by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • In a handgun
  • A target BB pistol
  • What it’s for
  • A hunting handgun
  • Any holes?
  • Get real!
  • Over to you
  • Summary

This is a continuation of your opportunity to affect the world of airguns. I told you last time that airgun manufacturers all over the world read this blog daily. Of course there are exceptions to that from time to time. Sometimes a personnel change at a company diverts the attention of its people to other things and we loose them for awhile, but then someone in the company has a question about something airgun-related and they go online to research it. That usually brings them to this blog and they bring the others in their company back with them.

In a handgun

What do you want to see in an air handgun? It can be anything from a simple BB gun to a big bore airgun capable of taking big game. I’ll get you started and then turn the discussion over to you.

A target BB pistol

Something I have long wanted to see is a target air pistol that’s lightweight and easy to cock. It must be inexpensive yet deadly accurate — BUT!

Okay — right up to the BUT what I’m asking for sounds like what a lot of folks say they want. But there is a difference. I have a way of getting what I want that most people don’t. I give a manufacturer a solid and inexpensive way of doing what I am asking.

I want a target BB pistol that’s made along the lines of the Daisy Match Grade Avanti Champion 499 BB gun. Because of how the powerplant of a BB gun works, the shot tube/barrel on this pistol can be shorter than the one on the 499. It can be made from the same tubing as the shot tube in the long gun. Give me an overlever cocking mechanism that is essentially the 499 spring and piston with the lever on top of the spring tube and in front of where it is now, rather than in the rear. Give me a good Patridge front sight whose width is well-matched to the notch in the rear.

Patridge sight
The Patridge front sight (named for E.S. Patridge)  is usually undercut at the back to eliminate reflection. Some are slanted slightly to the front.

For the rear sight give me a good adjustable one with a square notch and fine clicks for both windage and elevation. Put it as far back on the top as feasible, for a longer sight radius.

Give me good grips like the ones on the Daisy Targeteer that shot BBs. They don’t have to be expensive. They do have to be good. Think Crosman Marks I and 2.

Targeteer 177
Daisy’s Targeteer 177 wasn’t expensive, but it did have nice hand-filling grips.

What it’s for

An air pistol like this is ideal for teaching someone how to shoot with a handgun. Until you train shooters, you can’t fathom all the differences there are between teaching somerone to shoot a long gun and a handgun.

This pistol doesn’t need to be accurate to a great distance — 5 meters is fine. A velocity of 240-250 f.p.s. is also fine. So it should be obvious that I’m talking about a BB gun.

The overlever cocking means almost anyone can cock it. The lever runs from the front sight along the top of the gun to the rear of the gun, and it pivots there to pull a lightweight spring and piston back to the cocked position. The light weight makes the pistol easy to hold in one hand, so the basics of handgun marksmanship can be learned by almost anyone.

A pistol like this could expand the Daisy International BB gun championships. It could be an ideal tool for teaching new shooters how to shoot a handgun. There is no good air handgun for training new shooters. Women and youngsters, especially, would be glad to have a light accurate target pistol. This could be the one to do all of that.

A hunting handgun

We already have several wonderful hunting air handguns. In the lower end of power I just reviewed the Ataman AP16, and don’t forget that October is the month when I will pick a winner of the pistol I reported on from the US readers of this blog. 

In the same power range as the Ataman is the Benjamin Marauder pistol. It’s less expensive and just as accurate, with a trigger we all talk about.

To step up in power you can move to the TalonP by AirForce Airguns. It’s very affordable, yet delivers the best power of any commercial air pistol today. A host of factory accessories can turn it into a handy carbine very quickly. Add a longer barrel and boost the power dramatically!

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Any holes?

So we do have good hunting air pistols today. But are there any gaps?

Yes, there are no hunting air pistols in the 25-40 foot-pound range. Is that even a valid thing to consider? Well, any gun that’s built for that power range has to be wary of the TalonP, so watch the price, the overall length, the accuracy and perhaps the flexibility, too.

Some people want a lot more power than air pistols give them and they want it in a package that fits conveniently into a holster. Oh, and it would be okay if the maker charged as much as $300 for such an airgun!

Get real!

For starters, if you are a reader of this blog for very long you know why such an air pistol is impossible. And I’m not talking about the price. To get power from a precharged airgun in any caliber requires a longer barrel. You can’t get there with higher air pressure alone — just ask those guys who have built 4,500 psi airguns, only to see them eclipsed by guns that fill to a much lower pressure but have longer barrels! The laws of physics cannot be broken.

And, speaking about price, let’s get real. When a company comes out with the next great thing they are going to charge for it. They know that there are those who will pay a lot to get the latest technology. If they are the only ones selling it, they would be fools not to capitalize on their situation. How many of you ever turned down a raise at work because it was not in your company’s best interest?

The time always comes when the demand goes down and prices have to be slashed. If the bottom line is your main concern, be prepared to wait.

Over to you

There you go. I have given you a few thoughts to get you started, now you take over and tell the world what you want in an air pistol. I liked my summary to Part 1 so well that I decided to just use it again.


Want to affect the world of airguns? Then stop tipping over the porta-potties and help us empty the garbage cans!