Field trip to Umarex USA

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Month for February is Albert Kong. He’ll receive a $100 gift card. Congratulations! If you’d like a chance to be the next Big Shot, you can enter on Pyramyd Air’s Facebook page.

Pyramyd Air Big Shot of the Month

Albert Kong is the March Big Shot of the Month on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.

This past week, I was in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, the home of Umarex USA, to participate in some of the filming of the new American Airgunner television show. The show will start airing on the Pursuit Channel in July, and from what I saw during the filming, it’s going to be very fast-paced and interesting. They selected Rossi Morreale as the host, and I don’t think they could have made a better choice. Rossi’s resume includes hosting shows like Belly of the Beast, NBC’s Escape Routes and my favorite — Junkyard Mega-Wars. A former wide receiver for the Arkansas Razorbacks, he’s just as nice and genuine off-camera as he is on, and he really puts a lot of energy into his work.

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2013 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

The SHOT Show is not a gun show — though that is what many attendees call it, and the mainstream media that doesn’t attend also calls it that. Instead, it’s a happening — to use a 1960′s term. Or it’s a Middle Eastern open market. The big booths house the recognized names like Colt, Winchester and Crosman. Their booths are two stories tall with signs hanging from the ceiling that you could see a mile away if there weren’t other signs hanging in front of them.

But the real drama of the show isn’t at those booths. People already know what to expect in those places. It’s the little out-of-the-way booths hugging the walls that have the surprises. I always set aside some time just to cruise the aisles, looking for some rocks to turn over.

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Ruger Mark I pellet pistol: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The Ruger Mark I pellet pistol is a powerful spring-piston gun.

Before I begin, here’s a followup to yesterday’s blog on the importance of stock length. I discovered, thanks to blog reader Mike, that the No. 4 SMLE has both a long and a short stock. Apparently, when there are complaints that the rifle kicks, the stock is always a short one. I tested that at the range yesterday with a friend of mine. He had a hard-kicking Mark III and, sure enough, it has a short stock. But my No. 4 stock is at least .75 inches longer and feels like a mild 30/30 when shot.

Okay, on to today’s blog.

There’s a lot of interest in this pellet pistol, and I’ve learned a lot more while testing it. Before I did this report I read as many reviews of this Ruger Mark I pellet pistol as I could find — both on this site and on others. I discovered something while doing that. There’s a sharp difference of opinion about the gun that divides around the age and airgun experience of the person writing the review. Those who are either young or have little experience with airguns say the Ruger is hard to cock and not very accurate, but they all praise the power they think it has. But veteran airgunners who own chronographs have learned that the pistol isn’t as powerful as advertised, but it’s easy to cock (very easy for the power, if you use the cocking aid) and also relatively accurate. So, come with me today while I show you what the Ruger can do.

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Ruger Mark I pellet pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The Ruger Mark I pellet pistol is a powerful spring-piston gun.

Several readers indicated an interest in the Ruger Mark I pellet pistol, and we had one warning to watch the plastic frame for cracks. I’ll do that throughout all testing; but I can say that after today’s shooting, everything is still sound.

Dieseling
One reader commented that his pistol was the worst-dieseling airgun he had even seen. He may have said dieseling, but I think he really meant detonating, given what I see with the test gun. The test gun detonated several times at the beginning of testing, then settled down to just a diesel with every shot. But because of the type of oil or grease the factory used, there was a lot of smoke with every shot.

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Ruger Mark I pellet pistol: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


The Ruger Mark I pellet pistol is a powerful spring-piston gun.

I first saw this air pistol at the 2012 SHOT Show, though it had been selling in Wal-Mart for about six months before that. The Ruger Mark I pellet pistol is a breakbarrel spring-piston single-shot pellet pistol that seems normal in every way. The velocity claimed for the gun is 600 f.p.s. with non-lead pellets and 500 f.p.s. with lead, which means it’s both powerful and also somewhat difficult to cock. A cocking aid is supplied with the gun and slips over the muzzle to increase the leverage.

I’m a handgunner at heart; and whenever there’s a new handgun to test, I really want to try it out. I was delighted when the Wal-Mart exclusive elapsed earlier this year, and this pistol became available to the rest of the airgun world. The Ruger Mark I air pistol is available only in .177 caliber at this time.

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2012 SHOT Show: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Mark Barnes is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card! Congratulations!

Mark Barnes submitted the winning Big Shot of the Week. This is the varsity air rifle team at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

You all seemed to enjoy hearing about the 2012 SHOT Show, even though I went into some pretty great detail, so today we’ll do Part 3. Hopefully, this will keep us busy this weekend!

More on Media Day
The Boulder City gun range, where Media Day was held, is a huge facility with dozens of individual ranges that stretch at least half a mile. Now that I’ve been there, I recognize the ranges in all the Pawn Stars episodes with shooting.

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2012 SHOT Show: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Timothy Burman is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card! Congratulations!

Timothy Burman is the Big Shot of the Week. He’s holding his HW97K in .20 caliber.

The day before the SHOT Show opened this year was a special day set aside for the media to sample all the new guns at a range in Boulder City. There were 1,200 official registrants and another couple hundred who got in after the registration ended, plus about 500 personel running the ranges. So, for 2,000 people, each of whom fired 100-1,000 rounds, there was a whole lotta shootin’ going on!

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