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Education / Training Collecting airguns: Condition 2

Collecting airguns: Condition 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Numismatics
  • Coin grades
  • Back to guns
  • 1894 Swedish Mauser
  • Is refinishing bad?
  • Cleaned coins
  • Three types of collectors
  • Different finishes equal different wear patterns
  • Last story
  • Summary

Today’s subject is one of the big ones in collecting. However, it must be understood in light of the intentions of the collector. Are you collecting because you enjoy airguns? Are you collecting as an investment? Or are you collecting to make money? The answer to these three questions can sometimes drive the issue of condition.


I will start with coin collecting and then transition to firearms and airguns. There are thousands of times more coin collectors around the world than airgun collectors. And, in the world of collecting coins, condition is one of the most fundamental issues. Let’s get specific.

Coin grades

There are many grades of coins and even a numerical scale that’s more precise, but for this discussion we will just consider the following grades.

Very Good
Very Fine
Extremely Fine
Almost Uncirculated

Let’s look at two half-dollar coins. Both are 1858 Seated Liberty Halves that were minted at the New Orleans mint. One is in Very Good to almost Fine condition. In Very Good condition, this coin is worth $50 today. In Fine condition it’s worth $67.

VG half Obverse
This coin is in Very Good to almost Fine condition.

VG half Reverse
The reverse of the same coin in also Very Good to almost Fine.

This coin sold for $49.00 on Ebay. That’s a good price, though sharp hunting and bargaining could acquire the same coin for less.

The second coin is also an 1858 O half dollar, only the condition is Extremely Fine. In that condition this same coin is worth $133. First lesson —  two grades higher means almost three times the value (in this case). That ratio differs for each coin.

This coin sold for $29.00 on Ebay. Why so cheap? Because someone had drilled a hole in it, either to wear it on a chain or to sew it into their clothes for safekeeping — a very common thing in the 19th century. That hole cost this coin nearly all of its value! If you melted it down for the silver at today’s rate it is worth $6.33 (minus a little for the hole). The hole dropped the value of that coin to one-eighth that of the same coin with no damage.

Holed half Obverse
This coin would be Extremely Fine if not for the hole. Look at the features on the head, hand and shield.

Holed half Reverse
The reverse is just as nice.

These damaged coins are collected by newer collectors who haven’t got the resources to have nicer examples. And, when coins are extremely rare and cost tens of thousands of dollars and more, a holed coin is the only way for the average person to own one.

Back to guns

The condition of coins is a thousand times more exacting than the condition of airguns! Even firearms are much more exacting than airguns, because there are more firearm collectors. Let’s look at a firearm example.

1894 Swedish Mauser

The Swedes created the Swedish Mauser in 1894. It was an extremely short carbine by the standards of the day, and in 1896 they redesigned it into a longer battle rifle. The 1894 Swedish Mauser is scarce and desirable. An average battle-worn one that is unfooled-with will fetch at least $800 today. A nicer one brings $1,200 and up.

I have one with the serial number 389. That rifle was made in 1895! It was made by Mauser in Germany, in the first production run of the rifle. Fifty-two prototypes were made in 1894, and the first production run totaled 5,000 rifles. Condition-wise, it appears to be in NRA Good to Very Good condition. That would put it at around $1,800 to $2,200 (because of the low serial number). BUT…

Years ago somebody thought it would be nice to sand down the stock and give it a coat of Birchwood Casey’s Tru Oil, so it would shine like a new penny! And it does. That one thing cut the value of the gun in half! Why? Because it’s no longer in original condition.

1894 Swedish Mauser
The 1894 Swedish Mauser is a short carbine that survives in low numbers.

1894 Swedish Mauser serial number
The rifle’s serial number is 389.

Is refinishing bad?

Refinishing isn’t necessarily bad, unless it’s done to a collector’s item and subtracts from the originality of the piece. Then it probably matters a lot. But even cleaning can, in certain circumstances, affect the value of something.

Cleaned coins

A silver coin that is worn down to Extremely Fine condition should have little or no original mint luster. All of it came off while the coin was in circulation. Yet many of the silver coins in that condition that you see for sale are shiny. Why? Because they have been cleaned. In coin collecting a cleaned coin is called a “whizzed” coin. An Extremely Fine 1858 O half dollar that is worth $133 in untouched condition drops to $65-90 if it’s been whizzed. And ALL of the shiny silver ones with that date and wear have been cleaned! Ponder that!

Did you notice that both the coins shown above are very dark? That’s the patina (tarnish) of age. American silver coins have traditionally been 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, or very close to it, since this country began minting coins. If a coin has circulated it will become tarnished. Even if a silver coin is not circulated, but has been stored near certain other materials for some time, it will tarnish.

Three types of collectors

A coin collector who is in the hobby for the enjoyment will spend more to get the best condition coin he can afford. An investor will do the same, because he knows that coins in high condition hold their value best. But someone who is looking to make money may have a different agenda. For example, he may know that a newer collector isn’t as attuned to the issue of condition that you have just read. A newer collector may want the whizzed (bright) coin more than the one with original patina because it looks better to him. The money-maker can profit by buying something from a real collector at a devalued price, based on its having been cleaned, and then selling it to a new collector for more than it’s worth because it looks nice.

What about airguns?

Different finishes equal different wear patterns

Airguns have all sorts of different finishes. Some are blued steel. Others are steel that has been treated with black oxide. Those are the ones we most often call “blued,” but they aren’t. Black oxide wears differently than real bluing. There are even different types of bluing to consider, so it gets quite complex.

Usually I would just make a statement like, “…there are even different types of bluing to consider” and move on, but not this time. Let me talk about two types. Rust bluing is just what the name implies. This kind of bluing simply rusts the metal and then carefully removes the active red rust to reveal an even blueish appearance. It is applied over time, by numerous applications that are labor intensive. That makes it a very tough kind of bluing. Treat it well and rust bluing can last for centuries.

Fire bluing is a more vibrant and impressive kind of bluing that’s applied with — you guessed it — fire! Any blacksmith knows that as steel heats it turns from silver to light yellow, to dark yellow, to brown, to light blue, to dark blue to violet. If you stop heating when the steel is dark blue, you have a fire-blued piece. Unfortunately, this finish is extremely fragile and will rub away with just handling — or even by rubbing against the inside of a poorly-fitted gun case. It is so fragile that it is usually applied only to screw heads. But an entire gun can be finished this way and then it becomes a sight to see!

presentation Colt
This Colt Dragoon has been fire-blued all over, then inlaid with gold figures and leafy vines. The finish is extremely delicate, but this gun will never be fired. It won’t even be cocked!

I could go on and discuss painted and plated airguns, but I will save that for a later installment. Just know that refinishing can decrease the value — again depending on the original finish.

Last story

Years ago I had a Haenel model III DRP. It was a blued gun in 95 percent condition, with just some bluing wear on the barrel from cocking. I gave $300 for it because of the fine and still shiny original finish. That was every penny the rifle was worth at the time (maybe even more), but I figured if I held onto it, the value would increase.

I then sent the rifle to a gunsmith friend, to extract the broken pivot bolt and make a new one. Since he was a friend, he also reblued the gun for me at no extra charge. He meant well, but by buffing and then black-oxiding a 1930s airgun that had been in fine original condition with a real blue finish, he turned my collectible rifle into a shooter worth perhaps $80-100. I never told him what he had done because what could he say? When the original finish is gone it can never return, and friends are worth more than money.


Condition is important to a collectible airgun. There is more to say, but it crowds over into a discussion of modification, so I will leave it here for now.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

182 thoughts on “Collecting airguns: Condition 2”

  1. Hello B.B. I’m going to enjoy the comments on this subject!I love to see many different vintage and different styled guns,I understand quality,use,rarity,design and age and more I don’t know to make a collectable piece.value is in the eye of ,okay I said it,”me” a gun nut.If like a gun to own,I need to shoot it! ,,and try to hit something 🙂 Dan

    • Dan,

      What you say may become a topic of its own. What makes something collectible?

      Many of the readers are commenting on “accumulations”, rather than collections. And others are talking about buying modern airguns. That’s not collecting.

      So — what is collecting?


      • But might there be a point to buying modern airguns if looking at airgun collecting from a long-term or multi-generational perspective? In 40 to 50 years, some of the pieces available today may indeed be sought after. Of course, this requires some discernment when it comes to purchasing. No one is likely to care about the countless reskinned and renamed Gamo or Crosman break barrels in half a century. But consider the Daisy (Avanti) 747 that was just discontinued. Years down the road, that may turn out to be a desirable piece–not worth a fortune, of course, but still worthy of having a place in a collection. The HW75, reasonably uncommon by comparison to Weihrauch’s other air pistols (e.g., the 45) may likewise prove itself a collector’s piece years down the road should Weihrauch ever discontinue it. Really nice air rifles and air pistols from respected manufacturers (or distributors, in Beeman’s case) tend to be hung onto by the people who value them. (My inability to find someone willing to part with their FWB 103 for a reasonable price speaks to that!) So once a model is discontinued, it may not be too easy to acquire, which means that such pieces will hold their value well for years until they are indeed old enough to be considered genuine collectables.

      • BB
        “The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector, and the scope of collecting is unlimited”.
        The title of this blog is collecting airguns. The point I was trying to make yesterday is that you can collect any kind or type airgun you wish, even new ones.
        All of them are able to be collected … but not all of them are designated as “Collectables” under the generally accepted definition of rare, desirable, highly sought after, hard to find airguns in good condition. New ones just don’t qualify for that title yet and many never will, even if they are in fact collected by people.

        I believed the title of the blog should be “Collectable Airguns” instead of “Collecting Airguns” because you are discussing those qualities that make an airgun a Collectable.

        Better yet, how about ” Collecting the Collectables and what to look for” That singles out the ones you are discussing.
        Or to put it another way, “What to look for in Collectable Airguns” Nuff said on my part.

          • BB
            I was quoting the Wikipedia definition of collecting. Sorry if it was misleading. I probably should have left the subject alone in hind sight.
            I can get a little anal at times. They use to call me PP Bobby in one Navy squadron because I was a nitpicking Quality Assurance Inspector and proper safety wiring was one of my pet peeves. Especially on high vibration helicopters that spent most of their time over water.

            I used to get in arguments with my Maintenance Officer about the wording in Squadron Maintenance Instructions. Seems a lot of people did not know you could not write an instruction that supersedes, contradicts, or is already covered by a higher commands instructions. I love fine print and technical writing and your good at it.

            I and probably many others knew what you were talking about, but I get caught up in the words used. I’ll think twice before I stir the pot again.

            • Bob,

              You sound like the inspector who goes ballistic when the safety wire through the castle nut on the helicopter is not twisted in the correct direction. Nobody appreciates him until an accident investigation reveals the cause was a nut that got loose from vibration.

              I just wouldn’t have written a definition of collecting that way. It’s too simplistic — like saying, “Define the universe. Now, give three examples.” 😉

              I am writing a definition of collecting in multiple long reports, and when I finish we will only have scratched the surface.


              • BB
                I stand corrected. Did not realize the report would be that diversified…. But I must scold you.
                Castle nuts use cotter pins. Drilled nuts use safety wire .
                I even made up a training aid with 12 examples of incorrect safety wiring. Too many twists, too tight made the wire brittle. Pig tails cut off too short, inconsistent twisting and on and on. And everyone eventually wires them up backwards.
                Man you don’t ever want to have the FAA inform you about a death you caused. A good friend died in a C130 test flight because someone in overhaul inadvertently flipped a flight control cable on a pulley and pulling up on the control column changed it to a down command.
                The saying goes “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, is terribly unforgiving for any carelessness, incapacity or neglect”
                Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London 1930’s.

                I have a picture of a biplane stuck in a tree between two limbs with that quote.

  2. B.B.

    The trouble with collecting air guns as an investment is pure demographics.
    I bet 90% of your readers are 55 years of age or older. Young people do not care about mechanical objects.
    Shop class was victim of budget cuts in the 80’s and 90’s. The future potential buyers are just not there.
    Maybe if you think short term, >5 years you might be OK.
    Better off collecting original video games or StarWars memorabilia……..just me $0.02.


      • RR
        Well how about that.

        You never had one air gun as a kid?

        And yep I can see your answer can go many ways.

        So what did you shoot as a kid. I know you said you hunted. Any plinking time as a kid? A .22 rimfire ever?

        • GF1,

          When I was three my Dad bought me a used Iver & Johnson Mark X .22 rifle. When I was six my Dad and Granddad started teaching me to shoot and hunt. I still have it.

              • RR
                Um well what do I say next?

                Here it goes. So with them stories your dad told you about his. Is that why he wouldn’t let you have one?

                I’m not trying to start something here because I guess this subject is personal. But man that’s a bummer you didn’t get one because of that but still was allowed a firearm.

                That’s what I’m seeing. Not that it matters what I think. Anyway. Glad you have air guns now. But still no bb guns yet?

                • GF1,

                  Oh, I understand. I would have been mostly unsupervised with one and likely would have gotten into trouble with it also.

                  When handling a firearm my Granddad or Dad were with me to insure I handled it safely and properly. Once I had shown them that I could do such responsibly, I was allowed to go off on my own.

                  As for a bb gun, I have a Daisy 1959 Model 99. It is the first Daisy competition bb gun. It is soooooo sweet. It is what I shoot carpenter bees with. It is also pretty good at ripping apart feral soda cans.

                  • RR
                    Ok. But don’t understand why they thought a firearm could be safer from what you said.

                    I’m dropping the subject. I wasn’t there so can’t say what your parents or grandparents thought.

                    Again more of a personal subject.

                    • GF1,

                      To me, it sounds as if Grandpa and Dad thought that a bb gun might be a bit useless for putting food on the table. You have to admire the guidance and supervision that it took to teach someone so young.

    • Well, being 27 I definitely get where you are coming from. Old airguns are neat, I like reading about them. Short of a Giradoni or something comparable, I have no real desire to own an old one I can’t shoot.

    • Yogi,

      I’ve wondered about the ages of the folks that regularly comment here. I even thought about keeping a list as each commenter would make a reference to their age. In general I think you are right and we are an older bunch. My 13 yr old grandson doesn’t have exposure to interesting mechanical things except through me and he doesn’t ,as yet, seek them out, but he seems to be interested in the airguns, tools, processes/skills that I share with him.”We don’t need no stinkin’ schools” to create those interests. We just need to make sure we are willing to spend some time and display some patience with the youngin’ in our lives.

      I’m 62 in Oct, if anyone else is making that list ! 😉

      • Halfstep,

        I lost track a long time ago! 😉 Safe to say though that we are a “mature” bunch, by in large,… and a pretty smart bunch at that.

        “I remember when”,… “back in the day”,… “young’un’s”,…. “back when I was kid…”,…. all are good indicators that you are dealing with a more mature crowd. Which,.. by the way,… there is much to be learned from. Just sayin’,….. 🙂

          • Halfstep
            You know that’s what has happened all my life. Maybe my clock is running faster than other people’s.

            Maybe once a good thing. Maybe now my time is closing faster. My dad lived to be in his lat 70’s. His brothers all didn’t make it to 60. I hope I really do take after my dad.

            Like I keep saying. Live life to the fullest. You just never know when.

            • GF1,

              In 2009 I was being slowly crushed to death in an accident at work. The breath that I took just before the accident was the last one I thought I would ever take. I sure couldn’t draw another one at that moment. I listened to the ribs in my back break slowly, one after the other,and after a 6 day hospital stay and 4 months of rehab and a darned near full recovery, I adopted that very philosophy. And your absolutely right, you never do know when.

              • Halfstep
                I can relate to that. When I was 47 I lived in the hospital close to 6 months in that year. I always loved life. I worked hard and took care of my family and we had things. I always tryed to enjoy every moment I could. And any bickering that came about was useless to me. It’s not something I put up with.

                After the hospital stay I wanted life even more. I won’t never stop trying to have what makes me happy after that.

                So now you probably see how I am like I am here on the blog. I survived what I did. And I’m not stopping yet. I made it through that. Something will eventually stop me. But darn I’m sure going to put up a heck of a fight till then.

      • Ok seems like we got a bunch of OLD codgers here! I myself will be 71 yo in 11 days!

        When I was a youngun I BOUGHT a bb gun as soon as I could earn the money required to buy and feed it. Probably around 13 or 14 yo! We were never given any thing except at Christmas and our birthdays! My parents felt we would appreciate stuff more if we earned it ourselves. And I was NEVER given a gun! My dad thought they would end up killing me. However he did not prevent me from buying my own. He also never taught me any gun safety! I was damn lucky I survived to be an adult.

      • Ok seems like we got a bunch of OLD codgers here! I myself will be 71 yo in 11 days!

        When I was a youngun I BOUGHT a bb gun as soon as I could earn the money required to buy and feed it. Probably around 13 or 14 yo! We were never given any thing except at Christmas and our birthdays! My parents felt we would appreciate stuff more if we earned it ourselves. And I was NEVER given a gun! My dad thought they would end up killing me. However he did not prevent me from buying my own. He also never taught me any gun safety! I was damn lucky I survived to be an adult.

    • Yogi
      To me that’s a scary thought.

      Reminds of a animated movie about the future. The worker or controller is laying in a recliner like dentist chair. He doesn’t do anything but type things on a key pad. Something brings him his food or drink. And he don’t lift a hand to eat or drink it. And this guy is about 400 pounds. Then you see pictures on the wall of the worker/controller as a evolution in time. First the person is running around doing things and is muscular. And gradually degrades in physic as time goes on. As a new controller takes over they do less and less and become less healthy. Eventually the last picture is the picture of the current controller. Basically a full grown man in a diaper.

      I think you get the picture. And yep agree. Not many kids will know how we lived as kids before it’s all over.

      Heck maybe nobody will even know how to make a air gun in the future.

      And on another note. I have to say I’m proud of my 16 and 19 year old daughter. They took archery in School. And both have been shooting air guns since about 7 years old and firearms after they got older.

      Here’s something for ya. My daughter’s know how to change a tire on a car and check the oil in the car. I know, I know that ain’t nothing for us gun modding people. But hey they want to learn. That’s what’s missing now days.

      • GF1,

        Never was a good idea to leave it to schools to teach some things. You know your kids (and grand kids) better than anyone in their school. You care more about what happens to them than their most well-intentioned teacher or counselor. It’s only right that, as a parent or grandparent, you should spend time with them to round out the education in the three Rs and such that they’re, hopefully,still getting in class. Parents failure to rear their kids(read that as invest time in them) is apparently burning a classroom asset that can’t be recouped no matter the school budget. That would be Time. Teachers have to have time to teach and trying to civilize unruly students can require them to redirect all their time away from the pursuits we send our kids to school for.

        OK, I’m stepping off the soapbox now. Sorry.

        • Halfstep
          Nowdays the school systems are pathetic.

          But you can’t blame the teachers. It’s all about what happens around them from top to bottom if you know what I mean.

          But yep what I learned at home on the farm and what I taught my kids can no way compare to what the school system teaches. And then add in what we called street smarts as kids. I guess we just learned to be wise quicker? Or maybe we still had respect for the cercumstance. Respect does matter.

          How do you bring it all back into perspective. It won’t ever be that way again.

  3. B.B.,

    Nice article. I am always willing to learn something that I may yet not know about. Thus far, I have learned enough to know that I will leave air gun collecting to the experts.

    I do not see myself ever becoming an air gun collector, but it is nice to know what parameter’s do affect the value should I ever happen upon one. Looking forward to hearing more on the topic in future installments.


  4. BB,

    Since I am now a collector, I guess I fit into the personal enjoyment category. I really enjoy pulling out an air rifle that is 111 years old and shooting a 3/4″ spinner at 10 yards or a feral soda can at 25 yards or more. Now I have another that is getting close to 100.

    Personally, I am not that concerned with the finish, although I would not be keen on it if it was restored. I am more concerned with the operating condition. I have gone back and forth for some time on whether to refinish my 1959 Daisy model 99. I have pretty much decided I wasn’t going to worry about it, just shoot it.

    Nothing I have will ever be worth enough for investment except in enjoyment.

    • RR,

      Your last statement says a lot. I would be more like you in that I would enjoy something 100+ years old that still functions, leave the condition alone, take care of it and just appreciate it for what it is.

      • BB,

        I am not a collector. I buy guns strictly to shoot! Unfortunately in my 71 years, I have bought, then sold many guns which are now collectors and worth much more than I sold them for! However, none of those were bb or air guns. I have only really gotten into air guns in about the last 10 – 15 years as a cheaper alternative to powder burners and also because I no longer have a country place to shoot. These I can shoot in my basement.

      • General,

        To invest in such items in the hopes that the value will increase in the future to me is foolish. I know to some that Colt Dragoon is worth a lot of money, but to me it is worthless. You do not even dare cock it to avoid the possibility of scratching the finish on the cylinder. Just give me a decent reproduction I can bang away with.

  5. I tried to stay away from modification, but I cannot help myself.

    I frequently peruse the airgun classifieds looking for some poor, hapless air rifle or pistol that would enjoy the opportunity to spend some time at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. Often I see airguns that have been refinished, modified and/or tuned. Almost always the seller wants me to pay the NIB price plus their expenditure for the refinish/modification/tune. What? I don’t think so. Ignoring the “collector” value, how do I know that the refinish/modification/tune was done properly, even assuming that quality parts were used?

    • RR

      Seems that I’ve heard you make appeals, in past posts, for that particular organization that would make even Sally Struthers say,” I gotta’ try harder ” 😉

      • Half,

        What can I say? It is my favorite organization. Also, it has been quite beneficial to others because more often than not when they decide to adopt one of my wayward airguns it is with a very reasonable adoption fee. I am not concerned with making money with this. If I can help someone else learn to enjoy airguns I feel as though I have accomplished something.

  6. Being the “eclectic collector”, I often fail to see the “collector value” in many air rifles and pistols. A prime example is a few years back at one of the Roanoke airgun shows I was looking for a used Beeman R7 / HW30 at a reasonable price. It just so happened that there were three at the show. Two were new/almost new and were priced accordingly. The third was well used with several dings and scratches in the wood and some minor scratches and freckling on the metal. This particular R7 was priced over what I could order a new one from PA for. The reason for such is it said “San Rafael” on it.

    It was not made any better than a new one and it was not in pristine condition. I should have sold those FWB 300s to GunFun1 for a lot more as they had “San Rafael” on them.

    • RR
      I have no air gun buying/selling experience nor a Blue Book. Do you have any idea how “San Anselmo” on a FWB 127 would fit into that example? Just curious.

        • B.B.
          Thanks for the quick reply.
          I reread that blog and realized I had not mentally clicked on the time-line as I lived it. The address stamp dates it to pre-’74 but I couldn’t have bought it until after late ’77 so that raises a few questions.
          The gun was obviously languishing away somewhere waiting for me to buy it. What was the latest I could have purchased anything from ARH?
          I always bought everything I could from ARH because of their excellent customer service. Another reason I’m pretty sure I bought it from ARH is that Robert Law pushed was the use of trigger shoes. I got the rifle with trigger shoe installed and sling swivel studs. I had also ordered a Williams peep sight which is stamped ARH 124. I do remember installing the peep sight myself – or, maybe I just moved it.
          One other point of curiosity is the stamps are different. Where your’s says Made in Germany for Beeman’s, mine says Imported by Beeman with the San Anselmo CAL underneath and on the other side of the receiver FEINWERKBAU-SPORT 127-Cal. 5.5/.22 and MADE IN GERMANY 10169 underneath.
          Sorry about all the blathering, I was just wondering if this gun might possibly fill in a niche in history on these two air rifle companies. (I guess, three if you count Feinwerkbau 😉 .
          Larry in Algona

          • Larry
            I’m guessing that’s a wider than factory trigger shoe?

            I know someone on this blog that didn’t like a wide trigger shoe on their gun and narrowed it.

            I myself like the wider trigger shoe. You feel the trigger more think. Heck look at the FWB 300 factory trigger blade. And they got one heck of a lot f the best triggers around.

            • Gunfun1
              I’m not sure what you’re thinking about when you say factory trigger shoe. This is an after market trigger shoe that just made it possible to get the whole pad of your trigger finger on it to spread out the pull weight. As far as I know all the air gun manufacturers at the time just made their triggers an extension of the part that interacted with the sear which made them pretty narrow by today’s standards. Now days triggers are made wider from the factory and you don’t or rarely need a trigger shoe.
              That went the other way, too. I have a S&W mod.27 that came with a target trigger. I wanted a fast action trigger so I ground it narrower and smoothed out the ridges so it was a good double-action trigger.
              Robert Law sold me on the merits of the trigger shoe on my first purchase of a Webley Premier Mark II. It really helped improve that trigger. It is on the gun to this day. It wouldn’t need it today because over the years the trigger has smoothed and lightened so much it doesn’t need any help.
              L in A

          • Larry,

            Every business has things that don’t ever move. For whatever reason, that 127 languished in the shop until you got it. Just the way things work, I guess.

            That serial number is early.

            Beeman bought a lot of the stock that ARH had when they went out of business.


        • LarryMo,

          My FWB 127 Deluxe Left-handed is marked “San Anselmo,” but to me it might as well be “San Awesome”! I especially love the plastic trigger. :^)


          • Michael
            Well, be careful of that plastic trigger (voice of experience). There’s been a string of comments on this blog about them developing stress fractures over time. Has your piston seal blown up on you yet?
            Larry in Algona

            • Larry,

              I’ve had my 124 for about five years. At some point prior to that it must have had a consummate master tune, as it is every bit as smooth shooting as my TX200. Plus, it shoots with full-spec power, so there is a good chance the piston seal was replaced when it was tuned.

              As for the trigger, I am unconcerned, given how little stress is ever put on it. It gets about as much stress as a Colorado stoner living off a trust fund. It is set to a long smooth first stage pull of — I’m guessing here — perhaps 9-11 ounces, with a crisp second stage break at maybe 14-16 ounces. Besides, its is quality material. We’re not talking about polystyrene here. And I store it year round at about 65 degrees with the humidity never too far from 60 percent either way. (I collect vintage guitars and vintage guitar amplifiers, so I have hygrometers all over the house.)

              When I first received the air rifle, I was not confident it was safe with the trigger adjusted so light, but I cocked and loaded it, pointed it at the berm ringing our backyard, and with a rubber mallet thumped the end of the butt-stock four or five times. Safe.

              I do not have one of the aluminum triggers Beeman shipped out to owners, but I do guess a San Anselmo FWB 124 Deluxe is most valuable with the plastic trigger installed and the aluminum one still sealed in its baggie. Second most valuable would be the aluminum trigger installed and the plastic one stored in the baggie. Then one with the plastic trigger alone, and finally one with the aluminum one alone.

              I do not have the shipping box, but I do have a never-installed original FWB sling from that era, still in its packaging! :^)


            • Larry,

              I stand both corrected and dumbfounded. I could have sworn my 124 still had the plastic trigger, but I just checked, and it’s the aluminum retrofit! I looked at the sling while I was at it, and I believe the sling did come with the rifle when it was new, but it has never been out of ther bag as far as I can tell.

              Except that mine is .177, the markings are identical to yours, with a serial number of 11221.


              • Michael,

                I never got a sling for mine, most likely because I already had a plethora of slings for other center fire rifles.

                This is really interesting. Our serial numbers are close enough to have probably been made in the same year. I’d really be interested in finding out more of the FWB history.

                I just called my brother, whom I had pre-death willed my original FWB 124 and asked him what the serial number was on that. He said it was 5524. It also has the plastic trigger and the original Tasco scope I bought for it. He did have to have the piston seal replaced a few years ago and a crack repaired on the stock.

                I wasn’t sorry handing over the 124 since the 127 was my favorite shooter.

                Thanks for the interesting info!

                Larry in Algona

        • Just for fun, I have to tell you that I was born and raised in San Anslemo. But I didn’t know Robert Beeman then. I think he came to town after I left for college.

            • Gunfun1,

              Yep, it would have been fun to be in at the beginning. Closest I got to him was years later, when I called to order some pellets, and he answered the phone in person. At that time he had just moved to Santa Rosa. He was a good salesman-he convinced me to order more pellets than I needed right then! The only airgun I had at the time was a Beeman/Diana 5 pistol.


              • Flintrocker
                I think that was a wise thing on your part to sell you more pellets than you needed.

                When I buy pellet I usually buy 2000 pellets at a time for a given caliber. I believe that possibly you have more chance getting the pellets from the same lot when they made them.

                But that is cool you got to talk to him.

    • RR
      Yep and that’s why I didn’t pass up the deal.

      But in reality I heard so much good about the FWB 300 that I wanted to try one myself.

      Buldawg actually ended up with them. Then just a little while back I got the one I modded back from him. Definitely one of the most accurate air guns I have shot out to 50 yards. It’s not going anywhere again. Done learned that lesson.

      • GF1,

        I understand. I myself wish I had hung on to one of them. Oh well. Maybe one day one will show up on the front stoop of RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. You may rest assured it will find a welcome spot by the hearth.

      • GF-1
        Just jumping in here because I have a question for you about my new .25 Marauder. To remove the bolt on Gen 1 it is a screw on the side of the receiver that you remove to get bolt out but on gen 2 there is no hole. Do I have to pull the receiver off to pull the bolt out? All the videos I looked at show gen 1 only.

          • GF 1
            Thanks for quick reply! I had seen that EPV on Crosman site but just wanted to confirm with you. I have only had it for a week and put 1tin of 25.4 JSB’s thru it. I like it- a lot! I have only adjusted the trigger and just a little tweak on hammer spring tension. It’s shooting at 41 fpe with ES of 23fps over 2 mags. I didn’t clean barrel out of box. Shot a .173 ctc group on 8 rounds at 25 yds. I got 5 cottontails yesterday with it on a pesting job. I think I will leave everything set where it’s at until the valve settles in, maybe at least another tin of pellets.
            Thanks, I will have many more questions as time goes on!

            • BBB,

              Nice on the groups and pesting! 🙂 I get about a good 20 shots on a fill, but I hold it to 2 eight round magazines. It sounds as if the two of you, (M-rod/you), will get along just fine! The 33.95’s do seem to be a bit better. Yup, you will have to adjust a bit, but they buck the wind better and will have more fpe at target. The 25.39’s are more than good enough for most shooting and will give you some better fps. Keep us posted.

              • Chris USA
                I plan on ordering the 33.95’s, the Poly-mags, and some Barracuda Hunters. This gun is going to make even me look good! It really is a “Hunter”!

            • Bruce
              I would not touch a thing on your gun. The 5 cotton tails tell the story. That gun is a shooter.

              Well and I do suppose the guy behind the trigger is doing his part too. ;

              Again I would be very happy with that gun.

              • GF 1
                Yup, I am very happy with it! I plan to shoot as is for a while and just get to know it. Eventually, I want to put in a regulator and free-float hammer system to get the ES down some. ” Consistent is Accurate”! I was a little hesitant to get the .25 because of air usage, but I sold 2 of my 3 remaining firearms and made enough to get the gun and a Yong Heng 4500 psi. compressor. Air problem solved!

                • Bruce
                  I can understand wanting more shots per fill and reducing the spread. But most of the time if I’m going out in the woods I have the gun topped off. And it’s pretty rare that I make even 20 shots.

                  I’m telling you if I had that gun you have. I would be very happy with it as is. Plus you got a nice fill device. So basically easy fill access.

                  I know what you mean but I think you got a winner as is. 🙂

                    • BBB,

                      🙂 x10! We can’t fault you there. With GF1 probably being the worst one to (not) keep his hands out/off of things,.. and me not far behind,…. we have no ground to stand on what so ever. Best wishes on getting it set up like you want.

  7. Thanks to Rick Willnecker at Precision Pellet two air guns I thought would never fire a pellet down their bores are now in fine working order. My Benjamin EB22, and my Titan GP are back in working order and sending pellets down range.
    Turn around was incredibly fast, obviously his skill and abilitys are excellent, but what impressed me the most was his willingness to take the time to share his knowledge. I highly recommend Rick at Precision Pellets for all your sir gun repairs. And thanks B.B for the recommendation.

  8. Thanks to Rick Willnecker at Precision Pellet, two air guns I thought would never fire a pellet down their bores are now in fine working order. My Benjamin EB22, and my Titan GP are back in working order and sending pellets down range.
    Turn around was incredibly fast, obviously his skill and abilitys are excellent, but what impressed me the most was his willingness to take the time to share his knowledge. I highly recommend Rick at Precision Pellets for all your sir gun repairs. And thanks B.B for the recommendation.

  9. When I was 7 years old my godmother gave me her stamp collection. I can’t recall whether she said that it would be worth something in the future. To me it was just a book with pretty stamps which i kept in my clothes closet and perused from time to time- I was more interested in playing outdoors. As I grew older it still did not grab my attention so i passed it on to one of my nephews. It might be worth something someday but no one took t he time to teach me the art of stamp collecting.
    B.B. (The Godfather), on the other hand, is taking his time to pass on his knowledge of airguns and Airgun collecting to those of us who are willing to listen and learn so that when he moves on to that great gun range in the sky and we are struggling to shoot that Springer; we will hear his voice saying ” use the artillery hold, Pete, use the artillery hold”
    You are truly wise, Obi Wan KanoB.B.

  10. Very interesting discussion of bluing…and thought provoking about condition issues generally. At what point would we avoid trying to remove surface rust, or even rubbing the metal with a rag? I know one guy who uses auto polish and a buffer to make the finish on the stocks of his guns mirror like. I guess it all goes back to how much intrinsic rarity the original item held. If it isn’t a rare minting, the effect is not great, but altering a really old or unique item is dangerous.

    • Jerry,

      At what point… is the Great Question. I refinished a Falke 90 a couple years ago, but that one was a wreck with a cracked stock.

      Auto polish on the stock won’t hurt a BSA Lightning, but it will subtract $100 from an FWB 124. However, maybe nothing off a 127, which is so rare that someone would pay a few hundred to get the shine removed.


  11. B.B.,

    In my opinion this is one of your very best and most instructive reports to date. I don’t need to tell you how many folks out there have beliefs that are entirely wrong when it comes to the added value of originality to a valuable collectible.

    If it’s already modified or not especially collectible, well, OK, make it functional and enjoy it, but imagine an all-original Girandoni that someone decides to refinish because the wood has some scratches. Ahhhhhhh!


  12. I am not a collector of anything. My dad was an auto mechanic and he passed in 1980. I still have his toolbox and hand tools even though I have my own. I could never part with that toolbox. I also have a .22 single shot rifle that was used by my great grandfather to kill hogs on the farm. My dad told me that his dad could hit a postage stamp from across the road with the open sights. I still have that gun in my cabinet and will never part with it either.

    Now, for my latest item that I will never part with. The RWS 34P that B.B. has tuned and blogged about in six parts and to be featured in Firearms News in Sept. This rifle now has great value to me just because it has been touched by the Godfather of airguns and I will never part with it…even if I am never able to shoot it accurately. I plan to buy the Firearms News magazine when it comes out and keep it with the rife as a keepsake.

    As far as I know, this is the only instance of B.B. doing this for anyone. I feel very fortunate that B.B. afforded me this opportunity. Anxiously awaiting it’s return tomorrow 🙂

    • George,

      I might have done this once or twice when I wrote The Airgun Letter, but I think you are right. First time for the blog.

      I did it because I wanted to know and I think a lot of people wanted to know what was going on. I will be referring readers to that series for years to come.


    • Geo
      I never met my grandpa’s on either side of my mom and dad’s family. But I heard stories. Both sides we’re shooters and hunters. Both had farms. I grew up on a farm even. My dad taught me to shoot.

      All I can say is I remember my dad hitting a coffee can at 100 yards with open sights with his 30-06.

      We use to hang washers from a tree on strings and shoot firearms and pellet guns at them.

      I grew up shooting not only cause I wanted to but because that was part of surviving. I hunted sqerrials, rabbits and deer growing up. But my number one job was ridding the barns of pests. And mind you there where many different kind. So to me that was a big benefit in my life. And I never even realized it when I was kid.

      • GF1
        Yeah, we I was growing up I used to take my beagles out hunting almost everyday during hunting season. I never got a deer back then but we ate a lot of rabbit and partridge. I used to like rabbit better than chicken. Sure miss those days in the woods with my beagles. Oh, and I was mistaken about my .22 single shot rifle. It was my great-grandfather who shot the hogs. I grandfather on my dad’s side died of a stroke the same year I was born so I only heard the stories about him that my dad told me.

        • Geo
          I had excellent little sqerrial dog that died about 3 years ago. He was a mixed breed. Had him for 18 years. He would go running in the woods sniffing the ground and be fore you know he would run around the tree barking. Once I got there he would go to the opposite side of the tree that I was on and bark. The sqerrial would try to hide on my side of the tree. Lights out for the sqerrial is all I can say.

          And I did get me another dog for sqerrial hunting. Had him for about a year now and been training him. Really not much on my part though. Both of the parent dogs are sqerrial dogs. He’s a little brindle colored miniature short hair Terrier. Good little dog so far. He stays with me where ever I go outside. Even follows us when out riding the 4 wheelers.

          But yep had fun as a kid for sure. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

          • GF1
            Wow! Sounds like you had a good squirrel dog there. I never really got into squirrel hunting too much. I liked rabbit and pheasant hunting. My dad knew a guy who hunted squirrels with a couple of rat terriers. I went hunting with them once and those little guys could follow the squirrels right through the trees. That was fun hunting with the dogs. When I went squirrel hunting by myself it was a sit and wait, like deer hunting. I loved hunting with the dogs. My old beagle lived to be 18 years old too. I was in my twenties then, and still could not bear to put him down. The neighbor volunteered to take him to get the shot. He was the best rabbit dog I ever had and I never saw one that could hang on to the rabbit trail like he could. He was one of those rare dogs that seldom come along. We ate lots of rabbit when I was growing up…many gotten with that dog. He wasn’t pure beagle either. He had some bluetick in him and maybe even some redtick. I couldn’t call him off a trail if he was working, I had to go find him and actually pick him up to get him to leave for home. Good times and memories.

            • Geo
              That beagle with the tick mixed in probably made that one heck of a rabbit tracking dog.

              And my dad had pointers and beagles too. We did alot of quail hunting when I was a kid. And along with rabbit and sqerrial hunting. I use to watch the neighbors dogs for them too. He would have me run them with our dogs when I was a kid. Just way to much fun us all I can say.

              And I can’t go as fast as I use to as a kid but I’ll tell ya that little miniture rat terrier I have now goes like lightning. It’s like full speed ahead when he’s out running in the woods. Nothing inbetween. Either full on or off. I didn’t know if I would be able to take on training and spending time with another dog. But he really has made it easy for me. Totally glad I got him.

              And yes just good times and memories. Very thankful I got to exsperiance the things I did. And not to mention my bluegill and crappie fishing. My dad use to fly fish for crappie and bluegill and tie his own fly’s. I still have his pole and reel and some of his fly’s. Got his fly tieing kit somewhere still too. I’m not very good with a fly rod though. He said the trick was waxing the line. Still didn’t help me though. I’ll just stick to the regular old rod and reel and a little gold hook and cricket’s. If you can’t catch a fish on cricket’s I think a person don’t need to be fishing. Anybody including me can catch em with cricket’s. 🙂

  13. A friend’s wife decided to clean up her old Ithaca 200e Double Barrel Shotgun. When she took I out, she found that the silver receiver had turned blue! So, she worked and worked on it till it was silver again. When her husband came home she show him her work. The receiver on his old Browning BSE was now silver ! ! He asked me if having the receiver re-blued would hurt his Browning’s value. I said, “Not any more!”



  14. A bowling buddy of mine from years ago told me a story about collecting that I’ll never forget. It went something like this.

    ” I was giving my sister’s son a ride home for the holidays and we were talking about vacations and such when he said he didn’t really care for vacations since he was eleven years old. I asked him why and he said that his first real family vacation was at that age and a bad thing happened. He had been collecting caterpillars since he was 8 years old and proceeded to describe the process, in great detail, of how he would press a pencil onto the head end of the larvae and roll it down the body, pushing the guts out the other end. Then, as he described it, he would use one of his grandma’s insulin needles filled with melted wax to re-inflate it and after it hardened he’d glue the butt end to a straight pin and stick it in the display case he kept hanging on his wall. He claimed to have over 100 specimens and was the envy of all his friends. This young freshman was really into his hobby, I could tell!”

    “It was at this point that he got more somber as he recounted how the family was going camping for a week and he was afraid to leave his collection hanging on the wall for any burglar to see and run off with ,once he realized it’s value. So he elected to hide the case on the floor of his closet, buried under his dirty underwear and socks, until his return from the “Deep Woods”.

    “He brightened up a little as he told me of the two new specimens he had captured while he was away and how he rushed from the family station wagon when they arrived home a week later and ran headlong to his room to prepare the newest acquisitions. Once they were cured he said he went straight to his closet to get the display case and found…( tears began the stream down his cheeks and he was sobbing uncontrollably between each word)…that mice had eaten every one of the caterpillars. At this point he was almost inconsolable so I told him the only thing I could think of. “Jimmy look at the bright side. You probably still have the worlds largest collection of caterpillar anuses!” He wasn’t comforted at all.”

    • Halfstep,

      Wow. That just goes to prove that truth is stranger than fiction. Envy of all his friends?,… that makes one ponder their friends. Then again, those “friend’s” are now probably my Boss? 🙁

      Mmmmm?,… I think I will take up caterpillar?,… or larva?,…. or insulin needle collecting?,.. I am not sure which? My first impressions are,.. yuck! I am still trying to get my head wrapped around the whole hobby.

      At any rate, that was a nice attempt on trying to “save the day”. Not the best choice of words, but at least it was an attempt. 5/10 on effort. 0/10 on effectiveness.

      • Chris USA,

        My buddy swore it was a true story and it was the kind of spin he would put on something like that.(I paraphrased with “anuses” to make the story more blog-friendly. He was actually more colloquial !)

        • Halfstep,

          “Blog-friendly” is good. I am 99.9% sure that Edith is looking down from above and is responsible for those rather “edgy” post that just seem to “vaporize” into the abyss the very second that you hit the (Post Comment) button. Mind you now,.. not that I would know anything about such matters. 😉

  15. B.B.,

    I simple, direct way of explaining to someone how important originality is to the value of a genuine collectible. The big money only comes from serious collectors, and serious collectors have no interest in something that has modifications and / or which is in poor condition. Once the serious collector is no longer a factor, it then becomes one of two things, an item one would buy to use or to have as a parts source.

    There are rare exceptions to absolute originality. I collect vintage electric guitar amplifiers. Like leather seals on an aitrgun, the electrolytic capacitors require replacing every so often. Also, if a 1940s or 1950s amplifier still has its ungrounded power cord. that should be replaced for the sake of safety.


  16. B.B.

    We are going to need an immediate report from the Texas Airgun Show, including sellers’ response to all the intel you’re putting out on valuing airguns. I expect that the negative responders will be the third type in your report and the other two varieties will give you kudos, since they no longer get the jaw-dropping ” You want that much for that thing?” gape from we, here-to-for, ignoramuses ! If they come down too hard, we gotcha’ back !

    Seriously, I’m getting a lot from this series and can only imagine, based on my own ponderings after reading each installment so far, all of the permutations that it is likely to take on as it goes forward. Really good reading ! ( If you do get a significant reaction from folks at the airgun show,I’d like to hear about it, if you care to share)

    • Halfstep,

      I’ll tell you right now, the money-makers don’t want any more information out there. But what I’m trying to do is show the guys who are slow to get into this that it’s not that hard. I’m trying to give them things to think about.


  17. Ok here’s twisted Gunfun1.

    Wonder if my ticket stubs I kept from rock concerts I went to as a kid that are in picture frames are worth anything?

    Hey really I wasn’t collecting. I just wanted to keep them. My kids get a kick out of it.

    Ok back to airguns you all. 🙂

  18. BB
    Speaking of finishes, does anyone know what it is on the blued and silver Colt SAA airguns? It’s not bluing and I doubt if its a real nickel.
    Too bad there is no way to know in advance what will be a collectable, although some commemoratives like the limited edition Daisy 1894 Spitten Image Winchesters have increased in value. Nothing wild, just icing on the cake.

    Sooo ……. Ah …….BB ….. If I sent you serial numbers 001 & 002 of the first ever Conrad Anderson engraved Colt Peacemakers could you sign the grips? No big deal 🙂 Or how about the polished brass Walther “Wells Fargo Special Edition” Winchester ?
    It’s not like you will ever be famous in the airgun world or anything, just as a favor. A friend to friend thing …yeah …yeah … that’s it, a friend to friend thing!
    It would make a nice birthday gift for me and I could return the favor ….. with a surprise gift of course!

    We could celebrate the big 70 together !! 😉

    Bob M

      • BB
        There is a saying, “Old age and treachery will overcome youth and inexperience every time.” and for some reason that popped into my mind ? San Diego > Texas , Texas > San Diego ! I wonder if it applies to two days of age difference ?
        Now that is a challenge and it may be time to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

        Is that the Arlington Sportsman’s Club on Aug 26? I could use a good road trip, and can stop and visit some old Navy shipmates along the way. One of those occasions you never forget for the rest of your life.
        I don’t usually sell any airguns but I have been known to buy quite a few.
        I’ll send you my e mail add to follow up on this if you don’t have it someplace tucked away, if that’s OK with you.
        Bob M

  19. Off Topic (waaay off)

    I am picking up that several of you guys are from the south/southeast part of the country. I’ve discovered that I am now the caretaker of a peanut plant courtesy of my local tree rat and I would really like to see it grow to maturity. In the Puget Sound region, we’re looking forward to a pretty warm and dry summer, so that’s a plus. Anything I should know like over watering and nutrients?

    On another (waaay off) topic, let it be known that putting up 40 jars of wild plum jam is a LOT of work, especially the clean up.

    Larry in Algona

    • Larry
      Yes I do have something to say as I’m sure you would imagine.

      Do use natural fertilisers as much as possible when you plant and don’t use chemicals.

      Back when my dad farmed he used the pig manure and fish. And how are the praying mantis in your area? That was a big thing back then. We would have 4″ long praying mantis everywhere. I remember when I was in my teens he had them mail ordered in. He would get boxes of babys in. It would be once the corn would start making the cobs on the plants. That was the natural way to grow back then.

      Oh and I’m from the Midwest. We ain’t nicknamed flat lander’s for nothing. 😉

      • GF1, well thank goodness for this blog that you do have something to say.

        I didn’t plant – the squirrel did, and I’m pretty sure he’s not planning on doing any fertilizing.

        Praying mantises are rare to non-existent around here. The closest I can come is buying live ladybugs at the local Ace Hardware.

        I did mention that I was trying to cultivate a peanut plant, didn’t I. Those are more scarce around here than the preying mantis.
        L in A

        • Larry
          I did see you said that but had to give some down home back in the day farming tips I remember from a kid. Nowdays OMG I got to put a gas mask on when the farmer plants around here. And you wouldn’t believe some of the mutant cobs that happen on a few of the corn stalks. Pretty crazy actually.

          And I would of never knew that about the praying mantis and ladybugs where your at if it wasn’t for the blog. 🙂

          And I remember my dad grew Peanuts around the house once. All I know is he watered them every day and kept the weeds away. And we did have to pick the potatoe bugs off them as well as our other garden plants everyday.

          And when to pick. I remember it was when the plant grew and started wilting. My dad would then dig a few up and see what the peanut looked like in the shell. No green stem around the peanut is one thing I remembered after taking it out of the shell or husk.

          Oh heck. Here. It’s easier nowdays to explain with this internet stuff.

    • Larry
      I know how you feel. I had this bush on my property and one year I found it packed with walnuts ! Never thought about what to do with them, other than target practice. The internet may be helpful there too.
      Bob M

      • Bob M
        Wow! I would love a walnut tree on my property. My brother has one on his as well as a hazelnut tree. Another thing in scarce supply up here in the NW is hardwood trees. Unfortunately, my property is too small to find anything new, except something like the yellow jacket nest I found underground while mowing last year.
        I remember, as a kid we had a Black Walnut tree in the back yard. Now, THAT’s one that’s really scarce.
        I did get some info from the Internet but mostly what Gunfun1 told me before hand. Not uncommon for this site to beat the Internet on what I’m looking for. Thanks for replying.
        Larry in Algona

        • Larry
          Had a bunch of walnut trees at the other house we moved from about 3 years ago and a hazel nut tree on the corner of the back yard in the woods.

          Use to gather em up all the time. I took em to work all the time and gave em to people .

          Out here where I’m at now we just got walnut trees here and there. No hazel nuts though.

        • LarryMo,

          Be careful what you wish for!

          Perhaps, as a child, you did not realize how really dirty a tree such as the American Black Walnut is, I have several of them on my property. It is one of the last species to leaf out in the spring and the first to lose it’s foliage in the fall, along with the long, slender, dried, leafy stems and of course the nuts themselves. Iots of clean-up is required over several days since they (the trees), are not courteous enough to drop everything at the same time. What nuts the squirrels do not eat on the spot, producing large piles of cuttings, they will bury at random all over the yard. It is humorous to watch them bury one though, they even tamp the burial site down when finished with their front paws.


          • Bugbuster
            You are so right! Everytime someone mentions black walnut I visualize those beautiful rifle stocks.
            Taking a moment to reminisce I realized that black walnut trees should remain where they belong – in the forest. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the husks (hulls?). Really nasty stuff, unless you really needed some yellow dye.
            I’m having enough trouble with my wild plum tree, leaving all those pulpy skins all over my drive way.
            Larry in Algona

  20. Back on topic (sort of
    I guess it too much to hope for that an early model Bug-A-Salt might someday appeal to collectors?
    Since several of you mentioned you bought one of these, has anyone managed to improve the trigger?
    Larry in Algona

        • Larry
          Not sure how I want to load the salt in the barrel is the thing that’s on my mind.

          Thought about toilet tissue and pour some salt in it and close it up. The push it down the barrel from the muzzle end.

          Then thought about getting me some of those felt I guess they are cleaning pellets and load it at the breech and push it in with the bolt like you normally load a regular pellet. Then pour a little salt down the barrel.

          Would probably only need about 2-3 pumps I would think. But I’m concerned with the felt cleaning pellet hitting the window and breaking it. But I doubt it though. We have had birds hit the windows and kill theirselfs with no broken windows. But that’s just a couple thoughts.

          • GF
            I went ahead and tried it with the cleaning pellets. (once) Pretty sure this is not the way to go. It’s not easy getting the lead cleaning pellet inserted far enough to make room for the salt and then once it’s all loaded 2-3 pumps are just not enough to kick off the firing valve. I went to 5 or 6 pumps and then fired it at tin foil taped to a cardboard box. I really don’t think you would have to worry about windows as it barely made an imprint of the cleaning pellets and salt crystals. Also the pattern at 1′ from target was spread out enough to let a fly through the gaps. Oh, I used about 3.5 grains of salt.
            I was thinking maybe something like a pill capsule – I take one that looks like it would fit just right in a .22 barrel. Don’t know if you could buy any as small as .177.
            Larry in Algona

            • Oh, GF. Another thing. I never tore one of these apart, but how much of a worry is there about getting all the salt residue out? I gave it a good healthy squirt of Ballistol – hope that is sufficient.

              • Larry
                I was replying already.

                But I would think the cleaning pellets would do the job cleaning.

                I for sure wouldn’t use a cleaning rod or such and push towards the barrel. I would not want anything getting in the transfer port hole.

            • Larry
              A little confused by what you said on two counts.

              First the cleaning pellet. It seems to me like you tryed putting the cleaning pellet in. Pushing it forward with the bolt. Then opening the bolt back up and loading the salt from the breech end of the barrel. If so that would be bad because the salt would fall down into the transfer port hole on the bottom of the barrel. Or maybe you loaded another cleaning pellet after the first cleaning pellet and salt.

              I was saying to load the cleaning pellet as you would a normal lead pellet. Close the bolt. Then add salt down the barrel like a muzzle loader in a sense. The cleaning pellet is only there to keep the salt from getting back to the bolt and transfer port area in the barrel. I would not add another cleaning pellet anywhere in the barrel.

              And the second thing kind of bothers me. Your gun won’t fire on two pumps. My 1377 will fire a JSB 10.34 pellet no problem on 2 pumps. If you need 5-6 pumps it sounds like your hammer striker spring is weak or you pump seal ain’t sealing good.

              Or do you mean a cleaning pellet has more resistance than a lead pellet is why you needed 5-6 pumps?

              Not trying to compicate things. Just trying to find out if the cleaning pellets seal tighter or something.

              The reason why is I might try a lead pellet with a cleaning pellet behind it to see how the pellet hits. Don’t know if it would be good on a springer or a shrouded pcp. But might be something for a person to try shooting if shooting long distances like at 100 yards and out with a .25 caliber up pcp that’s unshrouded and makes good power. Or a multi-pump gun at 50 yards and in. Or the cleaning pellet might push the lead pellet all over the place when it exits the barrel. It’s just I wild thought I had and figured I would mention it.

              • Well, I did miscalculate about the transfer port and I think my failure to fire was due to salt in the port. Stepping up the pumps to 7 and a generous squirt of Ballistol seemed to clear everything out with a cleaning pellet. I went thru one more cycle of Ballistol and cleaning pellet and 5 pumps and then tried 5, 7, and ten pumps using an 8.4gr lead pellet. Everything looks back to normal and I don’t think I’ll have to tear it apart.
                I shoot black powder; wonder why it didn’t occur to me to load from the muzzle (salt) and then follow with a small patch of tissue.

                • Larry
                  I would think just firing some lead pellets as normal would clean the barrel of salt residue.

                  And when I do make mine it’s going to have the plastic breech and probably a long Benjamin Discovery barrel.. and with the factory pistol grip. No 1399 stock at all.

                  Why the long barrel. So I can keep my distance from the wasps and horse fly’s. Barrel right by them my arm extended and me ready to run if I miss.

              • Siraniko,
                Hi. I’m probably done with this for a while. I only jumped in on the experiment (half-cocked, I might add) because I had the paraphernalia readily at hand.
                The straw idea might work. The big problem, as I se it, is working against the rifling in the barrel – a smooth bore would be preferable here IMO.
                I haven’t had any real reason to go stalking the deadlier fliers like Gunfun1, only having to deal with the normal house flies and spiders, so my Bug-A-Salt should suffice. For the big-game hunting, I’ll leave that up to GF and watch from the sidelines. (Ironically, the “fliy on the wall”)
                Larry in Algona

                • Larry
                  You know what. No that you mention smooth bore. I think that would be better than a rifled barrel.

                  I have a smooth bore 760. I think that might be the gun I will use.

                  All I need to do is order some.177 cleaning pellets on my next Pyramyd AIR order. Already got the salt. 🙂

                  And I do think I will get some buck shot to try in it also. Curious to see what happens at 10-20 yards.

                  Kind of excited to try it now.

                  • GF1
                    Alright, now you’re cooking!
                    What’s your definition of buck shot? Wouldn’t that be too big? I was thinking something like #12 shot.
                    Hey, you’re getting me excited to see how this works! Wasps – Look Out!
                    Larry in Algona

                    • Larry
                      Buck shot is just what came to mind. I should of said bird shot. I was thinking something like #7 or #8 shot.

                      I would be using the lead outside. I would like to use it for feild mice outside. But first I would probably need to pattern it on some paper out at more than likely 15 yards.

                      Would probably need to pump the gun up to 10 pumps then mess with how much of the shot to put down the barrel. Also probably a small peice of tissue wadded up in a ball pushed down the barrel to keep the shot from rolling out since I’ll be pointing down at the mice. I can actually get pretty close to the mice when I see them in the yard. They don’t run as fast as for some reason like other mice I have seen. I think it may work pretty good actually.

                      The salt shot will be used for inside the breezeway when the wasp and horse fly’s come in through the window. And also will need to mess around with number of pumps and how much salt to load.

                      Put that is my plan now. I think it just may be pretty good.

                  • GF – (reply to last comment you made – how did I lose my “reply” link?)

                    Yup, sounds like you got a good plan. I’ll keep watching for how this goes.


                    • Larry
                      That happens when we start getting to many comments in the same area.its called the thread is getting to thin.

                      Usually we will say getting thin and making a comment at the bottom of the blog. That way who you are talking to knows to look at the bottom for the reply they made.

                    • Larry
                      Don’t know if you read the part 3 blog today 7/28/17.

                      But posted some info and pictures about the Crosman smooth bore 760 shot gun experiment I did.

                      Just letting you know.

    • Larry
      And of all that talk we had I didn’t say anything about your question.

      I would say yes the Bug-A-Salt will be collectable.

      Anything old that someone has is cool too see. It brings back memories for one thing. Yes I do think it will be collectable in some way or another.

      • Gunfun1
        I wasn’t all that serious about the collectibility of the Bug-A-Salt, but I was sort of interested in seeing if anyone managed to acquire a better trigger. Will a GRT III fit? ;->

        • Larry
          Well that’s a good question. 🙂

          And one I can’t answer. Why? I never did get one.

          And what about that spit wad shooting gun BB reviewed. It surly has to be a collectable I would think.

          • GF1 and LarryMo,

            Remember,… new and in the box, with receipt,…. and 25-50+ years of waiting. Then again, what fun is there in that? 😉 All of this “talk” has me thinking the .25 M-rod, loaded with cleaning pellet, lead shot and a patch “of sorts” might be a tad interesting????

            • Chris U
              Me too. Maybe that’s how a boat tail bullet could be shot accurately out of a pellet gun.

              Not so much the cleaning pellet but a patch as you say. That just might be the ticket to long range air gun shooting.

              Dang anyway. Now I want my .25 Mrod back.

              • GF1,

                Ok,… now you have me confused. Cleaning wads, patches, LONG RANGE???? I thought that we were talking about (short range) shot gunning “type” stuff here?

                • Chris U
                  I mentioned long range shooting earlier in me and Larrys conversation with cleaning pellets be hind a pellet.

                  But small lead shot gun shot in front of a cleaning pellet could definitely work I bet to convert a .25 Marauder into a air shot gun. They definitely flow enough air.

                  Is that what you mean?

                    • Chris U
                      Don’t know on the long range.

                      Bullets in a air gun bring on another way to to shoot a air gun accurately. Definitely more things to deal with to get right.

                      And the cleaning pellet and small shot gun load I think is very doable with a PCP out to 30 yards.

                      I wish I would of tryed it with my 70 fpe modded Mrod I had.

                      I really think it would of been effective at that range with shotgun lead shot.

                    • Chris U
                      Read my comment up above a little ways I just made to Larry.

                      I have a smooth bore Crosman 760. I think I will try it with the cleaning pellets and salt. But also I want to get some buckshot to try also outdoors at 10-20 yards and see what happens.

  21. I have not gotten any of those cleaning pellets but the idea to use one as a shot load wad sounds very workable. Would be nice to see what the effective range could be.

    • Gopher
      In the air gun community out there people say so much power is needed to make a effective kill at a given range. No matter what type of gun your shooting.

      So there is some disbelief that a air shot gun can work at firearm shot gun distances. And probably true if you ain’t got a big bore Air Venturi air shot gun.

      But here’s the thing. Let’s scale the air gun back in to closer distances than a firearm shot gun. I don’t want to compete with the firearm shot gun. I just want to make a effective shot to dispatch my pest or such with a air gun shot gun.

      If I can get a effective pattern with a it gun lead shot blast at 20 yards I would be satisfied. Hitting is what matters. And if I can do it in that close. All the better if the pest is flying or running in that close. More than likely to help make the hit.

      Last note. I know we put multiple bb’s in our 760’s as a kid and made shots at birds and hit. So why not small buck shot in a higher powered pcp like the modded Marauder I had.

      I bet it would work. But the factory shroud and baffles would need removed. I’m sure the buck sht would hit once it exits the barrel.

  22. BB—-Pinterest just sent me an e-mail re gun and archery sites. When I opened the guns sites, I saw a Mosin Nagant break barrel air rifle !It looks like a model 1938 carbine and has a 2 piece stock so that you can break the barrel to cock and load like a regular springer. Does anyone have info re this rifle? It looks like this design can be used to make a variety of full stocked military air rifle replicas.——Ed

  23. BB—I just tried to get more info re the MN break barrel air rifle by browsing a pinterest site. I did not get any more info, however, I saw what looked like a side lever M1 carbine ! The picture title said –Diana side lever /Dong M1 carbine. Does anyone have any info re this rifle?—–Ed

  24. Thanks, B.B.!
    I have a Walther PPK, 7.65mm, built before WWII
    Yes, a real “James Bond” gun. =)
    I toyed with the idea of getting it professionally refinished.
    However, you have convinced me that would be crazy, and I should leave this piece of history “as is.”
    With it’s fixed sights, it shoots 71 grain hardball to point-of-aim…a really cool gun…all my grandsons want it! =)
    When I got it, I thought it had no collector value; that’s why I bought it, as a shooter.
    But now, I think it does have collector value; and it would be a shame to ruin that; thanks, B.B.!

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