Collecting airguns: Scarcity 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Success!
  • Reality
  • How rare is rare?
  • Second gun
  • The big one
  • A defective design
  • USMR
  • History is the point
  • Scarce gun number 2
  • The difference
  • Celebrity association
  • Moral?
  • Is it real?
  • Sow’s ear
  • Don’t fall for it
  • Market-driven scarcity
  • Summary

Success!

This history section of the daily blog is a big success. Many readers are interested in collecting and learning about vintage airguns, so I am starting a series on collecting. There will be some things that you have seen before, but I hope to put it in a new light. And I have some new things to share, as well. I have already identified several topics for reports, so this promises to be a long one! I won’t run it consecutively, though. I’ll weave in in amongst the reports on historical items of interest. In the end I may turn it into a feature for “Firearms News”.

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Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gletcher Stetckin APS BB pistol
Gletcher’s Stechkin blowback BB pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Velocity day
  • Piercing pin
  • Daisy BBs
  • Slide stays back after the last shot
  • Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs
  • Umarex BBs
  • Shot count
  • Don’t count on the brand of CO2 cartridge!
  • Recoil from the blowback
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Velocity day

We learned a lot about the Soviet Stechkin select-fire pistol in Part 1, or at least I did, when researching it. Today we discover how powerful this Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol is. I will also comment on the trigger and the blowback feel.

Piercing pin

The pistol is rated to shoot at 410 f.p.s., so let’s see what this one will do. Before we dive in, though, let me give you a peek at the piercing pin and corresponding CO2 cartridge seal.

Stetckin BB pistol piercing pin
The piercing pin is hard to see because it’s slightly out of focus. It’s a hollow tube that’s ground on an angle on one side to have a pointed tip on the other side. The green around it is the seal material that the face of the cartridge pushes into.

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Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gletcher Stetckin APS BB pistol
Gletcher’s Stechkin blowback BB pistol.

This report covers:

  • Stechkin firearm
  • BB pistol is not full-auto!
  • This handgun is BIG!
  • Loading
  • Sights
  • Heavy
  • Finish
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol. Let’s define up front what this is and what it is not. This BB pistol is an all-metal full-sized BB pistol that operates on CO2. It is both double and single action, so the slide blowing back cocks the hammer for the next shot. This is a true semiautomatic BB pistol with a two-stage single action trigger that’s reasonably crisp.

Stechkin firearm

The Stechkin was a sidearm of the Soviet military in the early 1950s, but proved too heavy and cumbersome (not to mention too expensive to produce) to be issued to regular combat troops. It was resurrected to be issued to elite forces when I was in the Army in the 1970s. Then it was issued to special troops like Spetsnaz commandos. It is a select-fire (both semiautomatic and fully automatic) pistol, chambered for the 9mm Makarov cartridge. That cartridge is considered adequate in Europe and the former Soviet Union, but being roughly equivalent to the Western .380 ACP, it is weak side in the eyes of the U.S. military and law enforcement communities.

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Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P320 pistol
Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test — 1
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Experimentation
  • Failure to feed
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • The breakthrough!
  • The test — 2
  • Back to 10 meters
  • RWS Hobbys
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol with pellets. I will tell you right up front — this day went differently than I expected. I actually learned a lot about the pistol, but also about myself!

The test — 1

Normally with a pellet pistol I shoot off a rest at 10 meters. I shoot 10 shots per pellet and then measure the groups, just as I do when I test air rifles. That was what I started out to do with the P320, only things didn’t go as I anticipated.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

I thought I would begin with Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets, so 10 were loaded into the magazine belt. They fit the chambers very tight.

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Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P320 pistol
Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Analysis
  • Trigger
  • Belt reliability
  • Air Venturi Smart Shot BBs
  • Evaluation

Today I look at the accuracy of the Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol with BBs. These combination guns can sometimes be great with both BBs and pellets, but usually they are good with one and not as good with the other. The difference is due to the size difference of the projectiles. We will look at the accuracy with pellets in Part 4, so today it’s just BBs.

The test

I shot from 5 meters (just over 16 feet) with the pistol resting on the UTG Monopod. I was seated, so only the pistol was being tested — not me. This pistol has good crisp sights for target work, though they are not adjustable.

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Lov 21 CO2 pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Lov 21
The Lov 21 is a CO2 target pistol; made in the Czech Republic. It doesn’t look like much, but people speak well of it in Canada and Europe.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Learned a lot!
  • The CO2 cap
  • Velocity — H&N Finale Match light
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Shot count
  • Trigger
  • Evaluation

Learned a lot!

We learned a lot from new European readers’ comments to Part 1 of this report — especially reader H3P04. I told you the Lov 21 is an air pistol that I am completely unfamiliar with, and from the little I do know so far, it seems like a winner. Today we start finding out.

The first thing we learned is this pistol isn’t even mainstream in its country of origin! They know about it, but it doesn’t stand out, according to the comments made by several Czech readers.

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Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P320 pistol
Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading
  • Is there a magnet?
  • Mag feed direction
  • Velocity
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Pellets — RWS Hobbys
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Yes, BB, but how fast is it?
  • The trigger
  • Evaluation

Today I test the velocity of the new Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol. But before I get to that, I need to address loading the magazine. Some people find the 30-shot belt daunting to load because it doesn’t move easily for them. Sig sent me some additional instructions and a short video to describe the process.

Be sure to allow time for the video to upload! It might help to refresh the page.

Loading

To load the 320 magazine, the back cover is lifted up, giving you access to the pellet chambers that Sig calls “seats.” A pellet or BB is pressed into each of these, and because you are loading from the back, put the nose of each pellet in first — in the direction you want it to come out of the muzzle. BBs are spherical, so the orientation doesn’t matter. Let’s look at the video.

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