Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Let’s resume our evaluation of the Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol today. First, this update on the magazine.

The follower hook
As I started my shooting session, the M&P failed to shoot. I removed the magazine twice with the same result – one BB fell out of the mag well and nothing changed. On the third try, I discovered that the follower wasn’t releasing to push the BBs into firing position. It was staying back in the loading position, leaving the BB stack under no tension. A hook on the bottom of the follower is a bit too aggressive and hangs onto the bottom of the magazine until I manually push it off. Then it releases and the follower works as intended. If you don’t know this, the pistol can be frustrating at first, so watch for this on your M&P. read more

Daisy Avanti 499 Champion – Part 2 The world’s most accurate BB gun

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Now, let’s shoot!
The 499 is very light for adults and even for some kids. In the International BB Gun Championships, the coaches add weight to their kids’ guns based on how big the shooter is. I think the limit is 6.5 lbs. Someone asked about the weight earlier and I thought I’d already given it, but I guess not. At any rate, I shoot the gun at the stock factory weight and I do okay.

The 499 manual has you cock the gun first, then load it. If you do it that way, the shooter’s hand and possibly their face will be in front of the muzzle of a loaded and cocked gun. I prefer to load first and then cock. My way means a shooter’s hand and possibly their face will not be in front of the muzzle of a cocked and loaded gun. I have been doing it this way for over 10 years, and it works perfectly, so my advice is to ignore what the manual says and do it my way. read more

Springtime! – Part 1

Introduction by B.B. Pelletier

Guest blogger
Vince Brandolini stirred up some interest in a previous blog when he talked about the energy he derived from certain spring guns. Many of us wondered how he calculated spring energy. Today, he shows us how!

If you would like to write a post for this blog, please email me at [email protected].

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them) and they must use proper English. We will edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors. read more

Diana 35 – Always the contender

by B.B. Pelletier

Diana’s model 35 was one of the most powerful spring guns in the 1950s. It was made until 1987.

Manish from Mumbai, India, requested this report, but Graham also wonders about his Winchester 435, which is another variation of the classic Diana 35. I did the first post on the Diana 35 back on December 8, 2005. In that post, I showed you the inside of the pre-unitized Diana trigger group with the ball-bearing sear, and I cautioned you not to take one of these rifles apart unless you’re sure you can get it back together again.

Lots of parts for a simple job. Diana’s ball bearing trigger was a real sales point when the gun was new. It releases about the same as a standard lever-type trigger.
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Daisy Avanti 499 Champion – Part 1 The world’s most accurate BB gun

by B.B. Pelletier


Daisy’s 499 Champion may look something like a Red Ryder, but don’t be fooled. This is the world’s most accurate BB gun.

A question from a father last Thursday caused me to write this report. He was looking for an airgun to train his 11-year-old daughter who is slightly built. They had tried both a Daisy Red Ryder and a Crosman 760. The Red Ryder wasn’t accurate enough and the 760 was too hard for her to pump. And, when you need just the right airgun, who ya gonna call?

The ONLY solution
There are many wonderful airguns in this world, but when it comes to the lightest/most accurate kids’ target gun – BAR NONE – we have to look at the WORLD’S MOST ACCURATE BB GUN. I didn’t make that title up. That’s the slogan Daisy used when they brought out the 499 in 1976 (Note: the 499 was modified to the 499B in 1980 and to the Avanti 499 Champion in 2003). The gun came about through pressure from shooting coaches around the country who were unsatisfied with Daisy’s model 99 Target Special. Made since 1959, the model 99 was supposed to be a target gun kids could use in the International BB gun Championships that Daisy and the Jaycees started in 1966. The problem was that the guns just weren’t accurate enough. read more

Walther .25 caliber Falcon Hunter – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Last time I said I would first try shooting the .25 caliber Walther Falcon Hunter with open sights, so that’s what I did. As I sighted-in, I was able to record some more impressions of the rifle.

It now opens with ease instead of the stiffness I reported earlier, so it did break-in as predicted. Cocking is now running 42-43 lbs., so there’s been a slight reduction there, as well. The rifle still requires a real effort to close the barrel. I believe the angle on the detent is a bit too shallow. I learned to snap it closed with authority.

The shallow angle on the closing side of the spring-loaded barrel detent (right side of chisel detent) causes the closing force to increase. Compare that angle to the opening angle on the other side.
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Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

I showed you a picture of the Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol in Part 4 of the 2008 SHOT Show report. At that time, I predicted this would become a popular BB pistol. Today, we’ll start a look to see if I was right.

A tremendous number of BB pistols have come to market over the past few years. Where does this one fit in the long list? For starters, it’s priced well below $40, which will be attractive to many shooters on a budget. The entire outside of the gun is synthetic, which is the norm for this price range. The pistol closely copies Smith & Wesson’s popular new service pistol, though most of the controls are molded into the body and don’t function. Only the magazine release on the left side and the safety on the right side move and operate. The slide is also molded in and immobile. A short Picatinny rail forward of the triggerguard can accept a compact laser or tactical flashlight mount. read more