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Education / Training B.B.’s Christmas gift suggestions for 2012: Part 2

B.B.’s Christmas gift suggestions for 2012: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Okay, today I want to try to finish my 2012 gift list.

Pneumatic air rifles
I have to list the Benjamin 392 and 397 rifles. Even though the price is rising steadily on them, they both still represent some of the best values in the airgun market. I’m specifically not recommending the Blue Streak because it’s now the virtual twin of the other two rifles, and I feel that its .20 caliber limits the availability of premium pellets too much.

Benjamin 392 multi-pump pneumatic air rifle
Benjamin 392 and 397 multi-pump pneumatics

The M4-177 is another great multi-pump gun. It’s not as powerful as the first two, but it’s even more accurate at short ranges. If you want a cheap target rifle, this could be the one!

Crosman M4-177 multi-pump pneumatic air rifle
Crosman M4-177 multi-pump pneumatic

What about CO2?
Don’t I have any CO2 recommendations? Well, I have just one, and it’s not cheap. The Walther Lever Action Rifle is a copy of the Winchester 1894 lever action that the world knows so well. It’s an 8-shot repeater that can take a scope, if you need one, but in my opinion deserves to be used as it comes — with open sights! This rifle is slick to operate and deadly accurate at close range (to 25 yards). It isn’t a hunting airgun; but for shooting targets or just plinking, there aren’t many better — especially repeaters.

Walther Lever Action Rifle
Walther Lever Action rifle

Beeman P17 single-stroke pneumatic air pistol
Beeman P17 single-stroke pneumatic air pistol

Pistols, too
Let’s look at some pistols for a moment. I must include the Beeman P17 single-stroke pneumatic on this list because it delivers several hundred dollars of value in a $40 package. Yes, it’s made in China, but it’s so close to the Weihrauch HW40 PCA that costs $200 more (sold by Pyramyd AIR as the Beeman P3) that Weihrauch repairs them in Europe under their warranty. Hans Weihrauch, Jr. told me he has to stand behind the gun because everyone thinks of it as something he makes! How’s that for copying?

IZH 46M single-stroke pneumatic target pistol
IZH 46M single stroke pneumatic target pistol

Another air pistol that made my list is the IZH 46M single-stroke pneumatic target pistol. It’s accurate, powerful and easy to pump. It’s on the heavy side, so some shooters may not be able to hold it in one hand. Besides that, there’s a lot going for this air pistol. It has one of the nicest triggers you’ll every find — short of a real world-class target air pistol.

Beeman P1 spring pistol
Beeman P1 spring pistol

The Beeman P1 spring pistol has so much going for it that it deserves to be on my list. It’s accurate, powerful and has a wonderfully adjustable trigger. Although it comes in three calibers (.177, .20 and .22), I can only recommend the .177 because I think it’s perfect for the power level of the pistol.

Other stuff


How about some stuff that isn’t an airgun? It’s stuff you also need.

Let’s start with Ballistol. This stuff is so useful that I’m planning to do a whole blog about it. Removing rust is just one of its handy tricks. I have so many uses for Ballistol these days that I don’t know what life would be like without it. My friend Mac had his house on Maryland’s Eastern Shore flood a couple months ago, and water got into all three of his gun safes through the holes in the bottom of the safes that are used for anchor bolts. All of his firearms and airguns sat in several inches of water for a straight week, yet there wasn’t one sign of water damage on any stock, nor was there any rust on any gun! How’s that for a Ballistol testimonial?

Crosman Pellgunoil
Crosman Pellgunoil

The most popular cleaning and maintenance product at Pyramyd AIR is Crosman Pellgunoil. Readers of this blog have witnessed hundreds of old guns rescued by its application over the years. At least you have if you get all the comments sent to you. This stuff is magical! I fixed the neighbor kid’s Daisy 880 a week ago with it! If you shoot CO2 or multi-pump pneumatic guns, you need this stuff!

JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound
JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound

Another cleaning product that almost every airgunner will eventually need is a jar of J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. Only those who shoot guns with brass barrels don’t need this product to clean their bores. You know that I use it on new guns to simulate a long break-in, and it does work for that. I also use it to scrape copper fouling from the bores of my centerfire rifles. Benchrest shooters use the stuff, so it’s got to be pretty good!

Dewey 177-caliber 26" coated cleaning rod
.177-caliber Dewey 26" coated cleaning rod

I won’t put brass bore brushes on my list, but they’re wonderful if you need them. But I will put what they go on — a .177-caliber Dewey 26″ coated cleaning rod. I used to buy el-cheapo rods that were made in sections. They were aluminum, so of course they bent and their threads stripped with use. Then, one day at AirForce Airguns, while I was cleaning a couple hundred Lothar Walther barrels that had just returned from the bluer, I suddenly realized that the rod I was using — a Dewey — had cleaned a good many thousand airgun barrels by my hand, and who knows how many before me? And, although it was slightly bent and showed some age, this rod was still going strong. My aluminum rods would have given up many times doing the same work. That was the day I became a believer in the Dewey solid cleaning rod. I linked to the .177/.20 caliber rod, but you also need one for your .22 and .25-caliber guns. Like pellet traps and chronographs, this is a bullet you bite if you’re a shooter.

ATK Weaver Gunsmith 36-piece Tool Kit
ATK Weaver Gunsmith 36-piece tool kit

One more thing I won’t do without is my ATK Weaver Gunsmith 36-piece Tool Kit. I actually have six or seven similar kits because the smaller blades do break with use. But when you need that perfect screwdriver to fit a screw on a very expensive gun, nothing else will do.

Well, that’s my list for this year. I hope this has been of some use to you, because it’s one of the most tedious reports to write and create. These are all things that I would recommend to you personally if you asked. I’ve used and/or tested everything on this list, and I believe they’ll satisfy you exactly as advertised.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

44 thoughts on “B.B.’s Christmas gift suggestions for 2012: Part 2”

  1. If that Walther rifle wasn’t so darn expensive… the detunes models are even more expensive here.

    What about the Browning Buck Mark? I wanted to put it on my list this year. I already have the P17 and P1.


  2. Tom,

    Always like your Christmas gift suggestion lists. Just wish the people that I forwarded them to would read them. Sure am tired of socks and ties.

    Dewey rods are all I’ve used and am a strong believer in their coated rods. Did you know that with the Dewey 17A screw on adapter you can convert the .177 Dewey rod to accept 8/32 female accessories? This means that an airgunner with .177 cal, .20 cal, .22 cal, .25 cal…..up to .50 caliber only needs one Dewey cleaning rod. These adapters only cost $3.25 which is a bargain compared to buying multiple Dewey cleaning rods. PA should consider carrying these:



  3. Weihrauch will repair P17’s under warranty?
    Even the ones Joe Schmoe picks up at Walmart?
    I returned my defective P17 to PA so I don’t remember how the warranty card read, if there was one at all. I liked it so well I bought the P3, which now has over 2k rounds on it, (The 17 failed at round 184) and the trigger STILL amazes me everytime I pick it up.
    If only my firearm triggers were so good…..
    I’m curious how it compares to the much-lauded Rekord trigger?

      • BB: Off-topic, but the other day you asked what else I shoot in my .303 . I use cast bullets . The bullet mould I have/ use is the Lee #90371. Mine is an older 1 -cavity mould . I think that they are double -cavity now. One caution though. slug your bore . The SMLE mk #3 I used at one time, had a dia of .316 and everything but jacketed keyholed. A Mk #5 cabine my old man had, slugged at .309 and even shot those Loverin style bullets I sent you for your DAQ well. This Aussy one I’ve got now shoots well, compared to those long gone relics. The Lee is a 185 gr round nosed gas-checked design. Supposed to throw a .313 dia bullet. Use a .313-.314 sizer. Just enough to seat the gas check and lube the bullet, or don’t size, and tap on the gas-check.Don’t (!!!) omit the gas check. Would have replied the other day but it’s time to hunt the wily woods goats here, and I’ve got two more tags to fill. Between processing the last deer and all ,I haven’t had time to read the blog like regular.

        • Robert,

          Since we last talked I acquired a double-cavity mold for that Lovern bullet. So I am self-sufficient now.

          I had no idea that SMLE bore had that much variation! I’ve shot cast bullets in them just once and I can’t remember how they did, so they were not that good. I’ll slug my bore and see what I have.

          Thanks for this info.


          • BB: Forgot to post the load and powder I use. For that Loverin style Lyman #311466 ,150gr bullet you got now, I used Unique powder : 11.0 grs. Also have used that same bullet in my 7.65 Argentine Mauser , and Russian 7.62R with 12.0grs of Unique. Bullet sized to .313 dia with the gas check on. About 1600fps velocity with the Hercules Unique. Use 2400 for a faster and more accurate load: 23.0 -25.0grs, in the Russian Mosin(1900+ fps). Only thing bad about the Lyman 311466 is that some of the grease grooves on that bullet are exposed when loaded out in those cartridges. Otherwise that bullet will stand some velocity without skidding down the bore like some others want to. All those rifles have around a 1-10″ twist barrel. l Iike the Lee bullet if I’m carrying them in my pocket.

  4. What a fine list of Christmas gifts ! Both stocking stuffers, hanging over the fireplace, or neatly tucked under the tree. But, where is the Daisy Red Ryder ? One year Wal-Mart had the boxes stacked all over the store at $25.00 each. Maybe consider the GAMO Recon also for the kids. Low cocking effort and…..well, we can go on forever.
    Pete in California

  5. For those considering the AA T/S 200 but are torn between the 10m t200 and the hotter S200…
    I had my T200 up to 822 f.p.s this morning with Exact RS. Just a turn of a screw.
    It DOES get louder when you do that.


    • The T200 seems to be the better deal since you get target sights and a gauge on the tank, all for $75. less. I’ve got my S200 turned up to 800fps with 8.44 gr. JSB Exacts for field target with a Weaver Kasba tactical scope. I believe I will try to turn up the power a bit more to get about 14ft.lb. Because you are restricted to 12 power scope in hunter class, and you need all the fps you can get for easier rangefinding. Like it is now I’m getting about 30 good shots.

  6. P17 is already on my list. I can already hit the side of a barn with a pistol.

    Ballistol and PellgunOil: I won’t rise to the bait :).

    I agree with Pete about the Red Ryder, although it probably doesn’t need marketing at Xmas. Like it or not (and I do like it), many kids love it and it teaches gun safety (if you leave the stupid safety off !) and open sights — not to mention awareness of ricochets — about as well as anything. The little Model 10 Carbine looks good for kids of smaller build, also.

          • Tom

            Your lists are fairly comprehensive as is, and I was going to hold my tongue, but since you asked….

            My first suggestion is a rifle case. If you scored the beautiful Air Arms TX200 for Christmas, you don’t want to store it leaned up in a corner for the dog to knock over. A favorite case of mine is the Plano double scoped rifle case. I have three of them. Even if you don’t use scopes, it is good to have room for pellets and other accessories.

            I have not had any problems with rust, but I also like to store my guns in a gun sock before putting them in the case. I turn them inside out and spray them lightly with Ballistol or silicone oil. Then put the sock on the gun turning it right side out as you go. Rust is something you will no longer have to think about.

            As far as guns are concerned, I would have to suggest the AA S200 which is made by CZ and sold elsewhere as the CZ 200S. It is light, compact, and can easily be converted into a slick repeater with a kit from PA. These are excellent PCPs.

            I would be remiss if I did not also mention the Crosman 1377 or 1322, same gun, but in .177 or .22 caliber. It is a fantastic inexpensive multi pump. Check Paul Capello’s review and look at his groups.

            Also Christmas would not be complete without the 650 shot, lever action, Daisy Red Ryder carbine. It is a must if you don’t already own one. It is the perfect short range soda can plinker.

            Lastly and possibly most importantly, if you buy someone an airgun, make sure you supply some ammo for them to shoot with it. What could be worse than getting a new gun and not have anything to shoot out of it? It gives me an ulcer just thinking about it. Crosman premiers in the brown box and JSB pellets (in the correct caliber) are a safe bet.

            Merry Christmas to all my airgun friends.

            • SL,

              I’ve got to try your excellent-sounding suggestion about rolling an inside-out gun sock onto a rifle. Even though I have the biggest Bore Stores available, it’s a real tight fit over my Marauder with its overgrown scope. I’m always popping lens covers off as I wrestle the sock on.

              Great hearing from you!


  7. I second (tenth, whatever…) the P17! I guess I got lucky with mine because all I’ve ever done to it is lube it and haven’t had a failure in over a thousand or 2 shots. Great gun and a great value! Nice trigger and decent accuracy for 10 yd practice. The only thing I can gripe about is the barrel is on the loose side. Slightly small diameter pellets will fall out when cocking the pistol. But for the $, it’s not a problem since those are few and far between. Out shots most everything else acceptably.


  8. Tom,
    Another list I can’t argue with. You did a fine job with this one, also. I am familiar with all these items with the exception of the Beeman pistols. I do have the IZH-46M and to address the heaviness of it, I would say I don’t have enough experience to judge that. I will say that I am a shorter of stature person at 160 lbs and am currently shooting one inch 10 shot groups with it at 10m with only a couple fliers that open it up to 2″. (Ok, OK, I’m shooting 2″ 10 shot groups. Now leave me alone.)

  9. For a possible part 3 of Holiday Gift ideas:

    1-Targets-I read about far too many airgunners that won’t buy themselves heavy stock targets. They print out their favorite target on typewriter paper and it tears. They proudly post pictures of their groups and it looks like two cats with claws fought on a piece of cheap paper. Buy your airgunning friend good NRA targets that cut clean holes. I also like the shoot-n-c pasters because they’re reactive and add some spice to my shooting

    2-Flashlights-Pyramyd AIR has assembled a wide variety of great flashlights. I really like the walther flashlights that Tom & Edith endorsed years ago. These little gems stay plugged into our cars cigarette lighters and are always charged in case of an emergency.


  10. That’s kind of a pickle when you’re repairing cheaper copycats of your product and presumably helping the competition. Wow. Incredible story about Ballistol. My one concern is that the stuff is so light that I had supposed that it evaporated quickly. It obviously has some staying power in Mac’s case. That raises a question I’ve wondered about. When the goal is to remove oil, like for gunsmiths cleaning guns, how is that done? Is it just wiped off? Do they use a degreaser? I bought my jar of JB paste but have never had a reason to use it in tens of thousands of shots.

    BG_Farmer, thanks for the anatomical description. I see now that muscles move as the arm is raised and that the pectoral does come into position to make a pocket with the deltoid just as you described. Victor, yes, my rear arm has gone from low to high, so who knows where it might end up? Caveman, I guess we’ll give you a +3 for the Challenger. Wow.


    • Matt,

      I am familiar with degreasing guns, but never as a part of cleaning them. I want to leave a film of oil on all the metal parts when I’m done. All my guns get rubbed down with Ballistol as they are put away. There are a lot more uses for it, but that will be in my report.

      If I want to get oil out of a barrel before shooting a gun, I just use a dry patch. If I really wanted all the oil gone, I could soak the patch in denatured alcohol that I keep around for cleaning spring gun chambers.

      I guess the answer to your question is yes — when you remove oil from a gun you simply wipe it off and nothing more. That leaves a thin coat on the metal.


  11. BB, since New Unique Powder is a bit hotter than the old version, I would probably cut the 30-30 load back from 10.2 to 9.2 grains for a first try then go up as needed.


  12. What?!!! No mention of the Marauder? How could this have been left out! I have a feeling Tom’s future blog about stuff NOT mentioned will be AT LEAST three times longer than the ones he did mention.

  13. Well, this grandfather is looking at the RAR for Christmas for his self…A real winner, everyone is very excited, talked my Alaska pal into one. The RAR is, as you know, the Ruger American Rifle. He is buying the 30-06 and I’m going for the Win.243 for here in California. Yes, Red Ryder and the Crosman 1077 tops my list for first timers. I have both, bought a metal Lever from Daisy for less than $7.00 including shipping. To install, fully cock, leave the lever fully extended and exchange.

  14. I had a gamo silent cat for a while, decent gun until I started pushing pba and lightweight ammo through it. For the price it was nice. More than capable of dropping a black bird at 100m+ once it was sighted in. I don’t like break barrels though so if I was to buy another one it would be the cfx fixed barrel.

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