by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This series of reports is for those who are airgunners and wonder what to ask for this holiday season and for those who have to buy presents for their airgunners. There are many ways to present this list: by price, by experience, by type of powerplant (spring, pneumatic, CO2, by age, etc. I have decided to present it by price and to include a comment line at the end of each item that lists any special applicability.

In part 1, I listed several items I feel all airgunners eventually need, so most of what I list now will be airguns. However, there may also be the odd item of equipment thrown in.

Under $50
Crosman 760. A perennial favorite, and Crosman’s best-selling airgun. This is the gun that keeps the company humming several shifts each day! It’s a smoothbore that can shoot both steel BBs and pellets. Great starter airgun for youngsters 9 and older. Buy Crosman steel BBs and Crosman pellets for ammunition and never shoot the gun without safety glasses on everybody in the vicinity.

The Daisy Red Ryder is the Holy Grail of an airgunner’s Christmas! In fact, I’ll also recommend the video, A Christmas Story, to go with it. For young shooters ages 6 and up, but always with parental supervision. Remember that steel BBs bounce off hard targets, so everybody in the vicinity wears shooting glasses. Buy Daisy steel BBs for it. And, let’s not forget the young girls , who might like the Daisy pink 1998, a Red Ryder by another name and color.

The Daisy 880 Multi-pump is another classic air rifle. This one is rifled, but can also shoot steel BBs. Appropriate for kids 9 and up and adults. Use Daisy steel BBs and Daisy lead pellets.

The Beeman P17 pistol is for adults. It’s an inexpensive Chinese copy of the more expensive Beeman P3which is made in Germany. This is a target air pistol. It’s a single-shot and quite accurate. Buy some good target pellets for this gun. Gamo Match pellets will work very well.

The Crosman 357W revolver is a classic CO2 air pistol that squeaks under the price limit for this category. Suitable for kids 10 and older and also adults. You need target pellets for this one. Try these. And you also need the 12-gram CO2 cartridges that power the gun.

For BB pistols, I recommend the Smith & Wesson M&P, the Tanfoglio 1911 and the PPK/S with pink grips, which is the only PPK/S that makes it into this price category. Of these three, the Tanfolglio did best in my accuracy test. They all need steel BBs and 12-gram CO2 cartridges. These guns are BB guns, so eye protection for everyone in the vicinity and parental supervision for all kids under the age of 16. No shooting at hard targets!

I’m also going to recommend a pair of BSA 10x25mm binoculars. I own so many pairs of binocs that I’ve lost count of them all. They’re just too handy for when you really need to see things like pellet holes on targets far away. Suitable for everyone.

For those who want to try their hand at field target, the Gamo squirrel field target is very affordable. This target gets you into the game and comes with kill-zone reducers, so as you improve you can make the target progressively harder to hit. Suitable for teens and adults. Buy a length (55 yards, at least) of Dacron line at the hardware store to use for a reset string when the target falls.

Stocking stuffers
Crosman Pellgunoil is used to maintain all CO2 guns and most pneumatics. A small tube will last a shooter more than a year and probably several years after that. Other products such as 20-weight, non-detergent oil will also work, but for the best results, this is the stuff to use.

One of the best products to oil pellets is FP-10. One bottle will last for years.

If you want to tune a spring gun, the best lube for the compression chamber is Beeman M-2-M moly paste. It also works on places where there’s lots of metal-to-metal contact. Every airgun enthusiast needs some of this stuff.

The Crosman 850 BB/pellet trap is excellent for shooters of all ages. This is one of the few pellet traps that safely stops steel BBs, and it’s the only one in this price range.