Pistons and sears

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Two basic types of pistons
  • Center-latched pistons
  • Side-latched piston
  • See the difference?
  • Gas springs

I’m going to look at how triggers interact with pistons in spring guns today. I thought some of the blog readers may not be aware of some of the subtleties of sears and triggers as they relate to pistons.

Two basic types of pistons

Spring pistons are latched or “caught” by their sears in 2 different ways. These 2 ways are so vastly different that they dictate what types of triggers will work with what types of pistons. Until you understand the differences, you can’t appreciate why certain triggers such as the Rekord won’t work with certain types of pistons.

Center-latched pistons

A center-latched piston has a rod in its center that in some way gets latched or “caught” by the sear. When it’s latched, the sear restrains the full force of the mainspring. That can be well over 100 lbs. of force in the case of a coiled steel spring, or several hundred psi of gas pressure in the 2-piece expanding cylinder of a gas spring. The sear prevents the piston from moving until it’s released by the action of the trigger.

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H&N Hornet pellet: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

H&N Hornet
The H&N Hornet is a new pointed pellet. Is it any good? This test hopes to find out.

This report covers:

  • Off the dime
  • The Hornet
  • The test
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • H&N Hornet pellets
  • The verdict

How do you test a new pellet? You shoot it in as many airguns as possible and compare it to what you know those guns can do.

How do I test a new pellet? Pretty much the same way, only I’m on a time schedule, plus I have to publish my findings – findings that will be scrutinized by thousands of readers for multiple purposes.

I have to be very careful when testing a new pellet, because I could give it a bad reputation without meaning to. For this reason, I’m very careful.

Off the dime

Well, this fact has bothered me, so I came up with what I hope will be a simple solution. I will test the pellet in a few guns of known capability and let the chips fall where they may. One of those guns is my Beerman R8 Tyrolean that I always reach for when I want to test accuracy. Today, I’ll shoot the H&N Hornet .177-caliber pointed pellet in my R8.

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The Benjamin Bulldog big bore: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Benjamin Bulldog
Benjamin’s new Bulldog bullpup big bore air rifle is a .357-caliber 5-shot repeater.

This report covers:

  • Scoped rifle
  • Feel of the rifle
  • Tin Starr bullets
  • Pellets are next
  • Degassing the Bulldog
  • Trigger-pull
  • What comes next

Scoped rifle

Today, I’ll take the Benjamin Bulldog to the range to try it on targets for the first time. Crosman sent me a Centerpoint 4-16X56 scope and rings for the rifle, so they were mounted before I went to the range.

Benjamin Bulldog scoped
Centerpoint 4-16X56 is sized nicely for the Bulldog.

This is the first time I have seen this particular Centerpoint scope. Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry it because it’s brand new and won’t be commercially available until later this year. I like 4-16x scopes anyway, and this one’s bright. The duplex reticle has mil-dots on both lines and appears to be etched glass. The crosshair is fine, but the mil-dots make it easy to find. The parallax focus is on the left side, where it is handy for adjustment. All in all, a nice scope!

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Hatsan BT65 QE: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan BT65 QE
Hatsan BT65 QE

This report covers:

  • Uh-oh!
  • Shooting dynamic
  • Benjamin domed pellets
  • JSB King pelletss
  • Tried the solid bullet
  • The plan

I have quite a report for you today on the accuracy of the .25-caliber Hatsan BT65 QE precharged air rifle. This is a rifle I’ve long wanted to test because of its reputation for power and accuracy at a great price. Twenty-five caliber air rifles have become legitimate hunting guns over the past decade, mostly because of the improvements in pellets. It’s now worthwhile to think of a .25 instead of a .22 if all you want to do is hunt.

Uh-oh!

I actually went to the range a week earlier to test the rifle, but no matter which pellet I tried, the best it would do was about 5 inches at 50 yards. This rifle is really too powerful to test inside my house, so I skipped any 25-yard testing. Pellet after pellet went into large groups. I felt there had to be something wrong with the test rifle. Rather than report on a failure at the range, I contacted Hatsan, which sent me a link to one of Rick Eutsler’s videos on improving the accuracy of the rifle. After watching that video, I removed the barrel from the rifle and found that its crown had some damage.

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Airguns they should make

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Weihrauch
  • Crosman
  • Diana
  • Up for grabs — Umarex?

Today, I’m going to talk about some airguns I wish were made. I’m not talking about the fine guns of 60 years ago that were made of blued steel and nice walnut. I understand that level of hand work costs so much that it is practically impossible to build today — outside of a handmade proposition. What I’m taking about are airguns that could be made with very little risk or cash outlay by the manufacturers. The basis for some of these guns is in the inventory right now and require only minor changes to make entire new models that I believe shooters will embrace. This is how the Air Venturi Bronco was designed, and also how the $100 PCP was created.

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Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Droop — or downward slant
  • My point is…
  • I must care about this
  • Scope placement

This series examines the task of mounting a scope on an air rifle and sighting it in. Part 2 addressed mounting a scope, but it didn’t cover all of the problem areas, so today I’ll continue the discussion.

Droop — or downward slant

I will say that 80 percent of all the firearms and airguns I have examined have some degree of downward slant of their bores in relation to the line of sight of a scope that’s mounted on them. And I will go on to say that half of those are so serious as to cause problems. The airgun term for this is droop. The firearm world has no term for it and is generally ignorant of the problem. The single firearm that doesn’t seem to have this problem to the extent mentioned here is the AR platform. Perhaps the designers recognized the problem and solved it through engineering. I don’t know, but ARs seem to be relatively droop-free.

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RWS Diana 45: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

RWS Diana 45 air rifle
Diana 45 is a large breakbarrel spring rifle.

This report covers:

  • RWS Superdome pellets
  • Uh-oh!
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Time to stop and think
  • H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm head
  • Where we are

Today, we’ll look at the performance of the Diana 45 that we tuned recently. Although a new mainspring was installed, it has the same power as the spring that was in the rifle, so no vast power increase was anticipated. If there’s any increase at all, it will probably come from the new breech seal I installed. The old one was flat and hard, so the breech is probably sealing air better now.

The point of this tune was to eliminate as much vibration as we could. The rifle’s owner, Johnny Hill, did not like the buzz that came with every shot, and I told him that most or even all of that could be eliminated by tightening the tolerances inside the powerplant. At my request, he made a larger spring guide, and he buttoned the piston to take out as much vibration as possible.

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