2013 Roanoke airgun show: Part 1

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

Every airgun show has a personality, and this year’s Roanoke show was no different. It started slow. Dealers were slow to set up — enjoying talking with each other rather than getting everything ready for the doors to open to the public. That’s because we got there at 8 a.m., and the doors weren’t opened until noon. So, we knew we had time to converse and to see what everyone had on their tables.

I was seated behind Mike Reames’ table. Mike is the man who made the swages I reviewed for you a while back. He always has interesting things on his table, and I took some photos for you to see. read more

Scope basics: Part 2

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

Part 1

Parallax is an optical term describing how the point of view affects what the viewer sees. The driver of a car may see his speedometer needle at 60 m.p.h, while a passenger to his right may see it hovering just above 57 m.p.h. In the UK, the passenger is on the driver’s left and the speedo needle will appear to be over the 63 mp.h. mark. The needle hasn’t moved in either case, but the observer’s viewpoint has moved.

And so it is with a scope. You look through it and see the crosshairs exactly in the center of the bullseye; but if you move your head on the stock, the crosshairs will also appear to move slightly. So, where you hold your head relative to the scope determines where the scope appears to be “looking.” read more

Scope basics: Part 1

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

This article was originally written for the upcoming Pyramyd Air catalog. But there were so many new rifles and pistols that we didn’t have room for this. I felt it was important enough to get it out, so I’m publishing it on the blog.

You’d like to have a scope; but when you check into the subject, it gets very confusing, very fast. In this 2-part blog, we’ll explore the basics of scopes.

A telescopic sight, or scope, is a type of sight that magnifies the target, usually making aiming easier. It may have a fixed amount of magnification or the magnification may vary within a range, allowing the shooter to select what he wants. read more

TX200 Mark III: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

TX 200 Mark III
B.B.’s TX200 Mark III

As you read this, I’m driving to the Roanoke airgun show. This is just a reminder that I’d like you veteran readers to help answer the questions we get from the new readers while I’m away from my desk. I’ll read the comments a couple times each day and answer those I need to, but I don’t have as much time when I’m on the road. Thanks!

Today, I’ll mount a scope on the TX200 Mark III and sight it in. This is normally accuracy day, but I’m slowing down this report so I can explain several things that are usually glossed over — such as mounting a scope and sighting-in. read more

Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel rifle: Part 1

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

I’m going to the Roanoke airgun show this week. I’ll be on the road starting Wednesday morning, and I’m asking you veteran readers to help the new readers with their questions, as I’ll have less time on the road to devote to the blog. My wife, Edith, will more closely monitor the blog comments and jump in whenever she can.

I’ve also selected a special gun to report this week — the Diana model 23. I did all the photography and testing before leaving, so I’ll be able to write the report while I’m on the road.

The model 23 is the largest youth rifle Diana made after the war, but that’s still very small. When you see one in person, it isn’t very impressive; but when you examine it in detail the way I have, you begin to appreciate all that Diana put into this gun. The size may not be there, but the quality certainly is. read more

And now for something completely different…

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

Early Sunday afternoon, my wife, Edith, and I were enjoying lunch at On The Border, a Tex-Mex restaurant, and we marveled at the number of comments on last Friday’s blog…but not about airguns. Mostly comments about cars. Vintage cars, in fact. Edith is a gear head, and so is her brother, Bob. She volunteered to write today’s blog and give you a peek into her life.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

by Edith Gaylord

When I was about 12 years old, I built my first model car. I’m not sure which car it was, but I envision the shape as being an Edsel. Not one of the sportier models, but I added flame decals on the sides and hood. I didn’t spend a lot of time building model cars, as I was also interested in girlie pastimes. read more

Why do airgunners need high-magnification scopes ?

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

Today’s report is for blog reader J-F, who asked this exact question: “Why do airgunners need high-magnification scopes?” And let’s define high magnification as anything over 12x. That’s arbitrary, of course. It’ll be arbitrary no matter where you set the limit. I set it there because that’s 3 times the power that the average deer hunter’s scope had in the 1950s.

But airgunners delight in 24x, 32x, 40x and even 60x scopes. I know because I’m one who does. But I also know why I want this level of magnification and what purpose it will serve.

Braggin’ rights
One reason for high-magnification scopes is pure bragging rights. Like the pilot who has to have the largest, most complicated watch, the biggest scope gets the most attention — at least in the minds of the guys who think that way. And I know for a fact that some people do think that way; I’ll tell you how I know in a moment. read more