Blowguns — the first airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is a guest blog from reader Hiveseeker. Today he reflects on the very first airguns — blowguns

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now over to you, Hiveseeker.

Blowguns — the first airguns
by Hiveseeker

This report covers:

  • Airgun history
  • Blowgun calibers
  • Blowgun length
  • Popular .40 and .50 caliber darts
  • Popular .625 caliber darts
  • A word about blowgun hunting
  • Blowgun accessories
  • Make a blowgun target
  • How to blow that blowgun
  • Aiming a blowgun
  • For further study

lead photo
Modern-day blowguns come in .40, .50, and .625 caliber. Note the accessory dart quivers.

Airgun history

Here at the Airgun Academy blog B.B. has done a great job of sharing his passion and knowledge of airgun history, deepening our appreciation for our favorite sport. Today we’ll be traveling even further into the past as we delve back to the earliest roots of airgun history — the blowgun! B.B. took us there in 2007 when he wrote about The blowgun Where it all began, and observed that “As airgun collectors become more interested in their hobby, they eventually start acquiring blowguns.”

read more


Beeman R8: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Rail Lock Compressor R8

The Beeman R8 looks like a baby R1.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • New mainspring
  • The compression chamber honing
  • The Rail Lock Compressor
  • Cleaning
  • Piston seal
  • Installed the new seal and mainspring
  • Back in the stock
  • Cocking effort
  • RWS Hobbys
  • RWS Superdomes
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Firing behavior
  • Conclusions so far

The new mainspring and piston seal Pyramyd Air sent for my R8 arrived and I installed them last Thursday. This will document how that installation went and look at the velocity results, plus the powerplant smoothness.

New mainspring

The new mainspring is made from better wire than the stock Weihrauch spring. Gene Salvino has reports of guns with up to 9,000 shots with this spring that have lost little velocity, if any, since installation.

I knew there would be a lot of interest in this mainspring, so I examined it carefully and also photographed it next to the existing spring. The new spring wire is silver colored, where the Weihrauch spring wire is a darker color. The new spring appears to be about one inch longer than the original, but I don’t think it has been scragged.

read more


The Beeman C1 – Part 2 The rifle that created the artillery hold!

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
A history of airguns

This is an oldie from 2009 that I recycled because I was out of town, attending to my sister last week. Today we look at Part 2.


Despite the size of this photo, the C1 is a small rifle. The western look was unique in its day. The scope is a 2-7X32 BSA.

Part 1

If you remember, the C1 is one of the first adult air rifles I ever owned. I got my .177 C1 from Beeman and had the opportunity to break it in and shoot it until it smoothed out to become a great little shooter.

Today I’m testing the .22 version I acquired in a big trade with my buddy Mac, following the Little Rock show this year. I didn’t own a chronograph when I had the first rifle, so this test will be as revealing to me as it is to you. Kind of like finding out whether the girl next door was really as chaste as you envisioned when you were a kid, or whether she dated the fleet.

read more


Beeman R8: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Rail Lock Compressor R8

The Beeman R8 looks like a baby R1.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Don’t over-lubricate
  • Rail Lock mainspring compressor
  • Degreasing
  • Lube the piston seal
  • Clean the mainspring
  • Finish the assembly
  • What is it like now?
  • Velocity test
  • Discussion

Last Friday’s report set us up for today. I was discussing “tuning” airguns before knowing how they performed. I didn’t do that with this rifle, but that discussion loosened up a lot of minds, and I got many suggestions of what to do with the R8. I wanted to disassemble it and remove most of the “special” grease I had applied, and then Gene Salvino of the Pyramyd Air tech department and I had a long conversation about what was happening with that rifle.

Don’t over-lubricate

Gene said it is very possible to put too much of that grease into a lower-powered spring gun. He said if you do that you’ll get exactly the result I got with the R8 — a reduction of several hundred feet per second in the velocity.

read more


FWB 124 air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
This FWB 124 Deluxe is not the exact gun I’m writing about, but it is the same model.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A question
  • Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
  • Tuned
  • RWS Hobby
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Other indicators
  • What does this mean?

A question

I’ll start today’s report with a question. If you buy a used airgun — something vintage like the FWB 124 I’m writing about today — who is to say it wasn’t tuned by somebody before you got it? In other words, should you tear into a vintage airgun before you test it to know where it is, in terms of performance?

I think I know what your answers will be when I ask the question that way. But have any of you ever jumped into a project like this with both feet, before you knew what was going on? Maybe you haven’t. I wish I could say the same. I have been impulsive in the past, and it’s not a trait I am proud of. But, rather than confess my personal sins to you, let me tell you what I have seen during my airgun writing career.

read more


Ballistic coefficient: What is it? Part 1

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

I’m still out of state, caring for my sister who had several operations last week. This report is a 2-parter that generated a lot of interest in 2014 and 2015.

This report addresses:

• Definition of ballistic coefficient (BC).
• How are BCs determined?
• Bullets and pellets have an additional factor.
• BCs are not constants.
• BC is an expression of how much velocity is lost in flight.
• How to cheat the BC numbers.

If ever there was an elephant in a room full of airgunners — this is it! Ballistic coefficient. It seems like everybody talks about it, but what does it mean?

Definition
Ballistic coefficient (BC) is the measure of a ballistic projectile’s ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It’s stated as a decimal fraction smaller than one. When diabolo pellets are discussed, the BCs are very low numbers in the 0.010 to 0.045 range because diabolos are purposely designed to slow down in the air. Their wasp waists, flared skirts and hollow tails all contribute to very high drag that rapidly slows them down — much like a badminton birdie. Lead bullets, in contrast, have BCs between 0.150 and 0.450.

read more


The Beeman C1 – Part 1 The rifle that created the artillery hold!

by B.B. Pelletier

This is an oldie from 2009 that I’m recycling because I’m still out of town with my family emergency. As you will soon learn, the Beeman C1 is the rifle that gave me the idea for the artillery hold.

 

A history of airguns

Despite the size of this photo, the C1 is a small rifle. The western look was unique in its day. The scope is a 2-7×32 BSA.
I have places in my heart reserved for certain air rifles. The FWB 124 has a spot, as does the Beeman R1. And there’s another place that’s reserved for the Beeman C1. It’s no longer made. In fact, the company that once made it–Webley–has also disappeared from the world stage. But the C1s that are in the world are wonderful air rifles that deserve a look from us.

read more