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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Methods of power adjustment — pneumatics: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Pneumatics
  • Single stroke pneumatics
  • Multi-pump pneumatics
  • Precharged pneumatics
  • Short history of PCPs
  • Barrel length
  • Projectile weight
  • Barrel length and projectile weight together
  • Airflow
  • Springs
  • Valve stem travel
  • Valve angle and contact area
  • What’s the ideal?

This is the second part of a report on the methods of adjusting power in an airgun. Reader Riki asked for the report, and a number of other readers seconded his request. I wasn’t planning to also delve into CO2 guns, but several readers asked for that, and I will get to that in a different report. Today we look at pneumatics.

Pneumatics

A pneumatic airgun is one that uses compressed air to power the pellet. While a spring gun also uses compressed air, it is the method of compression that sets it apart from the pneumatics. In spring guns, a piston moves to compress the air at the instant of firing, where in pneumatics, the air is stored inside in a compressed state, waiting for the trigger to release some or all of it.

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Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Gifts for $25 and under
  • Gifts for $100 and under
  • Gifts for $250 and under
  • Gifts with no price limit

First of all, to my American readers — Happy Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I hope you do, too.

With the holidays fast approaching we sometimes need help finding those perfect gifts. This blog offers some of my personal picks this year.

Gifts for $25 and under

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my book, BB Guns Remembered. It’s the perfect short story collection bathroom reader for someone who enjoys nostalgia. And this book makes the B.B. gun the star. At $10 it’s the perfect stocking-stuffer. If your airgunner likes to read, this is a good one!

Your airgunner may like a tin of Smart Shot Lead BBs. These BBs are on the large side and tend to be more accurate than steel BBs in many guns, plus they are much safer. Before ordering these, be sure to ask your airgunner if he has guns that can use them.

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Some talk about airgun lubrication: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

    • Pneumatics
    • Single-stroke pneumatics
    • Multi-pump pneumatics
    • Other pump gun lubrication
    • Precharged pneumatics
    • Other lubrication needs
    • Lubing pellets
    • Keep the barrel clean
    • PCPs differ from spring-piston guns
    • What lube for your pellets?

    This is a continuation of our discussion about lubricating airguns. Part 1 is basic for spring-piston seals. We don’t need to cover that material again. Today I will look at some different lubrication applications for pneumatics.

    Pneumatics

    Pneumatic airguns are those that use compressed air to propel a pellet or BB. They may compress the air as they are used, such as single-stroke and multi-pump pneumatics do, or they may be guns that use compressed air from a separate source — guns we refer to as pre-charged pneumatics or PCP. I will address all three types, starting with single-stroke pneumatics.

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2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • It was a great show!
  • Some of the guns I saw at the show
  • Seriously though
  • Not for sale
  • Demonstrations
  • Air Bolt
  • Robin Hood
  • An interesting find
  • Will there be another show?

It was a great show!

I sold more airguns at this show than at any other I have attended. Besides that I met a lot of readers who came up and shook my hand. That is so nice, because it tells me who I’m reaching.

I had my latest book for sale on the table and it looks like I sold about 20 of them. I wanted to have coffee cups, hats and tee-shirts, but I’m updating my Godfather logo so it will be right when I sell them. Next year for sure.

The bottom line was — I had a great show! So did every dealer I talked to. Larry Hannusch told me he sold more guns than he normally does and Sun Optics actually sold out of several items. I know AirForce Airguns was doing a brisk business on the tables behind me, and Dennis Quackenbush, who usually only brings guns for people who have ordered them actually had guns for sale this time! He told me after the show he sold several of them.

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Characteristics of a classic airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Airguns are easy to use
  • Airguns are quiet
  • Airguns cock easily
  • Airguns are accurate
  • Airguns have good sights
  • What about plastic?
  • Triggers
  • What have I missed?
  • Why is this in the history section?

I celebrate my victories quietly. One of them has been to expose the elements of classic airgun design, so people who need to know can understand what it takes to make something timeless and enduring. We all know that the airgun manufacturers are silent readers of this blog and its comments. Today I am dedicating this report to them — a compilation of design aspects that will ensure a classic airgun. I’ll tell you why at the end of the report.

Airguns are easy to use

Yes, there are people who only shoot airguns. Before I wrote this blog I had no idea there were so many of them, but there are. They are a sizable element of the shooting population and designers need to be aware of them. But their numbers are overwhelmed by the number of firearms shooters who also shoot airguns from time to time. And why do they do it? Because airguns are easy to shoot. I can pick up a Diana 27 and snap off 5 shots at targets of opportunity before you can pack your AR-15 with bipod and sniper scope into that oversized black tactical bag! And we both know the rifle isn’t all you need to go to the range. You load the car with stuff, while I carry my 6-pound breakbarrel in one hand, and a tin of pellets in my pocket.

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The Daisy 853: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 853
Daisy Avanti 853.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Don’t despair!
  • Thanks to Daisy
  • Sighting-in
  • The rear sight
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Vogel
  • The trigger
  • The verdict

Okay, this is Part 5 and I am finally ready to test the Daisy 853 10-meter target rifle for accuracy. It’s been awhile since we looked at the 853, so allow me to recap. I bought the rifle used at a good price and tested it for velocity in Part 2. That was when I learned that my rifle wasn’t quite performing up to standard, so I got some parts from Daisy and proceeded to rebuild the powerplant. It was a basic rebuild that addresses the pump piston seal, the felt wiper that holds the oil for the piston and all the inlet valve parts.

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