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 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • What’s coming
  • Let’s get started
  • MP 40
  • Remington 1875
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Umarex ARX ammo
  • Umarex Hammer
  • Umarex Gauntlet
  • A shrouded Texan?
  • Other new things

Well, it’s that time again. Here I am at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This year will be the biggest one yet for new airguns. And when I say new, I mean really new designs. I’m not interested in a re-skinned gun that’s had other names in the past. There is so much stuff that is really new this year that everything else will get shoved to the rear.

What’s coming

Yesterday I was on the range with Sig and today I am out at Industry Day at the Range. That’s an event that allows gun writers to try out various new products at a gun range. Actually, it’s more than 50 ranges, all lined up, one after another, in a line that’s about a third of a mile long! A few years ago they started putting ranges on the other side of the walkway, for guns that don’t shoot as far — like shotguns and airguns.

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What makes a good barrel?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Rifling methods
  • Barrel steel
  • The rifling method
  • Availability of steel
  • Changes to technology
  • Inexpensive barrels
  • Business practices — cheap
  • Business practices — quality
  • Stress relieving
  • Summary

Today’s report is in answer to a reader question. Riki from India asked the following.

“BB,what makes a good barrel? I mean in all smallbore air rifles the twist rate is the same, then why is the lothar walther barrel so much more coveted than a chinese barrel ? What does lothar walther do different from the others that their barrels are so accurate?”

I told him the answer would take an entire report, and did he really want to know that much? He said yes and several other readers chimed in, as well. So here goes.

You need to know up front that B.B. Pelletier is no barrel expert. I am writing this partly from what I have read about barrels over the past 50 years and partly from researching them for this report.

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Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Gifts for $25 and under
  • Gifts for $100 and under
  • Gifts for $250 and under
  • Gifts with no price limit

First of all, to my American readers — Happy Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I hope you do, too.

With the holidays fast approaching we sometimes need help finding those perfect gifts. This blog offers some of my personal picks this year.

Gifts for $25 and under

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my book, BB Guns Remembered. It’s the perfect short story collection bathroom reader for someone who enjoys nostalgia. And this book makes the B.B. gun the star. At $10 it’s the perfect stocking-stuffer. If your airgunner likes to read, this is a good one!

Your airgunner may like a tin of Smart Shot Lead BBs. These BBs are on the large side and tend to be more accurate than steel BBs in many guns, plus they are much safer. Before ordering these, be sure to ask your airgunner if he has guns that can use them.

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Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol
Max Michel 1911 BB pistol from Sig Sauer.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading the CO2 cartridge
  • Daisy BBs
  • Sig BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Sig CO2 cartridge
  • Blowback is heavy
  • Trigger pull
  • Overall evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol. Let’s get right to it.

Loading the CO2 cartridge

The CO2 cartridge loads differently than any I have encountered. Remove the left grip panel and pull up on bottom of the flat mainspring housing to unlatch, then swing the housing out of the grip and down under the grip. Now the large end of the cartridge must be inserted into the grip first. There are two flanges at the bottom of the hole in the grip that are too small for the cartridge to pas through, so the large end has to be inserted above them and then dropped inside the grip. That’s the first departure from the norm, but there is one more.

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Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol
Max Michel 1911 BB pistol from Sig Sauer.

This report covers:

  • Who is Max Michel?
  • The pistol
  • The safety
  • The grip safety
  • CO2
  • Sights
  • Magazine

Who is Max Michel?

Today we begin looking at yet another lookalike airgun — the Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol . If you wonder who Max Michel is, let me tell you. Max Michel is an IPSC shooter with many world championships to his credit. He is the captain of Team Sig. He is noted for being a very fast shooter, which, in IPSC competition, means everything. And he is giving Sig permission to use his established name on this pistol, so you have to be impressed. His name means as much to him as Sig’s name means to them.

He actually says in the press release that he recommends this pistol for training, and for teaching younger shooters. If the pistol proves to be somewhat accurate, I will expand that to teaching all shooters.

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Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 600
Crosman 600 CO2 pellet pistol.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Update on the Brice scope mount base for the Daisy Red Ryder
  • A true semiautomatic
  • .22 caliber
  • Power and gas use
  • Ultimate ergonomics
  • Gas caps
  • Sights
  • Safety
  • Modification
  • This pistol
  • Could Crosman do it today?

Update on the Brice scope mount base for the Daisy Red Ryder

I was going to mount an optical sight on my Red Ryder and test it for today’s report. Unfortunately I discovered that the base does not work on my old model 111-40 Red Ryder.

The problem is the rear sight. The mount requires the rear sight elevator to be removed to fit the base, but a 11-40 rear sight doesn’t have an elevator. The sight is tack-welded to the gun and doesn’t come off.

Red Ryder Rear sight
The rear sight on my vintage 111-40 Red Ryder is tack-welded in place. The Brice mount will not fit over it. The raised portion to the right of the sight is the mainspring anchor.

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