Sheridan Blue Streak: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sheridan Blue Streak
My Sheridan Blue Streak was purchased new in 1978.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Not a shooter
  • You’ve got mice!
  • The problem grows
  • The rifle
  • Thumb safety
  • Rocker safety
  • Why so different?
  • Twenty caliber
  • Multi-pump
  • Accuracy
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Goodbye, Edie

Some readers asked me to do a memorial blog to my late wife, Edith. Today marks one year since she passed away, but this blog is still infused with her influence. So I thought I would tell you about her favorite airgun — the Sheridan Blue Streak.

Not a shooter

Edith was never a shooter. Even when she shot with me to get her Concealed Carry License, she wasn’t as interested in the shooting aspect as she was in self defense. But she had a soft spot in her heart for the Blue Streak and I’d like to tell you why.

You’ve got mice!

When we moved into our house in Maryland, the last thing the old owners told us was we had mice. There were woods all around us and game was plentiful. We figured with 9 housecats, there wouldn’t be any problem with mice, but we were wrong. Several cats were excellent mousers and caught a lot of them in the beginning, but they didn’t kill them right away. They would play with them, often breaking their legs and watching them squirm around on the floor. Edith had a soft spot for animals and could not abide that, so she asked me to teach her to shoot the Blue Streak, so she could finish them. This was almost a decade before The Airgun Letter was even a glimmer on the horizon.

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Webley Mark II Service: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Webley Mark II Service
Webley Mark II Service air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Eley Wasps
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • Observations

Today we see how successful my redneck breech seal fix was. I’m hoping for success, but even if it comes I won’t leave the gun this way. I will size the new seal and install it, or I will accept reader Komitadjie’s kind offer to make me a new seal of the correct size. Either way I will fix the rifle properly. This is just a chance to demonstrate a field fix that can be used in a pinch.

Eley Wasps

Let’s get right to it. First up were the 5.6mm Eley Wasps. Ten of them averaged 371 f.p.s. That is an increase from 308 f.p.s. in Part 2, so the redneck breech seal appears to work.

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Webley Mark II Service: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Webley Mark II Service
Webley Mark II Service air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The problem
  • Trim the seal
  • Shim the old seal
  • Hole punch
  • Refit the old seal and shim
  • Does it work?

It’s been a while since we looked at the Mark II Service air rifle, asnd I thought it was time to take another look. You will recall in Part 2 I tested the velocity and found the rifle was shooting very slow. There was also a large puff of air at the breech that told me the breech seal needed to be replaced. I ordered one from the UK that took 3 weeks to arrive. When it got here I discovered it had to be sized to fit the breech. That has been shoving the report to the back burner, week after week, until I decided to do something about it.

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Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

Daisy Red Ryder
Daisy Red Ryder.

This report covers:

  • My gun
  • Today’s test
  • BB gun powerplant
  • Secrets of the BB gun powerplant
  • Daisy BBs
  • Cocking
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Feeding
  • H&N Smart Shot BBs
  • So far

As I told you in Part 1, I’m reviewing the Daisy Red Ryder because it’s a classic BB gun, and also because I have a scope mount to test when this basic review is over. Today we look at the velocity.

My gun

My gun is either a variant 5 or 6, but I can find nothing in the Blue Book that distinguishes between those two variants. My gun has a wood buttstock with the Red Ryder brand on the left side, and a plastic forearm. The rear sight is fixed. The cocking lever is curved aluminum and painted black. The rest of the gun is blued steel. Variant 5 has all those features and was made in 1947 to 1952. Variant 6 has the same features and was made in 1952. In 1953 Daisy started painting the metal and sometime around then they also started to make the buttstocks of plastic — which is variant 7.

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Webley Senior straight grip air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Webley Senior straight grip
Webley Senior straight grip air pistol.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Wasps are first
  • Seating the pellets
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Field Target Trophy Green
  • Overall evaluation

Today we learn the accuracy of the Webley straight grip air pistol — at least with the pellets I have selected. And, in a surprising turn of events, I discovered something new (I think) about my pistol. If I knew it before I had forgotten it.

The test

If ever there was an air pistol that is not suited to shooting targets, the straight grip Senior is it! This is a plinking pistol, through and through. But I have to show you something, and looking at the dents on a can is pretty boring. So I set up to shoot 10 meters off a rest. I rested my hands on the bag and held the pistol in them, so it wasn’t  directly contacting the sandbag. Still, I think it could do better by just being held. But that would take a better shooter than me.

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Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Daisy Red Ryder
Daisy Red Ryder.

This report covers:

  • How many Red Ryders?
  • Number 111 Model 40
  • Model 94 carbine
  • Model 1938
  • The Red Ryder explodes!

Today we start looking at an American airgun icon — the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. With the recent change in ownership of Daisy Outdoor Products, this look is most fitting.

I will test the gun for you in the traditional way, and then I have a surprise. Someone has developed a scope mount for the Daisy that will fit all the older models, as well as the new one. I know the website says scopes cannot be mounted to the current Red Ryder, but we will see if they can. And no doubt some other things will pop up along the way. Sit back and relax — this should be an interesting journey for all of us.

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Characteristics of a classic airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Airguns are easy to use
  • Airguns are quiet
  • Airguns cock easily
  • Airguns are accurate
  • Airguns have good sights
  • What about plastic?
  • Triggers
  • What have I missed?
  • Why is this in the history section?

I celebrate my victories quietly. One of them has been to expose the elements of classic airgun design, so people who need to know can understand what it takes to make something timeless and enduring. We all know that the airgun manufacturers are silent readers of this blog and its comments. Today I am dedicating this report to them — a compilation of design aspects that will ensure a classic airgun. I’ll tell you why at the end of the report.

Airguns are easy to use

Yes, there are people who only shoot airguns. Before I wrote this blog I had no idea there were so many of them, but there are. They are a sizable element of the shooting population and designers need to be aware of them. But their numbers are overwhelmed by the number of firearms shooters who also shoot airguns from time to time. And why do they do it? Because airguns are easy to shoot. I can pick up a Diana 27 and snap off 5 shots at targets of opportunity before you can pack your AR-15 with bipod and sniper scope into that oversized black tactical bag! And we both know the rifle isn’t all you need to go to the range. You load the car with stuff, while I carry my 6-pound breakbarrel in one hand, and a tin of pellets in my pocket.

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