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Education / Training Healthways Plainsman BB gun – Part 2

Healthways Plainsman BB gun – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

A short announcement before we start. Airgun Arena is an alternate chat place that now has eMatches (postal matches). Click here to read more about them and to participate.

Part 1

Well, I’m back to the Plainsman today, and we’re going to look at velocity. I have to tell you–I was surprised by what you’re about to see.

But first, don’t mistake the Healthways Plainsman that I am testing for the Challenger Plainsman–another CO2 pellet gun. The Challenger is much scarcer and commands a higher price.

Challenger Plainsman is a completely different airgun.

Remember that the pistol I’m testing still has a fast leak, so I can’t test total shot count. And I have to be sensitive to when the velocity drops off during a string. That said, though, I believe I got good test figures–and what figures they are!

Healthways Plainsman is a very comfortable air pistol. It has a light, smooth trigger.

Low power
I started with the lowest power setting. I figured the gun would be down in the 200s, with the promised shot count of 100 on this power setting. The Czechoslovakian APP 661 is another semiautomatic BB pistol that gets lots of shots per CO2 cartridge. It gets over 200 per, but the velocity is down below 250 f.p.s. And the 661 uses some of the CO2 to cock itself as you shoot.

This Plainsman started out at 355 f.p.s., but after several shots to loosen the action, it averaged 385 f.p.s. The spread went from 381 to 388, but again I remind you that the gun is losing gas all the time. At 385 f.p.s., this is a brisk little BB pistol. And remember–this is all on the lowest power setting.

The safety is located on the left side of the grip.

Medium power
On some other airguns with adjustable power, the velocity often doesn’t change significantly, so I was pleased to see the average on medium power was up to 415 f.p.s. The spread went from 410 to 419–a tight string! You drop to half the number of available shots when you go to medium, and I don’t think it’s enough of an increase to warrant the additional use of gas.

Firing behavior
As I shot the Plainsman, I remembered why I liked the gun so much as a kid. The trigger-pull is so smooth and light! It’s long, but there’s none of the stacking of effort as the blade comes back. You don’t feel the hammer being cocked. Simply a smooth pull until the release.

High power
On high power, the average jumped to 437. The spread was 435 to 439, so it was very tight. I half-expected a higher velocity on high power because of the claims for penetration, but maybe that’s all it takes to penetrate a coffee can. And maybe my pistol isn’t performing up to par. I think I have to get this gun resealed.

On high power, the adjustment screw is all the way out. The detents are so distinctive that you will make no mistakes when selecting power.

Now, for something special
The Plainsman had another feature that was groundbreaking in its day and is still a pretty good idea. They offered a separate cap for the CO2 cartridges that allowed the use of longer 12-gram cartridges. I have seen one of these in a boxed Plainsman set over a decade ago, so I know they’re out there. The set I saw had the cap inside the box, and words on the box told about it. I don’t know if the cap was also available as a separate option for other Plainsman owners, but that’s what I would think. Now that my interest in the pistols has been piqued, I’m going to look for this set.

With a different end cap, the Plainsman pistol can accept longer 12-gram CO2 cartridges.

Where can I get one?
I found two Plainsman pistols on Gun Broker and one on Auction Arms. One of the two on Gun Broker holds and shoots hard. It’s boxed for $60, which probably isn’t too bad. The boxed one on Auction Arms starts at $135 and the seller doesn’t state whether it holds, so it’s way too high in my opinion. If you want one, they do come up.

51 thoughts on “Healthways Plainsman BB gun – Part 2”

  1. BB,

    Where do you get air guns resealed and repaired?

    I have a vintage Daisy model 200 in like new condition which needs seals and repair to the dohickey on the bottom which pushes the CO2 cartridge against the seal.

  2. Sad news on the Daisy model 200. Nobody I know can repair them.

    I have a list of those who can fix certain guns, and I just got a line on a Healthways Plainsman repairman, but the Daisy model 200 pistols and 300 carbines (same action) remain unrepairable, as far as I know.


  3. Hi BB,
    I just saw my first episode of American Airgunner. I was impressed with how well you guys looked on-air. The show I saw was the episode on Pneumatics. I am looking forward to seeing other episodes that are shown on Verses. I sent e-mails to Pyramid and Airforce thanking them for showing the it on Verses.

    David Enoch

  4. B.B.,

    The Healthways Plainsman seems like a pistol that was ahead of it's time considering the number of features that function well.

    One of the dimensions of this hobby that I like more and more is when we buy an airgun that we used in our boyhood days. Seems to transport us back to those simpler times.

    Thanks for the link to airgun arena. WOW there's alot of information there already! One of the links took me to a list of airgun forums. I counted 69 different airgun forums. Interesting number.

    On the Home Page there's a picture of a pirate with a pistol. Looks familiar to me.


  5. B.B.

    You are probably aware of this already, but just in case: the last photo of today's blog shows the same photo of the safety featured two photos earlier. The caption implies we should be looking at an end cap.

  6. I'll have to agree with Matt61 about beating Ms. M with a new version of the B Discov. I don't understand why they'd even try. But, I was going over the new PA catalog I got in the mail today and I am just so amazed that there are so many air rifles and pistols and so many made and/or sold by the same company. Gamo distributes 20 different air rifles and Crosman has 18. And those are just the ones that PA advertises. I guess there is just a wide, diverse market and they want to appeal to everyone.

    Let's see…how could a new rifle be better than Ms. M…it could be lighter, it can't be more accurate not possible; it could have single action but no cocking necessary; it could have…it could have…

    Unless it ACTUALLY IS a Marauder for half the price with the pump included!!!! There it is! I guessed it!!!


  7. Edith

    Acknowledged and rectified in less than ten minutes. I hope that P.A. knows that the dynamic duo is worth their weight in gold. If I could get this kind of service from the companies/institutions/government to which I PAY DEARLY (the Pyramyd AIR Report is free somehow) I would be a happy man (or at least I would curse a whole hell of a lot less.)

  8. Sling Lead,

    I agree with both your statements and will add one more–some of our "stuff" needs to be made as well as the gizmo that counts and dispenses the money from ATM's.. Never breaks down or miscounts the cash.

    Mr B.

  9. BB,

    FYI, remember that Sportsman XTREME flashlight by Rayovac (3 C-cell, 150 lumen, LED, KMart, $30) that I mentioned in June?

    You asked if the 100 hour battery life was real. I haven't counted the hours, but through the summer I was out with it every other night or so, either to see what the dogs were barking at or to find and bring in one of our cats that wouldn't come in (we don't let them stay out at night). There were also other misc usage. I would guess it has around 20 hours of use. It is just getting to the point where I have considered changing the batteries. It is still bright (about the same as my 115 lumen flashlight), but 115 lumens doesn't reach out like 150 does!

    A.R. Tinkerer

  10. A.R.
    I've had the same experience with a smaller Rayovac LED flashlight (3xAAA) — just changed the batteries after 18 months, used pretty much daily. My wife got them in a 2 pack from Walmart I think (one for me and one for my mini-me son:)).

  11. Mr B.,
    My buddy repairs ATM machines. They break a lot – the bank just gets them serviced fast. He often finds wads of money that has fallen into the bottom of the ATM cabinet.


  12. Herb,
    Good find. Katana looks sweet.

    Seems it has a different barrel… no sight mount. Wish they had stretched the barrel 1 or 2 inches though. Then an LDC would fit nicely.

    New Stock looks nice. Seems more full sized and heavier. Could use a higher cheek rest though. Rubber butt pad is welcome – the hard plastic plate on the Disco slides on smooth floors.

    Bet it has the Marauder trigger group. Some individuals have already retrofited the Marauder trigger group to their Disco.

    Right now I'm thinking the Marauder for just $100 more is still the better deal. But… some will have other thoughts.


  13. Katana at $399 spend one nickle more and you might as well get the Marauder for $499. It already is a multi shot and includes a shroud.

    Multi shot has to be a non-issue for the Katana to be your choice. That or you only have $399 to spend.

  14. Some… many actually… prefer single shot airguns. Repeaters are just not attractive.

    I for one prefer a bolt action 22LR over an semi-automatic. It is personal choice. But in a pistol simi-auto or revolver is prefered.

  15. Looks like they had some misc disco parts lying around, and some misc m-rod parts lying around, and decided to throw it all together with an ultra funky triggerguard and some swivel studs. Personally I think you'd be farther ahead with a disco and a trigger mod and an extra $150 in your pocket. But, in Crossman's defense and to their credit, the forums are littered with complaints about the stock and trigger on the disco, so at least they did something about it.


  16. Semi auto/repeater in a pcp rifle airgun is a failure at this point. Too many moving parts too much wasted air.

    Single shot, no matter how accurate, no matter the fit, no matter the reputation and no matter the finish this gun's value is suffering in the aftermarket. The aftermarket cannot be dismissed since this is the public/demand speaking with their wallets. I know many people like a single shot rifle. I do too.

    The point I'm making about a MULTI-SHOT air rifle is that the demand is significantly higher.

    The resale on single shot, GREAT GUNS, has fallen through the floor value wise. The MASS AIRGUNNER CONSUMER has spoken. Not just me individually.

  17. Kevin,
    Of course your quite correct. Repeaters are very popular.

    What would compete with the Katana feature for feature at this price point? Few come to mind… same as the Disco. Both will hold a nice niche.


  18. Kevin,

    Thanks for the info. I hadn't thought of foregoing with the scope and shooting with the irons.
    I'll admit I am having so much fun with this I am having a hard time slowing down and being methodical.
    In answer to your question & per part III of the review the exacts are one the pellets I am shooting.
    What do you think of the H&N? I watched the video
    (/airgun-video) and have to admit for a novice such as myself,
    having that info on the outside of the tin is very helpful.


  19. Hello, I purchased a Crosman Storm XT .177 1000 fps a year ago. Recently i started using heavier pellets i.e Crosman Prime 10.5's. After 100 or so shots my rifle started to rattling and the velocity dropped to nothing. If, i shoot a piece of paper at 5ft it might bounce off. Is there anything I can do? Pls help.

  20. From your information it sounds like the mainspring has broken. It must be replaced, and this is not a job for the home craftsman unless you own a mainspring compressor and know what you are doing.

    Pyramyd AIR can repair your rifle. Contact technical support at 888-262-4867.


  21. BB .. I switched to the heavier crosman 10.5 pellets because I needed more punch while hunting varmints. Do you think it was the extra thrust required from my Crosman XT to expel to the pellets, that broke the main spring or it just became week over time?

  22. Anonymous with the malfunctioning Crosman Storm XT,

    Pyramyd AIR Tech Support is available Monday-Friday. Here's their contact info:


    Becasue the Storm is such a powerful gun I doubt the slightly heavier pellets were the cause of the mainspring failure. Springs break. Some break quicker than others.

    Is your gun still under warranty? Have you talked to Crosman?


  23. Kevin, I brought my rifle through PYRAMYD 6/4/08 and as i read of over the invoice I believe the warrantly on last for a year, not sure. No I have not talked with Crosman as of yet. I do not have a endless supply of resources, so approx how much do you think it will cost me to have this prob repaired? Just asking.

  24. Crosman Storm XT,

    Not sure what it will cost but make certain that when you talk to Pyramyd AIR that they know the gun was purchased from them and on what date. Pyramyd AIR has excellent customer service and I expect you will be taken care of just like you deserve.


  25. Anonymous with the busted XT,

    BB's right, it's likely the mainspring. Crosman sells them for about $5+shipping, if I recall, but in my experience the once-reliable Crosman springs have started getting problematic.

    If you're gonna fix it (or have it fixed) you might want to consider upgrading to a Jim Maccari E3650 spring, which according to the reports I've seen work well enough with stock guides. Obviously Crosman won't put one in for you, I'm not sure about Pyramyd. But there are others who can… you'll spend more for the spring, but you'll wind up with something more reliable.

  26. I have a Healthways Plainsman that says patented in the USA. All info is on a label on the back of hand grip-no Plainsman stamped on body. SN 0484990. My son bought it in the late 70's. Looks identical to yours but has wood grained grips. All in great condition except a deep scratch near barrel. Does this gun have any value?

  27. Hi Anonymous,

    there are 8 different models with the name "Plainsman". I will assume that your pistol is the same one as in the photo on this blog. However, there are two models that look like this – the model MA 22 and ML 175. For the MA 22, in "as new" condition, it's worth $135. If it's say, 60%, then the average sale price is $45. For the ML 175, the value can range from $80 to $35. The ML 175 has plastic grips.

    That's the best I can do for you unless you can identify the model and/or take a picture of it and send me the link.

    Fred PRoNJ

  28. If your gun looks like the one shown above it's worth a couple hundred dollars.

    It all comes down to the barrel length and the caliber.

    I had the wood-gripped pneumatic .177 version with a longer barrel. In non-working condition that was a $350 gun ten years ago.


  29. BB,

    your pricing is for the Challenger or the top photo, correct? I was giving the Blue Book price for the bottom one or the Cold Woodsman lookalike, a pistol I always wanted.

    Fred PRoNJ

  30. Well I have in my possession 2 Crosman Storm XT's
    one is a friend of mine's and the other is my baby complete with camo(did the camo my self from CamoClad.com cheap and easy)
    My question is Will a Busted Spring cause it not to cock ?
    I plan on replacing the Springs in both my storm this is going to be the 2nd spring and seal job
    I am checking on the other spring mentioned the Jim Maccari E3650 spring for mine
    I would have liked to go nitro piston with this but unfortunate they will not work with the crosman storm XT so I'll just save my peanuts and go buy a nitro for colder weather
    As for lubing the Chamber?Go to Pyramid Air and get the RWS Chamber lube! total cost will be 15 bucks however its worth it!
    that small bottle will last a long time as you ONLY need 2 drops !
    thanks every one for there Insight
    I pray for Toms Speedy Recovery!
    Jerry D. Kittle

  31. darvy hearts paulie perrette,

    I have a Diana 35 that I shot with a broken spring until I sent it off for a tune. So I can say in my case that, no a broken spring won't stop the gun from being cocked. However, it might be a different deal for your Crosman Storm XT.

    Why don't you repost your question on our current blog for a better answer, cause there are only a very few of us checking the older blogs for current questions/comments. /blog//

    Hope to see you there,
    Mr B.

  32. just got a plainsman ma22 from my grandpa. any idea where i can get the 22calibre lead bb's? will the GAMO 22calbre work w/ this gun? i saw a note saying 'do not use w/ bb guns'. looking forward to testing it out. the seals look good.

  33. My Plainsman bought in '60s , sitting on a shelf for years, has an exhaustedgas cartridge in its chamber. It won't fall out – even with tapping on teh butt. HOw can I remove it? Is there a n access point other than the insertion hole?

  34. The solution is oil. Did you put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before you punctured it? That would have lubricated the cartridge walls so it would now come out. It doesn't just seal the gun.

    So now what you do is use Crosman Pellgunoil on the cartridge from the outside. Remove the cap, flip the gun so the large end of the cartridge is pointing up and put Pellgunoil around the side of the cartridge. Over time (a day to a week) it will penetrate down the sides and the cartridge will come out.

    DO NOT use WD-40, penetrating oil, Kroil or Three-in 1. They will ruin the seals in the gun. Crosman Pellgunoil, only, or 20-weight non-detergent motor oil.


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