Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana model 23 air rifle Diana 23 was a find on Gun Broker. The finish is bad but the gun works well.

This report covers:

  • An update
  • Step 1
  • Rust
  • Step 2: To buff or not?
  • Pits
  • Steel wool
  • I’m not done prepping
  • Cold blue

Many of you are interested in working on vintage airguns. To this point, I’ve shown you how to tune several spring-piston guns and I’ve touched on the subject of cold bluing, but I have not discussed it in detail. This series will go into the refinishing of the metal parts of a springer, including how to apply a deep cold blue that lasts.

An update

The last time we looked at this Diana model 23 breakbarrel, I’d disassembled it and shown you all the bad spots. I said then my plan was to refinish the rifle. Today, we begin by cleaning the parts. I’m only showing the spring tube, but all the steel parts are treated in the same way.

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Gen 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder air rifle Gen 2
Second-generation Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Farewell Marv Freund
  • Some updates and corrections
  • Shooting the gun
  • Stabilizing the bipod
  • First group is the best
  • Baracuda Hunter Extreme pellets
  • Diana domed pellets
  • Possible change in comments

Farewell Marv Freund

Before I start today’s report, I must sadly announce that Marv Freund passed away last Friday evening. Marv was in his mid-80s and, in the words of Dennis Quackenbush, has been an “old lion” of airgunning for as long as I’ve been involved. Anyone who attended the airgun shows at Roanoke probably saw and spoke to him.

Marv was retired from the National Bureau of Standards before it became the National Institute for Standards and Technology. He was well-known for fixing and rebuilding music boxes and other complicated mechanical things. Marv is the man from whom I purchased my Nelson Lewis combination gun, the cased FWB 124 and my Falke 90.

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BSF S54 underlever: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

BSF S54
BSF S54 Match air rifle

This report covers:

  • Rear sight adjustment
  • Accuracy testing
  • First group
  • Group two
  • Group three
  • Conclusion and a shocker

Today, we start examining the accuracy of the BSF S54 Match rifle I’ve been testing for you. As you’ll remember, this rifle has already surprised me by being a lot more powerful than I expected. Many years ago, I owned a .22-caliber S54 that had target sights. I don’t think it was the Match model, but the action was the same as this one, except for the caliber. That gun wasn’t nearly as powerful as this one, which is what lead me to underestimate what this one would do. Apparently, I have an almost-new rifle whose action hasn’t even been broken-in yet.

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Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Pelletgage
The Pelletgage comes in .177 caliber at the present. The holes are in a steel plate. A plastic plate above the gage plate helps guide the pellet head to the gage hole.

This report covers:

  • Description
  • The difference is obvious!
  • Head sizes
  • Every shot was perfect

The last test I ran on the .177-caliber Pelletgage (reported in part 3) was unintentionally flawed. I wasn’t sure at the time, but when my results were muddled and I examined the test plan, it was easy to see.

Description

The Pelletgage is a device that measures the diameter of pellet heads, so they can be sorted into groups of similar sizes. Pellets that come in the same package often have a range of different head sizes.

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Shooting the Rocket Shot target

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Rocket Shot target
  • Wind is bad
  • Emplacing the target
  • Loading the can
  • Crosman Super Match pellets
  • Shooting the target
  • Afterward
  • Overall impression

This report took me some time to schedule. I needed to find a safe place to shoot aerial targets with a pellet gun, and I needed good weather. We have had a lot of foul weather in Texas this year, so everything took time to line up. But last Saturday, it did.

Rocket Shot target

You first saw the Rocket Shot target in the Part 1 report on this year’s Malvern airgun show. I bought one with the intention of testing it for you and also putting it into my column in Shotgun News.

Rocket Shot is a spring-loaded soda-can-launcher that throws an empty can about 10-12 feet in the air when the paddle is hit. It sets up easily, loads easily and is more fun to shoot than I imagined. When I watched the company owners shooting the target on their website, it looked easy; but I’m the world’s worst instinct shooter, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy for me.

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BSF S54 underlever: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 3

 

BSF S54
BSF S54 Match air rifle

This report covers:

  • Some updates — SILE stock
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Front sight hood
  • Rear peep sight/scope base
  • RWS Superpoint pellets
  • Surprise!
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • RWS Diabolo Basic pellets
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger-pull
  • What have I learned?

Some updates — SILE stock

Blog readers Kevin Lentz and Mike Driskill asked whether or not the BSF S54 stock had the marking SILE on it. This one does. It’s at the top of the pistol grip, just behind the back of the spring tube.

BSF S54 SILE
The stock is marked “SILE.” Mike Driskill says many of the S54s he has seen have this mark.

Adjustable trigger

I mentioned that the trigger is adjustable. The adjustment directions can be found on the bottom of the triggerguard.

BSF S54 trigger
The + and – signs tell you what you’re doing to the trigger-pull.

Front sight hood

I left the front sight hood out of the full photo of the gun in part 1, so I’m showing it here.

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Gen 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder air rifle Gen 2Second-generation Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4

This report covers:

  • RAI modular stock
  • The buttstock
  • Leapers
  • Rifle weight
  • Scope
  • Bipod and sling
  • 2015 Texas airgun show

Today, you’ll see the real reason I’m testing the .25-caliber Gen 2 Benjamin Marauder. I had not planned on this test at all! In fact, I found a high-end European air rifle at the SHOT Show that I planned to test for Shotgun News and my personal website. I tried to order that rifle, but it just never happened. So, when Dave Rensing of R. Arms Innovations (RAI) approached me with his modular stock at the Malvern airgun show, I decided to buy a Marauder and test it in a way I’ve never done before. This test will become part of a much larger feature article in Shotgun News this November, which is their full-color edition. If you can’t buy the magazine, don’t fret. It will also be posted on my website a few months after it’s published.

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