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Air Guns Thank you!

Thank you!

This report covers:

  • What BB didn’t know
  • Along comes the blog
  • Readers rock!
  • Can’t use too much Crosman Pellgunoil
  • What about springers?
  • 2022
  • So — what?

What BB didn’t know

I started writing about airguns in 1994 for my newsletter, The Airgun Letter. I didn’t think I knew enough about airguns to write a newsletter, but when my wife told me to write the titles of the articles I knew I could write about and I filled three pages of a legal tablet, I knew I could do it.

For the next nine years I wrote 3-4 articles a month and sent them out all over the world. Then in 2003 Pyramyd AIR asked me to write articles for their website. I spent more time on those articles so I didn’t write that many, but they are all still up on the website on the articles page.

Along comes the blog

Then in 2005 this blog started. Until that time blogs were personal accounts of life and how the author reacted to things that impacted him or her — sort of like diaries. They still are today. But I wanted to write airgun articles — to heck with what I think about anything. Nobody but me should care about that.

Readers rock!

Over time, though, it has been you readers who have shaped this blog and the direction I write. When two or three guys ask me how to properly oil their multi-pump pneumatic, I write a report — or even a series. Why is this? Is it because BB Pelletier knows everything there is to know about oiling multi-pumps? Nope. It’s because somebody took the time to show BB how it’s done and after that BB wanted to tell all his friends.

pump open
To oil the pump head on a multi-pump rifle, open the pump handle as far as it will go. That brings the pump head to the bottom of the pump linkage slot. It will either be a silver metal part or a dark rubber part.

oil pump
Drop 3 to 5 drops of oil on the pump head. On this rifle, this is as much of the head as can be seen, but the oil gets on the walls of the pump tube and the head spreads the oil around to seal the pump for improved performance.

Can’t use too much Crosman Pellgunoil

I used to get my CO2 guns resealed by Rick Willnecker of Precision Pellet. At the time he lived about 35 miles from me, just north of Baltimore at the time. Once when I was at his shop he told me to always oil the face seal that seals the CO2 cartridge. When I asked him how much oil to use he said, “You can’t over-oil a CO2 gun. As long as you use Crosman Pellgunoil, you’re safe.  Any excess gets blown out of the gun with the gas.” I never forgot that, and it applies to all CO2 guns — not just the ones that use a cartridge. 

oil cartridge
Always drop a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the flat tip of a new CO2 cartridge before piercing.

oil bulk fill
Drop 3-5 drops of Crosman Pellgunoil into the fill port of a bulk-fill airgun before filling.

By the way — this is the spot where somebody inevitably asks me if it has to be Pellgun oil. They read on some chat forum where a guy swore by a mixture of mule sweat and Tabasco sauce. I can see why he swore!

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What about springers?

Well, it wasn’t you guys, because what I am about to tell you happened years before this blog started. Jim Maccari told me that Ivan Hancock in England had a tuning kit that made a Beeman R1 as smooth a shooter as possible. I was in the process of writing a long series for The Airgun Letter, and I knew those articles would also be in a book, so I bit the bullet and bought the kit. It wasn’t cheap!

I got a buttoned piston (a piston with 6 Teflon bearings drilled into and attached to the sides of the piston both front and back), a new piston seal that was so tight that I couldn’t force it into the spring tube and a mainspring that was super-long and covered with what I called black tar.

piston buttons
Using a file to rough size piston buttons.

I wondered what I had gotten myself in for as I followed the instructions and slowly fitted the kit. When I was finished the installation I discovered that the rifle had gone from 36 pounds cocking effort to just over 50 pounds. I thought I had wasted all that money. And then I fired the rifle. Tik! It was dead calm! And when I tested it, it had gained a LOT of velocity, maybe 150 f.p.s. This was the most tremendous change in a spring rifle that I had ever seen. 

That taught me about tolerances in spring guns. And in 2015 I finished a report on a Diana 45 whose piston I buttoned. That rifle was almost as smooth as the Ivan Hancock R1, so in 2019 I completed work on Michael’s Winchester 427. That rifle was SMOOTHER than Ivan’s rifle and was the smoothest air rifle I had ever seen. Until 2022


In February of this year I tested a TX200 Mark III that I tuned with a kit from Tony Leach. That rifle is now the smoothest-shooting spring rifle I have ever seen. It may not actually shoot smoother than Michael’s Winchester 427 (because that would be hard to do), but the TX moves less when fired.

So — what?

What I am telling you guys is — it isn’t me! It’s all of us together. Because it wasn’t me that found that Tony Leach kit. It apparently was reader Bulldawg. I am learning as much from all of you and your comments as any of you are learning from me. We just know different stuff. And, being an old guy, I may know a few things that you young whippersnappers don’t. On the other hand, I thought that new Mustangs had 4-speed manual gear boxes, so it works both ways.

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.

37 thoughts on “Thank you!”

  1. This has been a wonderful trip for me. I have learned so much along the way. I would not trade my time here for anything.

    It was BB that encouraged me to open RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns with the purchase of the 1906 BSA. By that time there had been quite a few airguns that had passed through these doors and were adopted by other folks, but now some of the “older gals” started showing up and using this as a sort of retirement home. Not as many pass through here these days as before, likely because I found my niche. There are a couple of young’uns that would like to find new homes and I will likely have to contact a couple of the adoption agencies to help them along their way.

    This is one of the things BB has taught me: One day the doors to RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns will close. Someone else will then be caring for that 1906 BSA. How many have cared for her along the way?

  2. B.B.,

    “Mule sweat and Tabasco sauce” had me chuckling out loud. :^)

    I still shoot that Winchester 427 more than any of my other air rifles. I keep it in a corner near the patio sliding door so that whenever the urge hits me (and when the ground isn’t covered with snow like this morning), I grab it and head out to our patio table/my shooting bench. It still shoots very smoothly and cocks like a dream.

    Thanks once again for tuning it for me.

    P.S. Bulldog or Bulldawg? I know Bulldawg still reads this blog, even if he rarely posts anymore.

  3. We have a very special place here. A melting pot of experience, ideas and perspectives from all over the world; a place where we can discuss airguns (and random other things 🙂 ) in a friendly environment.

    I sure appreciate Pyramyd AIR hosting this blog, Tom’s guidance (and tolerance LOL!) of the discussions and the comments/questions of the reader community. I’m happy to be able to contribute my little bit.

    Happy Friday all!

    • Hank,
      For the benefit of those of us who don’t live up in the Great White North, I have a question related to something you mentioned yesterday: “How do they [Canadian government] determine if an airgun is in the ‘firearms’ category?” For example, you mentioned that, “I was looking for a HW30 when a .22 HW50 showed up so I pounced on that.” That got me to thinking; I know there is a law that airguns have to be below 500 fps (to still be considered airguns). My .22 HW30 is a sub-500 fps rifle even with lighter pellets. So, could that gun be sold in Canada as an airgun without requiring a firearms certificate, while the more powerful (and higher velocity) .22 HW50 would require one?
      I know that in the UK, with their 12 fpe limit, a rifle has to be under that power level with any common pellets; and if the law tests your rifle with some pellet and it exceeds that level, you can be in big trouble. Now Canada has decided to use 500 fps velocity as their litmus test, but how do they determine the velocity? Do they go by the listed factory specs for the gun? Or do they have some equivalent of the British Home Office, who then tests the airguns and decides if they are “in” or “out” on the 500 fps rule?
      Sorry for such a long-winded question; but I have seen a number of Canadian forums where they talk about the 500 fps thing, yet they talk amongst each other as those who are “in the know,” and those of us down here in the south do not know, hahaha! 🙂
      Looking forward to your enlightening answer,

      • Dave,

        You hit it right on. Unlike the British who did a proper study to determine the “dangerous” power level for an unrestricted airgun, the Canadian government arbitrarily selected 500 fps as the threshold.

        If you follow this link you will notice that many of the models are available detuned to 495 fps for the unrestricted no PAL (Possession and Aquisition License) required market.

        Your sub 500 fps .22 HW30 would not required a PAL but my (factory stock) 625 fps .177 HW30 does.

        BTW, out of laziness and convenience, anything that you can legally hunt with (including airguns, bows, and slingshots) are classed as “firearms” and are subject to every law that applies to firearms. So (as I understand it) if you threatened someone with a slingshot it would be tried in the courts as a firearms offense and subject to those penalties.

        Pistols are even more restricted. My HW44 is 495 fps (I was sure to confirm that!). If it was 501 fps it would be classed as a restricted weapon (just like a .44
        Magnum) requiring a special permit (RPAL) and could only be used at a bonafide shooting range.

        Gun regulation ways, you guys in the sunny south have it pretty good.

        Hope this clears things up.


        • Hank,
          Wow! That totally clears things up!
          “Gun regulation ways, you guys in the sunny south have it pretty good.”
          Yes, for sure; I guess I’d better start being appreciative for how good I’ve got it here; being rural, I can own and shoot whatever type of guns I want to on my property (with no PALs or such). But these days, I’m really starting to appreciate the lower power and less noise of airguns; I fire thousands of pellets for every bullet I fire here.
          Thanks so much for the explanation! 🙂

  4. “Then in 2003 Pyramyd AIR asked me to write articles for their website.”
    That was a very wise move on their part; it has worked out very well for the entire airgun community; as I mentioned previously, some of your reports get re-posted to other airgun forums and chat rooms, with attribution to you and Pyramyd Air; hence, the knowledge from this blog is being spread far and wide in the airgun community, much to the benefit of all, so I pray this partnership between you and Pyramyd AIR will continue for many years to come. 🙂
    Take care & God bless,

  5. I have been on this blog for over five years. I enjoy a lot of the banter and learning from other peoples’ experiences. I have a question…what is a bulk fill? I have not seen that before.

  6. B.B.,

    On the subject of “mule sweat and Tabasco sauce,” one looking for a substitue for pellgunoil might use . . . ? (I have a vague recollection, but my squeeze bottle’s Magic Marker ID rubbed off long ago.) Uh, Non-detergent 20 or 30 weight motor oil?)


          • Apparently it is what RWS Air Gun Chamber Lube is, but much less expensive.

            I still have a bit of the RWS Lube left and have the 30 wt silicone on standby for using primarily on the breech o-rings on my Fortitude & SAM and a couple of drops every few air fills on all my airguns.

          • A drop of silicone oil has always worked for me on CO2 cartridges. In fact, out of fear for o-rings and seals, I tend to use natural rubber safe silicone products for most airgun applications.

            Not all silicone lubes are natural rubber safe, however. For example some Super Lube products are safe and some will attack natural rubber so I always carefully check their TDS sheets for the specific product SKU.

            Why do I worry? Even though natural rubber is somewhat rare in airguns these days, I partially melted an A.N.T. PCP conversion kit rubber seal that I installed on my Umarex S&W 586 and it blew out within a month or two. From its gumminess, I immediately knew what I’d done wrong. The natural rubber safe lube has been working for over a year with the replacement seal.

            I also sometimes use Corrosion-X. I called the company and their tech support told me it’s airgun safe. I’ve never had a problem with it in airguns either.

  7. B.B. and Readership,

    What about REVOLVERS.

    On February 25, 1836 Samuel Colt became the Patentee of the revolver!
    He came up with the design while being reportedly captivated by the operation of the capstans aboard working ship as a sailor out of Connecticut. For those of you that need a refresher on capstans: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capstan
    But that is most likely not what he was captivated by! My theory is that what he actually was looking at when he got his great idea for a revolver was a windlass: https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/product/anchoring-and-docking/windlasses-and-accessories

    Now you know The Rest of the Story!


  8. And thank you Tom Gaylord because you are the hub that connects the spokes that allows this wheel to turn. I am ever thankful for this community and its willingness to share the experiences that make this hobby so much fun. In a time and place where there is so much divisiveness amongst people we can put that aside and concentrate on our shooting, tinkering, woodworking, ect..
    Hope everyone has a blast weekend,

  9. B.B.,

    Thank You, and you’re welcome!
    See if the following link: https://wind.willyweather.com/. will prove helpful in scheduling your outdoor shooting range time.
    My son pointed out this resource that is used by him and a number of major shooting ranges in the West; sorry only in the USA at this time. The data is based on NOAA data but presented in a more user friendly format using the finer grain data set. Units are user selectable so you can get mph to tenths or km/h, m/s, and Knots.

    The WIND forecast is the most reliable I have found in the 12 to 36 hour range.


  10. No places to reply to two comments above.

    Ade C I always wondered that too about when they set a velocity like 500 fps and like you say use a light weight pellet and velocity goes up. And what bothers me is when they set a velocity at like 700 fps and has to buy it like it’s a firearm. So if I shoot with a heavier pellet than what they used the gun is now below 700 fps. Really is a bunch of bull if you know what I mean.

    caliber how is your (SAM) semi-auto Marauder doing mine is still working flawless. It’s the best semi-auto air gun that I have owned. And I have had 3 other brand semi-auto pcp air guns. Absolutely no mis fires or jams with the SAM. And yes I did eliminate the aluminum charge handle. And the other semi-auto air guns I had would constantly jam or mis fire and 2 of them was in the price range of the SAM and 2 of them was double the price of the SAM.

      • MisterAP
        I eliminated the charging handle completely. I machined out the side of the breech and drilled and tapped the bolt for a handle. I also put a longer pin in the hammer/striker. Here’s a picture.

          • MisterAP

            And getting ready for a experiment. I believe with the longer pin in the striker I can take the top breech and barrel shroud assembly off my other Marauder’s and change calibers in less than 2 minutes with only loosening 4 bolts that hold the breech barrel assembly to the main air tube. And of course there is one piece I would need to get from Crosman that is easily changed to keep the bolt postioned so that bolt handle won’t drop and lock the bolt forward like none semi bolts work on the Marauder’s. And it is way easier than it sounds.

            If Crosman new the mods I made they could beat the fast time barrel change that the AirForce guns offer. Could even leave the scope attached to the breech if the scope rings was mounted on the scope in the right locations. Stay tuned more to come. 🙂

        • So if anybody is interested.

          Crosman changed two bolt hole locations for the SAM breech to mount the breech to the main air tube. Just a note anyone that has a simple drill press at home with a vise can drill the 2 holes. The breech is aluminum.

          Then a spring needs added to the bolt to pull it forward to load the pellet.

          I’m in the process of doing this with a .177 caliber breech and barrel. Next will be the .25 caliber Marauder breech, barrel and shroud assembly. So I will be able to bolt on a .177 Marauder barrel, breech and shroud assembly on my SAM and the .25 caliber breech, shroud and barrel assembly.

          Got it all figured out. Just got to find time and get with it. I will say what happens here or on a previous blog.

          Oh and I can easily bolt and use the modified breech, barrel and shroud assembly’s back on the regular Marauder’s with two easy changes. A spring removal and a locator with one bolt that holds the bolt straight from locking down forward..

  11. FM credits this expertly-crafted blog with getting him from merely toe-dipping into the Sea of Airgunnery into diving-in with full body and mind though he must still continue with swimming lessons. There have been long gaps in the airgun life experience but the blog has brought FM from crawling to at least slow-and-unsteady walking in the last couple of years. How did he get here? Well, it started with being annoyed with the increasing difficulties of firearm ownership and shooting. And then one day he came across the forlorn-looking 38T revolver which had not been fired for close to 50 years. The Light Bulb came on – “why not get this repaired/renewed and enjoy shooting right at home?” FM started researching to learn to rebuild it or find someone who really knew how to do so competently; the road led on to B.B.’s blog and the rest is history. FM was not gonna miss out on all the fun!

    And by the way, FM has gotten here “with a little help from his friends” in this realm. That requires acknowledgement.

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