by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.
This report covers:
- The test
- Test 1
- Test 1 continued
- Firing behavior
- What’s next?
- Test 2 — A modern Sharpshooter
- More discussion
Today we look at the accuracy of the Sharpshooter catapult pistol. Since there is only one type of ammo for it, I have added something additional to spice up the report. Let’s get to it.
The ad from 1948 said the pistol could hit a fly at 16 feet. Dean Fletcher tested his at a more reasonable 10 feet, which is what I will do. Readers asked me what kind of target I used and today I will tell you. Using a coat hanger, I made a wire target holder that stands up, and wrapped a single sheet of aluminum foil around the edges of the loop at the top. It’s the same target I used for the Daisy Targeteer test.
This target is made from a coat hanger wire, with aluminum foil wrapped around the edges.
I shot from a UTG monopod rest 10 feet from the target. I decided to shoot 5 shots first and photograph them before moving on.
The first 5 shots landed to the right of the bullseye I had drawn on the foil. I photographed them in place, then measured them with a caliper. As close as I can measure, the holes are 0.838-inches between centers.
The first 5 shots landed in this 0.838-inch group.
Test 1 continued
Then I went to breakfast at a local restaurant, where I had three cups of coffee. When I returned I fired 5 more shots to complete a 10-shot group. To my surprise, the group size stayed the same.
Five more shots completed the group. This was after 3 cups of coffee. The group remained at 0.838-inches between centers.
I even photographed the group with a dime in the picture, to give you some scale.
I didn’t do as well as Dean Fletcher, who used a housefly drawing as his target. He nailed the fly at 10 feet. My group is larger, though I am very satisfied with it.
The gun makes no noise when it fires. Only the strike of the shot can be heard.
As I mentioned, there isn’t a choice of ammo. If I had a selection of different number 6 shot I might try lead-free and dropped shot versus shot made by some other process, but all I have is the lead shot I’m shooting. I wondered what I could do to make this test more interesting. And then I got an idea.
Test 2 — A modern Sharpshooter
I could try a more modern Sharpshooter pistol that has a plastic launcher and compare it to the pistol I’ve been testing. The test pistol is one made by the original company in Rawlins, Wyoming before 1940. So I switched to one of the pistols I bought in 1965.
I couldn’t get the 1965 pistol to feed, but I found another modern deluxe model that I bought at an airgun show. This one fed fine. I only used one rubber band on this gun, because I have ruined a couple of these plastic launchers by stressing them too much.
These two Sharpshooter pistols are separated by 30-35 years and as many as five different manufacturers. The deluxe nickel pistol on top is modern and has a plastic launcher.
I only shot 5 shots with the modern pistol and there are only 4 holes in the target, though I believe one of them has two shots. This group measures 1.642-inches between centers.
This target made by the new Sharpshooter pistol shows 4 holes. I think the hole at the left has two shots through it. If so, this group measures 1.642-inches.
Is the newer pistol less accurate than the older one? Who can say? Maybe it was just the difference between one band and two that made the difference.
To be honest, shooting at targets with these pistols isn’t that exciting. These are fun guns, made for plinking. I remember how much fun it was just to shoot at a styrofoam coffee cup at the airgun show. The shot will knock the cup over if it is empty, and that’s fun!
This 5-part series on the Sharpshooter rubber band catapult pistol is more conclusive than anything I have read or seen. And we haven’t even looked at the older and much larger Bulls Eye pistol, so there is room to grow.
If you ever have an opportunity to shoot one of these strange guns, don’t miss it. They might surprise you.
30 thoughts on “Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 4”
Totally OT..but could we get a series on ballistics?
SD, BC, MOA, something math heavy?
You won’t get anything math heavy from me. Maybe a reader will volunteer?
I’d love a guest post. Most of the books out there are focused on pb rifles. I get most of it, but I don’t think I have ever found a post/series/book that takes it from beginning to end with an air arm as the focus.
I wonder if you could have included a shot of the pistol in hand to provide a sense of scale on how small this pistol actually is. Maybe on the larger Bulls Eye pistol report?
I think someone asked me for that picture. Maybe you.
Yes, I hope I will remember it when I do the Bulls Eye pistol.
I think it was Gunfun1 who originally requested for it. The pictures have all been cropped so I can’t see how big it is actually. Although I can imagine that you can only wrap your 3rd and 4th fingers around the grip with your pinky finger dangling below the grip.
Nope wasn’t me.
These are more accurate than some of the other guns you have been testing lately. Good “fly swatting”!
I thought that the world needed a best mousetrap? Who knew what it really needed was a better rubber band?
Thanks for something different!
I am looking forward to you doing a 5-part series on the much loved Mark I Spud Gun.
Growing up in Ireland, that was the only airgun available to us without a firearms licence. Ireland’s draconian gun laws were relaxed in 2006 though, when airsoft guns producing less than 1 Joule muzzle energy were no longer classified as firearms.
You will have a much greater selection of ammunition available to test with the Spud Gun than with the Sharpshooter rubber band catapult pistol: Kerr’s Pinks, Golden Wonders, Roosters, Maris Pipers and other varieties of potatoes. Will be very interesting to see the chronograph and 10m accuracy test result comparisons!
A spud gun? From Ireland? Shirley, you jest? 😉
The great potato famine/GENOCID interlaced with Leslie Nielsen. Sharp.
Nice testing! We even got a 2 for 1 out of it. Always good.
I remember having a scaled down 1911 that shot suction cup darts that was quite a bit of fun. Loading and pushing the dart in the barrel cocked the toy springer. Looking back,.. I should have torn it down and gave it a tune. 🙁 Oh well. As I recall,…. I got in trouble for taking the suction cups off. While I did not understand aerodynamics at the time,.. I am sure that was the thought.
Good Day to one and all,….. Chris
If any of you are interested in owning a set of these, there are two kits up for auction on a gun auction site right now. They are exactly like these.
That’s pretty good accuracy for a catapult gun.
It’s more accurate than the Daisy 179 I had.
And I believe it’s more accurate than the Marksman 1010…
Yes, you were getting 3″ groups (with BBs) at 6 feet; so this Sharpshooter beats that cleanly!
Thanks for another interesting series BB.,
have a blessed day all,
Yes, the accuracy from these pistols is remarkable. That’s why they are so much fun to shoot.
I have a Marksman 1010 that my Dad bought new for me about 1964. It is all metal, no plastic. It still works after all these years. It has been shot a lot! One summer when I was in Middle School, I shot it almost every day that summer. I remember a little shooting contest with some friends. Shooting at about 6 yards I could hit almost every time. My friends, not at all. Shows what practice will do. Never did try it for group but it shot better with Daisy BB’s then Crosman BB’s.
I always wanted a Marksman 1010 when I was a kid. The local sporting goods store had one in a glass case, and I used to drool over it (this was back in the 1960s, so it was an all metal one like yours) every time we went there for my Dad to buy his fishing and camping stuff. My Dad never did get it for me, and he never let me get any BB gun. He did get me a Winchester model 37A 20 gauge single-shot shotgun the Christmas I turned 16; and that was followed the next Christmas with a Sheridan model C .20 caliber air rifle…my first airgun ever. Hence, I credit my 10 years of pining for an airgun before finally getting one with my current…uh…over compensation, hahaha!
Anyway, thanks for reminding me that I need to get a Marksman 1010, a used one from the 60s, to make up for the one I never got. =>
What! No maths! And using literature for a backstop. Hmmm.
Good shootn’ Jeffe, Have a nice day, R
You always seem to come up with the darnest shooting equipment reviews. If the design for the sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun isn’t still under patent, maybe a manufacturer could put these back into production.
You know for something like say 3 meter Olympic fly shooting competition events. 🙂 🙂
Wouldn’t those 3-meter flies be dangerous? 😉
It’s those 4 moa horse flys at 12 yards you got to watch out for. You better get them before they get you. 🙂
Here’s something that my be interesting to people that like math.
Them deer flies seriously suck too .
Yep them too.
And on another note the crows are starting to move in. End of this month to the end of February is crow season here. No limit, 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.
A friend of mine gave me his grandfathers DAISY SINGLE SHOT MODEL H. It has the nickle finish and is in about 50 percent condition. The tab on the barrel that holds the spring on the front sight has broke off. Other than that it should still shoot.
Did you find anyone to work on your Daisy Number 12? I don’t know if I want to get it restored it or just keep it as is. I can’t imagine those old mainsprings holding up for long.
The mainsprings in these guns are close to eternal. It’s the plunger seals you have to worry about. And no, I don’t have a repairman for mine yet.
Thanks, I dont think I should try to open this one myself, I can get the shot tube spring fixed myself so I may give it some oil and see if it shoots after I get some BBs for it. I guess a new size BB wont hurt it.
Pretty cool… I want one!
…and I checked the price of a used example. Wow. I guess I’ll stick with my old rubber band fun for in-house fun.
For how ingeniously simple they are, you figure someone with a 3D printer could churn them out by the droves. Perhaps airsoft has made these more or less irrelavent on the mainstream, but I’d spend spring-air-pistol money on one if they were available. God knows I must have shot 10 pounds worth of BBs through my old Marksman spring pistol, ‘hunting’ bumblebees on the azalea bushes in front of my house as a kid.
I remember you mentioned galleries like this one.