Old versus new

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

  • Wait
  • Old airguns
  • Pistols?
  • Broomhandle Mauser M712
  • Lookalikes
  • Get it?
  • The moral

Are old airguns better than new ones? “Yes!” says the guy who likes them for their wood and steel. He doesn’t want any plastic on his guns. It bothers him that the firearm handguns of today are made from as much plastic as steel.


Hold on, brother! That plastic Glock that offends you so much has been test-fired 30,000 shots without a major failure. The 1911 you love so dearly was praised in 1910 for shooting 6,000 shots  with the same results. The Glock endured 5 times the punishment as your venerable Browning design.

The Glock is also built for ease of manufacture. It’s so simple that a guy can build one in his workshop, starting with a plastic frame that’s 80 percent finished. All it takes is a file, a drill and some time. Oh, and a lot of money! When it’s finished he will have about as much tied up as if he had bought the gun over the counter. But it is possible. read more

Crosman 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle — Part 14

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is Part 14 of the Hiveseeker guest blog on the Crosman 2400KT. Today is titled Modding the Crosman 2400 family — Primer 3.

This is the most popular guest blog series we have ever published. Hiveseeker says it is the last in the series, but I think it might not be. You readers will help him decide.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now, over to you, Hiveseeker.

Crosman 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle – Part 14
Modding the Crosman 2400 family — Primer 3
By Hiveseeker

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13

2400KT cover photo
The 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle that I modded for this report is only available directly from the Crosman Custom Shop. It is shown here disassembled with a mix of stock and modded parts. For scale, the background grid on all photos is one inch square. read more

Umarex Gauntlet: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Umarex Gauntlet.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The Gauntlet
  • Test 1 — shot count and the power curve
  • Power
  • Impressions
  • Frequent pellet jams
  • Test 2 — different pellets
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Discharge sound
  • Evaluation

Today we will look at the Umarex Gauntlet’s velocity and shot count, but before we start I have to tell you something. Yesterday I started shooting the Sub-1 crossbow. It was fantastic! I wanted to report on it this week, but I can’t allow the week to pass without doing the Gauntlet. So many readers are awaiting my findings. And, as I told you on Monday, we have two guest blogs this week, so the Sub-1 report will wait until next week.

The Gauntlet

The Gauntlet accepts a fill to 3000 psi, which makes it sort of friendly to hand pumps. The manual doesn’t mention cocking the rifle before starting to fill, so I filled it from empty to 1000 psi with a prototype Hill hand pump. The rifle was uncocked at the start and filled immediately. I stopped at 1000 psi because this pump has no pressure gauge and it was too difficult to tell where I was. The fill nipple is opposite the pressure gauge, so I had to pick the rifle up and turn it over to see the pressure. Too much bother! read more

Kral Puncher Breaker Silent Synthetic .177 PCP repeater: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Kral Puncher Breaker rifle
Kral Puncher Breaker bullpup with synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The day
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Magazine is easy
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Trigger
  • Wind picked up
  • Crosman Premier heavies
  • Evaluation

Today we will finish the report on the .177 caliber Kral Puncher Breaker bullpup PCP. I have taken longer to write this report because of the weather here in Texas. We have had a cold wet winter that has kept me off the outdoor range, and today’s test is the one at 50 yards. I learned a lot about the rifle in this test and when you see the results I think you will agree.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bench with a sandbag rest. The targets were 50 yards away and I shot 10-shot groups. Not only will I describe how the rifle shot, I’ll also give you a lot more detail on things like the trigger pull. read more

“Spring Doc” Spring Compressor Review

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

I am not running an historical report today because we have two guest blogs this week. Today I’m running the first of them. This is a guest blog from a reader who goes by the name Motorman.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now, over to you, Motorman.

“Spring Doc” Spring Compressor Review
By Dean Speidel, alias “Motorman”

This report covers:

  • Decisions
  • “Spring Doc”
  • Diving In!
  • Flies in the ointment?
  • Wrap-Up


For some time I’ve been thinking about learning to disassemble, repair and, perhaps most importantly, re-assemble spring piston airguns. Making or buying a spring compressor is the first and unavoidable step.

I’m reasonably good with my hands, so I searched the internet and found a number of plans for build-it-yourself compressors. Some were pretty crude and, frankly, looked dangerous! Some were better, but I just never found one that I liked well enough to put the money and effort into building it. read more

Chinese B3 underlever: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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 chronograph the pistol with RWS Hobby pellets. I said I thought the gun would be slow, but I had no idea how slow! The first pellet didn’t leave the barrel. I cocked and fired again and it registered 67 f.p.s.

I tried deep seating the pellet and got one at 144 f.p.s. That was followed by two pellets sticking in the barrel. Obviously this pistol isn’t ready to shoot! If I had planned it I would have taken it apart today, but I had a couple errands that kept me from having the time, so I decided to move on to the B3 underlever I picked up in Weatherford Pawn shop a couple weeks ago. That was at the same time that I got the Benjamin 392 that I tested for you already. read more

Sub-1 crossbow: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sub-1 crossbow
Sub-1 crossbow. Photo used with permission of Mission Archery.

This report covers:

  • Sub-1 crossbow
  • Would I like to try?
  • Surprise, surprise
  • Description
  • Bubble level
  • No dry-fire
  • Trigger
  • Maintenance
  • Special tips
  • What have I left out?

This is a different kind of blog. I hope it’s one you will enjoy.

Sub-1 crossbow

When I was at Media Day at the Range at this year’s SHOT Show, I stopped by the Mission Archery booth, where they were displaying the Sub-1 crossbow. It looked cool and they engaged me in conversation right away, so I asked where the name came from. They told me this bow can shoot 3-shot groups at 100 yards that measure less than one inch between centers. That caught my attention!

Would I like to try?

This is what Media Day is all about. Of course I would like to try. I wondered what the draw weight was? Two hundred pounds, I was told. Okay, deal me out. Maybe when I was 50 I could draw 200 pounds — certainly not today. Then the representative told me that his 13-year-old daughter could cock it. Well, with that I puffed out my chest and tried to cock it. When it comes to cocking crossbows, anything a 13-year-old girl can do… read more