The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie.

Part Two: The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol

Part Three: The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol

Part Four: The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Power
  • Presentation is important
  • Semiautomatic!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • The action
  • Silencer?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will do the impossible. It’s not perpetual motion and it’s not levitation. Today I will scoop myself! Today I will start a report on something I was hoping to surprise you with in Part 3 of the Texas Airgun Show next week.

I haven’t reported on all the dealers who were at the show yet, and Hatsan is one I planned to cover next time. Well, I figured you needed to see an airgun after all these other reports, so I opened a large box Hatsan sent me recently and, lo and behold, inside there is an airgun I hadn’t heard of before seeing one at the airgun show — the Hatsan Sortie. read more

The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Back to the show
  • C1
  • What did BB buy?
  • One more thing
  • Compressed air
  • Sun Optics
  • AirForce
  • iraqveteran8888
  • All American Targets
  • More to come

Back to the show

I stopped yesterday while talking about some of the dealers. Do you know that I forgot to show you the Gauntlet that was on the Umarex range. It wasn’t being shot when I was there, so I didn’t get a picture, but I was told they expect to start shipping in September. Now let’s go back inside the show hall and see some of the other things


I know you are interested in vintage airguns, so how about a Beeman C1? I have written about the C1 over the years. You can read my report here. If you read it you will see that I didn’t have good luck with the one I reported in the blog. But the first one I owned was a different story. That was the airgun that taught me the artillery hold. read more

The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Smaller show
  • Fewer dealers?
  • On the other hand…
  • TX200 Mark III
  • Behind me — a Supergrade and …
  • What about dealers — Sig
  • Crosman
  • Umarex
  • More to come

Last Saturday the 4th annual Texas airgun show was held at the Arlington Sportsman Club in Mansfield, Texas. Let’s begin with the weather, since Hurricane Harvey had many people concerned.

Smaller show

We lost many dealers from south Texas. It’s hard to say how many for sure, but I estimate 5-10 at least. Then there was the loss of the public that I would put around 50. They had to stay home and contend with the weather, and I understand that.

But there were also lost a lot of folks from other states who read the word Texas and Hurricane and thought the entire state was getting hit. Folks, Texas is large. Very large. The airgun show is hundreds of miles inland from any coast (about the distance NYC is from Washington D.C.), so by the time it gets up here it’s just a lot of constant misting rain and perhaps a constant gusting wind of 40-50 mph. The Arlington Sportsman Club ranges are all covered very well, so shooters and guns didn’t get wet from the several brief showers we did have. The wind was very pleasant 10 mph and the day was a balmy 78 degrees at the hottest. That’s paradise in Texas in August! I’m saying the weather was perfect for the show and anyone who was there will tell you the same thing. read more

The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Loading tap
  • Rear sight
  • Pre-test preparation
  • Fastest way
  • Velocity RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today we will learn the velocity of my new/old .177 caliber Diana model 50. But there are several things I need to clear up before we get to that. Let’s start with the loading tap.

Loading tap

The Diana model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle. That means the barrel doesn’t open like a breakbarrel, so there has to be another way to load a pellet. On some underlevers the entire compression chamber slides back, exposing the breech, but others like the model 50 use a loading tap. A tap sits behind the barrel and rotates open to load the pellet and closed to align the pellet with the breech. read more

Collecting airguns: Modifications and refinishing 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Scarcity Part 1
Condition Part 2
What is collecting? Part 3
Collecting airguns: Fakes and counterfeits Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Hypothetical
  • It’s a Tucker!
  • Dig in or knuckle under?
  • What about it?
  • However…
  • Specifically
  • When not to modify
  • What about an FWB 124?
  • Controversy
  • The end

Today’s topic will be controversial. Many of you will feel that this isn’t any of my business. If you own something you have the right to do anything to it that you like — including destroying it. I would agree with you on that. If it’s yours, it’s yours to do with as you like. But it isn’t that simple. If it was, there would be nothing to say.


Let’s say you have inherited a vintage car from your favorite rich uncle. It was made in 1948, and it has some lines that you think are cool, but others that you don’t care for. You want to do extensive bodywork and also to lower the suspension several inches. read more

Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Spartan BB pistol
Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol offers a lot of pistol at a budget price.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Install the CO2 cartridge
  • Velocity with Daisy BBs
  • Recoil
  • Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs
  • H&N Smart Shot lead BBs
  • Trigger pull
  • Shot count
  • Evaluation so far

Today we look at the velocity of the Sig Spartan BB pistol. The specs rate it at 410 f.p.s. Today we find out. I will also comment on things like the blowback and the trigger. Let’s get started.

Install the CO2 cartridge

The first step is to put a fresh CO2 cartridge in the gun. It goes into the grip, of course. Lift off the left grip panel and then pull the mainspring housing from the back of the grip. That is the lower flat part of the grip that’s has a coarse raised pattern in the metal for a better grip. In the 1911 firearm, it houses the mainspring, but on this BB pistol it’s the lever that pierces the CO2 cartridge. read more

A million questions

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Lots of questions
  • Down to the basics
  • Shape and balance
  • Accuracy
  • What about droop?
  • Reliability
  • Which does BB enjoy the most?
  • Who makes what?
  • BB’s evaluation
  • It takes time

I get a lot of questions on other parts of the blog. Sometimes the people asking them seem frustrated by all the things they don’t know. Last week I received this comment from reader Winterz.

“Yes, I am the person who uses obscure threads to ask you questions like the dual collaborative piston breakbarrel air rifle. I also wrote you about the Forge review.

I don’t know where to ask this, and it might be worthy of a writing topic, but of the springer varieties – breakbarrel – underlever — sidelever…. which style do you most enjoy shooting? Which is the most reliable? read more