Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Stormrider
Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Rear sight comes off
  • The test
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Next up — JSB Exact Jumbos!
  • One more pellet
  • Conclusion

Let’s get right to it. Today we learn just how accurate is the .22-caliber Diana Stormrider I’m testing. In Part 3 I probably had difficulty seeing the open sights, but today I have scoped the rifle with a UTG SWAT 3-12X44 sidewheel scope. I have mounted it in BKL 30mm high rings. These are the thin rings with two screws per cap, because the Stormrider receiver doesn’t accept rings with a long base.

Rear sight comes off

The rear sight had to be removed for the bell of the scope to clear. The sight base, which is also the barrel band, remained on the rifle — just the adjustable rear notch had to come off.

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All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

This report covers:

  • Big target
  • Tough
  • Safe
  • Portable
  • Assembles without tools!
  • Paddles of two different thicknesses
  • The secret
  • How large is it?
  • Knockdown
  • Many patents
  • Test

You may not remember me telling you about this action target in one of the reports on the 2017 Texas airgun show. Today I start my report about it.

Big target

The manufacturer does not call this a Texas Star, but they acknowledge that it works like one and most people will call it that. But if our sun is a star, this target is Betelgeuse! That’s a red supergiant start that, if it was in the same place as our sun, its rim would extend past the orbit of Mars! I’m saying the 503-1 is BIG. You might plink at regular Texas Stars at 35 yards — this is one you can move out to 75 and even 100 yards!

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Determining the age of a vintage airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How old?
  • It starts with straight razors
  • Shape of the blade
  • Shape of the scales
  • Blade profile
  • Airguns
  • Generations/ages
  • Very old steel and wood
  • Seals
  • Spring guns
  • Funky parts
  • Other finishes
  • Post WW II steel and wood guns
  • Breech and piston seals
  • Look for plastic
  • Painted guns?
  • Summary

How old?

If you are new to the field of airguns there seems to be an ocean of things you need to know. If you want to become a collector, some of these things are crucial. Today I will explore how you can determine the relative age of a vintage airgun.

It starts with straight razors

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about straight razors very long. But they were the thing I used to rediscover what it feels like to be a new guy in an established hobby. Although I am not interested in collecting them, I couldn’t help but pick up some clues to their relative ages (when they were made) along the way.

Shape of the blade

Before around 1800, straight razors had no real tang. That’s the skinny part behind the blade where you hold the razor to shave. Razors from 1800 and earlier simply don’t have one. They just end the sharp blade and remain almost as wide but become dull as they go back to the pivot pin on the scales.

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The Crosman 180: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 180
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. Once each month they held a Super Sunday when the market would expand by 500 percent. That was the day all the occasional dealers would attend, and bring the stuff nobody had ever seen. I found some tremendous air gun bargains there! Maybe I will write a report on just that — the deals I found and the deals I passed up. Today, however, I am starting a look at a Crosman 180 that came from that market.

We had been attending for more than a year and I believe I had started writing The Airgun Letter, or was about to. Because I was used to seeing vintage airguns at this market I carried several CO2 cartridges in my pocket, just in case. On this day one stall had this Crosman 180 and a .177-caliber 187 for sale. As I recall they wanted $40 apiece. I asked if they held CO2 and of course the dealer didn’t know. Then I asked if I could try my cartridges and she said yes.

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They have the wrong twist rate!: Part 2

usby Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Been awhile
  • New airgunners
  • A better way
  • Doing what works
  • The point
  • Sharpening straight razors

Been awhile

Part 1 of this report was written way back in the beginning of February. I think the reason it’s taken me so long to get back to it is I titled it wrong. I will discuss that as we go, but first let me define who “they” are. In the words of comedian, Red Green, “They” are everybody who is not us. Now that that’s clear we can continue.

Part 1 was a treatise on twist rates and how they affect accuracy. As many of you are aware, I use this blog to school both new airgunners and also airgun manufacturers — who are often as ignorant of the facts as new airgunners, but cannot or will not admit it. No engineer who has just been hired by an airgun company is going to admit there is something he doesn’t know about guns! Heaven forbid! And neither is any CEO or owner of a company, because in their minds they are in a position of authority and should therefore know!

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Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Stormrider
Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • RWS Superdome
  • Experience pays off
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • The trigger
  • Next — the shocker!
  • Aiming error
  • Magazine
  • Final group
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Diana Stormrider PCP. I know that many of you are eagerly awaiting these tests to make an important decision. Let’s jump right in.

The test

I shot using open sights from 25 yards off a rest today for several reasons. First, the Stormrider comes with open sights and, while a scope has to be sighted-in which can take some time to do, a gun’s native sights should be pretty much on all the time. The second reason I trusted the sights is the rifle I’m testing is one Pyramyd Air put through many tests already. Surely they have shaken it down before sending it to me.

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Getting started with a precharged air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Fill options
  • Practicality
  • Filling a big bore
  • Tank size
  • Filling a smallbore PCP
  • The point
  • Air compressors
  • Booster compressors
  • Stand-alone compressors
  • The future

I said in the last report that I would write this report on filling options for PCPs. I’m writing this for the new guys who aren’t sure which way to turn. Any way you go represents an investment, so this is something that needs to be given a lot of consideration. Hopefully this report will start a discussion of that.

Fill options

There are two basic ways to fill a precharged airgun. Either the air is introduced from a container where it is stored until called for or else it is put in and compressed as the fill is made. The first option is based on an air tank of some kind. The second is either a hand pump or a small air compressor that connects to the airgun. I will talk about both of these but first I want to discuss practicality.

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