BSF S54: a quality underlever of the past

by B.B. Pelletier

Let’s look at an old air rifle that left the world stage several decades ago. The Bayerische Sportwaffen Fabrik (Bavarian Sporting Weapons Manufacturer) or BSF, as it was known, operated for several decades after World War II. They were based in Erlangen, Germany, and the guns they made were approximately equivalent to Dianas, though in some aspects they were the better brand. It was BSF that first broke the 800 f.p.s. barrier with their model 55 breakbarrel. They remained at the forefront of the airgun horsepower races of the late 1970s and early ’80s until the Beeman R1 buried the field. Then, like everyone except Diana, they gave up. read more

More power! What can be done to an airgun?

by B.B. Pelletier

We received this question last week. Because it goes to the heart of airgun operation, I wanted to address it today.

i wonder is there a way to pep up the 1077 by changing valves. there is a company out there, which offers to upgrade co2 guns to higher velocity. i forgot the name of it. if you use your airsource canister only 200 times instead of close to 400 shots and double your velocity to close to 1000 fps instead, what a nice squirrel hunter you would end up with. i wonder why nobody ever asked this question. i read somewhere, this company does this conversion all the time or sells the conversion kits. btw canadian tire sells now the 1077 as crossman airsource 1077 and comes with the airsource can nicely snuggled underneath the belly. no fumbling around necessary any more. looking forward to your reply. cheers faustus read more

I want to work on airguns!

by B.B. Pelletier

If you want to work on airguns, go right ahead. By all means – work on airguns. What’s that? You want to know what books you should buy? What tools to get? Well, I would recommend reading The Comprehensive Guide to Airgun Maintenance, Restoration and General Repair – and I also suggest that you buy a Sears Craftsman Airgun Repair Tool Set. I WOULD recommend them if those items existed. Unfortunately, they don’t.

Stepwise learning
When John Kennedy announced the U.S. goal to put a man on the moon and safely return, NASA didn’t flood the chat forums with requests for information about building interplanetary space vehicles and moon boots. Instead, they created a space program with a series of steps that would lead to their ultimate goal. That’s what you need to do. read more

Gas springs of the Theoben airguns: Part 2!

by B.B. Pelletier

I’ll try to finish the topic and address any concerns today. Our first question from Markus concerned leaking, so let’s go right to reliability.

Markus saw the graphic and understood that the gas spring compressed its internal pressurized gas even more when the gun is cocked. But I didn’t put any numbers to the graphic, so today I will. These are not the correct numbers, but they are representative of the relationships between high and low pressure (cocked and uncocked). If the uncocked pressure is 500 psi, the cocked pressure might be 900 psi. Markus was concerned about leaking at the higher pressure (cocked), but, as you can see, the spring’s internal pressure is always high. The difference between uncocked and cocked isn’t that great. And, they do leak! Anything with pressure leaks in time, but let’s look at this realistically. The gas springs that hold open the back deck on a minivan will work reliably for about 8 to 10 years. By the eighth year, they’re showing their age. By year 10, you probably have to help them open the deck. Those gas spring units are made much cheaper than the units that go into airguns. Also, a minivan’s gas springs are under full compression 98 percent of the time, where an airgun’s spring is just the reverse. read more

Gas springs of the Theoben airguns!

by B.B. Pelletier

Gas springs in airguns is an interesting subject. I will need more than a single post to cover everything, but today I’ll cover the basics.

Terminology first
Gas springs are also called gas struts by spring makers in the UK. A quick search shows that even then, most of the manufacturers also use the term “spring” to make it clear what they are talking about. But gas strut is a correct term, if confusing. Gas “ram” appears to have been made up by airgunners. Someone has even gone to the trouble of making a Wikipedia entry for gas ram, so the confusion will be perpetuated. I will call them gas springs, and you’ll all know what I mean. read more

Is ANY airgun worth $1,000?

by B.B. Pelletier

I hear this a lot from people outside the airgun community. They’ve gone all their lives thinking airguns were inexpensive copies of firearms, fit only for children, when suddenly they come face-to-face with a Logun Gladi8tor or a Weihrauch 100S, two rifles that retail for over $1,100. The shock of the encounter blows them away, and the ironic thing is – they aren’t one-quarter of the way up the big-ticket airgun ladder. They are gawking at Pontiac Firebirds, and no one has told them about Ferraris yet!

These stunned shooters then ask the title question, because how could a BB gun be worth as much as a Kimber (or more!)? We overlook the BB gun insult, though many of them do know better, but perhaps the limit of their exposure has been to the stacks of cheap Chinese springers that still show up at gun shows. They once saw a Diana RWS 34 (ooooooh!) and they were amazed how much it resembled a “real gun.” Surely, that must be the pinnacle of modern airguns! read more

The HW 97 & HW77: A full report

by B.B. Pelletier

A lot of our readers were just not satisfied with the report I did on the HW97 & HW77 on February 7. That report lacked velocity numbers and accuracy figures. It was more a report of my feelings about the guns, rather than a meat-and-potatoes look at them. So, today, I’ll make up for that transgression.

The two guns are VERY similar!
The HW77 came first, back in 1982. It was originally supposed to have the same power as the Beeman R1, but the weight of the underlever gun rose to over 11 lbs. before the Beemans decided to scale it back. The underlever adds a lot of weight, plus the sliding compression chamber means the piston has to be a smaller diameter to fit inside, so there is no easy way to get R1 power from either a 77 or a 97. read more