2017 Findlay airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Stupid me
  • The show
  • Pyramyd Air
  • William Schooley
  • Crosman — this is for you
  • Stuff at the show
  • Remington model 26 BB gun
  • IZH 46M
  • Pyramyd Air — again!
  • Best for last

Stupid me

Well, the verdict in in — I’m stupid! I have a case of ignorance for which there is no cure. I just drove 2,400 miles to attend a one-day airgun show that I had hoped to report to you, and forgot to take my camera! Took the charger and some flash drives so I could transfer the images — just didn’t take the picture-taker thingy!

Fortunately for me, I live in an age where there are safety nets everywhere for people like me. My smart phone has a better camera built into it than the first digital camera I owned. Let me show you how good it is.

I was in Illinois, flying down the road at 6 a.m., when I saw one of those tractor/trailers that has aerodynamic flaps on the rear of the trailer. It reminded me of a diabolo pellet, except the purpose of these flaps is not to create drag, but instead to smooth out the air behind the trailer and lower the drag. That gives the tractor pulling the trailer better fuel mileage. The flaps can be deployed, as shown here, or folded flat and out of the way.

Hey! This would make a good intro to my report — Oh, NO! I forgot to bring my camera! Well, my phone has a camera in it. Let’s see how it works.

The first picture is pretty much what the camera saw as I was holding the phone with both hands while steadying the steering wheel with my left forearm (at 70 miles per hour, no less)! I just wanted you to see what I have to work with.

truck tail
This is the image my smart phone captured.

The second picture is one I cleaned up and enhanced in Photoshop to make everything more visible. I show it today to show you how much has to go into a photo to make it interesting.

flaps
These four metal flaps streamline the tail of the trailer, lowering drag and increasing mileage. Over a long haul, they really pay off.

The show

Now for the show. It was held at a different venue this year — a much larger venue, and that made all the difference in the world! It seemed that each vendor brought their very best stuff, without anyone telling them to. And the attendees had lots of money in their pockets! So, this turned out to be the best airgun show I ever attended. Now I will tell you the specifics.

Pyramyd Air

Let me start with the very best. Pyramyd Air brought guns they acquired when they bought the business of another Ohio airgun dealer. These ranged from very old spring rifles to things as new as a new-in-the-box IZH 46M. I saw the list the evening before the show and put in my offer for the 90 percent Beeman R8. Before you ask, no, it’s not for sale because it’s already been sold. More people offered me money and trades for that gun than for any other on my tables, and that one was hidden out of sight!

I bought other things from them, too, including an FWB 124 Deluxe that sat on their table for most of the show. I couldn’t believe it! People even picked it up! With 124s as red hot as they are right now, people were avoiding this one like the plague. I finally bought it only because they sold it so low I had to! I got it for almost Bronco money, and yes, there was one of those, too. So, buck up, campers! You’re about to endure yet another foray into the fascinating world of the 124.

I will reveal the rest of the things I got from them over time — through the history column. Many people I talked to at this show told me that the history column is their favorite part of the blog.

William Schooley

Speaking of people, I met more readers at this show that at any other airgun show. Everyone must have felt comfortable coming up and saying hello! But the one I took a picture of is our marksmanship coach and reader, William Schooley.

Schooley
Marksmanship coach William Schooley has an idea for Crosman.

Crosman — this is for you

William wants to see the Benjamin Maximus turned into a budget 10-meter rifle for the CMP/NRA Sporter class. He wants a rifle that the parents of kids can afford to purchase, instead of using a club gun. That way they can practice more. He says he sees many kids who could go much farther if they just had equipment of their own.

We talked about the 10-year olds squirming around on the mat as they try to pump the Daisy 853 while in the prone position. It’s a wonderful airgun, but not very friendly when it comes to pumping. The Maximus would solve that problem.

He doesn’t want Crosman to go nuts modifying the rifle, either. It’s accurate enough as it is, and we already know that coaches and dads can modify the trigger. There are limits on how light a sporter-class trigger can be, and we both think the Maximus will be ideal. It probably needs target sights and perhaps a few other things that will occur to the designers.

It seems to be a great idea for how to sell more Maximus rifles, if Crosman is interested. If they are, I told William I would make the introductions and get out of the way.

Stuff at the show

Okay, besides Pyramyd Air, there were about another hundred dealers at the show. I don’t have time to show everything today, but we can get started.

Remington model 26 BB gun

A what? Remington made BB guns? Yes, they really did, and their gun was a very substantial slide-action. They called it the model 26, as opposed to Daisy’s Number 25. They are very uncommon. I seldom see even one at a show. I think I saw 4 at Findlay!

Remington
A Remington model 26 BB gun in fine condition.

IZH 46M

People always tell me they are looking for IZH 61s and 46Ms. They should have been at Findlay. There was everything from a NIB 46 on the Pyramyd table to several in fine condition walking the floor and lying on tables. And a steel-receiver 61 walked around the show on somebody’s back.

IZH 46
An IZH 46M awaits a new owner.

Oh, and by the way, I saw sales ticket prices fall like meteors! Five-hundred-dollar airguns (the price on the tag) were going home with new owners for $300! I even know of better deals than that, but I am sworn to secrecy — really!

Pyramyd Air — again!

A final nose-tweak for those who didn’t make the drive. Here are a few of the choicer airguns Pyramyd Air was selling.

Haenel 300
HW 50SE (yes — the old one!)
Diana 38 (walnut stocked version of the 34, and NIB!)
Sheridan Blue Streak rocker safety
Sheridan Silver Streak thumb safety
Wischo 70 (BSF S70)
Beeman R8
FWB 124 Deluxe
Tell breakbarrel rifle (a real old breakbarrel!)
Slavia 619
BSF S20 in the box
Crosman 115 pistol in the box
Crosman 116 pistol in the box
Benjamin Marauder Gen 1 NIB .177
Benjamin Marauder Gen 1 NIB .22 (2)
Crosman 1400
Crosman 622
American-assembled Sterling HR83
Japanese Sakaba (copy of the Tell breakbarrel)
Crosman 160 (2)

That is about one-quarter of the list, which is about half of what Pyramyd Air bought from the collector/dealer. The cherry-pickers had a field day at Findlay this year, and I was among them.

Best for last

Not only was this show in a new and larger venue this year. It was also the only airgun show I have seen where they post the colors (the American flag) and everyone says the pledge of allegiance. You know — everyone seemed to know the words! Then a minister opened the show with a blessing. These two things speak to the high pedigree of the show’s organizers — who are basically Dan Lerma and his family.

colors
Five Eagle Scouts posted the colors before the pledge of allegiance.

There is a lot more to tell, so keep watching this space!

49 thoughts on “2017 Findlay airgun show: Part 1

  1. I am glad to see the posting of the colors..

    Please be careful, we would hate to hear of some news story from an obscure town: elderly Texas man crashes trying to photograph 18 wheeler with smart phone.

    Not what we want to hear.

    So, when is the next airgun show in Texas?

    My job has moved me to the Houston area.
    And now Malvern is out of the picture. .


  2. B.B.

    If you could only attend one show, looking for vintage 10 meter stuff, which show would it be?
    I am hoping this year to make a special weekend out of it. Fly in, hotel, rental car, the whole nine yards(do you know where that expression came from?).
    -Yogi


    • Yogi,

      Wikipedia has lots of offerings for an explanation,… but little,.. to nothing,.. in the way of any concrete conclusions. I typed in “the whole nine yards”. I like stuff like that too. Some phrase’s histories’ can be quite interesting.


    • Yogi,

      You never know what a show will have. I have seen the Roanoke show one year have only one or two 10 meter rifles and then the next year there must have been over fifty. It will depend on which dealers attend and what stock they bring. A good rule of thumb is the larger the show, the better your chances to find what you desire.



      • B.B.,

        I figured out that I will be able to go to the Kalamazoo show this year as they have it scheduled a bit earlier in August than they have in earlier years. It will be my first show! Now I just have to wait all that time while visions of airguns dance in my head.

        Michael


    • Yogi,

      Best I know is that the expression “the whole nine yards” comes from WW2 and refers to the length of a .50 caliber machine gun ammunition belt.

      So the comment “I gave him the whole nine yards” would be something a B-17 gunner might say after firing a whole belt at an incoming fighter plane. Nothing was held back.

      Anyway, that is my take on it, now I have to check Wikipedia to see what Chris has found. 🙂

      TTFN!

      Hank


    • The whole nine yards refers to a machinegun belt in an airplane. That was the length of the belt of ammo. So, when you really wanted to kill someone you gave them the whole nine yards, because you couldn’t reload while flying.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I usually say, “The whole enchilada.” (My wife and I love spicy food. Our philosophy is that if it doesn’t make sweat appear on your brow and your lips change colors, it’s just plain not hot enough!)

        Michael



          • B.B.,

            Ugh! I feel for you. Road food. :^( But you do live in Texas, so I imagine you know of many restaurants and markets where you can get really good hot food. Here it is hit-and-miss, too often miss.

            Often my wife and I run into the problem of ordering something “extra spicy, extra hot” in a Mexican or Asian restaurant, but they must think, “Oh, these two only THINK they want it really hot.” So we end up with bland meals that they think we want, not what we really want. The places where we are regulars have come to know that we really mean it.

            Michael


            • Michael,

              One one time was I ever challenged. In Fort Smith I challenged a Chinese restaurant to bring me something REALLY hot and they brought a golfball-sized lump of wasabi. I ate a marble of it, and stopped! I was defeated for the first and only time in my life. I have eaten ghost peppers that were hot, but tolerable, but that wasabi was lethal!

              B.B.


              • B.B.,

                I believe it with Wasabi and Asian hot mustard. Horseradish is a different kind of hot. I like it strong to the point of sinus-clearing, but one has to be careful. It can literally burn you.

                The one time I was served food that was too hot for me was at a Korean restaurant (in Quito, Ecuador of all places). Id eaten hot Korean food before with no problem, and I am a guy who can pop an habanero into my mouth like candy. But there was a condiment on the table I couldn’t handle even in a tiny amount. It was a dark red paste. It was so hot that the initial sensation was numbness, like a local anesthetic. Then half a minute later the burning sensation. I’m just glad I had the sense to try just a pea-sized bit on the end of my fork (yeah, fork — I’m only so-so with chopsticks).

                Michael


              • You’ll have to try a product called something like Insane Hot Sauce that my brother likes to pass around as a novelty. It is undefeated and can bring native eaters of spicy food to their knees. However, it really has no taste. It just seems to be a novelty item to torment people.

                Matt61


      • That’s news to me. I always thought the whole nine yards referred to a first down in football. What happened to the 10th yard was always a puzzle but I figured that nine was used for irony. Giving the whole nine yards of belt ammo seems like a bad idea if it would leave you empty.

        Matt61





      • Either seems reasonable, my money’s on the gun belt. Where things go wonky is when references to other amounts like “the whole SIX yards”- which were made prior to the gun belt’s existence- are used to show the gun belt is not correct. To my way of thinking, the idiom simply changed with the current times, and the nine yards that best conveys “giving ‘it’ all you have” is the gun belt.


        • FWIW,

          Another long-standing explanation is that it refers to the making of a suit by a tailor. A cheap(er) suit would have less fabric in it, but the “whole nine yards” would mean enough material for suit coat, vest, and two pairs of trousers. My great-grandpa was quite a clothes horse, and like many gents, he would always get a suit made with two pairs of trousers as the first thing to wear out in a suit is the seat of the pants.

          To support that idea, my grandfather (other side of the family) worked as a tailor’s assistant in the summers as a teenager and in his early twenties while he was in college. He was born in 1896, so that would have all been prior to 1920. He claimed that was the origin of the phrase, but then again, he said that in his later years, so it might have been a false memory for him.

          Michael


  3. Very nice. It looked like quite the show. I was surprised that P.A. chose to sell their bought out stock at the show instead of their website, but in hind sight,.. the show was a good choice. By doing so, it added to the support for the show.

    The Maximus would be a good choice for a 10 meter. The trigger can be modified quite easily to be 1#. I do believe there is even drop in after market triggers that are even nicer. It would be awesome with peep sights. It would be interesting to hear someone comment on what changes would need to made to consider it ideal for a youth competition rifle. Right now, I would have to say that it is way overkill.

    Good Day all,… Chris


    • Chris,

      I have an Edge. It is perhaps the best 10 meter Sporter made.

      The trigger would need to be adjustable to be set at no less than 1.5#. The power would have to be dropped to about 5 or 6 FPE. The stock would need to be made adjustable for different shooters. Then you need decent peep sights, which is going to be the biggest expense. All this will likely at least double the price.

      Crosman already makes the Challenger. Both the Challenger and the Edge are sold at right around the maximum price allowed. Could Crosman bring the Maximus out as a 10 meter Sporter and keep the price under $300? That would probably be very difficult.

      What I would like to see would be a “drop in” kit to take the Edge from 10 meter Sporter to entry level precision. This would allow parents to have their child shoot the same rifle through several levels of competition at a much more affordable cost. The sights are every bit as good as is found on some very expensive air rifles and the accuracy is superb. The biggest issue is the trigger. Right now mine is at just a few ounces with zero over travel. 😉 It is not near as nice as a Feinwerkbau, but it shows that it can have a decent trigger.


      • RR,

        From what Cobalt relayed about Daisy/Gamo yesterday, I would not look for anything good to be forthcoming. New “Whammy Blasters” every year and no parts support. Sorry, if they go that route, they have lost my business,.. for good. Like I said, keep the good models and continue the parts support. Period!


        • Chris, hopefully Gamo will have the sense to leave the Daisy parts program alone. In the meantime I will stock the parts I know I’ll use in the foreseeable future. My last order was about $150 and the order I’m working on now is close to that already. In the end Crossman may be the sole survivor.


        • Chris,

          I did not realize we were discussing the Daisy/Gamo fiasco. You were talking about converting the Crosman/Benjamin Maximus into a 10 meter sporter. That is what my babbling was about.

          Now if you want me to wade in on the Daisy/Gamo thing, I can throw my two cents in, but I would rather wait and read what Cobalt had to say first. No use ranting about something someone else has already ranted about.


          • Ridge Runner

            It is still early into Gamo’s reign so I’m trying to take a “wait and see” approach. Well, except for stocking up on some parts. I suppose we can hope for the best and prepare for the worst.


            • Personally, it will not have much of an affect on me one way or another. I have a 1959 Daisy 99 and a 105 Buck for my grandson. Daisy does not have anything else that I am really interested in except maybe one of those wired stock replicas, and they are way too pricey for me.

              As far as Gamo is concerned, they have recently been bringing out some decent guns. If they keep this up, I just might get one.


              • Until about 9 months ago, I felt the same way- no skin off my back what happens to Daisy, even though I would have wished them well. But since then I have become involved with rebuilding and modifying the lowly Daisy lever action BB guns for better performance. Then along the way I picked up a couple reman model 74s to hop up and I like them quite a bit now that they have some oats. Same thing w/the model 880- got to reading how guys were modding them for better performance and so I have a reman and a yard sale pick up. Then there is the model 499 that started out as a pile of parts bought from Daisy that now shoots lights out at around 420 fps. So I’m pretty invested in the Daisys and it would really put a crimp on things if I couldn’t get affordable parts any longer.


                • Go to an airgun show. There are dealers that specialize in parts for the old Daisy bb guns. They have piles of parts to fit whatever Daisy you want including many that Daisy will no longer have parts for like my 1959 Daisy 99.


                  • Ridge Runner,

                    That’s a good idea. I need to check for airgun shows, I’m within driving distance of the Atlanta area. Going to a show or two could answer some questions like which models/years have stronger plunger tubes that are compatible w/the wide frame Daisys like the 95/96, etc. (Plunger tube rigidity is a major limiting factor atm.)


                    • I am not sure when it is, but in the very near future there is a show in Arkansas and then there is the Texas show and in October there is the North Carolina show. I don’t know of any more local to you though.


          • RR,

            I ma sorry. I was still fuming over what I had read on Daisy. Thank you for your comments. That is lot to change. The grip is pretty straight also, which runs counter to a lot of target rifles. I do believe that BB said “for home/practice use”. It would be good for that I suppose and the price is right.


    • I think it would’ve been extremely time consuming to photo and list each item on Pyramyd’s web site. The bins of pellets at $5 each were especially irresistible.


  4. I started reading today’s blog and thought “This man needs a smartphone!” but you’ve got it covered. I rarely take my bulky camera in the field for work now unless I need the zoom; my smartphone takes very decent photos. I’ve also gotten some great photos when I would never have brought a camera along because I had my phone. The ancient Chinese blessing / curse states “May you live in interesting times” and we certainly do!


  5. 2400 miles for a one day show!!!

    Thank you B.B, I appreciate that you would do that! Looking forward to your reports.

    Bonus that you picked up a couple of deals 🙂

    Love my 124 – its been my go-to plinker and walk-about rifle for 35 years.

    Hank


  6. BB,

    My buddy and I drove 3.5 hours from Pittsburgh to attend the show. I told him I brought my camera and I think I even said “don’t let me forget my camera as I want to take lots of pictures”. We arrived just before 8:00 am for the Early Bird entry. We stayed for the entire show, leaving at 3:00 pm when it was all over and the dealers were packing up. It was only then I remembered my camera in the car.

    Dan Wesson Fan


  7. B.B.,

    I’ve just reread your report and two things stood out for me. First is I would have been hot for that walk-in steel-receiver IZH 61, although I would prefer a steel-receiver IZH 60. Long-arm sidelevers are awkward for lefties, but those are so easy-cocking I would have to try one anyway.

    Second, was the Japanese copy of the Tell itself vintage (1950s or 1960s) or recent? That one surprised me.

    Michael


  8. Most people who are not “shooters” or collectors don’t realize just how many sayings we have in the English language here in the USA that are derived from firearms. Sayings such as “lock, stock and barrel” refer to the ordering of a custom musket/rifle to include the stock, the lock or firing mechanism and of course, the barrel. Other expressions such as “keep your powder dry”, “fire in the hole”, “going off half-cocked” are easy to discern. “The whole shebang” is a civil war military expression meaning all your equipment. I tend to agree with “the whole nine yards” being of the machine gun origination. As an aside, I just love it when the left-leaning, main stream news organizations who are notoriously anti-gun, pepper their articles or commentaries with these kind of sayings, not realizing where they orginated.

    Fred now from GA! (I was thinking of using NFG but ……)


  9. B.B.,

    Your reports are always informative for us armchair travelers. There is a chance I will make it to the http://texasairgunshow.com in August. With a couple of other guys it will be a day trip. I know I will feel tired by the time I get back home, but I am sure it will be worth it.

    I purchased an air rifle, a Crosman F4 (which is like a Crosman Fire with a different stock. I expect there is at least one other offering from Crosman that uses the same basic platform with the Nitro Piston is reversed. I know this doesn’t turn it into an NP2, but I am intrigued at the prospect. The rifle is in .177 caliber. Sad to say, using the same scope, I am already shooting better than I ever have with my Titan, and I bought it last Saturday morning. Of course, I will want to see how I fair at greater distances than 25 yards.

    ~ken


  10. FrankBpc, thanks for your suggestions about knife-sharpening. To completely remove an edge from the knife is a daring move, but in the case of some of my knives, it wouldn’t make much difference.

    On another note, my re-enactment interests took a major step forward with the arrival of my own set of Russian camouflage fatigues from Russia. I actually navigated eBay, foreign commerce, and Russian sizes to get everything right. But it turns out that Russian camouflage is not that exotic after all. the airsoft people are way ahead of me and are a major market for camouflage of all kinds. Naturally, with all the varieties, I got to thinking which was the best pattern of all, sort of the way it is natural to think of the best gun. There is a complication in the case of camouflage. One sense of “best” is the closest match with the environment, but what’s good for one environment is not good for another and will make you even more visible. So inevitably there is a compromise between versatility and concealment. There is a whole genre of videos of people testing camouflage in various terrain. I don’t know if there is any definitive answer, but based on these and some other things, it looks like the German dot pattern from WWII and the tiger stripe pattern from the Vietnam era are very effective. In some cases, the wearer seems to materialize out of nowhere. It’s quite an effect.

    Matt61


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