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Vintage airguns and flea markets

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is another guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. He’s going to tell us about a great find he made recently.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

A history of airguns

Over to you, Ian.

Vintage airguns and flea markets
Ian McKee 
Writing as 45 Bravo

This report covers:
Helping BB
A good fit
Editor’s note
Better find!
Best find

Helping BB

While B.B. was roaming around the SHOT Show 2020 last week, collecting all the secret intel on the new toys we can look forward to this year, I am trying to take a little load off of him by writing a couple of guest blogs. 

A good fit

My niche seems to be vintage airguns. B.B writes about their history; I write about how to keep them going. 

He shows you how to repair the springers, I show you how to repair the gas guns. It’s a win win situation. On to today’s blog.

Vintage airguns and flea markets — I’ll buy that for a dollar!


We were coming back from Fort Worth a while back and saw one of the perpetual “ESTATE SALE” signs on the side of the road. We weren’t in a hurry, and I wanted to stretch my legs for a bit. 

My wife and I walked around and just looked for a while. Then I spotted a Crosman 1008 8 shot pellet pistol in a bin. And then in another bin I found a still-carded Crosman Speed Loader Kit that included 3 pellet clips, and a carry case for the extra clips, for the same 1008 pistol. 

The pistol seemed to work mechanically, and my curiosity got the better of me. 

1008 RepearAir 1
Crosman 1008 RepeatAir pistol.

1008 clips 1
These clips have never been out of the card!


I asked how much, expecting to hear some inflated price. I was surprised when he said a dollar each. SOLD!

The 1008 was modeled after the Smith and Wesson 10mm caliber 1006 semiautomatic pistol made from 1990-1995. It looked enough like a S&W 59 that I had carried for years when I was younger that, if for nothing else, for one dollar, I would hang it on the wall for the memories.

B.B. did a 3-part review of the Crosman 1088 (the younger brother of the 1008) back in 2009, and a short review of this model as an airsoft pistol back in 2005. So this model has been around for a while. 


The 1008 is a 8-shot CO2 repeater made mostly of plastic. It uses 8-round circular pellet holders that I will call clips. These are inserted in the top of the gun that opens like a break-barrel shotgun.

1008 open side
The pistol opens like this to insert a clip.

1008 open rear
This is how it looks from the rear.

This pistol has a rifled barrel, I hope it will be accurate with the better pellets we have today, versus what we had available in 2005.


The circular pellet clips are advanced 1 position with each pull of the trigger. It can be fired either double action, or single action. But in the single action mode, when you cock the hammer, the pellet clip is not rotated until you pull the trigger.

The trigger in single action mode is surprisingly good. It has a lot of travel in stage 1, as it rotates the pellet clip. Then it hits a definite wall, and then breaks cleanly. 

The CO2 cartridge is loaded under the right side removable grip panel.

1008 grip off
The right grip comes off to load the CO2 cartridge.

The pistol weighs 1lb. 2.5oz (526grams) unloaded. It has nice target style sights with no fiber optics, and the rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. The adjustments do not click, but they are firm. 

This one does leak, I tried the ATF sealant, but it did not help the leak. So it appears it needs surgery.

A reseal kit is on the way so we will learn together how to resurrect this vintage airgun.

And yes I will test the velocities in both single action, and double action.


Editor’s note

I can’t resist! Many years ago (35?) I was at a local flea market in Columbia, Maryland and I saw a Crosman 111 pellet pistol on a vendor’s table. The lady wanted $30 for the boxed gun, and I gladly paid it. It came complete with the 10-ounce bulk-fill tank that was still half full. Even the original owner’s manual was still in the box!

When I got it home it was still holding gas for 30 powerful shots. I shot that gun for another year before I had it resealed.

Better find!

My wife, Edith, was so impressed by that purchase that she became my bird dog at that flea market. Over the years we both found a great many airguns. The last one that she found in a dealer’s junk case was a gun I had passed by several times. But she really liked the look of it. The price was $10 but she bargained the seller down to $5.

This “carnival squirt gun” is an 1872 Haviland and Gunn BB pistol Edith stumbled on for five dollars!

The vendor thought it was a carnival squirt gun that people shot at balloons to win prizes. But what it really turned out to be was a Haviland and Gunn BB pistol from the 1870s that Edie eventually sold for $450 when we closed down The Airgun Letter and needed money to refund subscriptions.

Best find

But the drop-dead best find I have ever seen was at the Roanoke Airgun Show a long time ago. A friend of mine named Wayne Fowler came down to the show, but on the way he and his wife, Karen, stopped at a small antique/consignment shop. He found a Daisy wire stock BB gun. Now that gun came in several versions and some are as cheap as $1,200 today. But Wayne’s was one that didn’t say Daisy on top. It only said Plymouth Iron Windmill Company. In other words, it was one of the first ones ever made. A top collector told him it was only the 5th or 6th one of that model he had ever seen and could be worth as much as $10,000!

wire-stocked Daisy
Daisy made this replica of their wire-stocked first model several years ago. They are now increasing in value as collectors’ items just like the originals.

So the buys are definitely out there and they always will be. One man’s trash …

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.

42 thoughts on “Vintage airguns and flea markets”

  1. B.B.,

    You guys are sure lucky to openly own your guns without any worries or license/registration requirements. To think that those things can turn up at an estate sale or flea market!


    PS: Section Best find (not in bold print)
    First paragraph first sentence: “But the drop-dead best find I have ever seen was at thew (the) Roanoke Airgun Show a long time ago.”

  2. 45Bravo,

    Thank you for helping to ease the burden on BB. The few times I have stopped at places, there is no luck. I see air guns advertised in estate auctions, but rarely. Many auctions are during the work week. Some are on line only, or both. I wish I had the time to be more proactive on hitting the few shops around here.

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris

    • Chris,

      Estate auctions are usually not a good place to buy an airgun. I have seen a modern Red Ryder go for $35 when you could buy a new one at Wally World for $25.

      Around here yard sales are the place to go. Most of the time they are women and child clothes but sometimes you see guy stuff for sale. I have seen firearms, ammo, canoes, bows, etc. Over the years I have purchased such things as a Daisy 717, a Ruger Air Hawk and a UK Webley Tempest. The Tempest has been the most expensive one I have bought so far. It was in very good condition and I paid $60 for it. I did get him to throw in an old rusty Red Ryder with it.

    • Chris,

      I have been doing this for a very long time. I do have lots of stories like these, but a lot of time lapsed between each of them. I’ve discovered that the deal of a lifetime comes around about every year to 18 months.


    • Yogi,

      I myself have not had much interest in them. They are fun for a moment, but that wears off quickly with me. My 1088 is long gone. Saturday I was playing with my son-in-law’s PO8. That was fun for a few minutes.

      I actually have more interest in the spent CO2 cartridges. Put an eye bolt in the punctured end, paint it international orange, add a string to hang it up with and you have a superb little spinner target.

      By the way, I had chili last night.

      • Guys, I hear you on the gas guns, but they do have some use as teaching tools; recently, I have had the opportunity to introduce 6 young teens (5 girls, 1 boy) to the shooting sports. In the pic are the 3 guns, my “teaching tools,” they liked to shoot best. For a rifle, they liked the Crosman 1322 with shoulder stock (note: the stock had to be cut to a 13.5″ length of pull; from the factory, it is about 15.75″…too long for kids); it’s the lightest “rifle” I have. They also like to shoot the Crosman 1322 pistol off a rest, as it is a heavy, stable, easy-to-shoot gun. However, for off-hand use, they all liked the NRA Peaceamaker the best; and one of the things they really enjoyed was the multi-shot capability. Interestingly, they thought the history was cool, like that this is a replica of a US Army issue pistol from 1873. They really enjoyed the way it loaded like the real thing, and they fought over who got to load the pellets into the cartridges (they thought that was cool). Only a gas gun would allow this type of operation, and this gun was a big hit with all the kids; the fact that it’s a one-hole shooter at 5 meters helped a lot; kids like to hit stuff; and even with the rudimentary sights, they could all hit with this gun; one girl could repeatedly hit the 1/2″ spinners…hence, this CO2 revolver was her “fave” of all the guns.
        I went through a lot of CO2 cartridges, but was happy to do so; it was great to see kids enjoying themselves with hardware, with actual guns, instead of some app of video game!!! =>

    • Yogi, I would likely have never purchased one, but an airgunner friend of mine gifted me an ASG CZ75 airsoft pistol. He came across a deal for this nice used item, knew I owned a CZ-75B. I have never owned any CO2/green gas gun, or any airsoft gun for that matter, but it has been a lot of fun. The gun was made in Taiwan, and it is quite realistic and well made. It will put a 6mm “BB” thru an aluminum can, and can hit 2 inch target at 20 feet. I think BB has something similar with a CO2 pellet gun.

      Pretty sure I wouldn’t have paid the original price to own it, but the gun handles very much like the real thing (looks like it would be close to $200 with the optional CO2 mag), even down to the trigger and blowback action. Having this as an “accessory” for my firearm is interesting. I can see why people would buy it.


      • Jerry,
        I didn’t think I was going to purchase another one after I gave all my CO2 guns to my brother. Then I switched my EDC to the Sig Sauer P365 9mm so I was obligated to get the P365 CO2 pistol (joke). I’m glad I did. It is a beautiful replica and so useful for handling practice. It even fits my IWB holster perfectly.
        Larry from Algona

  3. Thanks guys. I stumble on some deals every few months.
    My first Crosman Mk1 I got in trade for an airsoft pistol.

    This guy wanted a airsoft pistol to start skirmishing with I had a co2 1911, we traded.
    and I got hooked on Mark 1’s.

    The last airgun I saw at an honest estate sale was an early Benjamin 117 pumper that was missing some critical parts.

    Their price was $200 I showed interest in the gun, but not at that price.

    I asked where they got the info to price it they said they have an expert in airguns that does their pricing research.

    I talked with the owner of the company that does the estate sales I showed him online what a functional 117 was selling for at auction nationwide.

    He now contacts me when they have an old airgun come into their inventory.

    It pays to be honest.

  4. Ian,
    Great job, nice report; I found this particularly interesting: “…in the single action mode, when you cock the hammer, the pellet clip is not rotated until you pull the trigger.”
    Looking forward to the rest of your report,

  5. I found one of those 1088’s in a pawnshop. It seemed like an accurate shooter with a good trigger but I couldn’t get it to hold any CO2, even after a weeks therapy with ATF. Didn’t know they had parts kits for these old guns.


  6. Ian,

    Excellent report!

    The very first air gun I ever bought and which began my entering the hobby was a Beeman-imported Webley Hurricane with matching pistol scope I found at a local pawn shop. It was marked far below its value, but before I could make the pawnbroker an offer, he told me he wanted it out of there and said he’d take what was less than I would have offered him!

    Where I live in the Chicago suburbs one excellent source for vintage collectibles is the thrift shop, such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and St. Vincent DePaul. However, because it is Illinois, those places do not carry air guns beyond a Nerf gun. So the flea markets and garage sales you write of are especially fertile ground, as are the pawn shops, more and more of which have been popping up over the past handful of years.

    Over the state line in Wisconsin many small towns have antique malls, and they often have 1960s and 1970s vintage Daisy BB guns, but they are usually so broken down, incomplete and rusty that I would never pay the $100 to $200 on their price tags.

    Again, excellent report.


  7. My only flea market find an EM-GE krone from the mid 1930’s best I can tell. Payed 35.00 or so, made a new spring and leather seal with the help of the blog. It’s not the most accurate gun for sure but definitely minute of can at 15 yards easy to cock, light, and fun to shoot. It was a great learning experience. Excellent guest blog really enjoyed reading it.

  8. I still stumble across deals every once in awhile. Like 5 guns for $11. Two of them were Racine Sheridan Silver Streaks. Then 3 Racine Sheridan Blue Streaks for less than $100. Then Crosman 147BP, 140, and a Sears/Crosman 1400 All $10 each. A Benjamin 310 and a rear cocking Crosman 1377 for $10 each. One of my S&W 79’s was free and my Crosman 114 was $25. The finds are out there, but getting harder to find. I haven’t found the Crosman 160 3rd variant I want yet, but one will show up that maybe I can trade for. Always have the Airgun Show in June, so, never can tell what will happen.

  9. 45 Bravo,

    “A reseal kit is on the way so we will learn together how to resurrect this vintage airgun.

    And yes I will test the velocities in both single action, and double action.”

    I’m looking forward to you bringing this pistol back to full operation and showing us how to do a reseal. I don’t have any experience with or know much about this Airgun type; Ian do you think that there will be a velocity difference when it is shot single or double action? Can’t get my head around what would cause that? I guess i avoided these types because they never looked very user serviceable to me.

    Thank you,

    • I can say, that the hammer does actually strike the valve stem on this model.
      And there is about a 2-3 millimeter difference between where the double action hammer drops, and where the hammer rest when cocked in single action mode.
      So there MAY be a velocity increase, just because of more dwell time, we will see.

      There are 2 different models of this gun, depending on when it was made. and parts kits are ordered accordingly.

      I have been into the gun, just to look things over so when the parts come in, I have an idea of what goes where.

      There is a lot going on in a very small package inside this gun.

      I found 1 video online showing “reassembly” but he is missing several small parts that apparently went missing when he took it apart.
      But it was useful to see what was inside before I actually popped the hatch.

      When I reseal this pistol, I will upload a complete and accurate video online that covers it all.

      But everyone here gets the reseal blog first.


  10. B.B.,

    Compliments to the IT bunch!

    It looks like the IT troops are getting things better since my latest post, although slow to post, posted without all the extra steps needed in the recent past.

    Hopefully it will sooner rather than later make your work easier!


  11. 45Bravo,
    Looking forward to this “rebuild” of the 1008. I have one that is “silver/gray” finish (or is mine a 1088, hmm I’ll have to check). It doesn’t need rebuilding, but it’s nice to know how.
    Speaking of yard sale airguns, There is a Plainsman at a local gun shop that I’ve been eyeballing now. Just a little steep on the price. After it sits a bit, hoping they deal on it. It’s $79 and has the box. I have to assume it leaks. Yes I ask, and yes they said they had no clue. I figure someone must have pawned it.


    • I can say I have never handled a Plainsman. yet.
      But that would not stop me from taking the plunge.

      If someone else can do it, I can do it too.

      Curious enough to take it apart,
      Skilled enough to put it back together.

      Clever enough to hide the EXTRA parts when I am done….


    • Doc, I would say bring a co2 cartridge to see if it leaks, that could help you in the negotiations.

      But it could also hold gas, and they not negotiate..

      Its a roll of the dice.


  12. So,… is the posting back to normal? I tried earlier without opening a new tab,…. but the post lingered and I X’d out. It did post however.

    Also, logging in each time is now a needed task when visiting each time after closing the site. Before, this was not the case. Will it stay like this?

    And, on logging in now,… I am then taken to the “administrator”? page and must click on the house symbol to visit the site. This is (as it was before),… but has not been with the recent issues.

    So,… what is the latest and what is working or not working for anyone?

    Thanks,….. Chris

    • Chris,
      I am not experiencing the issues you seem to be. I never log out and when I open FF and go to the blog, or comments, I am still logged in. Earlier when I posted I noticed that it didn’t happen right away, and like you, I just closed the tab. But the comment did post okay. So, that is the only issue I am seeing right now. Everything else seems to be working normally again.

    • I just logged out to see what would happen. When I went to the comments, it showed I was not logged in. When I clicked on login a box opened for my username and password and when I entered those I was logged in normally, no little house icon or administrator nonsense. So not sure what you are seeing.
      Oh, and make sure to check that box “Remember Me” to stay logged in.

      • Geo,

        I logged in and closed out several times. I had to re-log in each time, despite checking the “remember me” box.

        I posted a comment on the 1-28-20 blog and it took 45 seconds or so, but did post. No error page.

        After logging in, it takes me to a “profile” page. That is where you can change the colors of the page and all of your profile information. There is other tools as well. Only by mousing over the house symbol will reveal the “visit site” option.

        That is about it. No big deal on logging in, or the extra page. The post time is quite long, but I can live with that. At least it works without having to open up an new window/tab.


        • Chris,
          You might try logging out of the blog, and also log out of the PA web site. Then log back into PA and then the blog. I am not having any issues with staying logged in yet today. The posting of comments is still not working normally. I posted a comment and then waited to see how long it would take for it to happen. At about 90 seconds the 504 error popped up. I closed the tab and reopened and the comment had posted. Like GF1 said, it’s a PITA.

    • Chris
      I’m not having the log in problem your having. But the posting is still not working right. Almost feel like not posting. Kind of a hassle to me anyway. I do hope they get things straightened out soon.

  13. Chris USA,

    WHAT? “And, on logging in now,… I am then taken to the “administrator”? page and must click on the house symbol to visit the site. This is (as it was before),… but has not been with the recent issues.” I’m using Chrome on a Newish ANDROID tablet…administrator page, House symbol I have never run into any of that? I log out invariably from any site, more secure that way, so haven’t tried to stay logged in for any length of time between visits.


  14. 45Bravo,
    I was wrong. Mine is a 1088. Must be a newer version based off the 1008. The trigger in single action is very good, even though it is still turning the cylinder. Double isn’t bad either..

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