2015 Texas airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Setup
  • Big bore draws a crowd
  • The match
  • Texans galore!
  • What about the show?
  • Vortek and the Diana 34
  • More to come

Setup

The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.

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Changing from lead shot to steel

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The first lead BB
  • Size matters
  • Advantages of air rifle shot
  • The dawn of steel shot
  • How lead shot tubes work
  • How steel shot tubes work
  • This information is worth millions

The first lead BB

When BB guns were new in the 1880s, they shot lead shotgun shot in the size BB. That’s where the name BB gun comes from. BBs were nominally 0.180-inches in diameter. Nominally means that they were supposed to be about that size and they were sorted by screens to ensure they were all close to that size, but let’s be honest — does it really matter whether a single piece of birdshot in actually 0.180-inches or 0.182-inches? Not to a shotgunner, it doesn’t. Maybe uniform shot gives a more uniform pattern, but there are other factors to consider, as well, and shot uniformity is only one of many things.

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Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • First group high — Falcons
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain were best
  • JSB Exact 10.34-grain domes
  • JSB Exact RS pellets
  • The final pellet
  • Conclusions

This is a test of the Tech Force M8 breakbarrel air rifle at 25 yards. We learned in Part 3 how best to shoot the rifle, which is directly off a sandbag. We also discovered that, of the pellets tested, the best to that point were Air Arms Falcons, seated flush with the breech. That is where today’s test begins.

First group high — Falcons

I was surprised to see the same pellets that had been okay at 10 meters landing 1 inch higher and 1/2-inch to the left at 25 yards. Some movement is expected when you move from 10 meters to 25 yards, but not usually that much. The first group that you see below was actually fired at a bull beneath it. The good news is the pellets were landing higher, which meant I could adjust the scope to shoot lower. That’s almost never a problem.

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Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Velocity
  • Conclusions
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Firing behavior
  • Evaluation so far

Today we become more familiar with the Tech Force M8 rifle. In Part One I mentioned that the powerplant on this gun is very similar to the powerplant on the Air Venturi Bronco that has been discontinued. In fact I believe it is identical. The one thing that differentiates Air Venturi and Tech Force spring rifles from Mendozas is we made them not drill a hole on the left side of the spring tube for oiling the piston seal. Low-order detonations were the way Mendoza rifles achieved their velocities, but we didn’t want that.

Several readers who already have this gun can confirm that the M8 is smooth-shooting and easy to cock. Reader Bulldawg mentioned how surprised he was at the beauty of the M8 stock. I must agree. You can see it in the photo above,and that seems to be an accurate representation. The shape is pleasing and Mendoza seems to have used some beech wood with more figure than you usually see. The stock on my test rifle is as pretty as walnut.

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Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

This report covers:

  • Comparison
  • Stock
  • Powerplant
  • Double trigger blade
  • What is it?

Here is an alert to everyone who missed getting an Air Venturi Bronco. From what I see so far, just having taken the .177 caliber Air Venturi Tech Force M8 out of the box and shooting it a couple times, this rifle is as good as the Bronco. For some of you it is even better, as you will learn today.

Comparison

The M8 is practically identical to the Bronco. Both rifles are 40 inches long and weigh 6.5 lbs. The M8 stock has a slightly longer pull of 13 inches, to the Bronco’s 12-1/2 or 12-3/4 inches. Both rifles are said to cock with 18 lbs. of effort, which puts them into the comfortable range. The Bronco came with adjustable open sights, while the M8 has no sights. Both rifles have the 2-bladed 2-stage trigger that uses the first blade to take up stage one of the pull.

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Black Ops Junior Sniper air rifle combo: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Black Ops Junior Sniper
Black Ops Junior Sniper combo

This report covers:

  • Informative
  • Scope
  • Sight-in
  • Premier lite pellets first
  • Pumping is easy
  • Pellets difficult to load
  • H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm heads
  • Final thoughts

Informative

This will be our final look at the Black Ops Junior Sniper air rifle combo. Today, I’ll mount the scope and shoot the rifle from 25 yards. I thought this report would just be about the rifle and scope; but, in fact, I learned 2 other very important lessons. So, today’s blog will be informative. There are also two short instructional videos.

Scope

The scope that comes with this combo is the cheapest kind of optical sight you can buy. It’s a 4x scope with a very skinny tube – less than .75 inches. The rings come already attached, so all I had to do was clamp them to the top of the rifle, and the job was done. That said, I had no idea if the scope would even be on the paper at 25 yards.

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Daisy 1894 Western Carbine: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Daisy 1894
Daisy’s 1894 Western Carbine is a classic BB gun. This one is an NRA Centennial model.

This report covers:

• Daisy Premium BBs
• Hornady Black Diamond BBs
• Avanti Precision Ground Shot
• Crosman Copperhead BBs
• Conclusions

Today, we’ll see if the Daisy 1894 can shoot. I know that a lot of you have been waiting for this report for a long time. I haven’t been waiting nearly as long as some of you, but I am just as excited. As I’ve said more than once while testing this BB gun, I like the way this 1894 feels when I hold it!

I shot the gun at 5 meters (16 feet, 4 inches) from a UTG Monopod rest. I loaded only one type of BB at a time, so the BBs didn’t mix. I shot at larger bulls this time, because the Daisy has open sights that aren’t too fine.

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