Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Quackenbush Number 7
Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun.

Part 1
A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • 4.4mm lead balls
  • 4.55mm balls
  • Final comment on the trigger
  • The end

Today we test the accuracy of the Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun. I’m not expecting much from this gun, based on its light construction and age. But it surprised me in the velocity test we ran last Friday, so maybe I will be surprised yet again. I know you want a report of the 2016 Texas Airgun Show, and I will get to that tomorrow, so sit back and enjoy this oldie with me today.

The test

I shot the gun at 5 meters, using the UTG monopod as a rest. I shot from the seated position, so the gun was about as steady as it could be. However, as light as it is (2 lbs. 9.25 oz) and with an almost 9 lb. trigger pull, it is going to be a challenge to get off a shot without some movement of the gun. It’s probably much easier to shoot it offhand, though nowhere near as accurate.

I used a 5-bull 10-meter rifle target and turned it sideways. I shot at the center bull on the first try, because if the BBs went wide I did not want to miss the trap altogether.

I shot all shots with a 6 o’clock hold. When I shouldered the gun the first time I realized the front blade is bent to the right. Someone has adjusted it in the past. That’s something little boys used to do to zero their sights.

Avanti Precision Ground Shot

First up was the Avanti Precision Ground Shot. Most of the BBs went to the left of the aim point, and the “group” was as large as I feared. It measures 3.123-inches between centers for 10 shots at 5 meters.

Quackenbush Number 7 Avanti Shot target
Ten Avanti Precision Ground Shot made this 3.123-inch group at 5 meters. I was holding at 6 o’clock on the bull at the right of the dime.

4.4mm lead balls

Next up were the copper-plated 4.4mm lead balls. The group tightened dramatically, to 1.868-inches for 10 shots. These BBs landed closer to the centerline, as well. I could hear they were going slower than the steel BBs, but when you are hitting the target, the speed of the projectile doesn’t matter as much.

Quackenbush Number 7 4.4mm balls target
Ten 4.4mm lead balls made this 1.868-inch group at 5 meters. This is much better!

4.55mm balls

The last test was with those 4.55mm lead zimmerstutzen balls. I knew they fit the bore tight, but one of them actually refused to fire, so it was just too tight to pass through. And a second one went far slower than the others. On the other hand, this is the projectile that gave me the best accuracy, with 10 going into 1.144-inches at 5 meters. That’s pretty good! It makes me wonder whether a 0.175-inch lead BB might actually do even better. After all — that is the caliber the gun was made to shoot.

Quackenbush Number 7 4.55mm shot target
Ten 4.55mm lead balls made this 1.144-inch group at 5 meters. That’s shootin’ for a century-old BB gun!

Final comment on the trigger

I said earlier that I thought the heavy trigger would present a problem when shooting this light gun, but it actually did not matter. The gun stayed steady despite the force needed to trip the trigger. So, I have no apology to offer.  These groups are about what you can expect from a gun like this.

The end

That’s the test. It looks like my old Quackenbush BB gun is reliable and accurate enough.

68 thoughts on “Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun: Part 3

  1. That is a huge spread in group size for different ammo. at that distance. Very interesting. Looking forward to the Texas Air Gun Show report. Lots of good pics I hope. Nice too that 30+ readers met with you.

    Someone mentioned on the last blog that it was your Birthday today. Happy Birthday!!!!,…. with best wishes for many, many more! 🙂

  2. The Texas Airgun Show was very successful. Congratulations to Tom, and to Byron Wells and his team from Arilington Sportsman’s Club for such a well run show. The Pelletgage table was near Tom’s, but I was barely able to say hello. From open to to close, the variety of airguns, accessories, and related merchandise made for a lot of happy airgunners. Happy birthday, Tom!

  3. BB
    Happy birthday!

    And I talked to Dave yesterday with the RAI aftermarket stuff for Crosman/Benjamin guns. He said the Texas show was Great. Thats good. Can’t wait to hear about it.

    And about the lucky number 7. I did look back in the other reports. In part 1 you mention the Smart Shot in the outline at the beginning of the report but I went back through the report and you didn’t say anything about them anywhere in part 1. Anyway have you thought about trying the copper coated lead Smart Shot bb’s? Maybe the slower velocity might tighten the groups up? Measure a few and see what diameter you get. Maybe they will work?

  4. Tom,

    Happy Birthday!

    We very much enjoyed the Texas Airgun Show. I hope you had someone taking pictures at the air bolt demo. What gun were you using? I thought that it was a Sam Yang but Jim Chapman mentioned a Wing Shot. I believe that they are basically the same gun except that the Wing Shot is a smooth bore.


  5. Happy Birthday, B.B.! And wishing you many more. =)

    Thanks for the report on this cool little gun; and an inch at 5 meters is pretty good for a little plinker like that. It’s a neat little piece, and better built than most of the bb guns are today. Thanks again. =>

    • Beazer,

      Yesterday I joined a bible study group whose leader is a serious motorcyclist. He rides one major ride each year — like riding to Nova Scotia, then riding around the country and back home — 13,000 miles! I expect my future holds two wheels, because my promise to Edith not to ride has ended.


        • Beazer,

          I have the hots for a Honda 305 Dream! I know that’s sick when I have owned knucks, panheads and all sorts of big shaft-drive cruisers, but something in me was never appeased when I was a teen in the 1960s. I owned a 305 Super Hawk, but now I want a 305 Dream.


          • Mr. BB, Ok, cue the Twilight zone music. When I had to quit racing & had to switch to street, I traded my 250 MX for a 305 Dream. The 305 Scrambler was cool, but the longer fenders & down pipes on the Dream really tripped my trigger. Dad came home took one look & said get rid of it, so I traded for a 360 Enduro. Dad didn’t ride. If you care, you have my email send me yours & I’ll send you some Dream pics. Still have Ms. Edith’s, will that work? B.t.w. Harley makes a 500cc water cooled, baby sporty?
            Check it out. http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Motorcycles/street-500.html. See? I can be an enabler too!
            Shoot/ride safe,
            Oh yeah, & “keep it in the wind, Bro”.

              • B.B.,

                You have had a lot more bike experience than me,… but I can say from having a 2000 H-D Wide Glide for 5 years,…. that an aftermarket seat with a removable operator back rest was just the ticket. Saddleman brand. I do not know what your buddy rides that 13,000 miles on,.. but from what I have seen, for long hauls, the bigger the better. Wind, ride, bump absorption, packing, etc.. But the big ones are heavy.

                Good luck and be safe if and when you “go there”.


          • BB
            So, I guess for 48 hours I can call you an old man, 🙂 but then again, you can call me youngster. 🙁 ….. Then we are the same age again ! Happy Birthday !!

            I fully understand the Honda Dream desire. I can hear the ‘Hondells’ singing now ! Fortunately my first bike was a 1968 650 BSA MkIV Spitfire. Have another now, as well as a ’67 and ’70 Lightning. Almost like being on a time machine. Glad my 71 FL chopper has an electric start these days.
            All currently serving as expensive dust collectors, I mean investments, yeah that’s it, investments.
            Stay off the freeways with that Dream. Hard to stay in a traffic sweet spot with them. Navy shipmate had one and often let us know of close calls he had with ‘Dumb Drivers’.
            Glad to see Dianna decided to go with a real wood stock on the Mauser K98 model. Almost screams for a WWII replica sniper scope and laced up fabric cheek riser pad. Old guns and old motorcycles have something in common, mechanical intrigue.

            Bob M

            • Bob,

              You carry your age much better than me. Good job!

              I once tried to kick-start a Lightning. It backfired and almost broke my foot! I stayed away from Beezers after that!

              Dennis Quackenbush has an original 500 Gold Star!


              • BB
                Ah yes, shortly after I donated the flesh off my shin I found myself at Louis Leathers in London for some nice lined boots with a steel plated arch, along with some road rash protection gear.

                It’s our time to be nostalgic . I hear kicking over that 500 could turn into an uplifting experience.
                Military service demands you stay in shape and after 20 years it becomes a way of life.
                Just noted a commercial on TV (Discovery 182) “Harley and the Davidsons” 3 night event starting next Monday !

          • That’s a blast from the past, and brings back memories!

            I had a red 305 Dream I got as a hand me down from my older brother.

            I rode that thing till the wheels fell off so to speak.

            Something about the side by side twins.

      • The only two wheels I use is a bicycle. But for a motorcycle, there is a lot of cool armored gear that you can invest in. One guy says that jack boots work great for footgear.


  6. BB,

    I had a feeling this little thing was not going to be that bad. Yes, it is cheaply made, for then. But even when something was cheaply made back then it was not really cheaply made. The kids could actually hit the soup cans!

    Happy Birthday My Friend!

  7. Off topic…..My question concerns adjustments on scopes. I just ordered the UTG 30mm SWAT 3-12×44 AO scope mounted by pryamyd air on an Air Arms TX200 3. It has an adjustable objective but also has a side adjustment with a wheel. I don’t understand when to use the AO or the side adjustments.
    Can they help me with range finding?
    I find the scope to be the most confusing piece of the entire air gun puzzle and would appreciate any help you can offer.

    • Ovid,

      I have that exact gun and scope combination. The side wheel does a couple of things, but the simplest way to test it is look at something at 50 feet. Turn knob until you have a clear picture. (use the #’s on the knob as a basic guide). Then look at something at 100 yards away. The picture will not be that clear. Adjust knob again until you have a clear picture.

      I will let B.B. explain the rest,…. but that is the basic purpose,… to get a clear picture.


      • Hm, I think I will need the upcoming blog from B.B. I always thought that the sidewheel was a way of changing impact. But now that I think if it, that would only allow windage adjustments, and that can’t be right. I don’t have any scopes with a sidewheels, just separate turrets for windage and elevation.


        • Matt61,

          Well,… Parallax also, but if you get a clear site picture,… by doing one,… you have corrected the other, or close anyways.

          You may remember that I recently did some research, some test and GF1 did some as well. So yea,.. I am looking forwards to it also. I think it would be a good add on/in to the accuracy series that B.B. just started also,… but from recently reading on it some more,…. it almost requires a separate report. Maybe not.


        • Ovid,

          Just try what I said. It works and without getting into a bunch of other stuff,… is about all you will need. Do not get too hung up on what the knob says,….. just adjust till the picture is clear.

          I was just where you are at less than 2 years ago. This is a good place, the site is easy to use and the people here will bend over backwards to help and answer questions.

          Stick around,…. Chris

  8. Hi BB and Happy Birthday youngster ! I am now 79 years old and a ex bike rider. I have balance problems so now ride a old Mazda Miata. If you can find a nice cherry old Dream, you will have a crowd pleaser . It was amazing when they come out how well they performed, outrunning many bikes with triple or 4 times their displacement. I did meet the nicest people riding a Honda ! It will be great seeing Reb’s posts again.
    On another subject, one of the guys I shoot with has a artillery model of a P08. He does not seem to know the history of it and has no paperwork. It appears to be a airsoft pistol. The detachable magazine looks like it will hold airsoft BBs . Our group does not know anyone that shoots airsoft, but reading, looks like we could get a propane adapter and use silicone oil and shoot the critter. My question is, will a airsoft BB stay intact after hitting a target with a strong back stop. I would not like broken pieces of little plastic all over my friends garage floor where we shoot. Also will it penetrate a target so you could get an idea of grouping ? It sure is a cool looking pistol with a working toggle. Thanks in advance.

    • Harvey,

      Most airsoft BBs break apart when they hit hard backstops. But you don’t use hard backsyops with them. You use fabric, like carpet. Let it flap freely and the BBs will fall down beneath it.

      Yes, they will penetrate target paper.


    • Harvey
      I have this pistol in nickel finish with a small drum mag, if you can find it now. It is indistinguishable from a real P08. Made in Taiwan under WE Airsoft.
      It has some perks. You need to have it cocked to insert and remove the mag and there is an adjustable “Hop-up” screw. It regulates the spin placed on the bb to control the path of the bb … up or down. Kind of like ‘English’ on a ‘Q Ball’ . Use care with small adjustments.
      BB’s come in various weights for various performance as well as bio-degradable ones. It should penetrate a cardboard box easily, ‘Spring Pistols’ may be weaker. Green gas is a can of propane with lubricant included. P/A has a video on this ! Search ‘Airsoft P08’

      Bob M

      • Hi Bob M and thank you and BB for your posts. I love the toggle action of the P08s and am thinking that with the lower working pressure of green gas or propane, compared to CO2 perhaps the wear factor would not be as great as on the Legends P08 blowback. What kind of group can you get at 15 feet ? I am at least going to get a propane adapter and airsoft BBs so we can test my friend’s pistol. Then I will be covered when I get my own pistol. Thanks.

        • Harvey
          Sitting and resting my hand on a cardboard box 7 out of 10 .20g plastic BB’s had a 1 1/8″ spread. Three fliers opened it to 2 1/2″ . It’s not easy to focus on these sights and the target wearing transition glasses . Aiming at the center of a half inch dot the group was about 1″ left and 1/2′ low. Rear sight was left at it’s low setting.
          Firing 6 shots each, Biodegradable .25g BB’s Hi 369, Low 340.
          Plastic .20g BB’s Hi 380, Low 352
          Bob M

          • Hi again Bob M. Thank you very much for your report on accuracy. I am sure that is better then what I got from my steel bb shooting Legends P08. Of course it had the shorter standard barrel on it. I enjoyed your motorcycle comments with BB . Over the years I had quite a few bikes. For sheer fun my single cylinder 500 CC Honda Ascot stands out. I am kind of a wimp, so the electric starter was a plus. With it’s Enduro heritage, was hard to stay on the pavement. The last bike I owned was the Yamaha V-Star . At least the thing looked like a Harley. I did a internet search of the new 500 cc Harley. It looks good, but bet it doesn’t have the low end torque it’s big brothers have.
            Thank you

            • Harvey
              The 500 cc seems to be advertised as a city bike, an agile, lightweight, quick handler. The Sportster doesn’t even come close to the torque of a full sized Harley. I can just barely cross an intersection in first gear and my ’71 is an ex-police bike. 500 to 750cc bikes are good country road bikes. I spent two years riding in England with my 650 BSA and entering a Round-About at 60mph will really wake you up to things you never thought possible !!
              Bob M

              • Hi Bob M again. We have very few round-abouts here in rural Idaho, so consequently I get confused when I encounter one. I have not been able to find any green gas or the propane adapter locally. I will order the propane adapter. We have a local chain store called Bi-Mart and today I bought my first airsoft. They had the little Crosman Z311 Zombie Slayer on sale for $7.98. Also got 2000 airsoft .12 gram BBs, so now I are a airsofter. I am amazed how much power and how accurate that little springer is. If the thing lasts a week, it will still be a good deal, as for less then $12.00 it is giving me a chance to experience airsoft.
                Best wishes and thanks for your help.

                • Harvey
                  Airsoft has come a long way from those plastic spring guns we used to see in magazine adds years ago.
                  Especially concentrated in military replicas for team game play. They go much deeper into replicating looks and customizing than BB and pellet guns and have a lot of full-auto options. I have a full metal, gas operated blow back M14 with select fire that fires at 500fps. Really knocks your socks off ! A whole new world of air gunning…. They are not tremendously accurate, long range shooters, or hunters but really fun guns.
                  Bob M

  9. I don’t know. Those groups at 5 yards are about like a blunderbuss. The satisfaction with this gun must lie elsewhere.

    I had another big range day over the weekend. I suppose the lesson is that life will throw all kinds of things at you and you just have to keep going. I started out with archery. This, for reasons of time, is my most marginal activity. I’ve just been poking at it occasionally for a few years. But apparently something was going on the whole time because I made a quantum leap. I was hitting my door-sized target at 30 yards with good reliability. That’s not exactly Robin Hood but it is about a 50% increase in my range! Even better, I think that I may have recovered the lost techniques of the English medieval longbowmen.

    The one bit of evidence I had was a contemporary reference that said that the English surpassed other archers because they knew how to “put their body into a bow.” The question is how to transfer your bodyweight into a stretching motion with your arms. There is no obvious way like there is for swinging a bat or a golf club. I think it might work like this. Take a step forward. (Contemporary accounts mention English archers stepping forwards.) At the same time, bend the forward knee dropping the body weight down. Then, redirect this movement up by straightening up and simultaneously swinging the bow upward with an extended lead arm. Pause slightly at the top of the arc. Then let the bow drop down with your accumulated momentum. Simultaneously, expand your chest into the bow and force your arms apart to draw the bow. This is the essence of putting one’s body into the bow. Hold for a split second at the extent of the draw and then release before the tension creates a ferocious pressure on your lead arm. Through these various turns and redirections, you get body weight into the bow. As for the results, I shot better than ever without much fatigue. Maybe I’ve rediscovered the ancient secret. But I didn’t really invent anything since all these moves were picked up from various videos. It could be that the ancient techniques were never really lost but just dispersed. One effect of the headlong Western desire for progress is to neglect valuable traditions. I’ve heard that there is a martial arts school in Japan (with a female grandmaster) which preserves techniques for polearms from the 14th century. Too bad we don’t have the same in the West. Anyway, if I’m completely wrong, the medievals are not around to say so. He he.

    Then it was off to the pistol range to see if my $300 trigger job for the CZ SP-01 was worth it. Yes! That gun really transformed with live ammo. In particular, I remember people saying that with this model of gun, the recoil seems cancelled, and I found that to be true. This has been attributed to the fact that the gun has a very low bore axis partially because of the way the slide is set inside instead of outside the frame. Moreover, I recall someone tell me that the 1911 has its barrel arc slightly upward on recoil which can lead to muzzle flip. On the other hand, the CZ copies the Browning Hi power in which the barrel moves directly back with no arc. I think the term is “locked breech.” Anyway, this is part of the ongoing debate about which pistol is John Browning’s greatest creation. I think my 1911 may have competition here.

    Then it was on to the 50 yard range and the rifles. For a second time, the M1 showed that it is an MOA rifle putting 4 into a half inch. Actually, I’m overjoyed just to have a functioning rifle. To have this accuracy on top of it makes my cup run over. After suffering with this for eight years, now that it’s fixed, I believe my joy will never end. Then it was off to the 100 yard range.

    I ended up firing 120 shots with two full power battle rifles from a rest and that is the last time I am doing that as I felt kind of nauseous afterwards. The other was my Lee-Enfield No. 4. Thank goodness one of the two was my semiauto M1 that relieved some of the recoil. I’m reminded of one of the tests that the Marines did of the M1 before they adopted it. That rifle was tested against the Springfield 03. After a point, the Marines on the Springfield were exhausted, despite being in top condition, while the ones with the M1 were still fresh. I kept about 60 shots with the M1 in about 4 inches. The Lee-Enfield was about the same except a little larger. I think the culprit is my eyesight. With scopes, both these rifles would be pretty impressive.

    My last act was to shoot offhand at 100 yards with the two rifles and here is where I had an unpleasant surprise as I only hit the paper with half the rounds. How demoralizing. Still at least I was trying. I notice that nobody shoots offhand except a few at 25 yards. Everyone else is focused on benchrest shooting. At the 100 yard line, a guy had his rifle on what looked like a lead sled with a wheel to make fine adjustments to the elevation. That seems to turn the shooting more into a test of the rifle or of technical knowledge rather than shooting skill. I recall hearing that benchresting as a sport is a fairly new phenomenon. Formerly it was used only for load testing and the ideas was to remove the role of the shooter rather than to challenge him. If sporting benchrest is new, I wonder if offhand or other kinds of position were more popular in an earlier era.

    Anyway, you win a few and lose a few, but I’m making progress.


    • Matt61,

      That sensation of nausea suggests a mild concussion from the recoil. Probably from the Lee-Enfield. Would probably have been worse if you used your Mosin–Nagant. Ordinarily soldiers wouldn’t be doing sustained fire from that position I imagine.

      Good to hear that your Garand customized by Clint Fowler is finally operational.

    • Matt,

      Have you considered a service rifle match? Lots of offhand (and kneeleing/sitting/prone) M1 shooting at a CMP or NRA High Power match. Not exactly Field Target, but still fun!

      Even the reasonably gentle M1 is a little bit punishing from the bench. Any other position, especially offhand, the Garand is an all-day shooter and perhaps, money no object, the ultimate plinker!


  10. Matt61– Look up Pope, Roberts, Rowland, Donaldson to find out the history of benchresting. Donaldson developed his .219 in the 1930,s, and was winning benchrest matches with it in 1937. What is your definition of fairly new? That reminds me of what happened in 1989 when I took my wife to Prague. We were looking at the remains of a church destroyed by Atilla the hun, circa 450 @AD. She was very impressed with it,s age until I told her to look at the couple next to us. They were from Cairo, Egypt and they saw the pyramids every time that they looked out of their window ( not to be confused with pyramyd air). In 1970, my M1 was new to my son (4 years old at the time) . My 1891 Mosin Nagant was old to me, but not to my grandfather who was in the Russian army in 1900. I hope you get my point. Ed

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