Mainspring compressor

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

mainspring compressor
Mainspring compressor.

This report covers:

  • Can you make a mainspring compressor?
  • BSA Meteor
  • Description
  • Bridge
  • Headstock
  • Tailstock
  • Legs
  • General

Today I’m going to show you a mainspring compressor that I will use in tomorrow’s blog. I was asked this week by a new reader to show the tools needed to safely disassemble a spring-piston airgun. Here is the request.

Sir,
Great web sight!  As a “newbee” to air rifles, I find it a wealth of info!  Having a hard time trying to start a new post in the blog forum..  Specifically, I’m looking to find out if anyone makes proper tools for the correct disassembly of the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500.. Looking for a proper end cap removal tool, and a spring compressor.  I was an armorer for years in LE, with an incredible amount of proper tools for “firearms”.  Just want to make sure that maybe there’s a place to purchase proper tools for air rifles out there.

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2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Weather
  • Started late?
  • Flash flood of people!
  • What kind of show was it?
  • Some finds
  • The gate

Here we go! The 2016 Texas Airgun Show was the most different airgun show I have ever attended. I will try to tell you why, but as I do, you will learn that I did not see the entire show, so I’ll rely on the comments of others to assist me.

Weather

The weather was perfect! Normally Texas is above 100 degrees at this time in August, but this day was just 91. And the humidity was down, as well. Rain had been predicted earlier in the week, but the sun was out most of the day and I don’t think a drop fell.

Started late?

Every airgun show I have attended, which is over 40 by now, has had the dealers lined up at the door, pressing to get in even before it’s time. This Texas show was not like that. In fact, at 7 a.m., half an hour after the doors were opened for the dealers to set up, there were still only about one-third of the tables filled. I thought something was up. A few people said the show was hard to locate, but that was because they were using Google Maps to find it. If they switched to Map Quest, the directions were perfect.

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Webley Senior straight grip: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

Webley Senior straight grip
Webley Senior straight grip air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Pictures
  • Start
  • Remove the end cap
  • Remove the piston
  • The piston
  • What now?
  • Summary

Today we look inside the Webley Senior air pistol. Let’s get to it!

Pictures

There are a lot of pictures in this report and I didn’t spend much time cleaning them up. They show the details that are important, plus there was one unexpected lesson in photography you will soon see.

Start

We start with the pistol uncocked and unloaded. I first photographed it on a black background that made the dark black gun appear to be silver. So for the first photo of the pistol, I jaid it on a white paper towel, which got it looking dark again.

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Webley Senior straight grip air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Webley Senior straight grip
Webley Senior straight grip air pistol.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Wasps are first
  • Seating the pellets
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Field Target Trophy Green
  • Overall evaluation

Today we learn the accuracy of the Webley straight grip air pistol — at least with the pellets I have selected. And, in a surprising turn of events, I discovered something new (I think) about my pistol. If I knew it before I had forgotten it.

The test

If ever there was an air pistol that is not suited to shooting targets, the straight grip Senior is it! This is a plinking pistol, through and through. But I have to show you something, and looking at the dents on a can is pretty boring. So I set up to shoot 10 meters off a rest. I rested my hands on the bag and held the pistol in them, so it wasn’t  directly contacting the sandbag. Still, I think it could do better by just being held. But that would take a better shooter than me.

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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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Webley Senior straight grip air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

Webley Senior straight grip
Webley Senior straight grip air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Lubricated
  • Breech seal
  • Velocity — Eley Wasps
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Several readers liked Part 1 of the report on the straight grip Webley Senior. What did they like about it? They liked that the gun was made of steel. They liked how quirky it is. And, much like me, they liked it just because it exists. Well, today we’ll start learning how good it shoots.

Lubricated

There is more to this gun than just its historical value and charm. I told you in Part 1 that I replaced the breech seal and lubricated the action after I bought it around 1978. I have oiled it over the years, but never fully lubricated it since the first time. Later in this series I’ll disassemble the gun for you and show you the insides, but for now know that the piston serves as the mainspring guide and the pistol is sealed by a metal ring, much like the piston of an internal combustion engine.

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Webley Senior straight grip air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Webley Senior straight grip
Webley Senior straight grip air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Design
  • Piston ring
  • Power
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Quirky

Today we start looking at a Webley Senior straight grip air pistol. This model was made from 1930 to 1935, according to the Blue Book of Airguns, 11th edition. There were two versions — a first version that has a trigger adjustment screw sticking out the front of the triggerguard and the second version, which is the one I have. I bought the pistol at a small gun show in Kentucky in the 1970s, when I was assigned to Fort Knox. I paid $75, which was considered a lot at the time, but I owned the first edition of the Airgun Digest and I knew what this pistol was. It’s worth a lot more today.

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