Changing from lead shot to steel

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The first lead BB
  • Size matters
  • Advantages of air rifle shot
  • The dawn of steel shot
  • How lead shot tubes work
  • How steel shot tubes work
  • This information is worth millions

The first lead BB

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.

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The timeline of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Table of contents
  • What is an airgun?
  • The first airgun
  • What we do know
  • The load-compression airgun
  • What came next?
  • Bellows gun
  • How rare were they?
  • Multi-pump pneumatics
  • Spring-piston airguns
  • Catapult guns
  • CO2 guns
  • Single stroke pneumatics

Table of contents

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.

Today’s report will sound like a continuation of Friday’s report on the power of big bore airguns of the past, but that is just a coincidence. Today we look at the timeline of airguns.

What is an airgun?

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.

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Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Velocity
  • Conclusions
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Firing behavior
  • Evaluation so far

Today we become more familiar with the Tech Force M8 rifle. In Part One I mentioned that the powerplant on this gun is very similar to the powerplant on the Air Venturi Bronco that has been discontinued. In fact I believe it is identical. The one thing that differentiates Air Venturi and Tech Force spring rifles from Mendozas is we made them not drill a hole on the left side of the spring tube for oiling the piston seal. Low-order detonations were the way Mendoza rifles achieved their velocities, but we didn’t want that.

Several readers who already have this gun can confirm that the M8 is smooth-shooting and easy to cock. Reader Bulldawg mentioned how surprised he was at the beauty of the M8 stock. I must agree. You can see it in the photo above,and that seems to be an accurate representation. The shape is pleasing and Mendoza seems to have used some beech wood with more figure than you usually see. The stock on my test rifle is as pretty as walnut.

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HW 35 Luxus: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

HW35
HW35 Luxus.

This report covers:

  • Barrel droop
  • First pellet
  • Next pellets
  • Bottom line

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
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.

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Best of B.B.: Spring gun performance as caliber changes

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring gun performance as caliber changes
  • .177 caliber
  • .20 caliber
  • .22 caliber
  • .25 caliber
  • Results

This is a report I wrote in 2008. I selected it for today’s blog because we have so many new readers that I felt it would be good to go over the basics, again. We’re going to discuss the basics of spring-gun power. This report demonstrates how the muzzle energy of a spring gun increases as the caliber increases.

Spring gun performance as caliber changes

This is an indoor test I’ve wanted to do for more than 10 years. Because I own a Whiscombe JW 75 with all four smallbore barrels, I can test how each caliber performs with the rifle set at one specific power level so I can control as many variables as possible.

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Pistons and sears

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Two basic types of pistons
  • Center-latched pistons
  • Side-latched piston
  • See the difference?
  • Gas springs

I’m going to look at how triggers interact with pistons in spring guns today. I thought some of the blog readers may not be aware of some of the subtleties of sears and triggers as they relate to pistons.

Two basic types of pistons

Spring pistons are latched or “caught” by their sears in 2 different ways. These 2 ways are so vastly different that they dictate what types of triggers will work with what types of pistons. Until you understand the differences, you can’t appreciate why certain triggers such as the Rekord won’t work with certain types of pistons.

Center-latched pistons

A center-latched piston has a rod in its center that in some way gets latched or “caught” by the sear. When it’s latched, the sear restrains the full force of the mainspring. That can be well over 100 lbs. of force in the case of a coiled steel spring, or several hundred psi of gas pressure in the 2-piece expanding cylinder of a gas spring. The sear prevents the piston from moving until it’s released by the action of the trigger.

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Things you can do to make your new airgun better: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• The trigger
• Be careful!
• Adjustment is fine
• Lubrication
• The best thing you can do with a new airgun
• Final recommendation
• Summary

This report is written at the request of Jennifer Cooper Wylie, a follower on my Facebook page. A few days ago, she asked me to address this subject, and I thought it would make a wonderful report for all the people who are new to airguns.

This subject is large, so I’ve broken it into powerplants. Today, I’ll address spring-piston guns, only. So, when I say airgun today, I’m talking only about springers.

You have a new airgun. What can you do to make it better? Even if it isn’t brand new, you may be able to find a manual for your gun, and that’s where you should begin.

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