Is it okay to pay more?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Dan Wesson
  • Guns as investments
  • FWB 124
  • Condition matters
  • It’s worth what someone will pay
  • Guns as safe investments
  • Non-pristine, yet solid investments
  • Sheridan Supergrade
  • BSA Airsporter Mark I
  • Bottom line

Of all the reports I have written, this one might just get me in trouble with some of you readers. I’m going to talk about money today. Politics and religion are two topics that are guaranteed to start a conversation, but when the topic is money the talk gets very personal for some people. What I am about to say may hit people the wrong way. But it is what I believe and I am going to defend my position.

Dan Wesson

When I researched material for the first report on the Dan Wesson 4-inch pellet revolver last week, I happened to look up Dan Wesson pistol pacs on the Gun Broker website. There was a very complete one that was selling for around $1,585, the time I first saw it. I checked the expired auctions and discovered that pristine examples had brought over $2,100 in the recent past, so this one seemed undervalued. Of course the auction was still live, so it could still go up.

read more


BSA Airsporter Mark IV: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Airsporter
The BSA Airsporter Mark IV is an all-time classic.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Eley Wasps
  • RWS Hobby
  • JSB Exact RS
  • How is it working?
  • What now?

Sometimes the bear eats you. That will be the theme of today’s test of the BSA Airsporter Mark IV at 25 yards,  shooting with open sights.

Eley Wasps

You may recall that in the last test of this rifle at 10 meters with open sights, I got a tantalizingly good group of 9 out of 10 Eley Wasps. It was good enough to make me start the 25-yard test with the same pellet.

The first shot hit the target high on the edge of the bull at 11 o’clock. I reckoned that was good enough for me, so I shot the next 9 without looking again. I didn’t even look through the spotting scope after I was done. I just walked downrange to change targets, and thought I would see a one-inch group, perhaps with a flier or two. What was actually there was ten shots spread out in a group that measures 2.471-inches between centers. Clearly not what I had imagined!

read more


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?

read more


BSA Airsporter Mark IV: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Airsporter
The BSA Airsporter Mark I is an all-time classic.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Open sights
  • Is it my eye?
  • Eley Wasps
  • The eyes have it
  • Next?

Today is the first accuracy day for my new .22 caliber BSA Airsporter Mark IV. As the picture shows, it came with an old Dianawerk scope mounted, and I said I would test it with that first. So that’s what I did.

The test

Today I shot off a sandbag at 10 meters, just to get familiar with the rifle. I tried it both using the artillery hold and directly rested on the bag. The first groups were shot using the scope.

Sight-in

The scope was not exactly on target like I had hoped, but it was close enough on the first shot that I adjusted it to hit near the POI. The scope is not adjusted for parallax as close as 10 meters so the image is fuzzy. The reticle is a German hunting reticle with three heavy black lines — two on either side and a pointer coming up from the bottom. You put the tip of the pointer on the target when hunting, but it gets lost on a black bull, so I set it at 6 o’clock.

read more


BSA Airsporter Mark IV: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Airsporter
The BSA Airsporter Mark IV.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • My mistake
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • Eley Wasps
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Airsporter Mark IV? I thought this was a Mark I, B.B. What gives?

My mistake

Apparently B.B. Pelletier is the only person in the world who can’t recognize BSA Airsporter variations. I read the serial number and compared it to the table and concluded this was a Mark I in .22 caliber. Their serial number begins with the letter G. Unfortunately, there is also a prefix GI in the list, which looks for all the world like the number one at the beginning of the serial number. Only it isn’t. I know that now, after an embarrassing first report.

Actually, I’m pleased this happened, because it illustrates one of life’s frustrating little problems — namely that BSA didn’t give much thought to assigning their serial numbers, or to the positioning of the prefix letters or to their fonts. Let me show you what I saw.

read more


Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bug Buster
  • Trigger adjust
  • The test
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • JSB Match light weight
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
  • Conclusions

I tested the Mauser 300SL target rifle with open sights last time and I wondered if I got everything the rifle had to give. Today I will try to shoot it as accurately as I can. The original plan was to install the best peep sight and front sight element I could find, but that plan didn’t work out. The front sight on the Mauser doesn’t fit any of the target inserts I own, so I can’t change the post and bead that’s there. Without a target element up front, no peep sight will make any difference. I have already tested these sights to their limits.

read more


Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The trigger
  • Firing cycle
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets
  • Last pellet was a dome
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Evaluation

We start looking at the accuracy of the Mauser 300SL target rifle today. This may be the first time this air rifle has been tested this thoroughly and also  documented, so I want to cover as many of the bases as I can.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bag rest at 10 meters. I rested the rifle directly on the bag because of its gentle shot cycle. I used the sporting open sights the rifle came with. They are easy to see when the target is lit by a 500-watt photography light. I do think I would like to test this rifle with a rear target peep sight and, because the front sight accepts inserts, I would like to try installing an aperture insert in it. I think the accuracy might improve with these things, and we will have today’s results to compare to.

read more