BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Something else
  • Rear sight has to come off
  • 1950s design
  • Assemble the rifle again
  • Install the peep sight
  • Ordered a new target front sight insert
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • H&N Finale High Speed
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today will be another accuracy test of the BSF S54 Match rifle. But it’s a test with a twist. In Part 3 we learned which pellet does best in this rifle — the H&N Finale Match High Speed — a 7-grain wadcutter that is no longer being offered. I have received the current Finale Match Light target pellets, so I can start testing with them today, as well.

Something else

And, there is something else. A couple weeks back reader Kevin alerted me to the fact that the seller in Bulgaria from whom I bought the Diana peep sight also had a BSF peep sight for sale. He had it advertised for Anschütz, FWB and Walther, which is why I never noticed it. The price was reasonable and, as before, the shipping was free, so I ordered it. It’s here and I would like to show it to you. read more

Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Hatsan response
  • Good data
  • Velocity Baracuda Hunter Extreme
  • String two
  • String three
  • Discussion
  • Vortex Supreme
  • Air Arms Field
  • Newboy Junior
  • Firing cycle
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we resume our look at the .22-caliber Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. In Part 2 I got some velocities that seemed far too low, so I assumed the rifle was damaged in some way. I returned it to Hatsan and asked them to look at it and, if possible, please repair it so I could resume the test with the same rifle.

Daniel Settle of Hatsan got back with me and here is what he said.

Hatsan response


We took some time to test out your sample SpeedFire this afternoon.  This was tested “as-is” out of the box – original gun, original magazines.  We did experience a larger extreme spread with one magazine (41) versus the other (23) with our Vortex Supreme pellets.  The “bad” magazine had some damage around the pellet exit opening on the muzzle side of the body.  I expect this might be interfering with and damaging the pellet skirts as they are pushed through. read more

Pause to reflect

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Blue Book coming
  • Overwhelmed
  • Price-point PCP
  • Compressors
  • The value compressor
  • Set-and-forget
  • Gun compressors
  • Repeating spring guns
  • Lookalikes
  • Big Bores
  • Special things
  • Over to you

Blue Book coming

I have been writing my next Blue Book of Airguns report. My section is called Gaylord Reports, and I try to summarize all that has happened since the last Blue Book was published. The new book should be released in May or early June.

The last Blue Book was published in 2016. While that sounds like just three years ago, since the book was actually written the year before, it’s a full 3-plus years and going on four. More has happened in this time than at anytime in the history of airguns!


There is so much information that I cannot get it into one report. I’m having to consolidate all of the exciting things into categories. And doing that has caused me to pause for reflection. There is more going on with airguns today than I have ever seen. I would like to share my view with you right now, and then give you the opportunity to comment. read more

Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle.

This report covers:

  • The obvious
  • Description
  • Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle magazine
  • Side-by-side
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • CO2
  • Velocity
  • Bolt release
  • A lot more!

A couple readers guessed that yesterday’s report was the start of the Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle. That’s point number one. This is a real Ruger Air Rifle. It’s branded that way, which means that no Ruger collection is complete without one. I have seen Ruger collectors pay thousands of dollars for rare examples of Ruger guns, including an unfired .256 Winchester Magnum Ruger Hawkeye that went for more than $3,000. Quite a lot for a single-shot pistol, wouldn’t you say?

The obvious

Let’s address the elephant in the room. This isn’t the first 10/22 air rifle lookalike we’ve seen. Crosman’s 1077 is meant to copy the 10/22, and of course their Benjamin Wildfire is the same gun using high pressure air. Both rifles resemble the 10/22 but also have differences — particularly in the magazine area. Having said that, I don’t want to continue to make comparisons — it isn’t my style. read more

Ruger 10/22: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ruger 10/22
Ruger 10/22.

This report covers:

  • Well-suited
  • History
  • My 10/22
  • Barrel lottery
  • Custom barrel
  • Why this report today?
  • BUT


BB is writing about a firearm? And it’s a 10-shot semiautomatic firearm, at that. Many countries ban semiautomatic firearms! So this one isn’t even legal in a lot of places.

What gives?

I’m not telling — yet! I do have a reason for doing this. It’s a real good reason, but for today you just have to trust me.


Of all the airgun writers on this planet — are there more than 20? — I’m probably the most qualified to write about the Ruger 10/22 because I have written about it extensively for Shotgun News — the previous title of Firearm News, many years ago. I wrote the feature series, What can you do with a 10/22? in which I investigated accuracy, reliability, modifications, customizing, and the use of a silencer. read more

The American Zimmerstutzen: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

American Zimmerstutzen
The American Zimmerstutzen.

This report covers:

  • I didn’t know the gun was loaded
  • And again…
  • And again
  • STOP!!!
  • Blanks?
  • Can real blanks hurt you?
  • They were blanks but he fired too soon
  • KaBOOM!
  • So what?
  • Sooner started…
  • Does this thing even work?
  • No fit?
  • Serendipity
  • Summary

I first titled this report, “Can blanks hurt you?”

In writing about the American Zimmerstutzen today, I rediscovered all my fears about shooting blanks in guns. Why would I worry about that? Well, this home-built pellet rifle was made to be powered by a blank cartridge. And, over the three score and ten years of my life, I have seen countless injuries and deaths from blanks.

I didn’t know the gun was loaded

You may have heard the story that actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was killed during filming, “The Crow.” He was shot with what Hollywood and the media called a “blank gun.” But it wasn’t really a blank gun — it was a firearm. And he wasn’t shot with a blank; he was shot with a bullet. How, many ask? Simple — the film crew was careless while using a firearm to shoot blanks and someone loaded a live cartridge into the handgun that shot and killed Lee. And that was not the only time it’s happened. read more

Hatsan Proxima underlever repeater: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Proxima
Hastsan Proxima underlever repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Single shot?
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Remember the sights!
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Firing cycle
  • RWS Superdome
  • Baracuda Match
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Hatsan Proxima. Since it has open sights, I started with them.

Single shot?

You guys dumped on me last time about the single-shot feature. Okay, I admit there are some aftermarket single-shot adaptors for the Proxima, but I doubt anyone will ever use them. You see, cocking this rifle and closing the cocking lever is a two-handed proposition. Don’t forget the cocking lever release has to be pressed to close the lever. Unless you have a third hand to load a pellet with one of those adaptors while all that is going on, I don’t think it will happen. Is it possible? Sure. But it’s a bar bet — not a way to shoot. read more