The bellows gun — a blast from the past

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A mechanical blowgun
  • How it works
  • Comparison to a blowgun
  • Springs
  • Shape of the gun
  • Breechloaders
  • Triggers
  • Accuracy?
  • Rare?
  • DIY?

I was surprised several days ago when a couple readers told me they thought a bellows gun was some kind of pneumatic, after I had written i9n a report that it’s a spring gun. Today we will find out what a bellows gun is.

The bellows gun is thought to be one of the oldest airgun designs. Some writers say it may be older than the precharged gun. There is convincing evidence that bellows guns existed in the 1500s, which is when precharged guns are also thought to have started. They seem to have been made well into the 19th century — so their span of production is very long.

read more

Gallery dart gun: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

David Lurch Primary New York City gallery gun.

You readers have been very patient waiting for the next installment on this report! For that, I thank you. This project is taking a long time because it isn’t on the front burner (it probably isn’t even on the stove!) and because this is the kind of project in which you must “make haste slowly.”

Last time, I described the gun (it’s a smoothbore, so it’s not a rifle) and told you some of the general, as well as some specific, history of this particular example. Today, I want to honor Mr. Duskwight, our Muscovite blog reader who’s actively building a recoilless spring-piston rifle of his own design! Duskwight became fascinated with the performance of the Whiscombe air rifle and decided he could build one. Many of us have said similar things, but in this case the conviction remained even after he sobered up; and he’s spent many long months and a LOT of money making his dream come true.

read more

Gallery dart gun – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I want to share my Christmas gift with you. It came along as I was undecided what I wanted, and it presented itself so forcefully that I knew it had selected me.

A couple months ago, I put a bid on Gun Broker for a Primary New York City gallery dart gun made by David Lurch. I’ll tell you what kind of airgun this is.

When the American Civil War began, the North was hampered because many men coming to fight had no skills or even familiarity with shooting. In the South, it was the other way around. Shooting was both an accepted sport and a means of subsistence for many, so their soldiers needed very little in the way of training beyond familiarity with the arms they were issued. The Northern soldiers needed much more training.

read more