by B.B. Pelletier

Here’s a bit of history for you. Back in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Beeman was selling two popular mid-power spring rifles. The R7 and the R8. The R7 was the smaller of the two and was based on the Weihrauch HW 30. The R8 was larger, more powerful than the R7 and was based on the HW 50.

The R7 remained in the lineup, of course, and for a few years after the 1994 sales of the Beeman company, the new management even cataloged it next to the HW30, but rated both the power and accuracy of the R7 that was based on it as better. They still rate them that way. But the R8 went away. The HW50 remained for several more years, and a curious new R-series rifle called the R6 made a brief entrance and exit. I have been told by several people that the R6 is also based on the HW50. read more

How long will a spring airgun last?

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s posting was one I have wanted to do for a long time, but a question from Jeremy prompted me to do it today. Two days ago he asked, “I have a couple more questions about the Gamo 850.

1. How long would the break in be?

2. How good is the scope that comes with the 850?

3. What would be the longevity of the 850?

4. How would i maintain the 850?”

1. How long to break-in?
I think almost every spring gun needs at least 500 shots to break-in, with the TX200 being the sole exception (maybe the BAM B40, but I don’t know that, yet). I’ve seen Gamos and Webleys that were still breaking-in after 3,000 shots. The rougher the gun, the longer the break-in takes. I’m guessing that the Gamo 850 will take several thousand shots before it’s fully broken-in. read more

A second new bipod!

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start on today’s blog, here’s a link to the latest email promotion from Pyramyd Air.

A reader who calls himself Farmer commented that his son’s Mendoza RM-65 BB gun wore out in a year. This is his comment:

I bought one of them for my kid about a year ago. The spring in the Mendoza wear out quickly and velocity drops to under 200 ft/s. It took about 2000 BB’s to wear the gun completely down to apoint wher you can’t even cock the rifle, because the trigger won’t engage anymore. My advise, get a Daisy. The Red Ryder is a lot more accurate and lasts a lifetime.

I told him that based on his report, I would shoot my test RM-65 5,000 times and report to you how it does. I think I have to also test a Red Ryder for 5,000 shots just to be fair. I’ll also test both guns for accuracy – just so we know. That’s in the works. read more

Hammerli Storm Elite: Part 1 A First Look

by B.B. Pelletier

Hammerli Storm Elite is a sharp-looking new breakbarrel with a synthetic stock and matte nickel finish.

When Umarex acquired the Hammerli name in 2006, the shooting world waited to see what would happen. Hammerli is a legendary Swiss maker of fine target arms. Though many of their models have actually been made in Switzerland, they have actually rebadged a lot of airguns. In fact, many airguns were made for them by the former East German firm of Haenel. But the quality has remained high no matter what factory was making the guns. Today, Umarex is applying the Hammerli name to new low- and mid-priced sporting airguns made by new companies. The Hammerli Storm Elite is such a gun. read more

Mendoza RM-650 BB gun Another one to love!

by B.B. Pelletier

Mendoza’s RM-650 is a classic-looking BB gun with some traditional touches that I like.

I have recently discovered that Mendoza produces some pretty fine airguns. The RM-200 test has really opened my eyes, and today I have another super Mendoza gun for you – the RM-650 BB gun.

Why do I like it?
I like traditional guns, by which I mean guns that do not depart from classic lines and even traditional materials. I guess I make some exceptions for guns like those made by AirForce, but I am a traditionalist at heart. This Mendoza BB gun is made along more traditional lines like the Daisy Red Ryder. It’s profile doesn’t look as classic as the Red Ryder’s, and the automatic safety atop the receiver is a turnoff, but on the other hand I have never forgiven Daisy for changing the front of the model 1938 to make the BB loader a plastic mechanism. read more

AirForce 4-16×50 scope

by B.B. Pelletier

AirForce 4-16×50 scope is a really good hunting scope. This photo shows the new target turrets mentioned in this post.

A reader asked for this review last week, and I was surprised to learn I had never done one. I don’t talk about this scope a lot, but when it comes to my AirForce rifles, this is the scope I usually use.

How does it rank?
I talk about Leapers scopes a lot, because they have been the best scope values for many years. Nearly all scopes are made in China today, so the origin of a particular brand is no way to tell if it’s good or bad; but there’s a huge range in the quality of scopes!

The Chinese have the best commercial lens grinding machines in the world. The Swiss and Germans set them up in the 1970s so they could use the cheaper labor to make their optics. That’s why almost all of the best optics are now made there. The few brands that are still made in Europe and the U.S. stand out because of their higher prices. read more

Mendoza RM-200 Final report

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

I finally completed the accuracy test of the Mendoza RM-200. The day was breezy, but the wind was not a problem. I shot at 25 yards, which I felt was in keeping with this type of rifle.

One of our readers suggested scoping the rifle with a Bug Buster, and I had one already set up in rings, so that’s what I used. It was a Bug Buster 2, 6x32mm scope. It fit the rifle very well and the small size of the scope compliments the rifle, but shooting from the bench made the eye relief a little too long. I managed, but it would have been much nicer shooting offhand.

From the first test, I knew that neither Crosman Premiers or JSB Exacts would shoot in this rifle. It seems to need a fatter pellet, which is why RWS Hobbys did so well. For this test, I chose pellets that are either fat or have thin skirts that can be blown out into the rifling. The first pellet was a 5.6mm Eley Wasp that is, unfortunately, no longer available. It grouped well. Since it can no longer be purchased, I won’t tease you. It did tell me that the rifle was accurate and that it probably did need bigger pellets. read more