Time out with B.B.

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • New old airguns
  • Tune in a Tube
  • Serendipity
  • More serendipity
  • More stuff
  • Parrus inletting is tight!
  • Summary

I needed to pause from testing airguns and related products today to tell you about some real neat things that are happening in my world — and by association — in this blog.

New old airguns

I guess it’s no surprise that the blog’s history section is very popular with a lot of readers. It is for me, too, because I get to see airguns I have only seen in the Blue Book of Airguns or in old references. I now watch Gun Broker and some of the online airgun sales sites, plus whenever I go to an airgun show I’m always looking to buy something we haven’t yet seen. The Crosman 600 pistol and the BSA Meteor Mark I both came from the recent Texas Airgun Show, and you have seen what’s been done with them.

A couple weeks ago one of my Gun Broker searches paid off when I was alerted that a BSA Airsporter was up for auction. The Airsporter is BSA’s underlever that spawned other classic underlevers like the Hakim and the Falke 80/90, so it is a landmark rifle. I have actually tested an Airsporter for you when we looked at the fabulous Don Robinson BSA Airsporter, back in 2014. I just looked at that report and saw that I was supposed to do a Part 4 of that test with an upgraded scope, but that hasn’t happened yet, so there’s another one on the stove.

People ask me how I can think of all these things to write about, but it’s actually backwards. I’m never going to catch up with all the wonderful things there are in the world of airguns. Edith started me on this journey in 1993, and it’s still building steam!

Anyhow, The Robinson gun is a later Airsporter model and, as always, people were telling me that I really should try to find an Airsporter Mark I or Mark II. The seller didn’t mention which Mark his rifle was, but I took a chance anyway, because the caliber was/is .22. The Robinson rifle is in .177.

The gun arrived last week and it turned out to be a Mark I — the most-prized of all the common Airsporters. That was nothing but good fortune for me, and also for you because I’m going to test this rifle for you. It also means if I decide to sell it after I’m done with it, a Mark I commands a nice premium, so I will make some money on the deal. I usually feel good if I don’t lose much money, but when one of these bluebirds comes along I take it to cover the losses.

Tune in a Tube

But, guess what? The Airsporter had a small problem. When cocked, the piston pulled back very hard — like there is no lubrication in the compression chamber. The mainspring looked dry through the cocking slot. Well, we all know what to do about that, don’t we?

Yes, I applied Tune in a Tube and, while it took a number of shots (20?), the rifle now cocks easier and doesn’t twang. But it was pretty quiet before, so I can’t really say Tune in a Tube did anything but loosen the piston.

Serendipity

While on the Gun Broker site I looked at the dealer’s other airguns and saw he had a Mauser 300SL target rifle for auction. I actually saw one if those for sale in a gun store in Maryland back in the 1980s and was always curious about the performance. So I put in a bid on that one and won it, too.

To envision a Mauser 300SL, think of an FWB 300 that recoils and costs half as much (when new). Today they are scarce and desirable. And I will be testing one for you. Oh, and guess what? It buzzes when it fires! Whatever shall I do?

More serendipity

At the same time these two rifles were being auctioned, another dealer was selling a BSF S20 pistol for way less than market value. True, it is missing one grip screw, the rear sight notch and an escutcheon on one side of the grip, but those are all things I can fix. I tested an S20 Match pistol for you back in 2008. This gun is the sporter version of that one and is somewhat smaller, but no less powerful.

I won this one, as well, and I plan to give it a complete tune and test. By pure luck my Match pistol has a small bag of parts with it and one of them is a grip screw, so that problem is now solved.

More stuff

The future looks bright for our history articles. But that’s not all I am doing. Remember the Walther Parrus rifle
I have scheduled for accuracy testing at 25 yards? Well, It kicks hard, though it doesn’t vibrate very much. I pulled the stock off and saw that the piston and mainspring were pretty dry, so I gave them an application of Tune in a Tube.

Walther Parrus mainspring
The mainspring in the Parrus is pretty dry.

I wish I could say the kick was reduced, but it wasn’t. There was little vibration to begin with, and I can’t detect any difference after the application. The only thing I can detect is slightly smoother cocking, which I think comes from the fact the piston is now lubricated. I’ll continue to observe this rifle as I test it further, but for now I have to say Tune in a Tube didn’t do much, if anything, to the shootability of the Parrus. Maybe reducing vibration is its best feature.

Parrus inletting is tight!

Last comment on the Parrus is that its stock inletting is the tightest I’ve ever seen. Removing the stock on the test rifle is similar to removing a stock that’s been glass-bedded — it’s that tight. While that doesn’t guarantee that the rifle will be accurate, it sure doesn’t hurt! We will find out soon enough!

Summary

That’s what’s been cooking on the back burner for the past several weeks. I have more modern airguns coming to test for you, too, and I have quite a few action targets — including the Rockin’ Rat that I have to finish. I would say the future of this blog looks bright!

26 thoughts on “Time out with B.B.

  1. B.B.,

    Real nice preview of things to come. I hope the BSA Airsporter Mark I performs better than the last one. Got real curious about the Mauser 300SL and found out some things which I will leave for your blog. Considering how long a standard tune will last and the way you keep cycling your airguns around I think the results for the endurance test for “Tune in a Tube” might be available by 2021 (5 years).

    I am very envious of the freedom you enjoy being able to purchase airguns and firearms freely. Hope that never goes away.

    Siraniko


  2. Hi B.B
    Indeed the future is bright thanks to all your hard work & dedication Sir.We guys LIVE ON this!! I especially love the history & educational ones. Thanks for all & God bless you
    Errol



  3. BB,

    Tune In A Tube did not make the Tomahawk a gentle shooter either, but it did smooth things down and make it quieter when cocking.

    Funny you should mention how tight the Parrus stock fits as the Tomahawk is very snug also. Will that transfer to sproingers as improved accuracy? I have to question that. It will likely insure that you feel every little vibration, twist, etc. the rifle produces when it fires. Now if you shoot that particular air rifle much, it will help you become more familiar with how it feels when everything is “right”, including your hold and improve accuracy in that respect.

    I can see where it would greatly reduce any variations of the position of the rifle within the stock and the variables of it’s movement when fired.

    I will have to defer to one who is more learned in these matters and see what results his testing produces.

    It does reassure me of tighter manufacturing tolerances.


  4. Thanks for the behind the scenes update and sneak peek. Way to go also on continuing to use Tune in a Tube. That is setting a good base line on seeing under what conditions it will/will not help.


    • I’m trying to get some my side of the pond, but no luck! Got a mate in Arizona who owes me a favour, gonna ask him to send me a tube.

      Looks like the perfect thing for us beginners to use, until we get the courage to strip an tune our own guns.

      Great post as always Tom, thanks.


  5. Thanks for the update, B.B!

    I’m looking forward to that BSA review.

    I was just re-reading the Parrus review over the weekend, and was wondering when the next installment would come out. Glad to hear it’s still on your list.

    Do you think with a magnum like the Parrus you will see the kick reduce a little over time, as it gets broken in?

    I know you reviewed the Diana 340 N-Tec already, but do you have the new 350 N-Tec Magnum on your list to look at? If so, would you consider the polymer stock — https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Diana_Panther_350_N_TEC_Magnum_Air_Rifle/4170

    Thanks!

    Jim M.


    • Jim,

      The kick is a function of the spring’s power and the moving mass of the piston. That won’t change, as long as those things remain constant.

      I do have some Diana airguns coming soon. I don’t think In ordered the 350 N-TEC, though.

      B.B.


  6. Well dang I just got done waiting for the moly paste to arrive for my new to me Diana 34, and now I need to go order Tune in a Tube.
    The cocking stroke is not the smoothest and having cut my teeth on a Gamo nitrogen piston I am now learning what y’all mean by “buzzing”. Looking forward to a Tube Tune, and will be sure to report back.



  7. BB:

    “True, it is missing one grip screw, the rear sight notch and an escuchen on one side of the grip,”

    What is an escuchen? The only thing that I got off Google was German for “to hear.”

    Thanks,

    Jim


    • Jim

      Being in the electrical switchgear industry, it also is a engraved name plate that is behind a switch handle and is mounted on a cabinet door or panel. T-handle or L-handle type switch, the plate will indicate the open/close/trip positions of the handle. Really though, it could be applied to anything like that.



  8. BB,

    Question about my R1. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you 🙂 To lighten the trigger pull, turn the screw behind the trigger clockwise one eighth of a turn at a time. How much can you safely lighten the trigger?

    Brent


    • Brent,

      Turn that screw countercolckwise. Clockwise puts more tension on the trigger return spring.

      You can unscrew that screw all the way, then screw it in two turns. As long as the trigger blade is under tension to return forward after being pulled, you are okay.

      B.B.


  9. Pingback: Time out with B.B. | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  10. B.B.,

    I do not know if it is possible,…. but it would be nice if you could provide a picture of things that you mention,… like your 3 recent acquisitions. Having the Blue Book,… I was able to look up all 3,… 2 with pictures. With the internet, it is pretty easy to look things up. I don’t know. I just thought that it would be nice addition if it would not cause you much work. Maybe a simple pic of the Blue Book entry,…. if that is permitted? Just an idea…….

    Chris


  11. I have to say something about tune in a tube or whatever it’s called. You all know what I’m talking about.

    Ok it quiets twangy guns. It doesn’t change velocity. It stops grinding when cocking.

    But I have to say this. There is tolerances that is not right on them guns. I could give multiple counts of what im talking about but I’m not going to do any brand name calling here.

    I guess I’ll mention this. I have bought used guns that were so loaded up with grease or lube or whatever we want to call it that they went swoosh when the gun was cocked and swooshed more when it shot. Then comes take apart time. It’s like shoveling you now what out of places that are hard to get too.

    Well as the story goes all the goop gets taken out of the gun. Put it back together with some secret mixed up lube and the gun does all them bad things and you go OMGosh what the heck. Well back to guess what. The only thing all that goop did was hide all those loose tolerances of fit in the guns wrong places.

    If a spring gun is put together right and the right spring is used. It makes it so much a nicer shooting gun with light lube at that.

    I’ll say this too. If you want a smooth shooting springer look at the Tx 200 Mrklll as it comes from the factory. Fit and lube wise. Really take It apart and look at it. Then add some tunning tricks that reduce fit tolerances even more and also adds a looser tolerance in the right places. Use the right fit seal for the gun also.

    Tune in tube is a quick fix. It will make a customer happy fast. But what does that do for a person that knows deep down inside that there is more to it than that. As always just say’n my mind. Like or not doesn’t matter to me. Just carry on with what you will. But got to go. Another day run’n out. Have fun you all. 🙂


  12. BB
    I have a small range in my basement of about 35 feet and I was wondering if you could suggest a pellet rifle in the 100 to 200 dollar range and a scope for it,I’m on the doorstep of 60 and these eyes aren’t what they used to be.
    I have a Gamo break barrel and would like to buy something with a wood stock,break barrel is fine. I usually only shoot paper targets and metal food cans,army men,stuff like that. I have read a lot of your blogs and know that you are very knowledgeable and I value your opinion. I was looking strongly at the Crosman Optimus with the scope. If you advise a co2 rifle that’s fine too but I just like the look of a wood stock.
    Thank you for any help you can give me on this and I’m sorry if this is not posted in the correct area.

    Have a very blessed day


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