by B.B. Pelletier
Over the years I have written about many strange airguns. Some of them were mine and others were guns I either borrowed to test or just wrote about.
Sometimes, I’ve even written about firearms, which a student of airguns should understand because of the insight firearms shed on our hobby. Microgroove rifling, for instance, came from a 19th century barrelmaker named Harry Pope. Then, the Marlin company copied it; and only after airguns began being rifled in about 1906 was microgroove rifling finally applied to them.
And, there have been a fair number of curious guns that don’t really fit exactly in one category. For example, the Kruger cap-firing BB pistol isn’t really an airgun, but a firearm by the definition that a firearm discharges one or more projectiles by the force of a chemical explosion. But no BATF&E agent would ever give one a second look. Made mostly of black styrene, the Kruger is a toy by anyone’s definition. You can read about it in this report.
Well, today I want to tell you about another odd type of gun that also isn’t an airgun by the strictest definition. But it’s been lumped in with the airguns ever since it was launched in 1923 in Rawlins, Wyoming, by a dentist, Dr. C.L. Bunten. I’m referring to the Bulls Eye Pistol, a catapult gun that operates by the power of rubber bands.
The Bulls Eye Pistol is a repeating ball-shooter that launches .12 caliber lead balls by the force of rubber bands. Yes, I said it’s a repeater! Although, in today’s vernacular, anything that isn’t semiautomatic is a single-shot (not really, but that’s what a lot of non-shooters and kids believe). A repeater is a gun that stores multiple rounds of ammunition that it can fire when loaded by the mechanism. If you have to insert each round into the breech by hand, it isn’t a repeater, regardless of how much ammunition it can carry; but if an onboard mechanism loads each round, you have a repeater.
The Bulls Eye Pistol holds over 50 rounds in a gravity-fed inline magazine. Once again, don’t get too cocky about gravity feed, because the deadly Gatling gun of the 19th century used it to great effect! And the 18th century Girardoni military rifle of the Austrian army fed 22 .47 caliber balls via gravity, alone. So, gravity-feed is a legitimate feed mechanism.
Enough political incorrectness to last a lifetime. Not only is a nuclear family shown enjoying an evening of shooting, they’re shooting in their living room and mom and little sister are downrange from dad and son! And the target is set up on the furniture.
The gun is enormously underpowered, but it has just enough power to get the job done if that means hitting the target. In the literature (yes, I have the owner’s pamphlet that came with the boxed gun), you’re told that you can shoot at windows and not break them, but you can kill a fly at 10 feet.
The Bulls Eye Pistol came in a box with three paper-thin celluloid bird reactive targets. If you ever find a kit I advise you to never shoot at these birds, because the gun can easily poke holes in them at close range. Back in the day when the gun was being made (1925-1940), you could order a package of replacements for next to nothing but they’re irreplaceable today.
The kit came with the pistol, rubber bands (long since dry-rotted), a tube of shot, ammo loader (silver thing in front of the box), target stamp and pad, 3 celluloid bird reactive targets with stands and a box that served as the target trap.
There was also a bundle of rubber bands inside the box and a small paper tube of No. 6 shotgun shot. Of course, one 12-gauge shell provided hundreds of shots, so I imagine little boys were taking jackknives to daddy’s shotgun shells when he wasn’t looking.
The box served as a safe backstop since the heavy pasteboard could not be penetrated by the shot. And three targets stamped on the inside of the cover provided good targets for the new owner until he found a herd of flies to thin.
Many years ago, Dean Fletcher wrote a test article for Airgun Revue, in which he tested a Bulls Eye for me. When his gun was powered by 4 stout rubber bands, he got a top velocity of 195 f.p.s. with No. 6 shot, which is a .12 caliber lead ball — more or less. But try as he did, he never got his Bulls Eye to group any better than 5 shots inside .75 inches at 10 feet. Some groups were as large as 2.50 inches. He found that follow-through was extremely important with this pistol, which is the artillery hold at work.
There were other rubber band guns that followed the Bulls Eye, with the Sharpshooter being the most noteworthy. It was also produced in Rawlins for a short time, and then production moved around the nation like a geography lesson. When I attended college in San Jose back in the 1960s, I found two Sharpshooters in the box in a hardware store. They were new-old-stock and must have been laying around for close to 20 years.
The way the gun worked was simple. The shooter pulled the launcher straight back against rubber band power. At the next-to-last instant, the shot dropped out of the magazine and into the catapult launcher and then the launcher was caught by the sear. Squeezing the trigger released the sear and let the launcher fly forward, powered by the rubber bands. The launcher had a special seat that contained the shot that was under heavy G-forces until the launcher ran out of track and stopped moving. The shot took off on its own but was guided by the launch seat that had held it in the optimum launch position.
This picture shows everything. The metal launcher is in the center, held in the gun by a top and bottom rail, the hole in the bottom of the magazine dropped the next shot into the launcher when it was in position, and the sear…which moved up when the trigger was pulled.
Dr. Bunten found that No. 6 shot was not perfectly round, and it also varied in diameter by several thousandths of an inch. Running it through a precision barrel was not the way to go. But his launcher eliminated the concerns about any irregularities, so accuracy was possible.
Believe it or not, the front sight on this pistol was even adjustable for elevation and the rear adjusts for windage. I suppose if a fellow had enough time to kill he could regulate his gun quite well until it was possible to pick off flies at 10 feet like the literature said. I do know that lubricating the launch track and even adjusting the tension between the upper and lower guide rails that held the launcher captive was what you did to increase velocity and regulate the direction the shot took.
The front sight was removed and 50 round balls were poured into the channel that leads back to the loading hole.
I have a sales receipt from 1942 for a Bulls Eye Pistol for $2.95 plus 20 cents tax. That would be $30-40 today, so this was no cheap toy by any stretch. It wasn’t targeted toward the younger shooter, whose BB guns cost about $1 to $3 at the same time. No, it went after the adult shooter with a few extra coins jingling in his pockets.
Today, a pistol as fine as the one shown here would costs $100-150 at an airgun show. But this is one of those times when anywhere else you might get it for a lot less, because it looks so cheap. I have a small collection of rubber band-powered guns and this one is both the oldest and the star of my collection. It was handmade by Dr. Bunten in the room behind his office in Rawlins, as all Bulls Eye Pistols were.
62 thoughts on “A rare BB gun from Wyoming!”
I remember having one of those with the box. I actually shot it enough to realize that accuracy was dependent upon putting more tension on one side of the rubber band than the other. Counterintuitive since you would think a rubber band would be more accurate if both sides were drawn back with equal tension. I think that rubber band gun is in Texas now.
That probably caused the shuttle to ride the guide rails more precisely by twisting it slightly.Sounds like you have been working on guns for a long time Kevin.I woud be thrilled to find one of these at a garage sale!
I call it gunsmithing/woodworking, perfecting my shooting abilities and in general just being a student of the history of guns and what makes them tick.
My wife just shakes her head and simply says “I’ll never grow up”. In this case her description is more accurate than mine.
This is not exactly an *air* gun. Possibly it’s closer in propulsion to the not-so-well-known but pretty effective Beeman fly killer of some years back (now available from lots of places with lots of different names).
Made by a dentist. I wonder if he also dabbled in shoeing horses. Lets super size one and enter the pumpkin chuck’en contest next year.
Off-Topic…in regards to something Edith mentioned yesterday, about my boys school chums being too fragile to hear about our exploits on the shooting range…yet going home to violent video games.
That has been one thing that has always intrigued me…how many parents not let video games babysit their kids, with no thought of what they are watching.
The times I have been in our local video rental store and have had a 10 or 12 year old renting something like Halo or Call of Duty (both rated M) while mom pays the bill…and is, by her bored look completely unaware of the games content makes me cringe.
I’ll admit…my boys have played these games, but only with my supervision. And they get a little annoyed when I pause the game to explain that in reality you don’t get healing points by standing next to an aid box…and that being shot is a hell of a lot more painful than the it seems on screen…and that most importantly everytime they shoot the enemy…that in reality it would mean a couple of kids like themselves wouldn’t have a dad coming home.
I often wonder how many parents take the time to explain that, while sometimes violence is necessary…sometimes wars have to be fought…that it is in no way fun like in Call of Duty.
End of rant!!!
Amen Brother! You have a witness!
I heartily agree with EVERYTHING you just wrote. Especially the part about Call of Duty being fun. I love that game.
I agree with everthing you said. Its important to split the difference between using Call of Duty for recreation and making kids realize that VIRTUAL reality doesn’t correlate to reality.
So many parents are irresponsible with regards to teaching their kids. It seems that every generation of Americans is a little less mature than the last. And so many adults are distracted by their new electronic gadgets that they barely know what their kids are up to, something children take full advantage of.
Amen from the back of the chapel!
Maybe a small dose of reality for the kids at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/content/blogcategory/96/878/ will help them see the human side and true reality of war. This website is not only a dose of reality but, very inspirational too.
Wish I had some of those energy packs and med-packs back in that little jungle excursion of ’68! I could have just walked over them and got sutured up re-charged!
We had Uncle Ho’s punji-sticks instead.
Brian in Idaho,
Dang it you made me cry with that story of the wounded soldier. And kudos to all above back to CowBoyStar Dad who teach their children what responsibility and real life is all about.
I have no children. Partly by choice early in life and partly due to circumstances later. But my dad did teach us right from wrong and if we strayed in the wrong direction we did not do it more than once because of the consequences! I used to think he was harsh, uncaring, and an “old fuddy duddy” but now I realize what a great dad he was. True caring is teaching a child “in the way he should go”! None of us ever got into trouble with the law thanks to great parents and we all have had a good life due mostly to what we learned from our parents!
Thank God for parents who care enough about their children to teach them right from wrong! “He that spareth his rod hateth his son. but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes .” Proverbs 13:24
Rod here is probably most accurately translated into “disciplines” and can include the use of a staff or rod if need be.
I salute all you who have children and strive to “bring them up in the way they should go”!
You get another AMEN from me, brother!
When I was a kid in the 60’s, if there was one thing that I remember all too well, it was seeing mothers bringing pictures and other memories of their sons who died in the Vietnam war to my mother. By the 70’s, the second wave of victims was becoming more obvious. It was not a new set of soldiers, but the same soldiers who survived, but only on the surface. Specifically, what I recall as a teenager was lots of instances of soldiers (older siblings of friends) who had committed suicide.
In relation to video games, REAL WAS IS HELL, and not a game. Real war creates tormented souls, and that is a real cost to any country.
One simple advice that I give to anyone having kids is to never allow them to have either a TV or computer in their room. The reasons are many, and should be obvious, I think. For us, TV time was family time. As for computers, I placed additional computers in my home office. When they were in high school and clearly on their way towards earning academic scholarships, I bought them laptops.
One last thing about the original post. It is amazing that some would find a “shooting range” to be scary, offensive, dangerous, or some other negative. That is almost as bad as superstition. It’s like Stevie Wonder says in his gong Superstition, “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer”. In my experience, to actually go out to a range with a trained and knowledgeable adult, the experience is a learning one. It makes one more responsible and aware. THAT is what shooting is really all about. It’s about gaining real control, not less. It’s about obtaining safety, and not about being exposed to danger. The more you know about guns and shooting, the more responsible you are with guns. Ok, enough said.
Awesome post, Victor (as well as everyone else) . . . .
I also collect the Bulls Eye and Sharpshooter guns. I think that there is a model older than the one in the article. I have a Bulls Eye with a straight line patent number “PAT.FEB.26.24.” stamped into the bottom of the left grip area. There are no other markings on the gun.
Interesting that in 2006-2007, many of these were on EBAY, both in box and loose.
That is what is stamped on this gun, too. On the left grip in a circle with Bull’seye Pistol Co. Rawlins, Wyo. around the outside. Yours does sound like an earlier gun to me.
Does the presumably older model Bulls Eye pistol have a brass cap covering its rear end–that is, a brass cap rather than a plain black cap? If so, is the brass cap more rounded than the plain black cap, which is flatter at back and with a clearer edge to it?
Such, at least, I have seen–and it DOES appear older than the model in the article.
I have never seen a Bullseye pistol with a brass end cap. There are 2 possibilities. Either this is a model I have not seen or it is a field repair.
If you can post some pictures I can see (on a general photo website) I will look at it.
Thanks and welcome to the blog.
My early model has a steel end cap.
Must be a safe gun. Perhaps someone can help me find one of these:
Chuck, I have seen a few of these over the years, from memory, I believe this is a hammerless model and it has a safety lever that protrudes thru the trigger that must be pulled first to engage the trigger face and release the safety by means of the full trigger pull?
Last I saw one was at a gun show in L.A. about 10 yrs ago.
If you are serious these come up all the time on Gun Broker.
Where do the rubber bands anchor to in the front of the gun?
In the last photo you can see the left side anchor sticking out of the sheet metal. There is one on the other side, too.
I remember as a kid owning a dark plastic repeating rubber band gun. You stretched multiple rubber bans from the front of the gun back to where the hammer would be. Instead of a hammer, it had an elevator mechanism (a star wheel?). Pulling the trigger would raise the end of the rubber band above the gun’s ‘top strap’, and it would release the band when you let go of the trigger. Hardly accurate but entertaining enough for a pre-teen.
Many flies that got inside our house met their final reward because of that gun. : )
You know, I don’t have a clue as to how big this air-gun market is, but I have observed that these air-gun manufacturers don’t exactly move at light-speed, when it comes to “new or improved” products.
My guess is that the market isn’t exactly so “Mainstream”, where the competition and customer demands are pressing manufacturers to push the envelope. I can CLEARLY see some VERY OBVIOUS improvements and options that simply don’t exist!
If you ask me, CharlieDaTuna got it right by taking advantage of this HUGE VOID with his GRT-III trigger product. I can clearly see other offerings by 3rd party sources for things like adaptors so that peep sights could be added to the front of most springers. Given a choice, I’d much rather use target sights (front and back aperture) than a scope. I’d use these target sights on all of my springers (CF-X, Quest 1000X, Titan GP, etc.).
IF ANYONE OUT THERE IS LISTENING, please make adaptors so that front aperture sights can be added to rifles like the Gamo CF-X, Crosman Quest 1000X, or the Crosman Titan GP.
It would seem that a front sight adaptor would be one of the easiest items to make? What type of front sight are you trying to mount to these various guns and how does it mount? Screwed in? Dovetails? Other? I can picture a barrel sleeve (like a brake) that mounts to the barrel OD with the prescribed receptacle milled or milled and drilled into it. There is a sight line or elevation issue due to expanded diameter but, I assume that can be compensated for with the rear sight?
Problem is, some barrels are straight diameters, some are tapered, some are shrouded (with plastic) some are not, etc, etc. An adaptor is HUGELY specific to both criteria, not to mention caliber iterations. Divide all of the above by % of owners interested in front sight adaptors and I will guess that there isn’t a 1000 piece market out there.
This is DIY territory for sure.
I would think that I’m asking for is simple, and I’m sure if I had the tools to do it, I could, but I don’t. I really don’t have much in the way of machine shop tools. And, yes, my guns are all different, so there are all those little variations. I believe that because of all of these little variations, and no standard, customers are generally left with few options. I believe that this is more of an issue of air-gun manufacturers being short sighted than whether or not it should be easy to fashion a custom solution. It is precisely this mentality that, and that of there not being open standards for such thing, that limits a potential (or existing) customers view of the available products. Other industries have not only learned, but have demonstrated the benefits of a more “open” perspective on customers needs.
Oh, to be more specific, I would like a dove-tail type of adaptor that would allow for one of the many existing front aperture sights with dovetail mounts. The rear sight is already taken care of by the fact that each of these rifles already come with dovetail rails.
I can’t believe in yesterday’s banter about that incredible fellow shooting…..nobody figured out he must use an ankle holster!
Rubber Band Guns…………….Yes. When I was a kid, I made one from scrap wood and two clothespins, the type with a spring in the center. The gun was a double barrel with the clothespins glued to the back of the “Gun”. The gun was like two long pistols, no stock, and the two glued together,side by side, with half inch wood blocks between them. To fire, you pressed the clothespins with your thumb and held the “barrels” with the other hand. The rubber band was held by the clothespins and stretched over the front of the “barrels”. I made some rubber bands from old tire inner tubes which in those days were common and would really stretch. These would hit with a good smack when launched. After all these years, I still have it.
It was good fun to make and use!
Mike,it sounds like you perfected the rubber band gun that we used to make with a thick rubber band,a ruler for the trigger and a textbook for the “action”.Pulling the bottom of the ruler like a trigger lifted the rubber band past the books spine.That gave way to throwing the two sided teacher’s pens at the bulletin board.Aahh,the things we learned at school!
This sounds like the “guns” we used to make with the metal hinged clothespins that lit and shot stick matches in the same pull. Wow, was I ever that young?
Ah, I long for the days of gallery shooting. That is essentially what I am doing now with my indoor range. I’m surprised that the BATF is not after the Kruger pistol. Asserting rules in the complete absence of common sense seems to be what a lot of regulatory agencies do well.
I think that keeping a computer out of a kid’s room is the only sensible way to keep them safe with what’s available. But you had better also look at the capabilities of their iphones.
Mike, I’ve heard of Bruce Lee’s training maxim which duplicates one by the SAS, but one thing I neglected in my overly long post of yesterday was just how one determines what a “real” situation is. This can be surprisingly elusive. The whole Mixed Martial Arts craze was supposed to establish the realities of martial arts techniques. But it was never really “no-holds-barred” because that was unacceptable, and they quickly added rules. What they ended up with was a padded cage that favored a wrestling style which is interesting enough but of dubious use in self-defense where you want to stay standing on your feet. Similarly, the IPSC was supposed to be a similar effort to get away from bullseye shooting to something more realistic. However, I’ve read that the Weaver hold and variations that came out of that do not work reliably for police officers and require a great deal of training. The carefully cultivated technique falls apart under a real threat as opposed to competition stress. I’m much more convinced by the Applegate snap-shooting technique developed by the OSS in WWII which somehow has fallen by the wayside. So, increased realism is always the goal but getting there is not always straightforward.
To whom it may concern,
Does PyramydAir have a trade-in policy or anything like that?
I don’ think Pyramyd Air has a trade-in policy per se. If you bought a gun from them in the past 30 days they have the best return policy of any airgun manufacturer though.
Even if they had a trade-in policy you’d probably only get a wholesale value for the trade-in like in Pawn Stars. Why not sell your used gun for retail then buy what you want? Here’s a good place to sell your used gun for retail:
I can attest to that being a good place for selling or trading your airguns and related items. In the past month and a half I sold one gun outright, also 10 tins of pellets, and traded for three other guns. I also bought a micro bore hose from Joe Broncato.
So rather than take a wholesale “trade in” from pyramid air Buck, Just decide what you gun is worth and what you want to trade for and then post a “wanted to trade” (wtt) on that link. If your gun is worth more than theirs they pay you some cash or vice versa! And watch the other wtt posts. I have made three trades, two even up and one my gun plus some cash because I wanted some extras he had like scope, rings, qd probe and some pellets specific for the gun.
Of the other two trades one was about even value both ways and the other I managed to trade up about $150 – $250 without throwing in any cash as he wanted what I had real bad.
I also explored the trade of an air soft rifle for a Mountain Air custom pistol/carbine but someone offered him an air soft gun worth about $200 more than mine and he took that. Don’t blame him either.
And be patient. Don’t take the first deal if it is not exactly what you want. The guy above who had the MA posted responses to each additional offer with “Keep those trades coming” 3 X before the fellow offered the more expensive gun.
Delivery on my MA custom gun is today according to tracking info I received from the other party.
For now I am going to rest on trading UNLESS I spot a good deal where some one wants what I have and is offering greater value on something I want.
Jump in there Buck with both feet. And don’t be hesitant to offer a trade if it is something you want. My first trade was made with a guy trying to sell a Sumatra 2500 carbine and having no luck. I asked him if he would trade even up for my 16 year old Beeman R9 in excellent condition and much to my surprise he said he would trade guns even up but not the scope, rings etc. So we negotiated a cash price for that and did the deal.
Two months ago I would not have imagined I could trade 3 of my “safe queens” for three guns I very much wanted and never thought I could afford.
So go for it Buck. What are you waiting for?
Pyramyd Air does sometimes offer credit for certain traded guns. It’s best to contact them by phone or email before sending the gun in.
While I was too young to know this rare BB gun, I do remember one particular toy from the 60’s that I thought was really cool. In fact, I wish I still had mine. No one believes me that such a toy existed. But in truth, looking back, there were lots of toys that made you wonder how they got to market. They were just too potentially dangerous.
Ok, the toy had a pistol and a rifle version. It fired a spring loaded plastic bullet. The ammo was a two piece set; a shell, much like an empty .22 caliber round, and a bullet that fired. You snapped the two together. The spring was inside the shell. They didn’t shoot very hard, so they didn’t go far. However, they did shoot hard enough to let you shoot at targets that they provided at close distance (maybe 4 feet away).
Of course, another “toy” that I’m sure everyone remembers was the Whammo Air Blaster. The bazooka was really dangerous, but wish they still sold them. Great way to get your dogs attention without hurting them.
I am very interested in Wham-o (or Wamo) guns. They made three different types of .22 rimfire firearms, and several types of cap-firing BB shooters beside the Kruger.
Today the company has chosen to ignore that part of their history by pretending that it was another, different company that made all those things, but I wrote a feature article for Shotgun News that showed that Spud Melin, one of Wamo’s co-founders, held the patents for most of the guns they made.
They also made crossbows, fencing foils and other interesting “toys.”
Very interesting! So they made real guns? Wow! I didn’t know that. Well, it seems to me that they could have broken into the airgun market, if they wanted to.
Does anyone know why PyramydAir lists the Marauder pistol as discontinued?
Are they actually not going to make and sell them? I’ve been waiting for these to come out for a long time now.
Marauder pistol discontinued? I saw that the delivery date was pushed out (assuming it’s because Crosman isn’t able to meet the previous release date promised) but I don’t see where they’re “Discontinued”:
Do you have a link showing that they’re discontinued?
Pyramyd Air, like Beeman, do not make guns (airsoft or airguns) they merely distribute. Their release dates and shipping dates are predicated on what the manufacturers/shippers tell them. Sometimes the dates they’re told are close sometimes they’re far. Things happen in manufacturing and overseas shipping (especially when customs is involved!!!). I’m doing my best to be patient on when the new Marauder pistol will be in stock since I think it will be a good one at the price point they’ve assigned.
“Discontinued” is an automatic default software-applied term for guns that PA does not have in stock and does not have a delivery date. It’s a term for them, but it does confuse the customer.
Some discontinued guns really are discontinued, but many times the status is different. In the case of the Marauder pistol you can be sure that Pyramyd Air will be selling them when they become generally available to dealers. Right now, Crosman is selling them directly.
Discontinued means the items on that page are no longer available and/or will not be available in the future. If a product is expected to be in stock again and have the same specs shown in the description, then the BUY button will be disabled so you cannot put the product in your cart, but the DISCONTINUED label will not be applied.
Frequently, a product will be in stock, but the replenishment of that product may have different specs or look different. In that case, the original product page is labeled discontinued and a new product page with the new info is created (that’s what happened with the Marauder pistol). This serves two purposes:
1. It prevents people from reordering products that will not have the same specs as the item they ordered last time. This is true of guns, ammo and accessories. For example: Some people repeat orders for pellets. What if the pellet length, weight or shape changed but the name stayed the same and the tin looked no different? Customers wouldn’t know it had changed unless we discontinued the original page, thereby preventing them from reordering. This is also the case for dealers, who reorder products in larger quantities. Getting 10 guns that don’t look or behave like the last batch means Pyramyd Air will have to pay to ship all those guns back to the warehouse.
2. It gives us a chance to see if the new item has issues. Sometimes, a product change isn’t good. If we kept the same product page regardless of the changes in the product, how would we know if they were the older products or the new, improved versions when they’re ret’d due to defects or breakage? We could probably do some research, but it’s much quicker and easier if we just give the item a different product page, which results in a new PY number we can track.
That’s a relief, because I remembered the release date was sometime in November, so when I checked the site and it said “discontinued”, my heart sank a little!
I’d prefer to buy through Pyramyd Air instead of direct from Crosman because I have had a good buying experience with PA in the past. I can wait a little longer, no problem.
I appreciate everyone’s responses.
I can verify the link was in fact there at least a brief time as I saw it also. So I closed my browser, reopened it and went to PA site and did a search for Marauder and got the correct link.
No longer seeing the “discontinued” link so I assume it was just an error they caught quickly!
Thanks for the memories.
S & H green stamps afforded me the rifle that you and I remember. Never knew there was a pistol version. The rifle version was akin to the winchester 94 and you depressed the silver “bullet” into a spring loaded copper/bronze shell that also contained a spring. Don’t have a good enough memory (maybe never knew) to know how it worked but it didn’t last long in my hands after shooting my grandparents favorite oil painting.
Yes, it was a Winchester like rifle. I’m pretty sure that there was a pistol version, but I could have my memories scrambled. The pistol might have been just a cap gun. Cowboys and Indians was a huge theme in the 50’s and 60’s, so there were lots of products centered around that theme. That was over 40 years ago. As a kid, you take things for granted, so you don’t fully appreciate how special some items might be in the grand scheme of things. Toys made of metal are not replaced by cheap plastic replicas, and the level of detail and realism diminished. In many cases, this erased all performance of the original product.
Back then, GI Goe’s came with so many gadgets, including things like mine detectors that really worked on metal, and crystal backpack radios that you could clip on to metal objects and actually pick up a signal. But that was a different time when science was truly valued and respected, in part because of the space race with the Soviet Union. I believe that there was a concerted effort on the part of American manufacturers to expose kids to cool science through toys. Boy do we now live in a different world! Now it’s all about dummying kids down through their parents. Blind, shallow, consumerism is the only goal now. Video games are extremely sophisticated, but I can’t help but believe that they only serve to desensitize (brainwash) kids, more than anything. TV sure goes along way towards brainwashing the masses.
“Great for Social Entertaining”
What kind of party is that?
I have one with all the accessories including a bag of BB’s and the bullseye stamp. Where can I sell it?
There are two free classified ad places for airguns. Most of the people who go there are not collectors, though, so it may take a while.
I tried to sell a different gun made by the same maker at the last airgun show. It was just as complete but not quite as old. I asked $100 and nobody even looked at it. That was in the East, where the recession has hit the hardest, so please know that the economic situation also drives the collector’s market.
Here are the two classified ad sites:
I’ve tried to reply to your response to my inquiry about the Bulls Eye pistol, but each time I’ve sent off my reply (having clicked on the email “reply” option) my reply has been bounced back to me, and I’ve been told that no such email address as yours exists! Can you give me the email to which I ought to write, in the hope that this next time my reply will get through to you? Hope so.
I get hundreds of email each day. This blog has tens of thousands of readers, so I can’t allow them to email me. We will communicate through these comments.
Sorry, but it has to be that way.
I understand perfectly, and was reluctant even to suggest what I did; but the photos that I hoped to show you are someone else’s, on someone else’s site, and I can refer you to them, but cannot myself post them. I’ll see what I can do to get back to you later, with photos of my own. And, by the way, I have in fact determined that the Bulls-Eye pistol of which I spoke DOES have a brass end cap, on which paint remains largely one one side of the pistol, not the other,and not on the rear. The pistol bears (only) the 1924 patent information, but has the sight that is adjustable for windage as well as elevation, so it has elements of the model that was patented in 1926; it thus predates the Bulls-Eye model that you show in your very informative article.
Thanks for being as helpful as you could under the circumstances.
I’m glad you understand. Just give me the address of that other website and I’ll go and take a look. I can’t promise anything, because I don’t know that much about this pistol, beyond what I have written. But I know another collector who might.
You mention paint, and again, I have never seen a Bulls Eye pistol that was painted. All of them I have seen were blued steel.
And the adjustable rear sight sounds intriguing.
Again, Hello, B.B.!
I just bought the gun, at a price I’d be embarrassed to admit. Before I bought it, I asked the seller to send me additional photos of the rear of the gun: these he did send, but I don’t know how to forward them to you on this blog: those photos provide GREAT detail of both sides and rear of the pistol. They suggest that this Bulls-Eye dates to 1925 or 1926, and is a transitional model between the earliest Bulls-Eyes and what became the “standard” Bulls-Eyes. (I have to wonder if the brass end cap was used because the inventor-producer had not yet worked out the details of stamping the end cap in steel, and so used brass. But I lack the expertise to suggest that this was so, and must be content merely to say that the thought does cross my mind.) So the best I can do at the moment is to refer you to the seller’s site, at which you will find seven photos of the gun, box, birds, ammo–but the photos do not show details of the sight, and show only the right side of the pistol, not the left. (On the left, of course, is where the patent date is given, in a single line near the bottom of the grip.) I regret that these photos will reveal less than I’d like to show you, but they’re the best I can do for right now.
The seller’s site is rubylane.com. If you go there and type in Bulls-Eye pistol, two guns will pop up, but you will immediately know which one I’ve been talking about.
Again, my thanks.
I went to Ruby Lane. I have done business with them in the past and they are trustworthy.
That is a beautiful set and I think it’s worth the price. I would have been tempted to buy it myself.
I see the brass piece and it is unique in my experience. But I think it probably belongs to the gun (not a field fix). The cap on my gun is blued steel. I have seen about 50 Bulls Eye pistols and all are like the one in this report. Yours is an early production gun, I believe.
This gun also appears to be blued and I see no evidence of the rear sight being adjustable for elevation. Since the front sight is, I am surprised they would have even needed that feature.
I think you did well. I would love to have you write a guest blog about this, with some really detailed photos of the airgun.
I just examined my Bulls Eye pistol more closely and you are right — it does have an elevation adjustment on the rear sight. I have owned this gun for 15 years and never noticed it before today!
I have a Bulls Eye Sharpshooter pistol for sale.
It’s in ‘EXCELLENT’ condition, has the instruction sheet (trifold), another 1/3 sheet info, another Golden Key Line presents (trifold color), loading rail, bag of rubber bands, 1 tube Standard #6 buckshot for Bull Eye pistols (Tube still has cotton in it, like new) Pistol it self is chrome with imitation pearl handle grips.
I own the Bulls Eye pistol pictured above. Do you know the size of rubber band? I used what I thought was correct size and it was very hard to lock the carrier in the rear position. To the point it left a mark on my thumb and finger.
There is no right size for the rubber band. Use whatever works. I have used several at once — up to 3 at the same time.
I would say though, if the carrier doesn’t lock up easily, you probably have more band than the gun is designed to take.