Posts Tagged ‘TS45’

2012 Arkansas airgun show

by B.B.Pelletier

Every airgun show is unique. I’ve said that many times before, but it’s always true — and this one was no different. What I look for when I try to describe an airgun show is how it stood out from all the others. That’s what I’ll do today.

An airgun show is small, in comparison to0 a regular gun show, but there are more airguns on a single table then you’ll see at most big gun shows. And the guns range from inexpensive Daisys and Crosmans to then most exotic airguns imaginable. So go to gun shows for and crowded aisles, but to airgun shows to find airguns.

I didn’t get away from my table for the first half of the first day. When I finally did, the show immediately began to reveal itself. It was jam-packed with big bore air rifles! I mean jammed! Dennis Quackenbush and Eric Henderson are always the mainstays of the show; but this time I met Robert Vogel, whose business is Mr. Hollowpoint. Robert casts each bullet by hand from lead as pure as he can make it. His bullets mushroom on game perfectly and rip huge holes in living flesh, making the most humane kills possible. I bought a bag of 68-grain .308-caliber hollowpoints for the Quackenbush .308 test I’m conducting, and he threw in a second bag of .22 pellets for free. These will have a special debut in a smallbore test in the near future.


Robert Vogel (standing) is Mr. Hollowpoint. He has thousands of different bullets for big bore shooters to try.

But Mr. Hollowpoint wasn’t the only bullet maker at the show. Seth Rowland, the show’s host and promoter, also supplies the big bore airgunning community with cast bullets in numerous sizes and shapes. And their customers can hardly appreciate the untold hours they spend at the lead pot, casting and sizing these silver slugs one by one.


Need bullets? Seth Rowland has them in different sizes, shapes and weights.

10-meter guns
Another theme that’s common to all airgun shows is 10-meter target guns. This year’s Arkansas show had plenty of them, both from dealers like Scott Pilkington of Pilkington Competition Equipment in Tennessee, as well as numerous private individuals. I mentioned several weeks ago that Mac was bringing some recently overhauled FWB rifles to this show, and on day one an interested buyer sought him out. This man was serious about buying a target rifle, and he had done his research on the internet. But this was the first time he’d seen, felt and shot these rifles.

Mac took him out to the shooting range to try out an FWB 150 and a 300; and from his testing, he decided the 300 was the gun he wanted. Because it lacks the barrel jacket, it’s lighter than a standard 300S. He was buying the rifle for his wife to shoot in competition. They made a deal, and he went home with the exact target rifle he wanted — an overhauled ex-club rifle at a price that was several hundred dollars below what he would have paid for a gamble on the internet. For this man, driving all the way to Arkansas made good sense.

I’m sure that same scenario was played out numerous times at this show, because that’s what happens at an airgun show that also has a shooting range. You get to try out the guns before you buy — something that’s impossible at a regular gun show.

The odd and wonderful
You never know what you’re going to see at one of these shows, but there are a few people who always seem to have interesting things. Larry Hannusch, the top airgun writer for the past 30 years, is one person who can always surprise you. This year, our tables were together, giving me the opportunity to look at his guns more closely than normal. He had a Crosman 113 bulk-fill CO2 rifle, which isn’t unusual, except the owner of this one had inlet a pellet box into the right side of the stock — much like the patchbox found on certain muzzleloading rifles.


Some owner made this patchbox in the stock of his Crosman 113 bulk-fill rifle.


He built the “patchbox” with a built-in spring. There were pellets inside.


When was the last time you saw one of these? A French ball-flask pistol from the 1700s.

The big find
Often there will be a big find of some certain airgun that shows up at a particular show. I remember one year someone was selling piles of brand-new-in-the-box S&W 78G and 79G pistols. There were at least 50, but as my memory serves there might have been as many as 100 brand-new guns that were at least 20 years old at the time. Another year, it was Scott Pilkington who brought almost 300 club target guns for sale. You could buy an FWB 300 for $150-$200! Of course, it would have been a beater and would have needed to be resealed, but it certainly was the budget way into a 10-meter gun.

Then there was the year that someone had over 20 Johnson Target Guns, the submachinegun-looking plastic catapult BB gun from the late 1940s. They were all new in the box, and the cloth backstop that was in the box to stop the BBs inside the box lid that also served as a backstop had turned to dust. But they were complete. To collectors, they were a wonderful find. I actually saw two of these at this year’s Arkansas show; so even after more than 10 years, they’re still slowly dissolving into the collector population.


Two brand-new Johnson Target Guns in the box with all the literature and accessories.

When I walked into the second large room in this show and turned the corner, I ran into Randy Mitchell’s booth, where he was selling a pile of recently discovered TS45 sidelever air rifles for $20 each! I blogged this rifle several years ago, and Vince also wrote a guest blog about the same rifle. Until now, there were no new guns you could buy. You had to find one by chance and would always be one somebody had owned and possibly modified. Now, Randy Mitchell, who runs his Adventures in Airguns store, has a huge pile of these rifles to sell. They aren’t very safe and are the very guns that chopped off thumbs when their anti-beartraps failed; but if you cock them safely and load while restraining the sidelever, they’re fun to shoot and are often accurate.


Randy Mitchell found these old/new TS45 sidelevers and brought them to the show. It’s stuff like this that keeps me going to every airgun show I can make!

Collectibles
Of course, there are too many modern guns to name here, but know that at any show you’ll find almost every modern classic airgun for sale. If you’re looking for good TX200s or old R7s, they’re usually available — and they were at this show, too. But what you also see are airguns that are so rare and hard to find that some of them won’t even be seen in airgun books. This yearm Ingvar Alm had both a Winsel CO2 pistol in the box and a Giffard CO2 pistol from the 1870s on his table. Giffard invented the application of CO2 for gun use, and Winsel made only 50 guns in the early 1950s. Neither gun is represented well in any airgun book I know.


The Winsel pistol was a bulk-filled CO2 pistol that required the owner to mail his tank back to the company to be filled. Yeah, that’s going to work! They made 50 and quit. Today, they’re a prized collectible.


Giffard pioneered the use of CO2 in guns in the 1870s. His pistols are many times rarer than his rifles. The empty pop bottle is for contrast — like Cindy Crawford’s mole.

Big bores
There were more big bores at this show than I see at other shows. Perhaps, that’s because the focus of big bore airgunning seems to center around Texas, where the LASSO match is held. Dennis Quackenbush delivered his guns to eager buyers, but the only rifle he had to show was his own .308, which he doesn’t want to sell. Eric Henderson and Big Bore Bob Dean were both there with some guns to sell, as well as Robert Vogel. But the one maker with a lot of guns on display was Jack Haley, whose table was a rainbow of laminated stocks.


Jack Haley’s table was a colorful display of big bore rifles.

Oops!
Then there was the big bore that has been a joke in the airgun community for many years. The gun itself is fine. It was made back in the 1980s by Ben Patron, whose name is clearly on the side of the receiver. Somewhere along the line, some person got ahold of it and displayed it at the Springfield, Missouri, gun show as a “U.S. military .50-caliber sniper air rifle.” The label for that display was still inside the guitar box that held the gun, and Dennis Quackenbush remembers seeing it at the Springfield show. After that, it somehow ended up in an Arkansas pawn shop where Big Bore Bob found it and bought it.


Some previous owner had concocted a colorful background story for the Patron big bore of the 1980s.

The drawing
Many shows have a drawing, but airgun shows are so lightly attended that you actually have a chance of winning! This year, they gave away several very nice prizes at the close of the show, including a scoped TalonP pistol from AirForce! Then came the drawing for the frame-extended silencer for the Talon SS. I knew before the little girl picked my ticket that I would win it. How ironic is that? I’m testing a Talon SS with a bloop tube right now, so of course I’m going to win another one! But the supreme irony came when Randy Mitchell, a big bore hunter, won the .50-caliber Dragon Claw donated by Pyramyd Air.


Randy Mitchell (right) won the Dragon Claw. Show host, Seth Rowland, standing, ran the drawing. The young lady added a lot of sparkle and enthusiasm to the show. I see an airgunner in the making!

On the trip home, Mac and I relived the show many times. That’s another benefit. I can remember snippets from most past shows, and this one will now be filed away in the library.

A tale of two TS45 rifles

by B.B. Pelletier

Unlike most of us, Vince gets to look under the hood of a lot of strange airguns. Today, we’ll get a peek at two that are related but separated by years.

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Bloggers must know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

Yup. BB was right. Pointy is a TS45. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me back up a bit. Some time ago I blogged a older no-name sidelever Chinese airgun I bought in a bunch with some bottom-feeder Industry Brand stuff. Normally, I wouldn’t have given any of those pea-shooters a second thought, but this particular rifle demonstrated one unexpected quality that really caught my attention: It shot GOOD!

Not talking about velocity, mind you. It’s amazing how being relegated to basement shooting will make you less concerned about that. This little gun, with less-than-precise open sights, was routinely shooting 10-meter groups of less than 3/8 inches. That’s not bad, especially for a rifle that, shall we say, doesn’t exactly represent the cutting edge of air rifle design. But, whatever shortcuts were taken in building this gun, the barrel sure wasn’t one of them.

The gist of that blog was (1) What the heck is it? and (2) What does its family tree look like? The second question was answered pretty easily. The gun shared many details with the old BAM/Xisico XS-B3 and XS-B7 rifles that were still available until at least a couple of years ago. But what was it?

One reader identified the logo for me. The gun (whatever it was) was made “EMEI,” a Chinese factory that is apparently a notch above the Shanghai factory that makes Industry Brand stuff. Based on B.B.’s description of a TS45 he bought many years ago, I dismissed that because the trigger is different. But B.B. had another TS45, an even earlier one, and THAT’S the gun that B.B. thought was the same as mine. When he tested it, he sure didn’t get the same sort of results I was getting.

B.B. sent me his TS45, I plunked them down side-by-side and started comparing the two. Pointy is on the bottom:

The lengths of the barrels and actions, the cocking lever, and the location and size of the loading port seem to match. The front sights are of the same type (AK47-style, adjustable with a special tool) but different in detail:

Again, Pointy is on the bottom, and its sight appears to be made a little better.

The wood finish on my gun is also a bit better overall, as is evident at the front of the stock (my gun is on top):

Moving back on the rifle, we come to the rear of the actions, Tom’s gun (bottom one in the first picture, top one in the next one) is again finished a little more sloppily. Behind that the stock is also thinner and shaped differently:


The rear sight details are similar, but not identical:

The biggest differences are in the painted numbers and in the little push-button that unlocks the slider on my gun. That button is a nice feature, as it makes it harder to accidentally move the elevation adjuster. Oh, and one other thing. They don’t use the same font for the numbers! That’s an important detail, you know.

I’m gonna make a bit of a leap here and try swapping stocks. This will tell me with fair certainty if the chassis of the guns are the same. I popped my action into Tom’s stock:

It’s a perfect fit, and the gun operates just fine.

So, now I’m 99% certain that these guns are more or less the same, but I’m going to tear down Tom’s gun and compare the parts, just to make sure.

When I pulled out the actions, I can see that they’re virtually identical, differentiated only by sloppier machining on Tom’s gun. Note in particular the uneven edge circled in the second picture:



A note about the safety mechanism that both guns use.That ratchet is NOT really an anti-beartrap. All it does is prevent the lever from slamming closed if you let it go while cocking it. You’re not likely to have your fingers in the loading port at that time. As soon as you finish the cocking stroke, the ratchet toggles and disengages so you can close the lever.

However, there IS a proper beartrap that prevents the piston from releasing. It works directly on the trigger and blocks it from moving. This first picture shows the beartrap disengaged, as when the lever is in the firing position:

This is what happens when the lever starts coming back. The tang pointed out in the previous picture moves rearward and blocks the trigger, preventing it from moving.

On a lot of guns, this sort of anti-beartrap is iffy at best. Some of the more sophisticated trigger mechanisms can still theoretically fire in case of mechanical failure even if the trigger is blocked. I actually had that happen to me with a Daisy Powerline 1000.

But, that’s far less likely on this gun. The direct-sear trigger has a lot of drawbacks, but its simplicity translates into a very predictable mechanism. If the trigger can’t move, the gun isn’t going to fire without a massive and very unlikely structural failure, such as the piston rod breaking or the pivot pin shearing. Even if it wears to the point where there’s no positive engagement angle between the mating faces, the worst it will do is go off when the lever is closed. But, while that lever remains open, that trigger — and, thus, the sear — ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Back to comparing the guns. That cocking lever does look a little different, and I tried installing Tom’s cocking lever into Pointy:

It fits fine, even though they’re not identical. Oddly enough, the lever on Tom’s gun is milled from a solid piece of steel while mine is stamped (Tom’s on top):


And the guts? Top picture is Pointy’s innards, the bottom is Tom’s innards (I mean his gun’s innards):


As noted before, more views of the stock show that while Pointy’s woodwork would look out of place on a Gamo, it’s still better than Tom’s:


The fit of the action to the stock is also better on Pointy (on the right), but neither is anything to brag about:

Another picky detail (don’t worry, we’re almost done) — those sling swivels:

The one on the left is from Pointy; and while they’re physically interchangeable, the ones on Pointy are better made with a thicker, welded loop and a larger screw holding it in.

Finally, the last thing: company logos:

We’ve finally established with certainty that this gun is, indeed, a very close relative of Tom’s, and there’s little doubt that it is of the TS45 family. Different factories, certainly, and different factories might have almost inconsequential detail differences like those noted here, even when they build a gun to the same specification. But, maybe there are some consequential differences, as well.

Next step, of course, is shooting them. I’ll try them side-by-side using 6 different economy wadcutters. These are lower-powered guns, they’re cheap guns, so I’m using pellets that seem consistent with what would normally be fed to these rifles.

First, some impressions. In my opinion, Tom’s gun is actually nicer to shoot despite the shorter pull length. The firing cycle is smoother, and the slender stock seems nicer to hold. When I reassembled Tom’s rifle, I used a different lube on the inside — something a little thicker than I used on Pointy. Maybe that’s why the firing cycle is calmer. And, the milled, solid steel cocking lever on Tom’s gun…much nicer to hold and pull back. Pointy’s is sharp and still a bit uncomfortable after I covered it with a piece of heat-shrink tubing. But, Tom’s gun has a lever handle that’s rounded, smooth and not objectionable in the least.

Ultimately, we have to get back to where it counts: holes. Pointy’s targets are the top row on each paper. The first target shows the results with (left to right) Beeman Coated Wadcutters, Crosman Copperhead Wadcutters and Daisy Precision Max:

Pointy did fair with the Beemans and a little worse with the Daisys, while Tom’s gun didn’t do well with any of them.

The next three pellets are, left to right, the NEW Gamo Match pellets, RWS Basic (formerly Geco) and the OLD Gamo Match.

Pointy, oh, Pointy — How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 into almost the same hole. You really were a lucky find! About two-tenths of an inch with the RWS pellets. But look at the third column for Tom’s gun. That ain’t bad, especially considering the oinker groups it tossed with everything else. Tom had also found that this gun performed fairly well with these pellets, while scattering others to the four winds.

Of course, the irony of these results isn’t lost on me. The only pellet that Tom’s gun seems to like is the one that’s been discontinued and is no longer available. Sheesh!

I suspect that Tom’s gun was really made for home market Chinese surplus of some sort, while Pointy was intended specifically for the export market. The English wording stamped into the tube and the fancier stock would seem to suggest that. As a side note, I’ve read a number of complimentary comments on the internet about the EMEI guns. If you happen to come across one, it might be worth a gander. You just might get lucky!

To B3 or not to B3 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Vince is an airgun fixit guru. He’s been on a roll lately and has sent me a number of great guest blogs about fixing airguns, taking junker guns and making them whole again, and making airgun parts.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

To B3 or not to B3…that, as they say, was the dilemma of the day.

You know, there’s a dark side to being a collector (sort of). I’m up to about 70 air rifles and have room for about 20 or so more, so I’m just sniffing around for stuff I don’t have. I came across a gentleman selling a box of guns, four in all–well, three-and-a-half, actually–for pretty cheap, and I had examples of NONE of them! Two were Shanghai-built Industry Brand B3 airguns, one was an unidentified Chinese sidelever and the last was the action part of a QB51.

I’ll cover the sidelever in another blog, but the B3 guns…What can be said about them that hasn’t already been said? Love ‘em or hate ‘em (and there’s no shortage of shooters that go both ways), it doesn’t change the fact that I DON’T HAVE ONE. Imagine a rich Mustang collector; he NEEDS to have a 1974 Mustang II Ghia with a 2.3L 4-cylinder and an automatic in his collection. It’s a horrid little car, but that doesn’t matter. There’s a spot for it.

But not two. So, I test-fired the B3s; one’s a .177, the other’s a .22. I ditched the .177. It was actually smoother and more accurate, it wasn’t missing its rear sight, and although velocity was low (no better than the .22, really), it was obviously the best one. I figured I could get $15 for it as opposed to $5 for the .22. I WAS RIGHT! Sold it in no time!


The .22 B3. At least I found a home for my $5 scope!

I’d recently been testing .22 pellets to find out what worked best in some of my lower-powered guns. When I was done, I figured “What the heck? I’ll see what the B3 likes — if anything!” I got exactly 2 shots off before the bad cocking cycle got to the point of “You try to cock me one more time, and you’ll regret the day you were born!”

Hence, my pickle.

I hate to let anything good go to waste. Since I seldom buy ANYTHING good, I rarely get the chance. But, that attitude sorta spills over into the not-so-good, the pretty bad and (not infrequently) the trash. And, so, I started wondering (for some strange reason), if I ought to even put five minutes into this thing. I mean, “time is money, money’s scarce and that ain’t funny!” I never made a habit of taking personal advice from The Kinks, so the B3 goes to the workbench.


The B3 action comes apart in the usual fashion, and the wonders of bottom-feeder Chinese engineering become immediately apparent.

The circles show the half-baked way in which the articulated cocking link is kept in place. No fancy rollers or bearings for the B3! We’ll make do with a plastic button and some perpendicular serrations on the link JUST TO MAKE SURE the button wears out fast! Ah, but they didn’t count on MOLY! I’ll foil their plans for premature wear!

Next, I took apart the trigger. Fortunately, it waited for me. Shanghai uses non-peened pins for the trigger blade pivot and stop, and sometimes everything falls out on its own accord when the action is taken out of the stock. When the gun is assembled, the close fit of the stock keeps them in place. Or, at least, in the same neighborhood.


The trigger.

For longtime readers of this blog, these parts might look just a tad familiar. Go waaaaayyyyyy back to B.B.’s review of the TS45. No, not the one he did in September 2009. You have to reach back to January 2007.

You’ll see the neat X-rays of the trigger. Very similar. If you want to try to smooth the trigger action, all you have to do is smooth the areas circled above. I hope that the hardening treatment at the factory went deeper than .0000001 inches. You could even play with the angles! Given that this is a sliding-cylinder gun that can de-tip your digits, I’m going to leave it be.


Next, out comes the pivot for the cocking lever: a simple screw that also contains the front sling swivel.

The whole cocking linkage assembly just lifts out. That leaves the trigger interlock exposed, which can be yanked after removing the one screw that holds it in.

Tune in tomorrow to see the rest of Vince’s disassembly and the reassembly!

I’m from China. Do you know my name?

by B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Vince has been very busy! Last week he gave us a 2-part guest blog, and this week he’s given us another blog. Like mysteries? Get out our magnifying glass and help Vince uncover the name of this air rifle.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

I know there’s something to be said for mystery, even when it’s balanced by intimate familiarity. Still, I REALLY want to know what to call you.

‘Twas a dark and stormy night — or not — when she came along in as innocuous a manner as possible. I had spotted a “dump sale” on one of the sites (don’t remember which), where a fellow was getting rid of four bottom-feeder Chinese guns. I believe he had a business, and these guns didn’t move — but I’m not positive about that. In any event, the airguns included a pair of Industry Brand B3 rifles (.177 and .22, a cult gun if there ever was one), an old half-eaten Industry B7/QB51 (folding-stock breakbarrel missing the stock) and this orphan. It’s a nondescript Chinese sidelever that I thought at first might be a KL-3B Fast Deer (another cult gun that was sort of a flash in the pan about 5 years ago). But no, there was no safety on the starboard side above the trigger. Then, I thought it might be an old TS-45, which I always wanted for no particular reason. But the stock shape didn’t seem quite right. No matter, I’ll find out when it gets here, right?

The package finally comes into my possession, and I start going through the box. The B3 rifles were what you’d expect — ugly. Turns out that the .177 version has about the same velocity as the .22, and the accuracy with either was rather tepid. The .177 was sold off for $15, and I kept the .22 just to have one.

But that sidelever….



Well, the price was cheap enough. Are those serial numbers? Who knows!

Even up close, I’m not sure what it is. There are some numbers stamped into the wood near the buttplate. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t a model number of any sort. I looked on the compression tube and found the obligatory Made In China (NO! REALLY?) stamped in the metal along with the just-as-obligatory Chinese characters. Above that is some sort of mountain range motif. Maybe Snow Peak? I don’t see any snow. Don’t see any scope dovetails, either.


The logo isn’t exactly on par with Diana throwing away her bow and picking up an air rifle.

So, I’m thinking, “I shall call you Pointy, and you shall be mine.” But that’s kind of a stupid name for a gun, so I’ll continue examining the rest of the rifle for clues.

I was always under the impression that Snow Peak was an early manifestation of Industry Brand, but the gun does NOT seem to have that special lack-of-attention-to-detail that distinguishes (extinguishes?) the early Industry guns. Even the stock — while the varnish on it is applied unevenly and is a bit orange-peeled — isn’t hosed down with that orangish-brown goo that Industry used in abundance.

Next, I looked at the sights — the AK47-style sights. The rear has a push-button slider with markings at each position for elevation, and no windage adjustment. While the front sight is adjustable for windage (with a punch or an AK47 sight tool) and elevation (again, with the AK47 tool):



Front sight is fully adjustable, rear sight is adjustable for elevation only.

For afficionados of cheap Chinese (guns, not food), this smacks of the old BAM B4-2 underlever that bore a passing resemblance to the inferior Industry B3. That makes me think about the BAM XS-B7 — the sporter version of BAM’s old XS-B3-1 AK47 lookalike sidelever:


The new gun sorta looks like this…in some ways…but not really. (Photo courtesy of the former Pellettrap website)

No, the stock shape is all wrong. The XS-B7 does NOT have the AK-style sights, but it does have a safety in the triggerguard. Pointy doesn’t have one at all. It makes do with an interlock that keeps the shooter from pulling the trigger when the arm is open, but that’s about it.


One last detail. My gun has a fairly substantial set of sling swivels mounted on its underside.

The gun comes with a full set of sling swivels. The rear screw on each swivel is actually one of the bolts that holds the action to the stock. I don’t thing they’re going anywhere. Despite the differences in stock shape, with these swivels I’m again leaning toward calling it a TS-45.


X-ray of the TS-45 trigger shows it’s the same as the B3.
(from Tuning a cheap Chinese airgun – Part 2)

The TS-45 has the same trigger as the B3, which has the trigger blade holding the sear in place until it’s pulled. Even without taking the gun apart, I can tell that Pointy has a simpler direct sear.

At this point, I’m flummoxed. So, I set the whole ID issue aside and just started shooting it.

The gun itself is very much full weight and size at 6 lbs., 14 oz., and 41 inches overall. As you’d expect from a sidelever, it balances well (since the cocking linkage is close to the shooter), and the pull length of 13.5 inches is well within the average range for adults. The sight is clear enough, with plenty of depth to the slot in the rear sight, although the notch is a bit too wide for the front post.

Side note: Why do some manufacturers get so danged stingy with the depth of the rear sight notch? Am I alone in finding that an open-leaf sight with a really shallow notch is a pain to use?

Anyway, holding and shouldering the gun doesn’t feel bad at all, the stock seems well proportioned. Meaty without being fat, it’s probably a good compromise for a variety of hand sizes. The not-so-smooth finish on the stock actually makes it easier to grip. Poor man’s checkering? Uh, yeah…that’s it.

Of course, old Chinese guns aren’t known for mechanical refinement. Pointy’s direct sear trigger (with a 6-lb. release), graunchy cocking cycle and dry, hollow-sounding firing cycle do nothing to dispel this reputation. And, I discovered something else the first time I cocked it — this gun is SHARP! Literally. They didn’t do much to bevel the edges at the end of the cocking lever. Ouch! Not rough or uneven, mind you, and not enough to cut skin, but darned uncomfortable. Glad it doesn’t take more than 20 lbs. to cock it.

I started punching paper at 10 meters so I can start adjusting the front sight windage. And, that’s when the rifle started doing things like this:


Just when you think you know how a gun’s gonna shoot…it does something like this.

Hmmm…. that’s about a .32″ group with Crosman Premier Hollowpoints. With open sights. Guys, laugh if you wanna, but this passes as a very good open-sight group for me at this range. It did the about the same thing with a group of 5 Gamo Match pellets and a little worse with RWS Super-H-Point and RWS Diabolo Basic pellets

So, whatever it is, whoever made it — they certainly paid attention to the barrel. What else did they pay attention to? Well, now I’ll get down and dirty to find out.


The action is dirt simple.

What am I seeing? The mechanism is certainly basic enough, with the direct sear trigger pivoting on the same pin that holds everything together. The stampings are straight, and the spot welds all seem to be spot-on.


Out come the main pin and parts.

Once apart, I found the expected leather seal, and the general mechanism is reminiscent of the horrid Industry B1 and B2 rifles I’ve worked on. But wait! Something’s different! That pin! That 5mm pin that holds everything together and holds the trigger!


The 5mm pin that held it all together.

Notice anything strange about the pin? It’s STRAIGHT! That’s strange, because every old Industry gun I’ve worked on with the same arrangement also had a bent pin (metal too soft). But not this one. What else did I notice? The sear mating surfaces weren’t significantly worn.


The sear mating surface wasn’t worn to a nub.

My experience indicates that would CERTAINLY be unusual on an Industry rifle. In fact, the sear faces on the old Industry B1/B2 guns can wear so much that they start shooting without you.

That rear guide seems to be machined out of a solid piece of steel, rather than fabricated from a sheet metal tube and a washer.


The rear guide isn’t the usual cheap manufacturing process I’m used to seeing.

The piston seems well made, and the piston rod is STRAIGHT and centered in the bore of the piston. All in all, I’m now certain that Industry didn’t make this gun.

Pointy was dry as a bone when I took it apart, so the gun goes back together with the typical moly goo I use. Since it’s a lower-powered gun, I didn’t bother with tar on the spring, but the leather seal did get roughed up and soaked in 30-weight oil. Cocking and shooting behavior is smoother, and the velocity seems to have stabilized in the mid-500s with Crosman 7.9-grain pellets.

But, I’m no closer to identifying the gun. So far, the sights and general build quality still make me think that it’s related to the old BAM XS-B3/B7 rifles, but now I’ve got pictures of the innards! So, I go perusing the internet til I find an exploded view of the XS-B3 variant so I can compare the general construction.


Exploded view of the XS-B3.

After noting some of the details — the rear guide and spring retainer, the trigger, the construction of the beartrap and of course those sights — I believe I now have part of the puzzle. Pointy is probably a product of the BAM factory before it was actually called BAM and provided the basic design for some of their subsequent rifles. I’m also guessing that this gun was produced at a less frenzied pace than their guns today, affording them a bit more time for QC.

So, I know where you’re from, and I know where you went, and I know you shoot well. But, I still don’t know your name. Who are you?

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