The magic of the outside lock: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

The magic of the outside lock: Part 1

This report covers:

  • Breakbarrel
  • Loading
  • Spring break!
  • Performance
  • Trigger
  • Accuracy
  • The end

I said last time I would show you more of the details of the outside lock airgun in the next report, so let’s get started.

Gary Barnes made the gun a rifle, by boring a 36-inch long brass tube for .25 caliber and then rifling it with a left-hand twist. I don’t know the rate of the twist. He shaped the outside of the tube with 8 flats to resemble the octagon barrels of the past. But he left the breech portion round, so the barrel transitions from round to octagon, just like the finer makers used to do it.


He also made the gun a breakbarrel, which no originals were, as far as I know. The original guns were smoothbores that were in the great majority of what was being made at the time the outside lock was popular (1700-1775 — give or take a quarter century, either way — no one really knows). They were loaded from the muzzle with either close-fitting lead balls called bullets or else shot. But this gun would be shooting .25-caliber diabolo pellets and those don’t load from the muzzle! So it had to load from the breech. read more

Haenel model 100 BB pistol and Daisy number 12 model 29 BB gun: Parts 2 and 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Haenel 100: Part 1
Daisy number 12 model 29: Part 1
Daisy number 12 model 29: Part 2

Haenel BB pistol
The Haenel 100 BB pistol is a pre-war 50-shot repeater.

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 Model 20 is a vintage BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Haenel 100 first
  • Precision Ground Shot
  • The test
  • Haenel accuracy
  • Daisy model 29 accuracy
  • First target
  • The turning point!
  • Target two
  • Conclusions

I am combining two reports today — the Haenel model 100 BB pistol and the Daisy number 12 model 29 BB gun. Please don’t get confused. If you have been following the series on the Daisy 29, you know that something good must have happened for me to do this special report. Indeed it did! Let’s get started.

Haenel 100 first

The first task was to chronograph the Haenel pistol. You may recall that the Blue Book of Airguns informs us that the Haenel 100 uses 4.4 mm lead balls, so I started with them. read more

Duke Colt pellet revolver, weathered: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Duke Colt pellet revolver

Colt Duke pellet revolver with weathered finish.

This report covers:

  • Website corrected
  • Installing a CO2 cartridge
  • The pellet cartridges
  • Velocity
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Shot count
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers. Hopefully you all have plenty to be thankful for.

Today we look at the velocity of the John Wayne Duke Single Action Army pellet revolver. In doing this test, I will start to get to know the gun, as well. I’ve heard a lot of comments about the accuracy and I am looking forward to finding out what’s true.

Website corrected

Someone noticed that one search page on the Pyramyd Air website that points to the SAAs was calling some of them single shots instead of single actions. It was written correctly in the product descriptions, so it took us a couple days to find the error with the help of our readers. I think those pages are all correct now. These revolvers are six-shooters, not single shots. And they are single action, which means you have to cock the hammer manually to advance the cylinder and ready the trigger for the next shot. read more

This one is for Bob

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Savings
  • Greater accuracy
  • Back to money
  • Odd ammo
  • Back to Bob
  • A gift
  • Does he like it?
  • The benefit
  • How does this relate to airgunners?

I’m writing today’s report for my brother-in-law, Bob. Bob has owned firearms all his adult life, but a little over a year ago he decided to find out about reloading. Reloading means making your own centerfire ammunition — rifle ammo in Bob’s case.


People reload for several reasons. Perhaps the most popular one is saving money. That’s the one most shooters think of when they contemplate getting into reloading. And it does save money on a per-shot basis. Instead of spending 72 cents a round for commercial ammo or 41 cents for military ammo, you can put the same cartridge together for 18-35 cents. That’s a huge savings! But is it? Or does it just prompt you to shoot more? Do you end up spending the same amount of money and even more because you manufacture the ammo yourself? I think you do — not that that’s such a bad thing! read more

Remington 1911 RAC BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Remington 1911RAC pistol
Remington’s 1911RAC is very realistic to look at and when held.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Realistic
  • Reviews
  • Installing the CO2
  • Loading
  • Daisy BBs
  • A puff of CO2
  • Loss of gas
  • Blowback is strong!
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Shot count
  • Trigger pull
  • Where do we go from here?

Today we look at the operation and velocity of the Remington 1911RAC BB pistol. I will test it with both steel BBs and with the new Smart Shot lead BBs from H&N. I failed to mention in Part 1 that there is also a Remington 1911RAC Tactial BB pistol, as well.


I commented on the realism of this pistol in Part 1 and several readers answered with their own comments. Those who have seen and held the gun agree it is very realistic. Nobody likes the white lettering on the sides of the slide and frame, but the heft of the gun probably trumps that for many shooters. read more

Pre-war airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Like firearms
  • Spring or pneumatic
  • Not powerful
  • Very repairable
  • Deceptive
  • What’s it worth?
  • Modifications? NO!
  • European guns

Today I’m looking at a category of airgun that was produced from the time right after World War I up to the beginning of World War II — let’s call it 1920 to 1940. For people in my age group, this was the time just before we were born, so it doesn’t seem that far removed. But for the majority of airgunners, this is crowding the antique market.

Like firearms

One thing that can be said about most of the airguns made during this period is they resemble firearms in their construction. And I don’t mean the firearms we know today. I’s talking about vintage firearms that are themselves revered objects among collectors. read more

Daisy Number 12, Model 29 BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

Daisy Number 12, Model 29 BB gun: Part 1

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 Model 20 is a vintage BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Preparation
  • Daisy BBs
  • Air Venturi BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Shooting to the left?
  • Accuracy
  • No joy
  • 4.4 mm lead balls
  • Conclusion

Today we will look at both the accuracy and power of the Daisy Model 12 Number 29 BB gun you all seemed to enjoy. Let’s get to it


This vintage BB gun has a leather plunger (piston seal), so I made sure it was well oiled before I started the velocity test. I had soaked the plunger in oil for several weeks before this test.

Daisy BBs

First up were Daisy Premium Grade BBs. They averaged 307 f.p.s. through the chronograph. The low was 299 f.p.s and the high was 327 f.p.s., so the total spread was 28 f.p.s. That’s pretty fast for a conventional spring-powered BB gun by today’s standards. I wasn’t expecting much over 250 f.p.s.. read more