The American Zimmerstutzen: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

American Zimmerstutzen
The American Zimmerstutzen.

This report covers:

  • I didn’t know the gun was loaded
  • And again…
  • And again
  • STOP!!!
  • Blanks?
  • Can real blanks hurt you?
  • They were blanks but he fired too soon
  • KaBOOM!
  • So what?
  • Sooner started…
  • Does this thing even work?
  • No fit?
  • Serendipity
  • HOWEVER
  • Summary

I first titled this report, “Can blanks hurt you?”

In writing about the American Zimmerstutzen today, I rediscovered all my fears about shooting blanks in guns. Why would I worry about that? Well, this home-built pellet rifle was made to be powered by a blank cartridge. And, over the three score and ten years of my life, I have seen countless injuries and deaths from blanks.

I didn’t know the gun was loaded

You may have heard the story that actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was killed during filming, “The Crow.” He was shot with what Hollywood and the media called a “blank gun.” But it wasn’t really a blank gun — it was a firearm. And he wasn’t shot with a blank; he was shot with a bullet. How, many ask? Simple — the film crew was careless while using a firearm to shoot blanks and someone loaded a live cartridge into the handgun that shot and killed Lee. And that was not the only time it’s happened. read more


Hatsan Proxima underlever repeater: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Proxima
Hastsan Proxima underlever repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Single shot?
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Remember the sights!
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Firing cycle
  • RWS Superdome
  • Baracuda Match
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Hatsan Proxima. Since it has open sights, I started with them.

Single shot?

You guys dumped on me last time about the single-shot feature. Okay, I admit there are some aftermarket single-shot adaptors for the Proxima, but I doubt anyone will ever use them. You see, cocking this rifle and closing the cocking lever is a two-handed proposition. Don’t forget the cocking lever release has to be pressed to close the lever. Unless you have a third hand to load a pellet with one of those adaptors while all that is going on, I don’t think it will happen. Is it possible? Sure. But it’s a bar bet — not a way to shoot. read more


Silencers — an update

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What does a firearms silencer sound like?
  • What does a silencer do?
  • Making the gasses work against themselves
  • Silencers and the law
  • What you think doesn’t matter
  • The problem
  • Code talkers
  • So — are airgun silencers legal?
  • How quiet?
  • Times are a-changin’
  • Summary

I just heard from someone who went through the legal process of registering a firearm silencer. He waited 11 months for the entire process to go through, and he very recently picked up his $600 silencer.

But — it isn’t silent!

No, It wouldn’t be. Firearm silencers are not silent, nor do they sound like a small airgun, as Hollywood often portrays them. But before you rag on the filmmakers, consider this. You can watch a video of an atomic bomb detonating, where the “sound” is so “loud” that it’s actually a solid visible wave of supercompressed air that shatters buildings. Yet you can watch it in comfort. That’s because your speakers cannot reproduce real sounds that loud — I don’t care how much you spend on them! In the real world people flinch violently when a firearm is fired, unless they are prepared for it. On the big screen it’s no more annoying than a rooster crowing. read more


Diana Stormrider Generation II precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Stormrider II
Diana Stormrider Generation II precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Stormrider Gen 1 Part 4
Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Open sights
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Crosman Premier Heavy
  • JSB Exact Beast
  • RWS Superdome
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.53mm head
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Summary

Last week reader Krasi asked me when I would do Part 3 of the Gen. II Diana Stormrider. I had to be honest with him — I had totally forgotten it! It’s sitting here in my office and I never gave it a second thought. So, today I make up for the oversight and start reporting the accuracy of the Gen. II Stormrider.

Open sights

The Stormrider has good-looking open sights and I wanted to try them first. It’s a very good thing I did, which I will discuss in a moment.

The test

I shot off a rest at 10 meters. I shot 5-shot groups that gave a rough idea of the accuracy and also allowed me to test more pellets. I decided that if there was a pellet that was particularly accurate I would also shoot a group of 10 with that one. read more


Tuning BB’s Diana 27: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Teardown
  • 25 years?
  • Krytox!
  • Petroleum archaeology!
  • Grease to oil
  • Spring is fully scragged
  • Grease formed plugs and solidified
  • Start cleaning
  • Removing the barrel
  • Surprise!
  • Piston out
  • And rust!
  • Diana peened the blind pin in the piston head!
  • Cleaning done, time for the Krytox
  • Lubed the mainspring
  • Assembly
  • The rest of the parts go in
  • Finishing assembly
  • The verdict
  • Did I do it wrong?
  • What should I do now?
  • Don’tcha wanna know how it works?
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Summary

Today is the day we learn whether Krytox is the miracle lubricant that both fixes and quiets spring-piston airguns. I have been hounded by people for more than a decade to try this stuff, and I had dug my heels in real deep, but then it dawned on me that Gene from Pyramyd Air had been after me for an equally long time to try Almagard 3752 — the grease that turned out to be Tune in a Tube. We all know how that went!

I promised to become the number one Krytox cheerleader if the stuff really works as advertised — by some airgunners, not by Krytox, themselves. But, I will also be only too happy to poke a hole in the Krytox balloon if it turns out we have been hoodwinked. read more


Tuning BB’s Diana 27: Part1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bias
  • The deal
  • Krytox
  • Diana peep sight
  • Cheap peep
  • Same idea — more elegant
  • The best
  • Ebay
  • BIG teaching point
  • On with the Diana peep
  • So, what?
  • My 27
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • Sad news

Today’s report isn’t quite what the title says. I am going to tune my Hy Score 807/Diana 27 for you, because, after the success I had with Michael’s rifle, I felt it was time to strike while the iron is hot. But reader comments entered the picture as I was extolling the virtues of Tune in a Tube. One reader said he had his best luck with a lubrication product called Krytox, and then several more readers piled on, saying similar things. So, the subtitle of this report could be “The Great Krytox Experiment, or Krytox versus Tune in a Tube.” Because that’s what I plan to do — tune my Diana 27/Hy Score 807 with Krytox to compare it to a Tune in a Tube tune. read more


Hatsan Proxima underlever repeater: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Proxima
Hatsan Proxima underlever repeater.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Why no single-shot tray
  • RWS Hobby
  • Teaching point
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superdome
  • H&N Sniper Magnum
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Why no single-shot tray

I am usually sensitive to the questions of my readers, but in Part 1 I missed it completely. Reader HawkEye asked why the Hatsan Proxima doesn’t come with a single shot tray. I ignored his first comment, thinking he was just joking, but he persisted so I finally answered him. I said this.

“This rifle isn’t made to be shot single shot. No tray because it doesn’t work that way. Cocking is too hard and the loading space too confined.”

And I wondered why he would even ask such a question, until it dawned on me that he couldn’t envision the scale. I had shown him an enlarged picture of the feed probe and, looking at that, he could see plenty of room to load a pellet. read more