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!

read more


What does it take to make you happy?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Lookers and shooters
  • Shooters
  • Ergonomics
  • However…
  • No accounting for taste
  • Nice guns
  • Over to you

I’m stepping away from my usual report style today by asking the question, “What does it take to make you happy?” And by that I mean airguns. If you want universal enlightenment and a restored ch’i, that’s the class down the hall. What kind of airgun makes you happy?

Lookers and shooters

I break my airguns down to those I think are beautiful and those that shoot well. For instance, the TX200 Mark III from Air Arms is a wonderful shooter, but it has all the grace of a cattle truck! It’s not pretty. Now, it is possible to stock one with a gorgeous piece of wood that will distract the viewer from the humpbacked profile of the rifle for a long time. But eventually people see the shape of the air tube as it morphs into the barrel and realize it isn’t very stylish. It’s a shooter, not a looker.

read more


The Gat’s where it’s at!: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gat
The Gat is a timeless classic air pistol. Shown uncocked here.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

  • Special test
  • Holding the gun
  • Heavy trigger
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Solution to hard cocking
  • RWS HyperMAX
  • Darts
  • Final assessment

Okay — it’s accuracy day for the Gat. Which is like saying we’re going to have a snail race. Bring your calendar!

The Gat is not an accurate airgun — a fact I discovered during the velocity test when I saw my pellets curving high and to the left on the trap three feet away.

Special test

Because of what I saw there, I decided to shoot not at 5 meters but at 10 feet — slightly over three meters. I was concerned to keep all the pellets in the trap. While I did achieve that, the first group walked up and off the paper target. I took its picture while it was still attached to the pellet trap, so you could see.

read more


Paper Shooters Zombie Slayer Kit: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Paper Shooter Zombie Slayer
Paper Shooter Zombie Slayer.

This report covers:

  • I started out as a kid…
  • Time to cowboy up
  • Today’s report
  • 138 pieces
  • Plastic parts and steel screws
  • Special tips
  • Parts go in one way, only
  • It worked!
  • Last tip

When Val Gamerman, president of Pyramyd Air, asked me if I wanted to put a Paper Shooters Zombie Slayer Kit together and report on it, I jumped at the chance! I think that surprised him, but he didn’t know my history.

I started out as a kid…

I have been interested in how things work all my life. When I was given a watch for my 10th birthday and told it was waterproof, I promptly held it under the faucet. It wasn’t waterproof, by the way. When I was told that the way to carve an elephant from a block of wood was to remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant, I set about with a jack knife to find the pachyderm. Looked in lots of wood blocks — no elephant yet. Lots of stuff that doesn’t look like one, though.

read more


The Gat’s where it’s at!: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gat
The Gat is a timeless classic air pistol. Shown uncocked here.

A history of airguns

      • Description
      • Loading
      • Cocking
      • Trigger
      • Ammo
      • A classic!

      My late wife, Edith, once told me that my writing style should be called discovery writing. She said I didn’t have to know everything I wrote about, because I could just discover it as I went and then share what I discovered with my readers. That’s good, because I sure don’t know a lot of the things I write about. Does that make any sense?

      Today’s report is on an airgun about which I know very little — the Gat. Over the years I have read things about Gats and one of them is that, while there may be many Gat-like airguns, the true Gat only comes from T. J. Harrington & Son, Walton, Surrey, England. They made them from 1937 through the late 1980s.

      read more


How and why airguns change over time

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • They don’t make ‘em like they used to
  • Are today’s airguns better?
  • 1. Technology — back then
  • Technology — now
  • 2. Understanding the principles — back then
  • Understanding the principles — now
  • 3. Company staff and leadership — back then
  • Company staff and leadership — now
  • 4. Market trends — then and now
  • Summary

Happy New Year! May 2016 be a good year for all of us.

They don’t make ‘em like they used to

Ain’t that the truth? Nothing is the same anymore. Usually when people discuss this subject they only remember the good things from the past. Things like the heavy metal Detroit muscle cars that had huge engines. They forget that those engines had to be tuned up every 10K miles, or that they often leaked oil.

As far as airguns go people remember blued steel and walnut stocks. They remember airguns that were made like firearms, and they both looked and felt like it. But a lot of facts are edited out.

Before 1970, an airgun that could achieve 800 feet per second (f.p.s.) velocity was considered a magnum. Today, the same gun would be a youth model, or at best an adult plinker. Today’s airguns top 1,000 f.p.s. regularly. The fastest exceed 1,400 f.p.s.

read more


Daisy model 177 Targeteer BB pistol: Parts 2 & 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Daisy Targeteer
Daisy’s Targeteer 177 shot BBs.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Velocity
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • H&N Smart Shot BBs
  • Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Summary of velocity
  • Accuracy
  • Air Venturi
  • No real rear notch
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Plinking
  • Overall evaluation

Thursday, December 24, is Christmas Eve. On that day I’m running a special blog that allows you readers to do most of the writing. We will all tell which airgun we would like to receive for Christmas, and I will start it in the text. Be thinking about the one airgun you want the most this year.

I realize that not all readers celebrate the Christmas holiday. But don’t let that deter you. Whether you celebrate or not, this exercise is open to all readers.

Starting tomorrow I’m running some Best of B.B. reports to give myself some time at Christmas. I have family and guests coming this week, and I can’t get to the computer as often as I would like. Today’s report is new.

read more