Collecting airguns: Scarcity 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Success!
  • Reality
  • How rare is rare?
  • Second gun
  • The big one
  • A defective design
  • USMR
  • History is the point
  • Scarce gun number 2
  • The difference
  • Celebrity association
  • Moral?
  • Is it real?
  • Sow’s ear
  • Don’t fall for it
  • Market-driven scarcity
  • Summary

Success!

This history section of the daily blog is a big success. Many readers are interested in collecting and learning about vintage airguns, so I am starting a series on collecting. There will be some things that you have seen before, but I hope to put it in a new light. And I have some new things to share, as well. I have already identified several topics for reports, so this promises to be a long one! I won’t run it consecutively, though. I’ll weave in in amongst the reports on historical items of interest. In the end I may turn it into a feature for “Firearms News”.

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Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gletcher Stetckin APS BB pistol
Gletcher’s Stechkin blowback BB pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Velocity day
  • Piercing pin
  • Daisy BBs
  • Slide stays back after the last shot
  • Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs
  • Umarex BBs
  • Shot count
  • Don’t count on the brand of CO2 cartridge!
  • Recoil from the blowback
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Velocity day

We learned a lot about the Soviet Stechkin select-fire pistol in Part 1, or at least I did, when researching it. Today we discover how powerful this Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol is. I will also comment on the trigger and the blowback feel.

Piercing pin

The pistol is rated to shoot at 410 f.p.s., so let’s see what this one will do. Before we dive in, though, let me give you a peek at the piercing pin and corresponding CO2 cartridge seal.

Stetckin BB pistol piercing pin
The piercing pin is hard to see because it’s slightly out of focus. It’s a hollow tube that’s ground on an angle on one side to have a pointed tip on the other side. The green around it is the seal material that the face of the cartridge pushes into.

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Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P320 pistol
Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading
  • Is there a magnet?
  • Mag feed direction
  • Velocity
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Pellets — RWS Hobbys
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Yes, BB, but how fast is it?
  • The trigger
  • Evaluation

Today I test the velocity of the new Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol. But before I get to that, I need to address loading the magazine. Some people find the 30-shot belt daunting to load because it doesn’t move easily for them. Sig sent me some additional instructions and a short video to describe the process.

Be sure to allow time for the video to upload! It might help to refresh the page.

Loading

To load the 320 magazine, the back cover is lifted up, giving you access to the pellet chambers that Sig calls “seats.” A pellet or BB is pressed into each of these, and because you are loading from the back, put the nose of each pellet in first — in the direction you want it to come out of the muzzle. BBs are spherical, so the orientation doesn’t matter. Let’s look at the video.

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Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P320 pistol
Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol.

This report covers:

  • Start with the package
  • The pistol
  • Many P320s — which one is this?
  • Light rail
  • Trigger
  • Magazine
  • CO2 cartridge
  • Blowback
  • Large handgun
  • No disassembly
  • Evaluation so far

Start with the package

When is a clamshell package not a clamshell package? Answer? When a Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol comes inside! Guys, Sig has done the impossible. They have created a clamshell package that does not have to be cut apart to get the product out! What they give you is a cardboard box with a two-piece plastic case inside. It makes a transparent window that shows off your new Sig P320 pellet pistol, and, like other cardboard boxes, the gun can go back inside and be stored until you want it again. It’s reusable. They ought to get an award for this!

The pistol

The Sig P320 pellet/BB pistol is a 30-round semiautomatic repeater that mimicks the new Sig 320 firearm the U.S. Army recently selected to replace the M9 pistol. In the world of firearms the 320 is making news because it is an inexpensive Sig pistol. Of course that’s relative, since most Sig sidearms are costly, but the 320 is hundreds less than the norm, and it is modular. Parts can be swapped to give a sidearm in different caliber and one with different ergonomics.

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ASG X9 Classic BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG X9 Classic
ASG X9 Classic.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • ASG Blaster BBs
  • The eye is sharp
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Recoil
  • H&N Smart Shot lead BBs
  • Evaluation

I had to go out of town suddenly today for a family emergency and I don’t know when I’ll return. I will do the best I can with the blog. Fortunately I shot and took pictures for today’s report before this happened.

Today we look at the accuracy of the ASG X9 Classic BB pistol. Let’s get to it.

The test

I shot from 5 meters using the UTG Monopod to rest my shooting hand. Because this pistol uses a lot of gas, a fresh CO2 cartridge was installed at the start of the test.

ASG Blaster BBs

First up were ASG Blaster BBs. I learned how to load the magazine in this part of the review and it went a lot easier than in Part 2. Put the BBs in the channel of the magazine with the follower pulled all the way down. Then tip the mag slightly back and they roll down to the hole, where they drop into the mag. Loading is much faster and easier that way.

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The eclectic collector

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • 10-meter airguns
  • Motivation
  • Sometimes things stick
  • Guns I’ve had my fill of
  • Guns I can live without
  • Airguns I have no desire to own
  • Do my tastes ever change?
  • I like funky!
  • Virtual collection

When I tell people what I do for a living they invariably say, “Oh, you collect airguns?”

I really don’t collect airguns in the traditional sense. A collector is someone who amasses a collection of some sort. It may be large or it may be quite small, but it has a definable theme that is foremost in the collector’s mind and heart. And the true collector never parts with a piece unless it gets replaced by a better one. I don’t do that. I own certain airguns for a while, then part with them to make room (in both the house and the budget) for others. Let me give you an example.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

  • Air Venturi
  • Lil Duke
  • New Air Bolts
  • Hatsan
  • Semiautomatics
  • Big Bore Carnivore
  • Sun Optics compressor
  • The year of the airgun

Air Venturi

This was the first actual day of the SHOT Show, and the crowd was excited! I stopped at the Air Venturi booth first, so let’s see what’s there.

Lil Duke

First up was the Lil’ Duke BB gun. As you can see, it’s styled after the model 92 Winchester John Wayne carried in a number of his most famous movies, including True Grit. This is the one he fills his hand with.

Lil' Duke
The Lil Duke is bound to become a favorite.

The John Wayne airguns have been quite successful for Air Venturi. They had a second booth upstairs this year where they showed a number of their other John Wayne handguns, including a 1911 that Wayne probably carried in the Sands of Iwo Jima!

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