Methods of power adjustment — springers: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • More power!
  • Example
  • Stronger mainspring?
  • Piston stroke
  • Increase the piston length
  • Dual power is possible through piston stroke
  • Larger piston?
  • Cost
  • Transfer port size
  • Port location
  • Piston weight
  • What can be done with this knowledge?

Today’s topic was suggested last week by reader Riki from India. A lot of other readers jumped on the bandwagon when he asked for it, so I agreed to write a series of reports. The question is — how do airgun manufacturers control the power/velocity output of the guns they make?

More power!

An American airgunner who is new to the hobby will look at this in a different way. He will wonder how airgun manufacturers get the highest possible velocity/most power from an airgun. He won’t appreciate that in nearly every country in the world other than the United States the governments have limited the power of airguns. And there is no common way they limit it. In the United Kingdom they limit the output by energy, allowing no more than 12 foot-pounds for air rifles and 6 foot-pounds for air pistols, I believe. They aren’t concerned with velocity, except as it produces energy. This is a thoughtful regulation that forces airgunners in those countries to learn basic ballistics. It also forces manufacturers to test their airguns with almost every pellet to be sure they are not exceeding those limits.

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What makes a good barrel?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Rifling methods
  • Barrel steel
  • The rifling method
  • Availability of steel
  • Changes to technology
  • Inexpensive barrels
  • Business practices — cheap
  • Business practices — quality
  • Stress relieving
  • Summary

Today’s report is in answer to a reader question. Riki from India asked the following.

“BB,what makes a good barrel? I mean in all smallbore air rifles the twist rate is the same, then why is the lothar walther barrel so much more coveted than a chinese barrel ? What does lothar walther do different from the others that their barrels are so accurate?”

I told him the answer would take an entire report, and did he really want to know that much? He said yes and several other readers chimed in, as well. So here goes.

You need to know up front that B.B. Pelletier is no barrel expert. I am writing this partly from what I have read about barrels over the past 50 years and partly from researching them for this report.

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What is accuracy?: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Pellet head size
  • Barrel crown
  • BSA Meteor .177 caliber
  • Gun vibration
  • A case for the PCP
  • Barrel size
  • Choke
  • The right pellet
  • Summary

This report started in the historical section, but today I’m moving it into the mainstream reports. Tuesday I talked about why some new air rifles don’t shoot well. Today the topic is broadened to all airguns.

In Part 1 we learned about all that Dr. Mann did in his 37-year quest to discover why all bullets don’t go into the same hole every time. In that report we learned that things people think work for accuracy, like clamping a gun in a vise, don’t always help.

Today I’m going to talk about accuracy with pellet guns. Dr. Mann showed us that pellets (bullets) will never go to the same place every time, no matter what you do. But what helps bring them together? Why are some airguns accurate and others are not?

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BSF S20 air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S20
The BSF S20 pistol looks like a rifle that’s been cut down to fit into a pistol grip.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Chinese copy?
  • An HW70 copy?
  • Velocity test Premier 7.9-grain
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Crosman Silver Eagle hollowpoints
  • Breech seal?
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • What’s next?

Today we’re going to see what condition my new/old BSF S20 pistol is in. I will compare it to my BSF S20 Custom Match pistol that I tested back in 2008. That pistol is shooting at the rated velocity of 440 f.p.s., for pellets that were never specified in the ARH catalog, so I guess they are Hobbys or something equally light. But before I get into that testing, I have a surprise for you.

Chinese copy?

Reader Richardwales mentioned that he had owned a couple Chinese copies of this pistol in the past. Then reader JimQwerty123 mentioned that he had also considered buying one. I answered that I had allowed $10 in trade on one (a Chinese copy of the S20) at the Findlay airgun show several years ago, and I had always intended testing it for you. Today I’m going to show you that gun and ask both readers if it is the one they were referring to in their comments.

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Life in the golden age of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Growth
  • Why do we shoot?
  • Accuracy
  • Smooth shooting
  • Pride of ownership
  • Technology
  • Today
  • Where to next
  • What to avoid

As I read your comments I can’t help but marvel at the changes I see in airguns. Let’s start with their popularity.

Growth

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 we had very little idea of how many airgunners there were in the United States. We knew how many people owned firearms because the NRA kept track of that number, and at that time there were between 5 and 10 million shooters in the U.S. The number depended on which definition of shooter you used. If you were interested in shooters who were very active, the number was smaller. If you defined a shooter as someone who shot a firearm in the last 10 years, the number was large.

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BSF S20 air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S20
The BSF S20 pistol looks like a breakbarrel rifle that’s been cut down to fit into a pistol grip.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • BSF S20
  • Finding the gun
  • Some faults
  • Not so simple
  • Description
  • What to do next?

BSF S20

I saw my first BSF S20 pistol in an antique shop in Fürth, Germany in the mid-1970s. I went there to buy old clocks that the shop had in abundance. To me the pistol on the table looked like a small air rifle that had been cut down and fitted to a pistol stock. It wasn’t until I returned to the States and started learning about airguns that the genuineness of the BSF S20 pistol was discovered. I had lived for 3 years and 9 months in Erlangen, the city that was home to the famous airgun manufacturer Bayerische Sportwaffenfabrik (BSF) without realizing it!

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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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