Behavior at an airgun show

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Prepare for the show
  • Tie your airguns
  • Price all your guns
  • Table coverings
  • Packing the car
  • Be careful
  • Asking to “borrow” table space from a friend
  • Theft
  • Watch what you say!
  • Common stuff you always need
  • Watch out!
  • Loading in and out

This report was requested by reader Michael and elaborated on by reader Siraniko. At first I didn’t think I could write much that would be of interest, but Siraniko opened my eyes to what Michael was asking. I have been selling at gun shows for almost half a century and at airguns shows since 1994, so I have hardened to all those things that might puzzle someone new. It is a worthy topic, and if it gives just one person the courage to have a table at a show, it will have served its purpose.

Prepare for the show

It might seem obvious, but the first step is to get ready for the show. A major part of that is deciding which airguns you want to sell. Maybe there is one you aren’t sure of. You like it a lot, but it’s also something that will attract a lot of attention. I like to put those guns on my table, so I price them in such a way that if they sold I could live with it. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is attending the show. Maybe they are like you and would like to see a Sheridan Supergrade for sale. So price it at $1,800 and be prepared to sell it if a buyer comes along. These days a working Supergrade is worth $1,250-1,500, so pricing it like that assures that only a serious buyer will be interested. However, if it is a gun you truly love, like I love my Diana model 27, then either don’t take it or mark it not for sale.

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Walther Parrus with wood stock: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther Parrus with wood stock
Walther Parrus with wood stock.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • 5-shot groups
  • The test
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • RWS Superdomes
  • JSB Exact 15.89 grain
  • Eley Wasp pellets
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Last pellet — JSB 18.1 grain
  • Summary

Today I begin testing the accuracy of the .22-caliber Walther Parrus with wood stock. Since the rifle has open sights, I used today to sort through 6 candidate pellets for future tests.

5-shot groups

I only shot 5-shot groups today, because I’m not testing the ultimate accuracy of the rifle — just the potential for certain pellets to be accurate. Also I had to shoot left-handed because my right eye is acting up. I can’t see the target with my right eye when I look at the front sight. The good news is my retina specialist tells me that it’s time for me to get a pair of glasses. Looks like the eye is healed as far as it’s going to. At least with glasses I should be able to see things with both eyes again.

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BSA Meteor Mark I: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Meteor
BSA Meteor Mark I.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • You outta try…
  • Off the bat
  • A scope!
  • What to expect

Back in 2013/14 I wrote a 9-part review of the BSA Super Meteor Mark IV that I bought at what turned out to be the last airgun show in Roanoke, Virginia. That gun was pretty bad when I got it, but I was able to buy all the parts to make it good again, plus my buddy, Otho, did some welding on the piston that saved it. When I sold the gun at the Malvern airgun show in 2015, it had been transformed into a nice little air rifle.

You outta try…

As I reviewed the gun several readers told me the model I really should be looking at was the Mark I or Mark II Meteor. Those were made as fine airguns, before BSA started painting their parts and cheapening their manufacture. Well, as luck would have it, I saw a Mark I Meteor on Larry Hannusch’s table at the recent Texas Airgun Show. He wanted a lot for it, and I let him take it home, but then, after a lot of thought, I reconsidered and bought it. Larry gave me a nice discount and shipped it immediately, which is why I have it today.

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2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • It was a great show!
  • Some of the guns I saw at the show
  • Seriously though
  • Not for sale
  • Demonstrations
  • Air Bolt
  • Robin Hood
  • An interesting find
  • Will there be another show?

It was a great show!

I sold more airguns at this show than at any other I have attended. Besides that I met a lot of readers who came up and shook my hand. That is so nice, because it tells me who I’m reaching.

I had my latest book for sale on the table and it looks like I sold about 20 of them. I wanted to have coffee cups, hats and tee-shirts, but I’m updating my Godfather logo so it will be right when I sell them. Next year for sure.

The bottom line was — I had a great show! So did every dealer I talked to. Larry Hannusch told me he sold more guns than he normally does and Sun Optics actually sold out of several items. I know AirForce Airguns was doing a brisk business on the tables behind me, and Dennis Quackenbush, who usually only brings guns for people who have ordered them actually had guns for sale this time! He told me after the show he sold several of them.

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2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Weather
  • Started late?
  • Flash flood of people!
  • What kind of show was it?
  • Some finds
  • The gate

Here we go! The 2016 Texas Airgun Show was the most different airgun show I have ever attended. I will try to tell you why, but as I do, you will learn that I did not see the entire show, so I’ll rely on the comments of others to assist me.

Weather

The weather was perfect! Normally Texas is above 100 degrees at this time in August, but this day was just 91. And the humidity was down, as well. Rain had been predicted earlier in the week, but the sun was out most of the day and I don’t think a drop fell.

Started late?

Every airgun show I have attended, which is over 40 by now, has had the dealers lined up at the door, pressing to get in even before it’s time. This Texas show was not like that. In fact, at 7 a.m., half an hour after the doors were opened for the dealers to set up, there were still only about one-third of the tables filled. I thought something was up. A few people said the show was hard to locate, but that was because they were using Google Maps to find it. If they switched to Map Quest, the directions were perfect.

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Walther Parrus with wood stock: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther Parrus with wood stock

Part 1

This report covers:

  • First test
  • Second test
  • Third test
  • Back to JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Recoil and firing behavior
  • Evaluation

I’m moving right along on this report because there has been tremendous interest in the Walther Parrus with wood stock. Remember, the rifle I’m testing is in .22 caliber. Let’s get to it.

I’m going to change the test a little today. Normally I would report the velocity of three pellets — one lightweight, one medium weight and one heavyweight. But I encountered something during this test that allows me to show you one of the tricks of the trade. Actually it’s known to anyone who has spring gun experience and a chronograph.

First test

Let me show you the first 4 readings I got when shooting JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets.

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Some frank talk about optics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Dot sights — the good and the bad
  • The downside of dot sights
  • Dot sight summary
  • Compact scopes
  • Compact scope summary
  • High magnification
  • Summary of high magnification
  • Know the limitations of your equipment

Last week I asked for help determining how to test and evaluate a set of scope rings and a new scope. I got some good suggestions, but there was also a lot of discussion about optics that I would like to address today. I’m calling this report “Frank talk about optics” because this is what I would tell you if we were speaking privately. I’m not trying to sell you anything today. I just want you to consider some fundamentals when you select an optical sight.

Dot sights — the good and the bad

A dot sight shows an illuminated dot inside an optical tube that can be placed on a target of your choosing. Let’s start with the good stuff. I am preparing to demonstrate the Air Venturi Air Bolt system to the public at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show this coming Saturday, and I mounted a dot sight on the Sam Yang Dragon Claw 500cc rifle I’m using. I needed a sight that is quick to acquire the target and also very reliable, so I selected a red dot sight.

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