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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Characteristics of a classic airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Airguns are easy to use
  • Airguns are quiet
  • Airguns cock easily
  • Airguns are accurate
  • Airguns have good sights
  • What about plastic?
  • Triggers
  • What have I missed?
  • Why is this in the history section?

I celebrate my victories quietly. One of them has been to expose the elements of classic airgun design, so people who need to know can understand what it takes to make something timeless and enduring. We all know that the airgun manufacturers are silent readers of this blog and its comments. Today I am dedicating this report to them — a compilation of design aspects that will ensure a classic airgun. I’ll tell you why at the end of the report.

Airguns are easy to use

Yes, there are people who only shoot airguns. Before I wrote this blog I had no idea there were so many of them, but there are. They are a sizable element of the shooting population and designers need to be aware of them. But their numbers are overwhelmed by the number of firearms shooters who also shoot airguns from time to time. And why do they do it? Because airguns are easy to shoot. I can pick up a Diana 27 and snap off 5 shots at targets of opportunity before you can pack your AR-15 with bipod and sniper scope into that oversized black tactical bag! And we both know the rifle isn’t all you need to go to the range. You load the car with stuff, while I carry my 6-pound breakbarrel in one hand, and a tin of pellets in my pocket.

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How hard can it be?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Are old airgun parts really that simple to make?
  • It’s a simple plastic part
  • The question
  • Are old airgun parts really that simple to make?
  • It’s a simple plastic part
  • A fork in the road
  • Hold on!
  • Okay — stop!
  • But I only want to buy ONE!!!
  • The connection

We had a comment last Thursday that I had to turn into a blog report. A new reader named Don was asking about replacement grips for a Crosman Single Action 6 (SA-6) — a .22-caliber pellet revolver made from 1959-69.

Crosman SA-6
The Crosman SA-6 is a single action pellet revolver that resembles the Colt SAA.

Here is his question.

The question

“I have a Crossman “single Six” .22 cal. circa 1959? and it needs replacement grips. I was wondering if Ruger or Colt SA grips would fit? Going to use it for re-enacting and the plastic grips don’t cut it.
Thanks folks,
Glad I found your sight.
Don”

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Welcome, fellow Jedi!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Back in the day
  • Parallax
  • Twist rate and rifling styles
  • Velocity versus accuracy
  • Oh, how far we have come!

I was going to show you a brand new spotting scope today, but something came up that I want to address. I don’t always respond to your comments these days — there are simply too many of them for me to cover. But I at least scan all of them and I read many of them.

Yesterday it dawned on me as I was reading the comments — many of you are ready to take your test to become full-fledged Jedi knights! A few may even go on to become Jedi masters. Well done, my enthusiastic Padawan learners!

Whenever I write about a technical subject I cringe, thinking of all the questions it will bring. That used to be bad, because I had to answer each any every question myself. But that isn’t the case anymore. I have been following conversations between Bulldawg76, GunFun1 and ChrisUSA and I am amazed at the level of expertise being displayed. I remember when each of them first started commenting on the blog, and they don’t seem like the same people anymore.

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