Safe backstops

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Nothing is completely safe
  • Don’t need a backstop
  • Packed earth works best
  • Wood works
  • Synthetics can work
  • Shoot it
  • How big should a backstop be?

If I say “backstop” to some shooters, they think I’m talking about a pellet or bullet trap. But I’m not. I’m referring to the insurance you put behind the pellet or bullet trap to stop things when they miss the trap. Some people might take issue with that statement. They might think that nothing could ever miss a bullet trap. I have a name for those folks — beginners. Shoot long enough, and you’re going to miss the trap — I guarantee it. In a quarter-million rounds, I’ve probably missed my trap 100 times. Both numbers are estimates, so don’t quote me. read more

BSF S54 underlever: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54 Match air rifle

Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Cream of the crop
  • Description
  • Three versions

Sometimes, I go looking for things to write about for this blog. Other times, they find me. Today, I’ll start a review on a gun that fits the latter category — the BSF S54 underlever. It began at the 2013 Roanoke airgun show — the last ever held in that location and the first show I attended without my late friend, Earl “Mac” McDonald. That was the show where I picked up the Benjamin Discovery that I reviewed for you in the Disco Double report. I also found the BSA Meteor Mark IV that I rebuilt extensively for you in another report. And, I found the Falke model 70 that I also reviewed for you. So, that show was pivotal for this blog. read more

Gamo PR-776 pellet revolver: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo PR-776 revolver

Gamo PR-776 pellet revolver.

This report covers:

  • Hurrah!
  • Pellets
  • Cylinder swings out
  • The grip
  • Sights
  • Single- and double-action
  • Accuracy?
  • A lot of interest


Today, we’ll start looking at the Gamo PR-776 pellet revolver. Pellets, as in a 6-inch rifled steel barrel. And all-metal construction! With adjustable sights! For $100.

Many of our blog readers are interested in pellet revolvers, and this is a brand new one. It looks something like a Smith & Wesson TRR8, except the top of the barrel lacks the ribbed scope base that’s found on the firearm. The cylinder is unique in that it doesn’t house the ammunition. It accepts clips, instead.

Pellets are loaded into one of the two circular metal clips supplied with the revolver. When it’s time to reload, the cylinder catch is pressed forward — just like an S&W — and the cylinder swings out to the left. A circular clip containing the pellets is dropped into the rear of the cylinder, and it swings shut again. The gun is loaded. read more

Gen 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Bipod, scope and rifle — oh, my!
  • 2-16X44 scope
  • Sight-in
  • First group better?
  • The key?
  • Sound
  • Second group on the second magazine
  • What have I learned?

I told you in Part 1 that this is going to be a different kind of report. Not just because this new .25-caliber second-generation Benjamin Marauder is my personal gun (I bought it for a project involving a new modular RAI stock), but also because I’m installing some Leapers parts, including a killer new UTG 2-16X44AO Accushot scope. What I didn’t tell you (yet) is that I’m also installing and testing a new UTG rubber-armored folding metal bipod.

second generation Benjamin Marauder
The new .25-cal. Marauder with synthetic stock is set up with a UTG bipod and the new UTG 2-16X scope. I’m gettin’ with the program! read more

Black Ops Junior Sniper air rifle combo: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Black Ops Junior Sniper
Black Ops Junior Sniper combo

This report covers:

  • Informative
  • Scope
  • Sight-in
  • Premier lite pellets first
  • Pumping is easy
  • Pellets difficult to load
  • H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm heads
  • Final thoughts


This will be our final look at the Black Ops Junior Sniper air rifle combo. Today, I’ll mount the scope and shoot the rifle from 25 yards. I thought this report would just be about the rifle and scope; but, in fact, I learned 2 other very important lessons. So, today’s blog will be informative. There are also two short instructional videos.


The scope that comes with this combo is the cheapest kind of optical sight you can buy. It’s a 4x scope with a very skinny tube — less than .75 inches. The rings come already attached, so all I had to do was clamp them to the top of the rifle, and the job was done. That said, I had no idea if the scope would even be on the paper at 25 yards. read more

HW 35 Luxus: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

HW35 Luxus

This report covers:

  • Disassembly
  • Rekord trigger
  • End cap comes out
  • Mainspring and guide come out
  • Piston is next
  • Assembly
  • The safety
  • Back together
  • What’s next?

Today, we’ll look inside the HW 35 Luxus to see what we find. I’ve thought from the beginning that this is a tuned air rifle, and I’ve given you the clues why. The baseblock is lubricated with some heavy grease that Weihrauch never used, and the safety seems to be defeated.

I also want to find out what material the piston seal is made of. If it’s leather, it needs more frequent lubrication than a synthetic seal would need.


Disassembling most Weihrauch air rifles is easy. Only the R9/HW95 and the new HW50 have those 4 tabs that hold the very thin end cap in the rifle and are a little harder to deal with. But this HW 35 is an old-school Weihrauch that has a threaded end cap. read more

Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

The Pelletgage comes in .177 caliber at the present. The holes are in a steel plate. A plastic plate above the gage plate helps guide the pellet head to the gage hole.

This report covers:

  • Update
  • The test
  • Blind test
  • Interpretation
  • I called it
  • What to make of these results
  • Observations so far


Before I get into the test, I received a message from the Pelletgage maker, Jerry Cupples, telling me that he has measured a large sample of the gages he has made — they’re all measuring 0.01mm smaller than what’s marked on the gage. In other words, a gage hole that’s marked 4.52mm actually measures 4.51mm, and so on. This holds true for all the gage holes in a gage plate.

So, in the last report, all the pellet sizes I gave you were off by the same amount. This is not a problem. All I need to do is change my pellet sizes by reducing all on them by 0.01mm after gaging. read more