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Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle: Part One

BM8
Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle.

This report covers:

  • First impression
  • Questions
  • Description
  • Summary

Today’s report will begin the introduction to the Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle, but this is such a strange air rifle that there is too much to cover in one report. It will take at least two reports — just to introduce this rifle. Don’t whine — you all know you want it that way.

How do I begin? Here we have a breakbarrel air rifle that doesn’t stop when the barrel is broken down for cocking and loading. If you want, it keeps right on breaking down and folding until it is a conveniently small triangular package that’s suitable for backpacking. 



M8 folding.

BM8 folded
The BM8 folds down into a small triangle. Small, but at 7.5 pounds (it’s actually 8), heavy.

First impression

When somebody asked for this report in the comments I thought they were crazy! Why would anyone want something like this? Then, when I learned that it can come with a bayonet, I knew they were crazy. A bayonet on an air rifle is as useful as a nuclear hand grenade. Okay, so the Daisy model 40 came with a bayonet in 1914 — but that was a toy, based on the socio-political climate that existed around World War One.The BM8 is like a huge answer to a question nobody asked.

BM8 knife
The BM8 knife is real but we don’t get one in the US.

The optional “bayonet” for the BM8 is on the fringes of a true bayonet. It does fasten to the rifle just like a bayonet. But it functions more like a survival knife. It isn’t sold with the rifle in the US, but I’m sure there are ways around that. I personally don’t want one but I know there will be many who do.

Questions

How does the BM8 unfold? A small lever located in the stock hole just ahead of the butt is pushed forward (away from the butt plate), releasing the barrel from the butt. That lever isn’t shown in the top photo, but it is there. Apparently somebody photoshopped it out. 

BM8 takedown lever
That lever in the butt is what unlocks the rifle for unfolding into a conventional rifle shape.

Looking at the triangular presentation of the stowed rifle one question comes to many minds — is the rifle cocked when it’s folded like that? The answer is no, it is not cocked. That’s possible because the cocking link detaches from the spring tube and is held under the barrel by two small rare earth magnets until it’s called for.

BM8 magnets
The rare earth magnets that hold the cocking link in place under the barrel until it’s time to make the rifle operational.

BM8 cocking lever
When you are ready to operate the rifle, unfold the coking link and push its wide end through the enlarged slot in the forend and the spring tube. Rotating that switch at the top right to the Locked position locks the cocking link in place to operate the powerplant.

Description

I’ve spent all this time just showing you how the rifle goes from the stowed position to the operational configuration. Now a little about the rifle. It’s powered by a gas spring/piston and comes in both .177 and .22. The one I’m testing is a .22. I thought that caliber was appropriate for a survival air rifle, but there are also some locations where .22-caliber airguns are not legal and in the smaller caliber this one will be. Twenty-two caliber is great for my test because I returned from the SHOT Show with the new .22-caliber Benjamin domes (Benjamin Bullseyes). So I have a host of good pellets to test in it.

I already told you the specs say the rifle weighs 7.5 pounds. It felt heavier than that to me so I weighed it on a postal scale. The test rifle weighs 7 pounds 15.4 ounces — so just under 8 pounds.

The rifle is all steel and plastic. And the plastic is in strange places as you can see in several photographs.

There are 2-way adjustable sights on the rifle and there aren’t any fiberoptics to be seen anywhere. So you really can shoot this one to the limit of its accuracy potential. There are also Picatinny rails on the top and on both sides of where a forearm would be if this rifle had a conventional one. So a scope or dot sight is possible, as well as a flashlight or night vision device.

Summary

And I’m going to end my first report at this point. There are more strange things to see but I want to hear what questions you readers have before I get to them

101 thoughts on “Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle: Part One”

  1. BB,
    If someone was to keep this in their truck as a survival rifle, they would likely stow it without optics.
    (That’s what I would do anyway.)
    Hence, I would like to see how this rifle can do with just the iron sights it comes with.
    Although, I’m sure others will want to see it scoped to wring out all the accuracy potential.
    This looks like a candidate that will provide an interesting set of reports! 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

    • I for one would be most interested in this series. Will I buy one? Not unless I can get the bayonet with it. Then I could take it Jackalope hunting.

      I think the manufacturer is aiming for the “collector” market, although there are bound to be a few not too bright preppers that will fall for this marketeering ploy.

      Just to eliminate any questions, I am in the “collector” group.

  2. Heavier springers tend to be less hold sensitive, so the weight is good. A 362 with steel breech, dovetail receiver sight, and replacement metal front sight would probably be a better survival gun, though.

  3. B.B.,

    Photo of the Breach Seal (BS) area as well as the Transfer Port (TP) PLEASE. That should save you a minimum of 1,000 words on how soon you will need a spare (BS carried in the central parts bin?) as well as a way to clean out the TP….
    For Out CONUS folks they will need a tourniquet and 1st Aid Kit in the parts bin to clean up from the bayonet/survival knife wounds.
    All above puns were intentional!
    In my survival training i seem to remember we learned that traps, snares, gill nets, and CHARMS® are the way to QUIETLY obtain protein (game/fish/insects) in a survival setting.

    shootski

    • Shootski,

      For some reason I found it funny when you stated, “clean out the TP….” Why would anyone clean out the Toilet Paper? Had to go back to see that you meant Transfer Port. Sorry my mind is adrift with too little sleep and being kept awake by irrational patients who cannot come at reasonable hours.

      Siraniko

      • Siraniko: I feel your pain. When I was in a parish ministry setting, I rememberd getting a call in the night well past the “polite hours for calls” from a parishioner asking “What time is the eight o’clock meeting tomorrow?” Later, as a state employee of our state’s veterans home, I was always full of trepidation at 16:28 Hours. That was two minutes before clocking out and it was amazing, over 28 years, how many veteran clients would come banging on the Sick Bay doors with some problem – four and one-half hours after the sick bay doc had left for the day. Somehow, those guys always seemed to know to do this on the afternoons when I absolutely, positively, had to be home promptly because of some function of the kids that required parental presence. How DO they know that?

      • Siraniko,

        So sorry for making your day more difficult.

        Take two aspirin and order a Black Bunker BM8; get a good night’s sleep and see how you feel in the morning.

        I wonder what a BM8 is?
        BM i understand to be synonymous with #2 :^O

        shootski

    • shootski,

      You are taking this thing way too seriously. Just to ease your mind, there is a muzzle and breech seal cover. You may have to clean out the toilet paper as I have not seen anything to plug the pipe with as of yet.

      The turkeyneck and medical kit may not be a bad addition for those who can purchase the bayonet. If the Jackalope gets past your bayonet thrust, you may need them.

    • Shootski,

      Agreed, traps are the most effective way to collect protein – they can be made from materials at hand with simple tools and be scaled to suit the size of available game. (I once made a “tip-up snare” big enough for moose and bear sized “spear traps” 😉 ) Raccoons and beavers are ideal prey species – common, good sized and easy to trap.

      IMHO, as far as survival weapons go, the same deal applies – they need to be easy to make (from local materials) and don’t require “purchased projectiles”.

      I’ve taken lots of game with “rabbit sticks” (a heavy non-returning boomerang), slings and wood bows. They take a bit of knowledge to make and some practice for proficiency. In preparation for a SHTF scenario it would be good to try “primitive” weapons before you actually need them.

      Cheers!

      • Vana2,

        With all that training i still lost 14 Lbs. (6.35kg) in a two week exercise in the mountains of Northwestern Maine in early April.

        Unpaid Influencer Testimonial:
        I would have gained some if i had had my (t)rusty
        black lunker bm8A1.

        shootski

        • It seems to reach its peak on election day each November during an election year.

          The worst of them make very public appearances, all shined up in their mating attire trying to attract the unwary to themselves.

          Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to bag them then! ‘Tis a pity because they strut in the open on that day and would be easy targets, insofar as vermin go….

            • LOL.

              Maybe not.

              Just so we let Joe know we’re only hunting the Nazis. I mean hunting Nazis became a thing in the 40s until we kind of shot out the herd.

              Israel continues the hunt but the German brand of them are kind of dying out.

              Maybe Assad would consider changing the definitions? We have a bunch of them wearing red hats and blue suits with red ties?????

              • Now wait a minute. The young college kids (who WAS it that said a college education equates to intelligence?) may be calling the Jewish people Nazis, but in sleazy Joe’s eyes, anyone who does not vote for him is a Nazi.

              • LFranke,

                I Learned from my family member’s first hand perspective on the WW1 to WW2 and after period.

                Long before 1940 the worst of Totalitarianism was ignited by Socialists who initially wanted to infect Germany with the virulent form. The Socialists succeeded in Russia because the condition of the peasants was worse than that of Weimar Germans. The Nazis benefited from: The Weimar Republic a failed experiment when it was established. By German social-democrats fearing another Soviet Union, German style. Unfortunately it was supported by only a minority, the majority of Germans simply tolerated it and the communists attacked it from the start on.
                What my takeaway is from all this is that the Communist-Socialist-Republic-pure Democracy-Royal Regime-Dictatorship-National Socialist continuum is not found on a straight line but rather a loop on which the Communist-National Socialist forms met at the top. If you wear a blue tie and sneakers or red hat and blue suit maks no difference to me. The power Elite is NOT your friend or mine; the only thing going for us is that eventually someone comes long and utters: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down these walls!
                I prefer Cowboy Boots and a Cowboy Hat any day.
                Ski boots are okay in my book too.

                shootski

  4. Definitely an airgun Curio. Survival? No problem. Just shoulder an M14 and leg holstered a 45 along with it or
    put a real firearm in the storage box.
    Mine should be here Wednesday. Not complete without the bayonet. I will need one. Along with a toilet paper roll hanger. All options required.
    This one would be hard to modify. Too unusual.
    Don’t know if it would have helped me survive in the desert. It’s illegal to shoot there.
    I was left in a flooding Coyote Canyon 20 miles away from civilization in a Jeep with a broken fuel pump. It was a little rough, All I had to survive on was two cases of beer and a few sticks of beef jerky. It took every ounce of courage I could muster up, right! I think?

    So, what exactly is inside that package? A generic China made magnum blaster? Wicked looking airgun.

  5. Tom,

    Took me some time to realize that the cocking link swings out of the way so that the rifle doesn’t get cocked when folded. Intriguing manner of making the linkage detach. I wonder if it will last?

    Siraniko

  6. I want the bayonet and the threaded end. This thing is just not complete and ready for Jackalope hunting without them.

    In all seriousness, this has “collectable” stamped all over it. It also has the potential to be an accurate sproinger, though I doubt the manufacturer went to such trouble as to make it such. Then there is the question of is it easily convertible from a gas spring/piston to a metal spring arrangement?

    This particular air rifle puts me in mind of a fishing lure. Most of those are designed to catch the eye of the angler more so than the fish.

    • RR

      “ Then there is the question of is it easily convertible from a gas spring/piston to a metal spring arrangement” (with a selector switch)? BB can do a thorough report testing accuracy and velocity of steel spring vs air spring.

      Deck

        • RR

          I like the folded triangle look because it reminds me of my Daisy No. 25 that as a kid I carried around with the pump pulled back. If it turns out to have 2 MOA accuracy at 25 yards, readers will have something to agonize over.

          Good report yesterday. Keep em coming.

          Deck

          • Deck,

            Even if this thing cannot hit the broad side of a barn from inside, I think I want one anyway, if only for the “collector” uniqueness of it.

            Now, as for taking it out Jackalope hunting, only if I can get the bayonet.

            • RR

              If you saw FM’s video it has a chance to be better than typical accuracy. You need that bayonet for its tools plus pellets and bayonet can live in the purse.

              If it fails to defend against jackalopes you can always hang it on the wall.

              Deck

              • Deck,

                The walls are reserved for the “old gals”.

                I did watch the video. I have few sproingers around here that can probably do better. From the way that BB describes that trigger, it does not sound like too good of a sproinger to me.
                We shall see.

  7. There appears to be a 3/8″ / 11mm rail under the Pic rail, I would remove the rail and mount a simple bottom of the line Williams peep. IMHO for this rifles purpose a peep drilled out to 1/8″ are bigger would be appropriate.

    • SSC,

      If this thing can hit the broad side of a barn from the inside, it does indeed deserve a nice peep.

      Please do not take this to be a serious airgun. This is a marketeers dream to attract ignorant newbie preppers.

      • Oh well , I am not in their target market anyway. I will soon be selling and or gifting most of my “magnum” springers and the one Nitro piston TF 99 conversion.These days I get my power from PCP ‘s and lots of enjoyment from my tame springers.

  8. BB,

    I cannot help myself. I am most curious about this thing. I can picture a BugBuster scope in the case. How repeatable would such be in combination with the Picatinny rail?

    It still needs the bayonet though.

  9. Looks like something we might see in the next James Bond movie! Of course there should be some special exploding ammo, etc. And we need a survival vehicle to go along with it. Perhaps a folding electric bicycle that goes 150 mph?

    • Elmer Fudd,

      I was trying to think of other ridiculous devices, wondering whether a similarly folding handgun, with a little plastic purse in the centre, would sell?

      And then I came across your comment which fuelled my imagination:

      … seemingly trapped at the end of the road, James Bond only just manages to unfold Q’s transformer handbag into a breakbarrel airgun. Using a handful of exploding pellets, he fends off the masked men in black.

      As James loads his last wadcutter, the obligatory female interest, the rescued sexy Elgy Biticuar, adds the other transformer thing, which, at the push of the secret pink ‘ +1 ‘ button, changes shape to reveal a tandem e-bike upon which they escape together, effortlessly cycling up the steep mountainside…

      Yeah…
      … nope!
      But thanks for the distraction… 🙂

  10. B.B.

    What a great emergency tool. They should add back HUGE fiber optics, then when folded it could be used as a traffic emergency triangle! How are you supposed to carry that rifle when it is all folded up?

    Maybe they could add “floaties”? That way it could also be used as kisby ring.

    On a serious note, is the unlocking lever in the butt made out of plastic or metal. Looks like it could be easily damaged? Time for destructive testing?

    -Yogi

  11. BB-

    A couple comments about size, weight and price. Folded shape is somewhat pack friendly. The weight, at 8 lbs (did that include the accessory box) makes me start thinking about what could/should I carry instead. And the $280 price tag? I think I would spend a bit more for Chiappa Double Badger over/under (center fire or rimfire over shotgun) combination gun.

    I also think not having a fiber optic front sight is a design fail. Black open sights are great for broad daylight paper punching. Everything else, not so much.

        • BB-

          Again, big dark targets against high contrast backgrounds in broad daylight. Most buffalo killing took place at fairly modest distances. The challenge shots came when the herd grazed out of range and there weren’t enough dead on the ground to keep the skinners busy until time to head to camp. There, the hides were fleshed and staked out to dry.

  12. Just a thought…..maybe they could have an optimal entrenching tool to fold out from the stock?? Just might want a trench against the hordes of marauding jackalopes!!

  13. I’m willing to give this gun a chance. Hopefully, it has usable power in a small package. I hope the accurracy is there. I hope the linkages are robust. Personally, I never understood putting the safety INSIDE the trigger guard.

    Why not construct the hinge to fold the piece in half rather than into a triangle, along with a collapsible fold away stock? Maybe they tried that. A springer doesn’t need a very long barrel except for cocking leverage. So it must have some reasonable power, but an extendable barrel shroud could function to provide the extra leverage.

    Well, it is a thought provoking airgun. I look forward to the next report.

  14. It seems to reach its peak on election day each November during an election year.

    The worst of them make very public appearances, all shined up in their mating attire trying to attract the unwary to themselves.

    Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to bag them then! ‘Tis a pity because they strut in the open on that day and would be easy targets, insofar as vermin go….

  15. Can’t stop shaking my head at this contraption diguised as an airgun. Maybe with a little modification it could be used for racking pool balls. This thing appears to be designed to solve a problem that airgunners don’t have. Sorry. Carry on.

  16. B.B.,

    LOCKED — UNLOCKED?
    Why not use PICTOGRAMS as in a locked and unlocked hasp lock.
    Oh! This is targeted for English speakers (readers?)
    ONLY ;^{

    shootski

    PS: From the PAir Copy: “Because the cocking arm disengages, all tension is removed from the spring.”
    Huh?
    Gas molecules being STRESSED i guess!

    • Shootski,
      Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger. (SNL) They latch onto familiar statements, don’t they.
      But hay, if you were standing nut to butt and shoulder to shoulder like those molecules you too would probably be stressed out.

      • Bob M,

        My Sigonella sliders are UP!

        You on-a glideslope, on-a centerline, on-a glideslope, on-a centerline, … Don’t-a-touch-nutin-in-a-Cock-a-pit!

        I had heard Sea Stories of this Controller…until i shot my first actual GCA into Sig.
        WHO KNEW!

        shootski

  17. Speaking of Benjamin “bullseye” pellets, I received a pkg from TCFKAC yesterday, containing a can of the Benjamin .22 pellets. The packaging was crap, the can ripped out of card stock package. I see a few dinged skirts. I tested them at 25 yds, the S510 liked them the best, about a .26” group, followed closely by the Compatto, then the Maximus. The P-Rod did not like them and the C362 only tossed them in the general direction of scope aim point. My S400 really likes the .177 Benjamin match pellets that I received back when they became available. I haven’t tried either the .177 or the .22 in a springer yet.

  18. Boy, these “Rivers of Rain” passing over CA are turning into one of those Biblical things. I have ponds and streams developing all over the place threatening to take out a 3′ wide culvert under my road.
    May need to wear swim fins and a snorkel mask to do any shooting. And I’m pretty sure the UPS driver will turn around and kiss off my BM8 delivery tomorrow and into the unforeseen future. AWD will be mandatory.

    “Seems it never rains in southern California
    Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
    It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
    It pours, man, it pours”
    1972 Albert Hammond

    • Shootski,
      Boy you got that right. DG (Decomposed Granite) eventually gets pushed into the mud. Previous owner sprayed the road down with old engine oil mixed with kerosene. Until the EPA got on his case.

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