El Gamo 68-XP .22 caliber: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

El Gamo XP-68
The El Gamo XP-68.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Preparing to shoot
  • Petroleum oil or silicone?
  • Velocity determines which oil you need
  • Velocity
  • Deep-seating
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Baracuda Match 5.51mm head
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Evaluation so far

I said I would return to this report after I repaired the plastic clamshell halves of the buttstock. That job is now finished. I was able to epoxy the pieces of the broken post that receives the stock screw together and, although it wasn’t completely straight, it was straight enough for me to drill a new pilot hole for the wood screw that holds the two halves together. The butt is now complete, so today I will test the velocity.

Preparing to shoot

In preparation to shoot I oiled the piston seal with a lot of silicone chamber oil and let the rifle stand on its butt for a day. If it has a leather piston seal, and I am almost certain it does, the oil will be absorbed and make the leather pliable again. That should give the highest velocity.

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Why own a chronograph?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • No preaching
  • Evaluate an old airgun
  • Test pellets
  • Evaluate a tuneup
  • For detailed tuning and product development
  • What it isn’t

Today is my cataract surgery. I don’t know how well I will be able to function online for the next several days, so will you veteran readers please help the new guys? I know you always do, but I’m just telling you what’s happening.

If you have read this blog for very long you can answer the title question for yourself, because I write about chronographs all the time. I use them for big things like testing the health of a new acquisition (the Sharp Ace Target and the Sheridan Supergrade), and things more subtle (testing the Air Arms Galahad).

No preaching

I used to preach about when to use a chrono and when not to, but I’m not going to do that today. Use it whenever you like and for whatever reason suits you.

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El Gamo 68-XP .22 caliber: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

El Gamo XP-68
This is my .177 XP-68 that you have already seen — not today’s rifle.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • El Gamo?
  • Back to the report
  • Just a-gonna
  • The time is now
  • Differences
  • Next

Some of you sharp-eyed veteran readers will remember that 4 years ago I reported on the El Gamo XP-68 breakbarrel carbine. Don’t worry. Except for a reference to that series now and then this will be an entirely new look at a different air rifle.

After writing that series, the shape of the futuristic XP-68 was fresh in my mind. One day not long after finishing that series I happened to see another one in a favorite local pawn shop. I already had one, so I knew I didn’t want another, but if the price was right, maybe I could buy it and sell it at an airgun show. So I asked to see it.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

  • Umarex USA
  • The Hammer
  • .50 caliber
  • Repeater
  • 4500 psi
  • Absolute zero
  • Second Zero
  • MP 40 BB gun
  • Umarex Forge
  • Trevox and Strike Point
  • Optical Dynamics flashlights
  • Still not finished

Before we begin I want to tell you about a blog series I will start this week. I have the new Air Venturi air compressor on hand and I used it for the first time yesterday. It works so well that I’m jumping the line to get the report started. You can expect to start reading about it this week.

The 2017 SHOT Show was the biggest show I have ever experienced for airguns. Some manufacturers like Crosman and Umarex brought out many new gun models and related products that are really different. Others brought out only one of two items, like the Gamo Swarm Maxim, but they are so significantly different that they deserve to be recognized. My work is cut out for me this year!

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

  • Air Venturi
  • Lil Duke
  • New Air Bolts
  • Hatsan
  • Semiautomatics
  • Big Bore Carnivore
  • Sun Optics compressor
  • The year of the airgun

Air Venturi

This was the first actual day of the SHOT Show, and the crowd was excited! I stopped at the Air Venturi booth first, so let’s see what’s there.

Lil Duke

First up was the Lil’ Duke BB gun. As you can see, it’s styled after the model 92 Winchester John Wayne carried in a number of his most famous movies, including True Grit. This is the one he fills his hand with.

Lil' Duke
The Lil Duke is bound to become a favorite.

The John Wayne airguns have been quite successful for Air Venturi. They had a second booth upstairs this year where they showed a number of their other John Wayne handguns, including a 1911 that Wayne probably carried in the Sands of Iwo Jima!

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

  • What I saw at Sig
  • What I didn’t see
  • Bucket list
  • Industry Day at the Range
  • Gauntlet
  • Havox
  • Gamo Swarm Maxim
  • Coyote Urban
  • There is more

Inn this report I will cover airguns I saw at Sig Range Day on Sunday, Jan. 15 and at Media Day at the Range on Monday, Jan. 16.

What I saw at Sig

Sig has been breaking into airguns over the past several years. This year they brought out the Max Michel 1911 that I tested for you back in November and December, plus they have now added the Sig P320 ASP pellet pistol. The 320 is unique in 2 ways. First, it has a 30-shot belt-fed magazine, so there are lots of shots on board. We haven’t seen a pistol with a belt-fed mag since Anics walked off the scene, years ago. This one is very slim, too.

The other nice feature is the trigger pull. Though it is a long pull, it is 2-stage and incredibly light. Yours truly was able to nail targets with this gun at respectable distances.

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Methods of power adjustment — springers: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • More power!
  • Example
  • Stronger mainspring?
  • Piston stroke
  • Increase the piston length
  • Dual power is possible through piston stroke
  • Larger piston?
  • Cost
  • Transfer port size
  • Port location
  • Piston weight
  • What can be done with this knowledge?

Today’s topic was suggested last week by reader Riki from India. A lot of other readers jumped on the bandwagon when he asked for it, so I agreed to write a series of reports. The question is — how do airgun manufacturers control the power/velocity output of the guns they make?

More power!

An American airgunner who is new to the hobby will look at this in a different way. He will wonder how airgun manufacturers get the highest possible velocity/most power from an airgun. He won’t appreciate that in nearly every country in the world other than the United States the governments have limited the power of airguns. And there is no common way they limit it. In the United Kingdom they limit the output by energy, allowing no more than 12 foot-pounds for air rifles and 6 foot-pounds for air pistols, I believe. They aren’t concerned with velocity, except as it produces energy. This is a thoughtful regulation that forces airgunners in those countries to learn basic ballistics. It also forces manufacturers to test their airguns with almost every pellet to be sure they are not exceeding those limits.

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