Air shotguns, part 3: the Crosman Trapmaster 1100

by B.B. Pelletier

Crosman made a shotgun! The Trapmaster 1100 was a CO2 shotgun that copied Remington’s popular 1100 autoloader. That strange thin rod sticking out from the forearm cap is the powerlet piercing lever.

It all began with instinct shooting
On October 26, I reported on the Fire 201 air shotgun, so today I’ll cover the Crosman Trapmaster 1100. This is a special shotgun because it was made by America’s leading maker of CO2 guns. The Crosman 1100 was produced from 1968 through 1971, so the run was relatively short. It was also the final result of an interesting development that began in 1954, with a man called Lucky McDaniel. read more

Diana RWS 46 – a German underlever

by B.B. Pelletier

Let’s finish this week with something different. When you think of underlever spring rifles you probably think of a TX 200, an HW 77 or perhaps the Tech Force 99. How many of you have taken a good look at the Diana RWS 46?

The underlever moves very far back, decreasing the cocking effort.

Diana’s answer to the TX 200
Diana is the company that makes airguns for RWS. Over the years, and I mean going back before World War II, they have made some of the all-time classic spring-piston air rifles AND air pistols. I will report on many of them for you in the future, but today let’s look at their “world beater” model 46. It was developed SPECIFICALLY to go head-to-head against the British TX 200. That’s what Frank Turner, the president of Dynamit Nobel-RWS USA, told me when the model first came out. So, how does it stack up? read more

The Beeman P1/HW 45: A shoulder stock, red dot sight & more!

by B.B. Pelletier.

If you own a Beeman P1 air pistol or an HW 45, I’ll bet it’s one of your favorites. The gun has so much going for it, and today I’ll show you how it can be made even better!

A spring pistol with several differences!
For starters, the P1 is one of the all-time highest-powered spring pistols ever made. It achieves that distinction despite being quite compact, if not small. Weihrauch has folded the spring piston into what looks like an oversized slide on a Colt M1911A1. Through the use of an extra-long stroke, they manage to generate magnum power in a space other air pistols cannot.

It’s easy to cock
A weaker mainspring allows for easy cocking effort in spite of the power. The piston comes straight back at your hand, so the recoil force is very much like a firearm. The gun can actually be cocked to two different levels for low and high power, though I never shoot mine on anything but high. I found that if I shot too much on low power, the gun would diesel with every shot. Don Walker at Beeman told me to dry-fire the gun twice, after which I should shoot it only on high power. I’ve been doing that ever since. read more

Air shotguns, part 2: the Fire 201

by B.B. Pelletier

On October 18, we learned about the Farco shotgun from the Philippines. In this second look at air shotguns, we’ll examine a gun that was so powerful that it spawned a whole line of air rifles for its maker. The Fire 201 air shotgun from Shin Sung.

The original Fire 201 air shotgun later served as the foundation for a generation of Korean big bore air rifles.

Today’s Fire 201 is completely different!
Pyramyd Air still sells a gun called the Fire 201S, but now it’s a single-shot big bore rifle. It is actually a direct descendant of the shotgun, though it shoots single bullets/pellets only and has a 9mm rifled barrel. The original Fire 201 was a .25-caliber smoothbore that used special shotshells to hold the shot. A .25 caliber Beeman felt cleaning pellet was inserted on either end of this shotshell to hold the shot in place, and the shell was placed into the breech of the gun, exposed by a sliding gold cover. read more

Take a rest! The value of good shooting rests

Everyone is interested in shooting more accurately, so today I’ll look at one of the best aids for doing that – the shooting rest. If you’re like me, you probably get along with any old wadded-up bunch of fabric that happens to be handy. In cool weather, a jacket comes into play, but sometimes you need that jacket for yourself. So what do you do?

Sandbags are the No. 1 rest
Everywhere in the world, a sandbag is considered as much a gun rest as whatever other function it may serve. Buy the sand in plastic sacks at one of the home centers and put it into the cut-off legs of an old pair of jeans. It will last for years like that.

Sand is dense and moldable, so it accepts the stock of your rifle or provides a soft place to rest your hands or the butt of your handgun. It doesn’t react to recoil, so with firearms and gas airguns it is a very neutral rest. Only the spring gun needs flesh between the bag and the gun. However you use it, a sandbag is your friend. But, it has some drawbacks. read more

New toys!

Just in time for Christmas, three new Crosman airguns!

The Nightstalker is here!
I held off reporting on this new rifle until it became available, because I didn’t want to disappoint anybody with something they couldn’t buy. The Nightstalker isn’t just a new model – it’s a completely revolutionary TYPE of air rifle! Crosman bills it as the world’s first true semiautomatic pellet rifle, but of course there are a few others, such as the Drulov DU-10 Eagle, and all the biathlon target rifles made by Steyr and Haenel. But the Nightstalker is affordable! That’s the news. Although the suggested retail price is higher, Pyramyd will have them for just $109.99! read more

Kalashnikov BB gun – a rare collectable you probably missed!

by B.B. Pelletier

Many of you like vintage airguns, and you like reading about them here. Today, I thought I would share a rare collectable that was being sold as recently as 2001. The Kalashnikov BB gun!

Just as real as it looks. The Kalashnikov BB gun was made on a genuine firearm frame.

It was made from a REAL AK-74!
Like the Makarov BB pistol I covered on August 8 (Just like a REAL gun!), the Kalashnikov BB gun was also made from a firearm. It’s made of steel and feels very heavy and solid in your hands. The AK feeling is so pervasive that you feel as if you’re holding an assault rifle instead of a BB gun. Mind you, I’m talking about a real steel BB gun, not a 6mm airsoft gun. read more