Collecting airguns: Condition 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Numismatics
  • Coin grades
  • Back to guns
  • 1894 Swedish Mauser
  • Is refinishing bad?
  • Cleaned coins
  • Three types of collectors
  • Different finishes equal different wear patterns
  • Last story
  • Summary

Today’s subject is one of the big ones in collecting. However, it must be understood in light of the intentions of the collector. Are you collecting because you enjoy airguns? Are you collecting as an investment? Or are you collecting to make money? The answer to these three questions can sometimes drive the issue of condition.

Numismatics

I will start with coin collecting and then transition to firearms and airguns. There are thousands of times more coin collectors around the world than airgun collectors. And, in the world of collecting coins, condition is one of the most fundamental issues. Let’s get specific.

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Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is a guest blog from reader Dennis. He may have a handle, but I don’t know what it is.

Today he presents an air rifle he really enjoys. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now over to you, Dennis.

Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

By Dennis

BSA GRT Lightning XL
BSA GRT Lightning XL SE.

This report covers:

  • Introduction
  • The rifle
  • The optics
  • The shooter
  • Issues and solutions
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Introduction

The BSA Lightning was reviewed a few times a few years ago [However, not on this blog — as far as I can tell, Ed.]. The results were mixed. One had no idea whether or not the gun was a keeper. Well, she is for me, and I want to tell you why.
I love this gun! It is beautiful and accurate. It is light and ergonomically designed. Yep, I love her, but getting to this point was difficult. The courtship was long and tortuous. Let me take you instead by the straight and narrow path directly to the end which is quite good.

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Gamo Swarm Maxim: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading
  • The feeding mechanism
  • Velocity JSB Exact RS
  • Gamo PBA Platinum pellets
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Back to JSB RS
  • What about dry fires?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the new Gamo Swarm Maxim multi-shot rifle. Of course this rifle is so different that we will also be looking at several things we don’t normally see. Should be an interesting report.

Loading

I was concerned about loading the magazine because I have some experience with other multi-shot breakbarrels and none of it is good. But the Swarm magazine loads like any rotary PCP mag, so there is no worry. Like most of them, there is an o-ring that’s around the entire rotary wheel and part of it intrudes into each chamber to hold the pellets. Consequently, they don’t just drop in. You have to push on their bases a little to get the heads past the rubber.

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Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 5V pistol
Diana model 5V pellet pistol.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Guest blog
  • Mine is .177
  • Rifled
  • Condition
  • Trademark
  • Grip/Stock
  • General description
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Summary

Today we start looking at a Diana 5V pellet pistol that was made before World War II. While it uses the number five in the model name, it is completely different from the Diana model 5 air pistol that was made after the war. I wrote about that one in a three-part report published in March of this year.

Guest blog

We had a guest blog by Fred, formerly of the People’s Republic of New Jersey back in 2010. That one was titled Finding a Diana 5V air pistol, and it was a one-part all-inclusive report. Fred’s pistol was a .22, and as he noted, the Blue Book of Airguns only mentions the gun in .177. That’s a reminder to you collectors that the Blue Book is not the final authority. It’s good, but it doesn’t address everything.

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Gamo Swarm Maxim: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Feeding is the problem
  • Issues
  • Scope
  • Trigger!
  • Silenced
  • The rifle
  • The magazine
  • Summary

Before we begin I want to draw your attention to the fact that Pyramyd Air has made it possible to post pictures to the blog. The Choose Image box is right there with the comments. This is something you have long asked for. I hope you will enjoy this new feature.

Today I start looking at the Gamo Swarm Maxim multi-shot rifle. This is a repeating breakbarrel springer — a type of air rifle that has never been very successful in the past. The problem is getting soft lead pellets to feed reliably without distorting.

Feeding is the problem

Gamo made several breakbarrel repeaters under the El Gamo name years ago and they were all quite fussy about the length and shape of the pellets they would feed. If you owned one you had to stock up on the pellets it liked because almost anything else would jam. These rifles were called by their titles with -matic tacked on the end. There were names like the Expomatic and the Gamatic as so on. They fed from linear magazines that caused the feeding issues. Anyone who has owned a Crosman 600 pistol knows what I’m talking about.

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Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana 34P
The Diana RWS 34P is a classic breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Drooper
  • Sight in
  • The groups
  • One last time
  • Different pellets
  • RWS Superdomes
  • BKL adjustable scope mount
  • Summary

Today I scope Geo791’s Diana RWS 34P and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We already know this rifle is accurate from the test with open sights. Today we discover how much it droops and whether enough correction is possible. Let’s start with the scope mount.

Drooper

I suspected this rifle was a drooper just because it’s a Diana 34. Most breakbarrels droop and all of the Diana 34s I have seen have had severe barrel droop. With some breakbarrels you can put shims under the rear of the scope to elevate it a little, but with this model shims usually don’t work — the droop is too great. If you used enough shims to raise it as high as it needs to go, you would damage the scope tube. So, I start out with a scope mount that’s made for a drooper. In this case I used the BKL 1-piece adjustable scope mount with 1-inch rings, because George has a scope with a one-inch tube. If this works I plan to send his rifle back to him with this mount installed, so all he has to do is mount his scope in the rings and sight in.

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Millita breakbarrel rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Millitia rifle
Millita air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Adjusted the sights
  • H&N Finale Match light
  • Artillery hold
  • Summary

Okay, it’s accuracy day for the Millita. Time to see what the old girl can do.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bag rest at 10 meters, using open sights. I also tried it one time using the artillery hold, so we can compare.

JSB Exact RS

First up were 10 JSB Exact RS pellets. This is the one pellet I shot both ways — rested directly on the sandbag and also held with the artillery hold. All shots were with a 6 o’clock hold. This first test was rested on the bag.

Ten RS pellets went into a group that measures 0.929-inches between centers at 10 meters. The group is a little low and to the right of the bull. I decided not to adjust the sights yet.

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