2017 Findlay airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Stupid me
  • The show
  • Pyramyd Air
  • William Schooley
  • Crosman — this is for you
  • Stuff at the show
  • Remington model 26 BB gun
  • IZH 46M
  • Pyramyd Air — again!
  • Best for last

Stupid me

Well, the verdict in in — I’m stupid! I have a case of ignorance for which there is no cure. I just drove 2,400 miles to attend a one-day airgun show that I had hoped to report to you, and forgot to take my camera! Took the charger and some flash drives so I could transfer the images — just didn’t take the picture-taker thingy!

Fortunately for me, I live in an age where there are safety nets everywhere for people like me. My smart phone has a better camera built into it than the first digital camera I owned. Let me show you how good it is.

I was in Illinois, flying down the road at 6 a.m., when I saw one of those tractor/trailers that has aerodynamic flaps on the rear of the trailer. It reminded me of a diabolo pellet, except the purpose of these flaps is not to create drag, but instead to smooth out the air behind the trailer and lower the drag. That gives the tractor pulling the trailer better fuel mileage. The flaps can be deployed, as shown here, or folded flat and out of the way.

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Daisy’s 179 BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The Spittin’ Image
  • What is it?
  • Catapult gun
  • A kinetic gun?
  • Very low power
  • Cowboys are cool
  • Four variations
  • The Holy Grail
  • The pistol
  • That’s all for today

The Spittin’ Image

In 1960, Daisy Manufacturing Company embarked on a marketing campaign that was to blossom into one of the largest segments of the airgun market. They brought out their model 179 BB pistol that was copied after the Colt Single Action Army revolver. A few years later they brought out their first 1894 that was highly successful, and a half-century after that not many people remember the first Spittin’ Image BB gun.

Daisy 179
Daisy’s 179 BB pistol came out in 1960 — the first of the Spittin’ Image guns.

Today the lookalike airgun market is huge. It’s expanding all the time, with more and more realistic models coming out every day. You can argue that the 179 was not even the first such airgun Daisy made. many folks think their Targetmaster BB pistol copies the Colt Woodsman Match Target and the Number 25 slide action BB gun was patterned after the Winchester model 12 shotgun. But in 1960 the term Spittin’ Image was first used to describe this pistol as an intentional lookalike.

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Diana 240 Classic:Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 240 Classic
Diana 240 Classic.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Which pellets?
  • The test
  • First 5 shots
  • Second 5 shots
  • Artillery hold wins
  • Tune in a Tube
  • 10 JSB RS pellets
  • 10 RWS Hobbys
  • 10 Crosman Premier lites
  • Pellet skirt damage
  • Evaluation thus far

I love my job! Today, the kid gets to play with a youth air rifle that’s easy to cock, has a nice trigger and, according to the velocity figures we saw in Part 2 of this report, plus the pedigree of the maker (Diana), should turn out to be very accurate. It’s as if I was employed by Santa Claus to test all the new airguns before he carts them off to their new owners all over the world. And, every two hours I get a break for hot chocolate! I love my job!

My job today is to begin to discover how accurate the Diana 240 Classic air rifle is. Like always, I will start at 10 meters and shoot with open sights.

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El Gamo 68-XP .22 caliber: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

El Gamo XP-68
The El Gamo XP-68.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Sighting in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superdome
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will shoot the .22-caliber El Gamo 68-XP for accuracy at 10 meters. I have full use of my right eye that I normally use for sighting, so everything was very clear in today’s test.

For some reason I only shot 5-shot groups instead of 10-shot groups today. The rifle is easy to load and shoot, so I don’t understand why I did this, but I did. For the first group, though, I actually shot 6 shots. I will explain.

Sighting in

I shot off a sandbag rest, using the artillery hold. The first shot hit a couple inches below the target paper, so I cranked in a lot of elevation in the rear sight thumbwheel. That brought shot number 2 up to just under the bull at 6 o’clock. I was using a 6 o’clock hold, so the rifle was now hitting exactly where the sights were placed at 10 meters.

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Is it okay to pay more?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Dan Wesson
  • Guns as investments
  • FWB 124
  • Condition matters
  • It’s worth what someone will pay
  • Guns as safe investments
  • Non-pristine, yet solid investments
  • Sheridan Supergrade
  • BSA Airsporter Mark I
  • Bottom line

Of all the reports I have written, this one might just get me in trouble with some of you readers. I’m going to talk about money today. Politics and religion are two topics that are guaranteed to start a conversation, but when the topic is money the talk gets very personal for some people. What I am about to say may hit people the wrong way. But it is what I believe and I am going to defend my position.

Dan Wesson

When I researched material for the first report on the Dan Wesson 4-inch pellet revolver last week, I happened to look up Dan Wesson pistol pacs on the Gun Broker website. There was a very complete one that was selling for around $1,585, the time I first saw it. I checked the expired auctions and discovered that pristine examples had brought over $2,100 in the recent past, so this one seemed undervalued. Of course the auction was still live, so it could still go up.

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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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Heilprin Columbian Model E BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Columbian Model E
The Heilprin Columbian Model E BB gun is one few people have seen.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Instant gratification
  • Magazine doesn’t work
  • It shot!
  • Nothing happened
  • Oil it
  • Today
  • Success is short-lived
  • Next?
  • Rationale

It took me a long time to get back to this report. I bet some of you are wondering what happened.

Instant gratification

I know what it’s like to have a comfortable place to come to, like this blog. That is always on my mind when I write. And often I can give you successful results that you can discuss and enjoy. But sometimes things don’t work out as I hoped, and today is one such time.

I had hoped to report on the performance of the Heilprin BB gun in the next installment, but that’s not going to happen. The gun isn’t working yet. Instead, let me tell you what I have done so far and where I think I need to go.

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