Shooting round balls at high speed

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Smoothbore Diana 25
  • The $100 PCP
  • The best article
  • Smoothbore rifle
  • Birth of the smoothbore rifle
  • The results
  • All balls spin in flight
  • Consistency
  • What have I just said?
  • Summary

I don’t like to use myself or this blog as an authoritative source, but when I research shooting round balls at high speed I find that I have written more on the subject than any other source. Or maybe not more so much as more that has been verified.

Smoothbore Diana 25

To get you started, read this 5-part report on the Diana model 25 smoothbore. Reading that you will discover several things. First, that smoothbore airguns are accurate out to 10 meters when shooting pellets. Next — it takes the right loading technique to shoot a pellet accurately from that airgun at 10 meters. We also learned that the same gun fell apart when the range was increased to 25 yards and shot the same pellets that were accurate at 10 meters. Finally we saw that round balls in this gun were not accurate at all. read more


Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Cocks hard!
  • Description
  • Trigger
  • Safety
  • Sights
  • Potential accuracy
  • Why was this airgun so hard to get in the U.S.?
  • The end — or maybe not!

You’ve had a weekend to contemplate this gallery gun and today I will finish describing it and talking about its basics.

Cocks hard!

All of these bolt-action repeaters cock really hard, and the Diana model 30 is no exception. The piston can only move a short distance, so the mainspring has to be stiff enough to give the ball a good push. Even so I wouldn’t look for much velocity. My experience with a Haenel 310 tells me this one will shoot 350 f.p.s. or less. We will see in the next report and I will also measure the cocking effort.

Description

The rifle is 42-3/4-inches long, overall. The barrel is 16.9-inches of that. The pull measures 13-1/2 inches. The rifle weighs 7 lbs. 6 oz. read more


Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Caliber 4.4mm
  • The fix
  • Power was intermittent
  • Rifled
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Apparently there have been three Dianas model 30. Blue Book of Airguns calls them out and tells us the differences. Last week there was some confusion about which Diana model 30 airgun I was referring to in a comment, and when I clarified it one of our readers asked for a report. It happened that I then visited a friend who has a model 30 gallery gun, and he told me it wasn’t working. I said I would try to get it working again if I could test it for the blog, so here we go.

Description

The Diana model 30 gallery gun is a spring-piston rifle that uses a bolt to cock the mainspring. It’s similar in function to a great many other bolt-action airguns like the Schmeisser model 33, the Anschütz model 275, the Haenel model 310 that copies the Anschütz, and even the Czech models VZ35 and VZ48. All of those airguns are rifles like this one, but if we expand the list to include smoothbores we have to acknowledge the Mars models 85, 100 and 115. There are probably others I haven’t mentioned. read more


Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hellboy BB gun
The Hellboy BB gun is a realistic semiautomatic repeater.

This report covers:

  • Features
  • Realism
  • Sights
  • Carry handle
  • Stock
  • Magazine
  • What’s it for?
  • Summary

Today I start testing the Hellboy-BB-gun from Hellraiser — an Air Venturi brand. This is a semiautomatic BB repeater in the form of an M4 tactical rifle. Several readers have been waiting for this review, so here we go!

Features

Yes, the Hellboy is semiautomatic. Despite having a selector switch that has the Safe, Semi and Auto positions, the Auto position does nothing. The gun will still fire semiautomatically when the selector is in that position. The selector is located in the right place for anyone who has used an M16, M4 or AR-15. read more


The airgun market in 2018

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Serious airgunner
  • The market has exploded
  • No more cheap
  • The gun crisis
  • Where were airguns?
  • Firearm crossover
  • Airguns — cheap???
  • Is that all there is?
  • The future
  • The point?
  • Summary

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 there weren’t but about 5,000 to 15,000 serious airgunners in the U.S. No one knew for sure how many there were because there was very little data about this market. There may be disagreement on just how many there were but everyone agrees that the American airgun market was small.

Serious airgunner

Let me define what I mean by “serious airgunner,” because that has a bearing on what I’m saying. Airguns are very prevalent in the United States. I would estimate that millions of homes have at least one airgun, but that ranges from the family who just inherited their parents’ home and are unaware of the old Benjamin that’s stuck up in the rafters of the garage to homes like mine, where the number of airguns is greater than 50. There are a huge number of families with airguns, but most of those people cannot be considered serious shooters. My definition of a serious airgunner is someone who owns and shoots an airgun at least once each month. My experience is that if they do shoot an airgun that often, they shoot it a lot more than that! read more


ASG CZ 75 P-07 Duty BB pistol with blowback: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG CZ 75 P-07 BB pistol
ASG CZ 75 P-07 Duty BB pistol with blowback.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Stick magazine
  • The quirk
  • ASG Blaster BBs
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Dust Devils
  • Shot count
  • Trigger pull
  • Blowback/recoil
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the ASG CZ-75-P-07-Duty-BB-pistol. As I said in Part 1, this is a compact pistol, but a duty size that’s larger than a pocket pistol.

Stick magazine

The stick magazine is separate in the front of the grip. It holds 20 BBs that are loaded through the top. The follower is smooth and light and has a lockout notch at the bottom of the mag, so it’s out of the way for loading. I found the mag pretty quick to load, but it did have one quirk.

The quirk

Sometimes, when a BB doesn’t register through the chronograph during a shot string, I have to load a single BB after the magazine has been emptied to complete the 10 shots. This mag doesn’t work well that way, because the top BB doesn’t stay in place. It falls out of both the front and back of the mag, but when there is another  BB beneath it to push it up, it remains in place. I guess when you get to the last BB in the gun, the gun must hold it in place because there were no jams or failures to feed throughout this test. You just can’t load a single BB into the mag and have it stay in place. Other than me, I doubt anyone would want to do that. read more


Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The gun
  • Hough front sight
  • Loading
  • The BB changed from lead to steel
  • Getting 0.175-inch lead shot
  • Darts, too!
  • Summary

Sometimes we like things for reasons that make no sense to others, though we know why. Today’s report focuses on a BB gun that I have liked for many years, after discovering late in life that it existed at all.

The gun

Daisy’s Number 12 Model 29 is a lever action BB gun with a difference. It looks older than it is. It resembles a Daisy model H that was made from 1913 to 1923. The strangest thing about the model H is the cocking lever, which catches your eye immediately. In many respects these guns look similar to the more common BB guns we know today, but that cocking lever seems strange. I have not read an explanation for why it looks like it does, so allow me to posit a guess — leverage. read more