Home Blog  
Education / Training Something from nothing

Something from nothing

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • CO2Much
  • NASA micrometeroid cannon
  • High hopes
  • The need for speed
  • The tachyon solution
  • For the record

Airgunners are fascinated by what is possible from the propulsion of just air. One thing that gets lots of discussion on my social networks is how, in big bore airguns, the heavier the bullet, the greater the power of the gun.


I saw something similar almost 20 years ago, when Robert and Mike Chilco invented CO2Much — a CO2 smoothbore that shot a 7-ounce lead slug fast enough to generate 1,082 foot-pounds at the muzzle. That was what they were after — the power record. As far as I know, they achieved it.

NASA micrometeroid cannon

Then, there was NASA’s pneumatic cannon that used a barrel 98 feet long to propel a tiny projectile up to 10,000 f.p.s. They were studying the effects of micrometeoroids on spacecraft material for the moon mission. They knew that a longer barrel meant higher velocity in a pneumatic gun.

What happens when two guys in a garage decide they want to do both things? They want the velocity record and the muzzle energy record too.

High hopes

Their first attempt was to launch a 128-lb. engine block off a 419-foot communications tower using an air booster. They shot the block straight down to the earth, where it left a 3-foot deep crater. It passed their makeshift optical “chronograph” — a high-speed video camera — 10 feet above the ground — at a calculated 211 f.p.s., for an estimated impact energy of 89,291.18 foot-pounds. That put the energy record in the bag.

The need for speed

Next, they went for the velocity record. For this, they cheated. To understand how, you have to know something about these two young men. They are Dr. Harley Werthit of MIT and Dr. Angelo F. Alls from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They are on a team of scientists working on NASA’s Tachyon Communications Project (TCP). Tachyons are theoretical particles that travel faster than the speed of light, and the project is tasked with proving their existence. When that can be done, they hope to use tachyons to communicate.

But these 2 men also knew that if they could accelerate a particle beyond the speed of light they would capture the velocity record for all time. There is just one problem. Particles that go faster than light leave no trace of themselves. They “wink out” into another dimension. These men needed to prove they had done it. That left them with a dilemma. If they were successful, there could be no proof. If there was proof, they had not succeeded.

The tachyon solution

What they had to do to generate their proof was accelerate a target to a faster-than-light speed, hit it with their projectile and then slow it to sub-light again for evaluation. It took an estimated 3 years of both men working on the system to accomplish this, and in the end they named it the Accelerated Particle Reverse Isotropic Laminar Forensic Optical and Orthotic — Light Speed.

The first time they tested, it they got a result! A hole was found in the target at precisely the point at which they intended aiming the particle. The problem is that once the results were in, the funding for the program was cut and the particle accelerator hasn’t been completed, yet. So, they haven’t actually shot the particle yet.

The results of this test have given rise to some questions of relativity among the scientific and philosophical communities. A target has been hit, but the projectile that will hit it hasn’t been fired, yet.

These results have thrown the entire NASA Tachyon Communications Project into a tailspin. Congress is wondering why they should fund a communications project that delivers a message before it is sent. As one senator from Iowa said recently, “If I want to know what someone will say before they say it, I’ll ask my wife!”

For the record

To accommodate this specialized branch of science, the Guinness Book of World Records has created the Relativity Awards. A person or team can qualify for an award if they intend breaking a certain record in a parallel hypervelocity dimension and can offer proof that they’ve already done so.

It’s rumored that the U.S. Treasury is also looking into this matter with great interest, as a means of funding future government projects.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

56 thoughts on “Something from nothing”

  1. B.B.,

    Small world.

    Not sure I ever told you but Dr. Harley Worthit was my mentor when I started in business.

    A true genius that fully prepared me for my success in my vocation and I’m especially thankful for his contribution this time of year. Tax time. Without him as a mentor my checks to the US Treasury would be much larger.


  2. I’m thinking that this is a spoof ! ! !

    Have you asked Einstein about this?

    Anyway, I have wanted to the first post on this blog and now I’ve done it tomorrow ( I live in Texas ).

  3. At least today is on time unlike the your dime.

    I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. — Joseph “Yellow Kid” Weil

  4. I’ve heard that some manufacturers will be producing PCP’s that rival the muzzle energies of firearms and that others will target the youth market with a plethora of firearm replicas indistinguishable from combat handguns
    April fool!
    Though I guess that was pretty obvious as those courses of action would, plainly, eventually cause legislation that will adversely affect all of airgunning.

  5. Hey… I was dropping engine blocks from water towers a long time ago!

    These jerks stole my research!

    That’s it! Imma go back to Prof. Arter and ask why he is being such a stinker about all this!

  6. Excellent article, full of many innovative concepts, B.B.

    I’ve proposed that we install a 419-foot communications tower on the DIFTA airgun range as soon as possible.


  7. B.B.
    What a great idea. I think you stole this one from Gamo.
    Imagine, going on a deer hunting trip and as soon as you arrive at your favorite spot the deer is already dead ( one tiny Tachyon hole right between the eyes ) LOL!
    Another great April fools blog.


  8. BB:

    I just got today’s 2020 blog off my DIRAC receiver. Great blog. I especially liked the one on pumpkins. And you are very correct – 20/20 hindsight is always the best.


    Great report on Crosman’s new 10,000 PSI Sheridan StrEEEEaker but are you sure those depleted uranium pellets are safe?


  9. Thank you for the extra reading and food for thought to help me make it through the weekend!
    I thought I was gonna start physical therapy yesterday but when the tech saw my blood pressure was in the190/110 range he just made sure I stayed down,I had to take one of my lisiblood pressure meds and stay down when I got home to get it down to159/101 4 hrs later.

  10. This is no joke. How many of you remember a Grumman test pilot shooting down his own fighter aircraft? This occurred on 09/21/56! Interesting. In a nutshell, the pilot fired two long bursts from four 20mm cannon, flew below the trajectory of them, and the aircraft itself intercepted three his own rounds, which disabled the plane.

    • At the speeds modern fighter aircraft are capable of achieving in even shallow dives,, why would anyone find this unusual? The case you mention is not the only one to have happened. It was common enough for fighter training to include methods to avoid it’s happening.

      • That particular aircraft would be very low performance by today’s standards and I believe that one could find it unusual for the time due to the fact that it happened over 59 and a half years ago.

          • It is quite possible that since it was a Grumman test pilot, that they were ironing out the bugs in the gun mounts. The cannon used was the Colt MK 12. Supposedly, the initial four second burst caused the nose of the aircraft to pitch down into a steeper dive angle (needed more barrel droop), then the pilot fired the rest of his remaining ammo. Another account said that rounds were cooking off when the aircraft caught fire after crashing. Which account is correct, who knows?

    • There was another self-shootdown of sorts, a McDonnel F4 I think, where they mounted a mini-(Gatling) gun under the nose, and during flight testing, it injested spent shell casings into one engine, destroying it. The solution was to mount the gun farther back so the brass would not go into the engine intakes.

      • Was it the .30 caliber mini- gun or the 20mm Vulcan cannon? Regardless, as I am sure that you well know, jet turbines and foreign objects injested into them do not get along well.

  11. Very good article.

    BTW, something exciting has happened in Germany!

    Some of you Americans have mentioned a problem with feral soda cans around your houses that you had to take care of with your air rifles.

    In Germany, the situation is reversed! The common coke can (kylindrus aluminius) has become an endangered species! In a misguided attempt to combat littering and pollution, the government has decided that people have to pay a deposit of € 0.25 on disposable bottles and cans that they get back when they return them to the store (in one piece, that is).

    Of course, in the natural food chain, tin cans are the prey of the domestic airgunner (ballisticus pneumatis). Now, shooters (except for a few very wealthy ones) have been forced to use other targets. Some have even gone so far as to shoot pieces of paper with rings painted on them, if you can believe that!

    But there is hope! The government has finally noticed that their policy has put young German shooters at a disadvantage compared to their colleagues from other countries.

    Thus, you can now get a license for legal tin can shooting that allows you to buy one-way beverage containers without a deposit.

    All you need to do is:

    -Join a shooting range
    -Get an airgun license (theoretical and practical exams including demonstration of shooting skills and recitation of “William Tell”)
    -Show proof that you own an airgun with sufficient accuracy and muzzle energy to kill soda cans humanely
    -Regularly send in a receipts for the metal scraps you dispose of at the recycling depot and for your purchases of hunting pellets
    -Buy a safe locker for your unopened cans to make sure they are not abused by non-authorized drinkers

    Of course, due to the anticipated rise of the number of shots fired, there will be a pollution tax on lead pellets (€ 0.05 per pellet). Since shooters can use plastic or lead-free pellets, this will not be a problem.

    Also, due to the discovery of “dieseling”, airguns need to be fitted with catalytic converters and have to pass an emission test every two years. The costs for this should not exceed those of an automobile emission test by much.

    Folks, I think this is a great day for the shooting sports!

    • CptKlotz,

      Here in my part of the States “the feral can control authorities” regularly descend on the area and round all the feral cans from the dens provided by the neighbors. This can relocation program take place twice a month and we are charged a yearly fee. This does not work that well as many poor cans are abandoned on the road side or crushed under the wheels of passing cars.


  12. B.B.

    You should expect a letter from Tim Cook of Apple, it seems you may have violated some future non disclosure agreement you have not signed but will. The iphone 7 will incorporate “Accelerated Particle Reverse Isotropic Laminar Forensic Optical and Orthotic — Light Speed” devices to remove all calls ever made on Windows and Android phones from this time line. Now Google and Microsoft will have at least a year to work on their countering Apple 🙂


  13. Hi B.B.
    You won’t believe this Sir but I fell for this again! You see I get on your blog daily with great anticipation & read it like a prayer. I was foxed as I knew about the NASA research to gauge the effect of high speed particles on spacecraft, but not the specific details. It was only towards the end that it hit me! You are a Master Story Teller. I feel like a complete fool! Damn! But I’m laughing now!


  14. Got me! 🙂

    Haven’t tried the engine block thing (yet) but a garbage pail full of water chucked off of a tall building sure makes a splash.

    Yup, you had me going there for a couple of minutes. LOL!!

    In my defense, I have worked with engineers for 40 years and I am no longer surprised as to what the will think of and actually try. For example, google “Lighting a charcoal grill with liquid oxygen” and check out the videos instructions on how to turn a BBQ into metal slag in 10 seconds.

    Thanks BB!!!

    • The Chinese just got their hands on a prototype from Germany and are reverse engineering a version that will sell for $99.99. Should be on sale at “Wally World” for the 2015 holiday season. ;^)


  15. Just had to stop in and see what BB came up with for the April 1st blog for today.

    Nice. And I like the Pyramyd AIR email add with free small game with a air gun purchase.

    Now I know why there hasn’t been any around my house the last couple of weeks.Pyramyd AIR must of been going across the country trapping them so they would have enough to give to the first 1000 people that ordered.

  16. I just couldn’t leave your website before suggesting that I extremely
    loved the usual information an individual provide to your visitors?
    Is gonna be back frequently in order to check out new posts

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    TEST Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    We have a team of expert technicians and a complete repair shop that are able to service a large variety of brands/models of airguns. Additionally, we are a factory-authorized repair/warranty station for popular brands such as Air Arms, Air Venturi, Crosman, Diana, Seneca, and Weihrauch airguns.

    Our experts also offer exclusive 10-for-$10 Test and 20-for-$20 Service, which evaluates your air gun prior to leaving our warehouse. You'll be able to add these services as you place your order.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

TEST Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.