Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Gifts for $25 and under
  • Gifts for $100 and under
  • Gifts for $250 and under
  • Gifts with no price limit

This guide is to help those who must find Christmas gifts for airgunners. Of course you should check with your airgunner to make sure each gift you select is one they want or can use.

This is the second part of the 2016 gift guide. Be sure to click on the link to Part 1 to see additional gift suggestions.

Gifts for $25 and under


These are the stocking stuffer gifts. Some are considerably less than $25, so check them all.

1. The first recommendation is a jar of JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. This is for cleaning airgun barrels, and your airgunner will need bore brushes to go with it. These are items he probably already has, but check with him before you buy this item. The bore brushes might give you a couple gifts that are related, and I will list them for you next.

2. Bore brushes. These are purchased by caliber, so I am giving you the links to each of the 4 smallbore calibers. Choose what your airgunner needs.

177 bore brushes

Pyramyd Air does not stock 20-caliber bore brushes. Buy them here.

22 bore brushes.

25 bore brushes.

I’ve recommended brass or bronze bristle brushes. If your airgunner tells you they will damage his bore, tell him that’s true only for barrels made of brass or bronze, and those never need to be cleaned. Steel barrels will not be damaged by these brushes, and they are perfect for use with JB Bore Paste.

If you are shocked that I sent you to Brownells for the .20 caliber brushes that Pyramyd Air does not stock, remember the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, and pretend I am Santa Claus.

3. Crosman Pellgunoil. This is another necessary product that your airgunner probably won’t buy for himself. It is used mainly for sealing CO2 airguns, but it’s also useful for lubricating/sealing multi-pumps and single-strokes.

4. An item I recommend every year is the Air Venturi Fly Shooter. So much fun for so little money! If Pyramyd Air carried the Bug-A-Salt, I would recommend that, too.

Gifts for $100 and under


1. I have to recommend a Daisy Red Ryder to keep my U.S. citizenship in order. But this year I’m recommending a special one — the Lasso Scoped BB Rifle. No, it’s not a rifle. I know it’s a BB gun. That’s just the name. You get a Red Ryder and a Lasso scope base with a Daisy 4X15 scope. That’s a lot of value for the price, plus you can remove the scope and have a standard Red Ryder anytime you want.

2. The MTM Predator shooting table is another great gift. Because it isn’t an airgun, your shooter probably won’t have one, though he needs one! End his days of balancing on your ironing board or that rickety card table and give him a shooting table that really works. BB uses one!

3. Okay, the Crosman 2100B air rifle IS an airgun, and if your shooter doesn’t have one already, it’s one he needs. This one shoots both BBs and pellets, and it was the base gun I used when I developed the $100 PCP with Dennis Quackenbush a few years back. Those who own them know this rifle is a great value!

4. I hadn’t planned to recommend the Umarex M712 Full-Auto BB Pistol in this category, but Pyramyd Air has a sale and it’s just under $100 right now. This one is fun! This is the kind of airgun you bring to a family outing and everybody is blown away by what it can do. If your shooter likes full auto guns, give him one of these.

Gifts for $250 and under


1. I mentioned the $100 PCP, so how about the Benjamin Maximus — the airgun Crosman made after they read that report? This is the least expensive precharged air rifle on the market, yet is has a lot of the accuracy and the quality shooters have come to expect. If you get one, you might consider getting a hand pump to go with it.

2. I recommend the Air Venturi G6 Hand Pump to go with the Maximus. Yes, it costs about the same as the rifle, but this is a tool that can be used with any and all PCP airguns. I’m recommending this one both because it is rugged and goes up to 4,500 psi, and also because it is rebuildable by the user.

Speaking of rebuilds, if you would like to save some money, there are a few refurbished G6 Hand Pumps available as this guide is written, Since the pump is rebuildable, they should be good as new.

3. If your shooter owns a .50 caliber big bore air rifle with a barrel that’s 21.5 inches long, or if he owns an Air Venturi Wing Shot air shotgun, I strongly recommend getting him the package of Air Venturi Air Bolts.

4. My last recommendation in this category is the Benjamin 392 air rifle. This is a multi-pump pneumatic that is descended from American airgun royalty. It’s still made of brass and wood the same way they were over a century ago. Who knows how much longer that will be true? If your shooter doesn’t want the .22 caliber model for some reason there is always the .177 caliber Benjamin 397. Same rifle; different caliber.

Gifts with no price limit


Now we come to the big toys. Here I suspend all the limits. These are the gifts shooters want when they win the lottery. If he has been a special good boy this year, these are his rewards.

1. I will start with an air rifle that is fast becoming a favorite of mine, Diana’s K98 air rifle. This one is large and in charge. It’s a lookalike, and an accurate spring rifle and it could also be considered a military trainer, though no military uses it that way. But a collector might like to have one, all the same.

2. It is a little pricy, but the Benjamin Woods Walker air pistol is a lot of value in an air pistol. You get the Marauder trigger and quiet performance in a powerful air pistol that can clip dandelion heads at 20 yards. If your shooter likes air pistols, this is probably on his short list.

3. Does your airgunner shoot precharged guns? If so he needs a 98 cubic foot carbon fiber air tank. Yes, this tank is 10 cubic feet larger than most carbon fiber tanks, so of course it holds more air. Make sure your airgunner can use this tank before you purchase one.

4. My final recommendation is an Air Arms Galahad Carbine FAC with walnut stock. I haven’t tested this one yet, but it’s on my to-do-soon list. Since this is made by Air Arms I have no qualms about recommending it. Yes, it’s very costly, but your airgunner will probably never stop thanking you for it! And the Galahad does come in rifle lengths, if he wants something slightly different.

40 thoughts on “Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 2 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  2. B.B.,

    Nice job on the list(s). Hopefully we will have some happy air gunners this year due to your recommendations. I always enjoy hearing what our readers received for Christmas.

    In the “no price limit” category I will have to put in my vote for a Shoebox compressor. ($1150.00) We don’t want any Dads and Grandpas stroking out from too much exertion with the hand pump. It will make your PCP shooting sessions much more enjoyable. My Freedom 8 will pump a small tank from 3500 to 4500 in 23 minutes. The new 10 will do it even faster. For the low pressure air compressor I strongly recommend the California Air brand. Ultra quiet compared to most others.

    Sorry B.B.,…. just had to add in my 2 cents. Chris (I hope everyone gets what they want this year)





  3. What BB’s annual Christmas gift list would be complete without Slinging Lead butting in and offering his two cents?

    I found out a little while back that Crosman is selling the 1077 with a wood stock once more.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Crosman_1077W_Repeatair_CO2_Rifle/224

    At $109.99, it can be had for $99 with PA’s 10% off promotion.

    I have long wanted a 1077 but couldn’t abide the plastic stock version because I knew the wood versions were out there and I always thought that I would come across a used one.

    Not one to wait and see if dumb ole Santa would bring me what I wanted, I ordered it for myself. Mine came with a surprisingly nice piece of wood that is screaming for an oil-rubbed finish.

    If you intend to mount a scope to the 1077, remember that the scope rails are plastic so I would further suggest mounting a scope base like this one:

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_Universal_Dovetail_To_Picatinny_Weaver_Adapter/7311

    Also you are going to need CO2 cartridges. Lots of em.





      • How’s the trigger and accuracy?
        I was looking at getting the Terrus to introduce my wife and other newcomers to airgunning butt if the accuracy is there this may be a better option instead of a break barrel or multi pump.


        • Belgrath

          The accuracy is typically impressive (sometimes fantastic), especially considering this is a lower priced airgun from Crosman.

          Not that I am bagging on Crosman you understand. But Crosman has what I consider a (unearned) reputation as a maker of sub par barrels among some. From my own experience and what I have read of other’s, this gun is more accurate than it has any right to be at its price point.

          As far as the trigger goes, ahh….

          You have to understand that the trigger on the 1077 pulls triple duty. It COCKS THE RIFLE, it advances the revolving 12 round clip, and it releases the hammer to fire. As such it can’t possibly be match grade. I wont lie to you. It is heavy. But it also gets smoother with use. Also from what I understand some “magazines” are much lighter to advance than others. So there you go.

          I have always resisted CO2 airguns because I didn’t like the fact they are dependent upon having a store of cartridges (or bulk tank) available. Springers and multi-pumps have always been my favorites because of their self-contained ability to provide the propellant. The 1077 is the ultimate low priced CO2 plinker however, and I bought it despite the heavy trigger, the need for purchasing propellant for it to work, and the fact that even here in the south where I live, conditions are less than ideal for shooting this gun outdoors for almost half the year.

          The Crosman 1077 is by most accounts an outstanding CO2 powered airgun, but it isn’t for everyone.


    • I admit that the plastic stock looks kind of toy-like, but it doesn’t interfere with accuracy. And I like getting more for less. The 1077 has also been my barrier to getting a Ruger 10/22 which I very much admire. The 1077 is just to similar to make it worthwhile.

      Matt61


      • Matt61

        I would probably have been perfectly content with the plastic stock version, but then I found out about the wood stocked one, and nothing else would do.

        It is kind of like BB being content with the FWB 124 he bought from Beeman… until he found out about the R1.

        The mind can be a funny thing. Sometimes the next shiney thing is all it takes to go from fulfillment to discontent.


  4. I might have to be cheeky here and recommend for the well heeled pest controller the only air rifle to date that will fire pellets at 24fpe and group at less than an inch at 50 yards, just about the only non firearm option for critters up to 10lb at longer ranges without the inconvenience of air tanks or the noise of powder burners
    The Diana 48/52/54


    • Dom,

      I have been researching spring rifles for a couple of months, and I seem to have arrived at the same place.
      Think a Diana 48 is what I’m going to recommend to Santa. Was thinking about a gas spring, but the 48 just fits my requirements better. Thanks for speaking up!

      Walt



      • Walt
        I had a .177 caliber 54 air king. Very nice shooting gun. People say they destroy scopes with the slide action system. Had a Hawke Varmint scope on it with no problems.

        I would like to get another one in .22 caliber this time around and see what their like.

        If you get one make sure you let us know what you think.


      • I really don’t think you can go wrong, with your lack of power limitations in the States the. 22 makes the most sense, with a relatively heavy pellet, the cocking effort is light and the accuracy is outstanding.
        If you don’t have the need for the extra power, for example if your pest problem only extends to 40m rats and rabbits then a TX200 or HW97 are similarly accurate, well made rifles, but if you want the extra thwack and range without compromising accuracy its yet to be beat, that said, keep an eye on BB’s ongoing test of the new Diana AR8 (the cocking is a lot heavier though)
        Gas springs don’t really stand up to much scrutiny, there’s no evidence they last any longer, tend to cock heavier and can make the firing cycle snappy, their advantage is that you can leave the rifle cocked overnight without setting the spring, arguably if you are going to leave any pellet gun locked and loaded like this overnight you should probably step away, it’s straight up pointless.
        The 48/52 makes less of a case for itself here in the UK, being restricted to 12fpe, though I still own one in 177 and one in 22 I tend to reach for my HW77 and HW95 more often, but as a magnum springer, its peerless and has been since 1982


  5. B.B.,

    About the Heilprin Columbian Model E BB gun article the other day, is there any particular significance to the “Columbian” part of the name or was it just a name he pulled out of the blue?

    G&G



      • B.B.,

        Now that you mention it I remember reading much about that World’s Fair. It was very influential for a variety of reasons but primarily for technology and design (especially architecture). Frank Lloyd Wright chief among architects. Thanks.

        G&G


    • Its very interesting symbolism. Columbia is a female personification of the new world and later US in particular.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_(name)

      That article just scratches the surface. I really got into it seriously one time when someone suggested that the mystery Indian or woman on many Lehigh longrifles might be Columbia which makes a lot of sense.

      I think in cases like a BB gun it is intended to mean something like all-American.


      • Agreed with this for sure. “Columbia, the gem of the ocean/Hail to the red, white, and blue!” A rousing patriotic song that is not often heard now. It is a personification of the United States as a kind of female goddess and matron that antedates the Statue of Liberty. It might even have been the inspiration for it. It is part of an interesting succession of national symbols that reflect change and stability both in the American character. In the early days of the republic, the nation was often personified as “Jonathan” in contrast to the John Bull of England. John Bull was short and tough like a bulldog. Jonathan, on the other hand, was sort of a easygoing country character. Uncle Sam was a later development towards the end of the 19th century I believe. That figure remains in the popular memory although less prominently than before. However, the original was somewhat different. Uncle Sam, now, is supposed to be jovial, but some scholars have described the early version as “raw” and “whip mean.” Maybe this was some kind of frontier ethos.

        Matt61


  6. Interesting about the JB embedding compound. I bought a jar as one of my first purchases from PA as a result of the blog, but have never used it. In part that is because I have learned since that one doesn’t clean airguns regularly like firearms. I also came across an article by a self-proclaimed gunsmith who wrote that he never uses the product. That is because he looked down a bore with a microscope and saw evidence that the JB compound had eroded the rifling on some target rifle. My guns have shot well enough that it was never worth my while to test this. When the guns need cleaning, I just send them to blog reader Derrick every few years. 🙂

    Gunfun1, you raise an interesting new idea. By one gun, we can mean either a particular design or a particular copy of the gun. I believe that Russian Mosin sniper rifles were built to the same specifications as the rest of the 20 million that were manufactured. They just happened to be exceptionally accurate. Similarly, I read that Marine Corps sniper rifles are tuned until they can group into 10 inches at a 1000 yards. There are some that can group inside 5 inches at that distance which are put away for “special purposes.”

    ChrisUSA, I’m always good for a theory. It is like this veteran spy who I was reading about in a novel. He was musing that he had never liked Washington D.C. because it was “full of speed readers who knew everything and then left you holding the bag when things didn’t work out”… Anyway, I do have a theory in response to your question about throwing knife design. I think the key is the concept of inertia which I was getting at when I mentioned weight. The technical meaning is different from the casual one. Strictly speaking, inertia is mass which is related to weight but not the same thing. I believe that mass is defined as that which resists acceleration. So the meaning is bound up with motion and appears in the First Law of Motion about how something will continue to move unless it meets a force that will stop it. There are even more generalized notions of inertia referred to as “moments” of inertia which refer to rotational motion. Too bad PeteZ, a real physicist, is not around to comment. If he’s reading this, he is probably laughing.

    Anyway, moments of inertia for spinning objects measure something like the amount of weight aligned with the direction of motion. I believe that explains in part your example about the spinning motorcycle wheel and how it balances the motorcycle. The same is true of a spinning bicycle wheel although the full physics of bicycle stability (as well as motorcycles) is immensely complicated and I don’t believe is fully understood even now. Experiments consist of exaggerating certain components of bicycles to see how they affect stability. What seems to be crucial is a quantity called “rake” which is the distance between the contact point of the front wheel and point where a line through the front fork would intersect with the pavement. Back on topic, the idea is that a short, broad top would be more stable than an extremely tall and skinny one. Wheebles wobble but the don’t fall down.

    To take the opposite view there are reasons why a long, thin throwing knife would not be especially stable. Medieval swords are long and symmetrical because they were designed to change direction rapidly as people are starting to understand from ancient fighting techniques. As another digression, fighter planes are designed to be aerodynamically unstable in order to maneuver better. This reached an extreme in the F-16 plane, one of the most maneuverable of all time, whose airframe is so unstable that it would disintegrate instantly without an onboard computer to make rapid compensation beyond the ability of a human pilot. Curiously, this type of accident has never happened in all the decades of service from this airplane.

    Anyway, between the principle of inertia and these various examples, I tend to think that a somewhat broader knife would be better for throwing than a narrower spike-like knife.

    Matt61


    • Matt61
      I wonder how many shots were fired to get that gun and shooter coaxed into shooting well at that distance.

      How did they start. Standard rounds in close at say 200 yards. Then progressively extend the distance until the shots didn’t group like they wanted. Then what change to different ammo. Or did they determine that particular gun wasn’t going to cut it. Or did all the guns shoot well and they had to find the right shooter to fit the gun.

      Man can you just imagine shooting a target at 1000 yards. I’m doing good to hit consistently at a 150 yards with my smaller caliber air guns. But believe me I’m trying. Remember when we talked about mini-sniping with air guns. Like how a 12 oz soda can at a 150 yards could be like a firearm shooting a watermelon out at 1000 yards. Lot of things got to be right at those distances for either gun type. Firearm or airgun. But darn it is fun trying with the air guns I will say that.


    • Matt61,

      As usual,… you are a wealth of information. I did look into those knives and I believe that I found the right ones. The 8 1/2″ version. Now I have to decide how to reconfigure things to come up indoor throwing range or just settle for something outdoors. The back stop would have to be considerably larger than an indoor pellet back stop. As for motorcycles,.. I can say the more “chopper” like, (+rake), the more unstable at lower speeds. As for flat or thin knives,.. I figured that a flatter mass would have the tendency to remain in the same plane/axis and not tumble. I wonder if the stability increases on a flat blade as it travels to the target? Also,.. in movies you see a (blade held) knife thrown and only make a half rotation before proceeding point forward all the way to the target. I do not think that it is possible except for the 1st initial 1/2 rotation. Beyond that,… it will just continue to rotate. Interesting stuff.

      Thanks again, Chris


  7. After reading all these comments about Columbia, the female personification of liberty in general and America in particular, I couldn’t help but think of the greatest logo in the world of airgunning.

    No it isn’t Columbia, but close. It is the Goddess Diana. Casting down her bow and arrow for (presumably) an air rifle.

    Les


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