of short, I’ve always had a strange liking for this little pistol because it reminds me of the Haviland & Gunn pistol Edith found at a flea market for $5.

10-01-16-01
Over 125 years old, yet no one’s ever heard of this gun!

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Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Daisy Red Ryder
Daisy Red Ryder.

This report covers:

  • How many Red Ryders?
  • Number 111 Model 40
  • Model 94 carbine
  • Model 1938
  • The Red Ryder explodes!

Today we start looking at an American airgun icon — the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. With the recent change in ownership of Daisy Outdoor Products, this look is most fitting.

I will test the gun for you in the traditional way, and then I have a surprise. Someone has developed a scope mount for the Daisy that will fit all the older models, as well as the new one. I know the website says scopes cannot be mounted to the current Red Ryder, but we will see if they can. And no doubt some other things will pop up along the way. Sit back and relax — this should be an interesting journey for all of us.

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Teach me to shoot: Part 11

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack will start teaching Jamell, how to shoot a muzzle loading rifle.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • The mountain men
  • Black powder
  • Characteristics of black powder
  • Safety first
  • Possibles bag
  • Charging the rifle — step one
  • Charging the rifle — step two
  • Black powder grain sizes
  • Loading the ball
  • Ramming the ball home
  • Cap the rifle
  • Clean the bore
  • Finishing

Things have certainly taken a turn since I started teaching Jill to shoot. Now I’m teaching her friend, Jamell, how to shoot a muzzleloading rifle, to prepare her for the custom rifle she is having built. At least I thought it was going to be a rifle. Let me stop for a moment and bring you all up to speed on what it is that Jamell wants to do.

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The rise of the accurate pellet: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Accuracy taken for granted
  • Crosman 160 opened my eyes!
  • In the beginning
  • The ball or bullet
  • Smaller calibers
  • Pellet shape
  • Birth of the diabolo
  • A long way to go

Accuracy taken for granted

I was speaking with a group of very advanced airgunners recently and found myself amazed by what we all took for granted. The subject was airgun accuracy and topics like distance, powerplants and pellet shapes came up, but no one in the group seemed to remember the time when none of those things made any difference. They didn’t because there weren’t any pellets on the market that took advantage of them. Until around the 1960s, accuracy with airguns was iffy, at best. The problem was not the guns — it was the ammunition!

Crosman 160 opened my eyes!

I remember buying a new-old-stock Crosman 160 target rifle that had been produced and sold to the U.S. Air Force. The rifle hadn’t been fired since Crosman tested it with CO2 at the factory some time in the 1970s. The Air Force bought an unknown number of 160s that came with slings and the Crosman S331 rear peep sight. Presumedly there was a plan to use these rifle for some type of training, but that must never have happened, because hundreds of them were found in a military warehouse in the 1990s in unused condition. When I opened the gas reservoir to install 2 fresh CO2 cartridges, I found the original cartridges Crosman had used to test the gun before packaging in the 1970s! The rifle was brand new, as were hundreds of others just like it!

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Swedish Excellent: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Swedish Excellent
My Swedish Excellent CII rifle is a multi-pump pneumatic.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Most important blog
  • Ammo variations
  • Swedish Excellent lead balls
  • Strange thing happened
  • Lobo balls
  • Known facts
  • Huge size variation!
  • Proof that size really matters
  • What could this mean?
  • Serendipity
  • Casey at the bat

Most important blog

Today I present to you one of the most important reports I have ever written. It doesn’t turn out the way I imagined; it turns out far better! Please enjoy what I feel is the most significant work I have done in a very long time.

Ammo variations

Today is accuracy day for the Swedish Excellent multi-pump pneumatic. In Part 2 we determined the velocity for both the Swedish Excellent round lead balls and also for some lead balls called Lobo from Argentina. The Swedish balls were about 100 f.p.s. faster than the Lobo brand balls, and we discovered that the Lobo balls are about one-thousandth of an inch larger than the Excellent balls. I think the size and perhaps even the uniformity of the ball sizes will play a big role in what happens today.

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