by B.B. Pelletier

Update on Tom/B.B.: Walking, eating, moving around…all good things that continue to improve his health! Now, it’s just a matter of time til he’s robust enough to come home, as his body just needs to heal. We hope there are no more downturns!

B.B. wrote today’s blog.


The Quackenbush Lightning used rubber bands to power the piston.

I have another assignment for you! Create a simple spring airgun with the fewest number of parts. I’m guessing you can do it with 10 or less. Don’t worry about things like tightly fitted mainsprings. The Quackenbush Lightning used rubber bands to power its piston. They were outside the gun and hooked onto the piston, which traveled inside the compression chamber.

Muzzle loading will simplify things for you. No harm in stuffing the pellet from the front, and it saves a lot of design work.

I’m thinking about PVC-type parts, not cannibalized airguns. This should be something that can be made anywhere by MacGyver in the last 15 minutes of the show.

Here’s a tip: If you do decide to do the Quackenbush Lightning, instead of running the cocking wire through the side of the piston, run it top to bottom and somehow use the bottom part to connect with your trigger. Now, you have a sear as well as a piston. See the Mega Dart MX-7 airgun on page 67 of Airgun Digest, Second Edition.

If we get several designs that are truly exceptional, I wouldn’t mind testing them formally and showing everyone photos of them. So, if you’re proud of your gun, consider sending it to me for testing.

Simplifying design
To reduce parts count, make one part do many jobs. You probably don’t need a stock, so do without. No need for sights, so forget ’em. Your gun may do better shooting after it’s been oiled, so you can make that a part of the process.

What I’m looking for is how clever you guys can be. I hope to be surprised!