Gen 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder air rifle Gen 2Second-generation Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Introduction
  • RAI modular stock
  • Leapers parts
  • New Leapers scope
  • Past Marauder reports
  • Why this project?
  • Adjustments
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • The basics


This is the beginning of a very long test series. I’ve just purchased a second-generation Benjamin Marauder in .25 caliber for several reasons. First, I have read in so many places that the .25-caliber second-generation rifle is extremely accurate. It has a Green Mountain barrel that many people say is the bomb. I have tested the first-generation Marauder in .25 caliber and found it to be a very nice PCP that will reliably produce one-inch 10-shot groups at 50 yards. While that’s good, it’s not exactly what I would call the bomb, so I want to see if there’s a difference with this second-generation gun. read more

Walther Terrus air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Walther Terrus
Walther’s Terrus rifle with synthetic stock.

This report covers:

  • Open sight test
  • Different artillery hold
  • Cleaned the barrel
  • Mounted the scope
  • First shot — lost my aim point!
  • Crosman Premier pellets
  • RWS Meisterkugeln pellets
  • Overall evaluation

Today, I’m scoping the .22-caliber Walther Terrus and shooting it at 25 yards. This is an air rifle for which I have high hopes because it has many great features we have already seen, and the price is as good as it gets. If the Terrus is accurate on top of everything else, we’ll have another world-beater.

Open sight test

In part 3, we shot the Terrus with its open sights at 25 yards. I knew I wasn’t going to be as accurate with open sights, but I’d hoped the rifle would encourage me. I don’t think it did, though. My open-sight groups were close to 2 inches or more, though a couple did have some promising clusters. I wondered how much better it would get with a scope. read more

Odds ‘n’ ends

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The artillery hold
  • Who makes it?
  • Does it have a Lothar Walther barrel?
  • Strange questions
  • Passion
  • More in me

Today, I’m taking time to address some of the many things that I want to talk about that don’t add up to a whole report by themselves. I’ve wanted to do this for several years and never took the time to do it, but today I’m just going to do it.

The artillery hold

If you don’t know what the artillery hold is, please read this and watch the short video. Blog reader Chris USA asked me how I approach shooting spring guns. He assumed I started with a firm hold and then went to the artillery hold when that didn’t work. I don’t. I start with the artillery hold first; because over the past 20 years, I’ve leaned that most recoiling spring guns need it. read more

Diana 340 N-TEC Classic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana N-TEC 340 Classic
Diana 340 N-TEC 340 air rifle

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Scoping a drooper
  • Firing cycle is smooth and quick
  • Trigger takes some learning
  • Artillery hold
  • First group
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • I was pleased!
  • Artillery hold abandoned — the fourth group
  • The bottom line

Boy, has this test turned out to be an eye opener! I had hoped that the Diana 340 N-TEC Classic would not disappoint, and believe me — it didn’t!

Scoping a drooper

Today, I’ll test the rifle scoped at 25 yards. I mounted an AirForce 4-16x scope in UTG Quick Lock Max Strength high Weaver rings; but this is a Diana air rifle, and that means the scope base on the rifle is proprietary. Knowing Diana’s reputation for drooper barrels, I also mounted a prototype UTG drooper scope base on the rifle. They aren’t supposed to fit, but this one did, perhaps because it’s a prototype and not the same as the bases they sell. read more

Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from Pyramyd Air call center employee Tyler Patner, who’s going to tell you about the Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter.

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

Okay, let’s look at this air rifle. Over to you, Tyler.

Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter
Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter

This report covers:

  • The stock
  • The forearm
  • Bipod
  • Finish
  • Chronograph results
  • Adjusting the gun for real-world operation

Air Arms has long been at the front of the pack when it comes to sporting air rifles. The year 2014 was no different for the iconic manufacturer. Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Air Arms rolled out several new models that caught the attention of airgunners the world over. The S410/510 series has been some of my personal favorites for quite some time. They represent a value for your money — for which you often have to pay at least a few hundred dollars more. Multi-shot, externally adjustable power, a great trigger and a highly accurate Lothar Walther barrel are all benchmarks of the line. The Ultimate Sporter represents a step forward for Air Arms. With the help of Minelli in Italy, they’ve kept the classic S510 style stock but made a few upgrades that both the obsessive field target shooter (yours truly) and any hunter can enjoy. Let’s now take a closer look at some of the features of the Ultimate Sporter. read more

An open letter to airgun designers

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Pyramyd Air has asked me to announce their Memorial Day Madness sale, which features some sizable price reductions.

This report covers:

  • Design parameters and constraints
  • Barrel
  • Pivot joint
  • Coiled steel spring items
  • Piston
  • Spring guides
  • Mainspring
  • Gas-spring items
  • Piston bore
  • Trigger and safety
  • Stock
  • Sights
  • Scope base
  • Disassembly
  • Discussion
  • You do the rest

I used to teach a subject called Value Engineering to Department of Defense procurement personnel. Value Engineering was a U.S. Army initiative from World War II, where a design was examined by not just engineers, but by all the disciplines that dealt with the product. The goal was to create the function of an item at the lowest cost.

They discovered, for example, that a maintenance man could make a small change that saved the Army millions of dollars by either making the item easier to maintain or making it so it didn’t require maintenance at all. On the other hand, a production manager might make a change in the design that dropped the cost to produce the item from $2000 to $3.00 by simply changing the way it was produced. read more

Hatsan BT65 QE: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Hatsan BT65 QE
Hatsan BT65 QE.

This report covers:

  • Eun Jin pellets
  • Predator Polymag pellets
  • JSB Exact King pellets
  • Bottom line

This is the final test of the Hatsan BT65 QE. I’ve enjoyed working with this rifle. Once I got the silencer issue sorted, the gun became quite accurate. Today, I’ll try some other pellets, and I’ll also try a group at 100 yards. The silencer parts are still out of the shroud, so there’s nothing to hinder the flight of each pellet.

Eun Jin pellets

I tried the 35.8-grain .25-caliber Eun Jin dome first. Because of the rotary magazine, I was concerned this long pellet might not fit, but it did. It fit fine. And it cycled through the action without a fault. But accuracy was a different story. read more