How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Who to believe?
  • Quart of blood!
  • How do you know what you don’t know?
  • Make haste slowly
  • There is more than one way…
  • Setting the bevel
  • Most important point
  • World-record sharpener
  • Bad advice that turned out well
  • Artillery hold?
  • Three ways to sharpen.
  • That’s all, folks!

I didn’t think I would be back to this subject so soon, but I’ve had some major breakthroughs recently that I wanted to report before I forget them. As you may recall, I am writing this report because I want to experience what it feels like to be a new guy in a subject that interests me, but one that I know very little about. That way maybe I can better understand what new guys want/need to know about airguns. I had no appreciation of how much of a new guy I was when it came to sharpening straight razors, or just how deep I would get into this new subject!

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Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachinegun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

MP40
Umarex Legends MP40 BB submachinegun.

This report covers:

  • Texas airgun show
  • Description
  • Rate of fire
  • Select fire
  • Magazine
  • Sights
  • Open bolt
  • Blowback
  • Folding stock
  • Why this airgun?

Here is an airgun we have all been waiting for since the SHOT Show — the Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachinegun. PAY ATTENTION! There are two versions of this airgun at this time. One is the weathered one that comes with a leather sling. and the other is a blued steel gun that apparently has no sling. I asked for the weathered one because of what this is — a battle-ready WW II replica. Beautiful bluing belongs on replicas of Colt Pythons, not on guns that have served in war! There is a price difference of $50 between the two offerings as this is published (the weathered version with the leather sling is more), but I would watch them because I think that’s will change from time to time.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • My attempts
  • Lots of solutions — think BKL
  • BKL Cantilever base
  • The scope
  • More solutions
  • An aside
  • Bottom line
  • Sight-in

My attempts

Today I will attempt to mount a scope and shoot the Hatsan Sortie at 25 yards. I say “attempt” because the Sortie’s magazine sticks out very high above the scope rail. Any scope you mount has to either clear it or be located behind it, a detail that you need to consider when buying this air pistol.

Hatsan mounted a holographic dot sight on the Sortie they brought to the Texas airgun show. It sat behind the magazine and seemed to work fine. I don’t own a holo sight — yet — so I had to do something else.

UTG scope and mounts
See the problem? The scope is mounted in UTG high rings that do not quite clear the magazine (because of the scope turret). On the other side of the gun, the ring jaws are not quite reaching the mount base, so this setup cannot work.

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Getting started with a precharged air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Talon SS?
  • Triggers
  • Accuracy expectations
  • Scopes
  • Get parallax adjustment
  • Match the scope to the task
  • More to come

This is Part 2. In the first part I was brutally honest about the precharged pneumatics (PCP) I think are good for beginners. Now that I am doing my experiment about learning to sharpen straight razors I appreciate the level of information most new guys are seeking and are able to accept. There will always be some folks who don’t get it the first time around, but I won’t talk down to the rest of you to cover that. I will answer their questions and explain in greater detail as they require.

Talon SS?

Reader Cal raised an issue in Part 1 and answered it at the same time. Why didn’t I put AirForce rifles like the Talon SS into the entry-level category? Can’t someone who is new to precharged airguns shoot one of those? Of course they can! The Talon SS is no more difficult to learn to operate than any other PCP. The reason I held off is the style of the rifle.

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The Diana 27: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Not the pre-war 27
  • First time
  • Why a 27?
  • Great feeling!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Seals
  • Breech seal
  • Trigger
  • Overall evaluation

What is a classic? One dictionary defines it as “…of the first or highest quality, class or rank. Serving as a standard, model or guide.” Although that definition is somewhat subjective, I believe it captures the essence of the word. The Diana model 27 air rifle is certainly a classic by that definition.

Not the pre-war 27

Before we dive in let’s understand that Diana also made a model 27 before World War II. That one had only a wooden buttstock with no forearm. It looks significantly different than the rifle we are examining today. It’s not the same air rifle.

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The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A word on straight razors
  • History
  • Weihrauch model numbers
  • Enter the R10/HW 85
  • Son of R1
  • Thin spring tube
  • Trigger
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Sights
  • Summary

A word on straight razors

Before we start I have a word on straight razor sharpening. I made a major discovery yesterday morning. It has to do with sharpness, the shape of the blade, how the blade is ground and its applicability to the task at hand. Very similar to airguns and power! It will be in my next report, which will be in a few weeks.

Now, let’s look at the Beeman R10/HW 85.

History

The FWB 124 started the velocity wars in the very early 1970s. But Dr. Beeman invented the rifle he called the R1, that was also produced as the Weihrauch HW 80. That air rifle really broke things open. It came out in 1981. Inside of 18 months Beeman had gotten the muzzle velocity of the .177 R1 from 940 f.p.s. to 1,000 f.p.s. and the race was on! Before we continue, let’s see how they did it.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • An announcement
  • Today
  • Familiarization
  • Still learning the magazine
  • The trigger
  • The test
  • The sights
  • RWS Superdome — sight in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Summary

An announcement

This morning I shaved with a straight razor in a completely different way, after reading a book about shaving that was written in 1905. While very different from anything I had been doing, it all sounded very good and authoritative until I tried it. Then I needed a pint of blood after finishing! The author of this book says many things that run contrary to conventional wisdom and what is being taught today.

As a result of this experience, I have decided that there is more to sharpening a straight razor than I thought. There will be another report coming in which I examine some of the facts and some old wive’s tales about sharpening straight razors. I will try to show you the results more graphically. I don’t want to wreck the surprises that I hope are coming, so that is all I will say at this time. Let’s now turn our attention to today’s report.

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