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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2017 SHOT Show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

  • What I saw at Sig
  • What I didn’t see
  • Bucket list
  • Industry Day at the Range
  • Gauntlet
  • Havox
  • Gamo Swarm Maxim
  • Coyote Urban
  • There is more

Inn this report I will cover airguns I saw at Sig Range Day on Sunday, Jan. 15 and at Media Day at the Range on Monday, Jan. 16.

What I saw at Sig

Sig has been breaking into airguns over the past several years. This year they brought out the Max Michel 1911 that I tested for you back in November and December, plus they have now added the Sig P320 ASP pellet pistol. The 320 is unique in 2 ways. First, it has a 30-shot belt-fed magazine, so there are lots of shots on board. We haven’t seen a pistol with a belt-fed mag since Anics walked off the scene, years ago. This one is very slim, too.

The other nice feature is the trigger pull. Though it is a long pull, it is 2-stage and incredibly light. Yours truly was able to nail targets with this gun at respectable distances.

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Diana model AR8: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR8 N-TEC air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • New Diana scope base
  • Droop?
  • The test
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Firing behavior
  • Better artillery hold
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • RWS Superdome
  • Notice all three groups
  • Conclusions

This report has taken a long time to write. I wanted to test the Diana AR8 from 25 yards with open sights, but my sighting eye has degraded to the point that I can’t do that. The AR8 is also very hard to cock and it would be too much trouble to shoot it left-handed, so I scoped it for today’s test. I used a 3-12X40 UTG scope that’s no longer made.

New Diana scope base

As you may remember, Diana changed the installed scope bases on all their spring rifles a few years ago, negating the aftermarket bases that were designed for them in the past by UTG. There are still hundreds of thousands of those vintage rifles that those bases fit, but the new base on all their spring rifles will not allow the old droop-compensating UTG mount base to be installed.
The problem is — Diana’s base on the rifle doesn’t accept a scope ring set very well. I wanted to use a base that accepted Picatinney scope rings, because of the heavy recoil of the AR8, but Diana doesn’t provide a ring like that, nor would it fit their base if they did.

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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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Pellet shapes and performance: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R8
My Beeman R8 Tyrolean is an accurate pellet rifle that I enjoy shooting.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Beeman R8
  • First test — Air Arms Falcons
  • Test two — RWS Superpoints
  • Test three — big one
  • What have we learned?

Today is the day we see how the three pellet shapes perform at 50 yards. This is the day we have all been waiting for. I was out at the range a couple times since the last test of these three pellets, but the wind was always a problem. Last week I had a perfect day and was able to get a lot of testing done. Tomorrow you will see another report that was also done on this day.

But today we look at the performance of the three pellet shapes — dome, pointed and wadcutter. Conventional wisdom says the dome should do the best, followed by the pointed pellet. The wadcutter will be dead last, if the wisdom holds.

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Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Cocking effort
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Trigger pull
  • Stock flex
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Umarex Throttle air rifle. As a quick reminder, I am already impressed by this rifle, just from the brief handling I did in Part 1. Today should advance that. Let’s get right to it.

Cocking effort

It would be easy for me to measure the cocking effort, then “guess” in writing that it will be somewhere close to that. I don’t do it that way. When I guess, I haven’t measured it yet. Today is when we both discover what the real cocking effort is. I guessed it would be around 33-36 pounds of effort. When I measured it on my bathroom scale the number was 28 lbs. Less than I expected. I am impressed!

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Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

This report covers:

  • General information
  • Weaver bases
  • Differences
  • Description
  • Affordable rifle
  • Easy to cock!
  • Pivot bolt
  • Sights
  • General
  • Trigger
  • Fly on the wall

General information

Before I start today’s report I have a number of things I want to cover. First, I realize I am behind on a number of reports from the 50-yard line. I’ve been unable to get to the range for many weeks for various reasons, and when I did get to go before that, the wind was too high for airgun testing. I want to test the pellet shapes at 50 yards, the .25 caliber Marauder I had tuned, a new AirForce .357 Texan (I have a lot of things to do with that one), and now guns like the Galahad will soon be stacked up.

I have received the adaptors for shooting pellets in my AR-15 and that’s another one I think will have to be done outside because of the noise, though they say the report is quiet. I also got an adaptor to shoot .32 pistol rounds in my Mosin Nagant rifle, which I thought would be a nice addition to that report on adaptors.

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