Today’s report is a simple one. But it’s also profound. This is a diamond mine where the diamonds are laying about for anyone to pick up.
When we look at vintage and antique airguns, it’s more than just the guns themselves that hold our interest. It’s also the unique parts of the guns that can be special. Today I want to present a special trigger from centuries past that is still having an impact in airguns today.
Most of the information in this report comes from the excellent book, The Crossbow, by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey. It was copyrighted in 1903 and was reprinted by Barnes & Noble Books, Inc. in 1996.
The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.
When BB guns were new in the 1880s, they shot lead shotgun shot in the size BB. That’s where the name BB gun comes from. BBs were nominally 0.180-inches in diameter. Nominally means that they were supposed to be about that size and they were sorted by screens to ensure they were all close to that size, but let’s be honest — does it really matter whether a single piece of birdshot in actually 0.180-inches or 0.182-inches? Not to a shotgunner, it doesn’t. Maybe uniform shot gives a more uniform pattern, but there are other factors to consider, as well, and shot uniformity is only one of many things.
Before we begin today’s blog, I want to tell you there is a link to the History of airguns table of contents at the top and bottom of this pager. Go there and you will see all the historical report linked.
Before we proceed we need to agree what an airgun is, or the rest of the discussion will be meaningless. Most books about airguns start with the primitive blowpipe, which is also called a blowgun. Does that make you think of natives on tropical islands, hunting birds and monkey in the trees? Would you be surprised to learn that the blowgun was also very popular in Europe during the middle ages? There are tapestries that show hunters using blowguns in exactly the same way as the islanders in the tropics, only they are doing so in European and English forests. The blowgun has been a very popular air-powered weapon all around the world.
This is a test of the Tech Force M8 breakbarrel air rifle at 25 yards. We learned in Part 3 how best to shoot the rifle, which is directly off a sandbag. We also discovered that, of the pellets tested, the best to that point were Air Arms Falcons, seated flush with the breech. That is where today’s test begins.
First group high — Falcons
I was surprised to see the same pellets that had been okay at 10 meters landing 1 inch higher and 1/2-inch to the left at 25 yards. Some movement is expected when you move from 10 meters to 25 yards, but not usually that much. The first group that you see below was actually fired at a bull beneath it. The good news is the pellets were landing higher, which meant I could adjust the scope to shoot lower. That’s almost never a problem.
Before I begin, I must tell you that my wife, Edith, passed away yesterday, Sunday, July 26 at 10 a.m., Central. She was under sedation and unaware of what was happening.
Edith Gaylord will be missed.
Edith wanted me to tell you what happened. We actually talked about it last week. I am not in a frame of mind to write much these days, but I promised her the blog would carry on. Those of you who visit my socnets could help me by posting a comment regarding this, because I haven’t got the time to go there.
I said I would come back to this rifle and mount a scope because so many of you asked me to. Today is the day.
Today, we start examining the accuracy of the BSF S54 Match rifle I’ve been testing for you. As you’ll remember, this rifle has already surprised me by being a lot more powerful than I expected. Many years ago, I owned a .22-caliber S54 that had target sights. I don’t think it was the Match model, but the action was the same as this one, except for the caliber. That gun wasn’t nearly as powerful as this one, which is what lead me to underestimate what this one would do. Apparently, I have an almost-new rifle whose action hasn’t even been broken-in yet.