Wax on — wax off!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Some basic truths
  • What am I saying?
  • What many do wrong
  • Ready, fire, aim!
  • Back to airgunners
  • Use the sights!
  • The end

Homework assignment. You need to watch the movie, “Karate Kid.” The moral of the movie is to slow down, concentrate and focus power! At least that’s what Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san.

Another phrase from WWII is, “Straighten up and fly right.” It pretty much means the same thing.

I almost titled this report, “Why I shoot muzzle loaders,” but I thought that would turn off the very people I was reaching out to today.

Some basic truths

1. When shooting lead bullets in a big borte airgun, always size the bullet at least one-thousandth of an inch larger than the bore. This is the principal reason 9mm big bore airguns are not accurate when shot with 9mm bullets (0.356-inches) but tighten right up when shot with 0.357-inch and even 0.358-inch bullets.

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Diana model AR8: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR8 N-TEC air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • New Diana scope base
  • Droop?
  • The test
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Firing behavior
  • Better artillery hold
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • RWS Superdome
  • Notice all three groups
  • Conclusions

This report has taken a long time to write. I wanted to test the Diana AR8 from 25 yards with open sights, but my sighting eye has degraded to the point that I can’t do that. The AR8 is also very hard to cock and it would be too much trouble to shoot it left-handed, so I scoped it for today’s test. I used a 3-12X40 UTG scope that’s no longer made.

New Diana scope base

As you may remember, Diana changed the installed scope bases on all their spring rifles a few years ago, negating the aftermarket bases that were designed for them in the past by UTG. There are still hundreds of thousands of those vintage rifles that those bases fit, but the new base on all their spring rifles will not allow the old droop-compensating UTG mount base to be installed.
The problem is — Diana’s base on the rifle doesn’t accept a scope ring set very well. I wanted to use a base that accepted Picatinney scope rings, because of the heavy recoil of the AR8, but Diana doesn’t provide a ring like that, nor would it fit their base if they did.

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Methods of power adjustment — springers: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • More power!
  • Example
  • Stronger mainspring?
  • Piston stroke
  • Increase the piston length
  • Dual power is possible through piston stroke
  • Larger piston?
  • Cost
  • Transfer port size
  • Port location
  • Piston weight
  • What can be done with this knowledge?

Today’s topic was suggested last week by reader Riki from India. A lot of other readers jumped on the bandwagon when he asked for it, so I agreed to write a series of reports. The question is — how do airgun manufacturers control the power/velocity output of the guns they make?

More power!

An American airgunner who is new to the hobby will look at this in a different way. He will wonder how airgun manufacturers get the highest possible velocity/most power from an airgun. He won’t appreciate that in nearly every country in the world other than the United States the governments have limited the power of airguns. And there is no common way they limit it. In the United Kingdom they limit the output by energy, allowing no more than 12 foot-pounds for air rifles and 6 foot-pounds for air pistols, I believe. They aren’t concerned with velocity, except as it produces energy. This is a thoughtful regulation that forces airgunners in those countries to learn basic ballistics. It also forces manufacturers to test their airguns with almost every pellet to be sure they are not exceeding those limits.

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Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

This report covers:

  • General information
  • Weaver bases
  • Differences
  • Description
  • Affordable rifle
  • Easy to cock!
  • Pivot bolt
  • Sights
  • General
  • Trigger
  • Fly on the wall

General information

Before I start today’s report I have a number of things I want to cover. First, I realize I am behind on a number of reports from the 50-yard line. I’ve been unable to get to the range for many weeks for various reasons, and when I did get to go before that, the wind was too high for airgun testing. I want to test the pellet shapes at 50 yards, the .25 caliber Marauder I had tuned, a new AirForce .357 Texan (I have a lot of things to do with that one), and now guns like the Galahad will soon be stacked up.

I have received the adaptors for shooting pellets in my AR-15 and that’s another one I think will have to be done outside because of the noise, though they say the report is quiet. I also got an adaptor to shoot .32 pistol rounds in my Mosin Nagant rifle, which I thought would be a nice addition to that report on adaptors.

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Diana K98 pellet rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana K98
Diana’s K98 Mauser pellet rifle is very realistic.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Shoot left-handed
  • RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Now, for the mind-blower!
  • The underlever latch
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Evaluation

Keep him off his his computer, ladies, because today I’m the Great Enabler! Today I shoot the Diana K98 pellet rifle at 25 yards with open sights. And when he sees the results, he’s going to want one!

Shoot left-handed

Today was accuracy day at 25 yards and I absolutely could not see the bull, when sighting with my right eye — even when wearing my glasses! So I had to switch hands and shoot from the left side.

RWS Superpoints

The first pellet I tried for no particular reason was the RWS Superpoint. One shot confirmed I was on target, then the next 9 went downrange without checking. I walked down to change targets and saw the group for the first time. Ten shots in 2.32-inches! The “group” was very horizontal. Not a good start.

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Diana K98 pellet rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana K98
Diana’s K98 Mauser pellet rifle is very realistic.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Artillery hold
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Slippery butt plate
  • Cocking effort
  • RWS Hobby
  • Shot cycle
  • Cocking lever latch
  • Results
  • Next

Today is the first of what are sure to be several accuracy days with the Diana K98 air rifle. I started slow, shooting from 10 meters off a bag and using open sights. I shot off a bag, but I did use the artillery hold. After the test it occurred to me that I should have tried a group with the rifle rested directly on the bag, but it was too late. I will do that in a future test.

As I shot the rifle I concentrated on several comments made by reader, Zimbabwe Ed. Ed has had some negative experiences with his K98, so I will address those as I go.

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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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