2015 Malvern airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Layers of intrigue
  • Seth’s bullets
  • Rocket Shot
  • AirForce Airguns Texan big bore air rifle
  • Dennis Quackenbush
  • Mike Melick
  • Pellet Head Gauge
  • RAI
  • WOW!

Malvern is a show that has evolved over the years. Originally, it was the Little Rock, Arkansas, show and was held in Benton, Arkansas, inside an empty mall building for many years. Then, it moved a few miles to the west to the county fairgrounds for several more years before the promoter decided to give up the show.

Layers of intrigue

Seth Rowland, who makes bullets for big bore hunters, took over promoting the show and moved it to the old country fairgrounds in Malvern, Arkansas, about 20 miles further west on Interstate 30. Of all the airgun shows being held, Malvern is the smallest and the quietest, but it’s also one that has many surprises every year. This year, I’ll say that I saw layers of intrigue to the show. That’s what I’ll discuss today.

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2015 Findlay airgun show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • You won’t believe it!
  • At my table
  • Old stuff
  • And toys
  • And on and on…

You won’t believe it!

I was walking the aisles, looking at all the guns and trying to see everything. On the floor at one table there was a standing rack with what appeared to be a Bugelspanner. I showed you a Bugelspanner several years ago. I’ve seen hundreds of Bugelspanners over the past couple decades I’ve been going to airgun shows, but this one looked a little different. So, I inquired about it — and got the best story of the whole show.

For starters, it wasn’t a Bugelspanner (triggerguard-cocker) at all. It was a Heblespanner (side-winding crank-cocker), similar in function to my David Lurch gallery dart gun, though quite unlike it at the same time. Let’s take a look.

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2015 Findlay airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The show begins
  • Grab ‘em when you see ‘em
  • Something for everyone
  • Hot show
  • New book coming
  • Look, but don’t touch!
  • In the aisles
  • Pellets!
  • More to come

Intro sign

The show begins

It was good to see the old gang, again, at this year’s Findlay airgun show. Findlay is a show that combines the old with the new, and you never know what will walk in the door. I sat at Dennis Quackenbush’s table, so I’ll begin there.

Dennis usually doesn’t have big bore guns to sell at the show, because he’s busy filling orders all the time. But at this show, he had 3 of them — one .458 and two .308s. These were guns with extra-long barrels that nobody had ordered, so Dennis could sell them without pushing anyone back on his list. All 3 sold in the first 42 minutes after the doors opened at 9 a.m., and one was sold while a second customer was on his phone trying to decide whether or not to buy it. Before his call was finished, the gun sold. Folks, if you see something you like at an airgun show, buy it. And if you think you want to buy it, never set it down until the deal is made.

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2014 Toys That Shoot Airgun Show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s blog:

• Correction to the first report.
• Some vintage airguns.
• There were parts for sale.
• Vintage store displays and boxed BB guns from WW II.
• Ft. Worth airgun show.
• NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

This is the second part of the report on the Toys That Shoot airgun show in Findlay, Ohio. In the first report, I showed you a lot of vintage collectible airguns — some commanding very high prices. Today, I’ll show the other side of the show — the one where regular people would buy and sell. Before I get to that, though, there is a correction to the first report. I mentioned seeing a muzzleloading big bore air rifle on Dennis Quackenbush’s table, and I gave you the impression that he designed it. He did not. That rifle was designed by its owner, Mike Paulus, who commissioned Dennis to build his design. Dennis told me as much at the show, but I wasn’t listening. I thought he was being modest; in fact, he was telling me that Mike designed the rifle. Dennis just made the parts for him.

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2014 Toys That Shoot Airgun Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Best airgun show I have been to in a very long time! Not because I sold a lot — I didn’t. But I met a lot of nice blog readers, got to see some airguns that are extremely rare and got to acquire a couple nice vintage guns for future blogs.

Dennis Quackenbush told me this show would be a good one, and he was right. As soon as the doors opened to the public, the place was packed. From what I saw, people had money to spend and weren’t afraid to pull it out.

The Findlay show is very heavy into vintage BB guns; so if that’s what you like, it’s one of the 2 best shows for that. But they weren’t all Daisys. There were many other rare models, including a super-rare Quackenbush Lightning.

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The Roanoke airgun show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today I’ll show you more of the airgun show that was held in Roanoke, Virginia, last Friday and Saturday. I’m going to jump around just like you would if you walked the aisles at the show.

Let’s begin at Larry Hannusch’s table. Larry has been an airgun writer since the 1970s, and he has a great collection of fine guns. This year, he displayed some of his ball-flask guns, giving show attendees a chance to see airguns that no American museum has.

Hannusch ball reservoir airguns
Not many people have ever seen this many ball reservoir airguns in one place. Larry Hannusch collection.

Hannusch vintage hand pump
How do they fill those ball reservoirs? With vintage hand pumps like this one. Dennis Quackenbush and I experimented with these pumps and learned they can develop up to 1,000 psi when the right technique is used. And they don’t have piston seals — just lapped steel pistons!

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2013 Roanoke airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Every airgun show has a personality, and this year’s Roanoke show was no different. It started slow. Dealers were slow to set up — enjoying talking with each other rather than getting everything ready for the doors to open to the public. That’s because we got there at 8 a.m., and the doors weren’t opened until noon. So, we knew we had time to converse and to see what everyone had on their tables.

I was seated behind Mike Reames’ table. Mike is the man who made the swages I reviewed for you a while back. He always has interesting things on his table, and I took some photos for you to see.

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