The first Smith & Wesson 78G air pistol(s): Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

S&W 78G
A very early S&W 78G air pistol. Though the picture looks matte because of lighting, this is one with glossy paint. It’s like new!

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Oh, oh!
  • BB is fine
  • Parallax!
  • Peep sight
  • Back to the S&W 78G
  • Velocity
  • Power adjuster
  • Hades string two
  • My other 78G
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Low power setting?
  • Trigger
  • Shot count
  • One final test
  • Summary

I mounted the UTG Micro Reflex dot sight on the IZH-61 and prepared to shoot it at 10 meters, rested. I had to remove the front sight so the dot had a clear view of the target. The rear sight was just adjusted as low as it will go and was out of the way.

Oh, oh!

BB has slipped a cog everyone! He hasn’t even read the title of his own report!

BB is fine

No, BB hasn’t slipped a cog. He spent 90 minutes with the IZH-61 this morning, trying to shoot groups with a dot sight and failed to do so. His failure is your benefit, because he has some interesting information to share. read more

Stop that pellet!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Traps
  • Jim Contos trap
  • Materials
  • Getting more use from a trap
  • Affixing targets to the trap
  • What else can you use?
  • Duct seal
  • Good news
  • Clean the trap
  • Reason for the steel plates
  • Putting the new stuff in
  • BB trap
  • Airsoft trap
  • Summary

Today’s report is a basic one on pellet and BB traps. I thought it was time to cover this subject again because of all the new readers we are getting. You guys don’t see it because they don’t sign up for the comments, but we are getting 10-20 new subscribers each day, 7 days a week. That is over and above the fake ones I see that number even more. Well, those new folks need to know how to build pellet traps like the rest of us. And I know the comments to this report will be even more valuable to them than the report itself.


I use several different traps that I will mention today. But one trap gets used more often than all the others and that is the one I’ll show you how to build. I’ll start with that one. read more

Sig Romeo5 XDR red dot sight

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Romeo5-XDR
Sig Romeo5-XDR.

Sig Virtus MCX PCP air rifle: Part 1
Sig Virtus MCX PCP air rifle: Part 2
Sig Virtus MCX PCP air rifle: Part 3

This report covers:

  • XDR?
  • The big deal!
  • Long battery life
  • A compact sight
  • Manual
  • Illumination
  • How bright is the light?
  • LED versus holographic dot
  • Top of the line
  • Mounting
  • Overall impression
  • Summary

I have linked this report to the Sig Virtus report because this sight is going on that rifle for the next test. I should have mounted the Romeo5 on the Virtus for the first accuracy test, but I discovered too late that I hadn’t.

But maybe that is a blessing in disguise, because I will now review the sight by itself before putting it into use. Pyramyd Air doesn’t currently carry the Romeo5 line but I received an email from a blog reader who goes by the handle SqueezeBox. He owns two of them. He was glad I was reviewing the sight because in his opinion it is the best dot sight on the market. Let’s see what he feels that way. read more

Changing times

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

Vintage firearms — Nelson Lewis
Sniper rifle
Henry Deringer
Remington American Boy Scout
What about airguns?
Crosman Trapmaster
Crosman Mark I and II pistol
Erma ELG-10 
Winsel — a turkey?
What’s happening?
Hold out

Today I write a report that has been on my mind for months. I even wrote down the title to remind myself it needed to be written. Today is the day.

Several months ago I was talking to my shooting buddy, Otho, and the subject was older firearms. I told him I was getting tired of shooting some of mine and he said to sell them. I responded by telling him that I would, but the prices people were getting for most of them was so low right now I would lose my shirt if I sold them. read more

IZH-61 repeating spring air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH 61
The IZH 61 sidelever repeating air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The rear sight
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • What if I really, really tried?
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • No longer seating pellets in the clip
  • RWS R-10 Match Pistol
  • RWS Hobby
  • Trigger behavior
  • Firing behavior
  • Feeding reliability
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the IZH-61 repeating pellet rifle I am testing. And I’ll give you a heads up. There is a surprise coming. At least it surprised me!

The test

I shot off a rest at 10 meters. I tried to use the artillery hold, but the pistol grip of the 61 sort of foils that. Let’s just say I held the rifle gently. And I shot 5-shot groups.

I had planned to shoot one pellet from each chamber of the clip at different targets when I found the best pellet, but as you will see, that will not work today. I will explain as we go. read more

Diana 27S: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Trepidation
  • Disassembly
  • Anti-beartrap mechanism
  • Pictures!
  • Secret washer
  • Remove the trigger?
  • The rest of the disassembly
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication and assembly
  • Hit the wall
  • Frustration
  • The solution
  • The final solution
  • Denny was a pattern maker
  • The irony!
  • One more thing
  • Summary

Today I do something different. I show you a tuneup that is not complete. I do that because the monster has been vanquished and I will be able to get the Diana 27S back together to report on the performance after a cleaning and a lube tune. Here we go.


When I began this job a week ago I had trepidation because of the anti-beartrap mechanism Diana put in this model. I have stripped other springers with anti-beartraps before and I’ve always been successful, but their presence complicates the rest of the powerplant quite a bit — especially the trigger. read more

John Wayne Lil’ Duke BB gun with scope: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Lil Duke and scope
John Wayne Lil’ Duke BB gun with scope.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Thanks!
  • Stagecoach
  • Another thing
  • And finally
  • Back to our regular program
  • Dust Devils
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Smart Shot
  • Cocking effort
  • It can be uncocked
  • Summary

Okay, today is the day we discover whether the Lil’ Duke can really shoot 350 f.p.s. or not.


Thanks to all the killjoy comments (RidgeRunner, Kenholmz, and Yogi) that said kids today don’t know who John Wayne is and essentially wouldn’t care to see him in a movie. The fact that you are right doesn’t lessen the pain! And thanks, Mike Ogden, for trying to stick up for the American Dream!


And Michael, Wayne didn’t say, “Hodad” when he spin-cocked his rifle in the movie. He said, “Hold it!” to stop the stagecoach so he could board. I had never seen the movie Stagecoach, so that was my assignment last Friday evening! While it was good, especially for a 1939 movie, I didn’t think it was great. Wayne was a lot thinner in those days — but weren’t we all? read more