Should I fix this old airgun?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Case one
  • Case two
  • Case three
  • Airguns are different
  • Is restoration ever okay?
  • Stradivarius
  • How does all of this relate to airguns?
  • So — refinish and rebuild, or no?

This question plagues collectors in every category — not just airguns. You have something that’s old and you would like to see it work again and even look pretty. Is it worth the time and money to do that?

Let me lay out three hypothetical cases that deal with the same model gun. I will be talking about a firearm — not an airgun, because the lines are clearer for firearms.

Case one

Case one — you own a Winchester model 1873 rifle that you would like to shoot again. It’s worn out, both outside and inside, and several of the parts must be replaced or repaired before it will work safely. In its present condition the rifle is worth about $550. Restored to working condition with a like-new finish it will be worth about $2,000. It will cost approximately $4,500 to repair and restore this rifle to like-new condition. That’s a job done by an expert restorer like the Turnbull Company — not a hack job that buffs out all the marks and rounds all the sharp corners on the gun.

This rifle will never be worth what you pay to have it restored, because restoration removes all collector value. However, a fine restoration job will increase the value of the gun significantly over one that’s worn out. If the gun has sentimental value, have it restored. If not, sell it and look for one in better condition. A similar rifle in the condition you will be restoring this one to, but one that is in original unrestored condition, is worth no less than $6,000.

Case two

Case two — same Winchester 1873, only this one is a One of One-Thousand gun — a special very limited edition version that Winchester made. In like-new condition this would be a half-million-dollar gun, and that’s just an estimate. The prices go up all the time and depend on what a person with money is willing to pay.

The one you own is worn and pitted with a shot-out barrel — just like the gun in case one. Should you restore it?

No! Even worn out, a One of One-Thousand rifle could still be worth $5000-10,000, because it is so rare. If you restore it to like-new condition like the same gun in case one, the value will be the same $2,000. You will have lowered the value by restoring the gun, because it went from being a genuine One of One-Thousand in poor condition to just another restored Winchester 1873. It has value, but all collector value is gone.

Case three

Case three — Same Winchester 1873, but this one is well-documented to have been the personal rifle of Judge Roy Bean — the law west of the Pecos. Same poor condition. Restore it?

No — no — a thousand times, no! This gun has Roy Bean’s fingerprints on it. He put many of the nicks and scratches that are on it. Its value is in who owned it — not in what it is.

Airguns are different

Now with airguns, it becomes more complex to make the call about restoration. An airgun that was made in small numbers may still not command much money today. For example, there were fewer than 160 One of One-Thousand Winchester 1873 rifles made. That puts it in the same category as the Falke 90 air rifle that is believed to have had only about 200 made. Yet the Winchester commands six figures today, while a nice Falke 90 can be purchased for less than a thousand dollars.

In this case the Winchester name adds interest to the rifle’s story. Nobody other than a serious collector ever heard of the Falke company. Then there is added interest from Winchester’s close association with the old west. The Falke 90 is associated with the 1950s and nobody is trying to remember that era.

The Winchester One of One-Thousand was featured in a movie of the same name. Falke never made it to the big screen, as far as I can tell. So the differences between the firearm and the airgun are significant. Of all those differences, though, it is the history that drives the price of the Winchester, more than anything.

Is restoration ever okay?

This is a question that gets asked every time the subject arises. There are two camps that oppose each other. One says never restore anything and the other says it’s always okay to restore. The truth lies in the middle, as it often does. Let me give you an example.

Stradivarius

You may not know much about violins, but everybody has heard of a Stradivarius. Made by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), these instruments are widely regarded as the finest violins in the world. Many have been owned and played by master violinists who gave the instruments their own names upon passing. So there is the Paganini Strad, The Viotti Strad and I am quite sure the Strad owned by Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) will acquire his name someday, if it hasn’t already. Most of these unparalleled instruments have been maintained over the centuries and today bear the unmistakeable marks of repair and even (shudder) modification.

So, even when a violin is worth tens of millions of dollars, it is considered perfectly okay for them to receive expert care and maintenance when needed. They are valued for their provenance and origins, but also for their performance, and performance trumps collectibility almost every time. Except once.

In Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum that was founded in 1683, there exists a Stradivarius that has never been maintained, altered or worked on by anyone since the master last held it. The Messiah is the most famous and probably most valuable Stradivarius in the world — being in like-new condition. It has scarcely been played since it was completed in 1716. It may be okay to maintain other Strads, but this one, alone, must remain untouched for as long as it exists. Its value is in its pristine condition.

These violins are the cream of a very exclusive crop, but beneath them there exists a much larger population of instruments that have been dropped, sat on, modified for players of small proportion and otherwise deflowered. These violins have been lovingly restored and maintained, once they were recognized for what they are. Today they comprise the group of Stradivari that trade for only a few million dollars — almost affordable!

How does all of this relate to airguns?

First, there is almost no value added to an airgun owned by a personality — with a few exceptions. The NRA National Firearms Museum has a Feinwerkbau 124 that was customized by Don Robinson for His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. The prince donated the air rifle to the National Firearms Museum, where it now resides. This rifle does have additional value because of who it belonged to.

I have seen a Daisy Red Ryder with a sundial and a compass in the stock that was made for and used in the classic Christmas movie A Christmas Story. In that movie the gun played a starring role as “Old Blue,” the BB gun that Ralphie Parker desperately desired and eventually received. The gun I saw was on display at several airgun shows with a sign that explained its origins. What the sign did not explain, though, was the fact that there were several BB guns made for that movie — each to be used in different scenes.

The curious fact about the Christmas Story Red Ryder is the fact that the gun never actually existed before the movie. Author Jean Sheperd blended memories of the real Red Ryder with those of Daisy’s Buck Jones that had the sundial and compass. Daisy cooperated with filmmakers by creating the gun in Shepherd’s memory for the movie and later they made a run of similar guns for the commercial market.

The owner valued his movie prop at $10,000, which is an, “I don’t care to sell” price. It’s hardly worth that much, though a spirited auction might bring surprising results. So, this is another real-world example of how celebrity affects some airgun prices. Beyond that, though, it really doesn’t matter who has touched the gun. It may make a difference to one person, but in the wide world of trade value, airgun celebrity is almost nonexistent.

Maybe Robert Beeman’s custom R1 that was stocked by Gary Goudy is worth something additional, but besides the association with Beeman there is the Goudy cachet that carries some force of its own. That rifle is worth a lot simply because it is worth a lot!

So — refinish and rebuild, or no?

Unless the airgun in question meets the rather exclusionary criteria described here, by all means rebuild and restore it. But know what you are doing. A nice Falke 90 in original condition with the peep sight should bring $850 or so today. My Falke 90 that was a wreck when I bought it was overhauled y blog reader Vince.He got it to work and then the stock got a professional refinish. Even with all that the rifle isn’t worth $450. I know that because I have offered it at several airgun shows without the slightest interest. I have more than $450 in the rifle at this point, so the restoration was not a money-making investment. But it did give me an air rifle I can hold and handle without needing a tetanus shot!

My feeling is if the airgun has some original finish and it works — leave it alone. If it doesn’t work, fix it. Only refinish it if it’s in really horrible shape, like the Diana 23 I am currently working on. And know that collectors usually want things as original as they can find. A refinish may make the gun more appealing, but it may not add much to the value.

100 thoughts on “Should I fix this old airgun?

  1. I was struggling with what to do with the Daisy 120 I got in that Buncha guns and really wanted to give it to my nephew but it’s so hard to shoot well he’d get frustrated with it.
    I got the trigger pull down to a much more manageable weight so at least now it’s shootable and I guess we’ll see if anyone at the show next year shows an interest. The cracked stock isn’t gonna help matters but the action is still in break-in but I think I’m done massaging it.


  2. I think I remember seeing that Falke on your table but it was the Thunderbird that had my attention. The Diana was a great little gun for my nephew but his daddy’s got more money than I do.


  3. BB
    Reminds me of what us kids talked about growing up with the muscle cars.

    What should we do with a 57 Chevy in not bad condition but not excellent condition either. It’s 1979 and everybody and their brothers and sisters have some kind of car with a big engine.

    Do you leave it alone and love it for what it is. Or maybe dress it up with some chrome on the engine. Or go all out and hot rod it.

    I wonder how many people encounter something and have to face the decisions about what to do with it.

    Personal preference us one thing but you have to consider what you have in front of you.

    Was a good read BB. Seems like more needs to be said.



    • Hello B.B….faithful reader Jeff E with a question relating to restoring airguns. I just purchased a Diana 75U in very good condition (the original owner won it — brand new) and I don’t think the rifle has been used much over the years. He hadn’t shot it in over a year. It seems to function well and has seemingly good compression, though the breech seal has disintegrated and a new one is on the way. Everything sounds good mechanically. I believe the seals in this fine rifle are leather and I don’t believe they’ve ever been lubricated. To start shooting this rifle again, should I place about 10 drops of silicone oil down the air port in an attempt to get the seals squishy, etc. I read that you did this with your Diana 23 restoration, but wasn’t sure whether this would apply here as well. Is there anything else that I should be doing?
      Thanks very much for anyone else that would like to guide me to get this old lady going again.


      • Faithful Jeff,

        All Diana recoilless rifles — models 60, 65, 66 and 75 — always had synthetic seals. Diana, FWB and Walther all used an off-white synthetic piston seal material in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s that degraded with time. I doubt they were aware this would happen, but that was what was available to them at the time. The seal does oxidize and yellow with time and by soaking up silicone oil.

        Seal failures started happening in the 1980s, and by the 1990s even guns that hadn’t been shot much were failing. So all these companies (the engineers in these companies all knew each other and they shared information) looked around for something that would not fail. What they came up with was a blue material that seems to have an indefinite life. I don’t know that it has to be blue; I just know that the replacement seals for FWB, Walther and Diana air rifles are blue in color.

        My Diana 23 is a much older rifle than we are talking about here. Silicone chamber oil may actually accelerate the disintegration of the seal, unless it is a blue one. But from your story it sounds original. At any rate, do not use more than a single drop of oil in your airgun. The seal is not leather, no matter what it is.

        B.B.


        • Hello B.B.

          Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the education on the seals in the Diana 75; I didn’t know that they were originally all synthetic. Yes, I have seen the blue seals, but I know from the owner this rifle wasn’t used much at all, and is cosmetically about as good as they come due to being in a hard shell case. I certainly don’t want to damage the delicate internals of this vintage rifle so I’ll proceed with caution and perhaps consider having an expert install the blue seals, etc. If I were continue to shoot the rifle, would there be obvious or imminent signs of seal deterioration other than loss of compression? Is there any other type of lubricant you would recommend down the air chamber rather than the silicone oil (I figure no petroleum-based products like most springers)? P.S. — I have a nice Diana 25 & 27 and a few other vintage Diana/RWS pistols and certainly love them all dearly. Thanks so much & keep up the great work…Jeff


          • Faithful Jeff,

            Besides the loss of power — to the point that pellets don’t come out of the barrel — you may find brownish waxy lumps of material in the barrel. They are particles of the piston seal that’s disintegrating.

            Silicone chamber oil is all I would use in one of these guns.

            ..


  4. I become a little frustrated with those trying to sell “collector” airguns. They will have a price on an unworking air rifle that is pretty beat up and bedraggled, but because it is old, they will not come off a dime. They end up carrying that beater from show to show to show to show, with no one ever meeting their price.

    I got a pretty good deal on my BSA. It did not work when I got, but it does now. I have considered restoring the looks, but I really like the patina of the steel. I may do something with the stock though. I am fairly certain it has been refinished before, rather poorly I must say. I would like to strip off what is on there so as to make the tiger stripes in the walnut show better. I’m in no rush to do so, though. The finish doesn’t affect how it shoots.

    I also got a pretty good deal on my 1959 Daisy 99. It has a scratch on the barrel tube near the front and the wood finish is a little worn, but it is an awesome shooter. I may strip the old paint and have it powder coated and either strip and refinish the wood or have some new stock pieces made of walnut. I’m in no rush to do so, though. The finish doesn’t affect how it shoots.

    I have an Izzy 46M. It is my air pistol and is an awesome shooter. Because of politics, it has become a collector piece. I have ruined the “collector” value of it though. I am not sure that I still have the box and I have reshaped and refinished the grip to fit my hand.

    Yeah, you may have noticed I do not much care for what the “collectors” think. I buy an air rifle or pistol because that is the one I want. I prefer to buy the older ones because I like the way they were made and I like what they are made of. Some of them are just as accurate as what you can buy today.

    I am a shooter. If I can’t shoot it, what is the point in having it? I guess if I was rich I might have a collection, but I’m not.




    • Everyone has the right to price his guns as he sees fit. I have a few guns that are worth more to me than they regularly sell for. Sometimes, it is because of custom work that has been done on the gun. other times it is just that I feel the quality of the gun justifies a higher price that the guns are selling for. The BSA Supersport and the Diana 27 are two guns that used to sell for very cheap prices and in the last 10 years have finally been appreciated for the great guns they are. I think the old model Diana 35 and 45 are guns that will be appreciated one of these days and will sell for double what they do now.

      My advice in repairing old airguns is to restore them to shooting condition if the money it will cost to repair the gun is less than the value of a working model of the gun. Otherwise sell it to someone who wants a project. Wood stocks can be refinished pretty easily and that is often worth doing yourself. I don’t think rebluing an airgun is worth the expense.

      David Enoch


  5. Wonderful article! What is an air gun worth that does not shoot? Unless it is Prince Chuck’s piece, or the commemorative Diana up for auction, at least get the gun in working order.
    -Y


    • Yogi,

      While I tend to agree with you, I have to bear in mind that there are those ancient airguns of the 1500s and 1600s that are too fragile to risk shooting. I know you didn’t mean to include them when you said airguns, but I have to because they are airguns. Those are the ones we don’t want to risk damaging.

      B.B.



  6. Amazing timing B.B!!

    I have just started restoring my Fathers’ (seven decades) old Crosman 101.

    The rifle was in “well used” condition when it was given to me when I was in my early teens and saw a great deal of use (at least a can of pellets a week for many, many years). I retired the rifle when I bought my FWB 124 and it has been sitting in storage 35 years or so.

    Functionally, the pivot-points are badly worn and the seals/leather pump need replacing. The rifling and the inside of the cylinder look to be great condition.

    Most of the paint is gone and the steel barrel and cylinder are rust-pitted due to the rifles exposure to the salt-air environment in Curacao where my Father lived.

    The stock was showing it’s age with the dings and scratches from carried through the swamps, briars and brush where the rabbits like to hang out. After doing some sanding I found some beautiful grain in the maple that I never knew was there.

    A collectors piece? Don’t think so. Besides, the rifle is not for sale – too many memories for that. I want to bring it back to shootable condition and give it a fresh coat of paint and varnish. Will probably take it out hunting as well – just for old times sake. 🙂

    Thanks for the Blog B.B. – its right on!

    Hank


  7. My biggest dilemma is the model B 1000 shots repeater. Original parts are hard to find and I’d hate to get rid of it without ever shooting it but what’s a decent price on a gun that can’t be found in any condition?


    • Reb,

      Model Bs are not rare or even scarce. I see them at most airgun shows. One that’s a shooter with lots of rust and pits will sell for $60-75, while one in 90 percent condition with the solder patch can go for around $300.

      B.B.


    • I put a B into shooting condition by fitting modern internal parts. I only shot it a few times because I was afraid of the stress on the frame. Got rid of it. Guns that are too fragile to shoot or too pristine to handle tend to own the owner instead of the other way around.


  8. Then there is the case of no one wanting the darn thing. I told the story of my wife’s friend’s father who passed and his daughter came across his “cache” of airguns and one firearm. None of the airguns are worth a great deal or even of high quality with the exception of the Sheridan Bluestreak. The firearm turned out to be made in 1897 and is the Harrington and Richardson Model 1 1/2 third variation, nickel plated. In 100% condition, it’s worth around $200. Charitably, I think this gun is in 60% condition due to the rust on the frame. I’ve talked to some FFL guys and they say this is right on the cusp of whether it was designed to handle flashless powder or still used blackpowder. So unless I’m willing to load some S & W 38 ammo with black powder, the gun is too dangerous to shoot and really, no one is very interested in buying it. Also, due to it’s age, I’ve told our friend I don’t think it was her father’s gun but his fathers’ gun. She still is not interested in having it.

    Fred DPRoNJ


  9. B.B.,

    Thank you for this excellent article. Were I the owner of the first Winchester, I’d sell it to an owner of a fine example who might need it as a parts donor. The second one I would also sell, but collectors might debate as to whether or not it should be made a parts donor to the 150+ better examples that exist. I would leave it as-is as it is original in terms of its components.

    Fine violins, like Ferraris, are viewed by their owners as something that should be used, especially since it can probably last a couple thousand years if maintained and repaired properly. Stradivari, Guarneri, and Amati viols should be heard by large audiences and should appear on landmark recordings. That is why their billionaire owners usually lend them to great players to use for extended periods.

    The Messiah of course should remain unplayed in a museum case, but it exists as a unique example. Incidentally, if a world class violinist were to play it for a half hour, those who listened would likely be disappointed that it would probably sound merely OK. Wooden acoustic/hollow instruments “go to sleep” at a molecular level when they are not played for years, even months. They need to be played for at least a dozen or more hours, perhaps several dozen hours, to be awakened, for the fibers to loosen, so that they will sound their best again.

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        Thank you very much for the compliment. I assure you it means a great deal to me especially since it came from you.

        With most things I have knowledge that is the size of Lake Superior, but only as deep as a kiddie pool.

        I know a little, but only a little, about antique instruments with one specific exception: guitars, be they acoustic, electric, hollow, semi-hollow, or solid body. I am an expert on those. It is one of only a few (literally three) things I am a genuine expert on. Everything else I know just a bit about, at least in my opinion.

        I have had the privilege (as I am not rich) of playing dozens of guitars worth $300K dollars or more a piece, including some that were owned (even at the time I played them) by quite famous players and which were used on famous recordings.

        Like you with guns, I have had hundreds and hundreds of guitars over the years, but always horse-trading so that I have never had an impressive number at any one time.

        Michael


        • Michael,

          Then I have to tell you that Roy Clark is one of my favorite instrumentalists. He plays many stringed instruments, but when he plays his acoustic guitar he makes it speak — just as Perlman makes his Strad speak.

          And I just discovered that Perlman plays Menuhin’s Strad, which is called the Soil Strad. It is considered one of the the finest-sounding Strads from the “golden era”.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            I consider Perlman to be the greatest violinist ever. He plays better than anyone else AND he makes it look easy as he does it. What legato.

            And ah, Roy Clark! He rightfully belongs with Glen Campbell, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis. Clark and Campbell both did a huge amount of studio ghost work, a decent paycheck but no credit. They are both all over 1960s and 1970s classic country (when country was still country, not pop with a slight twang).

            I remember seeing Roy Clark play once on the Tonight Show, and he sat down with a grimace on his face after. Johnny asked what was wrong, and Roy apologized for playing poorly, explaining that he hadn’t played in several days, that he had just before taken a few days off. Johnny was flabbergasted. “Are you kidding? You were amazing!” “Thanks, John, but no, just a few days off, and I can start to hear my playing start to get sloppy.”

            Almost no one else could hear it. Amazing, both that he was humble enough to point it out, and that at that level of playing, a few days in a row of no practice is enough to make a tiny difference.

            Michael


    • I had a buddy that showed me quite a bit of what I learned on the guitar and would repeatedly slap and pound on one as he played it, claiming to be beating sound into the instrument.
      Guess he knew what he was talking about.



    • If it shoots well I consider it a keeper and collector valve is less of an issue and if I’m gonna keep it I’m gonna try to make it look as good as it shoots.
      Maybe others feel likewise. Like the guy that built the shrine for the 124.



  10. Got my copy of “BB Guns Remembered”, such a cool book! I grabbed it out of the mail on the way out to a dr appointment so read the last story 😉 and started the first one, the little guy on the front just makes me smile, and to think those two boys are now immortalized in a book by the Godfather himself! It would be amazing if someone comes forward that they were their great grandparents or something, though youd have to revised edition! Thanks BB, the book is very satisfying.


  11. BB,

    I do agree with what you have written, but there is also in guns the Stradivarius effect I would say. I have a massachusetts arms company Dragonder which has to be extensively restored to be able to function. Its last action has probably been in the Civil War. As you say that will destroy its value.

    But often I wonder how this revolver will sound and handle. Have you ever tried to handle a 3 kilogram revolver from the saddle? It would quite interesting. As it is lying there, its a mere piece of metal and that is a bit sad.

    Regards,

    August.


  12. Here’s a series of questions that could drive one nuts. I suspect it is because they get at such deep issues about the ultimate source of value. Does it inhere in the gun? If so, what aspects of it? Or does it inhere in perception. If so, whose? The potential buyers, the owners? Being a very acquisitive person, I don’t go in for selling my guns and expect to hang onto them forever. But I can appreciate the problems of restoration writ large. I can’t believe the trend in sporterizing old Mauser rifles which now have become scarce. What a horrible waste.

    Notwithstanding, I was intrigued myself with the idea of remaking a Mosin-Nagant rifle with a modern Archangel stock just to see what the action was capable of. But for one thing, it looked kind of ugly with the long barrel poking way past the fore-end, and for another, the interest of the Mosin for me is its great history. So, it is best in original form.

    How interesting about the Stradivarius. It is hard to believe that airguns will last for centuries even though they are made of steel. How a wooden instrument subject to the stress of playing can last for so long is a mystery to me. On the other hand, I had a piano teacher once who said that top of the line pianos need to be played hard to remain in condition. Kind of an organic view. If that’s the case, the Stradivarius in the glass case may be slowly rotting away from inactivity.

    Anyone interested in the Stradivarius should see the Nick Nolte film, Prince of Tides. Nick, from humble origins in the Louisian bayous, is attending an upscale party in New York city, hosted by a violin virtuoso. The guy is immensely conceited and plays bohunk tunes on his Stradivarius to humiliate Nick. Later while seated at dinner, they hear Nick shouting from the balcony in his best hayseed accent for people below to look at the Stradivarius which he is waving at them. The virtuoso says, “That Stradivarius is worth of a million dollars” to which Nick replies, “Well, if I drop it, it won’t be worth…” Anyway, your Stradivarius will always command attention.

    Gunfun1, I was trying to summarize the theory that catalytic converters and other pollution controls have somehow made modern cars less powerful. Not sure if that’s true.

    Matt61


    • To make power the engine needs to breath and burn fuel. Catalytic converters restrict air flow. Pollution controls can also do this and can restrict fuel flow too. There are ways around this but it costs $. Better not to have either.

      Mike


      • Too much backpressure can hinder performance and there’s actually a formula for finding optimum performance for the tune of an engine.
        The catalytic converters of the ’80’s with louvers inside to blow the pellets around were the worst offenders in stock form but when the substrate melts down and completely obstructs the flow headgaskets can get blown.
        Honda used springs on the front flange to avoid such issues and when they meltdown the excess pressure is relieved when it overcomes the spring tension. Doesn’t sound good but let’s you know there’s a problem.


      • Big Iron
        The catalytic converters they were putting on the cars back in the 70’sand 80’s were not like what’s available now days. They actually flow pretty good.

        Then there is the aftermarket high flow cats that perform real nice.

        Had a 97 Z/28 with the high flow cats on it and other stuff done to it. It was running low to mid 11’s in the 1/4 mile. Then had a 05 Dodge Srt4 with the factory turbo and down pipe with the factory catalytic converter runing mid 11’s in the 1/4 mile also.

        So the new cars can run with the cats still on them.



    • Even an alternator robs power. As physics says you can’t get something for nothing. When I slung the harmonic balancer on my El Camino I immediately hit the turn lane and waited for traffic to clear ,every second seemed like a minute as I watched the temperature gauge climb.
      When I finally got an opening I punched it and that thing literally jumped into the parking lot I intended. It was the first time I ever felt the potential of all that hard work.
      They offer underdrive pulley sets for that reason.
      Smog pumps are one of the biggest leeches on the ’70’s and ’80’s vehicles and when they lockup the belt doesn’t last long.


    • Matt61
      The way the new cars are set up with the OBD computers is to always calibrate the engine to run clean on emissions.

      The engines air fuel ratio are controlled better now days then what the cars where back then. The big cams back in the day had a given range of rpm that they ran in. Some had a bigger range of rpm they worked in some had less.

      What I see alot is that people associate Hi-Performance with a loud gas burner. In other words not efficient. But its actually kind of the opposite. Hi-Performance means that engine is performing the best it can.

      So all he computer stuff now days and the catalitic converters actually is good for the engine. Now they can actually up the compression and put bigger camshaft profiles in the engines. And use the computer to keep the air fuel ratio and spark timming at the best possible setting for the most performance.

      In other words the engines now days can be controlled more precisely than the old carbureted engines could be. But also the old cars could be set up in a broad range of drivability. But there was always a given area of rpm that engine didn’t perform the same as that efficient area that the cam and headers and intake manifold and heads and compression worked together at.

      The new cars computer makes all those things work together over the whole rpm of the engine.


      • We had one dirt track or roundly rounder that showed up on a regular basis to have his exhaust tuned, when he wanted to pull the 3″ system and replace it with2.5″ I told him he’d probably lose high end power but torque would probably be better on the low end, all he did was smile and nod in agreement.
        I had a Supertrap on my SR500 that was fun to play with!


        • Reb
          Yep that’s right the smaller diameter pipe will help throttle response. That’s what a good high flow cat will do also.

          And I had a super trap on a 4 wheeler some years back. Definitely worked good on that for tuning the horsepower and torque ban of the engine.


          • I spent a couple hours tuning that SR500 one day including valve lash, airgap and Supertrap along with 112 octane aviation fuel. When I left the shop that day I almost caught the instrument cluster in my face. 🙂


  13. Any thoughts on possible future collectables like the full-auto Evanix Speed or the gold Walther lever action with the stage coach on the side or how about the engraved Colt SAA’s ?
    Seems like limited editions may be desirable down the road. Any suggestions on what to get while you still can or as they come out ?


    • I wouldn’t buy one in hopes that the value would appreciate. Most products manufactured as collectible items turn out to be failures in that aspect.
      For example the Franklin mint has cast cars and trucks as well as coins but they get the money not my uncle. He built shelves in his living room and had a marvelous display but when he needed money and cashed them in all he got was basically what he’d paid in with no appreciation. I believe he had about 200 of them so he got about $1000 for them but was miserably disappointed. Fortunately he inherited a few properties when my Granfather passed and has the income from 5 rental properties and his house is paid for. He really should start collecting guns because he and my father know quite a bit about them.
      Think I’ll call him, he’s a night owl and addicted to QVC, so now may be the best time to get a hold of him.


    • Bob,

      Edith bought me an engraved SAA. It was the last gun she bought me, so I will never get rid of it.

      You have to make sure that the edition is truly limited and not subject to a name change and another batch under a new name. That dilutes the market.

      So there are some that are good — A Christmas Story Red Ryder — and some that are not as good — the 20th Anniversary of A Christmas Story Red Ryder.

      B.B.



  14. B.B,
    I’d like to see a review of the new Air Venturi stampede target system when you can get around to it, the price seems to be reasonable but there’s not much information on it.
    If it turns out to be a good system I’d consider getting one with my next order.
    Thanks!

    Reb



      • Great! With only 10m max to shoot in I feel like it would be a nice addition to my equipment. I had to go to Amazon to find a review but there I was informed that it’s scaled down but not for what range.
        I use very small targets tocompensate for the super short range but using the cheap scopes on most of my guns makes for dark and fuzzy sight pictures.
        Incidentally I believe I lost one of my Centerpoints yesterday, I pulled it off my QB-36 which is down from a couple shots that felt and sounded too harsh.
        I tried to improvise a breech seal from another breathing machine connector but made of hard plastic instead of the plyable synthetic type that the other one was made from. Only 5 clicks of right had me in the Bull and I was stoked but yesterday I tried it again and was off to the left again so I added a couple clicks right again and the pellets went through the same hole, I tried again and again before finally giving up.
        All pellets went through the same hole. I don’t recall having to compensate much when I had it on the 36 but that’s been so long ago and right after getting outta the hospital with severe brain trauma.


  15. is there a time in witch i should not use the new copper clad pellets or the gamo solid copper pellets. i am concerned that if i use theme in older or soft steal barrels it could damage them. am i being crazy.

    John E Oblender


    • I don’t believe your concerns are without good reason but long term testing would be the best way to find out. Lead has been the projectile of choice for a long time. It’s not only heavy but also soft. I just don’t wanna have to scrub copper outta my rifling.




Leave a Reply