Great airgun finds

by B.B. Pelletier

This one is for anybody who’s looking for a great airgun at a reasonable price. Wouldn’t we all like that?

Internet gun auctions
There are some great airguns on the gun auction sites, but first a big warning. There are also a lot of shysters who prey on honest people. The following is an auction description. See if you can spot the problem.

BSA CADET-MAJOR .177 AIR RIFLE – The gun is not visably marked – I had a hard time finding info on this gun – It is listed on page 35 of Hiller’s “AIR RIFLES THIRD EDITION” – The rear sight is the type that BSA used on their pre-war air rifles (the sight alone is worth at least $40.00) – Their gun had no visable model and name as well since the make and model was lightly etched on top of the receiver – read more

What came before the 10-meter rifle? – Part 1Zimmerstutzen

by B.B. Pelletier

I’m in Albuquerque today and all settled down for the evening.

Today’s question is: What came before the 10-meter target rifle? Knowing what came before and how it evolved tells us a lot about today’s 10-meter rifles.

The Zimmerstutzen was the ancestor of the 10-meter target rifle and extends back to at least 1840. Zimmerstutzen is the rough translation of “parlor rifle” in German. The first zimmer was powered by a percussion cap that propelled a small lead ball through a short rifled barrel. The barrel was located toward the end of what looked like a conventional long rifle, although only the final 8 inches of the barrel were used. The striker for the percussion cap, and later the firing pin that was used on cartridges, was very long – running from the rifle’s action to the rear of the short barrel. read more

BB gets disappointed – Part 4 Wilson Combat…and the Taurus gets better

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

You may recall that I went shooting a couple weeks ago. I took both my Taurus PT 1911 and my new Wilson CQB Christmas gun. This is an update on the Taurus and a first report on the Wilson.

Little things mean a lot
The Taurus had several major problems. The factory magazines do not work, even with the reliable Wilson. So, until I rebuild them with new springs, they’re out. On the other hand, my one Wilson magazine works flawlessly in both guns.

The other problem was the Taurus extractor. It had a large burr, the part that fits over the cartridge rim was not smooth, but worst of all, the extractor was not properly tensioned. I corrected these faults and the last time out, the pistol fed 125 rounds perfectly. The rounds were a mixture of Winchester and Remington hardball plus two different reloads. read more

Shooting report on IZH MP 513M

Good morning all. As you read this, I’m in an RV on my way to Las Vegas and the 2008 SHOT Show. Because I’m on the road and driving all day, I’m asking you veteran readers to please help out with the answers for the next two weeks. I’ll return on February 11. Of course, I’ll post the blog every day and answer those questions I have to, but I have to write a blog while I drive each day or am attending the SHOT Show, so I’ll be pretty busy for the next two weeks.

I won’t be doing any gun reviews during this time, but I have taken along photos, material and data to use for blogs, so things shouldn’t be that different. I’ll also give you a glimpse of anything extraordinary I see at the SHOT Show. read more

Beretta PX4 Storm pistol – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Beretta PX4 Storm. This has been an interesting review from the standpoint of all the comments I’ve seen. One reader said he was surprised that the velocity was so low (450+ f.p.s. in his gun with Silver Eagle hollowpoints) because the blowback made it feel more powerful. I never thought of that, but perhaps that is the big draw for blowback action – the power it conveys to the shooter.

Start close!
Because I had no idea of the potential accuracy, I started shooting at 12 feet. I normally reserve such close distances for BB guns, but with repeaters that have blowback I know the accuracy will probably not be great. Starting close keeps everything safe. Naturally, I wear shooting glasses; because this gun shoots Crosman Copperhead BBs as well, I used a Quiet Pellet Trap. read more

10-meter rifle – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

She’s 10 and that’s an FWB P70 Junior rifle she’s shooting. This 10-meter competitor placed well at the 2007 NRA/Pyramyd Air National Airgun Championships in Akron.

Several readers requested this report, and I’m glad to finally start it. Before we begin, allow me to define the sport as I will report it. Ten-meter air rifle competition is divided into men’s and women’s divisions. Men fire a course of 60 + 10 shots per event and women fire 40 + 10. Men have 105 minutes for the first 60 shots and women have 75 minutes for their first 40 shots. I will explain what “+ 10 shots” means in a later report. read more

Beretta PX4 Storm pistol – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Continuing our look at the Beretta PX4 Storm, let’s examine functioning and then shoot it for velocity. I’ll also record the number of available shots per 12-gram CO2 cartridge, because there’s a lot of interest in that number.

The trigger is both single- and double-action and is a bit strange in the single-action mode (when the hammer is cocked). The first stage is there and light as it should be, but the second stage divides into two distinct parts. The first part is a pull that stops at a definite point, and the second part is the letoff. If you’re familiar with old (pre-1930) Colt double-action revolvers, you’ll know they “stack” toward the end of the double-action pull…meaning they come to a definite pause in the pull as the effort to release the sear increases. You can use this stacking to control the release of the hammer if you’re careful. The single-action trigger on the PX4 Storm feels remarkably similar to those old Colt double-actions. I suspect it has to do with advancing the 8-shot clip to the next chamber. It releases in the single-action mode at 4 lbs., 12 ozs. read more