by B.B. Pelletier
There wasn’t supposed to be a Part 3 to this report, but two things happened after Part 2 was published. First, one of our readers sent me a very interesting Beeman pamphlet that firmly establishes the relationship between Beeman and Air Rifle Headquarters. Apparently, he is an advanced airgunner who had dealings with Beeman for a very long time. And two, another reader named larspawn asked me if it was possible to document the years Beeman was located at certain addresses such as San Rafael and Santa Rosa. I told him I would have to dig into the literature, but I possibly could establish those dates.
These two things are actually linked, because the early (very early) Beeman pamphlet is sent from their first address in San Anselmo. In those days, they were operating out of their house, and the address was P.O. Box 542. The pamphlet is the Rosetta Stone to the early Beeman years. In it, Robert speaks of distributing the ARH catalog and that they (Beeman) were an ARH dealer. But, he says, until our first Beeman catalog is published, you can read about our other guns in our article in the 1974 Guns Illustrated. That volume was written in 1973, so this pamphlet dates from approximately that timeframe. Also, the first Beeman catalog was published in 1974.
Two more interesting things in the pamphlet. First, at the top of the page they announce their return from their “airfun safari” to Europe, and that Beeman’s Precision Airguns is open for business again. Second, Dr. Beeman mentions that since their line now differs so much from the ARH line, it would no longer be fair to continue as ARH dealers, so they severed that relationship.
From all of this, we may deduce the following. Beeman was initially an ARH dealer and were very closely associated with Robert Law at one time. In 1973, they were still too small to have a staff to run the office while they were out of the country. But since their first catalog was to be published in 1974 (to coincide with the article appearing in Guns Illustrated that year), they were already poised to expand.
San Anselmo was first
And so, larspawn, I can tell you that anything that has the San Anselmo address and the Beeman name on it is among the absolute earliest of all Beeman products. And now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you Exhibit 1: my Feinwerkbau 124 with Beeman’s San Anselmo address stamped into the spring tube!
And there it is! The first Beeman address. No doubt that Beeman sold many guns from this address, but since they were connected with ARH all the time they were here, you won’t find that many items with the San Anselmo address on them — especially guns.
Jim Maccari said my 124 was shooting slow because all the early ones did. And now I know how early mine is. If Beeman brought it into the country with the San Anselmo address stamped into the side, they ordered it in 1973 or earlier. It might have been unsold until they moved to their next address, because they wouldn’t have messed with the metal stamping on the gun, but it proves that mine is a very early 124. Just prior to this time, there were no 124 rifles. There were only 121 rifles of various flavors. The 124 didn’t come out until about this very time.
I had a communication from Robert Beeman when I first published the story of my entombed 124 in The Airgun letter. He noted the San Anselmo address and said it was one of the very first 124 rifles sold by Beeman’s. He was actually surprised by the fact that the address was stamped on the gun, because he didn’t remember any that were.
San Rafael was second
My special revised 1975 Beeman’s catalog (the second catalog to be published) was published with the address 47 Paul Drive, San Rafael. If you’re a Beeman collector, the San Rafael address is considered the early one. San Anselmo seldom comes up at all, unless the collector is really aware of the Beeman history.
San Rafael and San Anselmo are very close to one another. San Rafael was located just over the Golden Gate bridge and up the northern peninsula about 10 miles or so. That’s where the Beeman shop was when I returned from my tour in Germany in late 1977 and went up to buy a 124 (not this one) from them. So, I put them into the store some time in 1974, and they remained there until about 1987.
The 14th edition of the Beeman catalog was published from San Rafael in 1986, while the 15th edition was published from Santa Rosa in 1988. The move had to occur between those bracket years. And, from 1988 until the company was sold in April 1994, the Santa Rosa store was their home. Santa Rosa is quite a few (50?) more miles north, up Redwood Highway (Hwy. 101) and into what is known as the California wine country. It’s a lush, hilly part of California that attracts visitors year long for the wine and scenery.
So Beeman was located here during these years:
Beginning to 1974
1974 to 1987
1987 to 1994
1994 to 2009
In 2009, Beeman was purchased by the Shanghai Industrial Company, who wanted the U.S. distribution outlets the company had built up (read that as Wal-Mart, et al). They sold the rights to import, distribute and service the high-end Beeman airguns and products to Air Venturi.
Not what it appears
Now, everything with one of these addresses stamped or printed on them may not have been sold from the address stamped or printed on the product. Airguns, especially the most popular ones, were commonly purchased in the hundreds at one time, and undoubtedly some would have been moved to a new address when the company moved. However, the reverse is not true. A gun or product will not have an earlier address than when it was brought into the company.
You cannot use this information to parse months, but it works quite well for years. For month, you can research the serial numbers of many airguns. The Weihrauch company, for example, is very accommodating about dating their products by serial number. And when you get stuck, my default is to ask on the Vintage Airgun Forum, which is the finest research place on the internet for collectible airguns.
I believe this is all I can do on the Beeman history.
74 thoughts on “A brief history of Beeman and Air Rifle Headquarters – Part 3”
Well done. You’ve sewn up the history that many bits and pieces on the yellow and vintage have provided snapshots of. No question that many guns were obtained early (stamped with prior beeman addresses) but sold at new locations. This especially applies to the slower sellers like the HW55 and Beeman R8 since they were “overpriced” and as stock moved very slowly.
I often have dreams of walking into the beeman shop in the mid 1970’s and offering to buy these dusty, overlooked classics en masse. I’d walk out of the store with hang tags attached, the guns in original boxes and all the original paperwork in each box. I awake in a pool of sweat.
It’s not about their worth today. It’s more about the hidden gems that were in plain sight back then and oft overlooked. What’s being overlooked in plain sight today???
Ah, but now we appreciate the finer things that we didn’t realize how fine were back then.
Had no intention of being philosophical BUT do you see the similarities in life experiences in our day to day existence?
Really like this article. Whether you like what Dr. Beeman did for this hobby or not the importance of his contribution cannot be disputed and the correctly reported history of his locations is significant. Thanks.
What is being overlooked today in plain sight are the Bronco and the Benjamin Discovery. The day will come when people will venerate both these air rifles.
The HW 30 is also being overlooked. Here on the blog we talk about it a lot, but the world hasn’t discovered it yet.
The Webley Hurricane went obsolete a few years back. Until it did I’m sure people railed at the plastic on the gun. Now they are paying top dollar just to buy one.
The vintage R7 is another sleeper. Grab one while you can, because they will never be made again.
It’s too late for the HW 55, but I stood at the Roanoke airgun show ten years ago and lamented with Josh Ungier that Weihrauch refused to sell Pyramyd Air their guns, yet Beeman was cutting them off. So wonderful models like the 55 died from a lack of sales because the sole importer wasn’t interested in fine European airguns. On the day of my lamentation, Josh was selling an HW 55 Champ for $245.
Really appreciate your perspective. You’ve been around the airgun world long enough to have witnessed the times first hand when those airguns that what we now refer to as classic, must own guns, sat on shelves collecting dust.
$245 for a HW55 Champ?!! Now that’s the very definition of value hidden in plain sight.
While reading your comments I couldn’t help but see the parallel with some powder burners. Pre 1964 for example. 1964 must have been the year that the first large wave of accountants were hired. LOL!
Kevin : Since I grew up next door to a gun shop in a rural area just 45 minutes away from a decent sized eastern city, I saw a lot of trends in guns. Some were because of practicality of use.I remember Winchester mod 12’s that sat gathering dust on the racks, as Remington 870’s and Mossberg 500’s sold like hotcakes. It wasn’t the price either. You had to replace the whole front end of the model 12 to replace the barrel, or have a ploy choke or Cutts mounted. This is also slug gun country by law , and slug barrels with sights that you could swap for your trap barrel sold a lot of shotguns. I saw the fine .38 , 32, and .22 non-magnum Colt , S&W , and early medium frame Ruger revolvers go for squat because auto’s and the self defense trade heated up. If you want to buy a collectable rim fire of the more common makes like Remington, Savage, Marlin, or Mossberg ,now is the time. In about two more years even what used to be considered cheap old school .22’s will be four to five times what they are worth now used.
Robert from Arcade,
Maybe it’s because I grew up shooting an H & R Sportsman and Remington 550 but I think they’re overlooked and undervalued. The fact that they can shoot shorts, longs and long rifles is not just a novelty. Guess I’m the minority though.
Kevin: Just try to explain what a short or long IS to some of today’s kids. Oh , and don’t forget the RF “experts” our own age ( I’ll be 52) who just know that there wasn’t and shouldn’t be any use for those. Those were the kids back in school who were able to buy their lunch every day , instead of bagging it. It was nice to pour whatever you had around into the tube and just shoot. My Dad’s old Mossberg 42 held 21 shorts , without reloading. At the time, I felt that that was a significant tactical advantage,Robert.
If you still miss that Remington 550, they come up often on Texas Gun Trader.
Still have the remington 550. First powder burner I ever shot. Still have my first shotgun. The last H & R Sportsman got traded recently though.
I get so frustrated with the personnel who are running these companies these days. Imagine taking your best and most-recognized name and attaching it to a product unlike the one that made the name. Like Crosman’s cavalier use of the Premier name and the Streak name, for instance.
Now I see that H&N has attached the Baracuda name to a lightweight non-lead pellet. Does no one in the company know that the original heavyweight pellet was developed for the Weihrauch EL-54 Baracuda ether-injected rifle and it was made that heavy so that the skirt could not be blown out? So now they have a lightweight Baracuda.
What’s next, an electric Corvette? Why not call it the Stingray, because that name sold a lot of Corvettes over the years?
And I talk to these “decision makers” at the SHOT Show and discover that they were hired from some electronics manufacturer and haven’t got a clue what an airgun is, or what the history of the company they now represent might be.
I am getting too old. Somebody needs to put me out of my misery before I turn inside-out from all the stupidity that is so rampant today.
Re: Snot nosed kids running companies
Okay, now that’s funny. Can’t stop laughing. Thought I was the only one here that’s tired of living in the state of confusion these kids are causing by tarnishing respected brand names.
Since misery loves company, here’s another one of your recent quotes I really like, “….a Chinese spring rifle being called a “Benjamin” Super Streak. Ain’t nothin’ Benjamin about a real Streak.”
Yep, you’re a fogey, too.
I know you designed the Bronco, so it’s your baby, but I must say I don’t enjoy it as much as my HW30. Yes, I know it’s only a third the price of the HW30 and is a good gun for the money, but I wish you’d redesign the rear sight so it can be lowered enough to sight in properly at 10 yards. I think it’s especially important on this rifle because fewer people will scope a $125 600 fps gun than a $350 gun. This (to me) is the only significant shortcoming of this gun, and if that can be fixed it could definitely become one for the ages.
I once owned a Beeman R7 in .20 caliber that I personally purchased from Beeman Precision Airguns in 1994, after the company was acquired by the owners of Marksman Industries. It was a “blemished” gun and was priced accordingly. That R7 was my first airgun purchase in the US, and I was very satisfied. Doves at 20 to 30 yards were goners every time I got them in crosshairs of the Bushnell 3 to 9 scope on my air rifle. Lamentably, I sold that R7 to a friend in a moment of dire financial need, but I am thinking, 20 some years down the road, to repurchase it from him. I just missed shooting that little Weihrauch rifle.
Kevin, isn’t the AA S200 a modern “overlooked” rifle? I re-read the Airgun World review of it yesterday (Dec 09) and George Stevens thinks it is a “just right” air rifle. Kinda like the PCP equivalent of a Bronco? The 10 shot conversion is touted as “seamless” installation and George tested it with and without the 10 shot module and found (literally) no difference in shot placement/accuracy over 100 shots through each method.
12 ft lbs and no hassles and a compact little sporter. I think it is a collaboration between CZ Arms and AA.
Brian in Idaho,
Think you might be onto something. I’ve never owned a S200 but hope to correct that oversight soon. There’s a relatively small but cult-like following for this gun. The R7 of pcp’s?
B.B. & Others,
In a decade or so what do you think the must have rifles and pistols will be that may no longer be around?
BB,can you tell me the approximate serial # of the FWB 124 you have? I would like to utilize it as a dating devise for other non-Beeman 124’s.BTW,last night I sewed up a deal on an exc. condition FWB 110!
If you email Feinwerkbau they will provide a month and year of manufacture. I’ve heard that recently they started charging a token amount for this service.
Redfeather requested FWB 124 dates awhile back for a project he’s working on. His requests were on the yellow and vintage. Lot’s of FWB 124 owners submitted their serial numbers. Think this was about a month ago.
That FWB 110 is beautiful.
Just for you, the serial number is 06825.
BB,thank you….that means either my FWB 124 sport came over in someones hands or it was one of the few that Robert Law sold AFTER Dr.Beeman went to Germany and acquired exclusivity.[sn.09201].This is the one I got money back(75$) from the 425$ I paid.It came in with a perfect action
but the stock was “whizzed”.Checkering was sanded flat and the stock was cracked nearly in half,then glued badly.Ironically,I had a beautiful safe queen stock,thanks to Kevin…who sold me a beauty last Christmas time.That action has the Himilayan Maccari DIY and a Tyro stock and a Steve Corcoran bastogne walnut stock to wear.All this from a guy with 1 pair of shoes 🙂
BB : Great blog ! I have a copy of the 1974 Guns Illustrated ,sixth edition right in front of me now copy writed 1973. The very first article in it is by Dr Beeman entitled “Airguns for Serious Shooters”. In it,he discusses the .177 FWB mod 12 as “the sporting air rifle we’ve been waiting for”. Velocity was listed at 780 fps ,groups average 0.18,weight at 6 1/2 lbs,length 44″, adjustable trigger, and cocking effort 20lbs. It is described as having a synthetic breech seal, the receiver tube is grooved for scope and receiver sights. Also an automatic safety is mentioned and was discussed as being unusual for a european airgun, but that this gun was designed for export. Beeman said it was available from them at that writing , and Beeman and ARH are listed as seperate enities in catalog section in the publication, but only ARH had them . Beeman had other FWB’s like the 300’s , the 65 pistol, the Walthers, and the euopean styled HW’s but no 12 or 124’s, Robert.
That is an important bit of information. If Beeman wrote that article in 1973 and called the FWB a model 12, that means the 124 hadn’t yet made it to market. We may have pinned down the birth of the 124 to sometime in 1973. So my serial number may be among the first few hundred rifles made.
BB: I beiieve you do have one of the first 124’s ever imported by Beeman. What was interesting to me was if there ever was a .177 cal FWB 12 that preceded the 124 and was it actually a totally new sporter model at the time. There is a picture of it in the catalog section of my book. It has a un-checked european type stock with low cheekpiece, rounded forend and cost $144.50 . It was not listed as available from Beeman , just ARH,even though that was the gun he was describing as the FWB sporter model in the GunsIllustrated article he wrote in the front of the same book. The specifications of the FWB mod F-12 sporter available from ARH, are exactly what Dr. Beeman described. He also writes that the details of the 12 operation and internals would be revealed soon, right at the end of the two paragraphs he wrote about it. Was there ever a model 12, and was it really available from ARH, or is Beeeman just describing a proto type he was exaimining ? Or is it like the Walther model 52 air pistol mystery? Was the final specifications and styling of the 124 influenced by Beeman through FWB, like his HW line?
I have seen a Beeman Model 12 at Roanoke. It had an “electric guitar” type stock that I commented on in the ARH catalog in Part 1, only this one was Beeman.
They called it a model 12, but also a model 121.
BB: I just went back and saw that ,thanks for answering those questions. The one that’s in this picture that I have here has a slim forend and butt stock. It was a very elegant looking air gun.If I didn’t have a couple little kids and a business I’d really like to go to a show like Roanoke. Nothing beats being able to see stuff up close and personal. Glad you and others provide us with pictures and reports on the shows. Maybe someday,Robert.
I caught your comment to me about tomorrows blog.
Seems like I am always too early or too late with things. Perpetual bad timing.
I don’t quite get all this mystery about Beeman’s early history. Why not just ask Dr. Beeman directly? He usually responds to my emails promptly (particularly if you attach an order for the BBA!).
Not many Beeman’s over here I can find except the FH500 and GH500 breakbarrel springers.
Checked on PA site and it is called the’Guardian’ in your neck of the woods.
It sells quite cheap in the UK as well but not as cheap as yours I’m afraid.
Good morning (evening) Dave
Not many Beemans in the UK? I’m guessing that Weihrauch imported directly and the few Beemans were personal sales or ordered from the States?
Dave; Does BSA still manufacture any air rifles in the UK? I always thought the Meteor was a great rifle for the price.
Brian in Idaho:
Good morning(mid afternoon lol) Brian.
You are right.A bit like selling ice cones to Eskimo’s,if Beeman exported Wiehrauch’s to the UK 🙂
I think the FH-GH 500 rifles might be the Chinese made Beeman’s BB was talking about.
Bearing in mind our close proximity to Germany(within bombing range),HW’s are not cheap here either.
That is why I had to do a double take when I saw the HW99s being sold new for less than £200.
I asked this in the past and really didn’t get an answer…it was mid day and I think the question just got lost in the shuffle.
As many of you know I have an 853c that I shoot at a local club level. I’m pretty much used to shooting 192/194 out of 200 (20 shots at 10m).
As well I have a Slavia that I recently scoped. Before I scoped it I was getting fairly consistent 1/2 groups (5 shots) at 10m, offhand with the iron sights.
The question I have is concerning my XS-B9 with a 1x Red Dot. At 10m it’s doing no better than the Slavia with open sights…about 1/2 groups.
I assumed that with an fancy/schmancy optic like the Red Dot I should get better accuracy, but a friend has pointed out that with it 0 magnification that I shouldn’t really expect more accuracy. He went on to say that the Red Dot is more about rapid target aquisition than all out accuracy.
All I know is that I go down to my basement range, put 5 shots in the same hole with the 853c with the Gamo $60 diopter and then can’t do better than 1/2″ with my $170 Vortex Red Dot.
Am I expecting too much?
It’s really bugging me!
Thanks for any input.
From my vast knowledge, 8 months of reading this blog, I don’t think red dots are too accurate. I had one on my 1377 and I could not group worth a dang. I have only held one red dot in my life, but to me I would think a cross hair should be on the glass so I can align the dot into. I would agree with your friend.
I agree! Why don’t they put a reticle on the glass as a reference for positioning the dot?! It seems that would still give you fast aquisition plus better accuracy.
Since you are the Tinkerer, how about you make it and I will take “only” 10% for the idea. lol
Only 10%? You’re selling out cheap! LOL
I agree with your friend. Even my best red dot (Aimpoint ML3) is not a precision optic instrument since it lacks magnification. Parallax is greater with a red dot too. However, for quick target acquisition I still like a red dot over even a low magnification scope.
Thanks guys…those are the answers I wanted to hear.
I know there are different tools for every job, and expecting the B9/Red Dot combo to match my Avanti was unrealistic…but sometimes you just need someone else to confirm what you probably already know.
Now, if one of you could convince me that my Dodge Caravan really shouldn’t perform as well as that Ferrari I’m dreaming about 😉
“my Dodge Caravan really shouldn’t perform as well as that Ferrari I’m dreaming about ;-)”
It doesn’t? ha-ha
Ditto to Kevin and Gene’s comments on the red dot sights. I have a BSA “cheapy” on my 2240 and it does a great job of aligning the gun and target acquisition for knocking down steel plates, but it (and the pistol) are not Anschutz precision by any means.
I think we get spoiled with our precision sights and guns and forget that sometimes… it’s just about hitting the soda-pop cans, bang-bang-bang.
I was also going down memory lane re-reading your blogs about Challenger 2009 and the Edge. In your last article on the Edge (where you tested the Edge mounted on a vice) you mentioned that to be fair to Crosman, you will do another blog on the Challenger 2009. Should I keep holding my breath?
Also, FYI I ordered from PA the Gamo Match .177 wadcutter (7.71 g) but what was delivered was the Gamo Match Wadcutter 7.56 g. I was confused since the Gamo Match 7.56g is not even listed in their website.
After three phone calls to PA, I finally got the answer that although the tin is marked 7.56g the pellets contained weigh 7.71g. WOW !!! Talk about confusing !
We found out awhile back, testing the acuracy effects of pellet weighing, that the weights printed on the can do not come even close to the actual weights in the can on some brands.
Wow! Take a breath!
That must have been a record, since my hospital stint was in there.
Now, tell me WHY you would hold your breath. From what I see, people either go with the Challenger or the Edge, and no amount of data seems to sway them one way or the other.
(Big Inhale-Exhale !!)
Have already decided to get the Challenger. I just wanted to know if you were still planning to do a “vice test” on the Challenger.
I guess I had decided to skip that test, because of what I mentioned before. I spent a lot of time on the Edge vice test but the results didn’t seem to sway anyone’s opinion. They just proceeded to do what they were going to do all along.
Hey, here’s an idea. Since you are getting one, why don’t you do a guest blog about a vice test?
Don’t know much about blogging but I am willing to give it a try. Just be patient… still saving pennies and nickels… also trying very hard to be a good boy so that perhaps, Santa will deliver my fondest Christmas Wish.
I’m not Santa, but I am curious. What is your fondest Christmas wish?
Challenger 2009 together with a Maurader (25 Cal.) as stocking stuffer. Might need a XXXXXXX-large stocking !!
Dreaming of a White Christmas,
A white Christmas, indeed! At least now I know what you want.
My Evanix Renegade arrived yesterday in a yellow truck (FedEx driver said it was a rental). When I took it out of the box I held it for several minutes admiring the wood and deep blued metal! Of course this is my first $300+ airgun, so it is in a different class than any of my other airguns. Time for me to search for your scope mounting lessons so I can mount the scope today! 🙂
Congradulations A.R.,you have just entered phase 2 AKA “The Dark Side”! You are going to love it.Please stop shooting from time to time to let us hear about it.
I’m a “sleeper”. I experimented with HPA on my RWS 850 and converted a 2300KT pistol to PCP so have dabbled in “The Dark Side”. However, I hadn’t been satisfied with my 850 experiments and discovered a flaw in my amateur work on the 2300KT so I scrapped it (not the gun, just the mod). Now I guess I have truly entered phase 2! I’ll see if I can tear away from shooting to report on it. :-/
By the way, how can it be “The Dark Side” when you’ve seen the light? 🙂
P.S. The 850 and 2300KT projects are still works in progress.
Please keep us posted on how it goes.
I ran into something filling up the Renegade. I pumped it up with my Benjamin hand pump to 200 bar and then checked the gauge on the rifle. That is when I noticed the rifle’s gauge color ranges. The gauge is numbered 10, 20 and 30 with tick marks inbetween, and the color ranges are 0 – 5: yellow, 5 – 15: green and 15 – 40: red. The 20 seems to be 200 bar and the manual says the maximum fill pressure is 3000 PSI (204 bar). However, that is in the red! Does red indicate something different to the Koreans? The gauge seems to be calibrated correctly (at least with 20 = 200 bar). There is no picture or information in the manual about the gauge except the 3000 PSI/204 bar max pressure). By the way, the manual states “the valves should require no lubrication, except for a drop or tow of pneumatic gun oil placed in the inlet fill hole very 500 shots or so.” I hope people are only using pure silicone oil if they are doing this!
One other thing I noticed, when I received the gun there was some pressure in it (I didn’t check to see the exact number, but it was in the green). Is it normal for Pyramyd to ship pre-owned PCPs with some pressure left in them?
Keeping the rifle pressurized keeps dirt off the valve seal. You should do the same.
Enjoy your new Renegade.
Thanks. I didn’t think about PCPs being shipped with air in them since I know paintball tanks are emptied before shipping. I will make sure to keep air in the Renegade. It will be kept full since it will probably be my go to airgun, target and otherwise (a rabid skunk visit is what got me started in airguns).
Don’t go by the onboard gauge of any gun. If it’s right it’s a happy coincidence.
PCPs are always shipped with air in them, because PA tests them before shipping. That air is supposed to be low and it’s called a caretaker charge.
Correction: Pyramyd Air does not test every PCP gun before shipping. If you want your gun tested, then you have to select the 10-for-$10 service they offer.
Thanks Edith & BB. It is interesting to know that PCPs are shipped with some air in them.
The value of the gun’s pressure gauge isn’t what I was questioning. The value seems to be correct (20 = 200 bar) and seems to be MPa (megapascals). The question is about the color ranges. Why would they have the max working pressure in the red (not the start of the red)?
When we’re on a shooting range & the line is “hot,” that means you can commence to shootin’. Maybe Evanix thinks red=hot and have shown that the gun is “hot” and ready to fire. Just a guess. Eun Jin uses the same color scheme for their manometers, but the European, American and other Korean mfrs. do not.
Thank you! It is helpful to know that Evanix & Eun Jin use that color scheme.
AR Tinkerer, now that you mention it, I have only one $300+ gun–my B30 as a result of a tune-up. It was a great buy as far as I’m concerned, and I think you’ll be pleased with the extra investment.
On the general subject of gun origins, I neglected to mention the attempts by my von Arnim acquaintance to replace his lost collection that is buried somewhere on his property. Even now, the expectation of the German baron–I think the term is “Junker”–is to be a hunter and steward of the land. He has a couple rifles by Sauer, one in 7X57mm. Ah, that is a sad reduction from the missing hoard. I don’t know much about Sauer except for the short-lived Colt-Sauer line from some time ago that was advertised with the ultimate smooth action. But I understand that the Sauer line is high-quality. I wonder how many other high-quality foreign brands are out there that have never made it to the U.S.?
On the subject of red dots, could the inaccuracy be due to the supposed lack of parallax that they advertise? I know some claim that you don’t have to worry about a precise cheek weld, but physically, I don’t know how you can completely ignore that without some degradation in performance. I also know that the dots themselves tend to be larger–hence less precise–to allow quick acquisition. Some of the newer red dot type scopes like the EoTech brand have crosshairs and other sophisticated reticles with range estimation. They are supposed to be fairly precise out to 500 yards as well as quick to acquire but they cost a ton. Any opinions about long eye relief scopes? I resist having my eye that far from a scope, but I suppose they would allow fast target acquisition. And I believe that Jeff Cooper was a big advocate of them.
BG_Farmer, am I right that you have a percussion and are working your way towards a flintlock? The hassle of blackpowder (among other things) has put me off from them. But if I lived in Kentucky, I could not resist getting a Kentucky rifle with a flintlock. My other dream gun would be the 1861 Springfield rifled musket.
I was in the survivalist mode the other day and wondering how one could keep going in the long term amidst complete breakdown. You might recall the scene from the Road Warrior where Max is scrounging around trying to fit shotgun shells into his empty shotgun. Once the ammo runs out, any guns are essentially useless. Finding reloading components is not that much easier than finding assembled cartridges. One could cast bullets from lead. However, what about gunpowder? In fact, since people cast their own bullets now to save money, why don’t they synthesize their own gunpowder? My guess is that it is illegal and classified with the manufacture of any explosives. Otherwise, I don’t see the barrier. The process cannot be that complicated. I’ve heard of people under duress manufacturing the nitrate ingredients for gunpowder from urine. Anyway, given the hassle of doing this, airguns are looking better as survival weapons. My choice would be the RWS 350 magnum. If you laid in a lifetime of Maccari springs and learned how to replace them in the rifle, you should be all set. The power would not be that different from the old Air Force survival gun, the AR-7 Explorer in .22 lr. James Bond used it to shoot down a helicopter in From Russia With Love. 🙂 The Benjamin 392 series would also be good.
Yes, I feel like the Renegade was a good deal as a pre-owned gun from Pyramyd (more than $300 but less than $400 – except for the price of the heavier pellets I had to buy to try with the higher power, of course). Don’t get me started on my wish list though since I know I still want a big bore, springer, Daisy’s wire stock collectible and the Walther lever action (for starters)!
As for red dots, I had heard that there were some with reticles, but I haven’t run across any affordable ones (Pyramyd doesn’t carry any with reticles). I did find a 2x dot sight that could be interesting by Truglo. Holographic sights also look interesting and Aimshot makes one that I found selling for $90. However, I am not ready to buy a sight technology I don’t have experience with, without being able to see it. Those prices are getting up where you can spend a few more dollars and get a good Leapers scope.
B.B. likes the Sheridan Blue Streak as the most durable and maintenance free airgun for survival purposes. Provided you keep one pump of air in it the seal is supposed to last indefinitely. But if you had to make leather for a new one, I understand urine is necessary in the tanning process as well. Can you live long enough to make a new leather seal without hunting if you have nothing put by?
For survival, I would pick springers for small game and BP for larger game. Even just a few pounds of black powder would last a long while if used sparingly — much like they did in the old days. In my understanding, making BP is not terribly complicated, but making good BP is complicated. Either grade is extremely dangerous to make. I don’t know about legalities, but there aren’t many people who want to or are qualified to try it, though I have read of a few; in survival mode, the rewards would outweigh the risks at some point. I’m planning a flintlock to build this winter, but I will definitely keep using the caplock also as long as caps are available — there’s a reason so many original flintlocks were converted to caps:).
Has anyone seen Volvo?
oh that’s right……
Nice : )
How many distinct manufacturers of air guns do you think there are — not just badges, as Beeman was always just a badge, no matter what was stamped on the gun. [If the company no longer makes some guns, it’s just a badge, no matter how distinguished it was for this purpose.]
I count FWB, Anschutz/Steyr, Walther in precision on the other side of the Pond, Weihrauch, FX, Hasan in Turkey, GAMO (I think they still make guns), Mendoza in Mexico, and Shanghai in China (call it the People’s Liberation Army, Inc. to get ownership right). I presume RWS/Diana still makes some guns. Is Air Arms actually a manufacturer? (Hammerli is gone as an independent)
Is Daisy still building guns? Crosman, in the US. Don’t know about Marksman.
What am I missing? Actually, that’s a pretty long list for what is really a niche product!
Air Arms makes guns for sure!
Here are some others you missed:
BSA (owned by Gamo, but I believe they still make guns in England)
Twinmaster (not sure about this one)
I’m sure there are others, especially in Russia, China & Turkey.
Wow, there really are a lot of manufacturers! Many more than I thought are still independent. How could I have missed Izh-Baikal? I even own and shoot one in large part because BB said such nice things about it. All well deserved; it’s a real bargain.
I don’t know that there is really another maker in China; recently public ownership of even air guns seems to have been ended (I tried to buy a gun on my last trip and everybody said so, at least in the cities. “Everybody” includes hotel concierge and several friends who went so far as to contact Shanghai.) I find it a bit strange because I did some shooting in a park in NW China where an old (appearing) lady had some beat-up guns, balloons on sticks, and the usual abacus. She loaded for you; you shot; and the pellets went into the Yellow River right behind the balloons. Great fun, as I didn’t miss, and the many Chinese couldn’t hit, even resting their guns on stands. The lady finally ran me off saying that I had cost her too many balloons!
Pete, Then there are also a few specialty American makers like Mac1 (the USFT), Quackenbush, Barnes, BGMF and Southernairguns.
I believe the last I heard BSA makes the PCPs and some barrels in the UK. Gamo in Spain is suppose to make the rest up to BSA specs and a lot of people have been pretty happy with their BSA made in either country.
Oddly, one of the items often left off the survival list is a bow. As a teen relocated from a rural setting to the city I found a small patch of woods to replace former endless acres.
I would visit that tiny area with a 45# Fred Bear Grizzly recurve bow since I could not take a .22LR. It wasn’t long until I as taking critters as small as chipmunks. The local Boy Scouts frequented the same area, but never noticed the shadow in the woods.
I admit a bow could not replace the feel of a rifle, so in came the ARH and Beeman catalogs in 1973….
Interesting story. I went to work at Air Rifle Headquarters, inc., in Grantsville, WV, in 1976 and Beeman’s had been a distributor for Robert Law at ARH. Beeman broke away and established his business just as Law was winding his down so he could head in other directions. ARH was the primary promoter of European spring air guns from the early 1960’s until it closed somewhere around 1980. I was the last employee of ARH.
Welcome to the blog! You really need to come to the current blog page where today we are reviewing an ARH El Gamo model 68.
I know the readers would enjoy hearing from a former ARH employee.