Healthways Plainsman BB gun – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

I wanted to title this report Americana, because that’s what it really is. But when someone on the internet wants to research their gun, the model is the only thing they are interested in. Make no mistake, though–the Healthways Plainsman is Americana, as much as Dad’s Root Beer and Buster Brown shoes.

Unlike the Daisy Red Ryder that everyone knows by name, the Healthways Plainsman is the BB pistol that almost everybody knows on sight, without knowing what it is. It’s about as ubiquitous as the Marksman 1010 BB pistol, but most of you may have to think about it for awhile. And showing you a period ad may stimulate your memories. read more

Crosman 114 – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Well, I’m back, and today I’ll resume testing the Crosman 114, but before I do I must comment on how relaxed I was at this year’s Roanoke show. Taking three days to drive there and three to drive back made all the difference in the world. I got home without being exhausted. Maybe this gallbladder diet is beginning to work its magic.

Part 1
Part 2

Crosman’s 114 is what little boys’ dreams are made of. Read this report to learn just how true that is!

114 Man
I know I told you the story of the man at the show who discovered that he wasn’t alone in owning a Crosman 114. I spoke to him at the Roanoke show, and, if I was persuasive enough, he is now reading this blog. I hope so, because the look in his eye when he discovered the world of airguns was priceless. I’ve been in the same position as he was several times, and I know what a joy it can be to finally connect with the right people over an area of common interest. So, 114 Man, I hope you’re now with us. This is your gun. read more

Shooting the breeze – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Just a reminder that the “Shooting the breeze” series is meant as humor. I made up everything just to entertain you. All names, businesses and locations are fictitious. Enjoy!

August 1995
Paper moon
The Billabong Air Gun Company announced today a departure from wasteful manufacturing practices of the past. After years-long search for a less costly material to replace the expensive synthetics and plastics now used in airguns, the company believes they have found at least a partial answer in paper. That’s right–paper!

Billabong production engineers propose to begin manufacture of a brand new design of CO2 rifle targeted at their brisk discount store trade. Many of the structural components will be made from a proprietary paper-based product that company researches say is as strong and workable as plastic. Parts like valve bodies and receivers, once made of costly resin-based materials, can now be fabricated from what is essentially a modern derivative of that old grade-school favorite–paper mache. Where additional strength is required, the parts will be lined with inexpensive stamped foil sleeves and reinforcements; but the structural members will be entirely comprised of the remarkable new cellulose material. “Our new paper buttstocks are virtually indistinguishable from genuine plastic,” company officials reported. “They even warp and separate in warm weather–just like the real thing! Kids won’t be able to tell the difference.” read more

2009 Roanoke Airgun Show

by B.B. Pelletier

Well, it was a good one! In fact, it was the best one I have ever been to! Let me describe it for you and tell you why I liked it. But let me also tell you what wasn’t so nice.

Pyramyd Air was not there. They usually send their techs and top sales persons to man the tables, but this year they are so swamped with they couldn’t spare the people. A few people lamented the loss–especially one man who wanted to buy a Crosman NPSS. There were none there, so for him the show didn’t pan out. Several other people mentioned wanting to see a Marauder, so I guess Crosman Corporation should team with Pyramyd Air to man a smaller sales booth in the future. I don’t know if that’s possible, but they were missed. read more

Shooting the breeze – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

I’m still on the road, traveling back from the airgun show in Roanoke, VA. The following short articles come from The Airgun Letter archives. These are meant to humor and entertain…they’re not serious. Some Airgun Letter subscribers thought these were serious pieces and called me to get more details and contact info for the individuals mentioned. All names, businesses and locations are fictitious. Enjoy!

February 1995
Readers will be pleased to learn that noted airgun experimenter Elvis B. Phargone of Breakwynd, Indiana, is recovering nicely after his recent test of the dynamite-ram air rifle. Though the gun fired only a single shot, inventor Phargone reports, “She was a doozie. I only wish the chronograph had survived, so we’d know for sure how fast that li’l hummer was a-goin’.” read more

Something from nothing – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

I’m actually at the Roanoke Airgun Expo today, and writing this report has really started my juices flowing! I wanted to tell you about strategies to use on airgun dealers in this part, but while I was driving here I got inspired to write something else for today.

I got a question from a new reader that went like this,”I’m going to a gun show, and I’m a novice collector. What should I look for?” I wrote him some half-hearted reply, because how can I really help that guy? I have no idea what will be at that gun show. And then it hit me–the subject of today’s report.

I never know what’s going to turn up at ANY show!
And that’s the real answer. Since no one can predict what will show up, don’t plan on anything. Just be there and have cash or trade goods or both. read more

Crosman 114 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

I made the picture big, so you can really see it. Crosman’s 114 is what little boy’s dreams are made of.

Back to the 114 today. As I mentioned last time, this is a bulk-fill CO2 rifle. What that means is that it doesn’t use any kind of disposable CO2 cartridge, as many CO2 guns do. Instead, a separate tank of CO2 liquid and gas is connected to the rifle, and CO2 is introduced from that tank. So, a short refresher on how CO2 works is now in order.

To fill the rifle, a separate CO2 tank is used. Every rifle was initially sold with a tank, plus spares were also sold. This tank holds about 10 oz. of liquid CO2, so it is called a 10-ounce tank.
read more