How to measure group size

by B.B. Pelletier

I’ve covered this material before, but it was long ago, and we’ve grown in readership lately. New shooters read about group sizes and assume there’s an accurate and foolproof way of measuring them. That’s simply not the case. The great barrel maker Harry Pope once spent half an hour with a magnifying glass and a caliper to measure the size of a group; and in the end, he revised its published size by about 1/64 of an inch! So, if a world-class marksman (he held several world records) and barrel maker has trouble doing it, what hope is there for the rest of us? I’ll address that question at the end of this report. read more


New-old-stock TS-45 air rifles!: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


This TS-45 rifle is probably at least 30 years old, yet also brand new.

At every airgun show there’s always one or two special things that show up. At the 2012 Arkansas show this year, one of those things was a pile of new-old-stock Chinese TS-45 sidelever air rifles. Randy Mitchell had found a pallet of these vintage guns and was selling them for $20! Now, I’m as cheap as any airgunner, but a twenty-dollar spring rifle in new condition is more than even my frugal nature can ignore.

Yes, we’ve already looked at the TS-45 in this blog. Most recently, Vince gave us a look at two slightly different variations of that model — one of which was a rifle I bought at the Little Rock airgun expo many years ago from the late Paul Landrith, a well-known airgun repairman from Arlington, Texas. It was about 15 years ago, and Paul had several TS-45s on his table. read more


Quackenbush .308: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Tyrone Nerdin’ Daye is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card. Congratulations!

Tyrone Nerdin’ Day says this about his winning photo: Me and my IZH-DROZD MP-661k Blackbird with Wild Mod Chip, Walther PS 22 red dot sight, quad rails and a UTG Tactical Op bipod. Black SWAT vest with the Walther CP99 Compact, police belt with Winchester Model 11.

Part 1
Part 2


Quackenbush .308 big bore is an attractive air rifle.

It’s been a long time since Part 2 because I was searching for a better bullet for this rifle. Oh, the groups shown in Part 2 aren’t that bad; but when you see what I have to show today, you’ll be glad I stuck with it. read more


AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 6

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


AirForce Talon SS is a whole shooting system.

This is a continuation of our in-depth look at the AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle. Today, I’m going to begin examining the optional air tank with the Micro-Meter valve. The rifle I’m testing today has the optional .22-caliber 24-inch barrel installed. I would not normally put this long barrel together with the Micro-Meter tank — because this is a pneumatic rifle, and a long barrel will give higher velocity than a shorter one. When I use the Micro-Meter valve, I don’t want high velocity. But since a detailed test like this has never been published (to my knowledge), I’m doing it here and now. After this test, I’ll install the 12-inch barrel that comes standard on the SS and rerun the test with that, since that’s what most owners will probably be doing. read more


Power and pellet weights

by B.B. Pelletier

This report is another response to a viewer of our Airgun Academy videos. In episode 22, we say the following at 3 minutes, 20 seconds into the video, “When using real hunting pellets, you have to realize that the velocity and, therefore, the power is going to be significantly less [than the light pellets the rifle is advertised to shoot fastest].” A viewer took issue with that statement, so today I’d like to explore how airguns handle pellets of different weights.

There are three different types of airgun powerplants: pneumatics that store air under pressure and release it with the shot. This compressed air pushes the pellet and gives it it’s power. The pneumatic powerplant pushes the greatest volume of compressed air behind the pellet and, depending on design considerations, is potentially the most powerful type of airgun powerplant. read more


El Gamo 68/68-XP – A futuristic airgun from the past: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


El Gamo 68 is a futuristic breakbarrel from the past.

As I said in Part 2, Mac and I simply couldn’t resist shooting the El Gamo 68 that I got from reader David Enoch at the Arkansas airgun show this year. And from the numerous reader responses, I see that we’re not alone in our admiration of this futuristic-looking breakbarrel from the past. Many owners have .22-caliber guns, which really surprises me, because I thought most European manufacturers, and especially El Gamo, produced mainly .177 airguns in the 1960s and ’70s, when this was new.

Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to locate a trigger shoe for the rifle. I probably got rid of one when I sold or traded a Webley Tempest years ago, though now I wish I still had it. If anyone sees an old Beeman trigger shoe for sale anywhere, please let me know, because this rifle really needs one. read more


Can a fixed-barrel airgun have barrel droop?

by B.B. Pelletier

This report is in response to a comment Pyramyd Air got from a customer who doubts that fixed-barrel airguns can ever droop. His position is that they can only have droop if the barrel is heated in some way (as on a firearm that fires very fast) or if the gun is assembled in a shoddy fashion.

He said he believed barrel droop is only commonly found on breakbarrel airguns, which is why he said he would never own one. He thought that droop was mostly caused by the metallurgy of the barrel.

Today, I’d like to address the subject of barrel droop in detail. It can be caused by many things, but poor metallurgy isn’t one of them. Barrels do not bend from cocking, despite what some people may think. It is true that a barrel can be bent by human force, but the force required to do so is much greater than the heaviest cocking effort on the most powerful magnum airgun. So, poor metallurgy is not a contributor to barrel droop. read more