Air rifles that made an impact: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s topic was suggested by Dennis Quackenbush. We were discussing the influence made by a few key firearms, and he wondered if I’d ever written about airguns in the same vein.

The title says it all, and I bet a lot of you can start a list right away. But which ones to pick? It’s easy to speculate and guess, but is there a better way to choose the air rifles that really did make an impact? And what is meant by “impact?”

I find that an easy way to approach a monumental subject like this is to step away from airguns and choose something that many more people can relate to. Like automobiles, for instance. Which automobiles had an impact on the entire motoring universe?

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Airguns I’m thankful for

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today is Thanksgiving, here in the U.S., as well as the first full day of Hanukkah, which started last evening. I want to wish my Jewish readers a happy Hanukkah and all my U.S. readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day. Today I’d like to take some time to acknowledge those airguns that are worth remembering.

Benjamin 107
It was my first airgun — though I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. I was whining at my mom to let me buy a BB gun, when all the while I had a beauty right there in front of me.

The 107 was a front-pump .177 smoothbore pistol that shot BBs, darts and pellets — none very accurately. But compared to a common BB gun, it wasn’t too bad. I got it when I turned 10 or 11 after my father died. It had been his. I remember seeing him shoot it once, but that was all.

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Are we finished?

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

In almost every field of mature consumer technology, there’s a sense that the science and achievement have gone as far as they possibly can. The days of innovation are over and, from this time forth, all new models will be repaints and reskins of what’s gone before. So it is with airguns.

So the question must be asked, “Is this all there is for airguns?”

Today, I’m going to try to hopefully restore your faith that airgun technology still has new frontiers to be explored. There are still new things yet to come; we haven’t opened the last of our presents, yet. In fact, in my opinion, there’s more that lies ahead of us than all that’s happened so far.

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The Beeman R1 Supermagnum air rifle 18 years later: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


My 18 year-old Beeman R1 with its Maccari custom stock and Bushnell 6-18x Trophy scope is a thing of beauty.

Today, I’ll test my Beeman R1 air rifle for velocity, plus show you the differences between the standard Rekord trigger and the special match Rekord trigger. Before I get to the velocity figures, however, let me give you a brief history of some of the many tunes that have been in this gun.

Break-in
After 1,000 shots were on this rifle, it was shooting Crosman Premiers at an average 770 f.p.s. The rifle took 46 lbs. of effort to cock and shot with a little buzziness, indicating the powerplant had some looseness.

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The Beeman R1 Supermagnum air rifle 18 years later: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


My 18 year-old Beeman R1 is a thing of beauty with its Maccari custom walnut stock and Bushnell 6-18x Trophy scope.

Before someone jumps on me for repeating a blog report, I’m aware that there was a three-part blog of a Beeman R1 tested by Mac in 2010. That was a test of a brand-new Beeman R1 Elite Series Combo. Today, I am starting a report on the 18 year-old R1 that pretty much started things for me as an airgun writer.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about heirloom airguns. You know what I mean — the kind of airguns that never get old. They stick around and get remodeled and updated because everyone loves them. And everyone loves them because, at their hearts, they’re built to last.

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I wish I hadn’t…

by B.B. Pelletier

Our blog reader pcp4me suggested this topic; and since I spent both Saturday and Sunday at the Dallas Arms Collector’s show (it’s a tough life), I wanted something that didn’t need a chrono, a range or lots of pictures. So, this report is one of my laments that will start all you veteran shooters crying in your beer. It’s the story of guns I’ve loved and lost.

Yes, I’ve done this before and, no doubt, there will be some repeats. But, because I’m flawed and continue to make mistakes, there will be some new stories, too.

My first Daisy No. 25 pump gun
I had a paper route and when my sister’s latest boyfriend wanted to score some points (he didn’t last long), he sold me his 1936-version of the Daisy No. 25 pump BB gun. It was the Weatherby Magnum of the BB gun world back in the 1950s.

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FWB 150: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The FWB 150 is a classic target rifle from the past. It’s also the father of the FWB 300.

Today, I’ll get to play with an old classic. This is our second look at the FWB 150, so of course we’re looking at velocity. As I told you in Part 1, this rifle was rebuilt by Randy Bimrose, so we can expect it to perform like a new rifle.

The other day I was interviewing Robert Beeman for the May podcast, and I asked him which modern airgun was his favorite. He said he couldn’t pick just one, which makes him a true airgunner in my book, but the four guns he said he would not want to do without are the Beeman R1, the Beeman P1 pistol, the Beeman R7 that he liked to shoot just because it was so light and easy, and the FWB 300. When he talked about the 300, you could hear the smile in his voice. He went on and on about the recoilless sensation and the trigger that’s so light that you “think it off.” It was reassuring to hear a man who has owned most of the airguns in the world talk about the ones he didn’t want to part with — one of them being the offspring of today’s rifle.

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