Airgun History Timeline

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier.

a history of airguns

4,000 BC

Stone Age man killed small mammals with poisoned blowgun darts

1560 AD

European nobility shot darts from their extremely accurate single-shot bellows target rifles

1803 AD

Lewis & Clark carried a 22-round Girardoni precharged pneumatic rifle that shot .46-caliber round balls

1905 AD

G.C. Bonehill in England markets the Britannia, perfecting the first modern breakbarrel air rifle

21st century

What does the 21st century really hold for airguns? Stick around to find out...

In 2015 we asked Tom to start a gigantic project — to document the history of airguns.

Over the past five years, Tom has been writing some articles every week dedicated to the history of air guns.

This is the result of 5 years of work — a gargantuan effort that has not stopped, but continues every week. We think nobody in the world has undertaken such a project, and now the time has come to present it to you.

Enjoy!

Year 1400

rifled bore

The invention of rifling: Part 1

The history of airguns This report covers: Nobody knows when rifling was invented What is rifling? The first rifling Gunpowder leaves dirt in the bore Minie Ball Trapdoor Springfield development Ballard rifling Airgun rifling Nobody knows when rifling was invented I’ve been reading about guns for 56 years […]

Year 1500

ball from Perkins gun

How powerful were the big bore airguns of the past?: Part 1

The history of airguns This report covers: New blog section — History of airguns! How powerful? Wood was first Iron and steel How fast — Spaltology Velocity of the big bore airguns of antiquity Available air pressure Why this is important New blog section — History of airguns! […]

Year 1600

diabolo

The rise of the accurate pellet: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: Accuracy taken for granted Crosman 160 opened my eyes! In the beginning The ball or bullet Smaller calibers Pellet shape Birth of the diabolo A long way to go Accuracy taken for granted I was speaking with a group of very […]

Year 1800

punt gun 2

The punt gun

A punt gun is huge! The man has a conventional shotgun in his other hand for comparison. This report covers: Market hunting What is a punt? What is a punt gun? The nasty part Punt guns in the movies Why the punt gun today? I’m having some fun […]

Year 1860

Ferris wheel

The Gallagher steam trebouchet

A history of airguns This report covers: An airgun from the American Civil War Modernizing the trebouchet Using horsepower for weight Lighter, faster and more powerful President Lincoln Success in the field Steam trebouchet lives on Steam, not air Final thought An airgun from the American Civil War […]

Year 1880

A rare Quackenbush pistol comes to light

A history of airguns This report covers: From Airgun Revue Wes Powers find! Toy pistol? Powered by rubber bands I had a glitch writing today’s historical blog, so I pulled in this one from the past. Oddly, Edith did the same thing when I was unconscious on a […]

Changing from lead shot to steel

The history of airguns This report covers: The first lead BB Size matters Advantages of air rifle shot The dawn of steel shot How lead shot tubes work How steel shot tubes work This information is worth millions The first lead BB When BB guns were new in […]

The rise of the BB gun: Part 1

The history of airguns Part 2 This report covers: The first BB gun Plymouth Iron Windmill Co. The BB becomes air rifle shot Quality control problems You’ll shoot your eye out World War II After the war The first BB gun This is a comprehensive report of the […]

Year 1900

fabric tunnel

What is accuracy?: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: The big question Epic experiments! Shooting Gibraltar Use the best barrels Rotate the barrel Damage the bullets Are bullets balanced? Did Mann learn anything? Chris USA suggested today’s topic last Friday, when he asked my about the tantalizing results I got […]

Year 1910

Columbian Model E

Heilprin Columbian Model E BB gun: Part 1

The Heilprin Columbian Model E BB gun is one few people have seen. A history of airguns This report covers: Heilprin history Today’s gun Sheet metal fabrication Trigger safety BB caliber? Money in the bank What’s next? Sometimes BB finds an airgun that few people have seen. Today […]

Year 1912

Quackenbush Number 7

Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun: Part 1

Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun. A history of airguns This report covers: What is it? Quackenbush airguns No such luck! Smart Shot Some facts about the Number 7 Adjustable trigger! Push-barrel Sights Summary What is it? What in the world is a Quackenbush Number 7 airgun? Well, for […]

Year 1920

Daisy model 29 cocked

Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 1

Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun. A history of airguns This report covers: The gun Hough front sight Loading The BB changed from lead to steel Getting 0.175-inch lead shot Darts, too! Summary Sometimes we like things for reasons that make no sense to others, […]

Crosman 101 multi-pump pneumatic: Part 1

A history of airguns Crosman 101 multi-pump pneumatic. This report covers: Crosman-101-classic Description Peep sight Cocking knobs Materials History Maintenance Crosman 101CG I was trying to report on rebuilding the Daisy 853 today, but a last-minute change prevented that. One of our readers, Paperweight, sent me Daisy’s very […]

Year 1930

Sharpshooter pistol

Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 1

A history of airguns The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s. This report covers: History Operation How much value can be put into an inexpensive gun? What […]

Benjamin 700 multi-pump repeater: Part 1

A history of airguns Benjamin 700 repeating BB gun. This report covers: The Benjamin Automatic Model 700 Repeater How many pump strokes? My encounter The gun Takedown Accuracy Price Ammo Getting it fixed Summary And now for something brand new, because it is so old that most of […]

blued Targeteer

Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: Why we collect Today .12 caliber The box Lead BBs? Fragile Art deco Summary Why we collect Sometimes we collect something because of its performance. A Whiscombe recoilless rifle that’s powerful and accurate might be an example of this. Other times […]

The Challenger countertop trade stimulator

Called a countertop trade stimulator, the Challenger was one of many small shooting galleries that accepted pennies. A history of airguns This report covers: History Money tight Drop Coin into slot The prize The play Shoot Hitler On through the ‘40s Now for something a little different. Instead […]

FLZ pistol

FLZ Luftpistole, version 2: Part 1

The FLZ version 2 pistol was made in Germany from 1938 to 1940. A history of airguns Uncommon Description Stock Marks Looks like a rifle Today we start looking at an air pistol that’s uncommon in the U.S., and indeed, around the world — the FLZ Luftpistole version […]

Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 1

Diana model 5V pellet pistol. A history of airguns This report covers: Guest blog Mine is .177 Rifled Condition Trademark Grip/Stock General description Sights Trigger Summary Today we start looking at a Diana 5V pellet pistol that was made before World War II. While it uses the number […]

Millitia rifle

Millita breakbarrel rifle: Part 1

Millita air rifle. A history of airguns This report covers: Another find from Findlay It’s a rifle Description Trigger Sights It’s been lubricated What we have Another find from Findlay Today we start looking at an air rifle that I know very little about. I bought it from […]

Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 1

A history of airguns Daisy Red Ryder. This report covers: How many Red Ryders? Number 111 Model 40 Model 94 carbine Model 1938 The Red Ryder explodes! Today we start looking at an American airgun icon — the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. With the recent change in […]

Webley Senior straight grip air pistol: Part 1

A history of airguns Webley Senior straight grip air pistol. This report covers: Design Piston ring Power Sights Trigger Quirky Today we start looking at a Webley Senior straight grip air pistol. This model was made from 1930 to 1935, according to the Blue Book of Airguns, 11th […]

Webley Mark II Service rifle

Webley Mark II Service: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: Happy Memorial Day Bucket list Webley Mark I Webley Mark II Service One of the finest ever made Breech Sights Large rifle Stock What now? Happy Memorial Day Today is the day we remember all those who have fallen in defense […]

Daisy model 177 Targeteer BB pistol: Part1

Daisy’s Targeteer 177 shot BBs. A history of airguns This report covers: Not the first Targeteer Second Targeteer A funny thing happened… Oiled it Description Trigger Sights What is it good for? Today I want to share with you a vintage BB gun that was a part of […]

Haenel BB pistol

Haenel model 100 BB pistol: Part 1

The history of airguns This report covers: Haenel history Haenel 100 Not a BB pistol? Odd way of cocking Nickel finish Crude sights Shot tube Functioning The future Haenel history Of the many European airgun manufacturers, only a few like Walther, Feinwerkbau and Diana are well-known to American […]

Year 1940

Johnson Indoor Target gun

Johnson Indoor Target Gun: Part 1

The Johnson Indoor Target Gun is a catapult BB gun that was made in the late 1940s for youth target practice. A history of airguns This report covers: Who was Johnson? The M16 Airgun The gun in hand Discussion Summary Yes, I’m reviewing a Johnson again. For some […]

Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 1

A history of airguns A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952. This report covers: Green box The “hidden” find! Back to the BB gun Finish Model 310 A sweetie Take our time Two months ago I attended a small local gun show where the joke is — […]

Crosman 102 multi-pump pneumatic repeater: Part 4

Crosman’s 102 is a .22 caliber multi-pump repeater. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 A history of airguns This report covers: Clearing the jam The jam Assembly Accuracy Re-sighting Crosman Premiers Crosman wadcutters 10-shots Discussion Summary You may recall that the Crosman 102 jammed last time I tested […]

Crosman 105 “Bullseye” multi-pump pneumatic pistol: Part 2

Crosman’s 105 is a .177 caliber multi-pump air pistol. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Test 1. How many pumps? Test 2. RWS Hobby pellets Test 3. Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets How stable? The pump stroke Pump force Rear sight fix Trigger pull Summary […]

Crosman 102 multi-pump pneumatic repeater: Part 3

Crosman’s 102 is a .22 caliber multi-pump repeater. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: More than one shot per fill? How many pumps? The test Sights Pellet feed RWS Meisterkugeln Crosman wadcutters RWS Hobbys Crosman Premiers Now 10 shots Discussion Summary Today we […]

Crosman 100 multi-pump pneumatic: Part 1

Crosman’s 100 is a .177 caliber variation of the more plentiful model 101. A history of airguns This report covers: Texas Airgun Show Model 100 Refinished and resealed Description Bolt action Sights Reference material What’s next? Today we begin looking at a variation of a multi-pump pneumatic rifle […]

Crosman’s Town and Country multi pump

The Crosman Town and Country I tested was a model 108 in .22 caliber. A history of airguns This report covers: Town and Country Was the Supergrade the influence? Description Front sight was a marvel! Short pump lever Velocity Accuracy Summary When I was in the hospital for three […]

BSA MeteorMark I: Part 8

BSA Meteor Mark I. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 A history of airguns This report covers: Bear food What about a Weaver/Picatinny mount? Yes, but couldn’t you…? However Wrong again Evaluation   Bear food Sometimes the bear eats you! […]

Apache-Fire-Ball-Texan: Part 2

Part 1 A history of airguns This is the completion of our guest blog on the Apache multi-pump air rifle. Today Benji-don shares his experiences with the performance of the rifle, after it was made operable. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please […]

BB’s Christmas gift: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: Happy New Year If you see it, buy it Buy it now The gun So far, so good Saving everything for you Seller has more The rest of the report Happy New Year Happy New Year! I promised you that today […]

BSA Airsporter Mark IV: Part 4

The BSA Airsporter Mark IV is an all-time classic. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 A history of airguns This report covers: Eley Wasps RWS Hobby JSB Exact RS How is it working? What now? Sometimes the bear eats you. That will be the theme of today’s test […]

BSA Airsporter Mark I: Part 1

The BSA Airsporter Mark I is an all-time classic. A history of airguns This report covers: Sleeper? How to date your BSA Condition The rifle Stock Trigger Wood Rust Firing behavior A few weeks ago I landed several great airguns on the Gun Broken auction website. One was […]

Sheridan Supergrade: Part 1

A history of airguns Sheridan model A, also called the Supergrade. This report covers: What is a Supergrade? First sight Only .22 caliber airgun Sheridan made My impressions before owning one Materials Must be cocked to accept a charge Power and accuracy I no longer own a Supergrade […]

How a vintage BB shot tube works

A history of airguns This report covers: Technology Gravity Shot tube is the true barrel The shot tube What keeps the BB from rolling out the barrel? A spring! That’s all, folks Today’s report was suggested by a question from reader 45Bravo, who asked, “How does the shot […]

Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 3

Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns Daisy Red Ryder. This report covers: The test Daisy BBs Hornady Black Diamond BBs H&N Smart Shot BBs Baseline Today we look at the accuracy of my vintage Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. I shot the gun with open sights […]

Year 1947

BSA Airsporter

BSA Airsporter Mark IV: Part 3

The BSA Airsporter Mark I is an all-time classic. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: The test Sight-in RWS Superpoints Open sights Is it my eye? Eley Wasps The eyes have it Next? Today is the first accuracy day for my new .22 […]

Sheridan Supergrade: Part 3

Sheridan model A, also called the Supergrade. Sheridan Supergrade: Part 1 Sheridan Supergrade: Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: Crosman Premiers Sheridan Cylindrical pellets Now, for the interesting stuff! Pelletgage Too many variables! Trigger Results I think today will open some eyes. I know it […]

Year 1949

Sheridan Blue Streak: Part 1

My Sheridan Blue Streak was purchased new in 1978. A history of airguns This report covers: Not a shooter You’ve got mice! The problem grows The rifle Thumb safety Rocker safety Why so different? Twenty caliber Multi-pump Accuracy Trigger Sights Goodbye, Edie Some readers asked me to do […]

Year 1950

Diana 23: Part 1

by Tom GaylordWriting as B.B. Pelletier Diana 23. A history of airguns This report covers: A stripper The rifle Two versions of the later rifle Trigger Breech seal and locking detent Sights Cocking What is it good for? Summary This report should be titled, “By any other name” because the airgun I’m writing about doesn’t […]

Diana 35

Diana 35: Part 1

Diana 35 pellet rifle. A history of airguns This report covers: Older 35 What was the 35? Soup-up The spring isn’t the thing Back to the Diana 35 This Diana 35 Trigger What to do? Summary Today begins a long report on the Diana 35 air rifle. If you […]

Old Blue and White

Daisy’s model 110 Rocket Command BB gun. A history of airguns This report covers: The deal What is it? Earlier model 26 Blue Book of Airguns Trigger Stock Description Sights Comparison to the 27 Summary Sputnik When I was a kid in the 1950s, western movies where the […]

BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 1

BSF S54 target rifle. A history of airguns This report covers: BSF The S54 Trigger Three variations of the S54 Two calibers Hang tag Underlever cocking Loading tap Summary I’m starting a report on the BSF S54 target rifle today. I reviewed this rifle 4 years ago, but […]

Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 1

Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27 A history of airguns This report covers: Michael’s Diana 27 Out of the box Flat breech seal No baseline test Onward Through The Fog Remove the action from […]

Tin can chronograph

A history of airguns This report covers: How powerful is it? Tin cans are not tin! SAFETY! Aluminum cans Hickory tree chronograph Back-door-to-hickory-tree chronograph Leaf chronograph The house silencer Out of BBs We were soldiers once, and young Out of matches No, this isn’t a “how to” piece […]

Ten-meter accuracy test — Daisy 499 versus Haenel 310

A history of airguns This report covers: Another failure! The test 499 Discussion 1 Haenel 310 Discussion 2 CZ75 P-07 Duty accuracy at 10 meters Summary I put today’s report in the historical section because it relates to both the Haenel 310 and the Diana model 30 that […]

Daisy Model 99 Target Special: Part 1

A history of airguns Daisy Model 99 Target Special. This report covers: Not what I expected Peep sight Front sight Sling Action Stock and forearm Gravity-feed magazine Forced-feed magazine Three variations of the Model 99 99 accuracy Daisy 299 Comparison to the 499 Summary Welcome to July! Today […]

Basic airgun maintenance for beginners

A history of airguns This report covers: Good for everyone Back to the LG55 Oiling the piston seal How to tell How to oil the piston seal Other maintenance Cleaning the barrel What pellets? Cleaning the outside That’s it I received this question on Tuesday. “I just received […]

The Crosman 180: Part 1

My .22 caliber Crosman 180 is the second variation. A history of airguns This report covers: The acquisition Quick fix 180 variants Trigger The 180 valve Adjustable power Description Sights Summary The acquisition When my wife Edith and I lived in Maryland (1982-2003) we often attended the Columbia Flea Market. […]

The Diana 27: Part 1

My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807. Part 2: The Diana 27 A history of airguns This report covers: Not the pre-war 27 First time Why a 27? Great feeling! Description Sights Seals Breech seal Trigger Overall evaluation What is a classic? One dictionary […]

The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 1

Diana model 50 underlever. A history of airguns This report covers: History Findlay Fortune smiles! Not the first Taploader — oh oh! Description Evaluation so far Enough about straight razors and coin collections! Let’s get back to vintage airguns. Today we begin a series that looks at the […]

Hakim airgun trainer at 25 yards

Hakim air rifle trainer. Anschütz made 2800 of these for the Egyptian army in 1954/55. This one has custom-made wood. A history of airguns This report covers: The test Sight in RWS Superpoints Eley Wasps The experience Today’s blog arose from the suggestions of several readers. In the […]

Poor man’s Garand — the Hakim

Egyptian Hakim was a “make-do” battle rifle, designed around cheap ammo. A history of airguns This report covers: History Development Innovation Cartridges thrown forward Hakim action Accuracy However… Why is the Hakim the “poor man’s Garand”? Corrosive ammo The airgun Summary You have read about Hakims in this […]

Diana’s model 5 air pistol: Part 1

This Diana model 5 air pistol is marked as a Winchester model 353. A history of airguns This report covers: Iconic air pistol History Winchester Gun Broker The gun Grip Sights Trigger Expected performance Iconic air pistol Today we begin looking at one of the most iconic air […]

Crosman 150: Part 2

Crosman 150: Part 2 Crosman’s 150 looks plain and simple, but was a pivotal airgun. A history of airguns Part 1 This report covers: Leave the pipe wrench alone! Different type of inlet valve Velocity test RWS Hobby RWS Superpoint Crosman Premier More on the pistol Test gun […]

Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 3

Hakim is Egypt’s air rifle trainer for their 8mm battle rifle. A history of airguns Part 1 Part 2 This report covers: Shoot directly off the bag Eley Wasps RWS Superpoints JSB Exact Jumbo RS Summary We will shoot the .22 caliber Hakim trainer today and see what […]

Swedish Excellent: Part 2

My Swedish Excellent CII rifle is a multi-pump pneumatic. A history of airguns Part 1 This report covers: 6 strokes are minimum Slow or fast? Why just 3 shots? Interesting observation 8 pumps 10 pumps Lobo 6 pumps Lobo 8 pumps Lobo 10 pumps Summary Today we look […]

Hammerli 100

Hammerli 100 free pistol: Part 1

Hammerli model 100 free pistol. A history of airguns Hammerli or Haemmerli? Hammerli 100 What’s free about it? Martini action The side lever Trigger Special grips Hammerli or Haemmerli? Before we dive in to today’s report, a word about the spelling I have used. It is incorrect. The […]

Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 2

Hakim is Egypt’s air rifle trainer for their 8mm battle rifle. A history of airguns Part 1 This report covers: My first Hakim Navy Arms Power Little Rock You won’t believe this one! More Hakims Parts and pogosticks Even more Hakims One last rifle Today we look at […]

Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: History Air rifle A lead sled Sights We’ll get dirty! Today we start looking at the famous Egyptian Hakim underlever spring-piston air rifle trainer. It is a pellet rifle trainer for the 8mm Hakim battle rifle the Egyptians used for several […]

Hammerli Trainer: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: European military trainers K31 Trainer Caliber A major purchase! Where we stand I’m out at Media Day at the Range today. So tomorrow I’ll start showing you new stuff from the SHOT Show. About three weeks ago I was cruising the […]

When I was a kid

A history of airguns This report covers: I started out young My first new BB gun A real BB gun Fanner 50 Old blue and white First pellet gun Second pellet gun I started out young Little boys in the 1950s wanted to be cowboys or astronauts. We […]

Year 1960

Ruger Marl 1

Crosman Mark I and II reseal

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. He’s going to tell us about the Crosman Mark I pistol he recently acquired and what he did to fix the leak it came with. If you’d like to write a guest post […]

Walther LGV Olympia: Part 1

Walther’s LGV Olympia is one of the last recoiling spring piston target rifles. A history of airguns This report covers: Background Several versions Heavy Locking barrel Tight breech Light cocking Top Olympia Sights The plan Background During the 1960s, spring-piston target air rifles reached their high water mark. […]

Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 5

Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 A history of airguns This report covers: SHOT Show Today and Monday New parts Scragging? Lubricating the mainspring Rust removal […]

Crosman’s Mark I Target pistol: Part 1

Crosman Mark I target pistol. A history of airguns This report covers: History Mark II The pistol Two power levels Grips Sights The trigger Power The pinnacle of its time Ergonomics Modified guns How long do they hold? Summary I wanted to write about the Crosman Mark I […]

FWB 110 target rifle: Part 1

A history of airguns FWB 110 target rifle. I’m the one who cut off both ends of the gun in this photo. This report covers: FWB target rifles First target rifle How rare and what is it worth? What’s it like? Sliding compression chamber Same as a 300 Trigger […]

The Diana 27: Part 2

My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: RWS Superpoint RWS Superdomes Crosman Premier Am I satisfied? Cocking effort Trigger pull The ball bearing trigger How to adjust the ball bearing trigger Summary Today we look […]

Crosman’s V-300 BB pistol: Part 1

Crosman V-300 BB pistol. A history of airguns This report covers: For those who care History M1 Carbine Enter the V-300 The model name Oiling, loading and cocking Sights General specifications Summary Sometimes I write these historical reports about airguns that many of us know and have either […]

Crosman’s M1 Carbine BB gun: Part 1

Crosman M1 Carbine BB gun is a classic lookalike airgun. A history of airguns This report covers: History Tom the doofus Modern Quackenbush The danger A classic based on an icon! Different valve Repeater Sights More to come Daisy may have given lookalike airguns the name “Spittin’ Image” […]

BSF S70 air rifle: Part 3

BSF S70 rifle is the father of several famous Weirauch models. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: The test Shoots low Hobbys Premier lites The sights and my new eye RWS Superdomes JSB Exact RS Conclusion In Part 2 we learned that this […]

Diana’s model 5 air pistol: Part 3

This Diana model 5 air pistol is marked as a Winchester model 353. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: The test Hobbys A couple observations Air Arms Falcon Crosman Premier lites Qiang Yuan Training pellets Summary Today is accuracy day for the Diana […]

BSF S70 air rifle: Part 2

BSF S70 rifle is the father of several famous Weirauch models. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Today’s the day Oiled the piston seal RWS Hobby Crosman Premier 7.9-grain What’s up? Cocking effort Trigger pull Summary Today’s the day Today we find out how honest […]

Daisy’s 179 BB pistol: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: The Spittin’ Image What is it? Catapult gun A kinetic gun? Very low power Cowboys are cool Four variations The Holy Grail The pistol That’s all for today The Spittin’ Image In 1960, Daisy Manufacturing Company embarked on a marketing campaign […]

BSF S20 air pistol: Part 1

The BSF S20 pistol looks like a breakbarrel rifle that’s been cut down to fit into a pistol grip. A history of airguns This report covers: BSF S20 Finding the gun Some faults Not so simple Description What to do next? BSF S20 I saw my first BSF […]

Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 2

Crosman 600 CO2 pellet pistol. A history of airguns Part 1 This report covers: Feeding problems? Crosman Premiers JSB Exact RS RWS Hobbys Shot count What we have Today is the day we discover the health of my new/old Crosman 600. Since I first filled it I have […]

BSA Meteor Mark I: Part 1

BSA Meteor Mark I. A history of airguns This report covers: You outta try… Off the bat A scope! What to expect Back in 2013/14 I wrote a 9-part review of the BSA Super Meteor Mark IV that I bought at what turned out to be the last […]

Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 1

Crosman 600 CO2 pellet pistol. A history of airguns This report covers: Update on the Brice scope mount base for the Daisy Red Ryder A true semiautomatic .22 caliber Power and gas use Ultimate ergonomics Gas caps Sights Safety Modification This pistol Could Crosman do it today? Update […]

Haenel 310 bolt action trainer: Part 1

Haenel 310 is a different kind of trainer. A history of airguns This report covers: History — Haenel 33 and 33 Junior Haenel model 49 and 49a Haenel 310 Magazine Cocking BB gun action Accuracy I’m starting this report to address a question from one of our readers. […]

Year 1970

The first Smith & Wesson 78G air pistol(s): Part 1

by Tom GaylordWriting as B.B. Pelletier 02-A very early S&W 78G air pistol. Though the picture looks matte because of the cloud lighting, this one has glossy paint. It’s like new! A history of airguns This report covers: Behind the curtain This pistol How early is it? Refinished? Let’s look So what? Trigger Interests? Summary […]

Diana 27S: Part 1

Diana 27S. A history of airguns This report covers: Carel Diana 27S Anti-beartrap Description Dimensions Sights Ball bearing sear History Parts interchange Summary This report is one I wanted to write months ago, but after all I wrote about reader Michael’s Winchester 427 and my own Diana 26 […]

Daisy 22SG multi-pump pneumatic: Part 3

Daisy 22SG. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: The test Check sight-in RWS Hobbys Beeman Kodiaks RWS Superpoint JSB Exact RS RWS Superdome JSB Hades Discussion Summary Today we learn how accurate the Daisy 22SG is. The rifle was already scoped so I […]

Beeman C1: Part 2

My new Beeman C1 is a .177. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Baseline H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm RWS Superdome RWS Hobby Discussion 1 Trigger pull Cocking effort Discussion 2 Summary The Beeman C1 I am testing is the airgun I acquired at the Texas […]

Sheridan Blue Streak: Part 2

My Sheridan Blue Streak dates back to 1978 when I bought it new. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Lots of pellets Test plan Crosman Premiers Huh? Consistency Last test — Benjamin Cylindricals Pump effort Discussion Summary Today I test my Sheridan Blue Streak’s velocity. […]

Smith & Wesson model 77A multi-pump pneumatic air rifle: Part 1

My S&W model 77A rifle. The black paint is flaking off the aluminum receiver, but the steel and wood parts are both in good condition. A history of airguns This report covers: S&W 77A History Blue Book Back to the history The price Description Sights Scope base? The […]

Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 5

My S&W 78G pistol. A history of airguns Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Today’s report is written by reader 45Bravo. This is his report to us on resealing the S&W 78G and 79G. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please […]

Diana 35: Part 5

Diana 35 pellet rifle. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 A history of airguns This report covers: Basic velocity test background Today with Hobbys Firing behavior Cocking effort Trigger pull Qiang Yuan Training pellets Falcons Discussion Summary Today we see how the lube tune and cleaning […]

Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 1

My S&W 78G pistol. A history of airguns This report covers: History Physical description CO2 Fit Loading Adjustable power My observation Before I get into today’s report I have a surprise for you. I had a conversation with Val Gamerman on Friday about the TR-5 and together we […]

Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 7

Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 A history of airguns This report covers: New breech seal The breech test Second tune with a […]

Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 1

Diana model 30 gallery gun. A history of airguns This report covers: Description Caliber 4.4mm The fix Power was intermittent Rifled Discussion Summary Apparently there have been three Dianas model 30. Blue Book of Airguns calls them out and tells us the differences. Last week there was some […]

Chinese B3 underlever: Part 1

The B3 underlever from China A history of airguns Chinese B3 The B3 The rifle How can you tell? Who cares? The Compasseco connection Next Today was supposed to be Part 2 of the FLZ Luftpistole. However, as sometimes happens, fate had a different plan. I started to […]

Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 6

HW 55SF. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 A history of airguns This report covers: Rob velocity? H&N Finale Match Light Sig Match Ballistic Alloy Qiang Yuan Olympic RWS R10 Match Pistol Discussion So, what? Cocking effort Firing cycle Summary Today we look at […]

The Diana 27: Part 3

My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: The test Eye report RWS Superdomes Some questions arise RWS Superpoints The artillery hold Summary MP40 Second time was the trick Before I begin, someone asked […]

FWB 124 air rifle: Part 1

This FWB 124 Deluxe is not the exact gun I’m writing about, but it is the same model. A history of airguns This report covers: The motivation What did I get? Now what? Why??? The lesson History Long stroke piston Summary I had planned to tear into the […]

Diana’s model 5 air pistol: Part 2

This Diana model 5 air pistol is marked as a Winchester model 353. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: A valuable report! RWS Hobby pellets Oil Crosman Premier lites The oiling Experience pays off Qiang Yuan Training pellets Back to Hobbys How is it doing? […]

BSF S70 air rifle: Part 1

BSF S70 rifle is the father of several famous Weirauch models. A history of airguns This report covers: It’s here! History Related models Whadda we got? Trigger Sights Summary It’s here! I told you about this BSF S70 rifle a couple weeks ago. I thought I didn’t win it […]

BSA Airsporter Mark IV: Part 2

The BSA Airsporter Mark IV. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: My mistake RWS Hobby pellets Eley Wasps RWS Superpoints Cocking effort Trigger pull Summary Airsporter Mark IV? I thought this was a Mark I, B.B. What gives? My mistake Apparently B.B. Pelletier is the […]

BSF S20 air pistol: Part 2

The BSF S20 pistol looks like a rifle that’s been cut down to fit into a pistol grip. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Chinese copy? An HW70 copy? Velocity test Premier 7.9-grain RWS Hobbys Crosman Silver Eagle hollowpoints Breech seal? Trigger pull Cocking effort […]

Year 1976

Pioneer BB gun

Pioneer model BB76 BB gun: Part 1

Pioneer BB76 BB gun. A history of airguns This report covers: 1976 Getting ready to shoot This is a big gun! The firearm And the key! Look for them new in the box Broken Summary I’ve got a strange one for you today. It’s a copy of a […]

Year 1980

Daisy 22SG

Daisy 22SG multi-pump pneumatic: Part 2

Daisy 22SG. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Old 22SG Warmup First 10-pump shot string Oh, oh! What happened? Did it need more oil? Variable pumps Help! Fixed Second 10-pump shot string Variable pumps again Heavy pellet Trigger pull Pump effort Summary Well! If the […]

IZH 46M target pistol: Part 1

IZH 46M single stroke target pistol. A history of airguns This report covers: New in the box Comparisons Single stroke pneumatic The IZH advantage Difference between the IZH 46 and 46M Power Accuracy Trigger Sights Grips Weight Can it be scoped? The tests Value Importation Not weapons! Scarcity […]

IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 5

IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 A history of airguns This report covers: Got it! Adjusted the butt Fixed the rear sight Windage adjustment Sight adjustment The test Discussion 1 Discussion2 Discussion 3 Summary Got it! Sometimes BB gets it […]

Beeman C1: Part 1

My new Beeman C1 is a .177. A history of airguns This report covers: Take this gun History Artillery hold A compromise Smoother with use Use a mainspring compressor! The test rifle Description The breech Barrel pivot This C1 has The plan Goal Sometimes you buy airguns because […]

Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 4

My S&W 78G pistol. A history of airguns Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Today’s report is written by reader 45Bravo. This is his report to us on the Daisy air pistols that followed the S&W 78G and 79G. If you’d like to write a guest post for […]

Diana model 26 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

The Diana 26 air rifle. A history of airguns This report covers: The deal What is it? Earlier model 26 Blue Book of Airguns Trigger Stock Description Sights Comparison to the 27 Summary I have written a lot about Diana air rifles over the course of this blog. […]

The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 2

Weihrauch HW 85. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Crosman Premiers RWS Superdomes H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm heads Top speed? Hobbys Firing cycle Cocking Trigger pull Evaluation so far Today we learn how powerful this smooth-shooting .22-caliber HW85 is. You may remember from Part […]

The Beeman C1 – Part 2 The rifle that created the artillery hold!

by B.B. Pelletier Part 1 A history of airguns This is an oldie from 2009 that I recycled because I was out of town, attending to my sister last week. Today we look at Part 2. Despite the size of this photo, the C1 is a small rifle. The western look was unique in its […]

Beeman R8: Part 1

A history of airguns This report covers: The beginning What is a lube tune? The rifle Initial impressions The plan History Summary When talking about guns that become favorites, they say the airgun picks the shooter. Actually they say that about a lot of hobbies. This R8 certainly […]

Sharp Ace Target Standard: Part 3

Sharp Ace Target Standard is a sidelever multi-pump 10 meter target rifle. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: This rifle is not an Ace Pan Target Today’s test What happened Finale Match Light Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy Qiang Yuan training pellets RWS […]

Sharp Ace Pan Target: Part 1

Sharp Ace Pan Target is a sidelever multi-pump 10 meter target rifle. A history of airguns This report covers: Sharp Ace Beyond the Ace? Two versions Description Trigger How the Ace works Power Never a serious contender How I found this airgun I’ve been hyping this report on […]

Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 1

Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever. A history of airguns This report covers: Description Sights Taploader Trigger Not much information Summary Here we go! I told you I would be reporting on those airguns I acquired from the Gun Broker website. This is […]

The Daisy 853: Part 1

Daisy 853. A history of airguns This report covers: Before the 853 Daisy and the NRA The 853 Specs Lothar Walther barrel Peep sight Front sight Single-stroke pneumatic Trigger Overall evaluation Wait a minute, B.B.! This is supposed to be an historical article. How can you write about […]

Year 1990

IZH 46M

IZH 46M target pistol: Part 3

IZH 46M single stroke target pistol. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: The test RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle JSB Match Light Sights? Other pellets and holds The new hold RWS Hobby RWS R10 Match Light Best for last Discussion Summary Today I test the […]

IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 1

IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle. A history of airguns This report covers: What is it? Two rifles? Why so impressed? Sights Finishes changed over time Dimensions Not a true target rifle? Adjustable weights Weight Summary It’s been quite a while since I did an historical report and […]

Daystate Sportsman Mark II

A history of airguns This report covers: “What they oughta do…” “They” did! Sounds nice! How did it shoot? History Summary This week reader Yogi asked me if I could write a blog about the Air Arms Pro Elite — a breakbarrel rifle that was built to the same quality […]

The Beeman C1 – Part 1 The rifle that created the artillery hold!

by B.B. Pelletier This is an oldie from 2009 that I’m recycling because I’m still out of town with my family emergency. As you will soon learn, the Beeman C1 is the rifle that gave me the idea for the artillery hold.   A history of airguns Despite the size of this photo, the C1 […]

The rise of the accurate pellet: Part 3

A history of airguns Part 1 Part 2 This report covers: Up to this point What came next? Head size Enter the Pelletgage High-performance expanding pellets Solid “pellets” Lead-free pellets Conclusion I bet some of you didn’t realize there was so much to making pellets accurate, did you? […]

Year 2000

Crosman MAR 177: Part 2

by Tom GaylordWriting as B.B. Pelletier The MAR177 from Crosman. Part 1 History of airguns This report covers: Why muzzleloading pneumatics and gas guns are extremely dangerous AR with a reservoir Premium quality Receiver difference National Match trigger AR firearm Summary Why muzzleloading pneumatics and gas guns are extremely dangerous I am answering this discussion […]

Lov 21

Lov 21 CO2 pistol: Part 2

The Lov 21 is a CO2 target pistol; made in the Czech Republic. It doesn’t look like much, but people speak well of it in Canada and Europe. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Learned a lot! The CO2 cap Velocity — H&N Finale Match […]

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 3

The Benjamin 392 pump assist is an interesting side street in the hobby. Part 1 Part 2 A history of airguns This report covers: Crosman Premier RWS Superpoint JSB Exact Jumbo Whadja get? Today we look at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Benjamin 392 with pump-assist. I tested […]

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 2

The Benjamin 392 pump assist is an interesting side street in the hobby. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Pump-assist pump effort Sheridan Blue Streak pump effort How it feels Velocity test 1 Velocity test 2 Velocity test 3 Velocity test 4 Velocity test 5 […]

When I was a kid

A history of airguns This report covers: I started out young My first new BB gun A real BB gun Fanner 50 Old blue and white First pellet gun Second pellet gun I started out young Little boys in the 1950s wanted to be cowboys or astronauts. We […]

Haenel model 100 BB pistol and Daisy number 12 model 29 BB gun: Parts 2 and 3

A history of airguns Haenel 100: Part 1 Daisy number 12 model 29: Part 1 Daisy number 12 model 29: Part 2 The Haenel 100 BB pistol is a pre-war 50-shot repeater. Daisy Number 12 Model 20 is a vintage BB gun. This report covers: Haenel 100 first Precision […]

Year 2004

IZH MP532

IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 2

IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle. Part 1 A history of airguns This report covers: Rough-looking stock Haemmerli free pistol Who is the rifle made for? Also in the box Bringing them back ATF Sealant on the seals Part two of the seal fix I bought a second […]

Year 2006

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 1

The Benjamin 392 pump assist modification is an interesting side street in the hobby. A history of airguns This report covers: How is this historical? What is it? How does it work? The inventor How much? The butterfly hand pump What are they worth? What comes next? This […]

Year 2016

Crosman SA-6

How hard can it be?

A history of airguns This report covers: Are old airgun parts really that simple to make? It’s a simple plastic part The question Are old airgun parts really that simple to make? It’s a simple plastic part A fork in the road Hold on! Okay — stop! But […]

3 thoughts on “A history of airguns


    • Tacklebury,

      From the movie Tacklebury the Cadet with the gun fetish in Police Academy?

      Some historical NEWS for you: Napoleon never disbanded an airgun corps he actually disbanded his powder rifle corps. He believed that it was ungentlemanly to shoot Officers, even the enemy’s, with accurate rifled weapons. The Girardoni air rifles were in the service of the Austrian Emperor/King of Hungary’s army. That entire Habsburg Hungarian Kings dynasty thing is really a complex story all by itself. But the Girardoni airguns were never historically linked with any Napoleonic army.

      shootski


  1. You’re correct, Austrian not Napoleonic. I had my wires crossed with his slingers.

    “the Girandoni air rifle was adopted for use in the Austrian army, where it was called a Windbuchse (literally meaning “wind rifle” in German). The rifle was in use by the Austrian military until around 1815 and was used against in battles against the Turks.”

    “During Austria’s 1788-89 war against Turkey and a 1790 fight with Prussia, the Girandoni air rifle was used extensively and proved itself in combat, offering a high rate, reasonable accuracy, and lethality, without generating gun smoke or muzzle blast. One Tyrolean sharpshooter report noted, “These weapons were really accurate and effective.”
    Source: J. Plaster, History of Sniping and Sharpshooting


Leave a Reply