Why won’t my new air rifle shoot well?

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The barrel
  • AirForce Texan .357
  • Is JB Bore Paste safe in a barrel?
  • Why haven’t we heard of this before?
  • What is the accuracy limit?
  • What about brass barrels?
  • Leather shoes
  • What have we learned?

I have been writing this blog for going on 12 years, and before that I wrote The Airgun Letter newsletter for 9 years. In that time I have talked to thousands of new shooters about the accuracy (or lack of accuracy) of their new airguns. This subject comes up more with rifles than pistols, because when a pistol is inaccurate most people blame themselves. But what I am about to tell you holds true for all guns that have rifled barrels.

Today’s blog was prompted by a new reader who calls himself Geo Johnson. George has an RWS Diana 34 that he is having accuracy problems with. We went through the artillery hold, and since I can’t see him shoot I have to take his word that he is doing it right. It makes all the difference in the world if he is putting any pressure on the stock as the rifle fires, but I will assume he is not. I know that a Diana 34 is a very accurate air rifle, so what else could cause it to not be accurate? Loose screws are a possibility, but they are quickly checked.

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Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392
The Benjamin 392 pump assist modification is an interesting side street in the hobby.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How is this historical?
  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • The inventor
  • How much?
  • The butterfly hand pump
  • What are they worth?
  • What comes next?

This is a report I have wanted to write for a long time. I actually did a 5-part report on this unique air rifle back in 2008. But this belongs in the historical archives, plus there are tens of thousands of new readers who haven’t even heard of this novel airgun.

How is this historical?

The Benjamin 392 multi-pump pneumatic is still in production. How can this be an historical report? Well, the 392 is still being made, but the pump assist modification is not. It has lapsed into the history of airguns.

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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.

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Pellet shapes and performance: Part 2

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

This report covers:

  • RWS Superpoints
  • Vogel pellets
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

Today I move back to 25 yards and we see how these three pellet shapes do. I shot 10-shot groups from my Beeman R8 Tyrolean off a sandbag rest at 25 yards. The scope setting was not changed for today’s shooting from where it was for the 10-meter test.

RWS Superpoints

You may recall that RWS Superpoints were the pellets that surprised me the most in the first test. They gave the tightest group. Today 10 Superpoints went into 0.464-inches at 25 yards. That’s larger than their 10-meter group, but it’s still impressive. I am changing my opinion of pointed pellets — at least in this rifle.

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Diana K98 pellet rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana K98
Diana’s K98 Mauser pellet rifle is very realistic.

This report covers:

    • Real deal
    • The rifle
    • Underlever
    • The stock
    • Finish
    • Sights
    • Size and weight
    • Tools?
    • Manual
    • Good feeling

    It’s here! The Diana K98 air rifle is finally here and today I start testing it for you. I have fired it several times as of this moment, and my advice is if you want one, get it. Diana appears to have done everything right.

    Real deal

    Luckily for all of you I am a real airgunner, rather than some marketeer who is just doing this as a job. When it comes to looking at a new airgun like this, I know what to look for. For example, the stock is real wood! The picture on the box looks so good that I thought for a moment Diana had gone the plastic route like the Mosin Nagant BB gun I recently tested. No, sir! This one is all wood!

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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.

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Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Gifts for $25 and under
  • Gifts for $100 and under
  • Gifts for $250 and under
  • Gifts with no price limit

First of all, to my American readers — Happy Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I hope you do, too.

With the holidays fast approaching we sometimes need help finding those perfect gifts. This blog offers some of my personal picks this year.

Gifts for $25 and under

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my book, BB Guns Remembered. It’s the perfect short story collection bathroom reader for someone who enjoys nostalgia. And this book makes the B.B. gun the star. At $10 it’s the perfect stocking-stuffer. If your airgunner likes to read, this is a good one!

Your airgunner may like a tin of Smart Shot Lead BBs. These BBs are on the large side and tend to be more accurate than steel BBs in many guns, plus they are much safer. Before ordering these, be sure to ask your airgunner if he has guns that can use them.

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