By B.B. Pelletier
Pyramyd AIR gets a lot of email and phone questions, so I’m going to answer a few of those today.
Where do you get gas springs for conventional spring-piston air rifles?
You don’t. At least not anymore. In the late 1990s, Tom Gore made and sold some upgrade springs for Beeman R1 rifles and Webley Patriot rifles. He also had some prototypes for the TX 200 and HW 77, but I don’t know how far he went with them. His company, Vortek, isn’t selling them anymore, and to my knowledge, neither is anyone else. During the time Vortek was selling gas springs, Theoben offered gas springs for the R1, Patriot and a few others. As far as I can tell, they’re not doing that anymore.
If you want rifles with gas springs, you either have to buy Theobens, which is hard now that Beeman no longer imports them, or buy the Beeman RX-2. My intuition tells me you’d better hurry if you want an RX-2!
Why are some pellets copper-coated or graphite-covered?
To reduce oxidation. Lead oxidizes when exposed to air and to other things such as most woods (found in drawers) or cardboard boxes with acidic content. Today, almost all lead pellets are coated with graphite; the few exceptions are some Chinese pellets that have a waxy material on them.
Benjamin used to put straight oil into their pellet tins, but that didn’t help the problem. They turned powdery white in 20 years or so. By the way, it’s the graphite coating that makes an airgun barrel dirty, so cleaning the barrel is really not required. The stuff found in there doesn’t really hurt the bore in any way.
If you wash your pellets to get rid of the anti-oxidant, you have to do something to protect them from oxidation. Otherwise, they’ll start turning white inside of three years – and possibly sooner depending on the climate and where they’re stored.
Why do birds fly so far after I shoot them with my .177-caliber Diana RWS 350 Magnum?
Because your gun shoots too fast to be effective! You’re shooting through the animals instead of smacking them hard with all the energy the rifle has. The same rifle in .22 will shoot slower and kill small game much more efficiently. Some shooters buy .177s because the pellets are a lot cheaper. If you plan to hunt with your gun, .20, .22 or .25 caliber is a much better choice.
How can I tell what kind of CO2 cartridge my old air pistol takes?
You look it up in the Blue Book of Airguns! There are four editions published so far, and the fifth edition is due out very soon. I think Pyramyd AIR will be selling it, so watch this website. Blue Book has LOTS of information about old airguns, including what they’re worth. It also has articles that will interest most serious airgunners, so get a copy for your library. I’ll tell you more about the Blue Book in another posting.